Sonshine in thesunshine.

About WBMJ 1190 AM inSan Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

By Svenn Martinsen[1]

 

Revised on April 8th, 2008

 

OnDecember 29th, 1968 at 20 minutes past midnight Atlantic Time Disc Jockey ”CharlieBrown” looked out on the terrace behind the control panel in the WBMJ 11-90studio in the penthouse atop the San JuanDarlington hotel apartments, and loaded the cartplayer with PAMS’”Sonosational” News Jingle: ” WBMJ eleven-ninety:twenty twenty news is now!" He pressed the button for the morse bleepintroducing the first news story and announced: “Charlie Brown 20/20 news theseare the headlines after 12.”

 

Little would he know that on the other side ofthe Atlantic Ocean, a teenager had been glued to his radio all night triggeredby thefrequent Pams jingles and ”20/20” news bulletins introduced by that familiarjingle so well known from ”Radio London” the years before just over 50 kcs downthe dial.

 

After all, “Disc and Music Echo” and “SwedenCalling Dxers” that autumn had carried notes telling about a new offshorestation called “Radio Marina”, a project with a ready radio ship sitting inMiami said to be led by a certain John Dane, and the AM channel used was veryclose to that left by “Radio Caroline South” on 1187 kcs half a year before.Now another American voice was speaking there instead of the great “BudBallou”(Howie Castle)of Syracuse fame!

 

So the initial thought had been that this was anew pirate station. After many hours of listening[2],in Norway it was now early morning, and as no headphones were used, the 17 yearold youngster inevitably had kept his family awake for hours with the pop tunesof the day carried by the strong signals from 4000 kms away, like "Stormy" by TheClassics IV, "Back in the USSR" by The Beatles, and "Stoned SoulPicnic" by the 5th Dimension. Of other material Brown also used a"horn" effect, similar to many US top 40 DJs at the time, and an adfor the Darlington.

  

Yes,”Charlie Brown”  and WBMJ made agreat impression on fans of the former offshore station (I was one) overChristmas 1968, as the two stations seemed to sound very similar. "BIGL" having closed in August 1967. WBMJ and Brown had been picked up out ofnowhere, as a new station of 1968 it was not listed anywhere, but I found outby listening to the ads!

 

WBMJ wasowned by Bob Hope’s Mid-Ocean Broadcasting Company, and set up by its excellentGeneral Manager, the late Bob Bennett in 1967-1968.

 

 

Adobe ImageReady

 

 

BobHope entertaining US airmen at Earls Colne AFB in the UK in 1943. Picture:Stars and Stripes?

 

 

Hereis the movie poster for the comedy ”Call me Bwana” starring Bob Hope and AnitaEkberg, 1963.

 

 

BobHope’s WBMJ has just gone on air in Puerto Rico and is picked up inScandinavia. And here he is at the same time again entertaining the troops, inPhu Cat, Vietnam, Christmas 1968. Picture: Clif Lines[3]©

 

 

WAPAand WBMJ had adjacent transmitting sites in Guaynabo as well as entries in theBroadcasting Yearbook, here is the 1969 edition.

 

I reportedthe station after the December 28th, 1968 reception, but did not have a reply.I did get a QSL card later, however, for a later report, posted in San Juan onOct.8th, 1971. I have no notes of this in my log, but I clearly remember alsothis reception on a "barefoot" (no external antenna) Tandbergtransistor!

 

Withits distinctive sound and top modulation the station was frequently picked upin Norway.  QSL cards were firstsigned by Chief Engineer Manolo Perez, and later by Johnny…

 

Listento 4 of the PAMS ”Series 18” ”Sonosational” jingles here:

 

(Don’tforget to use the ”back” button after you’ve listened!)

 

Thecompilation is published here solely for historical purposes with the generoushelp of Norman Barrington

 

http://www.normanb.net/

 

and thegenerous permission of Jonathan Wolfert of Jam Creative Productions Inc. ofDallas

 

http://www.jingles.com/

 

protectedunder copyright by Pams Productions Inc. of Dallas

 

http://www.pams.com/

 

Allrights preserved.

