April 2015 -  WPRB History
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April 2015

“I majored in radio station”, by Moe Rubenzahl

What would Freud say about the meaning of this 14,000 watt protrusion? And how did such a thing come to be a roommate of the Holder gargoyles? I am told some subterfuge was involved. It is said that when the students showed the University what the proposed antenna would look like atop Holder Hall, they neglected to mention that the two drawings used a different scale. Final erection was scheduled for a holiday weekend and the real appearance was unknown to the Trustees until the last guy wire had been tightened. Perhaps you can cajole some of my predecessors into telling you the whole story.  (more…)

“Hey You Kids Get Off My Lawn” promo, circa 1994

555_Hey_You_Kids_box1-page-001In WPRB’s 1000+ piece collection of moldy old 1/4 inch reels (which I spent last summer sorting and fending off a case of Legionnaires’ Disease for), I discovered this hot take for “Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn” the punk rock show I hosted with Jen Moyse ’94 during the mid-90s.

The sound quality is pretty bad, but keep in mind, the source reel had been decomposing in a filthy USPS mail tub in a damp basement for twenty years before I rescued it. This show was a ridiculous consequence of a Rhino Records-sponsored contest we entered following the release of the “Faster & Louder: Hardcore Punk” comps, and in which the label challenged college radio stations around the country to host 80s punk tributes. If I recall correctly, we finally got around to doing the special at 2 or 3 AM, taped it on overdubbed promo cassettes from major labels, and subsequently missed the entry deadline due to some postal holiday the following day which we’d forgotten all about. Oh well. We never made it into the contest, but we had so much fun doing the show, it became our musical focus for the next few years. Background music and soundbytes courtesy of Die Kreuzen, Schlong, and F.O.D.

 

“Thanx IV Sharin'”—Like Punk Never Happened

Here’s an on-air promo for WPRB’s infamous call-in show, “Thanks IV Sharin'”.

Program host Ken Katkin ’87 recalls:

“Thanx IV Sharin’, in addition to commanding an intensely loyal following, attempted to reach out in a far more personal way than was customary for radio.  Customized WPRB: Thanx IV Sharin’ T-shirts were individually handmade by the hosts and their friends, and made available to listeners for a nominal fee.  (more…)

Princeton University mini-documentary on WPRB

Here’s a short video feature on WPRB produced by Princeton University back in 2013. It’s a rare opportunity to peek behind the curtain and match faces to the voices of Adoley, Lance Loud, Captain Ahab, Teri Noel Towe, Alejandro (Minutes of Funk), and more.

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“Pretension Ltd”, “Vast Bunch of Grapes”, and Spin Magazine honors, by Chris Mohr

Chris at WPRB in Fall t-shirtI first started listening to WPRB in the winter of 1980-1981.  I was bored to tears with the sameness of the dinosaur rock of WMMR, WYSP, and WPLJ.  So here was this cool station down at the other end of the dial that played Elvis Costello, Devo, and all sorts of other stuff that was never played on other stations.  It was tremendous.

The summer of ‘81 I listened to WPRB as much as eight hours a day.  I did jigsaw puzzles and listened to Tom Burka, who played a new album every day at noon, Bill Rosenblatt, Alan Flippen, Jordan Becker, and Mark Dickinson (I think), who were the regular rock DJ’s.  The airsound was excellent–polished but not too professional, loose enough to be entertaining but yet everyone knew what he was doing (I don’t recall any women DJ’s that summer.)

That fall I wrote to Bill Rosenblatt to say how much I liked the station and to ask whether it was a professional station.  It wasn’t clear once the school year started, since there seemed to be a larger airstaff.  To my delight, he wrote back and explained that WPRB was in fact run by Princeton students and that its studios were in the basement of a dorm called Holder Hall, which at that point was still a sophomore slum.
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