The St. Louis FM dial had three "Beautiful Music" stations in the early 1970's: WIL-FM (92.3), KCFM (93.7), and KRCH (98.1). KEZK signed on with their Beautiful Music format in 1974.
For about a year, WIL-FM changed their calls to KFMS, from 1973-74. There was a television commercial with a simple graphic saying "WIL-FM has changed, it is now KFMS" or something similar. Toward the end of the summer of 1974, the format was dropped for country and the WIL-FM call was back. It was automated for several years, and had a separate identity from WIL-AM. I remember the live programming starting around 1977 as well.
Jim, do you remember the unusual processing WIL-FM had? The midrange was completely supressed and the low and high frequencies were cranked way up. That continued into the early 1980's. In 1987, they scrapped their processing and studio and replaced it with one of the cleanest audio chains on the dial. That all was dismantled when Sinclair got a hold of the station.
Harry Eidelman ran KCFM, as well as a separate SCA background music service into the 1970's. In 1976 or 1977, they ran a TV spot with a slogan "Your Island Of Beautiful Music In A Sea Of Noise." In January 1978 they dropped easy listening for a unique soft album rock format (would probably be considered AAA by today's standards). It lasted for 16 months. During that time Eidelman sold KCFM to Gannett (Gannett also purchased KSD-AM from Pulitzer). In June of 1979 they returned to a Beautiful Music format and that lasted for one year. On the July 4'th holiday, the station became KS-94 (KSD-FM), a very successful AC that lasted from 1980-1987. Their audio processing was great. In 1982, they tweaked the audio slightly and really made their airchain sparkle.
While Gannett owned KSD AM/FM, Eidelman maintained his Multiplex Music Service for quite some time on their SCA.
The KCFM calls were picked up by the former Florissant radio station KSCF (97.1), which ran several different formats from 1980 to 1985. They are now KFTK.
KRCH started up in 1969 (formerly KSTL-FM), and became Top-40 KSLQ in September 1972. One of the earliest commercials for KSLQ featured a large eardrum.
KEZK started up sometime in the fall of 1974, taking over the former community station KDNA (which lives on with KDHX today). Their TV spot featured a generic instrumental version of The Bee Gees "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" with an announcer talking up "Easy 102."
T.J., in regards to WOKZ-FM, here is some history behind that. WOKZ AM (1570) and FM (100.3) served Alton, and had a simulcast (WOKZ-AM was daytime only). They ran a full service Middle Of The Road format (Andy Williams, Perry Como, André Kostelanetz, etc. thrown in with the occasional contemporary pop songs). WOKZ-FM ran from 6 AM to Midnight. This was their format from at least 1975-78. The AM kept this format until the ownership change to Louie Dreith and their call change to WBGZ in 1984.
The owners of KATZ purchased WOKZ-FM and the station signed off on 31 December 1978 at 8 PM. Before WOKZ-FM closed down, the jock played much more Top-40 hits that evening, taking requests. WZEN took control of the frequency immediately afterward, and played disco music throughout the night. At 6 AM New Years' Day 1979, WZEN began programming an Adult Contemporary format. This format lasted until April of that year, and switched to an all disco format, calling themselves "Disco 100." The switch was probably a result of KKSS (later KMJM) disco heavy "Studio 108" format (adopting the "Majic 108" name in June 1979).
Disco 100 lasted throughout 1979, eventually disavowing the disco name once it fell out of favor, and called itself "Z-100." The music was still disco heavy, but adding Top-40 and danceable new wave artists (like the B-52's) to the mix. It was an eclectic mix. This format lasted until February 1981. It then became an R&B station, catering to a primarily Black audience. Majic 108 had a similar format, but catered to both a Black and White audience (they added Top-40 cuts to their mix, since St. Louis did not have a true Top-40 radio station between 1979 and 1982). Majic adjusted their format once KHTR hit the airwaves.
WZEN was almost like a Black-oriented KSHE in 1982. I don't know if the jocks had say over what was played, but the music was practically tailor-made for the jock who was on the air. The evening and overnight DJ's had a broad playlist. Later on, WZEN became known for it's Rap "Roll Call" show afternoons with Dr. Jockenstein. It was a fun station to listen to.
WZEN maintained this format until 1986. A stricter playlist was introduced when the KATZ-FM calls were introduced. The R&B format continued until 1990. The format was flipped to a mix of R&B and contemporary jazz, and was called "Jazz 100." This format lasted until 1993, when an Urban AC format started up. They adopted a strict smooth jazz format as KNJZ (1994-5), various versions of Urban AC between 1995 and 1999, and became The Beat in April 1999.