Articles

Remembering 'RVR

A grass-roots effort, unsuccessful in its application to the FCC, tried to save the WRVR format for New York City.  When the music changed, WRVR became a memory.  

Add to this list: do you have web links, pictures, ephemera from WRVR in the 70s?  
How about your memories of WRVR?
Email please and contribute to this web site.

Here are some of those remembrances:

 


 

WRVR-FM, New York - This was my main jazz radio station from the time I became obsessed by jazz music
(1976) until the walls came tumbling down in late 1980 when, without warning, the announcer 
played a jazz piece just before midnight, and then followed with a country song just after midnight, 
with the station now called WKHK. WRVR's call letters apparently started in 1961 as Riverside Radio, 
with ownership by Riverside Church, whose religious services were covered on Sunday mornings. 
When I started listening, the announcer lineup was powerful, including Max Cole in the early afternoon, 
Les Davis, Knicks basketball player Spencer Haywood during the weekend, and Zulema (sp?)  on the 
weekend. The station moved from playing plenty of hard-hitting jazz, to losing its edge more and more 
as it approached its own death in late 1980.

Jon Katz, Maryland criminal defense lawyer (www.markskatz.com/crimdefense.htm)


Hello:

I was having a bit of remembrance the other night and I thought about

 

 

all the wonderful big band jazz that 
Ed Beech played on WRVR. At the time, I lived in NJ during the early 1970s(?). In any event, I would like to 
get an audio tape
of his program if anybody had the foresight to record him. Thanks for any help you can 
provide.

Richard, Napa, CA      fogsf @ sbcglobal .net

Ed. note: If you can help Richard out, email him directly.  Be sure to copy his email address and remove all spaces before sending.


It's nice to see folks remember this great Jazz radio station. I first started listening to WRVR around 1974. 
It was my musical mainstay. The station provided you with new and old. You could here Duke and Louis on 
some shows, and Chick and Herbie on others. Jazz-rock fusion wouldn't have got the boost in 1970's without 
stations like WRVR. I still somewhat recall when it when off the air. It was 1980, right after Labor Day. It 
was either a Saturday or Sunday morning in early September when I heard Les Davis say "here's one from 
Johnny Cash." I thought I was still drunk from the night before, but I wasn't. In a week or so all of the 
station jocks were replaced, but who cared. I wasn't listening anyway. It was so sudden, a real ambush 
job, and a dark day for jazz fans in New York.

Smitty


My memories of WRVR are of being in my high school jazz band (Trumpet) Connetquot High School 
(Bohemia, Long Island) and listening to the station from about 11:00pm till about 1 or 2:00am while I mentally 
wrestled with the choice of whether to pursue Graphic Arts or Music Education. Luckily the day I interviewed
for F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) the two representatives from the school were complete losers. I 
subsequently chose to attend Berklee College of Music and graduated in 1983. I am currently Teaching music 
in Westborough, MA since 1989. I still play trumpet. mostly Trumpet and Organ (weddings) and also in a Motown, 
R&B band which includes two teachers a police officer an EMT a nutritionist and a HVAC specialist. We all still 
love Jazz, but play classic rock R&B at our twice monthly gigs. I love that I found this Website! I remember 
Hershel's voice vividly.... This station was my musical savior at a time when disco and all other rock stations 
were playing down to the "ignorance" of musical consumers. I was introduced to the late Trumpeter Woody 
Shaw on WRVR and have been a Jazz follower ever since!

Paul Tomashefsky - Massachusetts


What a great site! What a great idea. You can't imagine how alive that radio station IS. I went to get some 
photographs reproduced about a year ago. The guy behind the counter looked at my name and said, "Batt Johnson? 
From RVR?" That is some twenty-three years later.

