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WDAO-FM Dayton's Stereo Soul GIANT!!

In 1964, WAVI owner H.K. "Bud" Crowl got a license for a 50,000 watt FM station at 107.7 on the dial. Searching for a format that would make the station unique, Bud hired legendary WING DJ Gene "By Golly" Barry as a radio consultant and the decision was made to put on the air an FM station aimed at the African-American audience.

The call letters they came up with were "WDAO", which stood, simply for "DAyton, Ohio"

The station began in a tool room in the back of the then-WAVI building...then moved to a trailer...and eventually, moved to the completed WAVI Broadcasting Corporation building at 1400 Cincinnati Street in Dayton.

Oddly enough, some of the first WDAO jocks were actually white. Bill "Biggie B.C." Carr and Barry, himself to mention a few. But, that did change. As the station grew, it would sport a more racially-integrated staff. And Barry moved over to Crowl's WAVI in 1970.

107.7, WDAO ("50 thousand watts - soundin' like a million!") became a powerhouse FM. At times during the 1960's and especially in the 1970's as FM music radio began to take off, WDAO would, at times, sport double-digit ratings, and often competed with WHIO AM-FM for the #1 ranking.

During a good portion of the 1970's, WDAO's programming was headed up by John C. "Turk" Logan (now "Dr. John C. Logan" at Central State University.) So big did WDAO's influence become on the music of the day that artists like Bootsy Collins, Lakeside, Heatwave, Parliament, The Ohio Players, and others might not have been as big as they became had WDAO not spun their tunes. To get your song added on WDAO got artists noticed. Many urban stations of the day looked to what WDAO was adding.

The WDAO legend on FM continued until WAVI and WDAO were sold in the early 1980's. The new owners, intending to change the format on 107.7, spun WAVI off to its' new owner, Jim Johnson (who spent many years selling commercials on WDAO-FM). Johnson retained WDAO's "intellectual property", and had the FCC reassign the WDAO call letters to WAVI's frequency at 1210 AM. It remains there today, and is still popular with Dayton's urban adult audience with a musical blend of Urban Adult Contemporary, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Gospel and yes, even talk programming. But, the legacy of WDAO proved that format could work on FM, and thus, more stations came on the air with full-fidelity stereo broadcasts, and continued to prove the Urban format got listeners, ratings and revenue.

Radio History Made in Dayton

In the FalI of 1964, radio broadcasting history was made. WDAO FM signed on the air under the ownership of WAVl Broadcasting Corporation. H.K. Crowl was owner and President of the corporation. This marked the flrst time In Amerka that an FM station carried a rhythm and blues format.

In March of 1985, WDAO was purchased by Stoner Broadcasting af Annapolis, Maryland, and WDAO was switched to the AM dial position. The owner of Stoner Broadcasting was Tom Stuner and President was Glen Bell.

In Mid-June of 1988, history was made again when WDAO was purchased by Johnson Communications, Inc. Jim johnson, President of                                                                                                        Johnson Communications, lnc.,  had served as
                                                                                                       the Station Manager for Stoner for three and a half
                                                                                                       years. The purchase of WDAO resulted in Dayton having its first minority owned and operated radio station.  A commitment to community Involvement is WDAO's hallmark and this commitment, along with strong promotions, will continue.


WDAO Is the Dayton station targeted to the metro community with music, news, information and special features specifically geared to their lifestyles.

WDAO is known for its outstanding sewice to the community and is involved In every major function throughout.

WDA0's programming emphasis is on news, weather, traffic reports and sports. The music mixture indudes popular hits, familiar oldies, contemporary blues, jazz and gospel - plus, "Expressions" and "Public Service."

WDAO is a vital park of the Dayton community and has been serving the Dayton and Miami Valley area since 1964.

The photos below come from the collection of Dr. John C. "Turk" Logan, who we thank for his contribution.

WDAO-FM Staffers at an event on Courthouse Square Downtown-1970's

We know WDAO-FM played some "hot music", but radioactive? On the left, WDAO-FM Music Director Langford "The Man" Stevens, with on right, WDAO-FM Program Director, Turk Logan.

Brother Stanley Henry, Dayton's veteran Gospel radio personality, entertained WDAO listeners weekdays from 5-6 AM and, on Sunday morning from 5 AM till Noon.

Long time WDAO-FM Program Director "Turk" Logan in the programming offices in the WAVI/WDAO building at 1400 Cincinnati Street in Dayton.

And just who knew WDAO was a powerhouse radio station?
Eddie Levert and the "Mighty"O' Jays visit outside the WAVI/WDAO studios.

"Dynomite!!!" Jimmie, "JJ" Walker with Turk Logan in the WDAO-FM Control Room.

Turk Logan (left) with the man who brought us the "Theme From Shaft", Issac Hayes.

Turk Logan (3rd from right) with Clarence "Satch" Satchell of the Ohio Players (at far left)

The sound quality is a bit thin, but here is an early 1980's air check of WDAO-FM. In the "air chair", from studios at 1400 Cincinnati Street is weekend jock Greg Abbott.

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Have any pictures, stories, clips, air checks for WDAO in Dayton Ohio?? Please think about including them on our site.  Credit will be given and our thanks is always included!


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WDAO Staff Today at DABHOF Gala
Top Row L to R: Michael Ecton, Sharon Howard, Francis Brown, Raymond Graham.
On the front row is:  Jim Johnson, Peggy Johnson and Stan "The Man" Brooks.