Radio #TBT: KKBQ, WHFS, WAAL

From my cassette radio vault, for #TBT, I pulled some audio from September 18ths of past years: Houston’s KKBQ signing off as “93Q,” Washington DC/Baltimore’s WHFS, and Binghamton NY’s WAAL.

KKBQ-FM/AM 92.9/790 “93Q” Houston

On this date in 1991, top 40 KKBQ-FM/AM 92.9/790 “93Q” Houston had its last day before signing off and flipping to “92.9 Easy Country,” an easy listening classic country format that ended up being a flop.  In the month before the flip, KKBQ had shifted from top 40 to a temporary rock-leaning top 40 format that basically was a lot like the MTV in its early days — some pop, some rock, some modern/alternative, some retro.  As someone who went to high school in the Dallas area during a time when rock-leaning top 40 KEGL 97.1 “All Hit 97.1 KEGL, the Eagle” ruled the airwaves, this was music to my ears while attending Texas A&M.  Nothing wrong in my view playing Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Metallica, Erasure, Heart, Guns N’ Roses, Talking Heads, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Thompson Twins, The Cure, INXS, Billy Idol, and The Cars.  Unfortunately, the format was just filler…it was reported in one of the Houston papers that KKBQ was destined to flip country, which it ended up doing.
 
As I really liked it, I rolled tape several times.  So, here is the audio from the short time span of 93Q as “Houston’s Rock Hits.”   The first aircheck is from the first day after it shifted, 17 August 1991.  Houston flashback: The DJs are broadcasting live from Astroworld in advance of a Nelson concert at the Southern Star Amphitheater.

KKBQ-FM 92.9 Pasadena-Houston/KKBQ 790 Houston “93Q, Houston Rock Hits.” 17 August 1991.  DJs: “Jammer” Jay Kelley, John Gray.

This next audio is from the evening of 20 August 1991.  Lost songs (hits of the time now never heard on the radio): Bonnie Raitt/”Something To Talk About”, Firehouse/”Don’t Treat Me Bad”, Roxette/”Fading Like A Flower”, Scorpions/”Wind Of Change.”

KKBQ-FM 92.9 Pasadena-Houston/KKBQ 790 Houston “93Q, Houston Rock Hits.” 20 August 1991.  DJ: “Jammer” Jay Kelley.

This next audio is from midday on 13 September.  Lost songs: Bad Company/”If You Needed Somebody”, Glenn Frey/”Part Of Me, Part Of You”, David Hallyday/”Tears Of The Earth,” Chesney Hawkes/”The One and Only”, RTZ/”Face The Music”, Firehouse/”Love Of A Lifetime”, Warrant/”Sometimes She Cries”, Heart/”Stranded.”

KKBQ-FM 92.9 Pasadena-Houston/KKBQ 790 Houston “93Q, Houston Rock Hits.” 13 September 1991.  DJ: Eric Chase.

The end of 93Q came on 18 September.  The jocks were now off the air at this point.  At midnight, the station started stunting by playing the sound of ocean waves crashing ashore.  Perhaps the board op was not ready to see 93Q go, because a minute into it, a “93Q rocks!” sweeper followed by Guns ‘N Roses/”Paradise City” played, followed by some more rock songs before the sounds of waves returned.  On the morning of the 19th, “92.9 Easy Country” debuted.  In less than a year, it dumped that for new country as “93Q Country, Houston’s Fresh Country Hits.”  The FM remains country “93Q” today; the AM changed to adult standards KBME (calls for “best memories ever”) and later to a sports format it has today.  Lost hits here: Depeche Mode/”Dangerous”, .38 Special/”Second Chance”, Siouxsie & The Banshees/”Kiss Them For Me.”

KKBQ-FM 92.9 Pasadena-Houston/KKBQ 790 Houston “93Q, Houston Rock Hits.” 18-19 September 1991.  Last 90 minutes or so. No DJ.

 

WHFS

WHFS 99.1 Annapolis served both the Washington DC and Baltimore markets as modern rock “99-1HFS” for more than 20 years before flipping to Spanish tropical as “El Zol 99.1” in 1995.  Before that, the WHFS calls and format were on what is today WMMJ 102.3 Bethesda MD/Washington.  Today, the 99.1 facility has been relicensed to Bowie MD from Annapolis and runs an all-news format as WNEW-FM targeting Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs of DC.

WHFS 99.1 Annapolis “99-1HFS.” 18 September 1995.  DJ: Tom Perry.

WAAL

This aircheck is from 1993, not long after WAAL 99.1 Binghamton had shifted from top 40 to rock.  The Whale is still around, now playing classic rock.

WAAL 99.1 Binghamton “99-1 the Whale.”  17-18 September 1993.  DJ: Derek Black.

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