Mixtape Mondays: WBMX, WRKS, KDAY

Mixtape Mondays: WBMX, WRKS, KDAY

Radio dial

This week, we’re paying tribute to the radio. Good radio. Pre-Clear-Channel-takeover radio . When things were a little bit more adventurous than they are now. When the mixes below were broadcast over the public airwaves only for the ears of those in listening range.  We’ve collected three radio broadcast mixes from Chicago’s legendary WBMX, New York City’s WRKS aka Kiss-FM, and Los Angeles’ KDAY that some beautiful souls recorded to tape and have archived on the internet.  Unfortunately the sound quality isn’t the greatest on some of these, and there are no tracklists this week.

WBMX logo

Steve “Silk” Hurley & Frankie Knuckles  – WBMX, Chicago

With family in northern Indiana, I used every visit to the area in the mid-80s as an opportunity to try to tune into Chicago’s WBMX.  The station broadcast on both the AM and FM dials, and occasionally the AM signal could be picked up in South Bend, IN. And when it was clear enough, any obligation to my family was out the window as my ears were glued to a radio somewhere.  The station has become legendary for it’s support of local Chicago house music, with future legends like Steve “Silk” Hurley and Frankie Knuckles often broadcasting mixes on the station. I’m not sure exactly when ‘BMX went off the air, but it definitely left a lasting impact on me!



Kiss-FM logo

Shep Pettibone – WRKS, New York City

Shep Pettibone’s name was on just about every 12″ single that dropped in the 80s.  Everyone from Afrika Bambaataa to Madonna had a Shep Pettibone remix. He was also a DJ whose “mastermixes” on New York City’s WRKS are legendary, often employing his own mixes and edits during his show.


Standing in front of the KDAY offices

Dr. Dre, Joe Cooley – KDAY, Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ KDAY is known not only for being the station that helped launch the career of George Carlin in the 1960s, but it’s also one of the most important stations in the history of west coast hip-hop. If all of it’s accomplishments were ignored, it’d be a historic station for the sole fact that the one and only Dr. Dre used to have his mixes featured on the station. Joe Cooley of Rodney O and Joe Cooley fame also was a featured DJ on the station.  Check out some of the station’s “Traffic Jam” mixes along with an Ice-T guest appearance, and the added bonus of some of Dr. Dre’s legendary Roadium swap meet mixtapes!

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