Rockabilly Buzzard


The Buzzard was a versatile character and artist David Helton was able to signify WMMS in immeasurable ways.

Versatile was also our characterization of rock and roll.  If it fit, we played it – and did our best to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our boundaries.    Since we didn’t adhere to a strict FM rock format, it wasn’t uncommon to hear rock and R&B from the fifties and sixties mixed in with our current fare. 

We didn’t narrowcast our current rock either – and touched upon all of its genres.

Given the opening, the music business will define music with dozens of insignificant names like new wave, corporate rock, alternative, country rock, and heavy metal.   

We preferred to put everything under one banner: Rock & Roll

Competition viewed it as a weakness. We knew it was our strength. We mixed, matched, and gave airplay to a wide variety of rock and roll and let the court of public opinion -our listeners – to determine the destiny of new music we exposed.

Now, back to the Buzzard.   I can’t recall precisely what inspired this ad- but it had to be partly influenced by the late seventies and early eighties rockabilly revival led by Robert Gordon, the Stray Cats and Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Rockpile.

The ad didn’t say we play rockabilly.  It just implied the fact.

Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon

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