Monday, January 20, 2020

Blues for M.F.

The LP "Soul Battle" was released on Prestige records in 1961, matrix (7223). It lands on Track 2, Side A. It featured three tenor sax players King Curtis, Oliver Nelson, and Jimmy Forest, Roy Haynes pick up drum duties, Gene Casey and George Duvivier sound out the session on piano and bass respectively. The John Handy Quartet covered it in 1962 for Roulette records with a burning bebop infused solo, which is what first brought it to my attention. For years I had assumed that MF stood for motherfucker, but the original Soul Battle LP spells out in parentheses that the M.F. stands for Mort Fega. The back of the LP spends a mere 26 lines describing the song, So I'll quote a bit of that as it's relevant to our story here.
"Blues for M.F. is a tone poem with a fine set of altered blues changes which lend themselves to distinguished soloing by all three of the reed men. The tune certainly captures the intensity, the sincerity, and the quiet humor which have made Mort Fega one of the nations most popular jazz announcers..."
The song is an exploration of a blues scale replete with flatted thirds, but woth a very steady meter to provide a platform to hold all nine minutes and thirty seconds of soulful sax solos. Each is worldessly singing the praises of Mort Fega who was at the peak of his career at the time. Unusually this wasn't even the first Jazz tune dedicated to Mr. Fega. In 1959 The Red Garland Trio Plus Ray Baretto recorded Manteca for Prestige (7139). Donald Fagen testified in a 2006 obituary for the man that the song was played on Fega's show regularly
"I looked forward to Mort’s between-track commentary as much as to the music itself. With Red Garland’s “Mort’s Report” playing softly in the background, Mort, with the grace and enthusiasm that reveals itself only in the most bona-fide jazz lover, would carefully list every soloist and sideman."
It was the New York jazz scene that brought all these people together. Red Garland moved to New York from Dallas in 1946. Oliver Nelson went to College in St. Louis, but moved to New York in 1958 after graduating. King Curtis was from Ft. Worth and moved to New York to become a session musician in 1952, and both George Duvivier and Ray Barretto were a native New Yorkers. These jazzmen all undoubtedly listened to Faga and knew his as a mover in the jazz biz. You couldn't be a jazz head in in New York and not know 1330 WEVD-AM in the 1960s.

Mort Fega, was from New Rochelle, NY which is where he had his first show at 1460 WNRC-AM on Saturday afternoons. New Rochelle was New York City suburb, so it's signal reached parts of New York City. The popularity of that show grew such that in 1962 he was able to jump to WEVD and launch a  "Jazz Unlimited" which aired six nights a week simulcast on 97.9 WEVD-FM. His show aired opposite Symphony Sid Torin, but by the 1960s Sid was old hat. While he was a His hep cat jazz delivery was decades old.  Fega was all about modern jazz he pushed artists like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk alongside jazz classics.

Fega left WEVD in 1966, and continued broadcasting jazz from WBAI, WRFM, and WTFM in New York City. His departure from WEVD is a bit mysterious but he debuted on WRFM in June of 1965 while he was still on WEVD and Cue Magazine lists him in January of 1966 already hosting Jazz in Stereo on WTFM. In August of 1965 Billboard specifically spells out that on his new station that Fega beat out Sid for the top spot.  Then he showed up on WBAI in June of 1966 with a Friday night program.
The quick shuffling around the dial came to an end three years later when in 1969 Fega and his wife Muriel relocated to Phoenix where he quickly got a radio show on 1400 KXIV-AM named simply "Night." That program continued midnight to 4:00 AM six nights a week until at least 1974. He moved to Connecticut in 1976 and started a program that aired twice a week, one on Saturday afternoons and one Tuesday evenings on college radio station 91.3 WWUH. He then added on a program at 1230 WINF-AM in Manchester and in 1979 a Sunday morning program on 1550 WMLB-AM in West Hartford.

