I got a comment on Sunday’s post that led me to learn more about the automation at WLAP-FM in the first half of the 80s. jb was a DJ at various points in the Midwest back in the day (he works part-time now at WMGN in Madison, Wisconsin), and based on his experiences suggested that the vendor for WLAP could have been TM Stereo Rock. A bit of Googling and YouTubing makes me pretty certain that this is indeed the case. Here’s a demo of theirs I found.
This, from early 75, is amusing to me in a particular way. One of the featured hits you hear, Sugarloaf’s “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You,” is a song I missed when popular; however, it was one of the oldies I heard with regularity on WLAP in 82 (another such song will get mention in this coming Saturday’s post).
TM Stereo Rock was run by John Borders, aka Johnny Dark. Originally from Dallas, he was a DJ in a number of cities in the 60s and 70s before settling at KLIF in his hometown and then eventually starting this service. It’s Johnny Dark’s voice you hear on the demo, and he sounds an awful lot like what I remember from WLAP. I recall Ralph Hacker telling me that their vendor was from Texas, additional evidence for TM Stereo Rock being the provider. (A correction on my earlier post: I was wrong about when “the voice” announced the current hits–usually it was after the second song, as on the demo, though occasionally it would come between.) Mr. Borders passed away in March 2016.
It was incredibly satisfying to receive additional education about this distant part of my radio listening past. Thanks much for the tip, jb!