WHAM originally signed on the air in March 1922 as WHQ. It was one of the country's pioneer radio stations and one of the first clear channel stations (no other station was assigned the 1180 frequency). George Eastman, perhaps Rochester's most famous philanthropist, made a substantial gift (10 million dollars) to the University of Rochester in 1921 that established the Eastman School of Music. Eastman believed that the appreciation of music could be cultivated through radio. As Eastman said, "...without the presence of a large body of people who understand music and get enjoyment out of it, any attempt to develop the musical resources of any city is doomed to failure." Legend has it that Eastman suggested the new call letters for WHQ, believing that the hard-sound quality of "wham" (like Kodak) would be a clever marketing device.
Author of On the Air: My Life in Radio 1957-1997
(l-r) Jeff Howlett, Brian McDonald and Nick Nickson get out the vote.
WHAM advertising from the 1950s:
(l-r) Account Executive Mike Whittemore, Joe Lomonaco, Bob Lonsberry
(l-r) Bob Lonsberry, The FixIt Chick, WHAM Account Executive John Palvino
(l-r) Bill Lowe, Beth Adams, Brad Davies, Chet Walker, Gary Smith, Bill Klein
(l-r) Randy Gorbman, Brendan O'Riordan, Shari Smith, Susan Ashline, Glenn Lambertz