105.1 WRFM flips from Beautiful Music to AC WNSR

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As we proceeded through the 1980’s the older targeting music formats weren’t cutting it anymore. The baby boomers were approaching their thirties and wouldn’t tolerate “Elevator Music” at work. WRFM’s ratings had taken a tumble from Adult Contemporary stations WYNY and WLTW along with fellow Easy Listening WPAT. In order to compensate, on April 15, 1986, WRFM gave way to “New York’s Soft Rock” WNSR. Achieving a solid niche in the AC marketplace, WNSR was partly responsible for driving WPIX and WYNY out of the format. As the 80’s turned into the 90’s, WNSR continued to evolve into a more contemporary station eventually changing its name to “Mix 105″.

Comments

  1. Mike says


    Jim Dilaurenzio is the best!! I contacted him about getting some WRFM cd’s and he sent me so many that it will take years to hear them all. The copies are so clean it feels like I’m listening to the station live. Jim Thank you!…….I offered to pay and instead he insisted that I spread the music around by making copies to anyone who enjoys easy listening and WRFM 105. I don’t understand why this music is not back. Especially with the new HD radio technology. I wish I had the money to start a station. I know that a beautiful music format would do well. Especially if I was able to hire Jim D to program it!! He the type of good people you don’t meet enough!! Thanks again Jim!

  2. Andrew Butler says


    Back in the 60s I was sent a reel to reel postable tape featuring WRFM from New York from a friend who lived there. I can remember by heart much of the tape espeacilly the line: “WRFM’s easy music hour continues from 93 on the dial with music just right for you.” This was during the Egypt/ Israel war and a garbage mans strike in New York. It was the sheer word perfect delivery and the tone of the annoucers voice that was so New York. I wish that I still had the tape. I always regarded WRFM as the king of stations. Andrew. London.

    • says


      Andrew—–You have special dispensation to make this little ‘mistake,’ but when you mentioned ’93 on the dial,’ you were inadvertently referring to WPAT AM 930 and FM 93.1, Paterson NJ and New York NY, respectively. I say you have a handicap simply because you’re European and perhaps not too accustomed to our call letter system of identifying radio stations. WRFM was located at 105.1 on the FM dial, licensed, of course, to New York City.

      Best Wishes, Joe DiLaurenzio

      • David says


        Three-and-three-quarter years late (to the month)–this comment, that is–but while WPAT may be considered a New York City station, both WPAT-AM and -FM were–and still are–licensed to Paterson, NJ. The only difference is they not only are World Ethnic and either Spanish Hot AC or Spanish CHR, respectively, but they also are no longer even sister stations. Oh–they changed their simulcast from BM/EZ to AC in the fall of ’94 (after gradually increasing the soft rock that they had already incorporated into its beautiful music/easy listening format. Even to the point of being a hybrid adult contemporary/beautiful music format (with lush instrumentals as the only remnant of its pure BM/EZ era) during most of 1994.

        • David says


          The traditional-pop instrumentals were dropped completely from the WPAT-AM-FM simulcast by late 1994, completely evolving, as I stated in my last comment above, to adult contemporary (hence the station’s then-nickname Today’s 93.1). Both frequencies of WPAT remained so until their respective new owners flipped ‘PAT-FM and -AM to Spanish formats in January and March 1996, respectively. WPAT-AM later changed from Spanish to its current multiethnic format.

  3. says


    I WAS MUSIC DIRECTOR FOR PARENT COMPANY BONNEVILLE IN THE 80’S AND WHAT YOU HEARD ON WRFM IS MANY SELECTIONS I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR. YES IT IS A DIRE SHAME IT IS NO LONGER ON EVEN IN A SMALLER STATION. I SEE COMPLAINTS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ABOUT THIS AS I LIVE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NOW. THE BROADCASTING EQUILIBRIUM IS DAMAGED BEYOND AND TO PAY FOR SATELLITE AND FEED THE COFFERS OF THE FCC IS NOT WHAT I EVER HAD IN MIND. TRY WKTZ JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA ON THE NET NO STRINGS ATTACHED. RATINGS HAVE GOT THIS COUNTRY IN A SEVERE DOWNWARD SPIRAL.

