This year marks an important day in the history of underground radio, the 40th anniversary of the first broadcast of WFAT Fat Radio! Having been off the air over a year since the WCPR-AM bust, Hank (Hal Hall) and Jim (Larry McRae) decided it was time to return to the airwaves. They did so with new call letters and DJ names to fill a niche missing at that time in New York: there were NO locally-originated late-night talk programming. Everything on the air at that time was a nationally-syndicated show. Thus, WFAT was born, providing an outlet for people to discuss issues of the day and hear some great tunes as well (with a signal that blanketed the east coast). WFAT would become a part of the New York radio scene right up until another FCC bust, this time in April of 1979 (and yes, if you are keeping score at home, WHOT would make it's debut just over a year later. You just can't keep good pirates down!). Thankfully, we have most of this historic broadcast (with a few additional minutes provided by a listener). Come with us back to New Year's Eve 40 years ago and get ready to ring in 1978 with us...!
Back at Christmastime of 1988, we decided to start a yearly tradition of presenting OUR version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". The script was full of in-jokes, running gags and all sorts of things regular listeners would have laughed about. The idea was to update and change it every year to reflect what was going on at the time. Unfortunately, we'd never get the chance due to the FCC bust in July of '89. Thankfully, we have this ONE to enjoy - so sit back and enjoy Jim Nazium in the role he was born to play, Ebenezer Scrooge. God Bless Us, Everyone!
Here's a pretty loose (but very amusing) Christmas Show from 31 (yikes!) years ago, wrapping up a few consecutive days of extended holiday broadcasts. Among the things you don't usually hear on a HOT broadcast is Jim Nazium actually BREAKING a turntable, but this night was the exception! Hank arrives to join Jim (and the broken turntable), with Chuck Simpson soon after and a few studio guests along the way. Pete spends all night trying to get to the studio, only to arrive just in time for the sign-off (hey, better late than never, right?)! There's calls a-plenty and even a three-station simulcast of Hank and Jim performing "The Christmas Song"(!), plus some questionable station "staff" messages along the way for good measure. It's the standard fun holiday fare from your friends at The Brooklyn Station...enjoy!
Since we have a lot of people that are new to the WHOT Podcasts, I figured I'd repost this classic Thanksgiving Show from 1982, one of the oldest (near) complete broadcasts in the 'HOT archives (there's a box of pre-1983 tapes that has gone missing over the years...after I have a good cry over that, I remain optimistic that it will pop up under something one of these days). Apart from a few missing minutes here and there, the entire show is here - you'll hear what a day in the life of Hank and Jim was like in 1982, how they spent their Thanksgiving, a rare holiday appearance from the Rubbish Removal Team with a bunch of calls and requests thrown in for good measure. Grab some leftovers, a cup of cider and travel back 35 years with us - enjoy!
A little back story: getting back into our 30-year anniversary theme, it was late October and we were still doing weekends on WNYG-AM in Babylon as the "Pirate Party" without any compensation. RNI was a long way away in the rear-view mirror and all of us were getting restless. The marriage with WNYG was rocky from the start and as of late had continued to sour. We made the decision to move on, and October 24th would be our last show on WNYG. By that point it was just Hank, Jim, Ivan and I still slogging along and the whole endeavor seemed pointless.
After a rather contentious last show, we headed back to Brooklyn. While enjoying some burgers at a local diner, the decision was made on the spot that WHOT should return to the airwaves immediately! The transmitters hadn't been turned on in months and a lot of tweaking needed to be done to get the station "air worthy" again, so we signed on with a "Test" broadcast to get the bugs out that very night! We had no idea what the FCC would be up to in the wake of RNI, so just for this test, we "borrowed" call letters from three famous stations: WKBW, KXOK and WABC, changing from one to the other as the mood struck. We also took the names of some rather dubious historical figures (you'll find out!) rather than throwing all the cards on the table right away (after all, we'd just been on WNYG doing a show hours earlier!).
