The Classical/Jazz Era of WVBR


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Audio Clips

     WVBR-FM in the 60's broadcast a serious, high-quality classical and jazz format, not unlike many NPR stations today.
     Nevertheless, at the risk of giving the wrong impression, we present  below two atypical  recordings exhibiting the talent and humor of the VBR staff.
     (Recordings courtesy of AB Bonds.  Anyone with more information about these clips, please email Walt.)

The Seven O'Clock Retort

     This was the mock newscast delivered on April 1. My notes say 1967, but Weisbart claims that he graduated in 1966, so it may well be 1966. This extravaganza has Steve Weisbart, Steve Shulman, Ben Capparossa, and a cast of a couple more.  - AB Bonds
     (This broadcast is heavy on Ithaca references.)

And a WVBR-FM Station Break

 Possibly the oldest surviving WVBR recordings are these clips of AM broadcasts from the late 1940's, transcribed from acetate recordings.

The MJ Breaks

     Back in the sixties, MJ Productions of Columbus, Ohio ran an ad in Billboard offering a sample package of five station breaks for $2.  Someone at VBR made this investment.
     The first five cuts on this recording were the result.  Suffice it to say that at 40 cents apiece, they were a bit overpriced.  However, the VBR staff took them as a challenge, and responded by producing the other five cuts, ads for MJ.  My favorite is #3, in which George Beine, VBR's premier on-air voice at that time, worries about losing his job.
     As you note their use of sound clips from MJ's breaks, bear in mind that there were no computers and no electronic sound editors.  These clips were produced on Ampex 1/4" reel to reel tape recorders, using splicing blocks, single edge razor blades, and splicing tape.
     The crew were nasty enough to send their version back to MJ productions, who replied, "If you're that good, what do you need us for?"  The spots were never aired.

Printed and Written Memorabilia

NEW: Compet Manual - 1965
Courtesy of '11-'12 GM 
David DyTang
A History of the Cornell Radio Guild (1929 - 1961), courtesy of Mike Rothstein.
Announcer's Handbook
1959 - 1960
Lloyd Malmstrom
The Cornellian
WVBR-FM pages
1960 - 1966

Address Lists:

Budweiser Beer
Ad Copy

  Except where otherwise noted, this material was contributed by Ralph Hammelbacher.

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Page last modified May 7, 2008