 

 

 

Inputson WBMJ

 

OlleAlm, of ArcticRadio Club, Sweden comments:

 

When old time DXer LarsRydén visited San Juan radio stations in mid 1967, Bob Bennett had left WKYN630 to become VP and Manager of WBMJ. At that time WBMJ, owned by Bob Hope, wasunder construction with studio space rented at Hotel Darlington, Santurce. AtWKYN Bob Bennett had served as Program Director. He was the one who signed myQSL for WKYN in January 1964. The station went on the air sometime in mid 1968,first European logs in September 1968, after that a regular catch.

 

DavidGleason,California, NRC-AM takes up the story.

 

WBMJsigned on in 1968 under general manager Bob Bennett, who continued to managethe station through 1980 when Bob Hope's Mid Ocean sold to record impresarioJerry Masucci.

 

From 1968to roughly 1972, WBMJ was an English language Top 40 station, with allannouncing and music in English. Spots were mostly in Spanish, though. In 1972,WBMJ switched to Spanish jocks and a mix of 90% English music with some Spanishpop hits, under the name of Radio Rock. Radio Rock became #1 very quickly,staying there through much of the rest of the 70's, challenged seriously onlyby WKAQ with its Spanish Top 40 and, later, WQII, with its Spanish Hot A/Cformat.

 

Thereasoning for the format was simple: all through Latin America, American musicwas popular. A really tightly done Top 40 with US hits would be an attractiveproposition. However, all advertising in PR tended to be in Spanish, so thespots were in Spanish. Even in 1968, there were less than 100,000"Continentals" living in PR; everyone else was a Spanish speakerfirst... Many knew English, though. The station, however, never got into thetop stations in ratings, usually registering around 7th or 8th.

 

GM BobBennett was a veteran of US Top 40 radio when he moved to Puerto Rico andstarted building WBMJ. The station was simply another iteration of the provenTop 40 format from the mainland. Since the Island of Puerto Rico is a USterritory, it was natural to use mainland announcers and jingles and, ofcourse, follow religiously the Billboard record charts. Since the culture shockof living in PR was hard on the jocks, they seldom lasted more than a year. Onthe other hand, there were several totally bilingual Puerto Rican jocks whowere there for a lengthy period, speaking English on a station in Puerto Rico!

 

WBMJwas a sign on. It took nearly a year to get the directional pattern to work.Originally licensed at 10 kw day and night, they had to reduce power to 5 kw atnight to get the system to proof, since the site, still in use, is surroundedby rocky small mountains to the West of the towers, which are in a riverbed.The studios, from sign on in 1968 to 1980 were in the Penthouse of theDarlington (which often went bankrupt becoming the Borinquen, and later, GranBahía Hotel) in the Miramar section of San Juan with an impressive view of theSan Juan Bay and Old San Juan and the Condado hotel area. Beautiful.

 

 

Thisis where WBMJ came from: The San Juan Darlington Hotel. Photo: Unknown.

 

The adsfor the Darlington were part of the ads for the rent trade the station had. Thestation only moved when the hotel finally closed down and was shuttered around1980. The hotel was a tourist hotel, but it was not on the beach, not nearrestaurants, and across the street from the city's most famous bordello, theBlack Angus.

 

I onceinterviewed Charly Brown to work at WUNO; he was feeling underpaid at WBMJ andwas trying to learn Spanish… There have been so many Charly Browns in US radioI really doubt that anyone could figure out who he was now. Bennett died in theearly 90's, and the local English language jocks like Héctor Ortiz are also nowdead.

 

WBMJbecame a salsa oldies station in about 1981 as Exitos 1190 and then,eventually, became religious under the ownership of the operators of WIVV fromPuerto Rico's Vieques Island. It is religious now, mostly in English.

 

In theyears I managed stations in San Juan, I considered Bob Bennett both a friend anda worthy competitor. WBMJ, especially as Radio Rock, was a good station andbrought up the standards of radio on the Island.

 

Davidhas told more of his experiences in Puerto Rico here:

 

http://www.davidgleason.com/1970-1972-E.htm

http://www.davidgleason.com/1975-1979-E.htm

 

And thenit’s over to Patrick Crumhorn in Texas, who sent me a most informative email inSeptember 2004:

 

I justcame across your page on WBMJ 1190 and have a couple of pieces of data to add.

