WASH, Washington, DC Beautiful Music Promo 1960

Early in the 1960's before Beautiful Music radio took off with 24 hour formats, WASH-FM in Washington DC pioneered the Beautiful Music genre with a daily morning program sandwiched into their basic classical music format. Ev Dillard (c1950's photo) was owner manager of WASH and The Commercial Radio Equipment Company. The station was part of the early Continental Radio Network and WQXR network. The promo spot was recorded by one of their early announcers, R A Campbell.


Everett L. Dillard died at the age of 82, June 28, 1988, at his home in Titusville, Florida. Dillard was the former owner of WASH-FM in Washington, which he acquired in 1944, and WDON, an AM station in Wheaton, Maryland which he acquired in 1953. He sold WASH in 1968 to Metromedia, Inc. and WDON in 1974. During the 1940s he also headed the Washington-based Continental FM Network, a 52-station hookup. The Continental Network was Dillard’s & Edwin Howard Armstrong's creation to get some content for Armstrong’s Alpine, NJ, station. Dillard's WASH fed a 15 kHz phone line to Alpine. Some of the content was WASH's evening classical record program. The network “connected” Dillard’s WASH-FM to stations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York (as far west as Buffalo), Connecticut, Massachusetts and ending at Mount Washington, in New Hampshire. Many of the stations picked up the broadcast from the station "down the line" and rebroadcast it, thus allowing the next station "up the line" to pick-up the broadcast and forward it along. He founded the Commercial Radio Equipment Co. in Washington in 1942. During World War II the company sold quartz crystals to the Armed Forces. Later it specialized in radio broadcast equipment sales and consulting. WASH-FM also conducted early experiments with stereo broadcasts. One system was to broadcast one channel over WASH-FM, and the other channel on another of Dillard’s stations, WDON-AM. (1540 Kc Wheaton, MD). R.A. Campbell, who in the early '60s spun classical LPs at WASH-FM and read the news for sister station WDON, shares these details: "The (WDON) AM signal was phone lined (from 11216 Ga. Ave.) to the transmitter building (2647 University Blvd. W.). FM announcers recorded newscasts on an Ampex 601 and fed the AM on cue. Around 4PM I would monitor Don Dillard's cue 'here is Alan Campbell and the news' and I would roll the tape fed down the line to his console which was then on the air to the AM transmitter. (A wire running back at WASH-FM on the side of the FM tower)." Dillard sold WASH-FM in 1968 to Metromedia for $10 million dollars. Soon after the studios and transmitter were moved from Wheaton, MD to Metromedia’s Wisconsin Ave. headquarters. The transmitter was moved to Metromedia’s WTTG-TV transmitter facility and broadcast from the WTTG-TV tower.


A post at gallery2.route56.com indicates Dillard founded Kansas City's first FM station, KOZY, which dates to the pre-war FM band. Dillard, previously founded WLBF (later KCKN). Studios and transmitter were at the Porter Building at 34th and Broadway. Dillard was the experimental licensee of W9XA at 26.45 mHz 1937-39, operating both in AM and FM modes. His first FM station application was submitted to the FCC on March 1, 1940. K49KC was on the air in 1942 at 44.9 mHz. When numeric FM calls were discontinued, Dillard chose the KOZY calls. KOZY moved to 99.9 mHz during the postwar change of the FM band to 88-108 mHz, and then to 98.1 mHz in 1947 when interstation spacing was changed from 0.4 to 0.8 mHz. KOZY went off the air early in 1950 after it lost its lease on studio and transmitter site. Dillard requested deletion for economic reasons, which was granted by the FCC on February 15, 1951.

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