A Few Good Guys – NEW

Who remembers the WMCA Good Guys? I miss them. From late 1960 until 1970, WMCA (AM 570) was one of New York City’s top Top 40 radio stations. It played the hits, even after progressive FM stations rose in popularity.WMCA did extremely well in New York City where it had a great signal. “It reached the baby boomers at their teenage peak and along the way distributed thousands of sweatshirts imprinted with a smiley faced logo to an enthusiastic audience that drove the station to ratings records,” noted a website devoted to the legend.

WMCA was an independent radio station with no network affiliation. In 1958 the management developed idea of creating “Top 40″ radio, a simple concept: Repeat the most popular songs from a playlist.  The station adopted a novel “team radio” format, where all the air personalities worked together as a cohesive group.

I spent the better part of my radio listening hours getting to know The Good Guys: Joe O’Brien, Harry Harrison, Jack Spector, Don Davis, Harriott, Dandy Dan Daniel, Ed “The Big Bad Bear” Baer. My favorite was B. Mitchel Reed (BMR).

The Good Guys all had the same clean cut haircuts, wore the same suits and worked together at record hops and personal appearances. They sang songs as a group and released a record album “The Good Guys Sing”. They also gave away to lucky listeners sweatshirts emblazoned with the happy face prototype.


About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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