The Story of the Greatest Rock & Roll Radio Station Ever... And the Man Behind It
ROCKING AMERICA is legendary program director Rick Sklar's acclaimed story of how he developed and perfected the much-imitated, all-hit radio format that kicked off the boom years of rock & roll radio, and turned Musicradio 77 WABC into the most listened-to station in the history of broadcasting.
Sklar recounts the crazy promotional stunts, the antics and genius of disc jockeys like "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Murray the K and Alan Freed, the ratings wars, and the rise of the superstars whose earliest records he played and "made" -- Paul Anka, the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Elton John and dozens more.
It is the story of rock & roll radio in the 1960s and 1970s.
RICK SKLAR began his radio career just after radio shifted from the live drama, comedy and big band music he grew up with to the playing of records, when rock & roll was becoming America's popular music. After sharing an office with early rock & roll deejay Alan Freed at New York's WINS, Sklar went on to become program director of WABC, a post he held for more than a decade. He refined the Top 40 format, hired deejays with distinctive, listener-friendly personalities, hatched wildly creative promotions and contests, and gave the station a sound so distinctive, audiences knew it was WABC the second the dial landed on it. No radio station has garnered a larger radio audience in the history of the medium.
Sklar went on to produce syndicated music and talk radio for the ABC network, was the first programmer to air radio psychologists in afternoon drive instead of after midnight, and was an early champion of satellite radio.
And be sure to listen to the December 7, 2019 interview with Rick's daughter Holly at our friends Rewound Radio, where you can hear the sounds of WABC in its prime.