November 23, 2011

1480 WDAS AM Returns as "The Soul of Philadelphia"

Clear Channel has dumped the former Spanish music format, Rumba 1480 WUBA

1480 WDAS AM "The Soul of Philadelphia" returns to the airwaves with the best R&B oldies from the late '50's, '60's and early '70's. Today however, the station flipped to all Christmas music offering favorite R&B artists through the holidays. Afterward the station returns to a steady diet of the Temptations, Archie Bell, Jerry Butler, Sam Cooke, Fontella Bass, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Drifters, Etta James, Isaac Hayes, and Little Richard.

Ken Johnson, Clear Channel Director of Urban Programming says working with 1480 WDAS AM takes him back to his roots. "My career started at a classic oldies station and I am truly excited to provide this great music on 1480 WDAS AM for our listeners in Philly." Johnson says that Operations Manager and Sunday Night WDAS FM Oldies Show Host Joe 'Butterball' Tamburro will be an integral part of 1480 WDAS AM. "It only makes sense that a radio legend is at the heart of this legendary station." Tamburro has been a part of the WDAS family since the early 1960's.

Clear Channel decision to return Soul Music to the frequency was not a very hard one to make. Rumba 1480 ranked at the very bottom of the radio ratings in Philly and trailed the number one Spanish station in the city Mega 1310 AM and three other Spanish music formats. Rumba took over the 1480 AM frequency about four years ago after coming in the marketplace at 104.5 FM.

WDAS AM has a rich history and the heritage status of 105.3 WDAS FM can be contributed directly to the legacy of their AM sister station. In 1962, on-air personality Georgie Woods broke "Please, Please Me" by the Beatles, originally on the African-American owned, Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records label. The station also featured legendary disc jockey Jocko Henderson.

The station featured a Soul and Rhythm & Blues music format throughout the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's while adding gospel music with Louise Williams in the early morning hours. It's greatest accomplishment however is the role the station played during the civil rights movement of the 1960's. WDAS AM was a regular stop for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X during that era. However by the 1980's WDAS had evolved into a news-talk-music hybrid and then began a gospel format as "WDAS AMen" in the early 1990's. When Radio One brought in Praise 103.9 on FM in 2005, it was only a matter of time before WDAS AM's gospel programming and the station itself would cease to exist. But now a new phase of WDAS AM has begun.

Listeners will also be able to hear the station simulcast on HD radios at 106.1 HD2.

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