I have one correction for now with more to follow. Batt Johnson was the first speaking voice on the country station 
(WKHK) that replaced WRVR. John Brejot, the new music director from Texas was on the air just playing music 
without talk. The last jazz song to air was Charles Mingus' "Good-bye Pork Pie Hat." The first country song was 
Waylon Jennings "Are You Ready For The Country." This happened about 10AM September 8th, 1980. As we filed out 
|of a large staff meeting next door at the auditorium of the elementry school with all of the people of WWRL-AM 
and WRVR-FM, there was a large light blue moving van parked outside. They were loading all of the jazz records 
(LPs) into it. Jaws were dropping onto the sidewalk, hearts were breaking and tears were flowing. I entered the 
studio and saw ALL of the phone lights flashing as John continued to play songs without saying a word. He handed 
the studio over to me. I took the microphone and did a back-announce of the previous country songs heard as if 
nothing had happened. I didn't DARE answer ANY of those calls coming in. What was I going to say anyway? I know 
that EVERY SINGLE PERSON on those lines had the same question..."What the____happened?" The rest as they say...

Thanks for listening then, thanks for reading now.

Batt Johnson 06-16-04


I wrote an article about the old RVR -- and specifically about the great Ed Beach -- in RADIO and RECORDS 
a year or so ago. Ed lives in Eugene, OR, and thousands of hours of his JUST JAZZ shows are now owned by 
and available from the Library of Congress in DC. 

See my web site, http://home.comcast.net/~willlayman/wsb/html/view.cgi-html2.html--SiteID-1258407.html,
to read about Ed.

Will Layman 07-2004


Hello and thanks for the wonderful page devoted to WRVR. I have a lot of memories of WRVR, mainly from 1979-80 
when my family moved to Long Island. I even have some recordings of a few songs that I will try to convert to mp3. 
I was a big fan of Steely Dan, who were recording in NYC during this time, and I was always calling 'RVR to request 
one of their songs to be squeezed in. The dj's, especially Les Davis, always managed to play the song. 'RVR was very 
experimental towards the end, I remember hearing Hendrix mixed in, also Stevie Wonder. It was a great time for jazz 
crossover music and that niche really died when 'RVR went off the air. They actually left the air at 12 noon, because 
I listened to Les Davis that morning (Sept 8, 1980) before heading off to school. When I got home I remember 
thinking....whoa...bad reception, all I am getting is some country station! All of the dj's at 'RVR were great and 
friendly...I remember Batt Johnson alright, great voice, anyone remember the beautiful Pat Prescott!

Stephen Vincent O`Rourke   07-2004


ALL HAIL WRVR. I was 19 when I was introduced to jazz by WRVR. I, too, remember the day it "went off the air."
Over the years, I keep up with my favorite spinners -- Pat Prescott and Les Davis specifically. I've lost track of
Les, though. Do you know anything about his whereabouts? If he's still in radio -- jazz or otherwise? Is he still alive?
I know at one point, he was doing a "Live At/From Greenstreet" long ago. Done an internet search and only get
old news. Pat does a show with Dave Koz at 94.7FM. If you know anything about Les, please let me know at e-mail.

By the way, nice site.

T.R. Clark  10-2004


I grew up in the South. White boy from Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1972 at age 14 we moved to Long Island
when my dad, a sportswriter, took a job at the New York Times. Went to Uniondale HS and played clawhammer
banjo (was a hick from Tennessee thing).

Jazz became my passion and RVR was the main reason. I really miss Van J (I think the J stood for jaw).
Sure wish I could find the recording of Hallelujah Time the guys used as an intro for one of the shows.

Mike Searcy (Dandridge, Tennessee)  11-2004


During the seventies & early eighties while living in Manhattan I couldn't begin a day without the wit of
Les Davis & Roberta Altman on current events.

I have yet to hear radio that comes close to the play list RVR, topshelf.

How I mourned after the shock that morning to hear...country music.  As a young budding Art Director I'd been
asked to design a logo for a new "jazz" station a few years later.

Though the station is still alive and quite well I would probably respond in the same fashion...
"I can't design anything that isn't what it is and cd101.9 is NOT jazz.

