WCSX Garage Web Page Is All Things Auto
July 30, 2013
Classic cars and rock ’n’ roll simply go together. Ask anyone who has a keen interest in either.
That’s the dynamic combination that has kept Greater Media Detroit’s 94. 7 WCSX-FM radio a listeners’ favorite for more than 25 years.
The station has grown up with classic rock as its foundation and automobiles, new, old, special or otherwise, as part of its format. After all, the station is based in Detroit—the Motor City—the home of the country’s auto industry, so what better place for this great rock-and-car duo radio station to make its mark?
To that end, the station has launched a new page on its website, aptly christened the WCSX Garage. It features “all things auto,” according to Jim O’Brien, who is the Producer for KC & Trudi’s Morning Show and Sports Director for WCSX-FM.
The world of rock has long been associated with a love and passion for cars, according to O’Brien, who said, “It’s always been like that.” A few of many examples are Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 song “Thunder Road,” his 1984 tune “Pink Cadillac,” and the Eagles’ 1972 hit “Life in the Fast Lane.”
The 1970s saw “Rockin’ Down the Highway” by the Doobie Brothers. The 1960s were full of rock influences, with references to summer rides in convertibles and fast cars, symbols of coming of age and freedom. The Beach Boys told us about “Fun Fun Fun” (’Til Her Daddy Takes the T-Bird Away) in 1964, and Ronny & The Daytonas sang about their “GTO,” also in 1964. Motown tunes also told of cars and girls with Wilson Pickett’s version of “Mustang Sally” in 1966, among others. O’Brien cited the significance of cars—all kinds of cars—to the Detroit area and spoke of the importance people in the city place on their cars.
“It’s different here. The lifestyle here is built around cars. There is a real passion for cars here,” said O’Brien, describing the atmosphere and mind-set of car enthusiasts in the Detroit area and the importance of cars, cars, cars.
From Cruise Nights to major auto shows, such as the North American International Auto Show, held annually at the Cobo Center in Detroit, O’Brien is on the scene, getting the latest in auto news, interviewing race car drivers and those in the auto industry, in order to bring live coverage of the events to the station’s listeners.
“Only in Detroit would you look out the studio window and see the new Corvette drive by,” O’Brien said, noting that the new Corvette is coming out this fall.
“We decided to focus on our love of all things auto-related and open up the Garage,” he said. “It’s a page [on the website] dedicated to car news.”
O’Brien said one of the things featured on the Garage page was his attendance at the unveiling of the new C-7 Corvette in Detroit on January 13, as well as his interviews with NASCAR and Indy Racing League drivers, plus the latest automotive stories from the “Big Three”: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.
“We also have a section dedicated to classic cars, featuring our listeners and their classic rock cruisers, plus a video section with everything from Jay Leno’s Ford Falcon Sprint to driving in the new Venom GT, which does 0-260 mph in 13 seconds,” he said.
O’Brien describes new cars in detail for his listeners and also puts a local perspective on his description. He is dedicated to passing on whatever he knows or learns to his listeners. If it has to do with cars, O’Brien says he’s there.
When talking about his listeners, O’Brien describes them as “Radio Gearheads.”
“This is a way to describe our great listeners in Detroit who not only love classic rock but cars … classic and new,” he said. The radio station’s format, O’Brien said, therefore, “makes perfect sense.”
After all, O’Brien admits that cars are his passion too. His enthusiasm was clearly evident as he spoke of the new cars being manufactured that are reminiscent of some of their classic originals, such as the Ford Mustang, the Dodge Charger, Chevy Camaro and the Plymouth Road Runner.
And the music played on this unique station? Tunes by artists you’d expect, like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Doors, among others, or, in O’Brien’s own words, “The Mount Rushmore of Classic Rock.”
O’Brien also mentioned the importance of sports at the station. He does a spot with Ken Calvert on Calvert’s morning show where he gives listeners the latest updates in the sports world. Whether it is hockey’s Detroit Red Wings, baseball’s Detroit Tigers, football’s Detroit Lions, or Michigan State University players, listeners will get their information here.
The radio station also is very involved in raising money for charity, and it is no surprise that a car theme comes into play here too—for example, the Stone Soup Project, where O’Brien says everyone, including the station staff, listeners and local businesses, all work together to build a car to raffle off for charity. All parts are donated by local sponsors, O’Brien noted.
The most recent project was a Ford Mustang, he said. In total, the station has raised more than $1.2 million for local charities by building seven cars in the past 10 years.
“People are passionate about cars worldwide,” O’Brien said, adding, “but there is no other city like Detroit when it comes to who we are.”