WCYY is Returning to Day One to Celebrate Its 28th Birthday
On July 28th, 1995, WCYY officially "flipped" formats, moving away from adult alternative to a brand-new format known as alternative rock. Before the switch, programmers aired a long, mysterious countdown that drew considerable buzz in southern and central Maine. When the countdown ended, the revolution officially began, as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana hit the airwaves and WCYY's journey commenced.
The Real Story About How WCYY Came Together
If you think the station launch was smooth and well-planned, think again. The idea to turn WCYY from adult alternative to alternative rock was an impulsive one. At that time in radio, very few stations were considered alternative rock, and there was no outline to follow. The leadership behind the scenes at WCYY gave the DJs a budget and sent them to the local record stores to buy up as many CDs featuring alt-rock acts as they could find (we still have the CDs). After some quick research, the WCYY master playlist was typed out, put on display in the studio, and the station was officially launched.
The First Month Had Its Growing Pains
Before radio went digital, everything you heard on-air was played off of CDs and reels. The "Facemelter" Shawn Jeffrey put together the imaging library for WCYY, with painstaking details on what was featured in each reel. From quirky sound effects to the eventual birth of the "I Am CYY" moniker, building a station from the ground up proved to be challenging. But after a few hiccups, the road started to feel smoother.
September 1995 Brought New Programming and WCYY's First Show
After roughly six weeks of working the kinks out, WCYY launched some new programming in September of 1995. The first edition of Spinout aired on a Thursday evening. The speciality program consisted of indie, underground, and local rock that wouldn't make it onto the master playlist. WCYY is proud that 28 years later (and a lot of hard work by Mark Curdo), Spinout still airs every week. WCYY also presented its first show that month at Zootz, featuring a band named Ruth Ruth. While that show was a bit of a bust, WCYY presented another show at Zootz in October featuring an up-and-coming band called Goo Goo Dolls. The rest is history.
WCYY Will Revisit Day One for Its 28th Birthday
Now that WCYY is back to being heard across all of southern and central Maine on the 103.7 signal, WCYY will celebrate its 28th birthday by looking back on its very first day. From 10am-6pm on Friday, July 28, it will be all the tunes from the master playlist for July 28, 1995. Not only that, but there's going to be a few "Happy Birthday" messages from some familiar voices of years past.
Thank you for breathing life in WCYY, and making it one of the longest-running alt-rock stations in the country. Cheers to 28 more!