Results tagged “music”

WZUM to jazz today

After a few years as Pittsburgh's soul station, WZUM AM 1550 in Braddock switched to jazz at noon today, with Bill Hillgrove announcing. Here's their statement, transcribed on the air:

Welcome to the new WZUM from Pittsburgh Public Media. We're a group of ex-WDUQ staffers that started a new service when that station ended five years ago. Since then we've been working bit by bit to bring fulltime jazz service back to Pittsburgh. We started with the Pittsburgh Jazz Channel, online at, and then we went on the air on 88.1 FM WYZR, which can be heard in the Southern and Western suburbs of Pittsburgh. We've also been providing jazz to public radio stations nationwide, and we're the largest provider of 24//7 jazz in America.

Our hearts have always had a place for that special relationship with the listener members that enjoyed what we did in the past, and now we're starting to bring that back, first with this station, WZUM AM 1550, and in a few months a brand new FM station on 101.1. The FCC has approved it all, and now we need to build the FM station. The sooner we can get the funds in to build it, the sooner it's on the air, and we need you to help. We're an IRS 501-C3 charity, and operate WZUM noncommercially. Please donate today at, that's, it's safe and secure.

We're starting this venture in the most humble of ways, and with your help we can grow this service in a way you can depend on as you did before. We have a lot we want to do, community voices, live performances and more, but it only happens with your support. Please help with your donation to get to the next step, build the FM station. Support us now at Thanks.

My first recollection of AM 1550 was when they broadcast as WLOA, and my mother liked to listen to their 'beautiful music', sometime in the late 1960s-early '70s. 1550 has tried a number of other program concepts over the years, several varieties of music and talk, including being the Pittsburgh outlet for the Don and Mike Show in the 2000s, as 1550, The Edge.

The WZUM call letters were picked up when the station was in bankruptcy a few years ago, and was bought by the Pittsburgh team that had been managing its operation. They formed AM Guys LLC, who ran the station as a local, automated soul classics station. WZUM had been a popular Pittsburgh AM station from the 1960s, with soul and breaking album rock played by personality DJs.

Original WZUM promotional record bag, scan by Boomer (click for larger size)

I welcome our new jazz overlords and wish them well, and hope that the soul format and legacy of WZUM can return on another radio station. My hope is that with the new funding that they can improve the sound on 1550 and add AM stereo to the transmitter.

Here's their announcement at the time of the changeover to jazz.


Art Bell from

Art Bell Dark Matter.jpg

Post by Carl Blaire at

Many have fond memories of the original host of Coast-to-Coast-AM, personality Art Bell, who continued for awhile on SiriusXM the satellite radio station.

Based on a tip from Hobby Broadcaster we have learned of Art Bell's plans to return to hosting on Keith Rowland's "Dark Matter Network," streaming on the internet starting July, 2015 at the expiration of his Non-Compete Clause with SiriusXM.

Podcasts of his new shows may be available, but there are obstacles in the way of the overall plans because of music copyrights and royalties, something of interest also to us here at part15(dot)us.

Read these two articles: "The Numbers On Playing Commercial Music on the Internet" by Keith Rowland, and "Sad News for Art Bell's Return to Internet Streaming" by Art Bell.

I look forward to Art's return, his show was great to hear real live talk on AM radio over night, where most stations had just played repeats of daytime shows to fill that time. It was a very popular show, and you could tune from one end of the AM dial to another and hear it on dozens of stations from distant cities, discussing all kinds of strange and interesting topics, even radio itself.

After being off of terrestrial radio for years, Art went to SiriusXM to do Dark Matter, and it was so good, it was just like he never left his old show! I hope that he can work out the music issues so his show can go forth. Some commentators are saying he should just not use commercial music, but if you know the show, his bumper music has always been an important part of the formula; it wouldn't be the same without Giorgio's 'The Chase' opening song and many other songs he regularly used.

It seems that playing a song would help to popularize the band and sell the tune itself, so I think the record companies should be paying Art when he chooses to use their music.. or how about this revolutionary idea, why not let Art just play the songs and call it even?

Update as of March 5:

Midnight in the Desert

This will be the name of my new show!

Hi everybody, here is a update for you. It is looking like the deal will close and the show will start to air in late July but we still have not signed on the dotted line.

The show will be truly International. ....

The name of the show is based on a title of a song dedicated to Art by Crystal Gayle, which you can hear at the site.