The Journal News from White Plains, New York on August 27, 1978 · Page 114
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The Journal News from White Plains, New York · Page 114

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Location:
White Plains, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 27, 1978
Page:
Page 114
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continued: Alison Steele Alison's clever ploys and raw ambition helped when WNEW's all-female format bombed she was the only woman asked to remain aboard when the station switched to progressive rock. She was the first modern female disc jockey in New York City. Her Nightbird signature reflects this. She explains, "When I started, I didn't know what my thing was. But, I knew three things: I was the only woman on the air; I was on at night, which I consider to be a very special time; and I knew that people are more lonely at night. I wanted to pull these three elements together and create something special, something a guy couldn't do. I didn't want to apologize for being a female, but to use it as an advantage." After much consideration, she chose the Nightbird name because it characterizes her fondness for the night hours, and uses "bird," the British slang term for "woman." "When I started," Steele explains, "it was in the pre-wom-en's lib days. I had to fight tooth and nail. I couldn't be as good, I had to give more, and create what I call a "racer's edge." Steele said she was not late to work, and didn't take a sick day, for 10 years. When she walks into the radio studio, her "cocoon" as she calls it, she says "everything disappears and nothing bothers me." The same doesn't hold true, however, for some of her listeners Alison nightly receives phone calls from troubled people who feel she can soothe their woes. She doesn't receive as many calls these days, because the temper of the times has changed, but in the traumatic 1960's, she often received 30-40 calls a night from people who were desperate, lonely, or even on the verge of committing suicide. She talks warmly of the numerous people who have said to her, "Alison, you'll never know how many nights you pulled me through." She has a large circle of friends whom she met under such circumstances, and who have remained in contact with her. Recently, she received a wedding band in the mail from a couple who wanted to thank her for helping them patch up their marriage. They sent her their wedding ring as a token of appreciation. Alison just signed" another two-year contract with WNEW because, she said, "It's like home to me." Her gig with the metro prog rocker, though, isn't her only job. She currently has two ergy to raising funds for the Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Epilepsy Foundation charities, and for the Humane Society. Steele is a member of the Science of Mind religion, and is a self-proclaimed "physical fitness nut." She says, "My body is my temple." A trim, striking, red-haired woman, Alison is comfortable wearing jeans or the latest fash- "WTien I started, I didn't know what my thing was. Bui, I knew three things: I was the only woman on the air; I was on at night, which I con-sider to be a very special time; and I knew that people are more lonely at night. I wanted to pull these three elements together and create something special, something a guy couldn't do." syndicated radio programs, is a contributing editor for "Co-Ed" magazine, and is writing a book on "Who's Who In Rock." The book, she promises, will be written "in a way that no one has ever done." She also lends her voice to many TV and radio commercials, but she says she will not sell anything "that I would be ashamed of." Besides her professional pursuits, Alison devotes much en- ions. She's a self-confident woman, and doesn't put up with any bunk, but she can be gracious in her dealings with people. At the close of the interview, while we were strolling down a Manhattan street, a young man walked past, stopped, turned around and, in awe, timidly asked, "Are you Alison Steele?" After receiving a pleasant affirmation, he shook her extended hand and offered his praise. RAPIOGUIPE Radio stations often run listener participation segments contests, record requests, phone-in shows, etc. so we've compiled this handy list of major area radio station telephone numbers. All numbers are area code 212 unless otherwise listed, and all are subject to change. WNEW AM 986 -8989 (news) . 955-9938 (other) WNEW FM 697-7997 (concerts) WOR 764-7119 WPIX 972-0300 WPLJ 541-4690 (requests) 757-6900 (concerts) WPUT 914 279-7161 (weather) 279-7171 (other) WQXR 5560144 WRKL 914-623-3900 WRNW 914-762-1071 WRTN 914-636-1460 WRVR 955 9989 WVIP 914-241-0552 WVOX 914 636-1460 WXLO 955 9933 WYNY 977-9797 WABC 955-9988 (contests) WBAI 594-3281 WBLS 661-3344 WCBS AM 975-2130 WCBS FM 955 9101 WEVD 757-0880 WFAS 914-693-5700 (contests) WGRC WHN WHUD WKTU WMCA WNBC 914-623-8500 688-1050 (requests) 955-9980 (contests) 914-737-1124 -557-2383 914 725-0001 750-0550 489-1155 955-9006 (contests) 247-8666 (other) Page 36 TVRadio Week, August 27, 1978

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