WFMT 98.7 FM - "The Big Snow" (Excerpts, 1967)
50 Years Ago Today!!!
Here's a rare radio aircheck from "Chicago's Fine Arts Station," WFMT 98.7 FM, on the morning of the infamous Blizzard of '67. This features Jim Unrath, Marty Robinson (one of the main off-camera announcers, and on-air personalities during pledge drives, for WTTW Channel 11 for many years), and Norm Pellegrini. Includes:
Jim Unrath starting off this clip by signing on the station - and mentioning this was to have been the 211th anniversary of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birth, and planning a big celebration of same, before introducing Marty Robinson with the weather.
Marty starts off by advising listeners to stay home because of the weather this morning, and mentions the poor state of public transportation, with only the "L" trains having any semblance of normalcy; even the commuter lines aren't running all too well because of the massive and record snow. He also mentions that:
- All cabs are not running, except for emergencies
- As of midnight, an estimated 16.4 inches fell on the ground, breaking a previous record set on January 30th 1939 when 14.9 inches of snow fell
- From 5:00am the previous morning, about 17 inches of snow had fallen
Jim then comes back to advise those who insist on going out in this weather to "keep moving." This is followed by a (scoped) excerpt from Mozart's "Don Giovanni," the tenor aria from Act II, "Il mio tesoro intanto," sung by Nicolai Gedda with the New Philharmonia conducted by Otto Klemperer (from the 1966 album Don Giovanni Highlights, Angel (S)DL 3700).
Next, a vintage recording by John McCormack is played, before one of the hosts says "gasp."
Marty's next weather report advises of a hazardous driving warning, plus additional light snow being forecast for later in the day on top of what Mother Nature already dumped on the Windy City, with highs staying around 30 and winds up to 25-35 mph, and lows at night of 0-5 above.
This segues to Jim bringing up Mozart's comments on snow, via one of his characters in the opera "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" (the excerpt is scoped, and Jim quips the weather is "perhaps a bit more 'kocht' elsewhere").
Later on, Jim mentions the secret behind their being there so early - "Marty never went home," and Jim himself came in at 1:00 am to make sure he made it.
Next is an intro of the Coronation Mass from K.317, from the Chamber Orchestra of the Sarre conducted by Karl Ristenpart.
Then at 9:03 am, Jim introduces Norm Pellegrini, as the temperature has gone down to 28 degrees from earlier. Norm quotes "the ghost of W.C. Fields" in the conditions outside this morning, while mentioning that the buses are running, with some going down Broadway from Clark; Fields' tombstone message of rather being in Philadelphia is also quoted.
Next, Jim advises listeners not to leave the house, and stay tuned to WFMT's all-Mozart programming for the day. The clip concludes with the legal ID and its slogan of the time.
"Yucch . . . let's see, I have so much weather news here I don't know where to begin - probably you don't care anyhow - the best thing is to stay home this morning, and you actually don't have much choice."
This aired on local Chicago radio on Friday morning, January 27th 1967 starting at approximately 6:00am, and continuing past 9:00am.
Date Uploaded: 01/26/2017
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