WMMS summer sweepers

Here are three summertime sweepers we’d occasionally run in-between two songs to ID the station with.   

We had competition – good competition – and we never went more than a couple of songs without identifying the station.  We wanted to make sure our listeners knew what station they were listening to. 

Our foremost IDs and sweeps were voiced by Len “Boom” Goldberg.  These would be augmented by what we called our celebrity IDs – sweepers cut by visiting rock stars, movie and TV stars, comedians, and others of social import.

At WMMS, everyone crossed paths and it wasn’t uncommon for a recording session, whether it be for a station promo or even a commercial, to have non-airstaffers add their voice to a production piece.


Me, Gaye, and Murray Saul at the Beachland

Such was the case with these summer sweeps, cut by Gaye Ramstrom, our national sales manager.  Gaye’s voice was just right for what we had in mind. 

The first track dealt with sex appeal.  Was it her descriptive bikini or was it the radio station she listened to?

The second was our summer sun public service announcement – a reminder that “it’s time to turn so you won’t burn.”

The third – the big, bad Buzzard O as we called it – featured our unique way of announcing the three-day Buzzard Memorial Day Weekend Blitz.  We went all-out on three-day summer weekends – especially Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial kick-off of the summer vacation season.  We’d pull out all the stops on those weekends, featuring classic concerts from the archives and go all-request with our music – putting special emphasis on the non-stop weekend parties we were providing the soundtrack to.   It’s safe to say that you wouldn’t hear a promo like this one on radio today.  Production director Tom O’Brien and I had the distinguished pleasure of directing Gaye in this epic promo.

It should be noted that this was recorded sixteen years before Meg Ryan’s in When Harry Met Sally.

Back then, we knew what to get away with because we knew our listeners and they knew what to expect from the Buzzard.

And Gaye?  Today she’s on the forefront of the revitalization of downtown Cleveland as co-owner of Coakley Real Estate, which focuses on the sale and leasing of historic properties, the leasing of downtown/suburban retail and office space, and a new component-selling luxury condominiums and homes.

2 Responses to “WMMS summer sweepers”

  1. Sue Wigham Says:

    Tom O’Brien! Where in the world is he today? I interned for a summer at MMS and he took me in an mentored me, which was just too cool. I have often thought of him and I am still very grateful for his generosity. We use to through back quite a few beers in the bar on the lower level of the building too! We had a lot of laughs….the thoughts still make me laugh today! So much fun!

    I hope Tom is happy and well where ever he may be, as well as all of the other fun and generous folks I was blessed to meet at the station that summer!

    By best to you all!



    • William Workinger Says:

      (06-18-2020) Tom O’Brien passed away several years ago from undisclosed health issues. At the time he was a studio technician at the Voice of America (U.S. Government radio operation) in Washington, D.C.

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