Then finally the workaholic jazz man retired to Delray Beach, FL in 1986.  But the itch came back and he picked up a weekly show on 90.7 WXEL-FM. It was only once a week but it was five hours long! He also taught a History of Jazz course at Palm Beach Community College and wrote a weekly column for the Palm Beach Post newspaper. Mort Fega died on Jan. 21st 2005 due to complications from a recent back surgery. He was 83.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The History of LGBT Radio (Part 7)

As we explore early gay radio programs you have surely noticed the year 1973 repeating. It's important to note the relevance of that year. 1973 was the year that American Psychiatric Association reclassified  homosexuality in the DSM-III. Pursuant to that change, homosexuality was no longer clinically considered a mental disorder. (It wasn't removed entirely until 1987.) The World Health Organization (WHO) didn't catch up util 1990. For young people today, it's hard to even conceptualize what that era was like.
Most of the early LGBT radio programs pop up in population-dense, major metropolitan areas. But there are some exceptions. Inexplicably, western New York state was a hot spot for gay radio with at least 5 programs on three different stations airing concurrently in the early 1970s.
  • GREEN THURSDAYS. Wednesday midnight. WCMF-FM, 96.5 Mhz. 
  • LESBIAN NATION. Wednesday midnight. WCMF-FM, 96.5 Mhz. 
  • GAY WAVES. Thursday 5:30 – 6 p.m. WRUR-FM, 88.5 Mhz. 
  • SISTERS OF SAPPHO. Thursday, 9:30 – 10 p.m., WBFO-FM 88.7 Mhz. 
  • STONEWALL NATION. Thursday, 9 – 9:30 p.m. WBFO-FM 88.7 Mhz.
The first of these programs was almost certainly Stonewall Nation on WBFO. The radio show Stonewall Nation was created and hosted by SUNY Buffalo students and covered topics “informative to anyone ‘happy, sad, gay, or interested.’” It aired through at least 1979. In 1974 it started at 9:30 and by the late 70s been pushed back to 10:30 PM, still on Wednesday nights.  It was run by a collective, and in the late era it was primarily produced by Heddie Swanson and Jim Neil. In 1978 they even interviewed poet Allen Ginsberg. A tape of that interview is possibly the only audio we have of the program.

The first reference I've found was from 1972. The September issue of The Empty Closet reads "WBFO Buffalo broadcasts a gay radio program "Stonewall Nation" Wednesdays at 8:45pm. WBFO is at 88.7 on the FM dial." The July issue also mentions it, but only as "A new weekly radio program  centering on gay news and events on Buffalo FM station WBFO 88.7 Wednesday nights." I believe this is the earliest print reference and the debut of the program.

The name is a reference to the Stonewall Riots also known as the Stonewall Uprising, which began on June 28, 1969. But it also originates in an early gay rights anthem by Madeline Davis. She taught at the University of Buffalo and participated in her first gay rights march in 1971 in Albany, NY. At that time she had already been a performing musician for 20 years, having sung in University and church Choruses, and performed as a folk singer in coffee houses in the 1950s. She wrote the song "Stonewall Nation" in her notebook on the return drive from the protest, and first recorded it in 1973. More here. Despite the fact that the song hadn't even been recorded yet, the radio program was named for the already notable local gay anthem.
Sisters of Sappho came slightly later. In a March, 1973 issue of the 5th Freedom it pops up following Stonewall Nation on WBFO at 11:00 PM. It's still listed in June of 1974. Host Marge Maloney later hosted Women Power on WBFO. But in 1975 the program ran into trouble. The format had always been varied including discussions, call-in segments, comedy, poetry, prose, music, and drama. On November 3rd of 1975 they featured a "porno spoof show, complete with "bleeps", romantic music and other satirical devices." Station Manager Marvin Granger was not amused and they received a polite but tersely worded letter, threatening to cancel the show. The ladies published it, along with a thoughtful rebuttal letter in an issue of The 5th Freedom... with Marvin's mailing address.  The show seems to have ended between then and January 1976. Still, that's some impressive chutzpah. More on 1970s  WBFO here.

Green Thursdays debuted shortly after. That program first broadcast on February 14th 1973. The name of the program came from a now obscure historical reference to color symbolism.  The show was hosted by Bruce Jewell, Geralyn.  The 1972 Broadcasting Yearbook lists the station as "Progressive Rock" still owned by Community Music Service Inc. who founded the station in 1960. Mr. A. George Malmgren was president, James Trayhern, GM; Richard Warner, coml mgr; Tom Teuber, prog dir; Jacob Z. Schanker, chief engr. I do wonder how they felt about these specialty programs. Teuber for his part was very political and wrote some left-leaning journalism. Jewell  said in an interview that WCMF management had merely hoped to create some controversy which might be good for ratings. Instead they made history. But even in a 2013 interview, Jewell said they had been very supportive. He did news segments, interviews, and played music.

