Friday, April 29, 2011

Delaware Valley Radio Ephemera

This is an odd one. This is some kind of business card for C.H. Davis, Inc a stereo and television store in Ardmore, PA. Inexplicably the store still exists today, just a few blocks away from the junk shop where I bought the book that contained the card; presumably as a book mark. But this is an old card. They were still selling portable radios and phonographs when this card was made.I do notice there are no Am stations listed. That indicates that it's after 1960 —during the ascension of FM.

The call changes can narrow the date of this scrap of paper. Some isn't helpful.  WJBR is still on 99.5 unchanged since 1956. WPEN became WMGK only in 1975. WFIL only became WIOQ in 1971.We know it's older than that.  92.5 FM was WIFI back then and is WXTU now. They changed format from pop to country before 1984. WIP-FM hasn't been on 93.3 since 1965, after which it has been WMMR. On 93.7 these days we have WSTW, it hasn't been WDEL-FM since abotu 1966. (WDEL-AM remains on 1150.) WFLN-FM is now WBEN, it only dropped the heritage FLN calls in 2006. WHAT-FM also changed calls in the late 1960s when it dropped it's jazz format. 98.1 FM is now WOGL as it has been since 1987. Back in the 1960s WCAU-FM  was simulcasting MOR with WCAU-AM 

WSNJ-FM 98.1 helps narrow the date a bit. That station signed on in 1946 as WSNJ. (FYI: Wikipedia incorrectly dates that to 1961) What happened in 1961 was that WSNJ swapped calls with 107.7 WPBS. they had already been on air for 5 years.  They changed calls to WUSL in 1976. WSNJ remained on 107.7 until about 8 years ago. So, it had to be printed before 1961 the date of that call swap and after 1956 the date WJBR signed on. (Math corrected by Fybush)

WXPN, WHYY and WRTI are about all where they were even if the programming has changed a lot. WHYY has a typoed frequency. But WPWT is more of a mystery. they were a share-time with WKDU on 91.7 from the1950s into the 1980s. I hear they were a crazy psychedelic hippie station. I'd love to hear an aircheck.  I'll have to write a post about them sometime.