Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Crossing central PA with Ohio plates

More traveling for The Radioman. It has been many long days and there were many long stretches of no mans land in PA. Many windmills, rest stops and podunk towns blissfully without rock n' roll. Little towns where you are immediately welcome but immediately identified as an outsider. Nobody spits in your food, but you are constantly watched. I'll stop here before I start sounding like William bradley It's a little early in the season for the college stations, lots of jazz, very few DJs. But the AM band was rich with the radio stations that belong to these towns.

There was little to talk about between Philly and Harrisburg, but about there things got interesting.
WRAW-AM 1340 out of Reading runs a killer 50s program called the "Doo-wop shop." Great stuff. http://www.1340wraw.com/main.html

WSKE 104.3 FM is normally a pretty dull commercial country hits station but on Sunday is was a cute litle specialty program: "Knee-deep in bluegrass." Possibly the best show on the station.

WWII-AM 720 I read is a religious talker but sunday was running some amazing gospel programming, I mean AMAZING. These ladies put Aretha to shame! http://www.720therock.com/

WWSM-AM 1510 runs country oldies dead pan dead sincere. Clearly local DJs, mispronouncing words, getting tongue tied... but the playlist is something you dont normally see this side of west Texas. Roy Acuff, Kittie Wells, Tex Carmen... just great. http://www.wwsm.us/

Then around Pittsburgh I caught WJAS-AM 1320 and Uncle Douggies Rock N' Roll Oldies Party. He was laying into some deep catalog Duane Eddy and only got beter from there. Funny thing about their signal though, you can actually hear this stion in the tunnels around town. I mean hundreds of feet inside a mountain even! I notice AM fade-out under an overpass. I cant really account for this...http://www.132owjas.com/

and 91.1 WRUW was running an R.L. Burnside retrospecitive that was very genuine, and very appropriate. It wasnt sappy at all, but truly professional and you still could tell DJ Chip of Woodchoppers Ball was a real fan. http://www.wruw.org/

FACT FOR THE DAY: Pittsburgh is named for the Prine Minister of England from that Era -William Pitt. It began as Fort bitt, then later Pitts-borough. You can guess the rest from there.

IF you EVER ned to know about radio in Pittsburgh.. check here: http://www.pbrtv.com/
Eric O'Brien knows all