WXLO/99X Airchecks

Thanks to aircheck collectors and radio fans, we have airchecks of WXLO/99X from 1973 until 1980. 
 If we get more of good quality, we'll post them! 


Mike Phillips, August 1973
(source:  Gary Tompkins)

Mike had his roots in Drake style Top 40 radio having been one of the original DJ's at KFRC/San Francisco.  He worked at WWDJ/Hackensack prior to WXLO and after his time in New York, he returned to the West Coast.  For more about Mike, click Mike Phillips Tribute Page. You may recognize Will Spens heard doing news on this aircheck.  He went on to be an anchor for WNBC radio and Channel 4 TV.

This is an interesting aircheck of WXLO after it switched from WOR-FM but before it became 99X.  It was using the "98.7"  and  "WXLO" branding with the Drake influence still present although somewhat less.  Al Brady is the WXLO program director (he had been a DJ at WOR/FM a few years earlier). 


Mike Phillips, October 1973
(source: Gary Tompkins)

Mike is back with this aircheck from October 1973.  The station is still using "WXLO" but has changed jingle companies to PAMS and is using  its "Energy One" series.  Note that it was from this series that the eventual "99X" jingle would come (listen to the "WXLO" jingle at 3:13). Mike is also voicing the promos.  Al Brady is program director. 


Joe Conway, December 1973
(source: BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Joe worked at WWDJ/Hackensack prior to WXLO. He went on to WINZ in Miami and then KCCW in Texas.

WXLO has started to step up the pace.  The Drake contract is now cancelled with RKO Broadcasting. Paul Drew is now the primary influence coming from RKO corporate.  Al Brady is still program director.  

Walt Baby Love, February 1974

This is an interesting aircheck as it is recorded just as WXLO was evolving into 99X.  You'll hear both "99 XLO" and "99X" in the station's positioning.
Also note the Jerry Clifton voiced promo for "a brand new concept" --- "99 on FM, X marks the spot".


Brian White,  Spring 1974
(source: Evan Dakes)

Brian White started at KREL in Corona, California,  then moved to KAMP in El Centro, California then KSEA in San Diego. In 1973, Brian headed east to WDRQ/Detroit and in 1974 to 99X. In 1975, he headed back west to KCBQ in San Diego.

The 99X name and brand has arrived along with the PAMS "Energy One" 99X jingle and the intense audio processing and contests. Jerry Clifton is now program director and the voice of the promos.  His promos stand out as they are stylistically low key in the middle of the loud, almost frenetic format that surroundes them.  From now until about 1976 WXLO is stylistically programmed with "The Q Format", named after KCBQ/San Diego (programmed by Buzz Bennett).  The station plays hits and recent hits with frequent, short commercial breaks (as opposed to three or more songs in a row with longer commercial breaks).


Jay Stone, 1974
(source: Evan Dakes)

Jay Stone did mornings on 99X in 1974 after Mike Phillips left (and briefly returned to the station in 1978).  Jay had a great voice and terrific Top 40 pacing.  He also worked in New York at WNBC and at WKCI/New Haven.  He died in Hawaii in October 2001.

Jay and program director Jerry Clifton were good friends and Jerry is heard on this aircheck as the voice of "the bagel".  


Walt Baby Love, May 1974
(courtesy BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Walt "Baby" Love is my personal favorite from WOR-FM/WXLO/99X's Top 40 Era.  He arrived at the station in 1972 and remained until 1975.  He got his first job as a part-time on-air personality at WWGO radio, located in Erie, Pennsylvania while still on active duty in the Army. From there he moved to KYOK/Houston and then became the first Black broadcaster at Top 40 KILT radio.  Two years later Walt became the first Black on-air talent for RKO General Broadcasting at CKLW/Detroit/Windsor then WOR FM/WXLO. He then moved to WBLS and WNBC in New York before moving west to KHJ, KMPC and KFI in Los Angeles.  Today he hosts the syndicated  "Urban AC Countdown" and "Gospel Traxx". He's also an ordained minister!  Check out his web site Walt 'Baby' Love.

If you're going to pick "the" aircheck from the Jerry Clifton 99X Era, this is it.  Walt is just outstanding here "kicking X".  And note the Jerry Clifton "The Great 99X Game Phase 2" promo (featuring Jay Stone).  It's a classic Clifton contest and promo.


Walt Baby Love, August, 1974
(source: Roddy Freeman)  

Walt sounds like he's having a great time, hits all the posts, moves with the rhythm of the songs, the promos and the station.  There's also another terrific Jerry Clifton promo on this aircheck  


Various from 1974
"The Chugger", Dave Thompson, Walt Baby Love, Brian White, Joe McCoy and "Rocko"
(source: Evan Dakes)

This is a collection of various voices from "The Summer of 99" at 99X. The station is up-tempo, has lots of contests and is a great example of what "The Q" style of Top 40 programming sounded like in the mid seventies.

An interesting side note... You'll hear a DJ called "Rocko" on this aircheck."Rocko" was an inside name used by more than one DJ.  "Rocko" was a way to use the initials "RKO" (as in RKO General Broadcasting--owner of the station).  


"Big" Ron O'Brien, Fall, 1974
(courtesy BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Big Ron O'Brien was another great DJ who worked at 99X.  He worked at many great Top 40 radio stations including KTLK/Denver, WQXI/Atlanta, WCFL/Chicago, WXLO/New York, WFIL/Philadelphia and WNBC/New York.  His last station was oldies WOGL/Philadelphia.  He passed away in April, 2008.

