The 92.7 Archive

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You are here: Home Station History DJ Yearbook (1970-1980)
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DJ Yearbook (1970-1980) PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 30 March 2008 00:00

Ben Manilla Ben Manilla (1976-1984) - I began producing The News Blimp in 1975 - a daily staple of the WLIR diet. I was on the air there from 1976 through 1984 and Production Director during much of that time.

I saw the station morph from a progressive rock station (the segue was king) to a southern rock station (we would now call it jam band music) to an AOR station (may I never hear Styx again) to the first New Wave/Punk station on the east coast. Hey Ho, Let's Go!

I'm proud of the work we did. And privileged to have had such a talented group of co-conspirators.

I continue to work in radio, although the medium I love seems intent on making itself obsolete. Regrettably, corporate greed is killing off creativity on the commercial dial while public radio has locked into a white, upper-class, intellectual rut.

It has become increasingly hard to find projects that use the medium to generate excitement in listeners the way we did on a regular basis at WLIR. Thanks for listening!

Bob Waugh Bob Waugh (197?-1985) - As I write this it is the eve of the 24th anniversary of John Lennon's death. While there are many amazing memories for me at "The Radio Station", none is as vivid as THAT night. I had just started doing airshifts at WLIR. Program Director Denis McNamara asked if I could fill in for Ben Manilla- who had called in sick- on the 10-2 AM shift.

Ten minutes into my show, I took a call from a listener who said "Howard Cosell just reported that John Lennon was shot outside of his apartment building...." This made no sense. Steve North, LIR's News Director, was working late that night. I asked him to verify the story. Suddenly, he was pointing at the newsroom mic as I was about to go on the air. I introduced him, not knowing that he was about to say that not only was it true that Lennon had been attacked, but that he'd just been pronounced DOA.I was blindsided by the news and totally inexperienced in dealing with something of that magnitude. Luckily, our afternoon jock, Ray White, lived just a few blocks away and immediately came to the station. We took phones calls and played nothing but John's music untill 4:00 AM.

The people who worked at LIR in those days were very special. They shaped my life and eventual career. When I left the station in 1985, to work at WXRK (K-Rock), I didn't realize that I would never find that kind of envirionment again. I moved to WHFS in Washington in 1991, did mornings and became Music Director and Afternoon Program Director. I'm currently the Operations Manager/Program Director at WRNR in Annapolis, Maryland.

Denis McNamera Denis McNamera (197? - 1991) - Mr. McNamera should be credited as the true sound innovator of what has come to be known as 92.7 new music sound. Long Island Music Hall of Fame presented this Long Island native and noted on-air personality, and influential radio format developer Denis McNamara with its prestigious Long Island Sound Award (LISA) for his contributions to the radio and music industries. McNamara is unanimously credited with almost single-handedly creating the New Wave and alternative radio formats that defined a generation and swept the nation. McNamara’s LISA award presentation was one of the highlights of a recent "Party Out of Bounds: Malibu Sue’s Radio Reunion" gig at Posh Nightclub in the Garden City Hotel, in 2006.

Upon recently speaking with him last month, he confirmed he now sits on the board of directors to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (LIMHOF) and is involved with many side projects which look to welcome the future of today's new music format.

He also revealed to the Archive that "his current faves are MGMT and Vampyre Weekend. My fave album of fairly recent vintage has to be Arcade Fire, though the new Radiohead is very impressive also. I'm still a huge U-2 fan as well as REM, the Cure, Depeche and New Order. The Editors are another more recent band I appreciate. I'm also big on both Travis and Oasis."

Way-to-go Denis and many thanks for your support with this online resource!

Ray WhiteRay White (1979-1982) - Ray White of KKSF in San Francisco has a similar profile to most of his listeners. He appreciates Smooth Jazz but also knows good old fashioned Rock'n Roll, it's planted firmly in his history. The difference of course is Ray White was a music fan working from the inside. Long time before his Smooth Jazz days White was introducing New Yorkers to the Clash and U2 so it was no surprise to us that we would chat about everything leading up to Smooth Jazz and then some.

Commenting about WLIR, he states... "It really was. I was doing Pat Metheny interviews and the next day Ozzy Osbourne was coming in two days after he bit the head of the bat. (laughing) The Grateful Dead were always welcome so it was an open door and we love music. Eventually we got kind of beat up by a number of rock stations so we knew we had to make a change. So we decided to go punk and alternative and we ended up going new wave. I remember Billy Joel used to listen to us and he called because we helped break him. His new album was "52nd Street" and Billy thought there were some up-tempo songs that would work but Denis McNamara, our Program Director at the time said, "Billy, it's you, you're Billy Joel, that's what these are anti Billy Joel ." So Billy was so pissed off at us. It was a great time Joe Jackson did club dates with us. U2 and the Police did club dates with us. We were one of the first stations to play U2."

[bio brief courtesy of - see this link for the full interview with John Beaudin]. 

John Debella John Debella (197? - 198?) - John Debella got his first start in the music business by earning his communications degree at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island.

After succeeding at his morning radio show creation at WLIR during the late 70s and early 80s, he went on to become a radio DJ in Philadelphia. He became famous in Philadelphia as part of WMMR's Morning Zoo along with "Mark the Shark.". He was number one in the morning ratings through most of the 1980's and was a popular figure in the city of Philadelphia. Every year he would host the "DeBella DeBall" and was very popular with rock music fans. DeBella's favorite musician was Peter Gabriel and he enjoyed discussing Gabriel's many hits on the air.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 March 2008 21:45 )