Saturday, September 20, 2008

Radio Days

If you were living on the Gulf Coast of Florida in the 80's, in the area "from Cape Sable to Tarpon Springs" (as they always said in the ever-present hurricane warnings), you had very few choices in radio stations (unless you were into country). As far as the rock stations went, there were three:

  1. WINK FM 96.9 (Fort Myers): WINK97 was the closest "rock" station to where I lived, and had the best quality signal, but unfortunately rated a distant third in my book. Top 40, with 40-year old DJ's trying to "rap" (their word) with "the youth". Ouch.

  2. WYNF FM 94.9 (Tampa): when they went from playing Top 40 to AOR in 1980, 95ynf got immensely popular. Their taglines at the time varied: "95ynf: The Home of Rock n Roll", "95ynf: Tampa Bay's Rock n Roll Pirates", and my personal favorite: "95ynf: Kick Ass Rock n Roll". 95ynf played harder stuff than WINK 97, and was the first station in the area to play AC/DC and Ozzy. Probably the most popular station in the area, but frustrating to listen to due to signal quality. In 1993, they sold out to Cox and switched to the dreaded "contemporary".

  3. WQXM FM 97.9 (Tampa): Probably my favorite. 98 Rock was 95ynf's only real competitor on the West coast in the early 80's. Lots of kids on the Gulf Coast of South Florida (that were into rock, anyway) carried the "98 Rock Flock" card, which offered discounts to some Tampa-based businesses. Outside of Tampa, the card was not so useful for discounts, but identified the bearer as being cool.

The image above is a bumper sticker that fell out of an old book of mine tonight - I just scanned it in. Coupons on the back give us a clue to the age: one is "Save 98¢ off albums or cassettes (Reg. 5.99 and up) at Camelot Music". The other ("50¢ off Banana Boat tanning oils") expires 9/30/83.
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