OK let’s go back 20 years. It was June 1989 and I had just graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in Waterford, Pa. Between mid 1988 to 89, radio as we knew it then was starting to change. WRIE 1330 signed off in December of 1988 and was sold to Burbach Broadcasting who would move WEYZ from 1450 to 1330 a few months later. (1450 was donated to Penn State Behrend and would become then talk station WPSE.) A few months before that, a young man from Rochester named Richard Rambaldo purchased with various loans an AM/FM combo in North East called WHYP 1530 / 100.9. The AM/FM mono simulcast was the home of country music from legends like Hank Williams Sr., Kitty Wells, Bob Wills, etc. Once the purchase was complete in mid ’88, the country legends gave way to the Beatles. Yes, Erie had its first ever “All Beatles” format 24/7 on vinyl just like the previous format did (one LP album side at a time.) The call letters were changed to WRKT, which reminded me of another AOR rock station with similar calls known as “95 K-Rock” WRKU out of Grove City, Pa. which had a following in the southern part of Erie county in those days. Rambaldo would start an overhaul on the not so powerful stations, focusing mostly on the FM side updating its sound quality. CDs’ would replace vinyl albums and stereo sound would be added to the FM side. Once the work was completed, June 20th would be a huge day as classic rock leaning “Rocket 101” was born at noon that day from the former “One Broadcast Park”. With no advertising budget early on, “word of mouth” promotion would be key to the station’s early success and make “Jet FM 102” and “K-104” take notice. Both even tweaked their playlists at various times more AOR to steal some of Rocket’s ever growing audience with little success. All of this with a somewhat weak signal at 100.9 from North East that would eventually get a power increase. Chris Earl Phillips would be the station’s first morning show host in the early days with different hosts taking mornings after that before Mojo McKay & Natalie Massing would become the current hosts of Rocket’s morning show. 20 years ago, a “Rocket” of a station made an impact on Erie listeners looking for a true rock choice.