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History of Philadelphia radio station 98.1 WOGL (CBS Radio)

  • 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

    WCAU-FM Disco Logo 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

    WCAU-FM Hot Hits LogoIn 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."

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  • Discuss 98.1 WOGL Philadelphia

    Comments? Corrections? Worked there? Please let us know!

    1. Posted at 7:33 PM on 10/3/2009 by Nikki Duval:
    I worked at WCAU following Perri Johnson when the format was Mellow Rhythym. Roy Lawrence was the Program director. I have not heard from them for some 20 years and would like to know how and where they are now.

    2. Posted at 8:46 PM on 4/5/2010 by Mark :
    98 wcau hot hits was great! 1st time i heard cinderella night songs was on that channel in 86.

    3. Posted at 9:43 PM on 8/16/2010 by Sheryl Appel:
    I worked for Hot hits with all the peops mentioned, It was a blast!! Other memorables are Rich Hawkins, Glenn Kalena, Jefferson Ward, and there are many more!! Wonder where they all are?

    4. Posted at 4:52 PM on 9/8/2010 by Paul O'Steen:
    FaceBook. Search for them and you will find. Also check out my Hot Hits web site www.hothits98fm.com

    5. Posted at 2:24 PM on 10/15/2010 by Debbie:
    Why isn't RJ Lawrence mentioned anywhere? I thought he was the King of Disco. He was the morning guy and Program Director. What ever happened to him?

    6. Posted at 11:17 AM on 11/21/2010 by Rosie:
    What ever happened to Mark Thomas??

    7. Posted at 12:44 PM on 1/18/2011 by Erik:
    i have a group on this radio station, it is located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Oldies98WOGL

    8. Posted at 6:06 PM on 9/10/2011 by Jack Mattesini:
    Worked with Frank X when he was general manager at WYSP when it was in Suburban station building ( and Plymouth meeting). Great guy.

    9. Posted at 1:05 PM on 2/5/2012 by Sunny:
    Does anybody remember those "One Hit Wonder" shows hosted by OLDIES 98 at the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront - around August 2001?

    10. Posted at 1:53 PM on 5/26/2013 by Joseph strano:
    Should have never changed format eagle 106 was never that good you did not know what you had in Joe conklin you were the best radio station back then wish you were on air now music stations today are not very good

    11. Posted at 10:27 AM on 8/24/2013 by Mike B.:
    What ever happened to Tony Mann? He did afternoon in 1980.

    12. Posted at 9:25 AM on 10/3/2013 by Steve:
    what ever became of michelle durham and when did she leave ?

    13. Posted at 4:11 PM on 2/13/2015 by Gary Kehn:
    Did afternoons at WBSS, BOSS 97 in Vineland, NJ. Would listen to Eagle 106 wanting to work there in the worst way. Danny Bonaduche did midnight there. Couldn't believe it. Not the best in my mind. Joe Mama kicked ass. Whatever happened to him? My PD at BOSS 97, Nicky G, now works at Oldies 98 WOGL. So proud of his accomplishments. Now, I'm a loyal listener with 98.1 WOGL. How times change.

    14. Posted at 6:54 PM on 2/22/2015 by Robert Tedesco:
    In the year 1966,I found a soft classical FM radio station in my car which was WCAU FM in Philadelphia.The theme song was beautiful. I thought it was called "Music". I could be wrong ,but how can I find out ,and hear the song?

    15. Posted at 3:51 AM on 5/30/2015 by Scooter Livingston:
    Hot Hits was a great CHR format. The jingles and the jocks along with the music, made the station. I'm from Boston and I'd listen to WCAU-FM when driving on the New Jersey Pike going to conventions in DC and back..last time I heard it was in Fall '85 when I was moving to Florida. I'm a Boston native and CAU-FN's sister station, WHTT had a slightly looser format. If they had the jingle package (they were "HitRadio 103") as CAU-FM, THAT would've made it a heck of a better station. Can't help but wonder what WHYI/Y-100 in South Florida would've sounded like with that jingle package. Does anybody have the Solid Gold Sixties LP set? if so can you e-mail me the track listings? I've got CD copies of the Old Gold From The 50s and The Early Sixties releases (I know they were never released on CD; I found the track listings and made my own) but cannot find any info on the Sounds Of The Sixties 2 LP release. If anybody has the ifo, please e-mail me at z800525a@earthlink.net Thanks!

    16. Posted at 2:02 AM on 1/16/2016 by Kevin Jones:
    the top 40 competition (fm)for wraw Reading Pa early 80's. WCAU...FM...Phil...a...delphia.

    17. Posted at 3:51 PM on 4/15/2016 by Rodney Williams:
    I was the cau fm engineer from 1970 to 1973. I would like to hear from some of the staff again. send me an e mail

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