WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio
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Thread: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

  1. #1
    Whitehaus
    Guest

    WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Does anyone know how long the real WEZE Radio station - when it played the "Beautiful Music" format - was located in the window of the Statler Office Building in Park Square? Remember some well know disc jockeys - when they actually played discs - worked there.

    Even George Carlin worked there in the late 50's early 60's until he took the news car to New York one weekend...

  2. #2
    argytunes
    Guest

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    I remember tuning into WEZE on my parent's HUGE CABINET RADIO...and that was back in the early 50s!

    But I can't give you the exact start up date....sorry! :'(

    argytunes

  3. #3

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    The station history on bostonradio.org says that 1260 moved to the Statler Building around when it was bought as WVDA in 1953, then it was sold and became WEZE in late 1957, and stayed in the Statler until after it was sold again in September 1977.

  4. #4
    Whitehaus
    Guest

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Do you know the WVDA format?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Polonsky
    The station history on bostonradio.org says that 1260 moved to the Statler Building around when it was bought as WVDA in 1953, then it was sold and became WEZE in late 1957, and stayed in the Statler until after it was sold again in September 1977.

  5. #5

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitehaus

    Do you know the WVDA format?
    This was well before my listening days, as I wasn't even born yet during part of the WVDA incarnation, but I've heard and read that for at least part of its four years of existence as WVDA that it had been a jazz and rhythm and blues station that rode the transition of those genres in the mid-'50s into becoming one of Boston's pioneering rock'n'roll stations, if not the pioneering area rock'n'roll station.

    One of the WVDA DJ's considered to be one of Boston's pioneer rock'n'roll DJ's was future Warner Brothers Records executive Joe Smith, who was already an established R&B/rock'n'roll DJ on WVDA by the time a young engineer across town named Arnie Ginsburg was just kicking off his own rock'n'roll show on the old WBOS (1600 AM). Smith, along with "Symphony Sid" Torin who had shows on WCOP (1150) and WBMS (1090), were a couple of the names credited with bringing the transition from jazz and R&B to early rock'n'roll (and black vocal harmony R&B that would later become known as "doo-wop") to the Boston airwaves.


  6. #6
    Whitehaus
    Guest

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Wouldn't it be great if we could have such innovative and not pre-programmed radio in Boston again. It is all so formulaic but I guess that happens when local ownership of radio and TV has really passed.
    Wonder if people would listen to music on AM any longer. Even talk radio which passes itself off as local really is not. Seems to be controlled by national forces and ownership.
    BTW, what did VDA stand for in WVDA. There was a WVOM- Voice of Music but have no idea what that is today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Polonsky
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitehaus

    Do you know the WVDA format?
    This was well before my listening days, as I wasn't even born yet during part of the WVDA incarnation, but I've heard and read that for at least part of its four years of existence as WVDA that it had been a jazz and rhythm and blues station that rode the transition of those genres in the mid-'50s into becoming one of Boston's pioneering rock'n'roll stations, if not the pioneering area rock'n'roll station.

    One of the WVDA DJ's considered to be one of Boston's pioneer rock'n'roll DJ's was future Warner Brothers Records executive Joe Smith, who was already an established R&B/rock'n'roll DJ on WVDA by the time a young engineer across town named Arnie Ginsburg was just kicking off his own rock'n'roll show on the old WBOS (1600 AM). Smith, along with "Symphony Sid" Torin who had shows on WCOP (1150) and WBMS (1090), were a couple of the names credited with bringing the transition from jazz and R&B to early rock'n'roll (and black vocal harmony R&B that would later become known as "doo-wop") to the Boston airwaves.


  7. #7

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitehaus
    Wouldn't it be great if we could have such innovative and not pre-programmed radio in Boston again. It is all so formulaic but I guess that happens when local ownership of radio and TV has really passed.
    Wonder if people would listen to music on AM any longer. Even talk radio which passes itself off as local really is not. Seems to be controlled by national forces and ownership.
    Not entirely. There is still some local commercial radio, and even music on AM, in the Boston area. WJIB 740 is completely locally owned and programmed, and plays music (a wide variety of adult standards, nostalgia, easy listening and light oldies) just about 24/7.

    WCAP 980 in Lowell, which can be heard in Boston and to the north, just transitioned from one longtime local owner to another. They're still putting together a new schedule, but it appears that daytimes will be mostly locally produced news, talk and information programming, and evenings (when local school sports aren't on) will be an automated though locally programmed 1950s/'60s oldies format called "Beatles and Before", which has already started airing.

