NO. 1 IN DETROIT! WKNR-AM STAYS ON TOP . . . JULY 2, 1966 – Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Memories From the Soundtrack of Your Life


September 13th, 2012

From the MCRFB news archive: 1966






From the MCRFB Aircheck Library, featuring:





WKNR 1966: WKNR-AM – Bob Green – 1966

WKNR 1967: WKNR-AM – Scott Regen – 1967

WKNR 1967: WKNR-AM – Dick Purtan – 1967



Billboard WKNR July 2, 1966

DETROIT — Despite a tight playlist — 31 records — WKNR has won the crown again as the major influence on sales on single records in the Detroit market — the nation’s fifth largest radio market. The latest Billboard Radio Response Rating survey shows the station with 47 per cent of the votes from record dealers, distributors, one-stop operators and local and national record executives. The next closet competitor has only 29 per cent of the votes.

WKNR had 44 percent of the votes in last year’s survey. Bob Green, the station’s major deejay, again took top honors as the major individual influence on the teen market with 30 percent of the votes.


Bob Green

Though WKNR plays comparatively few records over-all, the new records it exposes get extra emphasis, said program director Frank Maruca. Besides the 31 records on the playlist, Maruca features a key single and key album of the week and the top three selling albums, regardless of what they are. The key single and album, however, are brand new records Maruca feels will make the best seller charts.

Last week, the key single was “Friday’s Child” by Nancy Sinatra. Normally, the key single is by established artists, but “Day For Decision” by Johnny Sea was “out of left field. I even broke our rule and put it out (on the playlist) in the middle of the week and normally I would never do that except with the Beatles or the Supremes.”


Scott Regen

The key single of the week gets heavy airplay on the station. But, basically, Maruca believes that the tight playlist is the answer in today’s Hot 100 format radio. But, one thing for sure, the music is getting better,” he said. “The record buyers are becoming more selective and the music has to be much better than three or four years ago. When Frank Sinatra makes No. 1, like he is on our playlist now, that’s something to write home about. Too, the groups are turning out songs now with a melody. . . . the day of hard raucous songs are gone.” He said he thought teen-aimed music would continue to grow and improve.


Dick Purtan

WKNR set an all-time record in billings June 13, “and still have the rest of the month to go,” Maruca said. He attributed the popularity of the station in both audience and billings to personalities like Bob Green, who’s “an excellent straight personality with a quiet approach, Scott Regen, who’s become associated with top name artists, and Dick Purtan, who uses a lot of humor.” END


Addendum: Here’s the Radio Response Rating for WKNR in Detroit according to the Billboard Magazine July 2, 1966 edition:

* Top Stations (Pop Singles):

1. WKNR AM-FM 47%  2. CKLW AM – FM 29%  3. WXYZ AM – FM 24%

* Top Disk Jockeys (Pop Singles):

1. Bob Green, WKNR; 30%  2. Tom Shannon, CKLW; 20%  3. Scott Regen, WKNR; 15% 

All Others: Lee Alan, WXYZ; Dave Prince, WXYZ; Joey Reynolds, WXYZ; Dave Shafer, CKLW; Duke Windsor, CKLW.

* Top Jockeys (Pop Singles) By Time Slot (Detroit Market):

Morning — Dick Purtan, WKNR;  Mid-Morning — Ted Clark, WKNR;  Early-Afternoon — Jerry Goodwin, WKNR;  Traffic Man — Bob Green, WKNR;  Early-Evening — Scott Regen, WKNR;  Evening — J. Michael Wilson, WKNR;  All Nite — Jim Jeffries, WKNR.

* Music Director, Program Director, Or Librarian (Most Influential In Exposing Records):

Paul Cannon, Assistant Program Director, WKNR;  Hugh Frizzell, Program Director, CKLW;  Dave Prince, Music Librarian, WXYZ.

MCRFB Note: Click all images for larger views.

(The WKNR Billboard July 2, 1966 page scan courtesy Scott Westerman’s; Bob Green, Scott Regen and Dick Purtan photos all courtesy the George Griggs Collection).

The 1965-1966 WKNR bumper sticker. (WKNR bumper-sticker was re-created by Dave Riley of Redford, Michigan; scan courtesy Scott Westerman’s facebook/

 (Information and news source: Billboard; July 2, 1966)

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  • Len Brugnano says on: November 25, 2012 at 8:26 PM


    When we moved back to Detroit after 4 years in Minnesota I was a 12 year old who never went anywhere without his transistor radio. And once I discovered Keener 13 I listened to it exclusively. I used to have the music guides for every week from 1966 to 1970. I picked them up religiously on the day they were dropped off at Ross Records.
    Some of the best memories in my life center around Keener and the music that was hot at that time. I was thrilled to find that someone had cared enough to create this site. Thanks!

    • Jim Feliciano says on: December 2, 2012 at 10:30 PM


      Len, thanks for sharing your special Keener moments with us and of your expressed appreciation that we are here at Motor City Radio Flashbacks as well. For everything possible on classic Detroit radio, keep staying tuned to . . . .

    • Chris says on: December 1, 2017 at 8:29 PM


      Was that back when I used to help you with the paper route for a nickel?

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Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Memories From the Soundtrack of Your Life