W.T. Koltek at WYEP, 1976
W.T. Koltek was galvanized by radio in his native Pittsburgh at a tender age. Based on old charts, the earliest pop music on radio he remembers hearing was in 1957, when he was 4. In late 1958 or early 1959 he discovered the first station to make an impression on him with its overall sound WEEP, a Top 40 daytimer with high-energy jocks, a rock-heavy playlist and CRC Series 8. The following summer, he came upon the new "showcase studios" of KQV during a trip downtown and got to see how the sound he loved was created. It was a revelation.
W.T. Koltek, 2017
An opportunity to get behind the mic and turntables came at Pittsburgh's WYEP, a largely volunteer-staffed, independent public station operating in the basement of an inner-city garage. From summer 1976 through fall 1985, he hosted alternative-rock and jazz programs there, and concurrently did a year of part-time jocking at Country-formatted WIXZ.
Technical and financial problems in 1985 forced WYEP to go dark for two years; by the time it returned, W.T. was in Ohio, where he is retired from 30 years on the copy and layout desk of a daily newspaper, coincidentally named The Repository.
The REELRADIO Repository
[Descriptions by W.T. Koltek ]
. . . Radio One in the heart of America, WHB channel 71, where music lives! . . .
Here's another sample of Don Laughnane, then also WHB's operations manager, in 1960. Recorded three days after the morning-drive aircheck provided by the late Richard Ward Fatherley, Laughnane here is heard in the noon hour, which I think was his regular time slot in 1960. All the records are hits, and in keeping with Storz programming philosophy, there are plenty of other things to listen for in this hour.
In addition to the news at :55, there are banner lines at :25 and stock market and sports updates, plus a Scrambletunes contest. The sultry production voice that asks Laughnane for the latest temperatures probably was inspired by Miss Monitor (Tedi Thurman), who delivered the forecasts on NBC's weekend program in a similar style. For jingle freaks, the Channel 71 cut and Elvis soundalike are from CRC; the others are PAMS (Series 2, 8 and 9).
. . . He's going to work for PAMS in Texas! . . .
Having established a place for stoner comedy in Top 40 with Cheech & Chong, it was a natural for 13Q to play Frank Zappa's Don't Eat the Yellow Snow in fall 1974. Zappa played Pittsburgh in November and made this on-air appearance with Jack Armstrong.
The two take a while to click Zappa being off-mic at the beginning didn't help but their impromptu live read for Kappels Jewelers is a classic. It was a red-letter day for Armstrong not because he got to interview Frank Zappa, but because his first child was born, as he mentions at the beginning.
Music Restored. Edited for presentation.