High Fidelity: Radio Station Takes A Spin Playing Vinyl Records

William Clanton (Photo courtesy WBNJ)

BARNEGAT – The music won’t change, but for five hours, the medium will.

WBNJ 91.9 FM will be breaking out a pair of well-maintained Technics SP1200-MK direct drive turntables and playing nothing but vinyl 1-6 p.m. Aug. 12, in honor of the 141st anniversary of Thomas Edison’s completion of his model for the first phonograph.

Edison went with “Mary Had a Little Lamb” for his first recording. WBNJ will be sticking with its regular rotation of standards, oldies, rock n roll, jazz, etc.

William Clanton plays the classics on vinyl. (Photo by WBNJ)

“Everyone has a different opinion here. I feel that records have a unique sound quality. For decades vinyl records were far superior when compared to cassette tapes,” William Clanton, WBNJ President, said. “Once CDs were invented, the CD became the superior medium. Records though, when cared for properly, in my opinion can even sound better than CDs.”

While the radio station, which signed onto air on June 1, 2010, has always used computer automation to play its music, Clanton did start his radio career playing vinyl in Manahawkin in 1995.

William Clanton plays the classics on vinyl. (Photo by WBNJ)

“The collection has reached a point to where I lost count of the exact number of records. It is stored in our studios on Main street in Barnegat, in our storage garage, and some of it is still in my shed at my house,” Clanton said. “The collection is so eclectic and not cataloged that every time I go through boxes and crates I always find something new that I didn’t realize was there.”

Listeners can of course tune in to 91.9 on their FM dial, or online at wbnj.org, or watch or stream live on Facebook and YouTube.

William Clanton plays the classics on vinyl. (Photo by WBNJ)

“This will truly bring us back to a time when DJs really had to work for their pay. These days a DJ just has to talk when he is told and let the computer do all the work,” Clanton said. “So to play our normal programming using only records to play the music is going to be a fun challenge that I am ready to accept.”