    There are also a few locally owned and programmed brokered and ethnic music stations on AM around greater Boston.

    On FM, real local programming thrives in the southern suburbs on WATD 95.9 in Marshfield. A surviving locally owned full-service community station serving the community with all locally produced news, talk, public affairs, and a variety of music programming. Innovative and unusual local programming can also be found on FM on many of the Boston area college stations, as it always has been.

    Radio was very different in WVDA's days. FM radio had not become widespread and mainstream in popularity yet. It was still considered a relatively new esoteric service which programmed some classical, jazz and instrumental background music, and some co-owned AM station simulcasts. FM radios weren't all that common, AM-only radios were everywhere. AM was the band for popular music as well as for news and talk, it was still really the only choice. FM became more popular among classical aficionados due to its higher fidelity, but FM didn't really begin taking off for popular music until the late '60s. In the 1970s FM radio became widespread, and surpassed AM for popular as well as classical music. By the end of the '70s, many AM stations began abandoning music for news/talk programming.

    You won't find an audience for contemporary music on AM nowadays, and it remains to be seen whether HD AM broadcasting will ever have any effect on that at all. The younger music audience simply won't turn to AM nowadays. The music programming remaining on AM (besides ethnic programming) is mostly geared toward older audiences who grew up when AM was still the popular music band in the '50s and '60s.

    WVDA's time was also an unusual time in American popular music. A new genre, rock'n'roll, was essentially being born. There had to be radio stations to get it out there and meet the demand for it. Every once in a while, a new form of music, or a new style of current music, comes along and shakes things up, and radio stations have to jump on it when it's new, then it eventually gets watered down and mainstreamed for the masses. I've seen it happen with other forms and subsequent sub-genres during my lifetime. Rock'n'roll created exciting new radio programming in the mid-'50s, which soon mainstreamed into Top 40. Psychedelic album rock created innovative "FM underground" radio in the late '60s, which soon became formatted into AOR, which then became mainstream rock and eventually classic rock on FM. Punk and New Wave came around in the late '70s, and soon became mainstreamed into watered-down "modern" and "alternative" rock formats. Rap also came around that time, and eventually became mainstreamed as contemporary Urban/Hip-Hop. If another new genre or adaptation of popular music comes around which seems like it will be initially popular among the masses, some "innovative" radio stations will jump on it. However, maybe I'm just old and out of touch, but I'm not really aware of noticing anything coming up on the horizon at this point...

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitehaus

    BTW, what did VDA stand for in WVDA. There was a WVOM- Voice of Music but have no idea what that is today.
    The owner's company, "Vic Diehm and Associates".


  8. #8

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    I remember reasing that Vic Diehm was from PA. I was at 1260 back in '79, when everything was run from the xmtr building in Milton. WEZE had an AEL AM-10 KD as the main rig , and a Collins 21E as the bacxkup.The 21E still sounded sweet through the BL-40 audio processor when I put it on the air.
    -- <br />Dave Gardiner

  9. #9

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by DG02816
    I remember reasing that Vic Diehm was from PA.
    IIRC, he owned four or five stations in northeastern PA, including Allentown, Easton, and Bloomsburg. I think WVDA was his first property outside of PA. His station group always advertised heavily in Broadcasting Magazine, which, in those days, must have been the time-buyers' bible. I have no idea how successful he was or wasn't at generating national-spot business for a group that was (except for Boston) located in smallish medium markets. I can say that I don't think he stopped advertising in Broadcasting as long as his group existed.

  10. #10

    Re: WEZE Boston Statler Office Building Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Polonsky
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitehaus

    Do you know the WVDA format?
    This was well before my listening days, as I wasn't even born yet during part of the WVDA incarnation, but I've heard and read that for at least part of its four years of existence as WVDA that it had been a jazz and rhythm and blues station that rode the transition of those genres in the mid-'50s into becoming one of Boston's pioneering rock'n'roll stations, if not the pioneering area rock'n'roll station.
    I had no idea that this frequency rocked in the 1950s. I certainly remember the easy listening WEZE of the 1960s and very early 70s. Of course, they ended up going back to rock, originally as straight ahead oldies in late 1972, than becoming a
    Top 40/Oldies hybrid in 1973, and sounding very good at it as they went up against WRKO and WMEX as Z-1260. Unfortunately that was short lived and they drifted back towards MOR in 1974 and than full blown elevator music in 1975,
    the same year that Top 40 WMEX bit the dust. WEZE had one more interesting moment though, going to a soft AOR format in 1977-1978 until jesus took over....

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