WOUR signed on in 1969 as a religious station. In 1970, it changed formats to the syndicated automated Top 40/Oldies "Hit Parade '70" format. In 1971, it programmed "Hit Parade '71" by day, and Progressive Rock at night, with a live DJ. In 1973, WOUR became a full time Progressive Rock/Album Rock station.
At that time, WOUR became the only album oriented rock station in the Syracuse/Utica market. The station was well known for a series of radio concerts broadcast live from local clubs including "Four Acres" in Marcy, New York. Artists who appeared on the series of live concerts included Elvis Costello, Blackjack (featuring Michael Bolton and Yellowjackets' bass player Jimmy Haslip), Cindy Bullens (with Central New York's Mark Doyle), Craig Fuller & Eric Kaz, Nick Gilder, The Ramones and others.
WOUR alumni include John Cooper, Bob Lassiter, Tony Yoken, Steve Huntington, Bob London, Peter Hirsch, Dale Edwards, Tom Starr, Robin Sherwin, Jerry Kraus, "Genesee" Joe Trisolino, Alisson Ryan, J.P. Hastings and many more. A morning drive show with Hirsch and Bill Houser became popular among WOUR listeners in the late 70's-early 80's.
Previous owners have included Bunkfeldt Broadcasting, Dame Media and Clear Channel, who sold it to Galaxy Communications in 2007 when Clear Channel chose to exit small markets and go private. Galaxy, who already owned WRCK, itself a classic rock station, sold WRCK to the Educational Media Foundation, a religious broadcaster who already owned WKVU, choosing instead to favor WOUR.