January 1970, the Capitol Music Hall presented "Cabaret," the first
of may hit shows that would be brought to Wheeling in the months to
come, supplying the community with entertainment never before
In March 1970, the Jamboree, featuring Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, played to an unprecedented 3 sell-out performances at the Capitol Music Hall for well over 7,000 fans.
On July 28, 1970, a group of Jamboree artists traveled to Montreal, Canada to star in a show at the "Man and His World Expo." On August 27th, Jamboree stars were in Canada again this time at the Canadian National Exhibition for a tourism promotion tour for the state of West Virginia.
October 1970 saw another "first", when WWVA and the Jamboree welcomed 152 country music fans from Great Britain. The foreign visitors were WWVA guests at a reception and tour of broadcasting studios and treated to a performance of the Jamboree.
While the impact of WWVA and the Jamboree on the country music was drawing significant attention from all areas of the industry, one cannot overlook other features of WWVA programming. Those special programs that contributed toward making WWVA one of the most vital and dependable all-round radio stations in the industry.
In the are of public service, WWVA continued to broadcast the Farm Show, a popular feature fir early morning (5.30AM) listeners that has been carried for many years, and still today you can here it at the same time. Gospel and religious programs, an early evening feature, continue to be a favorite with the listeners and an important part of 1170 programming. In the late 60's WWVA began airing documentaries, those specially prepare features that scrutinize and expose the frequently hidden facts behind crucial and controversial news topics.
The multi-phased entertainment complex that had been built around WWVA was enjoying great success during 1971 and 1972, attracting large numbers of people to the stage shows and Jamboree at the Capitol Music Hall. They came to see shows like "Hair"; "George M"; "40 Carats"; Al Hirt, Guy Lombardo, "Carousel" (starring John Raitt); "Jesus Christ, Superstar"; Butterflies are Free"; Fred Waring; "Promises, Promises"; also rock music concerts featuring contemporary headlines on the rock music scene.
Closed circuit TV was another entertainment attraction the Capitol Music Hall and sports fans filled the theatre to see the Muhammad Ali heavyweight title fights.
In the spring of 1971, the Jamboree opened its own full service, 8 track recording studio, a modern, fully equipped facility offering recording services, tape duplication, custom record manufacturing, 8 track and cartridge tape services. Known as Jamboree USA Recording Studio, it also enables studio engineers to handle broadcasting for the Saturday night Jamboree. The studio is located in the Capitol Music Hall.
Saturday night continued as country music night of the week and the Jamboree, now in its 38th year, drew fans by the thousands. Guest artists, like Bill Anderson, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Johnny Cash and June Carter appeared regularly in company with the Jamboree stars.
In December 1971, a live Christmas Jamboree was broadcast from within the walls of the West Virginia State Penitentiary at Moundsville, bringing country music to 600 inmates.
December was also the month for the 45th birthday of the station and the 2nd anniversary of the Capitol Music Hall opening as the new home for the Jamboree. West Virginia Governor Arch Moore was among the many guests invited to celebrate the occasion.
In April 1972, a group of Jamboree artists embarked on an Air/Sea Tour to the Bahamas, with more than 100 Jamboree fans, enjoying country music, sea and sun for five fun filled days.
The first homecoming Jamboree, a reunion of Jamboree entertainers of years gone by, was held May 20, 1972 attracting thousands of sentimental fans who shared memories and music with their favorite Jamboree artists from years past. Grampa Jones, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Doc and Chickee Williams and Crazy Elmer headlined this first-of-its-kind show which proved so successful, it was decided to make it an annual Jamboree tradition.
In September 1972, the Jamboree scored again with another big "first", when director Glenn Reeves, a talented showman with creative, bold-thinking and aggressive ideas, put together the first Truckdrivers Jamboree, a musical salute to the men of the road. Dick Curless, Red Sovine, Red Simpson, Dave Dudley and Patti Powell sang for the thousands of truck drivers and their families who came for the show. Its outstanding success assured it of becoming another annual event in the Jamboree country music calendar.