WBGO was always there, or beginning to be but in New Jersey. WKCR there also though I hadn't wanted earn
a degree while listening.

WRVR was the best and only representation of what a New York jazz station should be. A finger on the pulse
of a true, progressive jazz aficionado.

Much love,
Joanne Jubert  01-2005


GOD BLESS YOU !!!! 'RVR was my most important music teacher.
And just in the last couple of days I have had conversations with fellow musicians about that great station
and how much we miss it and the impact it had on us. Thank you for putting this together. I was brought
to tears listening to the MP3 aircheck you have posted. If you have more of these, please tell me how I
could possibly get them from you.

Peace and blessings, Zo-

Alonzo Wright  02-2005


I have fond memories of WRVR, not just as a listener but as a musician who got musical support from this
station. I remember calling up Les Davis and asking him to play a tune and he's play it within 10 minutes.
I also remember working at the now defunct Green Street restaurant.  Les did a remote show from the
restaurant. With a moments notice of walking up those steps just to say hello, I was on the air doing an
interview.  WRVR was about exploring different facets of this music called jazz, not just playing the
same stuff over and over again, from straight ahead to contemporary to Brazilian, from Chick Corea
to Chuck Mangione, Herbie Hancock to Dave Grusin, Miles Davis to Ronnie Laws. The first years of
CD101.9 attempted to carry on a tradition set forth by WRVR.  Unfortunately it lasted for a brief
while.  Right now it isn't even a shadow of what it was like then. When a station that use to be so
vibrant, loses that, there is no where to go, nothing to say. I miss WRVR and the air personalities
that brought life and spontaneity to the table. I am forever thankful to have been a part of that history.

Onaje Allan Gumbs/ pianist,composer,arranger,producer   02-2005


"The Sunday Salsa Show" con Roger "Rogelio" Dawson was like going to church. I lived in NYC on 45th St.
in Manhattan and would walk to Central Park with my radio and listen to the unbelievable sounds.

At midnight I would listen to new releases "uninterrupted" from an eclectic mix of artists and genres
like Angie Bofill, Passport, Dave Valentin.....it was great!

The music was fresh, electronics were evolving and the sounds, although heard before, sounded new
and different. Very gratifying and diverse musical points of view.

WRVR, by way of it's Sunday Salsa Show, introduced me to a world of music which I began to understand,
and actively pursue because of the way the DJ's presented the music, the artists, and the genres. The
introductions and studio interviews, the "on location" shows, the venues, these were all a new world of
enlightenment to which this native born Puerto Rican was now hooked.

There was a very personal aspect to the way WRVR engaged their audience and challenged them to prove
their knowledge of music with contests. I remember winning a pair of tickets to see the Jeff Lorber Fusion
with a member named Kenny Gorelick, now known as Kenny G, in New Jersey.

I guess longevity is the ultimate test of quality, and the fact this site exists is a testament to the positive
impact that WRVR made with it's listeners, as well as the people involved with it's development and
success. It sure was a great time in music for me and I'm grateful for the education WRVR provided.

Hopefully, all of the alumni on both the giving and receiving sides are doing well and able to see that
their sentiments are shared by many others who grew up in the NYC area.

Keep the music playing and make sure it's got plenty of SALSA!

Angel Matos  02-2005


Someone on your site mentions wondering what became of Les Davis. I assume "everyone" now knows he
has a daily show on Sirius satellite radio. Before that, a Google search reveals he had a show on Japanese
(!) radio (I would assume done remotely).

Charles 04-2005
The Sea Ranch, CA


WRVR was one of a kind and I enjoyed listening in the mid 70's. I'm wondering if anyone knows who did
the ID jingles that ran on 'RVR circa 1974? Better yet... does anyone have a dub of the cuts in the clear?

