OF THE ELEVATORS!
In 1978, Birmingham found itself with
competing "beautiful music" stations. The year before, WAPI-FM flipped
from an "adult rock" format to take on heritage easy-listening FM WQEZ
96.5 (formerly WCRT-FM). Dentists in the Magic City were given a
choice of which station to play in their offices. ;-)
WAPI-FM offered Music,
Just for the Two of Us, a syndicated tape
format best-remembered for that soothing voice heard roughly every 15 minutes
before and after commercial breaks. WELO-FM in Tupelo, Miss. also
aired this same format (and voice) in the 1970s, so throughout west Alabama,
young mens' fancies were liable to be two-timing.
WQEZ-FM and WCRT-AM bragged
about their dominance in the over-25 demographic. WCRT, most of us
know, was a longtime "good music" station, while its FM station was a "beautiful
music" beacon since the early 1960s.
Less than five years later, Birmingham
would be without a single easy-listening outlet. WAPI-FM was first
off the Otis, becoming "95-ROCK" in 1981. A year later, the elevator
came to a stop on the ground floor and WQEZ stepped off, where it reinvented
itself as contemporary adult WMJJ - "Magic 96"
on WAPI-AM, "adult contemporary" music and upbeat personalities carried
the day. It was a winning combination at the 1070 spot for many years.