"The Legend" - CKLW returns in the '90's

[CKLW 93.9 THE LEGEND Logo] For a period of time in the early 1990's, CKLW-FM 93.9 in Windsor recreated the original "Big 8" format. Dave Shafer was the operations manager during this period, and Charlie O'Brien was the the program director. Together they recreated the classic "Big 8" format, playing the oldies from the original "Big 8" era with all the classic jingles and sounds. Later on, "The Legend" name was added to the format, when Lee Alan came on board.

As Charlie O'Brien tells the story: "Lee was on the air in Detroit in the 60's at WXYZ in its Top 40 heyday. He was 'Lee Alan on The Horn' and would blow this big horn thingy on air as schtick. Pretty wild shows back then and he was successful at it. He got into his own biz teaching a radio course then started a radio/video production company at which he became very successful." Lee specialized in auto company accounts, and voiced many of his spots. He had also been producing a show called "Back In the 60's again", which was running on WKSG-FM "Kiss-FM" until they dropped oldies. At that time CKLW-FM picked up the show. When Lee came to CKLW-FM he offered his marketing expertise (much of it to be bartered for running his radio show) and he came up with "The Legend" name, which was added to the already-running oldies format.

Actually, the first attempt at an oldies format on 93.9 was back in 1984. Charlie O'Brien explained as follows (in a message posted to the discussion forum in January, 2001):

"The first time 93.9 went oldies in 1984 Dave Shafer was the Program Director. The Drake/Chenault tape automation system provided the music. I came back to work there as mid-day jock. About a year later I was Dave's Music Director and started the job of adding the 'local' flavour to the national songs. I spent a lot of time in the dusty 45 room going through the left over lists of songs. Bless the person who saved Rosalie's filing system - most of the file cards and 45's were still organized by year from 1964 through 1980. The lists of golden oldies that The Big 8 played from 1956 to 1963 were also still filed. Then dubbing the 45's to cart was a pretty big job. We didn't have a lot of manpower.

"Later, Sandy Davis was the Program Director who took More 94 to air - I was the music director and mid-day jock. Sandy wanted a very tight sound (read short list) on the station. Sound like WOMC?

"After he left, Dave Shafer (who had stayed through all that time as the AM800 PD) let me make over 93.9 and we started the Legend. That was a big thrill re-making the Big 8 piece by piece. Grant Hudson was around in the Newsroom [and that] really helped the 'sound', as did Big Jim Edward's voicing of the station ID's. Lee Alan's Back in The 60's show helped the sound of Motown come through.

"We were severly under funded in promotion (and pretty much everything else) but the station really cooked on air from the jocks to the music to the jingles - it was a mini-8.

"It was a real thrill."

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