Friday, August 12, 2005
Plain Dealer Columnist
But to really flip the time machine to the days of top-40 AM radio, Ray Glasser has the place for you.
Glasser, who lives in Mentor, presides over wixy1260.com -- a "tribute" site to WIXY, the AM rocker that ruled Cleveland radio for most of its 10 years on the air.
He built the site a couple of months ago from his massive collection of tapes and memorabilia. It has audio clips of music shows, news and jingles, "Super Sixty" record charts and more.
"I've seen many radio tribute sites," he said, "and thought it was time that WIXY had its own, even if I had to create it" -- and even if his personal favorite in those days was CKLW.
He traces his interest in music and radio to 1960, when he was 12. A neighbor who worked for a local station asked if Glasser and three friends wanted to start their own station with spare equipment. They did.
The station was called WMFH, for Mayfield Heights, where we lived," Glasser said. "I never thought of it as a pirate.' We called it a student station. We broadcast on phone lines, somehow went out over the air, and you could pick it up for a few miles if you'd turn the radio just the right way."
The broadcasts ended when school opened that fall.
"But it's been in my blood since then," Glasser said.
He's strictly a fan.
Broadcasting didn't look like a reliable way to make a living, even though he majored in radio and television at Ohio State University, where he once worked three part-time, nonpaying radio jobs. So he found a career in food services after college and the Air Force and kept listening and taping as a hobby.
Top-40 AM radio isn't his only "lost" specialty. He's nationally known as a collector and expert on Beta video as the keeper of betainfoguide.com.
Site-hosting rules don't allow him to make money from his WIXY site. He just enjoys hearing from people who worked at the station, getting new material from other collectors and having visitors tell him it brings back "a time when listening to radio was actually fun, which is pretty well gone."
Not that he spends time pining for it.
"I listen to satellite," he said.
Copyright 2005, The Plain Dealer.