Friday, February 20, 2015


Ravenna Miceli and Steve Pappas in oWOW's temporary studio

Back in the 1970's, John Gorman was the program director of WMMS, which he rescued from the brink of failure and then transformed it into one of the most successful radio stations in the country.

I grew up on Gorman's WMMS. All of my buddies listened to it all of the time. No other radio station in Cleveland could touch it. We all loved 'MMS. It was the soundtrack of our lives.

WMMS, like most commercial terrestrial radio, has gone so far down the tubes it's practically unlistenable.

Humble hostess (lower left) and associates in 1981.
WMMS was playing in the background

Hence, last week, when Gorman slipped me an tipping me about the launch of his new all-digital radio station oWOW, I was thrilled. He agreed to a studio tour and interview two days before his formal presser.

Fresh Water photographer Bob Perkoski and I met with Gorman and the crew Tuesday. We had a blast. I wrote the article as soon as I got home and it went live Wednesday morning. You can read my coverage here.

Oh, me droogies, how the honey did flow.

We absolutely were the first ones to break the story and it got referenced in one radio insider site after another. What a gas it was to see link after link after link and to see other writers paraphrase my work. At least one just plain stole my copy. The only kick in the ass is that while untold droves of people read those blurbs, people rarely click over to a source story.

Yeah, yeah. We get street cred just the same.

This might be the best part of the whole thing. Today, I tuned into oWOW and, me droogies, you are in for one helluva treat. Remember when music radio was great? When you crushed on the DJ's and imagined they were spinning that one song just for you? Or when you loved the stuff you never heard as much as the standards?

The spirit of WMMS is back and I can finally give all of you a real piece of Cleveland. Just hop on over here and click on the "listen now" tab. Just don't forget where you first heard of oWOW (which was, incidentally, a year and a half ago).

Cleveland rocks indeed.

*  *  *


Anonymous said...

Nice profile, Erin. It feels like I haven't listened to an hour of radio since Ravenna was last on the air. I'd rather shut it off and listen to my alternator's death rattle before listening to Bill Lewis play 'Free Bird' again, and during a request hour, to boot.

Ravenna, if you're reading, you've been missed


Kirk said...

I was listening to a an oldies station a while back and they played Pink Floyd's "Money" and, less than ten minutes later, "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. In the 1970s, those two songs and those two artists on the same Cleveland (and everywhere else I bet) radio station would have been unthinkable. Rock and disco together??? Perish the thought!!! (Never mind that they're both derived from rhythm and blues) People put down oldies stations, perhaps for good reason, but listening to one, it's amazing how time heals all wounds.

Anonymous said...

@ Kirk--I think the Bee Gees had some residual goodwill from their earlier career, but they were not the only 'mainstream' band who bellied up to that bar: "Miss You", "Heart of Glass", and the oddest: "Shakedown Street" from the Dead.

BTW--I thought that phrase was "Wounds all heels.'


Erin O'Brien said...

I was listening over to oWOW over the weekend and this came on.


Jargon Scott said...

Good 'ol Debbie.

You know she has five dachshunds? Says a lot about the woman's character I reckon.

The Dachshund Five