Don 05-2005
Lakewood, OH


I remember WRVR 106.7 like it was yesterday. No station in the Greater New York City metropolitan area
was playing anything remotely comparable in the late 1970s.  Although I was very young, still in high school
as a matter of fact, WRVR was my first commercial exposure to cutting edge Jazz. I had heard Jazz
practically all of my life, and was in the high school Jazz band. So, I had more than a passing conversance
with the music. No commercial radio stations were playing Jazz fusion in the late 1970s, though, which
probably accounts for its critical acclaim but commercial failure. Nevertheless, Chick Corea,
Return To Forever, Jon Luc Ponty, Noel Pointer, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Pat Methany, The Jazz  Crusaders,
and a veritable slew of lesser known musicians either got their start or had their music exposed to a
broader audience by WRVR 106.7. The music is so intellectual, though, it will probably never garner the
commercial sucess as genres such as Hip Hop, R & B, Rock, and even Contemporary Gospel. I sure do
miss the music, and the progressive programming made famous by WRVR 106.7. CD 101.9 is but a poor
facsimile. . .

Dennis 05-2005


Great web site. I was an avid listener to WNEW-FM almost from the beginning in October, 1967 with Rosko
and Jonathan Schwartz.  After nearly falling off my chair after listening to John McLaughlin in early 1973,
I switched to jazz fusion and turned on to WRVR and Les Davis. It was a sad day when they switched to
country music. After that  I soured on the whole commercial radio experience and now all I listen to AM talk
radio. CD-101 plays the worst elevator music there is. No creativity or guts to play some hard driving jazz
fusion. What a sad commentary.

Keith Lazan  06-2005


Hey there, great to see a site dedicated to WRVR. It was my brother who turned  me on to the station in
1979.  I was only 13 years old but loved progressive jazz and fusion at the time. I have a cassette tape
from 1980 of WRVR. If you want I can transfer it to a CDR and send it to you. Let me know.

Thanks!

David 08-2005

Ed. note: We've asked David for his aircheck, and when we receive it, we'll post it!


So Great that you have an article about WRVR and  especially  Les Davis on your site.
I have such great memories of Les' shows. When I was in 3rd grade I  got hooked on Les' show on WRVR.
His program introduced me to Bird and inspired me to take up playing the saxophone. I have
recordings  of Dizzy live and a band called Flying Island that I got  with my boom  box back in 1978
from his show. Flying Island used to camp out at our house and played in the room above our garage.
Les was  ssooooo large.

Robert 09-2005
Grand Haven, MI


I moved to New York from the Caribbean in 1982  and got to know Les Davis through Radio. Les helped
shape my understanding of Jazz. I now teach music in Florida and I often think of Les, the magic and
wealth of knowledge he brought to this music.  Question: Where is Les Davis is he still in radio?
Jazz needs him!

Anthony 11-2005


I was introduced to WRVR in 1977. I always loved jazz but  it took the RVR commercial format to get me
to really become a customer of the music. I don't know if it makes any sense but when  I'd listen to some
of the other stations that played jazz, I'd listen but it didn't prompt me to go to clubs or buy records.
It was as though the music was presented in an "academic" or some sort of  "objective" studied format.
I'd guess offhand that of the several hundred jazz LP's I have the vast majority of those purchases was
because I heard a song from the record on WRVR. I really miss the station. Even now, 26 years later
I still wish I could find a station that plays Jazz in the artful, enjoyable and yet commercial style that
WRVR did. I really miss WRVR.

Brendan 2-2006


Hello.

I just thought it important to tell you that at 5:30am, Sunday July 16, 2006; Max Cole died of complications from
lung cancer. He was 90 years old. Memorial service to be announced.

