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Dec 30 2011

Ring in the old as WRCT flashes back 40 years on New Year’s Eve

Nostalgic for the AMC Gremlin, Spiro Agnew and “The Flip Wilson Show”? Of course you aren’t. Ready or not, WRCT-FM (88.3) will take listeners back to December 31, 1971, this New Year’s Eve, beginning at 9:00 p.m.

In what has become a dubious New Year’s radio tradition in Pittsburgh dating back nearly 10 years, WRCT’s resident oldies guru, Jay Thurber, will again roll back the clock four decades. Unlike 1971 though, the program will be heard over 88.3 FM and online at www.wrct.org. WRCT’s time-traveling sports car ( well, actually, it’s a Dodge Dart Demon) will rev its slant-six-powered flux capacitor up to 88.3 MPH and head for Carnegie Mellon’s old student union, Skibo Hall, in the era when the station was still at 900 kHz AM.

Thurber, WRCT’s resident dinosaur and aspiring elderly crank, will count down the top songs of 1971, interspersed with news reports, commercials and other announcements from the Pittsburgh of that December 40 years ago.

“Even the audio – a glorious, low-fi mono – will sound like 1971! No HD, IBOC or 5.1-Channel Digital sound here, even though WRCT is based at one of the nation’s leading research universities,” says Thurber, “Please don’t tell the National Science Foundation that we’re setting back progress by 40 years!”

The “number one song of 1971” will be unveiled at 12 Midnight, but don’t worry WRCT will tell you exactly when the New Year 1972… er, 2012… arrives.

Thurber (the nom de radio of a Carnegie Mellon grad and WRCT volunteer) hosts a weekly oldies show from 12:00 Noon – 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The oldies show also touts a Facebook page.