These days, the 97.1 frequency on the FM band is playing cheesy old love songs, Filipino Hot Adult Contemporary singles, and even novelty dance hits. But back in the day, there was Campus Radio, dubbed as the ‘No. 1 Pop Music Station in Metro Manila’.
Any old-time radio listener would remember the voices of John Hendrix, The Triggerman, Braggy, Master T, Joe Spinner and Jimmy Jam. They were the staples behind Campus Radio 97.1 WLS-FM, whose frequency is owned by the GMA network. For many years, Campus Radio played Top 40 pop, rock, OPM and RnB songs daily; the then-current songs on weekdays, and the classic singles on Sundays. They were also responsible for the longest-running chart show on Philippine radio, the Top 20 @ 12, which aired six times a week at noon, with a weekly countdown on Sundays and a year-end countdown before midnight of New Year’s Day.
Other Campus Radio trademarks include: ‘Other People’s Music’, a two-hour informative program on Saturday nights featuring interviews from various artists, ‘Campus Radio Aircheck’, an annual talent search and training ground for future jocks, ‘Campus Radio Movie Master’, featuring the then-latest movie releases, ‘RetroJam’, a Sunday format focusing exclusively on songs from years past, and ‘Front.Center’, a monthly feature on a specific artist.
Good thing DJ John Hendrix brought along a radio plug for ‘Other People’s Music’. Here is the plug from YouTube below.
Unfortunately, the Campus Radio era came to an abrupt end on Valentine’s Day 2007, when GMA management decided to change it to the popular yet criticized Hot AC format that eventually became Barangay LS. Primarily due to the heated rivalry with ABS-CBN, whose FM radio station DWRR Tambayan 101.9 already uses the format, GMA decided it was better to match its rival with a similarly formatted radio station. Thus the Campus Radio was no more. And even though it was briefly revived on the 99.5 DWRT frequency, it was at DWLS 97.1 where it enjoyed its greatest success.
While Campus Radio won’t be back anytime soon, the memories would live on ‘Forever!’, as its tagline suggests.