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Fan devotes Web site to KQV's Top 40 days

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

By Adrian McCoy

Many baby boomers who grew up here will remember this scenario from their youth: hanging out Downtown, nose pressed against the window at 7th and Smithfield, watching the Top 40 DJs at work at KQV-AM (1410) or, as it was called back then, "groovy QV."

One kid who logged lots of time at the KQV studio window was Jeff Roteman, for whom the experience inspired a love of radio and now, a comprehensive station history Web site.

"I fell in love with radio watching them work," Roteman says of the time spent watching live radio through the studio window.

Audio Samples

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Jeff Roteman's KQV web site has a large archive of audio samples from the heydey of Top 40 AM radio in Pittsburgh. Some highlights include:

An aircheck by disc jockey Jeff Christie. The voice may sound familiar to modern talk radio fans, Jeff Christie is better known as Rush Limbaugh.

There is a nearly four minute long episode of Turkey Man

Chuck Brinkman introduces the top 40 songs from the KQV Survey of 1967 (only a couple of bars from each of the songs are included)

You can hear the classic "Groovy QV" promo on the jingles page.

Jeff Roteman's KQV web site is at http://14kqv.musicpage.com/

Roteman, 50, grew up in the Penn Hills and Monroeville area. He used to ride around on his bike with a transistor radio strapped to the handlebars, listening to the station. He religiously collected KQV airplay surveys, until a girlfriend threw them away. In the process of rebuilding the collection, he decided to put it on the Internet for the whole planet to see. The KQV site went online in 1996 and has been growing since. "It's been a labor of love."

Not surprisingly, Roteman ended up working in radio. He's music director and evening host at WIKZ-FM in Chambersburg/Hagerstown, working under the name J.P. McCartney.

A visit to Roteman's KQV Web site -- http://14kqv.musicpage.com -- is a walk down memory lane for people who remember the station in its previous incarnation as a Top 40 format. The site isn't affiliated in any way with the current all-news KQV.

KDKA-AM played music back then and ruled the ratings, but KQV's disc jockeys and high-energy sound also drew loyal listeners. It was home to a lot of local radio talent -- some of whom we still hear today. In their pre-political talk phases, WRRK-FM morning host Jim Quinn worked there as a night DJ, as did syndicated Rush Limbaugh, under the name Jeff Christie. Radio legend Porky Chedwick did a weekend show there in the early '70s.

Other notable broadcasting figures passed through over the years, including the late Bill Burns, Bob Prince and Al Julius.

The site contains a large collection of vintage audio/airchecks featuring many of the station's DJs -- Chuck Brinkman, Fred Winston, Dave Scott, George Hart, Hal Murray, Bob DeCarlo, Quinn and Christie/Limbaugh. There's a where-are-they-now section with information on past disc jockeys.

Roteman has tracked down lots of recorded station jingles, plus hit surveys from 1958 to 1975.

Beatles fans will find a list of the band's hits and the number of weeks in the local charts, from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to "The Long and Winding Road."

A detailed timeline traces the station's history from when it signed on in 1919 through 1975, when it made the switch to an all-news format.

There's a photo gallery, plus wallpaper for computer screens picturing different station logos.

Roteman also has created smaller sites for two other Pittsburgh stations past -- WTAE-AM, at http://1250wtae.musicpage.com, and WKPQ-AM, better known as 13Q, at http://13q.musicpage.com.

The WTAE site is devoted to the station's 1970s adult contemporary format and includes airchecks by morning team Larry O'Brien and John Garry, and by Larry Richert, who's now KDKA's morning host. It also has a section about former FM sister station WTAE-FM (96KX).

13Q was a '70s Top 40 upstart that came along to give KQV a run for its money. It launched one of the first big radio money giveaways, which had people all over town answering their telephones with the words "I listen to the new sound of 13Q."

Roteman is continually adding to the sites and is looking for any station memorabilia, such as tapes and airchecks, photographs, hit surveys and current information on DJs. He can be contacted by mail at 27 Brian Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013, or by e-mail at ejjeff@pa.net.

Adrian McCoy is a free-lance writer who covers radio for the Post-Gazette.

Correction/Clarification: (Published Aug. 23, 2002) Radio station KQV signed on as 8ZAE in November 1919 but didn't become known by the call letters KQV until 1921. It was licensed by the FCC in January 1922. A story in Wednesday's editions may have suggested that the station began operations under those call letters at an earlier date.

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