Sharon Leach, 1964
Sharon Leach, in her radio days (1964)

Sharon's sister Judy, her daughter, and Sharon, 1996
Sharon's sister Judy, Judy's daughter, and Sharon, at Virginia Beach

Her friend Brad and Sharon, 2002
Friends Brad and Sharon, 2002

The Sharon Leach Collection

Sharon Leach was born in the same town as country singer Patsy Cline — Winchester, Virginia. She writes:

"I still live there. I am divorced with 3 grown children and currently work in healthcare. I have a nephew who works in radio in nearby West Virginia. In fact, he was the one who told me about REELRADIO. I've been visiting the site for several years and I have to say it's among my favorites.

My ties to radio go back to the early 1960s. I grew up listening to WABC out of New York and Buffalo's WKBW. Locally, I listened to WHPL in Winchester. They were on the air for nearly 21 years, from 1961 through 1982. Their Top 40 days are what I remember the most.

Thanks to my then-employer (the long defunct Diana Shops chain stores) I was able to cut radio commercials for them. That lead to other commercials (there were not many women on the air back then.)

I never did get into radio full-time myself, but over the years I did manage to develop close friendships with many of local radio DJs.

I also developed a "hobby" of taping things off the radio. At first, I did it just for the music, but later, I did it to hear both the announcer and the music. The collection grew over the years. I hope you enjoy them!"

The Repository thanks Sharon Leach for sharing!

[Descriptions by Sharon Leach]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 64.1 Kbps (16 Khz)

Brian Murphy WNVZ-FM (Z104) Norfolk, VA, July 1984 (9:44)

. . . some people are just not satisfied with a good-night kiss . . .

[Description by Sharon Leach]

In 1983, I was vacationing in nearby Virginia Beach when I first heard Z104. A couple on the beach were playing it on their radio. I liked what I heard. That night I went to a nearby Zayre and bought a radio, since I had left mine at home, 180 miles away.

Picture of
Brian Murphy,
B101, 2011

I didn't know at that time that Z104 had made its debut not long before. I recorded Z104 right on the beach. I can still remember the sunburn I got.

In July 1984, exactly a year later, I went back to the same Virginia Beach motel. This time it rained, so no sunburn, but I did manage to get this aircheck of Z104. Only problem is, I have no idea who the DJ is! He never said his name.

[REELRADIO 09/14/2003: Our educated visitors identified Brian Murphy. Murphy passed away on November 29, 2011, after battling cancer for many years.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (12 Khz)
Glenn Kalina, WCAU-FM Philadelphia, May 1985 (6:36)

. . . Divine Sunshine today! . . .

[Description by Sharon Leach]

Here is Glenn Kalina doing middays on WCAU-FM in Philadelphia. I taped it on the bus in May, 1985, as I was headed to Atlantic City on one of those overnight gambling trips.

It opens with Dave Madden (from The Partridge Family and Alice TV shows) doing a spot for the Clover discount chain.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (10 Khz)
Phlash Phelps, WKMZ-FM 97.5 Martinsburg, WV 1990 (7:02)

. . . Serving The Universe, from high atop the West Virginia Mountains . . .

[Description by Sharon Leach]

In February of 1990, my son was going to college in Colorado and I would send tapes of local radio stations to him by mail, so he could feel like he was home. This is one of those tapes.

WKMZ Coverage Map
"Power 97.5" was, at the time, one of the few Top 40 stations I could pick up at my house (other than WAVA out of Washington, D.C.) Phlash Phelps is featured here, and he was huge!! When he left, I remember a lot of the kids were in mourning. I don't know what happened to him.* But hearing this, it's hard to believe it came from a radio station located in a town with a population of only 14,000. The signal reached four states.

This aircheck opens with what could very well hold the record for the longest ID in the history of radio. Flash had it made just for his show. I don't believe WKMZ aired it in any other dayparts.

WKMZ started out in 1981 as "Classic Rock" but went Top 40 in 1986. They went back to Classic Rock in the early '90s. As of 2002, Classic Rock remains on WKMZ, but they are now located on 95.9 out of nearby Williamsport-Hagertown, MD., and 97.5 is Light Rock WLTF.

*(REELRADIO 9/14/2003: COMMENTS confirm Phlash now works for a satellite radio network.)

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There May Be More from The Sharon Leach Collection!

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