hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs

Missing the Old Campus Radio

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.

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19 thoughts on “Missing the Old Campus Radio

  1. oh man! where is John Hendrix now? yeah I miss them (though i don’t really miss Triggerman because he was very rude to his callers pft!). It will be John Hendrix in the morning shows except Thursdays for reasons I don’t know but it was Braggy on Thursday mornings.

    Campus Radio was so cool back then 🙂

    • Both Hendrix and Braggy are intelligent music lovers, which is the reason why they always provide listeners tidbits on musicians, songs and events through the ‘Infopop’ segment.

  2. James Ty III says:

    Braggy is now with DZSR Sports Radio, the government AM station that airs the PBA games live. He plays a lot of 80s music there.

    • Last time I heard John Hendrix, he was hosting a pet-oriented show. Joe Spinner used to work as Koji Morales on the defunct 99.5 RT before returning to his original DJ name as a Magic 89.9 part-time DJ. Jimmy Jam last worked at RJ 100. Haven’t heard much from Triggerman or Master T.

    • retro1059 says:

      Tune in this Saturday and every Saturday thereafter for Retro 105.9’s DCG-FM’s SRO – Saturday’s Retro Onstage with The Triggerman!

      The premiere broadcast features special guest original vocalist of the band I-Axe Jeck Manuel with spin sessions from 89DMZ’s The Unbeatable, Dave Ryan! It’s a live in-studio performance like no other on radio from the first and only Retro hit station like no other, RETRO 105.9 DCG-FM!

  3. Andy says:

    Yeah it was so sad when they’re gone. There is this ‘nostalgia’ feeling whenever I listen to Sunday Retrojam. Their choice of music was very great that they are playing almost all of my favorite songs back then. I really miss this FM station. 😥

  4. Viela says:

    The era of the old campus radio was that time of my youth when I was so into music, that I tune in every single day and would feel like I’m not complete if I don’t get to listen to it. That FM band was for me the coolest thing on the radio at the time and it couldn’t even (to the slightest) be compared to it’s rival, 101.9. T’was like, 97.1= cool kid, 101.9= jejemon, THAT.
    The jocks played a lot of fancy songs back then that I really liked and most of my favorite songs were even part of the Top 20 @ 12..
    And now sadly, I have forgotten some of the titles of those songs and for years I grew tired of looking.. but if only they didn’t kill the old campus radio, the jocks would’ve now played them on RetroJam.. and maybe, just maybe, I too have had peace. -_-
    P.S. John Hendrix was my fave jock!

    • Campus Radio was definitely revolutionary in their time, with Infopop, Top 20 @ 12 and the Retrojam segments. Sadly, because of current trends in radio, Campus Radio was killed off, never to be heard again.

      Had Mike Enriquez did not jump to the ‘masa’ bandwagon, we would still be listening to their informative and fancy style. But radio is big business, so they had no choice but to kill it off. Sadly, it hasn’t worked out for them either.

  5. Sham-on says:

    Master T is my granduncle. He’s retired and isn’t really doing much at the moment. All of my titos/tita (his children) are already working or have a family. Haven’t heard much about him in the past couple of months other than some personal family stuff.

      • Sham-on says:

        My mom said that Master T/Uncle Lolo (as my cousins and I call him) retired early because of a heart problem. Sad because he still wasn’t that old when he retired.

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