The AM STEREO MP3 Page
Real People, Real Music, Real Radio...
"Top 40 radio is about the personalities and the music. Don't let your radio stations get boring. More music, less talk is bull. Fifteen in a row commercial free, I mean this is jukebox time. You gotta make sure they talk to you. You want people like Dr. Don (Rose) and just make sure you demand that from whatever radio station you do enjoy. Alright?"
- Jack Silver, 08/11/86
During the final hour of the Top 40 format of The Big 610 KFRC AM STEREO in San Francisco, CA before the switch to Adult Standards formatted Magic 61.
The latest addition to The AM STEREO Page, this page showcases how great AM STEREO can sound. It also shows what a foolish decision it was for some of these stations to decide to turn their Motorola C-QUAM exciters off. All of the following files are in MP3 format, so you must have some type of MP3 player software installed on your computer to be able to listen to them. Just so you know, some of these files are rather large so please be patient while they're downloading. Enjoy and if you have any other vintage AM STEREO clips you'd like to share, by all means pass them along!
550 KUSA in St Louis, MO (5201 KB) - Now known as KTRS, this clip was recorded in June of 1984 when they ID'ed themselves as The Best Country, 55 KUSA. At this time, KUSA was owned by Gannett Radio and, as this clip shows, they were extremely proud of their station's sound. Sent along by Gene in SoCal, this clip was recorded on a Sony SRF-A100 in the "A" position in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. Sadly, in their present day incarnation, not only are the KUSA calls gone, but so is their true stereo. Today, KTRS chooses to send out the 25 Hz pilot tone only.
610 KFRC in San Francisco, CA (5409 KB) - From August 1986, this is a scoped clip of the format change from Top 40 The Big 610 KFRC to Magic 61. It was recorded on a Sansui SX-1070 home tuner (with multi-synchronous IC decoder) in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO. A big thanks to Gene from SoCal for sending this gem along. (Despite the fact KFRC is still playing music with an Oldies format, they decided to shut their stereo off.)
630 KHOW in Denver, CO (1646 KB) - From June 1984, this clip of 63 KHOW was also recorded by Gene in SoCal in the "A" position on the coveted Sony SRF-A100 in Harris AM STEREO. Unfortunately, the days of playing music and broadcasting in stereo are a thing of the past since being acquired by Jacor/Clear Channel. These days KHOW is known as The Talk Station and Real Talk K-HOW. Yet another Real Waste of present bandwidth for a once great AM STEREO music station if you ask me.
640 KFI in Los Angeles, CA (5172 KB) - This scoped clip of Southern California's Favorite Music in AM STEREO is from Monday, December 31, 1984 and was recorded by Gene in SoCal in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO on a Sony SRF-A100 in the "A" position. This clip of Western America's Most Powerful Radio Station, KFI 640 concludes with snippets of The Top 84 Songs of 1984 in AM STEREO. Ah, the good old days.
640 KFI in Los Angeles, CA (3059 KB) - Another scoped clip from the summer of 1986, this is KFI 640 back in their music days playing a great mix of tunes. This was recorded on a Sony CFS-6000 boombox in the "A" position in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. Another big thanks to Gene in SoCal for this one too. (After being acquired by AMFM, Inc., KFI were told to shut their stereo off for good in January of 2000. Unfortunately, they foolishly obliged.)
650 CISL in Vancouver, BC (1228 KB) - Just unearthed from the vaults in it's original MP3 form, here is a brief clip of Oldies 650 CISL broadcasting in full Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO back on Thursday April 29, 1999. This particular aircheck was captured directly by Power Mac Guru (rather appropriately) on a Power Mac via a Realistic TM-152 AM Stereo tuner which was, as he puts it, "fairly close to the computer, so there may be more background interference than normal." Enjoy!
Note: While good old analog Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO was discontinued shortly after this clip was recorded, those of you in the Vancouver area with a DAB receiver in your possession (and a longing to hear the music on CISL the way it was meant to be heard) will be happy to find CISL broadcasting a glorious 224 kbit/s Stereo DAB signal on the third service component of 1465.024 MHz (Block L8). As above, enjoy!
93 KHJ in Los Angeles, CA (3830 KB) - "Car Radio for Southern California in AM STEREO with great car tunes and traffic every 10 minutes all day, every day." This was during the Car Radio days of 93 KHJ (which came after the Country format and before the Smokin' Oldies format). It's safe to say that this particular format is accurately described in the preceding quote, but you've just got to hear it for yourself. This scoped clip is from Monday, December 31, 1984 and was recorded by Gene in SoCal in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO in the "B" position of the Sony SRF-A100. Too cool!
