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WHAS Airchecks

1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

All audio is in downloadable MP3 format.

1920s

The real 1922 WHAS sign-on wasn't recorded, but it was recreated in 1942 by the man who did it,
WHAS General Manager Credo Harris, for WHAS' 20th Anniversary Show.

WHAS 1922 Sign-On
:10 - 63 KB

This is an actual 1927 recording of one of WHAS' big talent discoveries,
Ray Bahr and his Orchestra, being introduced by a WHAS staff announcer.

Ray Bahr and his Orchestra on WHAS (1927)
1:21 - 476 KB

1930s

Kentucky Governor A.B. Chandler for the reelection of Franklin Roosevelt in a
segment of a speech WHAS broadcast live from the Nelson County courthouse in Bardstown.

Happy Chandler Stumps for President Roosevelt (1936)
4:07 - 1452 KB

Joe Wheeler Man on the Street Feature (1937)
1:19 - 465 KB

This January 27, 1937 aircheck is of Baltimore's WFBR rebroadcasting WSM/Nashville's coverage of the great Ohio River Flood. For part of the hour WSM's programming was originated by WHAS.  

WFBR Rebroadcasting WSM's and WHAS' Coverage of the 1937 Flood
15:18 - 5382 KB

CBS was so impressed with how WHAS worked with Nashville's WSM to serve the listeners of the Bluegrass State during the flood of 1937, it produced and aired this radio play that recreates the event.

CBS Radio Recreation of WHAS' Coverage of the 1937 Flood
23:03 - 8108 KB

The date of this WHAS Flood of 1937 retrospective is unknown, but our guess
is it was done in the 1950s or later as you can tell it was produced on tape.

 WHAS 1937 Flood Documentary
24:10 - 8501 KB

George Walsh intros the game as Louisville's baseball team prepares to take on the Columbus Redbirds.

Louisville Colonels Game Coverage (1938)
1:01 - 360 KB

WHAS got a new 50,000 watt Western Electric transmitter in 1938. In this aircheck the chief engineer gives an on-the-air tour of the big box, after introductions by Foster Brooks and John Tillman.

WHAS Transmitter Dedication (1938)
2:28 - 870 KB

In this 1939 WHAS broadcast the famous Lum & Abner grant honorary
Pine Ridge University degrees to Happy Chandler and other Kentucky dignitaries.

WHAS Lum & Abner Grant Honorary Degrees (1939)
14:05 - 4953 KB

1940s
WHAS 20th Anniversary Show (1942)
26:30 - 9322 KB
WHAS 25th Anniversary Show (1947)
4:02 - 1423 KB
Jim Walton's Waxworks (1949)
1:30 - 531 KB
WHAS New Studio Show (July 18, 1949)
5:23 - 1897 KB
1960s
An unspecified announcer hosts a program called "High Teens". Girls from Mercy Academy rate several records flips or flops. There is also a segment about other local high schools and their school newspapers.

High Tunes Show (1960)
7:45 - 3635 KB

Cawood Ledford Interviews Adolph Rupp (October 31, 1961)
7:29 - 2631 KB
Echoes of 1963 Intro (December 1963)
1:28 - 518 KB
WHAS News Open (March 11, 1964)
1:28 - 518 KB

1970s
Wayne Perkey's First WHAS Morning Show (April 7, 1970)
8:34 - 3013 KB
Jerry David Melloy (1971)
6:58 - 2454 KB

Here are the final minutes of a 1972 "Metz Here" show that featured interviews with WAKY's Johnny Randolph, WHAS' Jerry David Melloy, WINN's Moon Mullins, WLOU's Jim Dandy and WSTM's Allen Brown.

Milton Metz (1972)
3:03 - 1077 KB

WHAS Radio News Covers the April 3, 1974 Tornado Disaster

Heard on these great-quality WHAS airchecks (most "right off the board") are newsmen Byron Crawford, Glen Bastin, Chuck Patyk, and Ron Boone via a taped report. You'll also hear National Weather Service meteorologists John Burke and Dave Reeves, DJ Jeff Douglas, talk show host Milton Metz, and Kentucky Governor Wendell Ford (talking with newsman Bob Johnson) among others.

