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April 10, 2022 1:16 pm  #1

WGR-AM Hits 100 On May 21st - But Myth Of Its Call Letters Lives On

We've been highlighting a number of legendary U.S. stations hitting 100 this year - KDKA, WWJ, WLW, KSL and WWL, just to name a few.

But there's one much closer to home many here grew up listening to that will also join in the anniversary celebrations in just over a month. It's my understanding that Steve Cichon, the author of a much-admired book about the history of Buffalo broadcasting also noted here in the past, is working on something to celebrate the May 21st date. 

In the meantime, there's the myth of the WGR call letters. Like many, I'd always assumed that the "GR" stood for "George Rand," a banker who wound up with his name on the well-known Rand Building in the Queen City. But according to a Facebook page about the upcoming milestone, that story has taken on a life of its own - and they swear it isn't true.

Instead, it insists the real legend behind the WGR calls comes from an accidental voyage to the bottom of the sea.

Here are a few ads from the past (1948 and 1952) that show how the station has used its call letters to its advantage over the years.