Philadelphia Radio Archives
History of Philadelphia radio station 1110 WNAP
WNAR was on the air from at least 1947 serving Norristown and Montgomery County as a 500 watt daytimer on 1110 AM. Until the late 1960s, much of the service area was rural and undeveloped, with the signal barely reaching Philadelphia. In the 1960s and 1970s, the station was owned by Victor Mauck.
In 1965, the station began programming a middle of the road format, and by the late 1960s, the station was selling time-brokered slots. Between paid programs, a top 40 format was heard with hosts Johnny Deveraux and others. Some of the WNAR staff included Al Novak (later on KYW), Dan Baker, Cousin Larry with the morning show, Ron Joseph, and “Super Lou.”
In the 1970s, a syndicated beautiful music format debuted with the voice of John Doremus.
The station was sold in 1984 and the call letters became WGHW, switching to WNAP in 1987. The station then programmed a gospel music format under the name “Gospel Highway Eleven” with 4,800 watts, covering much of the Philadelphia area.
The station signed off the air for the final time on March 1, 2021, as it prepared to sell the land where its studios and towers were located. A local developer had received zoning approval the previous year to build 40 homes on the 5.35 acre site. The land used for the broadcast tower had apparently become more valuable than what the small AM station could ever hope to earn through advertising revenue.
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1. Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by Carmen Malizia:
I was in High School in 1967 Johnny Deveraux would pick me up early Sunday morning, first we would work at WIFI on Potshop Road, then we would go down Germantown pike to WNAR playing church tapes and time-brokered Super Lou and RJ. I still remember "Super Lou woul insist on a eccho which was created using a tape loop on the old ampex tape recorder that was located next to the RCA 500 Watt Transmitter.
2. Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2012 by CHRISTOPHER HAGEE:
I remember well in the 1970s when I had been hearing WNAR Radio (1110 AM) for local news, Penn State football and that "Music of your Life". The sta. had great personalities such as Johnny Doremus, Chuck Irwin, Dan Baker, Al Novak, Johnny Kraft and the late Frankie Castner. And also one of my favorite parts about 'NAR was at the conclusion of their bcst. days when they had played the "Star-Spangled Banner" (U.S. National Anthem). And man, was it a great marching-styled version, or what? If anyone has a rare vintage cassette tape with a recording of that instrumental version of the "S.S.B.", which is one my favorite versions of the U.S. National Anthem. Could you mail it to me at the following address:135 Westridge Pl., So., Phoenixville, PA 19460-3377.
3. Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Gary Hendler:
Iworked at Universal Record Dist from age 14 to 24 (1968-77) John Devereaux would come to the record co and pick up DJ copies and he would drive me home to Havertown..I believe he was missing a hand. Anyway does anyone know what happened to him
4. Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 by Larry Shannon:
Anbody know where Super Lou is? I worked with him at WKLX in Norfolk in 1971.
5. Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by Jose Fritz:
I just found a recording of WNAR from about 1950. I posted the audio here: http://tenwatts.blogspot.com/2013/02/transcription-mystery-disc-158.html
6. Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2013 by Craig Baker:
Began radio work at WI-FI 92.5 FM in 1961. Worked with Johnny Devereaux there, and also at WNAR in '67 and '68. Still hear from him. Johnny has been in San Jose for many years. Still hear from Marv Bachrad, the WNAR sports Guru also. Great memories keeping that old RCA BTA 1MX on the air.
7. Posted on Saturday, January 18, 2014 by David:
Dan Baker?!? DAN BAKER??!?? YOU don't mean THE PHILLIES' AND EAGLES' PUBLIC-ADDRESS ANNOUNCER, do you?
8. Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014 by Carmen Malizia:
Craig Baker, I am just wondering if you are still in touch with Johnny Devereaux, I know he was Armenian, he lost fingers on one hand when he was working in a family rug business. That's what he told me. I wish I could get in touch with him.
9. Posted on Saturday, September 6, 2014 by Eric Hampson:
Super Lou is my step father he is now retired but I'm sure would love a reunion
10. Posted on Thursday, August 6, 2015 by mark armstead:
Can anyone tell me the name of the song(artist) they play during interludes(station breaks) on gospel highway circa 1975. I can vaguely recall a female lead w/choir. I would greatly appreciate it if any can remember. The song reminds me of my grandma(Eva Mae Armstead) who passed almost 30 yrs ago. God bless!!!
11. Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 by jwoolmington:
Doing a story on my father's life. What stations covered the Phillies and Eagles in 1946-51?
12. Posted on Saturday, April 2, 2016 by Richard Franklin:
Some WNAR jingles are being recycled by CE Dave McCrork at: http://www.wnar-am.com/graphical/ I knew most of the people and worked for several of the stations mentioned.Al Novack recently retired from KYW/CBS
13. Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Mel Caddell:
Johnny Devereaux has fond memories of his days as a DJ. He is retired and lives in Sunnyvale CA He would love to hear from the people who remember him. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
14. Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 by Geoff Edwards:
In the late 60's there was a dance show broadcast from the Benson East Apts in Jenkintown, hosted by "Super Lou". Looking for anyone who remembers - when I mention it today, people think I'm making it up :-(
15. Posted on Monday, February 6, 2017 by Eddie Shapiro:
Dear Geoff Edwards I remember Jam Session with Super Lou. I used to dance on that T V show, and I would love to see pictures and videos if they are available. Please let me know. On one show, James and Bobby Purify came and sang "I'm Your Puppet".
16. Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2017 by pappa louie lavong:
Johnny Devereaux used the air name "Johnny D" on WNAR's soul show on the weekend in the summer of 1968. I remember him Playing "Boogaloo Down Broadway", by Norristown's Fantastic Johnny C. The show would come on prior to sign off on (Saturday?). Anyway, those are the old days. I wonder if he knew Ron Diamnond? (Ron Cutler?)
17. Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Anthony Pretzello:
Im looking to find Larry Malinaro COUSIN LARRY WNAR and his wife Sandy. I took guitar lessons from Sandy and had a wonderful relationship with the family. They had a daughter Janette. They lived just outside Norristown. Any assistance would be great full. Thank you.
18. Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2017 by Billy Wilson:
I remember Super Lou and Damon Castle but not sure if Johnny Dee was on that station but he was really good. Anyone know where he is now?
19. Posted on Monday, January 22, 2018 by Steve Mondros:
To Anthony Pretzello- I "Googled "Larry Molinaro" + WNAR and saw several mentions-unfortunately, 1 was an obituary from January 2008... I can you info from the Inquirer obit...
20. Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Barbara:
I danced on Jam Session in the late 60’s. Interested in pictures and video from the show.
21. Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019 by Russ Stewart:
I seem to remember in the early to mid 60’s, WNAR would host sick hops at the Perkiomen Valley fire house some Friday nights. I believe the DJ was Marv Bachrod (sp), who also hosted an after noon call in dedication program. Super nice guy!
22. Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2019 by John McConomy:
i worked as super lou's assistant in the summer of 1967 and had a great time! he was/is an awesome guy and very willing to help out a young kid who had dreams of being a dj. also helped him at record hops at east norriton fire hall. i recall that he had another guy helping...coupe deville. caught up with lou a few years later in allentown when he was on the am station there. would like to know how he's doing these days.
23. Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by Joe Reilly:
On WIBF on Sunday Night was the Joe Niagra TV Show at 8pm. Then they started a show weekdays with Bill Willow. Super Lou replace Bill.
24. Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 by Larry:
I also danced on Jam Session would love to see videos
25. Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 by Barry Schneck:
Anybody remember Phil Piacitelli? (aka Phil Josephs), teh group; "High Hopes" or The Cousins? Winter Champagne or Lonesome Road? My aunt just shared a stack of Phil's records with me and I'd like to know more about him. He was a native of Norristown. He died in 1994. Phil had connections with Joe Beal in Atlantic City and Jazy-Bea Records. Also WNAR 1110 AM and NAR Records as well as Decca Records. There is so little information out there.
26. Posted on Sunday, January 5, 2020 by ORIGINAL SUPER LOU:
PHIL WAS KIND, GENEROUS,TALENTED AND " THE HIGH HOPES" ALWAYS DREW A CROWD. LARRY MOLINARO, BUDDY BRODE, TONY BEKAS, MARV BACHRAD AND THE STAFF AT WNAR LOVED THIS MAN , AS WE GLADLY PLAYED HIS RECORDINGS.
27. Posted on Sunday, May 10, 2020 by Susan Seidelman :
I used to dance on Super Lou’s Jam Session after school in 1967 or 1968. I was 15 at the time. I remember the show must have been broadcast at around 4 or 5 pm, as I went straight from school. I’d love to see some video from that time, but I think back then it was a direct broadcast and probably never recorded? Does anyone know? Just as a bit of trivia, I always loved music and dance parties and went on to become a film director several years later (directed Madonna in “Desperately Seeking Susan”...etc.) but it all started with Jam Session in Jenkintown!
28. Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 by andy lewis III:
would like to hear from super lou, I managed the Combo Kings & we played at the East Noriton fire hall with super Lou & Sal Gambone Capt Andy 215-855-2013
29. Posted on Monday, April 19, 2021 by Al Disimone:
I remember being at the Benson East where I met disc jockey DAMON CASTLE who was doing everything back then from record hops and TV commercials to rock concert promotions. A really nice guy who I think made a fortune in other business endeavors.
30. Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2021 by John Mellon:
I worked at WHOL in early '70s later at WPST, Trenton. Living in Pocono mountains. Whater happened to Jerry Kane and Max DeCarlo of WIFI. Worked as: Ron London and Walt Ballard. Would love to hear from anyone working radio in 70s and 80's
31. Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 by Vinnie Roggio:
fond memories of riding with Lou to Channel 29 and with Sal Gambone to the Joe Niagara show to dance...and Andy and his Combo Kings in E. Norriton....later Johnny D tried to sign my band, the Twilights, to a record deal but we declined....probably should have signed....those were the days.......
32. Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 by Curt Risley:
When I was a freshman in college I worked at WNAR during the summer of 1976 filling in on weekday afternoons from 2pm until signoff at sunset. Tony Bekas was the program director at that time and Al Novak was the news director. Novak was a real class act; I can't say enough good things about him...great guy and a real pro. I can't remember the chief engineer's name but he was a real horses ass. Every afternoon featured 2 hours of the syndicated John Doremus Show which arrived on reel-to-reel from WGN Chicago. I later learned that Doremus was the innovator of in-flight audio programming on airlines including Air Forces One. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
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