 

Ilived in San Juan as a teenager from late 1968 until January of 1974. Needlessto say, WBMJ was always on my radio for much of that period (along with whatwas then the Armed Forces Radio station from San Juan's Fort Buchanan army baseat 1030 kHz - long since replaced by a commercial broadcaster - WOSO).

 

I knewseveral of the personnel at WBMJ over the years: Charlie Brown, Davy O'Donnell,Junior Juncos, Bob Bennett and Bill Thompson.  Thompson's mother owned"El Disco de Oro"  in the late '60s and early '70s, a smallrecord store in Old San Juan that was the main place to go for"underground" and alternative music - what was later to be named"album rock" I suppose.  I worked there briefly one summer.

 

DavidGleason writes:

 

"In1972, WBMJ switched to Spanish jocks and a mix of 90% English music  with some Spanish pop hits, under thename of Radio Rock."

 

I'mpretty sure that switchover must have happened after January of 1974.  Istill have clear memories of WBMJ continuing to be an English-language stationuntil after I left the island.  I know that by the time of my first tripback, in the Summer of 1975, the station had  switched to Spanish and become "Radio Rock," but thishappened later than Mr. Gleason says.

 

Further:

 

"Ionce interviewed Charly Brown to work at WUNO; he was feeling underpaid at WBMJand was trying to learn Spanish… There have been so many Charly Browns in USradio I really doubt that anyone could figure out who he was now."

 

Notsure what happened to Charlie (who was indeed one of the best jocks anywhere atthe time, I think), but if it helps, his real name was Tim Schafer (may havebeen spelled Schaffer).  I know he worked briefly for a Virgin Islandsstation, too.

 

I alsowent to high school with Janet Luttrell, who now heads up the missionary radiocompany that owns WBMJ and WIVV.  WIVV was already a religious stationowned by the Luttrells during the 1968-1974 period I lived there. It wasstrange to find out many years ago that WBMJ was now  part of her operations and was doing full-time religiousbroadcasting.  Quite a change from the good old days of Hendrix, the GuessWho, etc.

 

The jocksat WBMJ inspired me to get into radio, and I worked briefly in San Juan forWIAC-FM, who were experimenting with an English-language"underground" format - only lasted for 6 months or so before theywent back to simulcasting the AM station.  I called myself "PatBrown" in homage to my inspiration, WBMJ's Charlie Brown. I went on tobecome the music director of KUT-FM in Austin, Texas (an NPR "public"radio station) before quitting and taking a clerical job with the TexasLegislature, where I still am today.

 

Anyway,finding your page brought back many fond memories for me.  Thanks forsharing it!

 

Regards,

PatrickCrumhorn

 

Crossing now to Tampa Bay,Florida and Eugene Lisansky:

 

Eugene wrote in September, 2005 from St.Petersburg,Florida where he worked for ClearChannel Communications’ cluster of stationsbased at WHNZ-AM 1250

http://www.whnz.com

inTampa Bay, Florida. He was Program Director of that station.

 

“I hadseen your webpage about WBMJ before, and I was happy to receive youre-mail.  I'm afraid I can't add much to the historical record, but I cantell you the facts:

 

Aroundthe summer of 1970, when I was 15, my step-brother and his girlfriend were studentsat the University of Puerto Rico.  Their English teacher was a veryunusual woman, who encouraged them all to write poems, stories and songs aboutlife and love.  Since this woman's classroom was in a basement, she calledher students the "Cellar Creatures".  Somehow this creativeoutput ended up being turned into a half-hour public affairs program at WBMJ,called "Cellar Lines".  I had written some poetry of my own, andI was asked to come along to several recording sessions at the station studios,which I believe were in the Darlington building in San Juan. (That is alsoironic, since when I moved to Puerto Rico in June 1967, my step father wasliving in the Darlington Apartments in Mayaguez.  We moved to San Juan inAugust that summer) 

 

Anyway,I accompanied my step-brother's girlfriend at the time namedAurea Vega, to the recording sessions, which were held onTuesdays, I think.  The program aired Sunday evenings around 6pm.  Imade several tape recordings of the shows off the air, which I think I havein a box somewhere, although I have not played them since the1970's.  The show featured various poems, songs, and dramaticreadings, all of which were written by the students.