  4. says


    Dear Tom, Andrew & Jed—–I’m the “Joe” to whom Mike Canzio referred above in his January 6, 2010 post. All I want to do is to get this music to people who love it. I’m 57 and pretty bad with Nero, Windows Media Player and iTunes [the latter is what my wife uses]. But I’m learning.
    So far I can certainly duplicate CDs, such as those 100 or so WRFM CDs, plus CD albums of Bert Kaempfert, Billy Vaughn, the Living Strings, Percy Faith, Andre Kostelanetz, Frank Chacksfield and over 100 others, from my LP collection. What I need to learn is how to burn MP3s, so I can send 10 times the amount of material on one disc. Bear with me. My e-mail address is:
    [email protected]. By this time next year, or sooner, I’ll be sending you anything you want on a MP3. Jed—thanks for writing. I can actually pick up WKTZ at 50kW here in Gainesville, FL. I wish I could program some of their music. Signing off for now—-Joe D.

  5. says


    I had no idea this site existed and I’m amazed that 26 years after the changeover, people still are talking about us. Thank you all for that. Most of us old fuddie duddies are still around, though some have passed on, most recently Jim Branch, New Director, who departed earlier this month (4/11.)

    Anyone with questions or comments, my e-mail is [email protected]

    Thanks Again

    Wes Richards
    Sunday-Friday 12 noon-6pm, 1975 until the bitter end.

    • Joe DiLaurenzio says


      Awesome post, Wes—–and thank you so much for your kind words. It means SO DARN MUCH to hear from someone who actually worked at the station. I tried contacting Marlin at his XM e-mail address but he never replied. I wish he could understand that although I’m a bit nerdy, I’m loyal to-a-fault and very appreciative of 20+ years of great programming. That’s all: there’s no hidden agenda. I lived vicariously through Mitch Lebe, Dick London, Joe Roberts, Al Turk & Ken Lamb, wishing I could have been a part of it. Maybe in another lifetime! Let me know if I can send you some arichecks! I can relate to your comment about typos and one’s eyesight in our advanced years. At least our minds are young and vital!

    • Janice Losgar says


      Hi Wes,

      My name is Janice Losgar and my dad, Joe Losgar, worked at WRFM. I remember you! Sadly, just found out Larry Yount passed away last summer. My dad passed in 2003. It’s amazing to run across this kind of thing on the Internet! Best to you.

      Janice

  6. David A. Smith says


    I am 49 years old and I miss WRFM 105.1 FM, WPAT 93.1 FM Easy Listening Music Radio Stations. I grew up listening to this Beautiful Music and I wish it would come back. The FM Radio Frequency Band is quite large so there’s still plenty of room left for music variety for everybody.

    Thanks,

    David A. Smith

  7. Drew NYC says


    As a teen-twenty-something I used to listen to WRFM and WPAT esp. in the car. It was a guilty pleasure (and a few of my “cooler” friends knew about it.) Listened to a wide/eclectic range of music from hard rock to beautiful music to symphonic. It’s a shame the music is off the air. XMRadio brought it back with “Sunny” then “Escape” when Marlin Taylor was programming…too bad mean ‘ole Mel K merged XM and Sirius and ruined alot of the XM formats.

    I found around 2 hours of 1969 WRFM content posted on the web last year..but darn if I can find it now.

    Maybe someone can post some more content on newsgroups like alt.binary.sounds.mp3.easylistening ….it would be much apprecated!

