An aircheck is very simply a recording of a radio show. There are generally two types
- Scoped (meaning the music with the exception of maybe just a few seconds has been edited out.)
-Unscoped - where the music has been left in tact of the recording.
Collecting airchecks is a great way to learn broadcasting techniques over the years. It's also a great way of having that feeling of nostalgia, as they truly are a testament of the time and memories of those given time periods. In the past it was usually just those in the radio industry that collected these airchecks from famous broadcasters. But the general public today is getting into it as well. Everyone that wants to remember the sound of a certain favorite DJ of the past - like vintage car enthusiasts that want to get the real feel of the 'cruising' back then will pop in a CD of an aircheck of 20 or 50 years ago! History buffs may also enjoy some airchecks as many include the news broadcast of that day - depending on the station format the aircheck may include local, national and international news. And one of my favorites that I have always enjoyed is the vintage advertisements - from Nash Ramblers, Studebakers to Ipana Toothpaste jingles - they really give the feel of yesteryear!
What was the original reason for an aircheck?? -- There are usually two reasons why an aircheck exists. Their is the homebrew variety of the listener that just enjoyed a show and wanted to record it - and somehow the tape has been saved and preserved over time. And there is the professional studio copy of an aircheck. What this would be is if the DJ wanted to go into a larger market or into syndication he would record his show or a portion of his show and it would be, in a sense, his resume of what his show was like and show his personal style of broadcasting. The dj would then mail out the aircheck of himself to the network or station he was applying for.
Is my favorite DJ on a aircheck?? -- With 1000's of Stations and Radio Jocks out there it is surprising to think of the very few airchecks that actually exist from yesteryear. And over time the tapes get harder to restore and become lost, strayed and the sound quality lessens.
Prior to 1967 before the Cassette tape most airchecks were done on reel to reel tape. Rock-it Radio has restored a couple of airchecks from the 40's that were actually on wire spools and those have proven especially difficult to restore.
Often time Rock-it Radio gets requests for a certain jock on a medium market radio station from the 50's and 60's and sadly we have to reply that we don't currently have them - (we do keep a want list though, and if anything ever does come up we will notify that person that we have found and restored that certain aircheck they are looking for.
The odds of a certain broadcast still existing today requires that someone recorded the show. Most times the DJ did his show and no 'studio' copy ever existed. So, then did a listening fan have a tape recorder and recorded his show? Was it properly catalogued at the time? And did the tape survive the test of time? Or did it get lost, broken, or destroyed? These factors of airchecks from the 40's thru the 60's make them more rare. Fewer people had tape recorders in those days. Or in the case of the 1940's a wire recorder or a record recorder - for those people that might remember those old entertainement systems of the day.
Over the past year's Rock-it Radio has dedicated themselves to restoring and digitalizing 100's of recordings from the 1950's and 1960's preserving them onto compact disc. We have several 100 more recordings that need to be catalogued and continue to do so. In 2008 Rock-it Radio has begun preserving the shows of the 1970's as well before those recordings on tape start deminishing greatly in sound quality also.
What is Rock-it Radio's mission with airchecks ?? -- Originally Rock-it Radio began selling a couple of dozen airchecks to fund Rock-it Radio - whose primary goal is to keep 50's and early 60's Rock and Roll alive. Click here to Check out the Rock-it Radio main webpage.. But in recent times Rock-it Radio has found a second mission in the restoration, retrieval and documentation of these airchecks, and are always happy when a rare aircheck is remastered and a playlist catalogued. The purchase of an aircheck helps fund this project as well.
Volunteers -- From time to time Rock-it Radio Disc Jockeys of Rock-it Radio have stepped forward and assisted in providing playlists for these airchecks.
Janci Jorgen of Rock-it Radio has also donated several hours of volunteering for the playlists of these airchecks currently in our catalog.
Rock-it Radio would also like to thank Nancy Rapchak of New York City that has also volunteered several hours in this project.
If you would like to become a volunteer - E mail us and let us know - We currently have several airchecks from the 60's and 70's - If you are fairly knowledgeable of the music and artists of Rock or Country music at that time - Let us know in your e mail - We will send you a recording in return for a promise of a playlist of that show sent back.
If you would like to become a volunteer we will put you on our list - Just simply e mail us from the link below.
Click here if you wish to E mail us here at Rock-it Radio.