 

Rightafter one of the recording sessions, one of the station staffers in the controlroom asked me to read something off a small card that was taped to thewindow.  It said "WBMJ is hot fun in the summertime". Then he asked me to read it with more feeling, so I laid it down withgusto.  They used that liner all that summer; I kept hearing it on theair, and swelled with pride knowing that was MY voice.  Probably helpedpropel me into radio, although I didn't doing anything on air until 1975, incollege in New Jersey, and didn't really jump in until 1979 in graduateschool in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I didn't began my full-time professionalradio career until 1985 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 15 years after the WBMJincident.

 

Also Ihave a newspaper article from the "San Juan Star" from July 26, 1970,concerning the Cellar Creatures and the radio program. The photos were alltaken in the WBMJ studios.  In the group photo on page 1, I am in thesecond row, all the way on the right (circled).  I just happened to bethere the day they took the pictures.

 

Bestwishes,

 

EugeneLisansky

 

 

 

 

 

"San Juan Star" from July 26, 1970. Eugene Lisansky isin the second row on the right (circled).  Note the photographer’s name!

 

And then from Scott Brady, WBMJ 1972-1974, whocontacted the editor in March, 2008:

 

Thiscould get lengthy.   I came to WBMJ via the US Navy around March of 1972and was stationed at Sabana Seca, south of San Juan.  

 

Being adisc jockey towards the end of my high school days in Atlanta at WQXI 790, I fell victim to the military draft and quickly joined the service of mychoice in the US NAVY.   After boot camp and school in Pensacola, Florida, the Navy sent me to Keflavik,  Iceland.   When I got there, Iwas able to work during my "free time" at American Forces Radio on1484 kHz.   After my year in Iceland,  The US NAVY sent me to SabanaSeca which was south of San Juan,  probably to "thaw me out".   Yes - it is cold in Iceland.

 

As soonas I heard of WBMJ 1190 - I immediately went straight to the station and talkedwith Bill Thompson who was very receptive to using me for weekends and parttime fill in work.  

 

When Iwent on the air,  I used my real name,  Karl Phillips.  Well, that came to a pretty quick halt as the station hired a full time guy todo nights named Gary Phillips.   I was called in and told they would haveto change my name because they could not have 2 guys named Phillips.  Thenew program director,  Mike Michaels,  and I settled on the nameScott Brady.   I became a whole different person when I went on the airfor first time with that name.  It was weird.   I got very open andfunny and entertaining.   You can't have that in today's radio, now canyou ???

 

Ofcourse when I arrived,  Charlie Brown was already there and doing themid-day shift.   Bob Bennett was mornings.  Afternoons were handledby either Mike Michaels, Marty Malo or Philip "Sanchez" Baker.  I think Gary Phillips did nights.

 

I did the overnight shows and some 7PM tomidnight..whenever I could get away from the US Navy and I also filled in forthe guys when they were off.  My shifts were so unpredictable due to thefact that I was in the Navy and had to work in between my shifting shifts atSabana Seca.

 

Shortlyafter coming on at WBMJ,  I soon figured out that I was making a lot ofmoney between the US Navy and WBMJ and I decided to move off the Navy base inSabana Seca and get an apartment or something near the radio station.  Ihad a car so I could get back to the base when I had to.  

 

Charlie Brown (Tim Schafer) and Iwere the best of friends and we lived together at a condominiumcalled MiramarTowers on Fernandez Juncos across from the station thatwas at the top of the Borinquen(previously Darlington) Hotel.  Wepaid about $300 a month rent for a two bedroom apartment on the 6th floor. Total paradise !!

 

I got  a few funny stories totell about him and I and some of our "adventures" as two gringos inPuerto Rico. Charlie and I goofed around together allthe time and got into all sorts of mischief.   I miss it.   Funny,funny things happened.

 

We hadmoney and had several young women up to the station at times.  Some of them did some good soundbitesfor me in the production room heard on my shows such as "Scott Brady turnsme on!" Charlie made some moves to women on the elevator that he knewdarned well could not speak or understand English. I was a bit concerned shewould pull a gun at us on the elevator. I blamed the Navy daily for theinterruptions to my fun.    