Several months after the April 3, 1974 series of tornadoes, WHAS produced a very well-done recap special. We asked Byron Crawford, who narrated "Day of Disaster," for a little background:

"I believe the special was produced maybe in late 1974 -- the year of the tornado -- or early 1975. In any case, it was finished by April 3rd of 1975, the one-year anniversary date of the tornado.

"You will have to check with news director Glen Bastin, who now is Ambassador in Chief of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels in Louisville, and find out about all the particulars. If I am not mistaken, despite intermittent reminders that the program was a documentary on the anniversary of the tornado, we may still have had to postpone the complete broadcast because we got so many calls from alarmed citizens believing it was real. Maybe that's just my imagination. Glen ran an excellent radio news operation and deserves a lion's share of the credit for WHAS' coverage of the disaster.

"WHAS' coverage of the the disaster that day -- all unplanned and virtually winging it without scripts and with only hand-scribbled or hastily typed notes, or even whispers -- was radio in time of emergency at its finest.

"I moved to television the next year and was never back in radio full-time again (although I did some radio projects including the 50th Anniversary of World War II for public radio which turned out well, I thought). I have always hoped I'd have a chance again to work a little in radio. It is a magical medium."

We followed up with former WHAS News Director Glen Bastin:

"We did finish the piece in í74...even 'tried' to air it just a few months after the April 3 outbreak. Just after we hit the air with the documentary, what had been a beautiful day turned cloudy and the phone calls started pouring in. We took the program off the air about 20 minutes into it. Newspapers around the country called it a 'War of the Worlds' situation. I think we were able to air the broadcast the next year.

"The only thing about Byronís summary that I would disagree with is the credit I should receive for the broadcast. It was a great team effort involving everyone, including announcers, engineers, even the GM who wisely had someone roll a tape from the very beginning. As for the news staffers such as Byron...they just did what they were damn good at. Without doubt, that one afternoon placed WHAS Radio way ahead of the pack in the dissemination of information...a position it still holds. By the way, I listened to the documentary a couple of years ago. I still get goose bumps."

Download Part 1
24:27 - 8599 KB
Download Part 2
36:33 - 12,854 KB

Byron Crawford Newscast (April 24, 1974)
9:41 - 3407 KB

This is raw tape of newsman Jerry Leitzell's January 14, 1976 interview with comedian Dick Gregory.

Jerry Leitzell's Dick Gregory Interview
13:14 - 4031 KB

Here's an early morning October 30, 1976 aircheck featuring host Mark Strauss,
newsman Jerry Leitzell and Farm Director Barney Arnold.

Early Mornings on WHAS (1976)
12:59 - 4569 KB

WHAS 54th Anniversary Show: The Birth of a Cuddly Giant (July 18, 1976)
31:08 - 10,951 KB

Gary Burbank's First Day at WHAS (1976)
33:10 - 11,663 KB
Gary Burbank (1977)
12:44 - 4481 KB

"A Kentucky Legend: The Chandler Years" is a well-done audio biography on former Kentucky Governor
A.B. "Happy" Chandler produced  by Jeff Marks and the WHAS News Department in 1977.

Part One
26:44 - 9402 KB
Part Two
26:44 - 9402 KB
Gary Burbank Late '70s WHAS Bit Montage
11:23 - 4004 KB

This January 1977 aircheck of WHAS' "Metz Here" talk show features fill-in host Jerry David Melloy talking with WAKY PD Johnny Randolph, WLRS PD Lee Masters and WLOU PD Neal O'Rea about music on radio.

Jerry David Melloy (1977)
25:51 - 9089 KB

John Polk sits in for Wayne Perkey on the early morning show. Along with John you'll hear news from Jerry Leitzell, the Morning Devotion even a little Garner Ted Armstrong. We scoped down the music but everything else is intact in this 'check recorded right off the in-house air monitor.

