The Golden Age Of Phil Pop Radio Pt. 3 (K101 the early years)

1973 . . .
Hmmm, now what does that remind me of?
Oh, my dad just got himself that canary yellow 2-door Dodge Colt – for me, the coolest car to come out that year.

That was also the year I accidentally tuned in to DWWK 101.9.
An FM station playing “young” music?
Wasn’t the local FM band dedicated to “daddy’ stations like 104.3 and that other classical station?
There must be something amiss! I’m hearing Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Chicago.
I still sense something different though . . . like I’m in a pleasant musical Twilight Zone.
It’s not the usual Sunshine of My Life, Theme from Shaft, or Saturday In The Park. Instead, I’m now listening to Smile Please, Ellie’s Love Theme, and Happy Cause I’m Goin Home!

This pattern of playing the non-hits would go on thru the station’s coming years.
DWWK or K101 as it was widely called, also had the penchant of introducing unknown artists to their playlist. This intuitive choice of artists/songs set them apart from the other radio stations whose radars beamed only on the Billboard charts.

El Chicano was famous for their Low rider-type tunes so when this song, which hinted a dash of jazz, breezed in from nowhere, it was nothing short of refreshing.




“Yes Virginia, Peter Cetera wasn’t the only vocalist of Chicago.”
Robert Lamm (the better one, in my opinion) has lent his husky baritone to such hits as ‘”Beginnings” and ”Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?’
This is from Lamm’s first solo album – a commercial failure.




Following the footsteps of the Righteous Bros and Steve Winwood, the Faragher Brothers had their own adaptation of blue-eyed soul. . . that is, with a slight pinch of jazz.




K101 also seemed bent on reinventing how we see artists. With all due respect to Crossover 105.1, I feel that K101’s early to mid 70s programming was the blueprint of artists traversing over other genres which gave birth to crossover as we know it now.

Anthems for the love struck were made popular by David Gates with the Bread  – and would further go onto his solo albums.
”Lorelee” is one such love song . . . but wait! Listen to that two-minute Wes Montgomery-like intro. And that one minute organ outro? . . .  seems to have come out from a Merle Saunders record.




Dan Fogelberg was being touted as the next James Taylor of the late seventies. He was already establishing his foothold on this singer/songwriter genre when his sudden sidetrack from folk-rock gave us this tune he released in collaboration with Tim Weisberg.




”Frankenstein” was a monster hit for Edgar Winter but K101 searched beyond this hit and played this gem instead. . .a bossa-tinged number that, according to Winter, was inspired by Astrud Gilberto



This is not to say that K101 did not air any songs from popular artists at that time but if they did, it gives the impression that the songs were meticulously chosen to fit a certain class standard that the station was trying to achieve.

”That’s The Way of the World”? . . . Nice.
”Reasons”? . . . Ok too.
”Feelin Blue”? . . . Way too cool! Take a listen.


”She’s Gone” was a number one hit for Tavares but released earlier by Daryl Hall and John Oates in their 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette. K101 dug deeper into the album and found this jewel.
The duo would continue on to the 80’s and gain pop superstardom, but ”Las Vegas Turnaround” for me, is quintessential Hall and Oates. . . the artists and not the pop superstars.




Ok, We all love Karen Carpenter. Her silky voice dominated the AM airwaves with the hits she was churning out. Karen could sing the proverbial phone book and we would all sing along the numbers and addresses with her!
Richard? He was the keyboard player . . . oh yeah, he was the brother too. But don’t dismiss him just like that.
K101 didn’t – and devoted some airtime for this. I only wish history was kinder to Richard and allowed him a little more limelight and creative elbow room. We probably would we have more of songs of these nature alongside sister Karen’s hits.




The programming chefs of K101 may not have known it then but their musical salad of pop-soft rock-R&B tinged with a sprinkling of jazz may have been the appetizer to a main course yet to be served. Could it have been intentional? I don’t know but this pattern of discovering and experimenting in the early years of the station’s inception would set the tone for its future format as the leading Jazz fusion station of Manila starting in the late 70’s.

Thru the following years, the station would continue to dig deeper and discover more gems such as Sao Paolo – a fluke, considering this was only the jazz cut among the disc0-dominated album of Chic. They introduced us to Lonnie Smith and Mike Manieri and played their tunes alongside the fusion standards of Klughs and Benoits. They reinvented Kenny Loggins and took advantage of the sax arrangement of Sweet Reunion and inserted it as a jazz fusion cut.

This jazz fusion format would stretch on for several years more – an achievement, I believe still unsurpassed in Phil. Radio




Trying to relive one’s past can sometimes be easy.
It can also be hard.

I just might try reliving 1973 someday.
I’ll get me a beat up ’73 Dodge Colt and restore it like new. . .
. . .that’s easy.

Trying to find a station like K101?
. . .that’s the hard part.




For parts 1 and 2:
The Golden Age Of Phil Pop Radio Pt. 1
The Golden Age of Phil Pop Radio Pt. 2 – UW (FM)

2 Responses to “The Golden Age Of Phil Pop Radio Pt. 3 (K101 the early years)”
  1. Bobot Reyes says:

    Great way to travel back in the 70s with these throwback boy. While reading this from the very beginning I can’t help but recall the things I have been doing then on each of the music you mentioned. Thanks for helping me recall those precious memories/

    • bb3 says:

      At ano naman ang naalala mo sa Tell Me In A Whisper? Was someone whispering sweet nothings to you then? 🙂
      Hey amigo! What’s up? Hope all is well with you and thanks for swinging by the blog.

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