WCAU-FM went on the air in November, 1941 as a simulcast of sister station WCAU-AM. This arrangement remained in place until the mid-60s, when the FCC decreed separate programming for a certain portion of the day. Around 1967, CBS provided the syndicated "Young Sound" format to all of its owned and operated stations including WCAU. It was an attempt to interest younger listeners in instrumental versions of then-popular music. Tapes were delivered to stations without announcers and had a twelve-week lifespan.
Oldies - the first time
Although The Young Sound evolved into a more contemporary format, WCAU decided to drop it in the autumn of 1970 for an automated solid gold format designed in-house. Initially, a substantial number of records that were big in Philadelphia but not necessarily nationally were included. Some hits as little as six months old were included in this oldies format. In 1974, the DJ lineup of the still-automated station included Jim Nettleton, Joe Niagara, Kris Chandler, Gene Manning, Long John Wade and Kevin Fennessy. In 1976, the format was switched to disco with the name "Fascinatin' Rhythm". As the 1970s came to a close, the music became more diversified with the addition of jazz, pop, and R&B. At one point, another unsuccesful format called "Mellow Rhythm" was attempted.
Hot Hits Format
In September 1981, WCAU switched to a top-40 format called "Hot Hits." This format was developed by program consultant Mike Joseph and was used at a number of CBS-FM stations. The Hot Hits format included all current hits, high energy announcers, and lots of catchy jingles. Some memorable jocks included Terry "The Motor-mouth" Young, Billy Burke, Bill O'Brien, and Christy Springfield. WCAU found a great deal of success with this programming for much of the mid 80s. By 1987, however, the station found itself in stiff competition with a revitalized Eagle 106 (WEGX-FM).
Oldies - again
On November 9th, 1987, WCAU flipped to an oldies format, citing a desire to appeal to an older, more desirable demographic of 25-54 year olds. The call letters were soon changed to WOGL ("Old GoLd"). At about the same time, WIOQ-FM revealed that it was also planning to change to an oldies format. For the next two years, the stations engaged in an FM oldies battle, until WIOQ dropped the format in 1989. WOGL became the city's dominant oldies station, gathering a group of legendary Philly jocks including Hy Lit, Don Cannon, Harvey Holiday, Bob Pantano and many more.
Radio Greats Reunions
WOGL has staged two extensive reunions of popular Philadelphia DJs from the 1950s - 1970s. The former jocks were flown into Philadelphia and guest-hosted and reminisced live on the air in the weekend-long events. The first reunion took place April 23 - April 25, 1993 and included George Michael, "Banana Joe" Montione, Frank X. Feller, Jim Nettleton, Dr. Don Rose, Dan Donovan, Brother Love, Joe Niagara, Dean Tyler, Jerry Blavat, Hy Lit, George Woods, Joe Grady, Ed Hurst, Don Cannon, Ken Matz, Jay Cook, Dave Parks, John Landecker, and J.J. Jeffrey. The second reunion, in May, 1996 included many of the same personalities.
Over the years, the Oldies 98 playlist would shift focus between a mix of songs from the 50s, 60s, and 70s as well as R&B music. In the early 2000s, more 70s music was added, and in the last few years, a noticeable amount of 80s music has been heard as well. In fact, the name "Oldies 98" has mostly been replaced with the slogan "The greatest hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s."