Many thanks.  Kevin S.  7-2006

Ed note: Max was the Voice of Riverside Church and voiced the Sunday Worship services as well as being the
"jazz impresario" for "Just Jazz" and "More Jazz" on WRVR's earlier incarnation.  A tribute to the service Max
gave to the church is at
http://www.theriversidechurchny.org/news/article.php?id=83

Thanks, Kevin.  -LL


As far as I am concerned...jazz died when WRVR went off the air. I program my own format of jazz after the
format of WRVR. I now live in Tampa, Fl. and I am trying to open a jazz restaurant in the downtown area of Tampa.

Smooth jazz just does not play the variety of songs that WRVR used to play. I am tired of hearing the same songs
on all the smooth jazz formats. I now give away my sampler cd and people love the selections I have chose.

WRVR lives forever in my heart. it was good that after the station went off of the air, Les Davis still provided
the same format from the Green St Cafe. if you would like a cd....let me know.

my format is simple.

old jazz, new jazz, Latin jazz, jazzy love songs, and something jazzy you can dance too. i.e.: Grover
Washington Jr's track.....Check Out Grover.

The music I play is in tribute to WRVR-FM, New York.  What ever happened to Les Davis?

Ric L.  7-2006


A great site for WRVR! I was a huge fan of WRVR in 1977-1980, and that is how I discovered jazz music
at the age of 13! I also remember that sad day when I turned on my stereo and heard country on 106.7.

I was wondering if you or anyone had any interesting ephemera from WRVR for sale. I recall years ago
they sold T-shirts when the station still had it's jazz format. However, it would be neat to have a poster
or something, or even a repro of a poster would be interesting. Couldn't find anything on ebay, however.

Let me know if you know of anything, I would be very interested.

Cheers, Patrick Jeffery  10-2006

Ed. note: if you can help out Patrick in his search for WRVR-related material, let me know and I'll pass it along!


I was a freshman at college. My mom had sent me a letter with the newspaper clipping that said RVR
had switched formats. I cried.

I now listen to pandora.com on the internet. I have tried to create a station with many of the artists
that used to play on WRVR. You can also listen to this new, online version of WRVR

http://www.pandora.com/?sc=sh99114792788516495

Enjoy!

Don't cry!

Jeff in Connecticut   10-2006

Ed. note: Pandora is a great experiment and Jeff's station deserves a listen!


What's the liquidation process when a jazz radio station goes off the air (what happens to the music collections?
who can purchase? how to best handle the details, etc)?

My interest in going forward with locating jazz station collections is strictly from a commercial standpoint and
therefore beyond the jazz fan level. It may involve rewriting the posting along the lines of a newspaper
want ad: Buyer seeking to liquidate jazz station music libraries. Please send details to jking101 @ cox.net
for consideration.

Thanks for your input/suggestions.

Jon King 2-2007

Ed. note: Can someone help Jon, if so, contact Jon directly; copy and paste his email and remove any spaces.


I remember WRVR when it was a non-commercial radio station located at the Riverside Church in the city of New York. The
non-commercial status would last through the '1960s.

In the early '70s, it was believed that WRVR would become the National Public Radio (NPR) station in New York but WNYC,
a station which at the time was owned by the city, became the affiliate of the network.

WRVR became a commercial station. The transmitter was moved from the church to the Empire State Building and they
began broadcasting a format of talk part time and jazz throughout the night and a good deal of the weekend.  Max Cole,
Ed Beach and I believe Les Davis were all on the station at that time.

In 1974, WRVR went jazz 22 hours a day. RVR Evening, the station's news program was retained for a while.

It was a true shock in September of 1980 when the format changed to country and the call letters became WKHK.  I was
dialing around that afternoon and when I heard country music on 106.7 FM, I got lost as to where I was on the dial.
It was amazing.

I want to thank you for this tribute site and everyone who ever worked at RVR for giving us years of wonderful radio
and turning so many on to great music. We will never forget this radio station and what it meant to so many people.