 

I never got the chance to meet BobBennett.    All of my dealings were with the other jocks (that I rememberand can name at the drop of a hat) and Bill Thompson and the other PD that camethrough there, Mike Michaels.   I have airchecks of me, also doing BobBennett's show in his absence and some of Charlie announcing that I was"up next".  I also have an aircheck of me and Charlie coming inas I was turning it over to him.

 

I evenreceived a death threat while out there one night and had to get the police outthere to stand guard for a night or so.  I was a "sitting duck"for anyone who would want to do me harm.  I had no protection at all. 

 

Iremained at WBMJ from that time all the way to "the END" when thelanguage change came into effect and the station became RADIO ROCK.

 

 

 

Letter of referral from Bill Thompsonthat Scott Brady(Karl Phillips) used to get other radio jobs.(Submitted by KarlPhillips.

 

 

In"the end" I was informed that I would have to do my shows from thetransmitter site in Guaynabo...no kidding.   All alone,  in a sugarcane field with frogs - cattle and all kinds of bugs,  snakes and crap. They built me a little studio in that little brick building (there arepictures further down in the essay, editor) and I would have to go out there todo my shows.  

 

I couldnot figure out why they did not want me in the hotel at the main studio doingmy shows until just a few years ago it dawned on me.

 

Theywere using the studios to lay down all of the NEW Radio Rock jingles, songs andteasers on carts and they did not want me around to find out what was goingon....because I wasn't allowed to know that the station was about to go Spanishlanguage exclusively and we were all about to get fired.

 

WhenTHE END did come they told us we were released....except for Moonshadow andHeavy Dude.   Bill Thompson and Radio Man bought into Radio AeropuertoInternacional and "THE NEW WRAI" (1520 kHz)  was born and I followed them across town doingmostly midnight until 6AM until about March of 1974 when I decided to get out ofthe Navy and return to Atlanta to WGST Radio 640.   All of the other staffmembers left the island and went north. Charlie Brown went to WLOB 1310 in Portland. JuniorJuncos went over to WNOR in Norfolk and now is in Tucson, Arizona…I think MikeMichaels bought a radio station on St. Croix,  but I am not sure of that.

 

I amnow out of radio and I miss it.   My last job in radio was 2001.   Iam, however,   a voting member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

 

I hopeeveryone enjoys my recollections.

 

"Sweet"Scott Brady - WBMJ  San Juan - 1972-1974

 

KarlPhillips

 

 

Jack Curtiss(formerly of twin stations RadioEngland/Dolfijn-Britain Radio) writing for the SanJuan Star in the Summer of 1972 on San Juan radio ratings.(Clipping submitted byKarl Phillips.

 

Mylong-term contact in connection with radio stations aboard the ”Olga Patricia”off the UK in 1966-1967, Jack Curtiss, formerly of RadioVisionbroadcast Int’l (trading in the UK/Holland in 1966/67) and now living inAustralia has given a very valuable input on that operation, but he also says he wasin Puerto Rico from late 1968 to early 1974 and remember the Bob Hope stationWBMJ very well:

 

“(Your)recent WBMJ)notes set off a nostalgiabinge... a flood of Puerto Rico memories and people whose names I've not seenin ages. Funny thing about Bob Bennett and start-up of WBMJ. He was the firstperson I contacted after reading about the station in a San Francisco newspaperand he told me not to come..that there were no jobs (one English station wasalready closing down and going Spanish) and that I'd hate the place and want toleave almost as soon as I got there. Naturally, I ignored his counsel, wentanyway in Dec. 1968, and within a few months, became program director ofWHOA-AM, the oldest English-language station in town. I must have arrived witha few days of you hearing that first BMJ broadcast from the Darlington. I ampuzzled how very little information is available on-line about WHOA (wheretalkhost Sally Jessy Raphael of NBC’s Talknet got her start) and its longtimeowner Carmina Mendez who managed to take control of that station and a relatedpermit to build a TV station from her American ex-husband in a divorce settlement.

 

I recall very clearly operating the board for a fewof Sally Jessy’s broadcasts.