Robert Crystal succeeded Bruce Jewell as producer of the program in 1974. It's unfortunate but most of these early programs are lost forever. WXXI producer Kevin Indovino [LINK] spoke highly of the program 40 years later in hopes some history might be found:
"...Back in the ‘70s WCMF hosted a radio show, Green Thursdays, which was produced by early activists like Patti Evans and Bob Crystal. All of those shows have been lost – probably were never even recorded. There’s a huge chunk of history that is gone. We have no idea what those shows might have contained."
That said we do have back issues of the Empty Closet. The University of Rochester's Gay Liberation Front (GLF) launched the Empty Closet in 1971, it embraced the program early and it's schedule is listed in many of the issues archived at their Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and digitized online here. In the February 1973 issue it merely lists "GAY RADIO SHOW WCMF-FM 96.5  MHz. MIDNITE." But in the January issue it listed a new program, "GLF ON THE AIR. Planning our weekly radio program. Music Lounge 7:30 PM."  This was the preamble to the radio program Gay Waves which debuted later on WRUR.

Each Thursday night from 5:30 to 6:00 PM the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) produced a half-hour program called Gay Waves.  The format included gay music, straight music, news, announcements, interviews and talk segments. By 1976 it moved to Monday nights. If you find the flyer (above) that Gay Waves is on 2SER an unrelated station in Australia.  Our WRUR Gay Waves staff included Jay Stratton and others.
Alternating with Green Thursdays was Lesbian Nation, a radio program hosted by Patty (Patti) Evans and Bruce Jewel on WCMF in the 1970’s. It aired Midnight to 1:00 AM. The programs plugged each other and shared production staff. In February 1975 the closeout of Green Thursday segued as follows:
" This has been Green Thursday for February 6, 1975. Any comments or questions about the preceding interviews, please direct them to Green Thursday, WCMF, 129 Leighton Avenue, Rochester, 14609. Views and opinions expressed on Green Thursday. Views and opinions expressed on Green Thursday don't necessarily represent those of WCMF, its staff or management. Green Thursday is an hour long program produced by WCMF and by men from Rochester's gay community and will be on the air again two weeks from tonight at 12 o'clock on Thursday morning, next Thursday morning Patty Evans will be in with Lesbian Nation, a program produced by CMF and women from Rochester's lesbian community."
In the June 1974 issue of the Empty Closet there is a good short article on Patti. A native of Brooklyn, Evans was 17 years old when the Stonewall riots began. She attended the candlelight protest on the 2nd day. She attended the university of Rocherster in 1969 and became friends with student activists Bob Osborn and Larry Fine who launched the Rochester Gay Liberation Front which she joined. A later transfer to the S.U.N.Y. at Brockport brought her in touch with the Gay Freedom League there. She returned to Rochester in 1973. It was then that she started up the radio program Lesbian Nation on WCMF. " She and Kathy Thurston worked on the program with Bruce Jewel. Thurston died in July of 1975.  The show continued into 1976. At it's peak the program ran from Midnight to 3:00 AM. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

News and Reviews 2019

Best Posts:
I'm very pleased with the series I've been doing on LGBT radio. There are a some white papers out there, and literally one text book.  So my articles are some of the only solid source material available on this topic, on the free internet. I have more planned, stay tuned. Back in October I wrote a solid piece on the now forgotten Daytime Broadcasters Association. Back in August I wrote up a newly discovered radio script for Adventure Theater. I got to be part of a Nielsen study and back in the Spring I wrote a long-needed biography for Brian Rust. Good times.

