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Hamptons Life

Mar 21, 2014 1:46 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Billy Joel And Jimmy Fallon Plot To Crash WLNG In Sag Harbor

Mar 22, 2014 7:20 PM

On Thursday night, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon looked straight into the NBC network camera, pointed his finger at millions of viewers nationwide and delivered a message meant for just one humble radio station based in Sag Harbor—oldies stronghold WLNG 92.1.

“WLNG, look out,” he said, with his guest, music legend Billy Joel, laughing silently in the chair next to him. “We’re gonna be crashing that station. Billy Joel and I. This summer. This summer, we’re coming after you guys.”

Mr. Joel, a Sag Harbor resident who will be hosting his own Sirius XM satellite radio channel for three months starting on Wednesday, March 26, is no stranger to the station. He has visited several times over the years, according to Gary Sapiane, president and general manager of WLNG. His most recent stop was in 2009.

“When you see him around town, he’s the all-around nice guy,” Mr. Sapiane said of Mr. Joel on Friday morning during a telephone interview. “And I get the sense that Jimmy Fallon is probably the same way. I know he’s around. Somebody met him at the pizza place here last week.”

Mr. Fallon, who has a home in Sagaponack, suggested crashing WLNG after Mr. Joel made his Sirius radio announcement on the show.

“There’s this radio station out in the Hamptons, by Sag Harbor…” Mr. Fallon started.

“WLNG,” Mr. Joel interrupted.

“WLNG, plays oldies all the time, doo-wop,” Mr. Fallon continued. “I was always wanting to just crash that radio station. Just go in and co-host with the guy.”

“They have that echo on the mic,” Mr. Joel said.

“Oh, fantastic!” Mr. Fallon said.

“Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi,” Mr. Joel imitated station founder Paul Sidney’s famous reverb, making his voice fainter with every salutation.

Of the entire segment, that was the highlight for Mr. Sapiane—by far.

“Both of them really, honestly, knew the station,” he said. “The reverb, the oldies. That was the hot part about the whole thing.”

Mr. Sapiane did not catch the live interview, the broadcaster said, and he didn’t have to. The shout-out captured the nation’s attention—and its result has overflowed Mr. Sapiane’s inbox with hundreds of emails, and is currently flooding the station’s online streaming.

“It was just an honor to have them do that. It was the last thing we would ever expect, especially there—nationwide TV,” he said. “Judging on how many people are listening online to us today, we have a lot of extra listeners, from all over the country. It’s just really jam-packed today.”

And they’ll have to keep listening, in order to catch the dynamic duo in the Sag Harbor studio. The pair did not disclose a specific date, only to say that it would be this summer—and out of the blue.

On “The Tonight Show,” Mr. Fallon posed to Mr. Joel, “Would you ever want to crash the station with me?”

“Absolutely,” Mr. Joel responded. “We gotta go at night.”

“We’ll go at night!” Mr. Fallon said, excitedly.

“When they least expect it,” Mr. Joel said.

Mr. Sapiane said he has officially extended an invitation and, should they walk into the station, he’d put them right on air—letting them play all the oldies they like and, of course, experimenting with the reverb.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

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Too funny! This is great!
By Robert I Ross (238), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 14 2:27 PM
3 members liked this comment
if only Paul Sidney were still around when that happens...the three of them together, priceless!
By Jaws (239), Amity Island on Mar 21, 14 6:23 PM
Bring it on Jimmy & Billy...but do me a big solid....message me on my Facebook, Dina Ricker, so I can be sure to be there when WLNG
get's is MOST exciting day/night EVER....my Dad was the News
Director from 1964-1989 (or thereabouts) and I used to love
going there with him and messing around with the control
panel, playing music etc....yeah, I grew out of those tunes about
30 yrs ago....WLNG will never be the same after your crash,
just include me and hey, if you need an ...more
By mayqueen27 (2), Sag Harbor on Mar 22, 14 3:22 AM
2 members liked this comment
LET IT BEE!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE WLNG!!! I HAVE A TEE SHIRT, AND IT'S MY FAVORITE!
By LI native (127), east moriches on Mar 22, 14 6:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
I have been a WLNG listener since 1963. WLNG is on every stereo in my house and car.
By Dotkon43 (1), Flanders on Mar 23, 14 5:54 PM
They did a great duet of You May Be Right with Jimmy on the lead vocals at the end of the show. Their shared appreciation of doo-wop and oldies makes this summer's appearance at WLNG likely IMO.
By PBR (4879), Southampton on Mar 23, 14 6:02 PM
We are so lucky to have WLNG out here. They are an important part of our community.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Mar 23, 14 9:44 PM
1 member liked this comment