Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Life Before KISS 108

Article by Eric H.

Every once in a while, we take a vacation break from our travel articles and reminisce about New England back in the day. Consider the following one of those articles...

Anyone remember WWEL FM 107.9 ("Well') in Medford, Mass.? The beautiful music station had a solid run from 1972 to 1979, playing soft selections from such artists like Ferrante & Teicher, Mantovani, Johnny Mathis, and Peggy Lee. Along with WCOZ (now WJMN), WBOS, WSSH (now WCRB-FM) and WJIB (now Talk 96.9), WWEL played an integral part in the elevator music, "muzak" format in Boston during the 1960s and 1970s.

Kiss 108 took over the 107.9 airwaves from WWEL in 1979; the rest in history. Starting as the "disco" station, Kiss 108 evolved into a model for the contemporary hits format. Legendary disc jockeys like Dale Dorman, Sunny Joe White, Vinnie Peruzzi, J.J. Wright, and Matt (Matty in the Morning) Siegel contributed mightily through the years to the station's esteemed format (Siegel has been on Kiss 108 since 1981).

Although Kiss 108 is a virtual household name in the Boston area, stations like WWEL created lasting memories for those who liked this type of music. It wasn't my cup of tea then but thinking back, songs like "Impossible" by Perry Como and "Close to You" by The Carpenters bring back some very warm memories.

Lastly, I encourage you to look over the WWEL "radio dial" card in this posting. It's amazing how many call letters and formats have changed!

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