This page last updated Sunday, August 25, 2013


WAKY Other Features Page

On this page you'll find links to even more special features and pages on this Website. 

1963 Sales Pieces

On this page we've reproduced some 1963 promotional materials that WAKY's sales department sent out to prospective clients and advertising agencies.

1983 "Phrase That Pays" Contest

In the Fall of 1983 WAKY ran a contest called "Phrase That Pays." Leonard Yates, a WAKY DJ at the time, provided a copy of the contest rules and formatics, which we've reproduced here.

Gary Fox Remembers WAKY and WKLO

Former Louisville resident and life-long WAKY/WKLO fan Gary Fox wrote a great piece about his memories of growing up in Derby City and listening to its two great AM Top 40 stations.

Jackie & WAKY: A 1970s Listener's Perspective

Jackie Bennett Flanigan was born in 1957 in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She graduated from Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville in 1977. Here she answers our questions about growing up in Kentuckiana listening to WAKY.

I Was a Teenage DJ Groupie

Carol McNamara Hamilton shares her experiences of being a WAKY DJ "groupie" when she was a teenager.

Max Highbaugh Visits Dude and the Duke

On Saturday, April 1, 2006 Message Board Senior Member Max Highbaugh joined Dude Walker and Dude's wife Cynthia to visit Bill Bailey at Friendship Manor in Pewee Valley, Kentucky. Max took along a tape recorder to preserve part of the conversation. We thank Max for transcribing the recording and writing the piece here.

The Life of a WAKY Production Director

Like any successful radio station, WAKY had plenty of paid "spots" that needed to be produced and transferred to tape cartridges so bills could be paid. Mike Griffin was WAKY's Production Director between 1971 and 1977, and graciously answered our questions about what it was like to be in charge of production at the Super 79.

Tom Dooley's Showtime Review

In 1968 Triangle Talent of Louisville and TRX Records sent out an 8-page newsletter ("Tom Dooley's Showtime Revue") as WAKY's Tom Dooley started making musical appearances in Kentuckiana. The newsletter is reproduced here.

The Uniques - WAKY's Official Band?

We received a great letter from Louisville musician Ronnie Brown on April 19, 2005. Because of the connection with Jack Sanders and the early days of WAKY -- and because many visitors to this site have expressed interest in the Louisville music scene of the '60s and '70s --  we thought it deserved its own page on the site.

WAKY Monster Movie Commercials

These radio commercials (recorded off-the-air between 1961 and 1963) showcase the voicework of Jack Sanders, Hal Smith, Jim Brand and Tom Perry...and the production talents of Johnny Workman. You also can download two audio intros and one outro from WLKY-TV's Shock Theatre, voiced by Jim Brand and Tom Perry.

The 1979 Memos

Right behind actually listening, the best way to become familiar with a radio station is to have access to its internal memos. WAKY air personality Darrell Douglas saved a bunch of 'em from his time at the Big 79 in 1979, and they've been transcribed here for your enlightenment.

The WWKY Call Letters Move to 790 AM

The folks running Louisville's 790-AM in 1988 gave up the WAKY call letters in favor of WVEZ-AM. In 1989, the call letters -- and format -- were changed again. Read the 1989 Courier-Journal article about about the switch...and read how management responded to the complaint of one Louisville resident.

The WAKY Call Letters and 790 AM Today

Shortly after WAKY in Louisville relinquished their call letters in March 1988, the WAKY calls were applied for and granted to Mike Wilson for the AM station at 1540 in Greensburg, Kentucky (formerly WGRK-AM). When WAKY-AM in Greensburg was acquired by Commonwealth Broadcasting in 1997, the WAKY calls were also assigned to a FM station a little closer to Louisville: country-formatted 102.7 FM -- previously known as WMQQ -- in Springfield, Kentucky (the Bardstown market) where they remained until early 2006.

In both instances, neither 1540 AM or 102.7 FM has capitalized on the heritage of the WAKY call letters, relegating them mostly just to top-of-the-hour legal IDs. The Vice-President of Commonwealth Broadcasting, Dale Thornhill, grew up in Louisville during the glory days of WAKY 790 and is well aware how special those calls are. He told us that he doesn't want to do anything to tarnish the WAKY calls but wants to make sure they stay in Kentucky "where they belong."

Steve Newberry, President of Commonwealth Broadcasting wrote in 2006:

"I got into radio in 1977 at the ripe age of 14...soon to turn 15. I was one of the last persons required to have the old "provisional" license. They phased out the 3rd test before I got to/had to take it.

"I'm a native of Glasgow, Kentucky and nearby in Cave City, there was a daytimer licensed at 800khz. It made hearing WAKY impossible during the daytime until I could get north of Munfordville. But as soon as I could get into range, 790 was always on my dial. Needless to say, I never had the honor of working on 4th street for WAKY, but it and WLS were the two driving influences of my early radio career.

"Fast forward many years later, and I'm in ownership when we have an opportunity to buy a group of stations that have the WAKY call signs.

"WAKY-AM is licensed to Greensburg, KY and WAKY-FM to Springfield, KY. Those stations are now in our group of small market stations...and as I've told Tom Prestigiacomo and others, I consider myself the 'custodian' of those legendary call signs. I've been approached several times by persons interested in purchasing them, but really have no desire to see them go to someone who might tarnish that legendary image! Sometime, someday...if somebody really is passionate about reigniting the WAKY flame in Louisville...they might return. But for now, they're in our 'caring' hands!"

Update: Dale Thornhill writes in July 2006: "We have changed the FM to WYSB when we changed formats to mainstream AC. We have retained the call letters on our Greensburg AM, WAKY AM."

Another Update: On May 11, 2007 the WAKY calls moved to the former WASE-FM in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The oldies-formatted station -- formerly known as Kool 103.5 -- programs to the Louisville market and features lots of original and newly-recorded WAKY jingles along with the music that made the original WAKY famous. WAKY's official city of license is Radcliffe, Kentucky.

Today the 790 AM spot in Louisville is occupied by Clear Channel's WKRD, an All-Sports outlet. Download a 2006 composite of the station in MP3 format below:

WKRD 2006 Composite
2:01 - 710 KB