 

I loved Puerto Rico, the pace and the tropicallifestyle. I did radio, TV, newsapers, magazines even became president of thecivic theatre and starred in a play. It was all so seductive I could see howeasy it was for other Anglos I knew to let their years there stretch intodecades but I was determined to move on. So in February 1974 I hopped the planeto Paris to rejoin my French bride and closed out five happy balmy years in theCaribbean.

 

 

Former “pirate”of Texan Radio in the UK, JackCurtiss, PD of WHOA-AM 870, San Juan, Puerto Rico, later of the San Juan Star.

 

Also in March, 2008, former listener Alan B.Bernier contacted us:

 

I read your very interesting information about theold WBMJ 1190 radio in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was a listener since 1969 tothat station. The old station was located on one of the penthouses and had oneof the most panoramic sights in Puerto Rico since the building was the tallest structureon the island at that time.

 

The current station (in its Christian format)transmits from today in the Santurce area of San Juan, not in Miramar.

 

Around 1980 or so WBMJ advertised they would hire someyoung people that had knowledge of Rock music. I was a student at theUniversity of Puerto Rico at that time and figured that having been a listenersince I was a kid, I would be perfect for the job, Well so did a few hundredothers that crowded the station lobby. The station people started passingaround a test/application form that included questions about DISCO and LATINmusic to general outrage of those present. Most of us were true rockers and didnot care for any other music.  After a while the manager came out and toldus they has already chosen the people they were looking for and sent the restof us away with a gift of a car license plate with the station logo on it. Ithink I still have it somewhere.

 

It’s interesting to point out that some of thepeople on Gene Lisansky’s Cellar Creatures photo such as Raymond Broussard(Moonshadow), Emmanuel "Sunshine" Logrono, Luis Vigoreaux, MarianoArtau and Alba Raquel Barros are very well known in radio and TV in PuertoRico and the United States. And George McDougall just happens to be back as anewsman on the San Juan English language WOSO station these days!

 

Alan B. Bernier

San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

WBMJpersonnel[4]:

 

Rick D'Amico (Now on TV in Phoenix, Arizona)

Don Mariano Artau

AlbaRaquel Barros

http://www.prpop.org

Philip "Sanchez" Baker

BobBennett(GM), 1968-, deceased

ScottBrady(Karl Phillips)1972-1974

CharlieBrown, 1968-1974

Moonshadow (Raymond Broussard) now on mornings atWSKQ-FM in the New York City market.

DavyO'Donnell

George McDougall - News

http://www.woso.com/programs/profiles/mcdougall.asp

BillJohnson, 1968- Commercial and Promotions Manager

BillThompson, 1968- the first Program Director

JuniorJuncos(Kris Kelly, Clayton Cox), 1970

http://www.440.com

GeneLindsey, 1970 (Eugene Lisansky)

http://www.epinions.com/user-mrnews

http://www.440.com

Emmanuel“Sunshine” Logrono,

Willie Lopez 1975(dj)[5]

Marty Malo

Jose Manuel 1975(Station Manager)

Mike Michaels - PD

HectorOrtiz, deceased

ManoloPerez, 1968 (CE, Chief Engineer)

Gary Phillips

Rudy Rivas - Chief Engineer

Tom Sherwood - News (Later went over to the newWRAI)

JohnSimon, 1968 News Director

Luis Vigoreaux(1980s)

http://www.wikipedia.org

Heavy Dude - this guy was wild on the radio, funny,and could not speak English very well...but entertaining nonetheless.... Thisper Karl Phillips.

The Receptionist. Karl Phillips cannot remember hername but she also did some commercials and he says she was real nice.

 

And thenit’s over to Bruce Conti - Nashua NH, NRC-AM:

 

Ireceived a verification letter from 1190 WBMJ in 1999 in which it states,"WBMJ - We Broadcast the Message of Jesus... WBMJ, with 10,000 watts ofpower, was purchased in 1985 and changed to an all-Christian format in Englishand Spanish on September 29, 1986." The station is owned by Calvary Evangelistic Mission (CEM), Inc.  A brief history of CEM and 1370 WIVV isdescribed; "WIVV - West Indies Voice of Victory... On December 8, 1956,WIVV went on the air with 1,000 watts of power (upgraded to 5,000, September,1970)."  The earliestreference to WBMJ that I have is in the NRC Domestic Log, 5th Edition, 1978-79,indicating location at the Penthouse, Borinquen Hotel, San Juan, with a Spanishpop format and slogan "Radio Rock." 1190 WBMJ is not listed in theSummer 1958 Jones station listings, so it's a relatively new AM station.

