CLEVELAND - The WMMS Coffee Break concerts were something very unusual for local radio.
Free concerts aired live and without commercials on a powerhouse radio station.
WEWS “Man on Music” Dave Tarbert did a history of the concerts for our “Live On Five” newscast March 11, 1985.
Tarbert tells us the concerts have aired for an hour each Wednesday after noon since 1972 and he runs down the list of some of the rock legends who have performed.
In the video for his story, Tarbert has a clip of Southside Johnny performing.
John Gorman, local music legend who ran WMMS, wrote a book on the FM radio icon titled “The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of WMMS and Cleveland Rock Radio--A Memoir.”
Gorman said the concerts began in the station’s studios but needed a larger venue and a move to the Agora was arranged.
Back to Tarbert, who tells us a fire at the Agora the year before his 1985 story forced a change to Peabody’s Down Under in Cleveland’s Flats.
The story has a concert clip from Peabody’s and interviews with WMMS staffers Matt the Cat and Denny Sanders.
Enjoy a look back at WMMS, free concerts and the Flats.