Monday, October 26, 2015

A Few Fun Moments with WCBS, New York, circa 1954

First off, I want to offer up a tremendous THANK YOU to The Wire Magazine, who did a very nice write up of this site, and also made reference to several of my posts from the WFMU blog. It's in issue number 381. They can be found @thewiremagazine on Twitter and on their Facebook page:

And now, back to the countdown:

I have something extra special for today. Contained on a three-fourths-full, 10 inch reel of tape were some marvelous sounds from WCBS in New York - the first segment featuring some behind the scenes work as two of the on-air personnel cut a few very interesting promos, and the second segment featuring some on-air work by a female DJ, the likes of which I've never heard live on the radio in the fifty-plus years that I've been listening.

Some time ago, my beloved reel to reel machine developed an allergy to playing 10 inch reels, and I am very thankful and deeply indebted to long time reader and commenter Timmy for offering to help digitize those things I own which are on these large reels. THANKS!!!

The first part of the tape features the hosts of the two morning shows, Jack Sterling and Martha Wright, promoting each others' shows together, in several takes of a variety of playful interactions. You can read about Jack Sterling here. The back scratching one seems destined to make it into more than a few people's "sound-files-to-play-with" file, including mine. A great little segment.

Download: Jack Sterling and Martha Wright - WCBS Promos

When this is over, we're then treated to nearly 15 minutes of on-air work from someone named Bea Wayne (or maybe it's Bea Wain). As I mentioned, this is quite different from any radio show I've ever heard. Ms. Wayne does the Tintex singing commercial live, has piano accompaniment for her song intros and outros, and does a complete, live performance of "Deep Purple", in between playing the various hits of the day (including the marvelous "Skokiaan", although not in either of my favorite versions), hits which most definitely date this recording to 1954. There's also a neat Nescafe commercial!

Download: Bea Wayne - WCBS Aircheck


  1. This is wonderful Bob, thanks! Sounds like a bad CD rip with the clicking.. meanwhile, I found Jack Sterling's 10th anniversary show from 1958:

  2. I suspect the singer in the second track is "Bea Wain". According to her Wikipedia entry (, "Deep Purple" was one of her #1 hits.

  3. I downloaded a 1938 song, "My Reverie" a couple years ago by Larry Clinton with Bea singing vocals. I played the heck out of that song. So cool to hear her here!

    Link Crawford


  4. Hey, Bob, is there something else going on with Download B, the CBS Aircheck? Not only won't the Download B link take me to its intended destination, but the URL looks like so much code. Finally, there's no music file and nothing shows up on the page, just that wild URL.
    I especially love these old nostalgia recordings. Is this something you can fix? On the other hand, if it's not something that can be fixed, I do appreciate your checking it out.
    Finally, I don't recall whether I mentioned this or not, but I'm glad that when WFMU closed their website, I'm thrilled that you decided to carry on. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for brining that to my attention - Mr. Diver! It has been fixed. thanks also for all of your other comments!