Bangor Daily News, Sat.Sun., January 24-25, 1981
WLKN offers new format, old tunes
by Mary Anne Lagasse, District Correspondent
LINCOLN - Album-oriented rock is out. Country and easy listening music is in at radio station WLKN-AM/FM in Lincoln.
The Lincoln radio station, which recently changed ownership, has a new format. "We took a 360-degree change," said John Shaefer, the new station manager, adding, "while working on the Lincoln project before the radio station was purchased in December 1980, we found the general population was not listening. There was a great resistance to album rock that was geared mainly toward kids and young adults."
C. Edward Rowe, a retired Massachusetts judge, purchased the Lincoln radio station from Frank Delle, Shaefer said, noting that it was Delle who put the station on the air - from the ground up - in 1964.
Shaefer believes that community involvement is an important part of operating a radio station. "We are broadcasting the local area basketball games which has not been done in years, and we are planning a talk show to allow the public to air their views on various issues with an editorial as part of that mix, and we will return to providing local news."
The new station manager feels that call-in shows are "a cornerstone in getting folks interested in their radio station. We will try to be fair to everyone. We can't please all, but we will try to strike a happy medium," Shaefer said.
Besides a new change in format, the Lincoln station has new broadcasting hours. Shaefer said sign-on is at 5 A.M. and sign-off is midnight, Monday through Thursday. Sign-off Friday and Saturday is 1 A. M.
The Lincoln radio station manager explained that one morning he visited a local coffee shop at 5 A.M. "I was amazed at the number of people out and about. Many, who haven't listened in years, don't know we're on the air or that our format has changed."
Shaefer, who has been in broadcasting for some 18 years, hasn't lost his enthusiasm. He has owned several radio stations, managed several stations, and has served as a radio consultant.
The popular "Lee's Solid Gold Show," hosted by Lee Rand of Old Town, highlights the week's programming at WLKN. His music consists of the biggest hits of the '50s and the '60s, with a large portion made up of listeners' requests. Musical trivia contests are employed with prizes given to winners.
"It's basically one great fun-filled afternoon. I think I have as much fun as the listeners," says Rand. When asked why he does '50s and '60s-type music, Rand answered, "It's a fun-type music, it's unique, it's clean, and they don't make it anymore."
Rand, considered by many in the business as a leading authority on '50s and '60s music in New England, uses his own records that he has been collecting since grammar school.
"I really love doing a radio show, especially an oldies show, as long as the listeners support my show and they have been super so far." Rand said. He hopes to be at WLKN in Lincoln for a long time and eventually hopes to be more involved at the station.
Lee's Solid Gold Show started as a one-hour program at WLKN, but because of so many telephone requests the show grew to two hours and now is on from 1 to 6 P.M. on Sundays.
Besides radio work for WLKN and specials for other radio stations, Rand travels the eastern Maine area (he has 97,000 miles on his three-year-old car) doing record hops as "Lee's Rock 'n' Roll Revue", for which he plays all types of music, depending on what he is hired to play. He is currently appearing at Luna Base 1 in Orono with a live solid gold show, and will be entertaining at the Dexter Motor Lodge beginning Feb.3. He also entertains for various events including wedding receptions and class reunions.