John Polk (July 13, 1977)
21:46 - 7660 KB

August 16, 1977: the day Elvis Presley died. Hear how Gary Burbank and Steve George covered the event that evening, complete with remembrance calls from WHAS listeners.
(This "right-off-the-board" aircheck includes several unscoped commercials.)

WHAS Elvis Death Coverage (August 16, 1977)
45:02 - 15,837 KB

Joe Donovan plays the oldies in September, 1977 on WHAS' "Saturday Night Revival"
Part One
26:03 - 9161 KB
Part Two
26:42 - 9390 KB

Remember the blizzard of 1978? Hear a sample of WHAS' coverage of the icy event,
complete with a full CBS Radio newscast and a local newscast by Dave Siler.

January 28, 1978 News
7:24 - 2609 KB

Here's part of the 1978 retrospective from the WHAS news department, anchored by Mark Watkins.

1978 In Review
7:24 - 2609 KB

You'll hear promos, commercials and IDs voiced by Cawood Ledford,
Gary Burbank, John Polk, Denny Crum, Bill Purdom. Wayne Perkey and more.

WHAS Production Montage (1979-1991)
5:34 - 1957 KB

Joe brings back the memories on WHAS' "Saturday Night Revival."

Joe Donovan (June 2, 1979)
27:02 - 9509 KB

In July of 1979 WHAS celebrated the 20th anniversary of Milton Metz's "Metz Here". Listen to the entire celebrity-filled show, broadcast from the WHAS lobby, in this unscoped, off-the-board recording.
Hour One
59:28 - 27.2 MB
Hour Two
58:30 - 28.7 MB

"Music To Listen To Records By" was a double album that featured recordings of Gary Burbank WHAS bits from 1979. Sides 1, 2 and 3 contained the Burbank bits, while the fourth side featured an audio recap of the 1979 WHAS Crusade for Children. (All proceeds from the sale of the album benefited the Crusade.)

Long since out-of-print, the first three sides of "Music To Listen To Records By" can be downloaded below:

Side One
18:24 - 8625 KB
Side Two
22:55 - 10,748 KB
Side Three
21:55 - 10,278 KB
Gary Burbank's Snow Shark Song
2:33 - 1197 KB
Gary Burbank 1979 Bits
4:56 - 1739 KB
1980s
Jerry Leitzell's Final WHAS Newscast (January 25, 1980)
6:11 - 2179 KB
Here's an aircheck that will be of special interest to fans of the local Louisville music scene of the '50s and '60s. In this February 16. 1980 edition of Joe Donovan's "Saturday Night Revival," Joe's guests include Mike Gibson of the Monarchs, Len Cline of the Epics, Lenny Watley of the Sultans, and discographer Leonard Yates. You'll hear lots of stories about Derby City musicians and radio legends, plus snippets of the big hits.
Part One
61:48 - 21,729 KB
Part Two
61:03 - 21,464 KB
Cornelia DeBruin Newscast (September 10, 1982)
2:10 - 761 KB

Wayne Perkey (September 10, 1982)
5:52 - 2065 KB

Kim Scott Does Middays on WHAS (1984 - AM Stereo)
27:54 - 19,652 KB
Here's a scoped version of the entire three-hour Christmas Eve 1984 "Kentuckiana Flashback" as Leonard Yates plays the biggest Christmas songs from the mid-50s on. While the songs have been shortened for online presentation, all commercials, promos and newscasts have been left intact -- in AM Stereo, no less.

Leonard Yates (December 24, 1984)
76:39 - 53,904 KB

Leonard does the "Kentuckiana Flashback" show on WHAS' "Million Dollar Weekend."
Leonard Yates (May 5, 1985)
30:18 - 21,305 KB
Leonard Yates (May 5, 1985)
10:55 - 3838 KB
Here's some of Terry Meiners & Company's first WHAS show (December 2, 1985)
Part One
30:36 - 10,762 KB
Part Two
29:29 - 10,369 KB
Terry Meiners (March 24, 1986)
5:54 - 2074 KB
Joe Donovan (February 11, 1987)
37:52 - 17,756 KB
Terry Meiners counts down his top "tunes" from 1987 on December 22 of that year.
Part One
29:03 - 10,218 KB
Part Two
31:49 - 11,188 KB
Part Three
31:45 - 11,164 KB
Terry Meiners (March 1, 1988)
53:53 - 18,947 KB

Just hours after the WAKY call letters vanish from the 790 AM frequency, Terry Meiners mourns the death of the legendary radio station with a "funeral procession on Chestnut Street," reports featuring "former listeners" and even a call from the real Duke of Louisville -- all mixed in other Meiners bits and conversations.  

