About This Program

BRILL BUILDING

A two-day fundraising special – September 9-10!

The Brill Building is located at 1619 Broadway and 49th St. in New York City. The 11 story building was built in 1931 and is famous for housing music industry offices and studios where some of the most popular American songs were written. It dominating the pop charts in the early 1960s. The “Brill” name comes from a haberdasher who operated a store at street level and bought the building.

Composers and Lyricists at the Brill Building

Burt Bacharach, Jeff Barry, Bert Berns, Bobby Darin, Hal David, Neil Diamond, Luther Dixon, Sherman Edwards, Buddy Feyne, Gerry Goffin, Howard Greenfield, Ellie Greenwich, Jack Keller, Carole King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Barry Mann, Johnny Mercer, Rose Marie McCoy, Van McCoy, Irving Mills, Fred Neil, Laura Nyro, Tony Orlando, Doc Pomus, Jerry Ragovoy, Teddy Randazzo, Billy Rose, Neil Sedaka, Mort Shuman, Paul Simon (under various pseudonyms), and Cynthia Weil.

Musicians Headquartered in the Brill Building

Bobby Darin, The Drifters featuring Ben E. King, Connie Francis, Lesley Gore, Haras Fyre, Darlene Love, Liza Minnelli, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Gene Pitney, The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, The Shirelles, The Sweet Inspirations, Doris Troy, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Dee Dee Warwick, Dionne Warwick, and The Delicates.

Brill Building Sound

“Brill Building” is considered a shorthand term for American popular music that enjoyed great commercial success in the late 50s and throughout the 60s. By 1962, the Brill Building contained 165 independent music businesses. A musician could find a publisher and printer, cut a demo, promote the record and cut a deal with radio promoters, all within this one building. The independent music companies in the Brill Building and nearby 1650 Broadway defined the “Brill Building Sound.”

Every day we squeezed into our respective cubby holes with just enough room for a piano, a bench, and maybe a chair for the lyricist if you were lucky. You’d sit there and write and you could hear someone in the next cubby hole composing a song exactly like yours. The pressure in the Brill Building was really terrific—because Donny (Kirshner) would play one songwriter against another. He’d say: “We need a new smash hit”—and we’d all go back and write a song and the next day we’d each audition for Bobby Vee’s producer.

Carole King, quoted in The Sociology of Rock by Simon Frith

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Your contribution helps WPKN, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Steve di Costanzo
Steve di Costanzo
WPKN General Manager
Music has always been front and center for me. It’s beyond therapeutic.
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Rob Silber
Rob Silber
Rob Silber hosts Rock Therapy on WPKN. View his schedule.
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Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher
WPKN Board of Directors, Long Island Director
Kevin Gallagher likes to dig. Ask him to tell you about his life, and don’t be surprised if he digs up a tale about traveling the world with the Eurythmics or that he’s been digging WPKN since he became a DJ in 1972.
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Mike Zito
Mike Zito
I first started doing shows at WPKN early in 1973. It is truly an honor to be back and part of WPKN, now more than forty years!
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Al Bell
Al Bell
Al Bell celebrates the Blues and R&B, playing songs in accordance with his own unique desire to hear one creative piece in juxtaposition with the next.
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Cheryl Magoveny
Cheryl Magoveny
WPKN Board of Directors Treasurer
I have been on the air at WPKN since September 2018. I am inspired by WPKN in many ways. I am greatly impressed by the immense love all the programmers, volunteers, and staff have for the station. Because of this, our listeners can expect to hear the widest range of programming on radio today.
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Annette Szczesiul
Annette Szczesiul
What inspires me about ‘PKN is that amidst all the differences, there is a beautiful core sharing values, mutual inspiration, spirit, heart, humor and never-ending goofiness!
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howard thompson
howard thompson
howard thompson hosts the rocking program, ‘PURE.’

howard loves all kinds of music and has collected records ever since his uncle gave him Rock Around The Clock as a 6th birthday present

howard worked in the music biz so he could get more free records and meet wondrous people

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Catherine Conroy
Catherine Conroy
Host of The Kitchen Sink every 4th Thursday 4-7 pm.
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Alec Cumming
Alec Cumming
WPKN Board of Directors Music Director
I’m a child of the early sixties who grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a scrappy town that reminds me in many ways of Bridgeport, which has been my home base since 2015.
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Harry Minot
Harry Minot
Harry Minot was WPKN’s General Manager from 1978 to 2008. He does a monthly program on the fourth Wednesdays from 4 to 6:50pm. His programs are centered on Antique Culture, and include music, readings, old radio plays, and fat activism.
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Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson
Musician, record guy, programmer, and music industry consultant who loves family, friends, work, play, and life.
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Colette Rossignol
Colette Rossignol
WPKN Board of Directors Chair
Colette started at WPKN in 1982 presenting “Capital Radio” and continues on programming both a Rock-N-Roll and her “Blues for Bob and You” show.
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Mark Mushin
Mark Mushin
WPKN Board of Directors Technical Director
Mark Mushin loves his family and the blues. He hosts One Step Ahead of the Blues and is a part of The Car Bob Show. Mark volunteers on the WPKN Board of Directors.
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Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli is an American musician and composer specializing in contemporary and improvised music for oboe and English horn. In addition, he plays the Yamaha WX7 MIDI breath controller, as well as double reed instruments from several Asian cultures.
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Emma Speer
Emma Speer
Emma was born and bred in Bridgeport. She attended Yale University where she received a B.S. in Cognitive Science. She also nerds out doing performance, such as improv and one-woman shows, as well as writing, painting, and podcasting.
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In addition to our spectacular hosts, above, we want to take a minute to thank our fundraiser tally-keepers, without whose help we would certainly be lost!

Annette Szczesiul, Cheryl Magoveny, Mike Zito, Rob Silber, Moxanne, and howard thompson.