  8. Frank Wu says


    Hi Joe:
    I was fifteen when I came to NYC from Taiwan. Right away, everyone in my family was hooked on WRFM. We’d only listen to this station and enjoyed the “elevator music” when we were at home or in the car. I still remembered the day that I drove to FDR High School in Brooklyn and fumbling the radio on the way home trying to hear the usual sound that I was so used to listen. At that time, I couldn’t understand how a station can suddenly change format just like that in the USA!
    Ever since, radio is not the same to me anymore…Now, I’m an expat working in China, and I’m still trying to find the internet radio station that offer the same format as WRFM.
    Boy, do I miss that radio station. Anyone can suggest internet radio stations that come close to WRFM besides WKTZ? Sometimes, I’m having trouble connecting to that flash player. Thanks.

  9. says


    I remember . . . WRFM, WTFM and WPAT from back in the day. It was music my parents listened to (along with some classical). But it was all solid stuff and the announcers were top notch. Yes, I read all the previous posts. I DO recall Jim Branch. I was searching for info about Jim Aylward and I happened upon this site. I still have some of the London Phase 4 vinyls of Ronnie Aldrich and Frank Chacksfield my folks bought back in the day. They sound as good as ever. I recently purchased a double cd of the Aldrich albums “Destination Love” and “Love”. Now, I can save the vinyl and play the cd in the house or the car. Yes, I mourn the loss of some music formats. This is one of them….I have a review of Ronnie Aldich’s “Two Pianos Today” on amazon; handle: Photoman D-76. (or some such thing). I regret that I did not record some of those long ago days and nights when I was listening. :( The difference is the music . . . WRFM.

  10. mike marion says


    Hi… I worked for WRFM from 1968 to 1971 as a station engineer and then for WTFM, a competing Beautiful Music station, first as an engineer and later as the music director.

    You can find great Beautiful Music programming on Sirius/XM satellite/internet radio. I believe that the person who programs the music (oor at least the person who did it 5 yrs ago) is Marlin Taylor who was responsible for the format at WRFM.

    The music never sounded better….but I wonder if anyone is still making these recordings.

    • Joe says


      Hi Mike
      My name is Joe and I also worked at WRFM doing production I think before after your time there. I also worked with Ken Lamb, Larry Yount, Joe Roberts, AL Turk, Mitch Lebe etc. I was interested in knowing if you would happen to have a copy of the jingles that were used. If you do I would really enjoy a copy.
      Hope all is well with you and thanks for your time.

      Joe Maloney

  11. michael thomas says


    i remember when i was growing up wrfm 105.1 was the station i always listened to every day i’d listen to wrfm,i also remember listening to such hosts as jim aylward larry yount and of course it was either ron alexander or randy alexander who had a program called music all night i also loved the wrfm news updates.the music was great so,i was very saddened to hear that wrfm was switched to another station.but it was my favourite station as well as wpat fm 93.i also would be interested in getting some old wrfm airchecks.oh yeah,i do remember jim branch.

  12. Joe DiLaurenzio says


    Re-reading these posts almost brings me back to Queens in ’69, sitting in front of my Panasonic FM stereo receiver/ reel-to-reel recorder combo, wearing headphones and taping stereo 105 on summer vacation, wondering what they would play next. Then came Percy Faith and ‘Piccolissima Serenata,’ so I knew Maurice Larcange and ‘It Must Be Him’ would follow, and next would be ‘Little Bird, Little Bird’ by the Will Bronson Singers, to lead into ‘On a Clear Day’ by Laurindo Almeida’s guitar, only to conclude the segment with the Briarcliff Strings with their rendition of “What Is This Thing Called Love?” This is out of memory, so you can see that I was and still am a WRFM super nerd. Crazy thing is: I think I could have done it just as well as Marlin, if I had only had the chance. No bitterness, just wistfulness for a lost format that was flushed away primarily because of corporate greed.

  13. Franklin Fletcher says


    I worked at WRFM in the early 80’s as Production Supervisor and Joe Losgar was my boss at the time. What a fine gentleman! I had the pleasure of working with Jim Aylward, Joe Roberts, Wes Richards and Jim Branch. I was responsible for “carting” commercials, commentaries, PSAs etc.. I obtained my 1st Class FCC license and was studying for my MBA at the NY Institute of Technology while working there. I went on to a career in Information Technology with Computer Sciences Corp, JPMorgan Chase and I am currently an IT Security Specialist at Broward County (Fl.)Government. Fond memories of WRFM even though my real music passion is jazz and R&B.

    My email is [email protected]

  14. Joe DiLaurenzio says


    Pretty freaky to see how many of these posts are mine. I keep coming back for a lot of reasons, one of which is to see when MT will finally break down and write something.

    Who else would like to hear something from ‘the boss?’

    BTW, Jim Aylward was fantastic! Does anyone know his whereabouts these days? The last time I tried Googling him, I got a link to the St.Petersburg (FL) Times, but it led me nowhere.

  15. Gerard Thornton says


    I grew up in Coney Island in the early 1970’s and my mother played WRFM from her Lloyd phono/stereo 24 hours a day. I remember seeing the red “stereo” light on night and day (what does stereo mean, I’d wonder at 5 years). Jim Aylward would play Living Strings, Montavani, Henri Mancini, great stuff. I’d still listen if I could. My kids demand Kesha and Brittney Spears in the car! I never will forget the station, good work to the guys who staffed it.

  16. Freddi Rodriguez says


    Hi Wes! Stumbled on this site. Was stunned. Was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my old boss Jim Branch and of Joe Losgar. I remember you Franklin! Would love to know what happened to EVERYONE who worked at WRFM in the 80’s. I’m long retired from radio news and now concentrate on my artwork.

  17. Ben says


    Jim Aylward… I sure do wish I had a recording of his treatise on “The Lowest Common Denominator”. I heard it on WRFM and it hit a home-run with me. I never forgot it, even after all these years. Wish someone had saved his work.

    I will always have fond memories of WRFM, WPAT, and WVNJ. My God… has it really been that long?

    I’d love to hear it all again.

  18. Christopher Bubb says


    I didn’t grow up anywhere near New York, but I did grow up listening to a beautiful music station in the Detroit area that featured the same Bonneville format used on WRFM – WJOI, Joy 97 (now sports WXYT-FM, “The Ticket”). In fact, I’m almost positive WJOI used a variation of the same jingle I hear on this aircheck – “It’s the nicest way to spend the evening…”

    My musical tastes were also unconventional for a kid. I usually used WJOI to help myself relax at night, but I grew to really like all those instrumental covers of popular songs, not to mention the soft vocal stylings of Barry Manilow, the Carpenters, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, and so on. My radio was constantly glued to Joy 97 (as well as classical WQRS – also at 105.1 – and Alan Almond’s “Pillow Talk” on WNIC) from about 1986 to 1991. Prince? I didn’t even know who he was! Michael Jackson? Madonna? Sure I knew who they were, liked some of their songs, but I wanted Percy Faith and Barbra Streisand instead. Just wanted to share that I, too, have very fond memories of the beautiful music format and wish it were back on the air in every market.

    For those who want to hear a version of a beautiful music station as it sounded in the ’80s, I highly recommend WGCY in Gibson City, Illinois. They also stream. They sound almost IDENTICAL to the way I remember WJOI sounding, except for the more modern artists they play on occasion like Celine Dion. Frank Wu, I’d suggest you give that a try; you may find it more to your liking than WKTZ, which is terrific but very nostalgia/standards-oriented, and more likely to play Jo Stafford and Perry Como than Rita Coolidge or John Denver.

  19. Jim says


    Hello,
    I have enjoyed reading through these comments. I know I am little late seeing the last post was posted some three years back. I never got a chance to listen to WRFM, but I have high respect for the format and station and wish there was one here in my town. I was wondering if Joe is still making those WRFM cds? I would love to hear that great music. I never got to live in that era because I am only 27. If stations would bring great music like that back these days, it would be wonderful! Take care and keep Beautiful alive!

  20. Gary Stevens says


    WoW! Just WoW! While NY was trying to declare Beautiful music dead, Toronto, Ontario Canada was trying to keep it alive (two years later) with the all new CJEZ “Where the listening is Easy…”
    It’s sad to see no such station around today in either market.

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