Radio Daze: The Documentary

A TV documentary based on Mike Olszewski’s book “Radio Daze” premieres this week.

“Radio Daze: Cleveland’s FM Air Wars”
debuts Tuesday night at 9:30 PM on Western Reserve PBS, the local PBS affiliate combo known to mere mortals as WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron.

Quoting a release from our good friends over on Campus Center Drive:

It presents the dramatic rise of northeast Ohio’s FM rock scene, from its early days on college and ethnic stations manned by hippie disk jockeys to a billion-dollar entertainment industry.

Western Reserve PBS says Olszewski, a former WMMS/100.7 staffer now co-hosting CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5’s morning drive show, produced the documentary along with Tom Cummings and Dave Rogant.

Though the iconic WMMS is “featured prominently” in the documentary, Olszewski says “the Buzzard” won’t be the sole focus. Quoting him in the release:

“We aimed to show the social, cultural and political changes that helped shape FM rock radio. It’s not about one station, but a number of very creative and very competitive air staffs that evolved and helped forge the strongest radio audience in America.”

The release lists a number of names, including Jeff and Flash, Matt the Cat, Kid Leo, Billy Bass, Betty Korvan, Ted Lux, Murray Saul and Denny Sanders, though it’s not clear which actually appear in the documentary in new interviews. Quoting the release again:

The video stands as a historical document of a time when FM radio was the most important source of entertainment and information for the baby boom generation. According to Olszewski, “Radio Daze also features interviews with the pioneers of the medium and additional footage that should prove to us all what a long, strange trip it has been.”

Western Reserve PBS tells us that “Radio Daze” will repeat Friday at 9:30 PM, and Sunday at 1:30 PM…

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