In 1975, my parents bought me my own AM radio. And in that moment, I actually discovered this wonderful world of Albany’s 50,000 watt Top 40 powerhouse, WPTR. Oh yeah, Boom Boom Brannigan and the rest of the crew.
Unfortunately, with the advent of FM Top 40 radio, AM Top 40 stations like WPTR and WTRY (and also 3WD) lost listeners. And the sound quality of monaural AM radio could not compete with the stereophonic, clean sound of WGFM and WFLY and WPYX. Stuff like this happens.
Eventually WPTR went away for a few years, then it reappeared – on the 1540 AM band – as a “Legends” station, with music from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. It even had Boom Boom Brannigan as the on-air radio personality.
But eventually that station disappeared. For a while, WPTR existed as an oldies station on the FM band – 96.7, to be precise. But eventually THAT station disappeared. Heck, I even blogged about that iteration of WPTR in this blog post from years ago.
Yesterday, while perusing my Facebook feed, I received word that the call letters for WPTR have resurfaced as an oldies station on 1240 AM. Wait … WPTR’s operating on 3WD’s old frequency? This could be interesting.
So when I had to run some errands, I adjusted my car stereo to pick up this AM 1240 station. Trust me, I don’t usually listen to AM radio stations in Dracourage unless it’s a Thruway radio alert broadcast.
And sure enough … there was a station at 1240 AM … one that played WPTR’s old jingles … and connected those jingles to oldies music.
Holy flashback, Batman!
All right, I’m going to try this out …
WPTR jingle, Boz Scaggs’ “Lowdown.”
WPTR jingle, Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” (Um… )
After a few more songs, I realized that what I thought would be a return to an oldies radio station that would give me a smile … wasn’t. The playlist for this iteration of WPTR was heavy on 70’s and 80’s music, much of which was built for stereophonic enjoyment. I mean, outside of the jingles and station identification clips … it could have been any oldies radio station from anywhere.
Trust me, if I’m listening to WPTR and they’re not at least playing The Myddle Class’ “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” or the Bougaliou’s “When I Was a Children,” or the Sundowners’ “Always You,” then IT AIN’T WPTR.
That, and I know this is a bugaboo for me, but after listening to SiriusXM on my car stereo for the past six years and two car ownerships, I can’t wrap my ears around AM radio Top 40. Maybe if this was at least streamed somewhere, it wouldn’t be so discouraging … but for now, I can’t find any online streaming channel for this station.
Man. This just is not fair. If you’re going to bring back WPTR – Albany’s #1 hit radio Top 40 station – then at LEAST make it feel like it’s really WPTR, and not just a bunch of mismatched oldies with some associated jingles.
Oh yeah, and one final thing … they have to edit some of these jingles to take the “15” out of the “1540” in the broadcast, because the channel’s on the 1240 AM band. But if you’re going to keep this station on that low-powered AM 1240 station, at least go for the full effect and bring back the old 3WD call letters, whydon’tcha?
Just saying is all …
Trust me, I really really wanted this to be the old WPTR I knew and loved. Unfortunately … I guess I can’t go home again.