TNTS History

CURRENTLY on WMPG: The Night Train Show is currently on-the-air at WMPG every Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 pm.  Plus, Bill & Rockin’ Rick are often in Dj-sub mode at WMPG, so check the “Upcoming Shows” page on this web site often so that you won’t miss your Dynamic Duo.  On Saturday’s, you will hear a weekly unique chapter from The History of Rock & Roll. In Dj-sub mode, you may hear 1) New Blues, 2) Vintage Blues, 3) Rock-A-Billy, 4) Vintage Reggae, 5) Broadway Showtunes, 6) Jazz or 7) Vintage Country & Western Tunes.

HISTORY & MEMORIES: The Night Train began its musical journey on the Monday evening of February 5, 2001, when it embarked on its inaugural trip through The History of Rock & Roll on WBOR (91.1 FM from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine). From 2001 through 2020, The Night Train has time-warped back through the first 40 years of the Rock & Roll era on a weekly basis, allowing its listeners to experience the Golden Age of Top 40 AM radio – but, on the better-sounding, stereo FM radio dial!

Origins: Since February of 2001, The Night Train Show has enjoyed various time slots at: 1) WBOR (91.1 FM from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, USA), 2) WRBC (91.5 FM from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, USA) and 3) WMPG (90.9 FM from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine, USA). After a recent 13-month hiatus to overhaul The Night Train, Bill and co-host Rockin’ Rick have returned to their Saturday afternoon time slot [1:30 to 3 pm (ET)] at WMPG. However, due to the current COVID-19 situation, USM and its radio station WMPG, have suspended all campus activities, including WMPG’s live broadcasts. Therefore, Bill and Rick, along with The Night Train’s famous production crew, are now producing a new radio show every week using Bill’s home recording studio. You can listen to each of these new shows every Saturday afternoon on WMPG from 1:30 to 3 pm (ET). Also, starting on Thursday, Sept 24 2020, Bill & Rick will be home-producing a Thursday Evenin’ Sun New Blues Cruise Show every other week.

Remember: As a musical genre back in the 50’s & 60’s, Rock & Roll was still quite revolutionary. As of the early 50s, TV was the “new kid on the block.” By the mid-fifties, TV viewing had taken over as a family’s evening entertainment, leaving radio as a dying form of entertainment. R & R music, along with R & R AM radio, were both still in their formative years, and it was struggling for adult acceptance. Top 40 radio was a new art-form that evolved despite the “Payola” scandals of the late 1950s, when some many influential Dj’s were being paid to play certain records. A Dj’s on-air personality and presentation were both integral parts of what you would have heard on your favorite AM radio station; and, quite often, it all came together in a hyped-up package – known today as The Golden Age of Top 40 Radio. Before Rock & Roll began to take over the brand-new “underground” FM radio dial at the end of the sixties, AM radio was the only real radio show in town – and it ruled the radio scene!

Your Boss-Jock, Bill Audette, conducts The Night Train as if it were one of those big-city, 50,000-watt, clear-channel AM radio mega-stations. You know the ones:

WABC (NYC with Cousin Brucie)
WLS (Chicago with Dick Biondi)
KHJ (“Boss” radio in Angeles with Robert W Morgan & The Real Don Steele)
KRLA (Los Angeles)
KFWB (Los Angeles)
KLIF (Dallas)
WIL (St. Louis)
KSAN (San Francisco)
WKBW (Buffalo, NY)
WPTR (Albany, NY)
WBZ (Boston)
WRKO (“NOW” radio in Boston, with Maine’s own JJ Jeffrey)
WHK (Cleveland)
KJR (Seattle)
WPGC (Washington, DC)
XERF (Mexico with the legendary Wolfman Jack).

Back in the 1960’s, a hyped-up Boss-Jock’s platter-chatter, along with the 45-RPM records he would spin, captured the musical minds and imaginations of teenagers all over the USA – just as they did with a young and very impressionable teenager named Bill Audette – your Rock & Roll Rebel.

Bill was one of those mythical teenagers who hid his “hi-tech” Philco transistor radio under his pillow at night so that he could tune in and listen to all those distant, clear-channel AM mega-stations after dark. This nightly listening experience provided the memories, the material and the backdrop for Bill’s concept of what his own Night Train Show could, should and would eventually be. In fact, the name of Bill’s show actually hails from Boston’s Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsberg.  Arnie’s nightly radio show was billed as “The Night Train Show!”  Arnie’s hyped-up radio show aired weeknights for many years during the sixties on WMEX – 1510 on New England’s nineteen-sixties AM radio dial, which beamed its way into Portland, Maine, after the sun went down and after Portland’s local AM stations powered down their own transmitters due to FCC regulations.

COMMENT: Bill & Rick’s Saturday afternoon History of Rock & Roll radio shows are meant to help each listener “Look for and hear the echo of” his/her musical youth. In fact, you can listen to a collection of vintage Night Train radio shows elsewhere on this web site; see this web site’s menus, located at the top and at the bottom of each web page.

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