930 KHJ in Los Angeles, CA (2734 KB) - KHJ is back! Included here for historical purposes, this is a mono clip of the official on-air announcement on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 of the return of the historic KHJ calls to the airwaves on 930 AM in Los Angeles. (This marked the first time since January 31, 1986 that the KHJ legal calls were used on the air. If you remember, KHJ gave up their historic three letter calls at that time to switch to KRTH and then later to KKHJ.) While the clip has some static in it, you can still hear the official announcement in both Spanish and English. My thanks again to Gene in SoCal for sending this along. (In case you're wondering, KHJ is currently broadcasting in mono, but if all goes well they may very well be returning to the airwaves in AM STEREO.)
1010 CFRB in Toronto, ON (1292 KB) - "Jim Demers in the control room just pointed out that I should go down in history as having delivered the final CFRB newscast in mono," are the words of newsman Bill Walker on that "very exciting day in the history of CFRB" when at 10:10 am on Monday, July 30, 1984 CFRB officially went AM STEREO. With that, Walker delivers a weather forecast for Southern Ontario and then says, "Goodbye mono." The clip then goes on to feature veteran broadcaster Wally Crouter, Bob Bratina and then PD John Spragge (who was a former rock jock at 1050 CHUM in the 60's) discussing with great pride and enthusiasm the new stereo status of CFRB. Statements such as, "That's entertainment and this is entertainment in AM STEREO", "a crisper, cleaner sound" and "a clearer, brighter sound" (refering to the reception of the stereo signal on regular AM mono radios) can be heard uttered on this particular clip. This is truly history in the making and PD John Spragge says, "We hope that within a very short time that everybody will be able to buy inexpensive AM STEREO radio." Mentions are also made of the only company at the time that manufactured AM STEREO home units for sale (Sony) and the only car radio company (Sansui) that manufactured them for vehicle owners. While this clip was recorded entirely in mono, it is nevertheless significant on so many different levels that I felt compelled to include it here. It's a real shame that CFRB, having once been so enthusiastic about AM STEREO, decided to ultimately shut their Motorola C-QUAM exciter down, "Because not enough people supported it, including car makers." Excuse me? Oh, but the excuses get even better. According to current CFRB PD/OM Steve Kowch, "The new thing will be digital radio. That is where the future is and it isn't that far away." Time will tell, I guess. In the meantime, we all have to listen to CFRB as if it's 1959 and AM STEREO were never invented.
Note: I would like to thank Kevin Tekel of Kevtronics for allowing me to post the above clip of 1010 CFRB here. By visiting his webpage, you will be treated with some other superb sounding AM STEREO MP3 clips he has assembled for your listening pleasure.
1070 KNX in Los Angeles, CA (459 KB) - This is an unscoped clip of the KNX half past the hour news sounder as recorded on Friday, March 31, 2000 in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO on a Sanyo MW-250 boombox. The reason for the inclusion of this clip is that KNX recently re-did this particular sounder in mono for some reason, despite the fact they are still broadcasting in stereo. Thanks again to Gene in SoCal for providing this clip.
1110 KRLA in Pasadena, CA (3737 KB) - This scoped clip of Stereo AM 1110 KRLA was recorded by Gene in SoCal on Monday, December 31, 1984 in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO from a Sony SRF-A100 in the "B" position. The mix of music heard encompasses quite a variety to say the least, and concludes with the start of the Top 11 on 1110 on The Year End Countdown Special of 1984. For those wondering, KRLA did in fact convert to Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. They even continued to broadcast in stereo for a time after they switched formats from that of Oldies 1110 KRLA to LA Talk 1110 at the stroke of midnight on November 30, 1998. Unfortunately, the stereo only lasted until the beginning of April 1999 when it was shut off for good. The Talk format and calls didn't last either. The 1110 frequency became an ESPN Radio affiliate with the calls KSPN and an All Sports format. Meanwhile, over at 870 KIEV, those call letters were retired and on January 1st, 2001 and the station was relaunched as SmartTalk 870 KRLA - Your Legendary Talk Station.