Diane Williamson's "Dial Diane" (1989)
8:52 - 4159 KB
Doug McElvein (June 22, 1989)
1:22 - 644 KB
Ted Fleischaker and "Friday Night Live" (1989)
7:43 - 3619 KB
Jack Fox (December 1989)
3:04 - 1440 KB
Bill Bailey Fills In for Terry Meiners (August 22, 1988)
63:40 - 22,383 KB
Terry Meiners (March 20, 1989)
36:48 - 12,942 KB
Terry Meiners (April 1989)
12:12 - 4291 KB
Terry Meiners (June 22, 1989)
11:54 - 5579 KB
Terry Meiners (1989)
12:14 - 4305 KB
1980s Montages

1986 Balloon Race Montage
4:40 - 1643 KB

1987 Balloon Race Montage
7:18 - 2566 KB
1987 Steamboat Race Montage
6:30 - 2286 KB
1988 Balloon Race Montage
6:28 - 2275 KB
1990s
WHAS 1990 Montage
8:24 - 2956 KB
Joe Elliott fills in for Milton Metz on July 4, 1990. His guests are former WAKY PD Johnny Randolph and C's Records owner Clarence Lidster. Subjects covered include oldies and classic Louisville radio.
Part One
29:16 - 10,294 KB
Part Two
29:13 - 10,277 KB
WHAS Storm Coverage with Terry Meiners (June 6, 1990)
38:21 - 13,489 KB
Joe Elliott subs for Milton Metz on December 25, 1990 to discuss records and radio. Guests include
Johnny Randolph, Louisville music expert Leonard Yates and record store owner Clarence Lidster.

Joe Elliott (December 25, 1990)
58:00 - 20,391 KB

Terry Meiners (January 17, 1991)
17:12 - 6052 KB
Terry Meiners (January 23, 1991)
50:59 - 17,928 KB
Jack Fox (February 25, 1991)
2:13 - 784 KB
Beth Merrell News (July 1991)
6:09 - 2163 KB
Joe Elliott sits in for Milton Metz on December 25, 1991. Guests include former WAKY Program Director Johnny Randolph, Louisville oldies expert Leonard Yates and Clarence Lidster, the owner of C's Records.
Part One
31:27 - 11,061 KB
Part Two
30:22 - 10,679 KB
Part Three
28:02 - 9858 KB
Here's the first part of a great "Metz Here" hour with guests then-84WHAS Program Director Skip Essick,
General Manager Bob Scherer (now deceased), and News Director Brian Rublein sitting in with Milton Metz.

Metz Here (January 27, 1992)
18:23 - 6466 KB

Cawood Ledford's Final UK Catcalls Show (March 7. 1992)
22:58 - 8077 KB

This aircheck also features Ralph Hacker.

Cawood Ledford Tribute at Rupp Arena (March 7. 1992)
16:04 - 5649 KB
Here's a bit of Doug McElvein's last Sunday morning talk show before going to fulltime middays.

Doug McElvein (June 14, 1992)
12:26 - 4727 KB

Doug McElvein launches his first regular midday WHAS talk show.

Doug McElvein (June 15, 1992)
25:17 - 8893 KB

Joe Donovan plays the oldies overnight in this scoped aircheck of the
midnight to 4 a.m. hours, recorded from the station's in-house AM stereo air monitor.

