THE FREQUENCY OF 96.3 FM IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, WAS OWNED FOR OVER A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, by Richard J. Miller. Richard was one of the last "independent" owners' in the St. Louis Market. I had worked for Richard at 96.3 on two earlier occasions. The first time was when the call letters were KADI/AM-FM, as Program Director/Music Director (1975-1976), and, later, as the Mid-Day Personality (1984-1985). I came back to the station in October, 1986, and there has been a call letter change to KRJY using the JOY 96 and, later, the J-96 designations.
In February of 1992 Richard and I had a meeting and he said that he wanted a change in format that would re-invent the station from the adult-based softer sound that we had been doing. Shortly after that we had a series of other meetings that put into place the new format that would turn us into a Rock 'n Roll Oldies station. The new station would be called "JUKE BOX 96". Due to my long-standing music background, and deep knowledge of "oldies" (with a personal collection that goes back to the 50's), Richard asked myself and a few other trusted individuals to help put the music-base together...it was one of the most exhilarating times of my career. We hit the air with the JUKE BOX 96 format Friday, March 6, 1992.
MY 7-MIDNIGHT AIRSHIFT ON JUKE BOX 96 was truly a phenominal experience. Our competiton was the CBS-owned KLOU-FM but with the depth of our playlist, and the earlier Golden Age oldies that we played, our "sound" truly traveled back to the early days of "rock & roll"...which I dearly love. That love always manifested itself in the knowledge of the History Of Rock 'n Roll that I've acquired and absorbed through all of the time-periods that I've studied...and lived through. And, I have ALWAYS passed that information along to my listeners.
With all of the above in mind, Richard asked me to put together a special feature for my show called "The Top 5 At 8". This would feature the top five hits from various years, and would be Showcased during my 8pm hour Monday thru Friday. How cool would this be ? So many hits, so many years to cover, so much info...I wanted to turn this into a truly super listening experience for my audience ! ( I had put together a similar feature years earlier when I was at KAAY/Little Rock, it was called "Rock Archeology" and was done at various times on my shows there.)
We started the Top 5 At 8 in early August, 1992, and by the Fall Season it was firmly entrenched on my show. In fact, it became SO successful that Richard asked me to add a "Top 5 At 10" Feature also...which I began in October, 1992.
The amount of "show prep" that I did for the "Top" Series' would be hard to imagine if you weren't in radio. My research, scripting of each show, balancing cross-over info on various artists & records and, tying it all together, took approximately 3 to 4 Hours everyday. No joke. Period. Those who know me well know how meticulous I am about my research. Remember the old slogan that the Zenith Corporation used for their TV ads : "The Quality Goes In, Before Our Name Goes On It" ? Well, that's always been my personal code to live by, trying to bring to my audience the most valid, factual information they could ever get.
[MY FRIEND, RICHARD J. MILLER, owner of KXLW, KADI-AM/FM, JOY 96FM, JUKE BOX 96, and at one time KWKI-FM in Kansas City, passed-away on December 28th, 2012. He was not only my friend, but one of the best professionals in the business and a pioneer in bringing unique sounds & talents to the St. Louis Air Waves. He is truly missed. JK]______________________________________________________________________________________
THIS AIRCHECK FROM THE "TOP 5" SERIES is the newest one that I'll share with you during the coming months. They're all from October, 1992, and among my ultimate favorites of all the Airchecks on this WebSite. We were a high energy radio station bringing back the "Roots Of Rock & Roll". I hope you enjoy the sound and the information, and maybe learn some interesting Rock History in the process. JK
COVER GIRL GLENDA SHAEFFER stopped by to visit during a remote I was doing January 27, 1993, at the National Auto Show in St. Louis. We'd had a recent snow, the weather was bitter cold but, as far as I was concerned, Glenda was more than dressed for the occasion. (Glenda was a cover girl/model who had originally been from Rolla, MO. She was just great, very sweet, and was a listener to boot !)
SPECIAL NOTE: AS I MENTIONED AT THE top of this Page, we first brought JUKE BOX 96 to the St. Louis Airwaves on Friday, March 6, 1992. And, as you'll learn when you access the next Page, we changed-over to KHITS 96 on March 24, 1994.
I was given the honor of playing the last song on Jukc Box 96 that lead to the change-over just before Midnight, March 23, 1994.
The new Station Manager, Dick Williams, told me to choose whatever I wanted for the Juke Box 96 finale, and, for me, that was an easy choice: With my musicology background I honed-in on the ONLY song that could possibly express my sentiments to our faithful JB 96 listeners for their help, support & passion for our format... Canada's Edward Bear singing "THE LAST SONG" !
NEXT: Jonnie King: KHITS 96 / ST. LOUIS (May, 1998)