Note: Full blown Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO broadcasting was restored in all its glory to 1110 AM on January 1, 2003 when the former 1110 KSPN and 710 KDIS in Los Angeles switched frequencies, formats and calls. As a result, 1110 KDIS was born with a Radio Disney format and some of the best sounding AM STEREO heard in the Los Angeles area in quite some time. Kudos to KDIS CE Chris Hays for making sure Radio Disney is able to be heard by its listeners the way it was meant to be. Now, if we could just get all Radio Disney affiliates to broadcast in stereo we'd all be happy Mouseketeers. (BTW, if someone has a nice stereo aircheck of KDIS they'd like to share with us AM STEREO fans, please drop me a line and let me know.)
1150 KIIS in Los Angeles, CA (2991 KB) - More great Los Angeles AM STEREO radio history here! This is a scoped and extremely cool "comparison" clip of 1150 KIIS AM STEREO and 102.7 KIIS FM during their Hot Hits format from the summer of 1985. The Hot Hits KIIS AM sections of this clip were recorded in the "A" position on a Sony CFS-6000 boombox in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO once again by Gene in SoCal. As Gene says, "This is what I call The KIIS "Non" Simulcast. This was back when the FCC restricted AM/FM simulcasting to a maximum of 25%, but the folks at Gannett found a way around it. Just listen and you'll see (and hear) what I mean." This is indeed a very interesting and cool clip, if I do say so myself! (Sadly, since being acquired by Jacor, the KIIS call letters and AM STEREO are a thing of the past at 1150 AM. KXTA now occupies this frequency in Los Angeles, and they are now running the XTRA Sports format and back to broadcasting in mono for good.)
1260 KOIT San Francisco, CA (2882 KB) - From early 1984, this clip of Easy Listening AM 1260 KOIT was recorded by Gene in SoCal in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO from a Sony SRF-A100 the "B" position. This is a really excellent sounding clip and besides great separation in the music you will also hear such liners as, Today's Easy Music In Stereo, More Music In Stereo and Another Hour of Stereo Music From AM 1260 KOIT.
1520 WKBW in Buffalo, NY (65 KB) - This is an off-air recording from Friday, June 15, 1984 of a WKBW liner announcing they are Now In AM STEREO. With the Motorola C-QUAM exciter officially fired up, this signalled the beginning of the Stereo 15 era at KB. This particular liner really showcased the fact they were indeed broadcasting in stereo, as you hear the announcer's voice go from channel to channel on top of an airplane fly-by sound effect. Since that time however, a number of things have transpired at WKBW. For instance, on Wednesday, January 3, 1986 the legendary WKBW calls were switched to WWKB. Then on Saturday, June 18, 1988, after 30 years of rocking the airwaves with Top 40 music, the format was switched to satellite Oldies. This only lasted until Monday, March 6, 1989 when KB became an affiliate of the Business Radio Network. In 1993 they switched to a more traditional, albeit satellite-fed, Talk format. All the while the Motorola C-QUAM exciter remained on and in full service and this was particularly evident during the short-lived yet excellent sounding Real Country 1520 KB days from 1995 to 1996. When a switch to a syndicated All Sports format (One On One Sports) happened in 1996, the superb stereo disappeared but the pilot remained on. Alas, the music returned briefly to WWKB on January 29, 2000 with a six month mono simulcast of FM sister station WKSE (KISS 98.5), only to have the format switched once again in June of 2000 to that of syndicated Business Talk. After a 2 1/2 year stint as Business Talk Radio 1520 WWKB, music programming once again returned to WWKB when on Monday, January 27, 2003 at 6:00 am well-known Buffalo radio personality and former KB morning man from 1971-88 Danny Neaverth returned to his old time slot and launched the "new" KB 1520 - Buffalo's Klassic encompassing a full time Oldies format featuring Top 40 hits from the years 1958 to 1974. Add to this a line-up of more legendary KB DJ's which includes Hank Nevins, Jackson Armstrong and Joey Reynolds along with the classic KB jingles of the past, then the slogan KB Is Back! certainly rings true. (Interestingly, the Motorola C-QUAM exciter was silenced at KB back in 2001 sometime, but it was apparently turned back on around the beginning of March 2003. There hasn't been any true separation heard in their programming since that time, but keep your fingers crossed as it may only be a matter of time before full blown AM STEREO returns to 50,000 watt flamethrower KB 1520 once again. In the meantime, if you have any stereo airchecks of KB from either the Stereo 15 or Real Country days, please drop me a line.)
Note: I would like to thank Bill Dulmage of The Bill Dulmage Radio and TV Archive for allowing me to use the above WKBW liner on this page. My thanks also to Gene in SoCal for converting this to MP3 format for everyone to enjoy.
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