 

General comments on Puerto Rico AM Radio late 60s/early70s

By SvennMartinsen

 

I rememberWUNO “Radio Uno” 1320 well, with many more receptions than WBMJ, indeed almost everymorning when “sunrise” dx was discovered in the early 70s.

 

This wasactually as WNEL one of the big DX stations for Swedish DXers in the 40s.

 

 

 

 

APuerto Rico AM station made impression in Europe. WBMJ Grafitti from 1969.

 

 

Also WQIIGuaynabo 1140 the "Once Q" managed for a time by David Gleason heardon Dec. 24th, 1975  which he sentme a QSL letter for. Many other PR stations did make it over here, WLUZ RadioLuz 1600, WXRF 1590, WRSJ 1560 ”Radio San Juan” in Spanish, WRAI R Aeropuerto1520, WMDD R El Conquistador 1480, WVOZ ”R Voz” 1400, (I heard this localstation with good strength several times. I notice those call letters are nowused further down the dial.)WISA Isabela 1390, WIVV 1370, WBQN 1160 many timesall. WOSO El Oso in English 1030 just once, so WMIA R Mia 1070. Also WHOA 870,WAPA 680, WKAQ 580 and surely others I forget now.. Oh yes, WNEL 1430. Owing tothe salt-water path often good strengths. As to WBMJ, I remember also The RadioRock and the later REL format. (Heard only once in early January, 1986 withWLIB New York, NY on the old pattern and CJMR Missisauga, ON(old frequency) ona sunset opening, with also WOWO and CHTN(old frequency) in there.)

 

 

 

 
 
 
But no reception made a greaterimpression than the great early WBMJ non-directional nights. Signed by CE RudyRivas?
 
WBMJToday

 

WBMJ is licensed to the capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, andhas a power output of 10,000 directional watts on AM 1190 KHz. WBMJ covers theSan Juan Metroplex, adjacent cities, and the Central and North-Eastern portionsof the main island of Puerto Rico. The US Territory population of WBMJ'scoverage area is 2,175,500. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United Stateswhere English is spoken as a second language. Its site is near Guaynabo, inGurabo County, Puerto Rico. Coordinates: Latitude: 182100N Longitude: 0660650W. Thesite is near to that of WAPA-680 and WIAC-FM, and relatively near WQII-1140. ChiefEngineer is Eugenio Figueroa, also used by WOSO-1030.

 

 

WIVV islocated on the Island of Vieques, PR, has a power output of 5,000omni-directional watts on AM 1370 Khz. WIVV covers the far-Eastern andSouth-Eastern areas of Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, and mostof the Leeward Island of the Lesser Antilles. WIVV's coverage area includesRoosevelt Roads Naval complex. The US Territory populatio of WIVV's coverageares is 1,340,604. Most programs on "The Rock" Radio Network aresimulcast on both stations. CEM intends to increase its number of stations fortotal coverage of Puerto Rico.

 

And thenBert Johnson, K0BKB, former Operations Managerof WBMJ-WIVV Radio gives this input in July, 2004, on what might be theEarliest church-owned radio station in the Lesser Antilles to go on the air. WIVV(West Indies Voice of Victory) was the first missionary radio station and thefirst full-time Christian station in the West Indies.  First broadcast daywas December 8, 1956.  WIVV is located on the Puerto Rican Island ofVieques.  WIVV covers all of the Lesser Antilles and the Eastern half ofPuerto Rico.  It is owned and operated by Calvary Evangelistic Missionlocated in San Juan.  WBMJ, in San Juan, started broadcasting withChristian programming on September 29, 1986.  It used to be, before then called"Radio Rock" and was owned by Bob Hope.  Now it is "TheRock" Radio Network.

