Before actually moving to Muncie in 1971, one of the most memorable aspects of visiting our relatives here was listening to the radio stations, notably, WERK.
Back in the 1960s, tunes floating through the air-waves included Diana Ross and the Supremes, The O-Jays, The Jackson Five, and other all the other Mo-town hits of the era. In fact, Smoky Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown” was my first 45rpm record. I played that record so often on my cheap, plastic, portable record player that the grooves practically wore through to side B. I laugh when looking back, thinking I’d actually tote that archaic media device to school with me! The music of James Taylor, The Carpenters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and all of the rest, were all frequently aired during those days.
As I am now back in Muncie (always considered my hometown), I get a deep sense of nostalgia listening to those radio stations, in fact, they even still play the same tunes, or some of them anyway. Some of the popular songs of earlier decades would not be deemed appropriate or “politically correct” today – (i.e. “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap) but the ones they do play, send me right back to some of the most pleasant times and fondest memories I’ve ever known.
With the downturn in the local economy after losing Warner-Gear, Chevy, Marhoeffer, and the list of other major employers that provided livelihood here, it is rewarding to see that the old spirit is still alive and well in the “Magic City”. Though the radio personalities of those bygone eras have long since moved on, much of that “old spirit” has been kept alive with the positive energy flowing through the local airwaves. At times, it has even brought a “tear” to this old “clown”!
WLBC, WERK, and all the other affiliates of Woofboom Radio, are indeed cherished assets that this town can be proud of and thankful for!