Tornado Hits Birthplace of the Wolfman Jack Character

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Tornado Hits Birthplace of the Wolfman Jack Character

Postby jon » Mon May 25, 2015 3:01 pm

Needless to say, all of the News reports are focused, as they should be, on the death and destruction caused by the tornado this morning in Cuidad Acuna, Mexico, so there is no word yet on the condition of XERF, the radio station where Wolfman Jack was created by Robert W. Smith. Long derelict, XERF is now back as a 100,000 watt station on 1570 KHz that is heard far and wide just like it was in Wolfman's time, when it ran 250,000 watts. A station in Manitoba switched to FM from 1570 KHz AM a few years back, making XERF the most distant station most of us can easily hear most nights.

The XERF history goes back further, although it is not technically the same station, just the same transmitter site. XER and XERA were run in the 1930s after their owner was forced off the air in Kansas by the FCC. They were intended to reach back to Kansas, and elsewhere, to sell the owner's goods and services. It is unlikely that XERA, the outgrowth of the original XER, was even running 500,000 watts, let alone the million watts or more claimed by some. WLW in Cincinnati was running 500,000 watts on a 5 year experimental license during this period, and there are ample claims that XERA used the same model transmitter.

A Tornado has such a small path (width) of destruction, it is hard to guess where it went next and how long it lasted. The XERF transmitter is just over a mile West of the actual built-up area of Cuidad Acuna. The town is on the Mexican border across from Del Rio, Texas. The Rio Grande forms the U.S.-Mexican border in this part of Texas.
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Re: Tornado Hits Birthplace of the Wolfman Jack Character

Postby Tom Jeffries » Mon May 25, 2015 6:52 pm

Jon - XERF was like a local station, in Victoria, after dusk.

The memories. It was amazing!

When I was blessed to actually meet Mr. Smith, in 1975 - he exceeded my widest dreams. He was funny, kind, was awesome on the air - and also PINNED the VU, on every break.

I hope the Citizens, in so many corners of the World, suffering from the ravages of Mother Nature's rage,tonight, have some relief and help has arrived.

The weather has been BIZARRE.
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Re: Tornado Hits Birthplace of the Wolfman Jack Character

Postby Toomas Losin » Mon May 25, 2015 7:22 pm

I heard XERF two nights ago. It was almost not there most of the time, with some barely recognizable Spanish being the only clue other than a female voice once slowly saying the call letters while it had faded in somewhat better.

I was actually trying to hear Hawaii. :-)
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