 

 

WBMJ-AM(1190 kHz), part of The Rock Radio Network:

WBMJAM-1190, San Juan • WCGB AM-1060, Juana Díaz/Ponce • WIVV AM-1370, ViequesIsland

CalvaryEvangelistic Mission, Inc. 1409 Ponce de Leon Ave., 4th Floor, San Juan, PR00907-4023.

POBox 367000, San Juan, PR 00936-7000. Tel: (787) 724-1190 Fax: (787) 722-3595.Jacqueline Rodríguez, Radio Office Coordinator. The radio stations broadcast18-20 hours daily touching lives in Puerto Rico and the Lesser AntillesIslands.

 

For a coverage map you may also want to look up

http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/info?call=WBMJ&service=AM

and

http://www.lat-long.com/Puerto-Rico/WBMJ-AM-San-Juan_1613454.html

for more information.

 

 

WBMJPhoto Series[6]©

 

 

Ruth Luttrell(middle), President of Calvary EvangelisticMission with her daughters Nita(l) and Janet(r), the present VP of the RockRadio Network. Ruth Luttrell  workswith WIVV, WCGB and WBMJ Radio in Puerto Rico, and The Bible CorrespondenceSchool of the Caribbean as part of CEM. She co-founded CEM with her latehusband, Donald, who has since gone home to the Lord, in 1953 as anevangelical, interdenominational, Bible-based, non profit, faith ministry.

 

 

Beautifuldowntown Old San Juan, PR.

 

 

Santurcearea, San Juan, PR from present WBMJ roof.

 

 

WBMJtransmitter site in Guaynabo, PR.

 

 

WBMJpresent transmitter setup.

 

 

WBMJtower is painted.

 

 

WBMJsouthern tower.

 

 

Bambootrimming at the WBMJ transmitter site.

 



[1] http://www.worldofradio.com/dxld3053.txt

 

[2] Extract of listening log: ”Backin the USSR w the Beatles. (Honk) ”That’s the Beatles from the Beatles albumBack in the USSR, 9.09 WBMJ time, the Charlie Brown show. Ad w catchy Spanishtune, plus ad for ”everybody this holiday season-The San Juan DarlingtonHotel.” Into "California Soul" by the 5th Dimension. (Honk) ”WBMJtime…, the Charlie Brown show.” PSA for ”…memorial hospital.” Music by TommyJames&Shondells(”Crimson and Clover”) and Sly&the Family Stone(”EverydayPeople”) 0220 ”You’re hearing things(2x)on WBMJ 11-90”  0420 …”take you onto headlines w "Stormy" by The Classics IV on the Imperial label…””WBMJ time now 20 minutes after 12pm” ” WBMJ eleven.ninety:twenty twenty newsis now!" News sounder.”Charlie Brown 20/20 news these are the headlinesafter 9” Top story abt ”Chmn Russell Long of Louisiana.”… Music by Status Quo”Ice in the Sun.” Diana Ross&Supremes/Temptations: ”I’m gonna make you loveme.”…”It’s one minute after 1 o’Clock on the new  WBMJ San Juan, PuertoRico, welcome to hour no.4, babies.”

[3] Clif Lines,Boulder, Colorado

http://stripe.colorado.edu/~lines/clif.html

[4] With the aid of Scott Brady(KarlPhillips)and Alan B.Bernier.

[5] On April 6th,1975, Lopez,at work in the WBMJ studio heard three knocks on the windowof the terrace atop the Darlington.Nobody could get out to the terrace without using the door from the studio afew feet from the disc jockey, and Lopez had seen no one use it. Curious, hewent to the window and saw outside a "glowing figure" that ran tohide behind one of the parapets. Nervous, he called the station manager in thehotel. Lopez then went back to the window and saw, close by, a luminous largeobject, performing a rocking motion in the air. Going back to the control desk,he stunned cut into the music to describe to the listeners what he had seen.When the station manager arrived at the studio; the dj was in shock and had tobe taken to the hospital. http://ufoinfo.com/

[6] Used by permission of EM and JM,serving God through the Radio Planting mission ofHCJB World Radio:

http://www.hcjb.org/mass_media/radio/overview.html

 http://www.hcjb.org/mass_media/elkhart_engineering_center/overview.html