The Friday 5×2: WFOX (860 AM Milwaukee WI) On This Day In 1958

As I was going through the list of surveys on ARSA this morning, I noticed that there was a station in Milwaukee called WFOX. They gave up their call letters in 1967 in favor of WNOV, targeting mostly an African American audience. The WFOX call letters were picked up in 1972 by an Atlanta-based company (AMFM), which ran it on 97.1 FM first as a Top 40 station, then as an oldies station from 1989 to 2003, when it called itself “Fox 97.” The reason I mention all of that is because, while cleaning up my office, I found this keychain from the station:

WFOX became WSRV (97.1 The River) in 2006 after a few years as a hip-hop station. The call letters went to a station in Southport, Connecticut which calls itself “95.9 FM The Fox.” Both the current WFOX and the previous WFOX are broadcasting a classic rock format.

None of the preceding has anything to do with what we’re going to talk about today. I just thought it was interesting.

Anyway, in 1958 WFOX was on the air in Milwaukee at 860 AM, broadcasting Top 40 music. Here, then, is their Top 10 from March 1 of that year.

  1. The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts” A song written in part by 15-year-old Bob Gaudio, who became a member of The Four Seasons. This went to #3 nationally.
  2. Jimmie Rodgers, “Oh-Oh I’m Falling In Love Again” This was Jimmie’s third Top 10 record after “Honeycomb” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” It reached #7 nationally, #5 on the Country chart.
  3. The Champs, “Tequila” A #1 hit for The Champs, who at one time called Jim Seals and Dash Crofts members.
  4. Elvis Presley, “Don’t” Elvis and his backup singers, The Jordanaires, took this to #1 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Country chart, and #4 on the R&B chart. Surprisingly, it doesn’t get a whole lot of play on oldies stations; I don’t think I ever heard this before today.
  5. Pat Boone, “A Wonderful Time Up There” Reached #4 on the Hot 100. Not bad for what might be considered a spiritual.
  6. The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” Listen to this and you know where the oldies band Sha Na Na got its name. This went to #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart for them, their only chart single.
  7. Frankie Avalon, “Dede Dinah” Frankie’s first real hit, which went to #7 nationally (Cash Box had it at #11).
  8. The Crescendos, “Oh Julie” My friend Craig over at PopBopRockTilUDrop just published a post the other day about this song and the woman singing in the background, Janice Green.Another one-hit wonder, the band split in 1959 and, even though they all lived within 15 miles of each other, never got back together for a concert for over 30 years.
  9. The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” This might be one of the first songs to use the metric system. Went to #2 nationally.
  10. Perry Como, “Catch A Falling Star” Perry had a lot of hits that could have been certified Gold if he had taken the time to have them certified, but being the humble guy he was, he didn’t want to make a big thing of it. This reached #2 officially, even though it was probably a #1 hit in one or two of the three categories (record sales, disc-jockey surveys, and jukebox plays) that Billboard used to determine the Hot 100.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for March 1, 2019.

11 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WFOX (860 AM Milwaukee WI) On This Day In 1958

  1. I used to have a compilation album on cassette that included “Short Shorts” and my daughters, who were young kids at the time, used to love this song. It’s a bit of silly fun that is a good representation of the music back then.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


        1. I can probably get at it with or iHeart or TuneIn, but it’s not quite the same. Check it out and see what it’s like. I have a feeling it’s a lot like 97.1 The River here. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same exact feed, what with how things are in the radio biz these days…

          Liked by 1 person

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