While the Jamboree and the Capitol Music Hall, with their headline stage attractions, continued to gain favor with the public as a lively entertainment center. WWVA radio was gathering more than a few honors of its own. During 1971 and 1972, the station won 7 major national awards in broadcasting journalism, prestigious recognition indeed for a radio station generally recognized as the most listened-to country music station in the Northeast and Canada. To top their well-earned national honors, WWVA was also named (in 1972) recipient of the highest honor in broadcasting, the Peabody Award, which was presented to WWVA for its 26 year old radio lesson in democracy, "Junior Town Meeting of the Air." In the filed of public affairs programming, WWVA had earned the highest accolades.
September, 1972, it had been 10 years since Basic Communications, Inc., bought radio station WWVA, a decade that had seen the successful fulfillment of the ambitious goals Mr. Mogel outlined when he first explored the quietly expanding modern country sound back in the early 60's. WWVA, the Jamboree and the Capitol Music Hall had experienced dynamic growth and expansion, enviable development that attracted recognition from competitive giants in the radio and country music field.
On September 1, 1972, ownership of the WWVA radio complex changed hands once again wen Mr. Mogel sold the station to Screen Gems Radio Stations, Inc., a division of Columbia Pictures of New York. Mr. Mogel was appointed Executive Vice-President of Screen Gems and continued to exercise the same influence in the business affairs of the station. Screen Gems found it un-necessary to make any major policy changes in the operation of WWVA and its related entertainment enterprises, and continued to follow the successful formula that had been established.
The Jamboree enjoyed a prestige it had never before known. Throughout the year, nationally known country music artists such as Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, Charlie Pride, Loretta Lynn, Tom T. Hall, Glen Campbell, Marty Robbins, and Tammy Wynette joined top talent Jamboree regulars and in November 1975, Johnny Cash set an all-time Jamboree record with 6 shows in 3 days before close to 15,000 people.
The annual Truckdrivers Jamboree had become a nationally recognized country music event rating coverage in leading magazines and attracting the attention of major trucking manufacturers and related industries. Responsibility for this focus of attention on truck drivers and their country music is due, in part, to the immense popularity of Buddy Ray, a jovial, loquacious southerner from Harlan County, Kentucky, who acts as Jamboree host each Saturday night and handles the increasingly popular WWVA All-Night Show, sending out country music, traffic and weather bulletins for travelers, and chatter geared to those who travel the highways throughout the lonely hours of the night. He has been a guest on several major TV network shows and in January 1976, was a featured personality, along with The Heckles of the Jamboree, on the NBC Today Show.
In January 1974, the Jamboree Tour Service was inaugurated, a Jamboree enterprise that serves as a clearinghouse for tour organizers and tour brokers to buy all the services they need for tour groups coming to Wheeling for a Jamboree weekend.
The Capitol Music Hall will continue to present only the finest in contemporary stage production, high-quality entertainment that will please the most discriminating theatre goers in the Wheeling metropolitan area. The Need for additional WWVA office space was met in December 1974 with the completion of a renovating project on the lower floor of the Capitol Music Hall. WWVA Radio remained the nucleus around which the lively entertainment complex evolved, even though the famous Wheeling station and the Jamboree continued to be synonymous in the minds of many thousands of country music fans.
In truth, each is an integral part of the other, both being built on the business of "Bringing Country to the Country," and effort that has earned front-rank status for both in the county music industry.
While worldly recognized primarily as a country music station that is wholeheartedly committed to public service, community involvement and accurate news reporting. Dedication to the medium and to the audience, has since 1972, bought WWVA more than 29 major national awards in programming and documentaries. Never in the history of broadcasting has one station done so much to serve its audience.
1976 was the year of America's Bi-Centennial, the year of WWVA's Golden Anniversary. Fifty years is a long time. It had been half a century of serving and entertaining a faithful audience. It had been 5 decades of steady, sturdy growth that would have been impossible without the support of millions of dedicated listeners. It had been one-fourth of America's bi-centennial history.
Fifty years have passed since Paul M. Neigh spoke the fist words over John Stroebel's little 50-watt radio station. Through those 50 years, a passing parade of people, many gone and forgotten with time, have left their mark, helped shape, contributed and labored in some measure toward making The BIG One NewsRadio 1170 WWVA the radio giant it is today.
For 1170 WWVA, a 50 year-observance is only a pause at a Golden milestone.
1926 - 1934 | 1935
- 1949 | 1950
- 1958 | 1959
- 1969 | 1970 - 1976
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