The Second Coming Of "Famous 56?"

The "Boss is back." That's what we heard on September 2, 1983. WFIL was coming back as "Boss Radio." Boy was I excited. Philly radio had become such a bore. This sounded like a great idea. Bring back WFIL, as "Solid Gold" radio. All the music from the 60s, and 70s, on the station where we heard it first. How could this miss? Here is a list of the "New Boss Jocks."

1983 - 1987 Boss Jocks

  • Hank B.(Bashjian)
  • George Benson
  • Jerry Blavat (The Geator with the Heator)
  • Wayne Cabot (News)
  • Dennis John Cahill 
  • Bob Charger
  • Jeff Collins
  • Dan Donavan
  • Dick Fennessy
  • Kevin Fennessy
  • Andy Harris
  • Harvey Holiday ( Still in Philly, at WOGL)
  • John Mac
  • David Madden (News) (Now At KYW 1060)
  • "Humble" Harv Miller
  • Bill Neal
  • Jim Nettleton
  • Steve O'Brien
  • Joey Reynolds 
  • Leigh Richards
  • Michael Sarzynski
  • Scott Taylor
  • Ken Wright
  • Everything seemed to be in place. WFIL brought back Allan Stone to do the news.They even decided to use the old PAMS jingles. How could it be any better? Lots of promotion on TV from Dick Clark. New bumper stickers. A new Prize Patrol. The old days lived again!

    The Boss Was Back!!!

    Here are some great memories from former WFIL PD Jay Meyers;

    "Friday night, September 2nd, 1983 is one of the most memorable nights of my life. Born and raised in Philly, having cut my teeth and learned my love of radio on the Pop Explosion in the sixties, to become PD of WFIL was one of those things where you actually get to experience your dream. The planning for the launch was a month long in duration, recording the music, getting the jock line-up set and planning the debut. On a lark, the day before I sent David Madden down to the Phillies game with a script, and he came back having none other than Pete Rose record the introduction. The last country song played at 2:57pm, Texas In My Rearview Mirror by Mac Davis, follwed by a three hour Elvis special (the perfect Country to Oldies transition). We got Dick Clark to record a ten second TV spot from the set of American Bandstand inviting people to "tune in for the most important moment in Philadelphia radio history" Friday night at 6pm.

    Pete spoke (on tape) introduced the GM Bruce Holberg who introduced me and I got to say those magic words, "yes Philadelphia, The Boss Is Back" followed by the legendary drum roll and the original Tom Tyler recorded "WFIL, Non Stop Music", posting Martha and The Vandellas "Dancing In The Streets." You can hear the recording of it all in that section of Ron's wonderful website.

    Click Here To Listen

    Allen Stone's First Newscast 1983

    Here are some of my memories of that magical evening:

    Mort Palestine, who was still there as an engineer, and had been an original engineer in the pop explosion, running the board for the kick off, and wanting to use an actual LP (instead of what we were using then, carts) in order to post the first song;

    The late Jim Wilson, who had been on the sales staff since the glory days in the sixties, crying through the announcement in the other studio (where we had a party going, and we could see through the glass), and I don't mean teary eyed, I mean crying with a full flow of tears;

    The legend Alan Stone returning and doing the first newscast at 6:55pm and saying "Alan Stone reporting, please allow me to say that again, Alan Stone reporting" and going on to describe his joy at being behind the mic at WFIL again;

    Jim Nettleton as the first voice introing Expressway To Your Heart by the Soul Survivors saying "WFIL Rocks Again";

    Jim Wilson and the late Tom Monaghan selling out the commercials in the first hour for ten times what we were getting on the country station.

    And at least a thousand more. It was a very magical evening, and one I'll never forget, and although its been 25 years, and some of the wonderful folks who made that a special evening (Jim, Tom, Jerry Donahue, Ray McCoy and others) have passed to the great record hop in the sky, it does at times seem to me to be just like yesterday, and on this 25th, thought I'd share it with you."

    All the best,

    Jay Meyers
    Program Director
    WFIL 1983-1985

    If you have a special memory from the second coming of WFIL, send me an e-mail. Thanks!

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