In the 1970s, nearly every Top 40 station counted down the previous year’s top songs on New Years Eve. Many ran American Top 40’s excellent year end show with Casey Kasem. Some stations produced their own countdowns. KDWB did both. AT40 aired on Sunday evenings from 7:00 until 10:00PM. But KDWB’s live and local “Top 101 of 1976” survey aired on the actual New Year’s Eve date of Friday, December 31, 1976.
This recording is especially rare since it was made using the FM stereo signal which KDWB had acquired just 3 months earlier. Parent company Doubleday purchased the old WYOO “U-100” FM facilities from Fairchild. This allowed KDWB to simulcast on 101.3FM as well as their original frequency of 630AM. At the time, they were the only Twin Cities Top 40 outlet to broadcast in FM stereo. This was why their positioning statements constantly mentioned “Stereo KDWB” and “All New KDWB.”
“Smokin’ Joe” Hager kicked things off at 6:00PM. Prior to the beginning of the countdown, he played the #1 songs of each year, 1964-76. Later, we’ll hear additional segments with Joe and also with Brian “The Cosmic” Phoenix who held down KDWB’s 9-Midnight shift in those days.
I originally recorded this on 8-track. Fortunately, I used Columbia 80 minute premium cartridges which held up amazingly well over the years. Normally when “rescuing” old 8-tracks and transferring them to digital media, both the pressure pads and the sensing tape need to be replaced. The glue on the tape splice dries up while the pads become “crumbly” and disintegrate. These Columbia cartridges had no such issues after more than 3 decades of storage.
Reception and recording was obtained using my father’s Miida AM/FM/Phono/8-track recorder system. The transfer to digital was made using my vintage Marantz Superscope 8 track recording deck and Tascam CDRW4U CD recorder. These two components were connected directly using Monster Cable Interlinks. I think you’ll agree, the audio quality is very good for a recording of this era. Especially one which originated on an 8 track cartridge!