Rock Robinson

Airchecks from the '60s

Rock Robinson Airchecks

Dedicated to the late Rock Robinson 1919-2013

About this webpage:

Welcome to the webpage for the late Rock Robinson.

If you want a quick listen, the YouTube video is a great 5 minutes. If you have some time, listen to the individual clips. It is an amazing journey into pop culture of what radio was really like in 1960!

Rock Robinson started his radio carrier in Lansing Michigan in 1954. In the spring of 1956 he left Lansing to take a more lucrative radio job in Miami.  He and his wife were on the drive down relocating to Miami stopped in Orlando for the night. Coincidently, the hotel they were staying at was having a radio promotion in the lobby and they thought they would stop in and check it out that evening. At the promotion they happened to meet the owner of the station WHOO and after talking to him for a while, the owner of made him a “better offer” to stay in Orlando and be the premier on-air personality at his radio station. He took it.

In 1969 he left Orlando radio and moved back to Michigan after is father died. A few years later he changed carriers and left radio for good.

A few years ago, when moving from one house to another, I came across some old reel to reel tapes in a seldom-used closet. I made it a mission to find out what was on them. I finally found “two track” reel to reel and found they were exactly what I had hoped for, my dad’s old air checks.

Unfortunately, the tapes were brittle, in mono, recorded at un-calibrated speeds and almost all of the old scotch tape style splices had deteriorated. I transferred everything I could, but I lost quite a bit.  What I could save I restored (I own a mastering studio now) using some of the best digital technology out there today and edited out the music when a song was one we were all familiar with.

When listening to this, keep remembering when this was done and on what kind of equipment.  My dad tells me about how they used one mike and an effects unit with 3 settings that was used for headlines, news and the weather.  In these air-checks, you can hear it click over when they used it. Back then, listeners though there was more than one DJ by using that.

Please direct any questions or comments to [email protected].

Anyway, Enjoy these!

Here is a 5 minute youtube video that is some highlights of the airchecks below. 

A typical morning show opening

Rock Robinson Aircheck 11 - show opening
Rock Robinson

Another morning show opening. I think this is one of the best ones.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 18 - morning show 2
Rock Robinson

Morning show opening song.  Gives you a real feal of the culture of 1960 when it was used.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 03 - jingle
Rock Robinson

Very short Jock station ID for Rock Robinson.

Rock Robinson WHOO jingle

This is a long audio clip of a monning show opening with news and comercials. From the news report, this was in around the end of September 1962.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 12 - morning show
Rock Robinson

Another long clip with comercials and news, Recorded August 29, 1962, with a personal drop from Nat King Cole.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 14 - news nat king cole drop
Rock Robinson

This one really lets know know what technology was like then.  This is an aircheck of the radio station promoting their FM stereo channel that was only broadcasting only four hours a day, two hours at a time.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 02 - stereo
Rock Robinson

This was the news on August 12 1962. All of these tapes were unmarked but I determined it by finding out when Vostok 4 was launch, where they talk about it in the broadcast.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 05 - News
Rock Robinson

Most of the set below is comercials, but that is a great gauge of how pop culture was, what people needed and the prices of things. This looks to be recorded around 1962.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 06 - comercials
Rock Robinson

They had even more crazy contests then, and he is one of them.  If you guessed how many "oinks" the pig would make you won a ham.  If you didn't they gave you a can of Apple sause. 

Rock Robinson Aircheck 13 - pig or applesauce
Rock Robinson

This is a live interview with Movie star Jane Mansfield when she visited Orlando.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 17 - Jane Masfield interview
Rock Robinson

In the very ealy days of WHOO they brockcasted live from Record Mart on Orlando avenue.  This aircheck sounds slower than the others because the reel to reel tape machines that recoded these were often not calebrated and were often at a differnet speeds.  This recoding much earlier than the others here on the site, around 1958.

Rock Robinson Aircheck 15 - live from record store
Rock Robinson