The station, then owned by Kops-Monahan Communications, Inc. was formerly known as the New Waves, or Lucky 13 WAVZ (pronounced "waves") and was a popular Top 40 radio station in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1950s the station used a jingle with the following lyrics:
"There are waves in the navy and waves in your hair, and people wave their hands when they're going anywhere, but the greatest waves there can be are the radio waves on WAVZ"
During the 60s, WAVZ competed with WDEE (1220, now WQUN), and later with WNHC (1340, now WYBC) for radio listeners. WAVZ generally won most of the rating "books."
As FM radio became more popular, the station's rock music format was shifted to sister FM station WKCI in 1979 by Curtis Hanson and Pete Salant. WKCI had been an easy-listening station but in the summer of 1979 became "KC-101" and began playing adult contemporary music using many of the then current WAVZ personalities. Due to the success of KC101, Pete Salant a/k/a Pete Stone on WAVZ, left New Haven in 1981 to program WYNY in New York. WAVZ became one of the first Music of Your Life stations, airing big band and adult standards. WAVZ and WKCI were sold to Eastern Broadcasting of Washington, DC on June 5, 1982  Upon the sale of the radio stations, Curtis W. Hansen left in 1982 to create WEBE in Westport, Connecticut