In 1973, La Crosse had a three-way race for mayor between incumbent W. Peter Gilbertson, WKTY sales manager Phil Dyer, and St. Francis Hospital staffer James Michael. All of them agreed that the city bus system could be run better. Dyer wanted downtown businesses to clean up their storefronts. Michael called for more parking downtown and in the campus area. And the idea of building Harborview, which now includes the La Crosse Center and the Radisson, was tied up in federal red tape, and according to Gilbertson, it wasn’t going anywhere.
The Lettermen could still draw a crowd to the Sawyer Auditorium in 1973. Tickets for a Lettermen concert ranged from $3.50 to $5.50.
There wasn’t much chance of hearing the Lettermen on La Crosse’s newest radio station, WSPL-FM, owned by WKTY. WSPL at 95.9 FM was stereo rock, and it has gone through a few format changes. For the last 21 years, it has been 95.7 The Rock…but it was WSPL in 1973, yesterday in La Crosse.