"Rome wasn't built in a day, but several Wet Shoelaces CDs were..." - Confucius
WQOD / WTHC
Allen (right) with Chris Jupin in 1984, aka Al Brown and Mark Bradley
Way back in 1983 when I was a senior in high school, I began a project to record a bunch of "mix tapes" - which wasn't even a term at that time!
I had recently just scored a cassette tape deck, and had at least 100 vinyl albums in my music collection.
I didn't always want to hear just one artist at a time, and changing vinyl records takes a bit more time than just clicking or tapping the "Play" button on an iPod...
So I had this other idea to do more than just string together songs on a cassette tape - why not be my own DJ?
Yes! Geek that I am, I created my own "FM radio station", named WQOD and off the dial at 109 FM.
The "QOD" in WQOD stood for "Queen of Delmar", named for a girl I was quite infatuated with at the time and who lived in Delmar, NY. Pathetic, I am aware.
Anyhoo, I made up a DJ name for myself - "Al Brown", and began to record the myriad songs I had collected over my first 17 years on the planet.
And since radio stations usually have more than one DJ, I enlisted the help of my best friend Chris Jupin (pictured above left), who became "Mark Bradley" on WQOD.
After the first two cassette tapes were full (Volumes I and II), a major change was announced. It happened one night when I awoke to a green angel floating above my bed.
The angel said to me very clearly, "You will change the call letters on your lame-ass fake radio station to 'WTHC'!"
And so it remained, WTHC - the best fake radio station of the 80s!!! Yes, there was more than ONE fake radio station, believe it or not. WTHC sparked a competition
with two of our other friends from high school, who did a "one and done" radio station cassette tape called "WTIT, 69.69 FM". WTHC crushed them in all phases of fakeness,
and we recruited one of the DJs, who was known as "Rammin' Rod" on WTIT, but changed his moniker to "Rudy Rudolph" for WTHC. Rudy's specialty was to play "sentimental favorites",
which were not readily available at WTIT as it was primarily a heavy metal genre station.
Now - over 30 years since its debut, I have digitized the efforts of Al Brown, Mark Bradley, and Rudy Rudolph to share with the world... in the .zip files below.
Volume I - Introducing Al Brown and Mark Bradley... spinning tunes from Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Genesis, The Police, Men At Work, ZZ Top, Billy Joel,
The Tubes, Talking Heads, Trio, Crosby Stills and Nash, Phil Collins, J. Geils Band, Tom Petty, Ray Parker Jr., Joe Jackson, Steve Miller Band, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson...
Al Brown and Mark Bradley announce the first annual "Great American Smoke-off", interview 2 mystery guests, and continue filling the airwaves with music from The Who,
J. Geils Band, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Missing Persons, Trio, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Pete Townshend, The Beatles, and Blotto...
WQOD becomes WTHC, an historical event unmatched in the year 1984. Al and Mark embark upon the "Wild Weekend Festival" and keep bringing the hits by Monty Python, Tom Petty,
Genesis, Blotto, David Bowie, The Rutles, John Lennon, The Beatles, ZZ Top, J. Geils Band, Tommy Tutone, Judas Priest, Crosby Stills and Nash, Alice Cooper, The Specials and more!
This volume may well be called the "Cars" volume. Five Cars songs are featured, with four in a row at one point when Al Brown introduces WTHC's first "Album Flashback".
Joining the Cars on this volume are songs by ZZ Top, Pat Benatar, Phil Collins, Santana, Billy Joel, The Beatles, The Tubes, Supertramp, and Squeeze!
For this volume, Al Brown does a "live set" featuring live recordings by The Who, Wings, Yes, Steve Martin, Sha Na Na, The Beatles, and The Steve Miller Band.
Al and Mark also do their embarrassing best at imitating a Volkswagen commercial, and a Paul McCartney tune (joined by Stephanie Jupin).
Other songs featured on this volume include music from Phil Collins, The Police, Joan Jett, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, John Lennon, Prince, and the Rolling Stones!
WTHC Volume VI - lost somewhere in the universe...
The featured artist on this volume is Chicago, with an "Album Flashback" of their greatest hits of the 70s. Rudy Rudolph also spins some sentimental favorites.
Along with Chicago, this volume includes music from Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Supertramp, Phil Collins, Missing Persons, Nena, Led Zeppelin, Fear Of Strangers,
Steely Dan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Genesis, Pat Benatar, and Karla DeVito...
The first half of this volume finds Rudy Rudolph once again spinning some sentimental favorites, featuring Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Genesis, and Chicago.
Al Brown follows Rudy's lead and offers tunes from Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Phil Collins and Queen.
The second half features an "Album Flashback" with Pink Floyd's "The Wall", and the return of Mark Bradley! Mark was absent from WTHC for some time due to "traffical difficulties".
Mark rounds out this volume with songs from The Tubes, ZZ Top and The Police.
WTHC Volume IX - lost somewhere in the universe...
The first WTHC Christmas Special! Al and Mark reunite after their first semester at college (not the same college).
No traditional Christmas songs here, but we did feature "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band-Aid, which came out that year. Al Brown also does a tribute to songs about L.A., and rounding out this volume are Phil Collins, John Lennon, Billy Joel, Blotto, The Pretenders, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Nik Kershaw.
The second WTHC Christmas special! This is a short and sweet volume, featuring "Do They Know It's Christmas?" again, and tunes from Phil Collins, Led Zeppelin, Billy Joel, Til Tuesday, and Cat Stevens.