Category Archives: wifi

RIP Alan O’Day

We all (well, all of us of a certain age) have that one 45 RPM single that enticed us into the world of listening to the radio, that one single that we heard and then had to own. For me, and for many of my friends in the summer of 1977, it was “Undercover Angel” by Alan O’Day. I remember first hearing it on WIFI-92 FM and then having to have the single.


Alan O’Day passed away this weekend after a six month battle with brain cancer. He also wrote, among many others, the haunting and enigmatic “Angie Baby” for Helen Reddy. We’ve lost yet another icon of the 1970s.

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Lost Hits of the New Wave #1

“Hey, St. Peter” by Flash and the Pan.

This one-hit wonder tune hit hard in the summer of 1977, and was provided unprecedented airplay on both top 40 and rock radio stations in the Philadelphia area. I recall hearing it exhaustedly on WYSP, WPST, and WIFI, all radio stations now deceased. The band was spun out of The Easybeats and had some success in its native Australia and in the UK.

A self-titled album from Flash and the Pan hit in 1978. Although they never pulled a second hit from it, the record also included “Walking in the Rain,” which Grace Jones would later have her own hit with as a cover. “Hey, St. Peter” was their only US hit.

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An Addendum for WYSP

An addendum, a correction and perhaps a not-so-polite request to get your head out of your ass to WYSP-FM.

Within WYSP’s not-yet-two-hours old new format they have been running interesting bits between the songs.

For instance, the announcer says that on such-and-such a date WMMR played “Heart of Glass” by Blondie. They only play rock on YSP, blah blah blah, etc.

Nice ploy, considering that WMMR and WYSP have been bitter rivals and competitors in the Philadelphia radio market for well over three decades.

The problem with that promotion is that it is, of course, pure bullshit.

Yes, WMMR might very well have played “Heart of Glass” maybe half a dozen times in its history, but if they did, I guarantee it was because WYSP did it first. They did it to keep up.

Anyone who was around in the late seventies and early eighties can easily tell you how it was with WMMR and WYSP. MMR was the dinosaur, playing Grateful Dead, Traffic and Eric Clapton until the cows came home. YSP was the innovator, testing the edge and always at least trying to be progressive. MMR listeners sat in the sun and smoked pot while YSP listeners were out dancing and hitting clubs.

I have tapes made from the radio that prove as much. WYSP played Blondie, they played Adam and the Ants. Also Devo, Talking Heads, the Clash, Elvis Costello, even, ahem, Rick Springfield. I have tape proof, remember? I heard my first Sex Pistols song on WYSP. WYSP was always on the verge of the new.

It was only when WIFI 92 changed from top 40 to new wave in 1982 that WMMR decided it had better get in gear and pay attention because music had changed. But before then, it was all WYSP.

So, WYSP, do your homework and quit lying to the public. And maybe if you did start playing some of that music you used to play circa 1980, more folks would listen.

Cyndy Drue, where are you now that we need you?

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