Most Popular Posts:
My most popular posts haven't changed in years.  Since 2009 the most traffic has gone to a post about Peter Tripp.  This is what I call the post that Reddit built. It remains an aberration in my web-traffic with 96k+ hits. I did eventually collate a list of all Radio Wake-a-thon records here. My 2007 post on the Career Academy of Famous Broadcasters continues to earn comments from it's legion of former students. It remains a top hit on Google. In third place a 2010 post on Barn Dance programs remains popular. My readers continue to debate if I was unfairly harsh to Kevin Metheny. I think not, but he died in 2014 so I have hopes that's on the wane. I am pleased that Noise From Neville comes in 6th, as eventually finding the man himself led to two more WRIU centric posts [LINK]. Altogether it's blown past 1.3 million page views.

Best Radio Station:
I have been listening to more jazz than anything lately. So WKCR remains at the top of my list beside KMHD, WZUM and the mysterious online station Black Artistry Radio.

Best Radio Show:
I've been rocking episodes of Blues Before Sunrise on KMHD and the Moth Radio Hour on NPR. It's not adventurous but it's where I am at right now.

Best Zine:
I read Keith Rosson's Avow zine compilation The Best of Intentions. It features selections from Avow issues #1 through 10, and the complete issues of #11 through 16. If you haven't read it, let me tell you it's 288 pages of punk rock life vaguely similar to Burn Collector and Cometbus. I've also been devouring everything published by Amphetamine Sulphate. These are not zines per se, but more like novellas and chapbooks. But long live indie publishing.

Top 10 Records of 2019
  1. Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis
  2. Austerity Program - Bible Songs
  3. Metz - Automat
  4. Tool - Fear Inoculum
  5. Tanith - In Another Time
  6. Whitechapel - The Valley
  7. Pile - Green and Gray
  8. Long Sought Rest - Sacred Objects
  9. Multicult - Simultaneity Now
  10. Girlband - The Talkies

Also Notable...  Human Impact (coming 2020), Sacred Reich - Awakening; Overkill - The Wings of War,  Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind, Black Midi - Schlagenheim - Show Me The Body - Dog Whistle, 70 cm³ Of Your Chest - When I Was A Dinosaur

Monday, December 09, 2019

The History of LGBT Radio (Part 6)

As it often is in any story, KPFA is central to this tale. The station appears twice in Zef's quoted list for the shows Fruit Punch and Radio Free Lesbian. But at KPFA the story goes back further.
It was only in 1964 that the FCC made a ruling upholding Pacifica's argument that the public was well-served by gay-themed content. Pacifica stated that " long as the program is handled in good taste, there is no reason why subjects like homosexuality should not be discussed on the air." Commissioner Robert E. Lee, the conservative dissenter wrote "...a microphone in a bordello, during slack hours, could give us similar information.  His name already told you everything you need to know about his background. The ruling came as a response to complaints to the FCC about Pacifica stations airing the following content:
  1. A December 12, 1959, broadcast over KPFA, at 10 p.m., of certain poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (read by the poet himself); 
  2. "The Zoo Story," a recording of the Edward Albee play broadcast over KPFK at 11 p.m., January 13, 1963; 
  3. ''Live and Let Live," a WBAI program re-broadcast over KPFK at 10:15 p.m. on January 15, 1963, in which eight homosexuals discussed their attitudes and problems; 
  4. A program broadcast over KPFA at 7:15 p.m. on January 28, 1963, in which the poem, "Ballad of the Despairing Husband," was read by the author Robert Creeley; and 
  5. "The Kid." a program broadcast at 11 p.m. on January 8,1963, over KPFA, which consisted of readings by Edward Pomerantz from his unfinished novel of the same name.
You will notice that the first of those controversial programs was on KPFA. Not listed was an earlier more academic program. Purportedly, it was the earliest known radio recording to overtly discuss homosexuality. The program was titled "The Homosexual in Our Society" and aired November 24th, 1958. You can listen to it here [LINK]. It features three panelists: Hal Call, the editor of the Mattachine Society's newsletter, the Mattachine Review; Dr. Blanche Baker, a psychologist; and Lee Gailey, the mother of a gay man. It was led by Elsa Knight Thompson, then the Public Affairs Director of KPFA.  Two years earlier in 1956, KPFA aired Allen Ginsberg reading his iconic poem, Howl.

