MONTREAL- DECEMBER 4: Former Montreal Canadien Dickie Moore and Gordie Howe hold up a Maurice Richard Canadiens jersey during the Centennial Celebration ceremonies prior to the NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins on December 4, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Bruins 5-1. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Story by Mark Wilson and Anne Erickson

WRIF first started broadcasting true rock ‘n’ roll to the Motor City on On Feb. 14, 1971, and we’ve never looked back!

It’s been an honor to rock with you for the past 50 years, and we look forward to the next 50.

Here are some significant events and happenings in Detroit and across the nation in that first year of WRIF, 1971!

  • The 1971 Grammy for Record of the Year and Album of the Year went to “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel, released in January of 1970.

  • Kid Rock was born on Jan. 17, 1971.

  • The top song on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in 1971 was “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, released in February of 1971.

  • Jim Morrison of The Doors was found dead in bath tub in Paris in 1971. He passed away on July 3, 1971.

  • The 1971 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held at Tiger Stadium on July 13.

  • Gordie Howe retired for the first time after 25 years with the Red Wings on Sept. 9, 1971.

  • The Detroit Tigers finished the season 91-71, 2nd place in the American League East, on Sept. 29, 1971.

  • The top rock song of 1971 was The Chi-Lites with “Have You Seen Her,” released in October of 1971.

  • The highest-grossing movie of 1971 was “Fiddler on the Roof,” which debuted on Nov. 3, 1971. That’s a good one!

  • Civic Leaders, including Henry Ford II, announced plans for the Renaissance Center on Nov. 24, 1971.

  • The Detroit Lions finished their season 7-6-1, 2nd in NFC Central on Dec. 19, 1971.

  • The most popular car in 1971 was the Chrysler New Yorker, which was produced by Chrysler from 1940 to 1996.

  • The most popular toys of 1971 included Malibu Barbie, Tumblestone Maker, Rocking Horse, Etch A Sketch, The Game Of Operation and Hot Wheels.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!