While we devote a fair amount of coverage to non-commercial radio, we at Radio Survivor have a special place in our hearts for unique and independent commercial stations. In particular, I’m always thrilled to learn about stations broadcasting music on the AM dial, which is otherwise packed full of the same old syndicated talk programs and “weather and traffic on the 8s” news.
WHVW, one of the last three independently owned and operated radio stations in New York’s Hudson Valley, celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence on Independence Day this week. Broadcasting from downtown Poughkeepsie, the station is known for airing an eclectic Americana format on the AM dial, featuring blues, rock n roll oldies, jazz, folk, western swing, bluegrass, doo-wop, rockabilly and more.
WHVW first went on the air in 1963 airing Top 40 pop music and rock n roll. Under different owners from 1976 to 1992 the station shifted to news, adult contemporary and easy listening formats.
Current owner J.P. Ferraro got into unlicensed radio in the late 1960s, joining fellow broadcaster Allen Weiner in establishing a small network of low powered stations called the American Radio Broadcasting System. Both broadcasters were busted by the FCC in 1971. Weiner would take to the high seas some sixteen years later to establish the pirate station Radio Newyork International. Ferraro saved his money and bought WHVW in 1992, programming WHVW with its current eclectic format.
WHVW blasts 500 watts at 950 AM during the daytime, and just a bit more than one tenth that at night. For those outside Poughkeepsie (or even those more than a couple of miles from downtown at night) the station also streams online. Take a listen, then go say hello on the station’s Facebook page.