By 1973 there were multiple gay radio programs airing on KPFA. The November 1973 program guide lists gay-themed episodes of a Paul Lester lecture series, a re-occurring show Gay Profile, Fruit Punch, Aspects of Gay Life, and Lesbian Air. This folio came just 30 days after their strike in August. In 1973 and 1974 the programs Lesbian Air and Fruit punch alternated at 8:45 on Sunday evenings. By 1975 Fruit Punch moved to Wednesdays at 10:00 PM.
The gay mens' program Fruit Punch began in 1973 produced by Kevin Burke as a member of the Fruit Punch radio collective. It's membership varied but also included Dan Curzon, Mark Schwartz, Jon Sugar and David Lamble.  It's first host Kevin Burke left Fruit Punch, but kept producing radio programs for KPFA. In 1978 he produced a series called "Gayhem" and then programs with the People's Theatre. Lamble also produced and or hosted Just Before Dawn on KCHU, and both Traffic Jam, A Closer Look on KQED and KGO. More here. Fruit punch remained on air into the mid 1990s. Though it had a close call in 1986. In an article for the San Francisco Sentinel, John Wetzl wrote:
"Fruit Punch ran into problems when former collective member Will Shepardson hosted a show in which porn star Richard Lock used the term "ball-fucking" on air. At the time [Phillip] Maldari put the show on a six-month trial probation period with Lamble as its director."
The real end came in 1995. Over 60 individual programmers were fired by general manager Marci Lockwood under direction of Pat Scott. A new more mainstream format in an attempt to maximize prime-time listenership. But in a 2002 Community needs assessment study [SOURCE] there were still multiple requests for the return of the popular program. More here.

The Lesbian Air Collective started 
on KPFA in 1973 at more or less the same time as Fruit Punch. It was produced by Chana (Karen) Wilson who produced three lesbian radio shows on KPFA between 1973 and 1982. The other two were Radio Free Lesbian and A World Wind. Lesbian Express on Sundays' at 5:30 PM biweekly alternating with Fruit Punch. More here.  In 2012 Chana wrote the book Riding Fury Home, in it she explains the genesis of Radio Free Lesbian in 1974.
"...our Lesbian Air group was in crisis, split over ideology: the lesbian versus the socialists. I straddled both camps. In daily life, I was a separatist, having friendships exclusively with other lesbians. By inhabiting feminist, often women-only spaces—book stores, music festivals, and lesbian bars—we developed a feeling of kinship... But as an ideology separatism seemed to me to be a dead end: Since men wouldn't disappear from the earth, if they were hopeless to change, we were doomed."
One camp became Radio Free Lesbian, the other became Lesbian Express. Lesbian Air confusingly remained the name of the collective. Lesbian Express landed at 5:00 PM on Sundays, Radio Free Lesbian at 5:00 on Saturdays. From 1980 to 1983 Wilson hosted A World Wind, with co-host Maxine Dashu. They interviewed poets, musicians, writers and activists.
 Chana eventually left radio to be a psychotherapist full time. In her book Riding Fury Home She describes the decline of the divided collective vividly. Lesbian Express and Radio Free Lesbian ended by 1979.
"One by one over the next year, all my sister programmers dropped out, either too busy, losing interest or embittered by our squabbling... I was the sole survivor of both radio programs. My love of radio and my stubbornness kept me hosting the show for a community I now felt torn up by. It felt altogether too much like family. But I still believed in the power of women sharing stories, and in that basic tenet of feminism: The personal is political..."

Monday, December 02, 2019

The History of LGBT Radio (Part 5)

Volume 4, number 34 of the Gay Community News listed five LGBT radio programs in it's calendar. This was more than I expected even in the relatively liberal North East.

SUN 7:30 pm — Come Out Tonight 94.3 WYBC New Haven, CT 
SUN 10:30 am — Closet Space 740 WCAS-AM Cambridge, MA
WED 10:15 pm — Gaybreak Radio 91.1 WMUA Amherst, MA 
TUE 8:00 pm — Gay Way Radio 90.9 WBUR Boston, MA
MON 8:00 pm — None of the Above 91.3 WWUH West Hartford, CT