Larry Stoler  2-2007


My fondest memory was entering WRVR's Big Man Contest in 1976. It was in commemoration of the great Cannonball
Adderley. As the youngest recipient in the group of winners (19 years of age), I felt so sophisticated to be among the
ranks of jazz aficionados. Much of what I learned about this music was gained from hours of pleasurable listening,
particularly to Les Davis. I almost passed out after meeting and witnessing him read something I wrote on the air.
The whole event was a an intense thrill-fest. There was a photograph taken of the winners inside The Village Gate.
I would be so grateful to get a copy of that picture or knowledge about how to search for it. Also, how can Les
Davis be reached?

Barbara L. Gardner  2-2007
New Jersey

Ed. note: Les Davis is one of the hosts on the Sirus satellite network on channel 72, Pure Jazz.  Check out
his bio at
www.sirius.com and you'll find his email address there too.  If anyone has the picture Barbara is
talking about,
contact me and I'll put you in touch with her!


Thank you for your site. I found it doing a Yahoo! search. I live in Delaware now but I'm born and raised in Brooklyn NY.
I grew up on WRVR since December 1978. I used to listen to WRVR 24/7. When I joined the Army in 81 and got my 1st
stereo, I wrote on the front of all my albums WRVR 106.7 fm NYC. That was to keep their memory alive. I still have
those albums and no working turntables, lol, 3 are sitting and I keep saying one day lol. I use to record my cassette
tapes to sound like WRVR and even dj'ed on a radio station when I was stationed in Turkey and played what I used
to hear on WRVR. Now all I have to do is learn from my teenage daughters how to download on a iPod . God bless.

Raymond Shellow  6-2007
Delaware


I was continuity director from 1977 through 1979. Carol Goldfarb hired me...she was the General Manager's Gal Friday
(now there's a term I bet you haven't heard in awhile...) The program director at that time was Dennis Waters. I
worked closely with the copywriter, Robert Kraft. He is now the President of FoxMusic in CA.
This was a perfect environment...was sorry to see it fold and become country and western. We worked with a
great group of talented people. Great to hear Les is still on the air...wonder what happened to his A.M. drive
side-kick Roberta?

Adrienne Wilkins (aka Jones)  6-2007

Ed. note: see the post from Darlene a few posts down; she talks about what happened to Roberta.


I just found this site...WRVR literally was 2 and a half blocks from where I still live. I used to listen to that station
all the time. What memories. Eventually I went to work for WNEW AM but until WRVR went off the air, I continued
to listen to it..and I have to say I have the pleasure of meeting and working with Batt Johnson and Les Davis.

Glenn Crespo 6-2009


 

RVR is STILL alive. Hahahahahaha! It's amazing how many people that radio station touched. People used to come from
Europe and Japan to record it.
Amazing!

Batt Johnson-The Old WRVR 6-2009


During the mid to late 70's as a member of the World Famed Grambling Tiger Marching Band, I, along with over 150 of my fellow
band members would travel to New York every year to support our football team when they annually mopped up the Yankee
Stadium field with Morgan State in the annual Whitney Young Classic in Yankee Stadium. And the only radio station we listened
to was WRVR. Obviously one of the best jazz stations in the country. I learned about the station when one of my Grambling
classmates, from the Bronx,when he was home for the summer, would record cassete tapes of the station to listen to, to keep
him from being homesick. Of course, he let me copy the tape. I can't tell you how many albums I bought off that tape. One of
the songs played on that WRVR tape was Wayne Shorter's album, Speak No Evil. That album is still in my collection today.
When another New Yorker told me that they changed their format to Country and Western, I couldn't believe it. I just wanted
to let you know that there are still some WRVR jazz fans still out there.

