The Night Train is currently cruising through new and vintage Blues on most Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 pm (ET) on WMPG (Portland, ME): 90.9 FM and online at www.wmpg.org .
The Night Train began, however, on a Monday evening, February 5, 2001, when it embarked on its inaugaural journey through The History of Rock & Roll on WBOR (91.1 FM from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine). From 2001 through 2019, The Night Train time-warped back through the first 25 to 35 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!
Since February of 2001, The Night Train has enjoyed various time slots at WBOR (91.1 FM from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine), WRBC (91.5 FM from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine) and WMPG (90.9 FM from USM in Portland, Maine). The Night Train finished its latest “History of Rock & Roll” journey on WMPG with two grand finale shows (Feb 2 & Feb 9, 2019).
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, it 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 had evolved despite the “Payola” scandals of the late 1950s, when some Big-City popular Dj’s were being paid to play certain records. A Dj’s on-air personality & presentation were both integral parts of what you 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!
Your Boss-Jock, Bill Audette, conducted 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 Cousing Brucie)
WLS (Chicago with Dick Biondi)
KHJ (Boss Angeles with Robert W Morgan & The Real Don Steele)
KRLA (Los Angeles)
KFWB (Los Angeles)
WIL (St. Louis)
KSAN (San Francisco)
WKBW (Buffalo, NY)
WPTR (Albany, NY)
WRKO (Boston – with Maine’s own JJ Jeffrey)
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 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 (who nows resides in Ogunquit, Maine); Arnie’s nightly radio show was called “The Night Train Show!” Arnie’s 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 AM stations powered down their own transmitters due to FCC regulations.
Bill’s radio shows, with their vintage songs and hyped-up presentations, are always meant to help his listeners “Look for the Echo” of their musical youth.
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