Joe Donovan (November 5, 1992)
55:07 - 38,756 KB

In 1993 WHAS released a cassette compilation of Terry Meiners bits. The tapes were were sold at local Dairy Queens and Pic Pac Supermarkets to raise money for the WHAS Crusade for Children. Our thanks to Terry Meiners for allowing us to post a downloadable MP3 of this out-of-print production here.

The Best Of Terry Meiners...So Far!
45:14 - 31,811 KB

Doug McElvein does his last midday show on WHAS before moving to nights to replace Milton Metz.

Doug McElvein (June 11, 1993)
9:02 - 3178 KB

Here's part of Doug McElvein's final WHAS show before heading on to KMOX in St. Louis.

Doug McElvein (August 27, 1993)
26:00 - 9141 KB

"Metz Here" was a nightly talk show that graced the WHAS airwaves for decades. On Thursday night, July 15, 1993, host Milton Metz did his final three-hour regular program. Except for short breaks each half hour or so when the original tape was changed, the whole thing is presented here -- in glorious AM stereo.
Part One
30:19 - 21,317 KB
Part Two
33:43 - 23,711 KB
Part Three
23:49 - 16,749 KB
Part Four
31:26 - 22,104 KB
Part Five
22:18 - 15,690 KB
Part Six
29:44 - 20,913 KB
Joe Donovan (July 16, 1993)
10:25 - 3666 KB

Mark Travis (December 1993)
2:16 - 797 KB

WHAS Winter Storm Coverage (January 1994)
49:47 - 17,069 KB
Milton Metz Storm Coverage (January 17, 1994)
89:04 - 31,316 KB
Larry Smith A (1994)
9:57 - 4667 KB
Larry Smith B (1994)
11:41 - 5480 KB

Here's the WHAS 20th Anniversary News Special
from March 31, 1994 with WHAS' Paul Miles and John Asher.

WHAS 20th Anniversary Tornado Special
19:38 - 6903 KB

Shelly Catherine Newscasts (May 1994)
4:46 - 1678 KB
Jack Fox's Last WHAS Show (June 3, 1994)
9:46 - 3435 KB
Jane Norris' First WHAS Show (June 6, 1994)
10:00 - 3520 KB
What happens when you get five "classic" WHAS announcers together for lunch? Ray Shelton, Bob Lawson, Milton Metz, Randy Atcher and Tom Brooks broke bread together in the Summer of '94 and shared lots of great "back-in-the-day" radio stories about WHAS and other Louisville media.

WHAS Announcer Lunch (August 31, 1994)
45:11 - 15,885 KB

Terry Meiners and Joe Elliott get listener reaction to the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict.

Terry Meiners and Joe Elliott (October 3, 1995)
39:03 - 13,728 KB

Here's part of WHAS' coverage of the 1996 Bullitt County tornado,
complete with WHAS' Constant Alert Tone and activation of "special weather receivers".

Bullitt County Tornado Coverage (May 28, 1996)
45:13 - 15,896 KB

Joe Donovan (December 4, 1996)
17:35 - 8245 KB
Joe Donovan (December 13, 1996)
21:37 - 10,141 KB
The Louisville hits and groups are spotlighted in this show.

Joe Donovan and Leonard Yates (December 27, 1996)
26:36 - 12,470 KB

Joe Donovan (January 23, 1997)
19:37 - 9198 KB
Joe Donovan (January 30, 1997)
22:30 - 10,547 KB
Joe Donovan (February 20, 1997)
31:53 - 14,948 KB
Joe Donovan (April 10, 1997)
22:28 - 10,534 KB
Joe Donovan (April 15, 1997)
23:37 - 11,072 KB
Joe Donovan (April 17, 1997)
28:24 - 13,315 KB
Joe Donovan and Wayne Perkey (April 18, 1997)
28:24 - 13,315 KB
John Ross (April 19, 1997)
5:14 - 2458 KB
Joe Donovan and Wayne Perkey (April 25, 1997)
28:33 - 13,385 KB
Joe Donovan (April 29, 1997)
22:10 - 10,398 KB
Joe Donovan (June 4, 1997)
16:17 - 7638 KB
David Holland interviews former WHAS owner Barry Bingham, Jr. about the future of radio.

