WHAT-FM

In 1944, Dolly Banks, and her brother William Banks, purchased WHAT-AM from the Public Ledger. The deal included an extremely low profile FM station at 96.5 FM, which simulcasted the AM until the mid 50s.

what-fm-96-5-2nd-quaker-jazz-festival-program-1967

In 1956, a young man named Sid Mark began hosting an all night music show, the first “live” programming on the FM station. Each morning at the conclusion of the show, two patch cords would be plugged back in to simulcast the AM for the rest of the day. To the surprise of station management, Mark’s Jazz show quickly gained popularity. In 1958, the decision was made for WHAT to become the country’s first 24 hour, live FM Jazz station, a format it would keep for the next 17 years.

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