The end result was the release of three months of built-up steam blasting out in a ferocious, politically-incorrect explosion of insanity! Being a test, we did not record this program but thank goodness a listener DID and provided us with these tapes. WHOT resumed "regular" broadcasts with the Halloween just show a week later, kicking off a period of memorable broadcasts that continued until the FCC bust in July of 1989. It's a crazy, crazy party and you are there amidst the chaos - enjoy!
This week's classic podcast (which comes with a mild 'not-safe-for-work' warning label) is the last of four consecutive nights of Halloween weekend broadcasts on the Hot One, and an educational one at that. It was the 50th Anniversary of the infamous "War Of The Worlds" broadcast and Orson insisted we commemorate that (which we did), and as would often happen after many consecutive nights of shows, about 3/4 way into the proceedings, things lapse into long, barely-coherent stream-of-consciousness ramblings that provide accurate (and humorous) time capsules of what was going on in our lives at the time. Among the things we learn: a) Hank and I had gotten EXTREMELY inebriated on the show two nights before (and were still feeling the effects of the alcohol two days later); b) I had crashed at Hank's afterwards; c) the next day, Hank's Dad woke us up multiple times; d) people came by to look at the house (which was up for sale) while we slept, and e) there were men of middle-eastern origin doing construction on the house at the time, and (apparently) I could do a very good (albeit extremely politically-incorrect) impression of them. In other words, this is the silliness of 29 years ago today for your Halloween-listening pleasure. Enjoy! - Pete
A little back story: in the weeks that followed the FCC bust of Radio New York International we were all over the media - newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. In the middle of all this, WNYG-AM in Babylon, NY decided to give us "a day to take over the station" (August 5, 1987) to show everyone the kind of diverse programming RNI planned on bringing to the radio scene. The event was such a success that WNYG offered to let RNI take over the station on weekends, starting September 5th. Initially, this sounded like a great idea, but problems started popping up almost immediately (least of which was the station decision to call it "The Pirate Party"). Management started complaining about the content of the programs, specifically the Hank and Jim Show. Too much talking, too much nonsense, too many sound effects ("You don't want people thinking there's an ACTUAL earthquake in the studio" and other ridiculous things like that) rather than letting everyone just do their thing as promised. Additionally, it became apparent the station had no intention on paying any of us, so we were essentially providing FREE services (we were "welcome" to try and sell our OWN advertising...which didn't stop WNYG from running commercials during our shows). On top of all of this, we got dragged into internal politics within the station and were becoming disillusioned with the RNI project in general. It became a constant headache, which is why by late October we'd excused ourselves from the situation and concentrated on getting WHOT back up and running. The constant complaints coming from management led to some of the most subversive (and insane) programs Hank and Jim ever produced (and that's saying a lot!) - would you expect anything less? We were already talking about leaving at this point - the results are what you hear on this week's classic podcast. Enjoy...if you dare!
In honor of Hank and Jim's birthdays, this week we bring you a Brooklyn Station Birthday Show from 1984! There's a huge chunk of this show that has gone missing over the years (unfortunately) but still plenty of fun! The show starts with a sign-off (what?), Hank and Pete share tales of the recent Beatlefest, there's a preview of the upcoming 4th Anniversary Show, and Jim blows a fuse! Come back 33 years with us, the cake's still good. Enjoy!
This week's classic aircheck is the Easter show from 1984. I'd left a bunch of Beatles bootlegs at the studio for Jim to copy, so there's plenty of rare Fab Four! On this night, Ed Armstrong (Randi Steele) stopped by the WHOT studios for the first time (he'd been at the old WFAT studios many times, of course) to say hello and chat for a bit, a nice way to remember Randi today. Of course, there's even a brief trip back to 1944 because that's what you do when you have company. A nice reminder of some good times. Enjoy!
No one did holiday broadcasts quite like The Hot One, and Labor Day weekend was no exception! We had the AM and FM fired up for this one, so the entire East Coast is checking in while Hank, Jim and Pete go wild! There's occasional check-ins with the telethon (gotta keep an eye on the competition!) and lots of great music as this show is presented in just about it's entirety. The Monkees were back, both on TV and on tour and the shows at the time reflected that with plenty of Monkees music! Fire up the BBQ and swing with The Brooklyn Station!