Barry Bingham Jr. Interview (1997)
3:21 - 1180 KB

Joe Elliott, Milton Metz, Ray Shelton and other WHAS personalities
 talk about the station's history on WHAS' Diamond Anniversary.

Joe Elliott on WHAS' 75th Anniversary (July 18, 1997)
49:25 - 17,377 KB

This ZIP archive contains 7 MP3 files with airchecks of Joe Donovan's final
WHAS show (August 29, 1997). Note: These airchecks were recorded hundreds of miles
from Louisville, so they're chock full of authentic, AM radio DX-type audio artifacts.

Download It!
279,925 KB

Mark Travis Derby Day 1998 Traffic Reports
2:12 - 774 KB
Joe Elliott Counts Down to 2000 (December 31, 1999)
8:01 - 2820 KB
2000s
Terry Meiners Pegasus Parade Helicopter Report (May 2000)
2:06 - 739 KB

This aircheck also features Mark Travis.

Denny Crum Retires (March 2, 2001)
3:46 - 1326 KB

The coverage is anchored by Paul Rogers and Tony Cruise.

Dale Earnhartd Dies at Daytona (March 2, 2001)
4:58 - 1749 KB

This aircheck features Mark Travis, Jim Strader, Tony Cruise, Caleb Brown and a report from ABC News.

Cawood Ledford's Death (September 5, 2001)
3:42 - 1305 KB

This aircheck features Jane Norris, Paul Rogers and Chris Chambliss.

Hear how WHAS broke the news of the September 11, 2001
World Trade Center disaster with this mix of local and network reports.

WHAS 9-11 Breaking News
15:57 - 5610 KB

Here's more WHAS coverage of the September 11, 2001 disaster:

WHAS 9-11 Coverage
7:56 - 2792 KB

Late morning host Jane Norris did her last WHAS show on June 2, 2002. The final hour is presented here.

Jane Norris' Final WHAS Show
44:55 - 15,794 KB

Governor Patton Sex Scandal Breaks (September 17, 2002)
2:08 - 754 KB
Joe Elliot with Ken Shultz' Final WHAS Radio Appearance (December 2002)
2:08 - 754 KB
On August 1, 2005 WHAS, like many other Clear Channel stations, became Fox Radio News affiliates. Here are two of the final WHAS top-of-the-hour newscasts with ABC Radio News (Michael Clark is the local anchor) and the first WHAS newscast under the Fox Radio News banner with local anchor Joe Hall.

WHAS ABC News to Fox News Transition
11:56 - 4197 KB

If you're a Terry Meiners fan, you'll enjoy this back-to-back montage of some of his best bits.

Terry Meiners Bit Bonanza
31:18 - 14,674 KB

Louisville music expert (and former WAKY and WHAS oldies DJ) Leonard Yates sits in with Joe Elliott on the 40th anniversary of the Beatles American invasion to talk about the Fab Four and take calls from listeners.

Joe Elliott (February 6, 2004)
88:59 - 31,287 KB

Lexington Plane Crash WHAS Coverage (August 27, 2006)
7:54 - 2779 KB
Here's part of Joe Elliott's first WHAS Sunday Morning Talk Show
after cancellation of his weeknight talk show just a few days before.

Joe Elliott (December 2, 2007)
47:40 - 16,762 KB

Terry Meiners Interviews Gary Burbank (December 19, 2007)
13:52 - 6502 KB

On the afternoon of October 15, 2009, former WAKY, WHAS and WLW personality Gary Burbank spent a couple of hours on Terry Meiners' show to promote his new biography. Download the scoped version below.

Terry Meiners and Gary Burbank (October 15, 2009)
37:14 - 17,460 KB

After the weekend that Gary Burbank was inducted into the
National Radio Hall of Fame, Terry Meiners checks in with him telephonically.

Terry Meiners and Gary Burbank (November 13, 2013)
10:50 - 7624 KB

All audio is in downloadable MP3 format.

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