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NY's WHN country station article in NY Daily News

Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:51 am

There's also a book about WHN called "WHN: When New York City Went Country":

http://www.amazon.com/WHN-When-York-Cit ... nt+Country

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainmen ... -1.1271258

NYC reunion has appeal to the country with personalities like Lee Arnold, Dan Taylor, Mike Fitzgerald

Before new station WNSH, a niche city market was by served by WHN and its capable crew of personalities
By David Hinckley / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, February 25, 2013, 6:00 AM

Country western icon Hank Williams was a mainstay of the WHN sound.

Just as New York finally gets a new country radio station, some of the pillars of the city’s country radio history are having a reunion — and inviting fans to join the fun.

WHN (1050 AM) played country music from March 25,1973, to July 1, 1987, with a unique sound that mixed timely artists like George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton with the timeless Hank Williams.

Also in the mix were contemporary country rockers, like the Eagles, crossover popsters like John Denver, and odd weepy novelties and off-center artists that New York just had to love, like Kinky Friedman.

Ed Salamon, the programmer mainly responsible for that sound, has put together a 40th anniversary panel Monday night at Hill Country Live, 30 W. 26th St.

Participants will be WHN personalities Lee Arnold, Dan Taylor, Mike Fitzgerald, Jessie, Alan Colmes and Larry Kenney.

It starts at 7:30, with the doors open at 6, and the night will conclude with live music by the Bellamy Sons, Noah and Jessie. There is no admission charge.

The reunion then continues Tuesday on WFDU (89.1 FM), 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. The microphones will be taken over by Arnold, Kenney, Taylor, Fitzgerald and Jessie, with Gene Ladd doing the news.

For those who want to study up on the station, Salamon has also written a book called “WHN: When New York City Went Country” (Archer, $19.99).

Offbeat performer Kinky Friedman (above in 1983) built a New York fan base.
The reason WHN was successful in what’s not generally considered a country town, says Salamon, was personalities and music that reflected the city.

“Some programmers felt people wanted to hear less of personalities,” he says. “For WHN, they were important. They were what brought the listener into Willie Nelson or Marshall Tucker.

“We listened to what our audience wanted, because often we found it wasn’t anything like what we would have expected.”

Now an executive in Nashville, Salamon sees no reason new country station WNSH (94.7 FM) can’t succeed, as long as it connects to an audience he says is sprinkled all around the town.

“I can’t tell you how many times I heard WHN in taxicabs,” he says. “Immigrant drivers would tell me country had lyrics they could understand.”

The station did ad campaigns with Charlie Pride in black neighborhoods and Freddy Fender in Hispanic areas.

“When people hear country music, they like it,” says Salamon. “Even if they don’t think they do.”

That, he said, is the key to selling country here, then and now.

“It’s like that old ‘You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s’ ad,” he says. “You don’t have to be from Alabama to enjoy country music.”

Re: NY's WHN country station article in NY Daily News

Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:16 pm

This sounds an interesting book. Thanks.