Ever so slightly off-topic, but who besides me fondly remembers WSAY? 1370AM? It was the radio-station that was so bad it was good; so awful it was great? If there ever was such a thing as “underground” radio in Rochester, this was it! You’d be rocking out to, say, anything from Talking Heads to Van Halen, and suddenly a priest and two nuns would start reciting Rosary! Good times!
WSAY: By the 1970s, WSAY had become, in effect, a free-form radio station. Brown had little input into the music played on the station, leaving the choices in the hands of the DJs, who played everything from blues to country to heavy metal, interrupted promptly every night at six for the daily reading of the rosary (one of several paid blocks of time on WSAY).
Tags: alternative radio, rochester radio, underground rasio, wsay
My father engineered there for a while and I had the great joy of spending the night with him there, a little house in Brighton/Henrietta. It was so cool, kind of a fantasy come true. thinking about it now is a trip!
I’d tune in once in awhile as a kid in the 70’s. It’s hard to describe and so long ago.. WSAY is legendary amongst historians of radio. It was simply inept and the owner, Gordon Brown, never upgraded the place out on French Road. You’d be listening to the fringe of the Top 40 with Steppenwolf, Fridgid Pink and then god knows what else they’d play. And it was all delivered by various anonymous jocks named Tommy Thomas or Mike Melody. Sometimes they were simply bizzare and then once in a while you’d hear a guy who had a clue as to how to present a decent show. The only thing really positive and “professional” about Brown is that he did what all owners are supposed to do. Keep the station on the air and legal. Outside of that you’d hear dead air for awhile and then the jock would come on and say something like “just give us a minute or two and we’ll have this tape up and running” or “we only have one turntable today so hold on while I flip this record over and listen to side two”. I remember that. There was a time when they couldn’t segue records while the owner spent weeks fretting over the expense of a new turntable. Forget about carts at WSAY. Legendary zaniness at a time when they only had 5 or 6 legit competitors and could’ve made tons of money.
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