The Wyen Experience

iUniverse
3
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James Earl Jones voicing Darth Vader in Star Wars had a set of pipes a radio news anchor in the 1970s might envy. CBS News legend Edward R. Murrow wrote in a style many radio news writers tried to copy. Their skills were honed over time. While few ever reach the stature of a Jones or Murrow, radio broadcasters rely on stations where they can develop these skills. In the seventies, one such place was WYEN-FM in Des Plaines, Illinois.

In The WYEN Experience, author Stew Cohen tells the story of this mom-and-pop radio station106.7 on the dialthat opened in 1971 and was built on a genuine passion for radio. It flourished through the 1970s, stumbled in the early 1980s, and then sold to a new owner. He provides an insiders look into the happenings of this station that entertained thousands with its music and announcersincluding Ed Walters, the driving force behind WYEN; the lives of many of the talented broadcasters who worked here; Cohens personal coverage of some of the biggest stories of the time; and his interviews with some greats from the entertainment industry.

Cohen describes an era that lived with pay phones, typewriters, turntables, transistor radios, and boom boxes; in The WYEN Experience he brings to life to both the times and the radio station.

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About the author

Stew Cohen is a veteran radio news anchor and reporter. He is a multi-award winning broadcast journalist with radio stations WZSR-FM and WWYW-FM in the Chicago area. Cohen and his wife, Rita, have two children and live in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Look for his work online at www.star105.com and www.y1039.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
iUniverse
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Published on
Feb 1, 2013
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Pages
290
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ISBN
9781475969627
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Radio / History & Criticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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"It was all so honest, before the end of our collective innocence. Top Forty jocks screamed and yelled and sounded mightier than God on millions of transistor radios. But on FM radio it was all spun out for only you. On a golden web by a master weaver driven by fifty thousand magical watts of crystal clear power . . . before the days of trashy, hedonistic dumbspeak and disposable three-minute ditties . . . in the days where rock lived at many addresses in many cities."
–from FM

As a young man, Richard Neer dreamed of landing a job at WNEW in New York–one of the revolutionary FM stations across the country that were changing the face of radio by rejecting strict formatting and letting disc jockeys play whatever they wanted. He felt that when he got there, he’d have made the big time. Little did he know he’d have shaped rock history as well.

FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio chronicles the birth, growth, and death of free-form rock-and-roll radio through the stories of the movement’s flagship stations. In the late sixties and early seventies–at stations like KSAN in San Francisco, WBCN in Boston, WMMR in Philadelphia, KMET in Los Angeles, WNEW, and others–disc jockeys became the gatekeepers, critics, and gurus of new music. Jocks like Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Jonathan Schwartz, and Neer developed loyal followings and had incredible influence on their listeners and on the early careers of artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Genesis, the Cars, and many others.

Full of fascinating firsthand stories, FM documents the commodification of an iconoclastic phenomenon, revealing how counterculture was coopted and consumed by the mainstream. Richard Neer was an eyewitness to, and participant in, this history. FM is the tale of his exhilarating ride.
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