Columbus Classic Rock Station Q-FM 96 Celebrates 45 Years On The Air

This month marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of WLVQ-FM 96. For local classic rock fans, February 14, 1977 heralded an exciting new format that would become a strong player and mainstay on Columbus radio.

The first song after the station change at noon on Monday was “New Kid in Town” by the Eagles. Frequency 96.3 on the dial was home to WTVN-FM, a “beautiful music” station, or what used to be called “dentist’s office music.”

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Q-FM was different from other local stations broadcasting at the time. He played album-oriented rock and not necessarily current singles. Its two main competitors were WNCI, which played top 40 hits, and WCOL-FM, plus a progressive rock station where disc jockeys programmed their own music.

QFM96 personalities Jerry Elliott, left, and Mark

Q-FM’s “iconic rock” playlist has remained mostly static over the years – Billy Squier, Boston, AC/DC and ZZ Top were (and still are) a winning combination for a demographic that has aged with the music. .

One of the station’s hugely popular early efforts was its “Hometown Album Project”, which compiled the original songs of local rock artists onto a series of vinyl records. Nine were produced, and in 2021 a tenth was made after a 32-year hiatus. The station’s “House Band Contest” continues to raise the profile of local musicians.

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Listeners could once hear five or six albums played in their entirety overnight on weekends on the “All-Night Album Replay” show.

There were also thousands of gags, celebrity interviews, breakfast clubs and wacky promotions to entice listeners, including “yodel-offs” at Oktoberfest and a Best Legs in Columbus contest on the Statehouse lawn. In 1985 the resort awarded a luxury condo in a dream home, and in 1990 it held a “Push, Pull or Drag” contest, where Paul McCartney tickets were offered to the owner of the “worst pushed car , pulled or dragged”. to trade” at Chrysler Plymouth East on South Hamilton Road.

Kristie Kemper, introduced in 2007, has been on the morning show since 1991.

Longtime listeners have tuned into Q-FM to hear top-notch talent over the years: Pat Still, Mark “Daddy Wags” Wagner, JJ Jeffries, Mike Eiland, Beth Kepple, Russell Carey’s “Psychedelic Sunday,” Jo Robinson, Wendy Steele, Dan Orr, Officer Al, Joe Show, Mark “Munch” Bishop, Arch Madness and many other notables.

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Jerry Elliott, Scott “Torg” Torgerson and Kristie Kemper are the morning jocks.

Contributor Linda Deitch was the Dispatch’s librarian for 25 years.

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