Another comment about the "99X" jingle:  It was the only one used and only coming out of a commercial (or promo).  And, it was always followed by the next song coming in loud after it.  The idea was to cement the idea that 99X played lots of music and got back to it quickly.


Walt Baby Love, April, 1975
(source: Wayne Scott) 

Walt left 99X in April of 1975 so this is one of his last shows for the station.  He sounds great as always. 

Format wise, PD Jerry Clifton has left the station and Al Casey is now the PD.  Casey was a very successful programmer for various stations including WMYQ/Miami, WHBQ/Memphis, WDRQ/Detroit, KSLQ/St. Louis and KCMO and WHB/Kansas City.  Under Casey the station continued its very up sound and aggressive contesting. 


Lee Douglas, July 1975
(source Pat Riley)

Lee Douglas doing middays at 99X.  The station as has a "Count The Music" contest going and a bell in the studio that Lee makes good use of while sort of kidding about it being a chime (a reference to Musicradio WABC--a major competitor). 

Lee became the program director of WXLO in September 1975.  After 99X, Lee moved to WPEZ/Pittsburgh, then to WHB/Kansas City, then to KXOK/St. Louis where he went from program director to general manager. He has since moved on to various other stations including WCZY/Detroit,  KHIT/Seattle, WOFX/Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. 


Steve "Smokin'" Weed, September, 1976
(source: Evan Dakes) 

Steve Weed is one of 99X's best remembered DJ's.  He did evenings although this aircheck happens to be from a midday shift he was covering. He has since moved from DJ'ing to programming and has programmed many stations over the last thirty years.  In New York he programmed "WDBZ" "The Buzz" in 1996.

By this time in 1976, Lee Douglas is now program director.  The station is still very upbeat but not quite as intense as it was.  The station is now playing three (or more) songs in a row and is promoting its "more music" image.  Gone too is the famous 99X jingle.  The "Q Format" approach is now gone.


Jay Thomas, November 1976
(courtesy BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Jay Thomas arrived at 99X after working at WBSR/Pensacola FL, WAPE/Jacksonville, and WROQ/Charlotte.  He was at 99X from 1976 until 1979.  While there, he landed a role on TV's "Mork and Mindy" which he filmed in Los Angeles.  This resulted in him missing blocks of shows and eventually leaving the station.  Jay has always balanced his radio and TV careers sometimes doing both at the same time.  As far as radio goes, after 99X he returned to New York at WKTU (92.3) in 1984 and did mornings there before the station changed call letters to WXRK and hired Howard Stern.  In 1986 he moved to Los Angeles and had a long run at KPWR.  He returned to New York radio to do mornings on WTJM/Jammin' 105 in the late nineties. He currently works for Sirius Satellite Radio.


Harry Nelson, February 1977
(courtesy BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Harry Nelson was very successful at WRKO/Boston before arriving at 99X.  He would later work for another RKO station, KFRC/San Francisco in 1979. He would later return to New York to work at WAPP in 1984.  While I'm not sure, it could be Harry was just doing a weekend shift on 99X while still at WRKO given this was a Sunday shift.  This aircheck features something I never heard before or after... the 99X jingle being used between two songs rather than coming out of a break.  It could have been that Harry was unfamiliar  with the format. Generally, the jingle was no longer on the station at this time.


Paulie, March 1977
(courtesy BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Yes, 99X did have women DJ's.  Both Paulie (Riccio) and later Sue O'Neil had great runs at the station. 

99X is now being programmed by Bill Garcia. Its slogan is now "Your Station" and features the contest "99X Grand" to win $1,000. 


Al Bandiero, December 6, 1977
(courtesy: BigAppleAirchecks.com) 

Al arrived at 99X in August, 1977 from WXTU/Philadelphia and remained until moving to Buffalo's WKBW in 1978.  He's worked at many New York radio stations since including WPLJ, WKTU, WQHT and WTJM (Jammin' 105).  Currently he's focused on his acting career.  Check out his web site.

99X has now backed away from some of the heavy audio processing and is promoting itself more as a rock station (this is just before the disco craze) and uses the slogan "Rockin' The Apple in Stereo".  The "Phrase That Pays: 99X is My Radio Station" is still present.


Glen Morgan, March 1, 1978
(courtesy: BigAppleAirchecks.com)

Glen Morgan (also known as Glen "B" Morgan and "Bumper" Morgan) took over afternoons at 99X in 1978.  He later worked for WNBC in New York.  He passed away in October 2005.

Things have changed at 99X by now.  The station is quieter both in style and in its music.  It's now referred to as "99X-FM". Bobby Rich is PD having arrived in February, 1978 from San Diego.  One of the challenges at 99X was to make the station appeal to somewhat older listeners.  It was still very popular with teens but advertisers wanted a slightly older audience which explains why the station now sounds more adult.


Sue O'Neil,  May, 1980
(source: BigAppleAirchecks.com)

This is a very short aircheck of Sue O'Neil.  After working at stations in Boston, Cleveland, Hartford and New Haven, Sue started at 99X in 1978.  Later she has worked in New York at Hot 97 and WCBS-FM and as a free lance writer/producer of on air TV promotion spots for HBO, A&E and the History Channel.

The station is in transition.  It's still using "99X-FM" but is now also referring to itself as "FM 99 WXLO".  It would eventually refer to itself soley as FM-99 WXLO as it transitioned toward an Adult Contemporary format (its final adjustment prior to giving up all together).


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