November 2006, former WPOP Good Guys Judge
Harrigan, Jack Carney
and Lee Gordon
had a conversation which boiled down to a key question
- to wit:
CT Radio timeline says that in 1956, 'WPOP
1410 Hartford Broadcasts Hound Dog evenings, very
early rock and roll program in Hartford.' This
sounds like block-programming so I don't think it
qualifies as a "Top Forty" format.
can't find anything that definitively states exactly
when the Top Forty era was born on WPOP."
let's take a look at history as it happened. To the
right is a Hartford Times article published on July
20, 1956 announcing the purchase of WGTH (1410)
by Tele-Broadcasters of Connecticut Inc. The article
said the call letters would change to WPOP
on August first. Why would the company pick those
call letters if it didn't intend to evolve toward
a pop music format?
new owner ran newspaper ads saying WPOP would
continue carrying programs from ABC, Mutual and the
schedule below appeared in The Hartford Courant on
July 28, 1956. The call letters were still WGTH
and the programming bears out that the station was
cherry picking from the networks. For example, at
9:15 a.m. WGTH aired Don McNeill's Breakfast
Club from ABC Radio. The Red Sox/Tigers game at
2:55 p.m. probably came from the Yankee Network.
schedules a year later (August 1, 1957) list WPOP's
morning show as Delzapoppin', hosted by Del
Raycee. The Breakfast Club was still on
at 9:15, and the Yankee Food Show aired at
11 o'clock. At 12:15 p.m. WPOP aired Top
40 Time, clearly a pop music show, followed at
1:30 by Waxworks. Top 40 music ground to a
screeching halt at 6:15 when Lawrence Welk's network
show aired, though Top 40 Time returned later
in the evening. Most significantly, Buffalo's George
Lorenz aired at 10:00 p.m. - the Hound
Dog Show referred to above. There is no doubt
the musical content was exclusively pop oriented.
WPOP newspaper ad from January 5, 1958 promoted
the Top 40 Show from 2:00-5:00 p.m., and the
top selling LP's of the week from noon till 2:00 p.m.
The ad still mentioned programs from ABC and Mutual,
as well as Yankee News all day long. The
Hound Dog was on Monday through Saturday from
8:30 till 10:30 p.m..
Hartford Times - Friday, July 20, 1956