The Orange County Regional History Center announces “WORJ: Town Hall for the Counterculture,” an August 20 panel discussion featuring radio personalities who made history with Orlando’s FM 107 WORJ. The program accompanies the reopening of the exhibit Long Way to the Top: Hard Rock in Orlando, 1972-1985.
Between 1972 and 1977, radio station FM 107 WORJ made local and national history by pioneering the then-new broadcast format known as Progressive Rock Radio. Rather than hewing to the existing commercial models associated with Top 40, the staff and DJs of WORJ played new and challenging musicians, deep tracks from obscure albums, and commercial-free concerts. This rejection of prefabricated radio culture bucked the conventional wisdom of the radio industry and resonated instantly with listeners, catapulting WORJ to huge successes in market share. The station’s DJs became influential musical and cultural tastemakers who set a standard for rock radio that continues to this day. Beyond the broadcast booth, WORJ became a tangible force in the lives of Orlando music fans. By organizing community events and inspiring listeners to get involved locally, WORJ became not just a radio success story but a marker of identity that united Central Floridians from all walks of life.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, the Orange County Regional History Center – Central Florida’s premiere history museum – will host a conversation with some of the personalities who together made an enduring impact on Central Florida music and culture.
WORJ’s Lee Arnold, Doug Van Allen, Neal Mirsky, and more will be on hand to reminisce about making radio history, and to answer questions from the audience. Tickets are $8.00 advance, $10 at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m., and refreshments will be available prior to the event’s 7PM start. Following the discussion, the History Center’s exhibit Long Way to the Top: Hard Rock in Orlando, 1972-1985, will reopen.