WAPE-FM 95.1 Jacksonville FL Miss Lara Carlson 1991

Here’s a brief aircheck of “The Big Ape” which also used the “Power 95” moniker during this time.  As many of you know, WAPE is a legendary Top 40/CHR station, going back to it’s days on 690 AM.  This is the station where Doug Tracht aka “The Greaseman” achived notoriety with his morning antics.  When the audience for music radio on AM began to fade, WAPE migrated to 95.1 FM.  It remains there today.  In late 1991, “Miss Lara” (Lara Carlson) held down the overnight shift.

The original recording was made from my residence, approximately 6 miles south of Ocala on SR 475, using a Realistic AM/FM/CD/Cassette portable stereo “boombox” and Sony LN90 tape.  The mobile home I was renting included a moderate sized outdoor TV antenna.  Since I’m much more a radio listener than I am a TV watcher, I climbed up and cut the VHF-LO elements down to resonance for FM frequencies.  Considering that I was about 75 miles straight line from WAPE’s transmitter, I’d say my idea worked pretty well 🙂


6 thoughts on “WAPE-FM 95.1 Jacksonville FL Miss Lara Carlson 1991

  1. mike meyer

    wow that brings back some memories
    i have a air check of WAPE from 1973 when they were on AM

  2. Drew

    I’ve heard many tapes of the Greaseman on WAPE-690 over the years. Great talent. I only got to hear it “live” once, in the spring of 1972. I was 7 years old and our family had come to Orlando from Minnesota for a week’s vacation. Our rental car was a Ford Pinto. The car was a piece of junk, but nothing beat those old Philco Ford AM car radios for sensitivity. You could pull the 3-section mast antenna up to 5 feet and hear everything. At the hotel, I got my dad to let me sit in the car with the keys in the ignition so I could scan and listen to stations. (He was used to it. I did this all the time at home because I could hear stations on the car radio that I couldn’t get on any of my radios.)

    There are 3 stations I remember hearing: At the very left end of the dial, there was a Top 40 station on “54.” The original WGTO from Cypress Gardens. Just past the “9” was another Top 40 station that mentioned Orlando. WLOF. But my favorite was a station right on the “7.” They played their music “fast.” Every so often, they’d play what sounded like a gorilla noise. Of course, it was the great Big Ape on 690!

  3. Rich

    I had no idea Lara Carlson was ever on the Big Ape. She later went on to do middays on Jacksonville’s ’70s station “Star 97.9” followed by a long stay at “Lite 96.1”

  4. Drew

    Hi Rich,

    This is the only tape I have of Lara. Was this when she was first starting in radio, or had she been on for awhile?

  5. Anonymous

    Ahh Miss Lara. Nice lady. She worked at a smooth jazz station in Jax while I was down the hall playing country.

  6. Drew Post author

    The great thing about being in Ocala was that I could hear Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa. Of course, this was long before FM translators began appearing on every “open” frequency. In my opinion, these were the final glory days of CHR. The next year, Alternative arrived and split the format. Also Young/New/Hot Country which peeled off many CHR listeners who didn’t care for Alternative or Hip Hop.

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