WAMB Radio 1200 AM

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT NASHVILLE, EPISODE ONE

I drive a 2002 Subaru Outback, with a busted CD player and no iPod-playing capabilities, but you know – I don’t mind, because my AM dial works just fine.

There are many things I love about Nashville, but near the top of the list is WAMB 1200 AM. In the world of broadcast it goes by “Adult Standards”. To me, it goes by “Old-Timey Goodness”. From The Andrews Sisters to Herb Alpert, it’s a format that makes all my low-fi, easy listening dreams come true. I felt I was due for a tour after several years of loyal listenership, so I recently tracked down the WAMB powers-that-be (via the station’s befitting website), and they very generously invited me in.

Housed on the bottom floor of the Roundtree Apartments on the outskirts of Nashville, WAMB has been in the same space, with the same analog equipment and the same wall decor (mostly) as when the ribbon was cut in 1975. A few computers and CD players have been added to the arsenal, but for the most part, the place is a time capsule… an incredible time capsule. Fifteen hundred square feet of wood paneling, reel-to-reel tape machines, a wall of still-in-use vinyl records, paperwork done on TYPEWRITERS… my visit was as close to a time warp as maybe I have ever come.

Dave Eastman (seen above and below), the “afternoon drive announcer” weekdays from 3pm to 6pm, was on the mic during my visit… such a nice guy. He graciously let me invade his personal space while in the middle of a busy workday. Dave is a self-proclaimed metalhead, raised on hair bands as high schooler in 1980-something Los Angeles, yet has a deep appreciation for the golden oldies of easy listening. So much so that he has won himself a few octogenarian sweethearts. I could tell by the high volume of call-in requests from ladies at the beauty parlor getting their hair set.

For those of you in the Nashville area, the station plays totally awesome music on weekdays from 12pm until 6pm. After 6, the frequency switches to an all-mariachi format. On weekends, the programming looks something like this (cut and pasted directly from the station’s website):

Weekends
Let’s Talk Computers Saturday 8am
The Safe Money Show with Steve Lux Saturdays at 9am
Great American Song Book Dick Robinson 12pm to 2 pm
Big Band Jump with Don Kennedy 2 to 4 pm
Sunday
Howard Wilks Gospel Show 6 am to 8:30
Christian Science Sentiel 9 to 930 am
Grace Baptist Church 10:15 to 11:30 am
Try the light with Ken Binkley 1130 to Noon
Your hit parade 12 to 1 pm
WAMB Bandstand with Bill Barry 1 to 2 pm
Big Band Jump 2 to 4 pm
First Presbyterian Church 4 to 5pm
Music 5pm
John Michael Grogan Success for Today 11:58 to noon Monday through Friday
The Senior Spotlight: A 2 minute report of news specifically geared to the seniors of middle Tennesee, hosted by paul day, editor of fifty forward newspaper 11:50 am

Please listen! Help make it popular. I want WAMB to live forever!

Special thanks to Mr. Bill Baird and Mr. Bill Barry  for letting me to roam the station freely without any questions asked.

WAMB-Nashville-Radio-Station-William-O-Barry-by-STEPHEN-JERKINS-PHOTOGRAPHY

(Mr. Bill Barry, the station’s manager)

6 thoughts on “WAMB Radio 1200 AM

  1. Mr. Jerkins,
    I am also a big fan of WAMB and am distressed as of this writing (12-08-13) that the station may be breathing its last with Mr. Barrie’s passing. Dave is gone already and i am told no one really knows what is coming next. Christmas music is being aired 12-6 daily with no live DJs. I know the daughter is running the place now, but wonder if you can tell me more and if you know what has become of Dave Eastman and Ron Johnson?
    Thanks–Ralph Bland

  2. What can I say? I have listened to WAMB every day since the station first came to be. I used to visit them frequently – in the 70′s I used to take my English recordings there and Bob Sticht used to play them. Bob was my favourite DJ at that time. I took a Maxie Bygrave record down there one day when Snooky Lanson was visiting the studio – after Bob played the lively record Snooky said “That’s walkin’ the dawg music!!” That tickled me pink, and I shall never forget it. Now I miss Dave Eastman so much. I listened to him every day, and we spoke frequently on the phone. Mr. Bill Barry was a wonderful human being and he ran the best radio station EVER – with the best music EVER! God bless him – he will be sorely missed. If only he knew of how many people he made happy while listening to his music. All good things have to come to an end…. I am very sad at his passing. Eve White

  3. P.S. I just noticed that in the last picture, Mr. Barry was using my favourite typewriter – IBM Selectric. Those were the days.

    Eve White

  4. i hate to here that my favorite station in nashville is changing it’s format i loved listening to WAMB it would be nice if they could keep the big band & other music they played i’m heart broken THANK YOU RICKY GENE MORTON

  5. Put me down as another person that misses WAMB…I always had a radio button set to it…Both the music and the DJ’s were great and I miss listening to the drive home time slot.

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