45 Years Ago: The Birth of Disco 92

Forty-five years ago on this date, July 24, 1978, at precisely 6 pm (ET), the Soft Rock station, “Mellow 92” (92.3 on the FM dial) morphed into “Disco 92“, changing the landscape of FM radio, swiftly becoming the #1 station in New York City. I know Disco is a dirty word for a lot of folks, but this station is memorable for giving us a fiery blend of dance, disco, Latin, and R&B music unlike no other station. (Much credit for the commercial success of KTU goes to general manager, David Rapaport, father of actor Michael Rapaport, whose purchase of 200 disco records initiated the station’s playlist.) Among its disc jockeys were Paco, G. Keith Alexander, Jim Harlan, JD Holiday (Paul Zarcone), Dale Reeves, Freddie Colon, Carlos DeJesus, Joe Causi, Rosko, and Al Bandiero, with whom I spoke on several occasions in later years, reminiscing about the station’s legacy. With artists like Thelma Houston, the Puerto Rico All Stars, Constellation Orchestra, Rick James, and Donna Summer, whose Oscar-winningLast Dance” was the first featured song, here are 39 minutes in the birth of a radio phenomenon …

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