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Thread: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

  1. #1

    KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    440.com quotes former KENR, KRBE (AM) and KZFX jock/GM John Dew, "I coined the term (and registered it with State of Texas in 1984) 'Classic Rock' for KRBE AM where the format first debuted. Later moved the format to KZFX (Z-107) where it was a huge success." I heard the first classic rock station was somewhere in New York (Buffalo?). Can anyone confirm KRBE (1070) as the first classic rock outlet?
    I remember when this board was active, fun and informative.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Humble, Texas, United States
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    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    Paul Christy says he and John Dew created the term for the format and after Classic Rock 1070 tanked they let it go free use.
    Welcome to my head

  3. #3

    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    KRBE 1070 had the first Classic Rock format in Houston, and it was FAR SUPERIOR to anything that followed it. Huge playlist and deep tracks. Very similar to what one would have heard on Progressive Rock FM in the late 60's-early 70's. AM stereo as well.

    Classic Rock since then has tended to be a narrow "Top 40 of AOR hits" which means lots of repetition of overplayed and burned out music. KZFX was decent, but KKRW is simply awful.

    However, KRQX 570 in DFW beat KRBE to the punch with a Classic Rock/Oldies hybrid in 1983, which is still in my mind one of the best programmed stations I have ever heard in my fiftysomething years of listening to radio. Also one of the technically best sounding AM's as well, in AM stereo. Too bad it didn't last, as the format was axed when Belo sold the station in 1987.

  4. #4

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    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    yeah.. Susquehanna axed Classic Rock 1070 here at midnight New Years Day 1988. Simulcasting 104.1 until about mid 88 when they went with SMN's "Z-Rock" feed.
    Welcome to my head

  5. #5

    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    I recall KRQX in Dallas/Ft. Worth with Classic Rock. They mixed some Motown sparingly but it was primarily Album Rock favorites of the past. I recall they remained rather 'full service' with network news hourly (5 minutes) and ran SMU games, for example. Knew one of the DJs there.

    I recall really enjoying KRBE 1070 as a classic rocker. Are we sure of the dates? When I moved to Houston in 1993, and some point shortly after I recall the format on 1070 being classic rock with plenty to 'deep cuts'.

    I recall 107.5 as a very early classic rocker. My initial thought was it was a huge gamble to put classic rock on FM at the time. I recall a girl with tremendous voice by the name of Donna (can you guess who) as being hired away from the station that was my competitor when I was working Bryan/College Station. I followed the station's success with great interest as I believed in the format when I heard it first back in the mid-80s.

    I'm not sure when KRQX came on. I was in Bryan/College Station from August 1984 through January 1987.

  6. #6

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    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    I have a pretty good idea of the dates because of tapes I have... and here's how. I was recording The Saturday Night Power Mix on KRBE FM almost every Saturday night beginning in early December of 1987. Those tapes have legal IDs with KRBE FM AND AM Houston up until about mid 1988 (that's how I labeled my tapes until they stopped saying AM in the ID). The AM was spilt off for Z-Rock as KKZR. My cousins, who I hung out with, were headbangers (also listeners of the former Classic Rock 1070) they listened to Z-Rock and usually had it on in the car when we went anywhere (in AM Stereo too!). Aw man they hated it when I would flip over to 93Q to check out what 6400 was playing. I was told that Z-Rock was gone and replaced with KRBE FM at midnight January 1, 1991 because of a guy I worked with at that time said he was listening to Z-Rock and then at midnight he heard "Happy New Year from Power 104" and no more Z-Rock.
    Welcome to my head

  7. #7

    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    The first Classic Rock station (first called Classic Hits) was WZLX Boston a First Media (Marriott) station programmed as a new expermintal format by consultant
    Gary Guthrie in 1983 after the very short term disasterous meltdown that was WKKT. Started out with a major bang as a Hot UAC programmed out of KUBE Seattle until a certain major player formerly of co owned KFMK stuck his fingers in the pie and overnight started playing such music as Gale Garnetts we'll sing in the sunshine.
    WKKT out of the box had KISS-108 management shaking in their boots, within a few weeks it was the laughing stock of the industry. The Marriotts steped in personally and decided to bring in Guthrie to put an end to the embarrassing fiasco. Guess where the perpetrator of this fiasco now lurks.

  8. #8
    fadedglory
    Guest

    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    Donna Mackenzie was hired away to help start up KZFX "Z107".

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    KRQX in Dallas started in 1983. By 1986 or so they had changed to K-Oldie, with a more oldies, less classic rock format. KRQX was great while it lasted.

  10. #10
    CaptainShowbiz
    Guest

    Re: KRBE (AM): The first classic rock station?

    There may have been other experimenters in the format that would come to be called Classic Rock, but Classic Rock 1070 was clearly first to 1. play only older album rock tracks, no currents and no cheesy oldies, and 2. use the term "Classic Rock." It is so universal a phrase now that we forget it was first used to describe legendary album cuts right here in Houston, on 1070.

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