‘‘ T H E  P L A T T E R  C H A T T E R  T H A T  M A T T E R S ’’

The Birth of Top 40 Radio...

The term "Top 40" for a radio format first appeared in 1960.

At his radio station KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska. Todd Storz invented the format by using what he saw from the repetition of plays on the jukebox to develop his platform.

The format was commercially successful, and Storz and his father Robert, under the name of the Storz Broadcasting Company, subsequently acquired other stations to use the new Top 40.

The Top 40 became a survey of the popularity of 45 rpm singles and their airplay on the radio. Some nationally syndicated radio shows featured a countdown of the 40 highest ranked songs on a particular music or entertainment publication.

Although such publications often listed more than 40 charted hits, such as the Billboard Hot 100, time constraints allowed for the airing of only 40 songs, hence, the term "top 40" gradually became part of the vernacular associated with popular music. And it remains in play today.

   A N D  R E C E N T L Y  A D D E D:

Shane Gibson

A Buffalo radio legend, Shane Gibson, also known as “The Cosmic Cowboy” and “Shane
Brother Shane,” spent more than 30 years dedicating his life in roles as both a deejay and program director all across the United States.

Gibson began his radio career in 1962 at KFWB in Los Angeles. A year later he moved to Montana working at several stations across the state. In 1967, he traveled cross country to WCOG in Greensboro, NC replacing Jack Armstrong as deejay and program director. Shortly after that, he headed back west to KGA in Spokane, WA and then KMAK in Salt Lake City, UT in 1969. Gibson finally came to Buffalo in 1973, where he came in second place after doing a one show audition at WKBW for the “Great American Talent Hunt.”

Several months later he replaced the winner as the KB night man. He continued to work in Buffalo at WYSL in 1974, then WGR until 1985, leaving as PD. He was brought back by the Rich family as program director again until 1989.

Gibson moved back to Richmond, VA to once again work at WLEE until finally leaving radio and joining the PGA in 2002. He currently serves as a golf instructor in Richmond.

On the night of March 7, 1972 Max Gibson auditioned for the night (6-10 PM) on-air slot on then 50,000 watt WKBW radio. "Shane" was one of several jocks from around the country competing to replace Jackson Armstrong, on Program Director Jeff Kaye's Great American Talent Hunt.

Shane was not the initial winner of the talent search, instead it went to Warren Miller known as "The Janitor". However, Kaye dumped "The Janitor" after just a few months and brought back Shane, who stayed for two years before jumping to WYSL and eventually WGR 550.

From the Day he arrived in Buffalo in 1974 for WKBW’s Great American Talent Search wearing pants with SHANE written in studs up and down the legs, to the day he ran for Common Council in Buffalo, Shane always kept the Queen City on its ear.

Shane has received many honors, including being rated the number one jock in America by Billboard Magazine in 1965 while working at KUDI in Great Falls, Montana. Gibson moved back to Richmond, VA to once again work at WLEE until finally leaving radio and joining the PGA in 2002. He later served as a golf instructor in Richmond.

There’s no way to justly describe the Cosmic Cowboy…. Buffalo’s Shane Brother Shane.
“WYSL:1975” (2:53) “WGR:1977” (6:43) “Shane Sings” (3:43)
Shane drops in on the Sandy Beach Show at WBEN on July 31, 2009.
[ LISTEN ] (51:56)




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...and In Rode the Disc Jockeys

“DJs” have had a key role in shaping radio listener's musical tastes since the 1950s. They reflected national and local musical trends, exposed audiences to new music, and in some cases produced records and managed artists. Many DJs became celebrities, actively engaged and influential in the national music scene.

DJs came into being as a result of changes in the radio industry after the advent of television in the 1950s. In the earlier years of radio broadcasting, programming featured mainly live entertainment such as dramas, comedy acts, and studio orchestras and singers. When television came into widespread use, the audience for this type of programming largely abandoned radio for the new medium. In response, radio stations began offering a new type of entertainment by having their announcers play records on the air.

Thus was born the “disc jockey” or “DJ.”