WBWA-FM 105.9 Washburn Bayfield WI Evenings 1983

WBWA was about at the end of my “reach” from Apple Valley, MN. You can hear some “bounce” in the signal during this very short aircheck clip. Their transmitter was located about 150 miles NNE of my location.

Reception was made using a Pioneer SX-3900 receiver, Winegard 10 element FM yagi antenna, Alliance U-100 Tenna Rotor, and Belden ultra low loss RG59 coaxial cable.  The recording was made with a Technics stereo cassette deck and TDK SA90 tape.


5 thoughts on “WBWA-FM 105.9 Washburn Bayfield WI Evenings 1983

  1. Steve Brown

    The original Radio Rangers put WBWA on the air way back then. Quite a project! The owner, Kermit Hanson, was a renowned Washington DC physician who had grown up in Bayfield and wanted to build the station as an audio gift to Bayfield, Washburn and Ashland, hence the call letters. He spared no expense to put the finest equipment into the station, and we were proud to say that it was the best equipped station anywhere in the Midwest, certainly better than anything in the Twin Cities at that time. Sadly, Kermit didn’t count on listener tastes so much, didn’t make any money from running the station, and I heard that when he sold the station for peanuts the new owners were able to sell most of the equipment and almost pay for the whole radio station with the proceeds. I could write a book, or at least a long paper, about that station—maybe someday.

    Ranger Steve

  2. Drew

    Hi Steve,

    You could write a book and call it…”Fiasco at 105.9!” LOL!

    The Rangers did a good job with that one. I had no problem hearing it from Apple Valley with my system. Of course, this was before Red Wing moved from 105.5 to 105.9. Listening back to the clip, I can hear how clean the audio is. Very nice. When did you guys build it?


  3. JeffM

    I remember WBWA-FM. Duluth/Superior was about at the limit of its signal range, and I bought an amplified FM antenna (you had to plug it in and turn it on) and connecting it to the back of my Zenith Allegro stereo just so I could listen to their soft-rock/easy-listening music mix and personable DJS. If I recall correctly, their slogan was “Full Color Music WBWA;” there was nothing like it locally, and I just loved it.

    Then one day it was gone, and in its place just another country station (we already had three of those here,) called WEGZ, “Eagle Country 106.” “Egz” doesn’t even spell eagle; it might spell “eggs” if you’re not too picky. Since then I understand it’s become a satellite-fed religious robot. I sure miss WBWA. (Still have that antenna somewhere…)

  4. Chip Drewry

    I used to be Chris Collins back when it was B106. We were rockin’ in those days.

  5. Tom Draughon

    I worked at WBWA for about a year from May 1983 – May 1984. GREAT station! Phenomenal equipment and great sound. I’d had prior radio experience, but was touring with a band that broke up, and I needed a job.
    When I walked into WBWA to inquire, they had a “laundry list” of odd jobs, including “remote recording technician” that they didn’t really know how to even write a job description for. As it turned out, I could do it all, so they hired me. I learned a lot from the rangers about audiophile sound and recording, and I use that knowledge to this day making my own CDs. Thanks Guys!!!

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