rand’s esoteric otr

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Anniversary program - WLAV, Grand Rapids, Michigan - 1950

May 25th, 2008

This program was originally posted on my personal blog a few months ago before this podcast and blog were started. To gather all my radio shows in one location, I'm transferring the program here.

Here's another local radio rarity from my collection of wires. This is a program that appears to have been created for a private party by the staff of radio station WLAV on the occaision of the stations tenth anniversary. The program is a dramatized version of the story of the station that pokes fun at WLAV's founder and owner, Leonard Allen Versluis.

WLAV was located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is now WBBL, which broadcasts a sports-talk format. The show references the American Broadcasting Company, so I'm assuming they were an affiliate at the time of the anniversary.

I contacted the station about the recording, but, with the changes in management over the past fifty-plus years, they didn't know anything about it. They wanted a copy for their collection and I sent it to them; they sent back some WBBM memorabilia, such as a frisbee and t-shirt.

As you listen to the show, not that the sound levels vary - it gets louder as the show progresses. Also note that, at about the 1:45 mark, part of the audio is missing. You hear some scratch and pops, so I think this may have been directly dubbed from a long-lost acetate of the show.


  • P. Nussbaum

    Wanted to thank you for posting the picture. I have to say that, even though I have pursued an interest in otr for forty years I have never actually seen what a recording wire and spool look like. Awesome. Now I will show my kids so they won’t have to wait as long as I did. Thanks again.

    Jun 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm
  • Brent Alberts

    It was cool to see this post. I assume it was you that sent me the cd copies of the broadcast. I still have it, and it’s priceless. Our 40th is coming up in 3 years, it will be a part of the production pieces we use. Thank you for sharing that wire treasure!

    Brent Alberts Director Operations Midwest Region Citadel Broadcasting

    Sep 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm