Tuesday, June 6, 2017
FM Rock: October 1967
WOR-FM in New York City had been inching toward a freeform format for a number of months but it was in October of '67 that WNEW-FM adopted the new progressive rock underground format focusing on album cuts instead of hit singles. Right before WNEW's switch, they had stumbled on a unique gimmick by using only female on-air personalities playing standard pop/easy listening records and marketing themselves as "sexpot radio", one of these women was Alison Steele. She was the only person that stayed on after the switch to a progressive format and she adopted the moniker "The Nightbird" taking over the overnight programming hours. She always opened her show by reciting "The flutter of wings, the shadow across the moon, the sounds of the night, as the Nightbird spreads her wings and soars, above the earth, into another level of comprehension, where we exist only to feel. Come, fly with me, Alison Steele, the Nightbird, at WNEW-FM, until dawn." Now with both coasts having flagship progressive stations which were becoming increasingly successful, it became inevitable that other major markets would soon follow suit.