WRBB - A History
WRBB-AM 1470 Tarpon Springs – In 1961, Tarpon Springs’ 5,000-watt WDCL was acquired by Consolidated Communities Corporation and became WRBB (Radio’s Big Beat). The station debuted at a time when the twist was evolving from a hit record into a nationwide dance craze, brought on by such then-popular recording artists and groups as Chubby Checker (“The Twist” and “Let’s Twist Again”) and Joey Dee and the Starliters (“Peppermint Twist” and “Hey Let’s Twist”).
While extremely popular, the dance drew its share of negative reactions from some local individuals and citizens’ groups who wanted it banned. Since it was a new station, WJBB figured it might be able to garner some publicity from the controversy and took out ads in area newspapers urging twisters to unite by sending their cards, letters, and “wires” to the station to be placed on a petition that would be presented to city officials. Management stated that it felt there was nothing immoral or indecent about the twist, and went on record of its support by issuing editorials and continuing to program twist records.
But a few years later, talk of banning the twist had played itself out and the “dance” craze in rock ‘n’ roll was dead. The British invasion had begun and ushered in the Liverpool sounds of the Beatles, Stones, and other English singers and groups.
WRBB never did gain an audience from its programming or newspaper ads (thanks to WALT and WLCY) and was eventually sold. In 1965, AM-1470 flipped to a country format and became WCWR.
A few names in WRBB’s short history include: Ross Charles (GM), Leo McDevitt (PD), John Stagg (promotions), Howard Hartley (news director), and Ted Seaman (chief engineer).
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1961 - 1965 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)