Aside from John Zeh's reference in his quote in Lavender Culture the show also is referred to in a Yale AIDS memorial and a 1977 report to the Yale Corporation from the Yale Undergraduate Women's Caucus. [LINK]
"Yalesbians was established in September of 1975. Because the Gay Alliance at Yale was primarily male, we felt that a separate group would minister more directly to our position as women and gays. Though the two groups meet separately we have continued to work with the men's group. Aside from sharing an office with G.A.Y. a nightly telephone counseling and information service, produce a weekly hour-long radio show for WYBC and run a speakers bureau."  
The time line here is a bit muddled. We know that the Yalesbians were involved with Come Out Tonight, but that does not mean that they weren't producing another radio program which pre-dated it. The Encyclopedia of Lesbian Histories and Cultures by Bonnie Zimmerman specifically noted that WYBC aired a lesbian soap opera in 1970 called "The Liberation of Lydia." In that context it's important to note that Yale was an male-only institution until 1969. [SOURCE]  WYBC was one of the first student organizations to agreed to admitting women. The Connecticut Gay Task Force (CGTF) also was involved in the Come Out Tonight program. It's referenced in an article by Dai Thompson:
"...Other recent events include a panel on homosexuality... which was a part of a Yale course on Human Sexuality. This year’s panel was reported to have been a lot livelier than previous years. Quite a few of the 250 members of the audience seemed offended by the obvious closeness of the panel’s members, most of whom are members of the C.G.T.F. and regular contributors to WYBC’s “Come Out Tonight” program, Southern Connecticut’s only gay radio show..."
Just from these two references we can assume the program was on air in 1977. But this memorial page [LINK] for Jack Winkler puts the start of the program in 1976. It states that he helped produce “Come Out Tonight,” an hour-long gay radio show broadcast every Sun­day on WYBC. The show was the work of a dedicated group of about twenty people, both men from the Gay Alliance and women from Yales­bians. Perhaps most famous of that contingent now is Tara Ayres. She worked for 35 years in community radio first at WYBC, then at WORT in Madison as an anchor and producer for Her Turn, a feminist radio news collective and Queery, a program about LGBTQ
Over at WCAS-AM Loretta Lotman was one of the producers of Closet Space, at the same time she was Media Director at the National Gay Task Force. She later became a contributor for the Village Voice.  Unusually, the show aired from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM on Sunday mornings, literally airing between religious programs.The show included news, a calendar of events, skits, interviews. Also producing was Ellen Davis of the Gay Community News. More here.

The first reference I can find to Closet Space is in a 1974 issue of WIN (Workshop in Nonviolence Institute).  Contemporary references show this program was still on air in 1976 and 1977. It's even still listed in an October 1980 issue of The Heights [LINK] so it appears to have lasted until WCAS-AM signed off in May of 1981 following their bankruptcy filing.

Gaybreak Radio aired on 91.1 WMUA, bi-weekly, on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 10:15 PM Wednesday nights. I can tell from issues of the Massachusetts daily collegian that it aired from at least 1975 through 1977. It was developed and produced by Scott Bacherman and hosted by Demian and Brian Egan through at least early 1977. In a September 1975, host Demian posted an announcement in the Out Front newspaper soliciting lesbians to help produce programming for the show.

In a 1979 filing with the FCC for station WPOE, Poets seat broadcasting includes a bit of Bacherman's resume.  It describes the founding of the Gaybreak program in 1972 as a 30 minute show, then in 1974  through 1976 as an hour long show before he left the station. We have no reason to think that's inaccurate, even if it may omit the names of other people involved in the program.

The resume neglected to mention that he was also program manager of WMUA in 1974. Bacherman also developed a feminist program called "Woman's Show."  In 1975 he won a UPI Tom Phillips award for documentary excellence. By 1986 he was a VP at TM Communications.  There's a nice retro 80's video of Scott opening WPOE on Youtube here.