Maurice W. Buck, Jr.  7-2009


Dear Master,

it is a fitting title...I was there in 1976 when Herschel came to NYC from PA.... We met first at the old Riverside location.
I remember myself a young recording engineer going to the studio in the evening.  I rang the bell not knowing what to expect
and there was this guy running up to open the door. Out pops this white kid with this huge afro bigger than mine and that
was the beginning of a friendship.  I went on with them to the new location in Woodside NY. Many nights Herschel and I
spent at the studio and around town in places like Mikell's & The Gate. Wow, man he was there when my daughter was born.
it almost happened backstage at the Al Jarreau concert, Sept 25th 1977......I have lost track of him in 1981.  Do you know
where he is now? Any how, I would love if we could make an arrangement to send me WHATEVER you have on tape or
otherwise. I miss that station and those folks.

thanks

Vic......NYC   7-2009


I still have my program from the "Jam to Save Jazz Radio" at the Beacon on Nov 17,1975. What a lineup played that night, amazing, looking back over it, Art Blakey, Ron Carter, Larry Coryell, Illinois Jacquet, Hubert Laws . . . MAX ROACH! The show went on for hours and hours and ended way too quickly. At the time I was making virtually no money so it can't have cost more than 25 bucks a ticket and that was probably a stretch for us at the time. I guess the plan to save jazz radio worked for five years, but that hurt when it ended.

But it was a show, and a radio station, I will never forget, glad to see others think the same thing. We are blessed, here in New Jersey, with a terrific Jazz station, WBGO, but it's not the same. Then again, what is . . .?

David Shaw 7-2009


In answer to some of the question asked by fellow lovers of WRVR, the Hallelujah Time theme song is by Woody Herman on the
Phillips label.

Roberta Altman passed away in the late nineties. She had a long  struggle with various cancers and she fought bravely to live her life
as normally as possible for many years.

Darlene
Henderson, NV  7-2009


What a fine that is dear to my heart. WRVR! Les Davis! What can I say? The great jazz played on WRVR, and Les Davis
incredible knowledge and voice came to mind today as it has every now and then since that confusing day WRVR went country. I goggled for the first time and what do I fine? A reunion! I started listening to WRVR in the early 70s. I recalled screaming, after Les disappeared from the dial "Les where are you?" My memory must be a little jarred because I could swear that it was in the wee early morning before 10AM that Les disappeared and country came from nowhere. I will never forget that morning. To fine this site was a blessing. I feel as if I've walked into WRVR family reunion a little late. How I love the station. It was an experience that touch the mind, and spirit. I mourned like a woman whose lover left without giving her a warning or sending a post card. Still, there are the wonderful memories of the great programming featuring, Earl Klugh, Bob James, Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Jon Lucien, Pharaoh Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith, Phyllis Hyman, Donald Byrd, David Sanborn, Chuck Mangione and Bobbi Humphrey's "Harlem River Drive" to name a few. Great
memories. How could I forget the ritual of many nights looking down on darling son who had fell asleep on the floor next to the chair that I sat on as I typed notes on a IBM Selective and listening to WRVR --the background for all of my thoughts, jazz. The mood in my castle lost something dear.

Thank for this site, love and dittos the spirit of all the comments

Bonnie    9-2009


I has posted on here a few years ago...I just want to let the loyal fans of WRVR FM know, that I will be co-hosting a Jazz show here in
Tampa,Fl. The show will air on Sunday November 1,2009 from 8-10 P.M.  The show is in memory of WRVR. The show will feature some of the artist that I
remember from the days of WRVR FM. I tell people all the time about the last Jazz station in N.Y.C. and how my format is for Jazz Lovers.
I will play a little bit of all types of Jazz. I hope the WRVR fans will listen...if you miss the show you can always go to WMNF.ORG and find the show. The show is called The Sunday Jazz Clinic...the shows date will be November 1, 2009.
Long live the memory of WRVR FM.
Long live Jazz.

My Tribute to the last Jazz station in NY City, WRVR FM is going to air tonight November 1, 2009, from 8pm to 10pm. EST
For those of you in the Tampa Bay Area the show will be on WMNF FM 88.5
And for those of you that will listen online the website is
www.wmnf.org.  The show is called The Sunday Jazz Clinic.
Hope you catch the show...if not you can always listen online later, just find the date for The Sunday Jazz Clinic on 11/1/09,
and follow the instructions.

