On-air, "Sock Hop Saturday Night"
Mark Edwards, host of Sock Hop Saturday Night, WLNG's specialty oldies program, has had radio in his blood from a very early age. From electronics tinkering as a youth, to recording engineer to radio program host, he has been around recording and broadcast equipment for much of his life. As a youth, he inherited his father's interest in audio recording and electronics, and this fascination would eventually lead him down the path to his broadcasting career. Like many kids of the era, Mark would sneak a portable radio under his pillow and secretly listen to the music that filled the nighttime airwaves for hours on end. Edwards began his broadcasting career in Connecticut at Central High School in Bridgeport as a DJ on the closed circuit station WCHS. His creativity in pre-recording special shows to be played when there was a classroom schedule conflict caught the eye of the head of the electronics class, and one of his Christmas tapes remained in the station archives and was played annually for more than 20 years after his graduation! In 1978, Edwards landed a job working with legendary audio engineer Emory Cook at Cook Laboratories in Norwalk, Connecticut as a recording and audio technician and engineer. In addition to audio recording and duplication, he also mastered records and was part of the team that helped to perfect the early method of personal computer program loading via cassette. Cook's catalog of recordings, although small, are heralded by those in the industry as being of the highest caliber, and the entire collection of Cook Lab's master tapes are now in the Smithsonian. Edwards began his professional radio career in 1991at the very same hometown station he listened to clandestinely at night as a child. He was given the opportunity to start a specialty oldies program, and on April 2, 1994, Sock Hop Saturday Night was born. The show played on that station until 2003, when Edwards and the station parted ways following a series of corporate downsizings. In early 2004 WLNG, realizing Edwards and his unique program would fit in perfectly with their oldies format, brought the show on board, fully intact, and back on Saturday nights. Thanks to WLNG's great signal, Edwards not only entertains new legions of oldies fans here on the Island, but thousands of his previous fans from Connecticut who can still enjoy this unique program of pre-Beatles oldies. The weekly show airs from 8PM - 12AM, and continues to be a hit with listeners from not only Long Island, but across the country and around the world via WLNG's website and live streaming audio.