None of The Above aired from at least 1975 through 1977. Eric Gordon for his part describes his involvement as having co-produced the show with Michael Jospe, his partner at the time. It's time slot was Mondays at 8:00 PM on 91.3 WWUH in West Hartford, CT. Interestingly, he seems to have been taping the program and re-broadcasting it on 91.7 WHUS in Storrs, CT on Wednesdays from 8:30 to 9:30 at least in 1977. [SOURCEWWUH has a history page [LINK] which has two entries relevant to the program beyond what you might derive from the anarchist advert above. I also found an unrelated resume of Jan Keywell, then of Manchester Community College, who appears to have been connected to the program. [LINK]

Eric Gordon first appears in the staff listing in 1975.  There are no other mentions of him until 1977 and it's not for a compliment. In the February 15th 1977 Executive Committee (ECOM) meeting minutes there is a mention of a problem with an anonymous male announcer refusing to sign the programs logs. Apparently the unnamed announcer disagreed with the content of a tape. The February 9th tape was a recording of the show None of the Above, and his objection was to the content of a program. PD Joe Rudich must have agreed with his reticence as he subsequently blocked the program from being aired. He also had not previewed the tape and was concerned about "language". In response the Committee decided to make it mandatory for the Program Director to audition all tapes before airplay.

The program didn't last much longer than that. The program was terminated by the Committee on March 4th of 1977 and it sounds like it was dramatic. We can deduce that Eric Gordon was suspended for a month after the February 15th meeting. We also see that he was interviewed by or wrote an article for the Advocate which was critical of WWUH. I am pretty sure he foresaw how it was going to end and selected the nuclear option. I can't blame him.
"...because of language utilized in a recently aired radio play. According to station records, the show and producer had been suspended for a month previously due to the airing of "offensive" language, material that was most likely in violation of FCC rules. The termination came as a direct result of the producers negative comments about WWUH in the Advocate and after his refusal to abide by FCC and station policies as determined by the ECOM. "
But out of all of these shows, Gay Way Radio has the most uncertain history. From the 1977 calendar we know that Gay Way Radio was on WBUR at that time. Furthermore from the Gay Jubilee: A Guidebook to Gay Boston, 1980 edition we know it was still on air when that was compiled. Sadly the description is very terse "Weekly radio gay talk show. Accepts phone calls from listeners. Aired each Tuesday evening at 8:30 pm on FM 90.9 WBUR."  From that all I can can tell is that it was pushed back half an hour since 1977.  A 1975 issue of Ms. Magazine lists Ann McGuire as host as does Sexual Preference, Volume 84 but as "Co-Moderator" in 1977.

But the book For People, Not for Profit: A History of Fenway Health's First Forty Years by Thomas Martorelli specifically puts the start of the program a bit earlier:
"In 1971, WBUR-FM, Boston University's radio station, launched a new show, “The Gay Way,” hosted by Elaine Noble, who would become the first openly lesbian candidate elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1975."
The book Women's Yellow Pages published in 1973 corroborates Noble as host. But our 1977 calendar lists Joe Martin as the host. Perhaps there were rotating hosts, or co-hosts, or different hosts over time.  Ironically it's an article on itself that further confuses the topic. They list San Francisco native John Ward as host in the mid 1970s.  He founded the group Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, GLAD. That article points the finger at Boston University president John Silber as the programs assassin.
"He also hosted a program called "Gay Way" on WBUR until the longtime president of Boston University, John Silber, decided to take it off the air. "I was just starting out. I had an office in Park Square, 300 bucks a month," Ward said. "And [Silber] was determined to suppress this radio program, which was very successful — and he did."
This would be a dramatic end to the program if we can cast the villain correctly. But the book Dinner with Mobutu by Jake Smith names Station Manager Jane Christo as the killer. Perhaps it's more complicated, Jane as the instrument of John Silber, or Maybe Silber's ire was a coincidence.
Jane [Christo] had only recently been appointed station manager, and she was working hard to change the format of the station from the traditional NPR format — classical music, late-night jazz,  and a little news and public affairs — to a heavier concentration on news and public affairs. She had already offended the homosexual community in Boston by cancelling the program "Gay Way" and she was the target of picketing by some members of the black community for cancelling another program "Say Brother." Neither issue seemed to bother her very much."
Jane is considered a success today by many. [LINK] To be fair, the listenership of WBUR did grow from 60,000 to 400,000 between 1979 and 1994. You can even credit her with bringing in Car Talk, one of the most successful NPR programs ever. But she was also known as a vindictive sociopath.  "She possessed a short temper and a vulgar mouth and was known for holding grudges, sometimes for years, waiting for the right moment to exact revenge."[SOURCE] But like most despots, what took her down wasn't the abandonment of a community... it was the nepotism.