Ric Lopez   10-2009


I am surprised to find no mention of Ed Beach whose show on WRVR, "Just Jazz with Ed Beach" was so wonderful.

Ed Beach's "Just Jazz" features all the Jazz Greats now on CD!

These recorded radio broadcasts feature many of the greatest Jazz artists of the 20th century, and all are presented by
the famous, jazz radio announcer and lover of this music who has all the dates, places, leaders and sidemen, important
and informative historical information as well as entertaining anecdotes related to the times, the music and the artists.
All shows are commercial free and now available on CD. Some two hour shows and some 4 hours! For a complete list
of available shows, write to me. These are a treasure to be savored over and over; timeless!

For further information contact:

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I was listening to "Summer Madness" by Kool & The Gang on WRVR on May 15th 1975 and thought it was "kool" so I pressed the record button on the built in tape player on my stereo and got most of it.  Boy was I glad I did.

Right after "Summer Madness" they segued into another great instrumental that started with quick, high piano runs and turned into a powerful guitar piece when all of a sudden they turned down the volume and an announcer interrupted.  I forget who it was but he was out of breath probably from running down the hall to get the news flash on the air as soon as possible that President Ford had just announced that the Mayaguez crew had been released.  (The Mayaguez incident off Cambodia marked the last official battle of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.)

Anyway, it was a relatively quick interruption and then they turned the volume back up just as this fantastic instrumental went into its 2nd movement changing to a faster tempo again with quicker piano lines and then more guitar.  I had been recording the station so I got all this on tape and had this and several other things off the radio from that month in '75 for about 20 years until I lost the tape during a move.  But I have never heard that piece of music since and haven't been able to even find out who it was or what it was.

Do you know anyone who might have recordings from that day or at least a list of what they played on that day - I believe it was May 15, 1975. 
I thought maybe the Museum of Television & Radio might have something, but I'm in Texas now and the song still haunts me almost 35 years later.

Mike   11-2009
Ed note: If anyone can help out Mike, either post it here or write to me and I'll pass it on to Mike.


WRVR- part of my cultural dna. Some people thought you became too "fusiony", who knows. Straight ahead jazz-limited audience-sad-fusion
had a limited shelf life.  You may post my e-mail on the site if you wish,  I'd like to correspond with you and other visitors.

Austin  1-2010
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I discovered WRVR when I went to Rutgers in 1979 and quickly became a fanatic. Do you have any playlists from 1979 or the early eighties? There's one song I still remember perfectly from thirty years ago and would love to track it down. I'm hoping if I see the title it'll jog my memory.

Many thanks.

Richard  1-2010
Ed note: If anyone knows of a playlist or Metropolitan Report from 1979 and can help Richard, write to me and I'll pass it along.

 


I thought I was the only one. When RVR went down I was devastated. It station changed me in 2 ways, the 1st & last times I heard it. I could go on & on about the music I was turned on to. You all know that, but my horror was that this was a new york station!!! WHO'S BRIGHT IDEA WAS TO MAKE IT A COUNTRY FORMAT!!!!!!! Osama Bin Laden!!!!!!!!!

Mike  5-2011

 


 

I was a huge RVR fan in the 1970's and was listening one morning in the car on my way to school. As I rounded the corner on 1st Street in Newark coming off of Rte 280 East, the next cut that they played was a Country tune and I thought my radio malfunctioned! Seriously..... I actually thought something happened to my radio!

I soon learned that the format was changed without announcement to the audience and I was listening at that moment! I was uber upset! SO upset!!

It's pretty amazing that I still remember exactly where I was when it happened 31 years ago! I've told the story to several friends over the years. It was a moment that is frozen in my mind.

Can you tell me the date (and time) of that moment in my memory?

Greg  5-2011

Ed note: around 10am September 8, 1980.  Thanks to Batt Johnson for this information for Greg!

 

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