Wednesday, October 5, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – October

Owwwwoooo! October’s a Scream!

Were you like me, eagerly anticipating … and dreading … October’s arrival? (Hence the late post.)

Halloween – YEAH! But Holidays … bah humbug! I’m just not ready to go there. So, let’s Rock instead!

ROCK-tober is truly my favorite month of the year, with Halloween as my beloved “non” holiday. All the fun without the stress!

What songs did we howl along with 50 Years Ago this Month? Cherish* your Sunshine Superman

KFRC / San Francisco’s top ten for Halloween week 1966 had us crying “96 Tears” at #1 by ? & the Mysterians (yes, they used a question mark for their name). Only “Psychotic Reaction” (Count Five) at #9, came close to getting us in an eerie mood.

For mystique, the state of California tried to alter our state of minds, as it declared LSD officially illegal on October 6, 1966—which sent many into a Zombie rage, raising the dead and smashing pumpkins—making it nearly impossible to distinguish our politicians from All Hallow’s Eve ghouls. Fifty years later, nothing has changed. (Please know I’m being facetious - sorta.)

From ghosts to witches, hallowed ceremonies to pumpkin parties, eerie screams to Wolfman Jack’s howls, Halloween celebrants love to let loose.

There is always a witch’s cauldron-full of frightening community events, and a fun round-up of spooky music on your local Radio station.  

If scary isn’t your thing, a pretend solution is to gather the family for classic TV special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and celebrate its 50th anniversary! (Airs October 19th on ABC—record and replay!)

Whatever your festivities, or if opting for a homebound night of creepy news … I mean, movies … enjoy your last shred of sanity before the scary-mad dash for New Year’s Eve!

Featured Radio Survey: Were you in Chicago for Halloween in 1966? You’ll likely remember devilish DJ Jim Stagg chatting with the beastly Beatles. While the survey isn’t very scary, the 10-06-66 date might spook you! (*Cherish and Sunshine Superman both hit the top ten in Stagg’s Hit Line Sound Survey.)

Celebrate OCTOBER 50 Years AgoRock On!

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – September

Hurry! Don’t Miss the Last Train to School! 

Before September 1966 our favorite primate was Kala – Tarzan’s Great Ape mother – or Ham the Astrochimp. Then we heard, “Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees!”

September 12th 50 Years Ago this Month The Monkees debuted on NBC. But their first hit single wasn’t their theme song. By the show’s opening night, “Last Train to Clarksville” was already climbing the charts, at #28 on WOKY/Milwaukee’s “Lucky Number” survey for September 9th.
Shortly after, WFIL 560 AM in Philly, pulled a switcheroo so they could have fun too. So long, MOR (middle of the road stuff) and hello Top 40: “The Pop Explosion – Famous 56”!

What were you doing in September 1966? Listening to the radio? Where? Who was your fave DJ? Tell me! Might end up in a book …

Featured Radio Survey: Take a look at the WOKY/Milwaukee, week ending September 9, 1966 with a survey that watched The Monkees climb – bringing back memories yet? A little help: “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan shined its way to the #1 spot.

Celebrate SEPTEMBER 50 Years AgoRock On!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – Lazy Hazy Crazy Days

Want to celebrate the magic of 1967’s Summer of Love?
Break out your tie-dye Ts for 2017’s “Golden Summer of Love”! 

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer 1966!

You haven’t lived until you’ve cruised the drag in a classic convertible, the hot summer sun baking your brain, while you bellow, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away”* (ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-ha!). Well, they probably should have … 50 Years Ago this Month!

The KRLA/Los Angeles radio chart, week of Aug 13, 1966, pushed this lazy, hazy, crazy days-of-summer song to #1, leading the way for other novelty songs to scramble up the Top 40 ladder. Was it the heat? The campy song sounds like a love lament on steroids – it was – for his dog.

Napoleon (producer/songwriter/engineer, Jerry Samuels) flipped again on the flip-side, with “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” written – and recorded – backwards. "!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT"  Hmmm, definitely the heat.

*Napoleon XIV was followed closely on the KRLA chart, by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs with “Li’l’ Red Riding Hood” at #5, and The Troggs filled our minds with “Wild Thing” (#18).

From silly to somber, it seemed someone was in a hurry to end the summer – or at least the weird songs – as “See You in September” (the Happenings) made the KHJ/Los Angeles survey’s “Hit Bound” list early in the month, crooned its way up to #9 by the end of August.

Since I don’t have an August 1966 survey in the BFYP collection to feature, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Jack Vincent, longtime R&R Radio DJ for San Diego’s KCBQ (retired) a speedy recovery from recent illness. 

The nonagenarian was an Errol Flynn twin-looker “back in the day,” and one of KCBQ’s Good Guys in the 1960s. He was and is a role model for legendary DJs like Shotgun Tom Kelly, Neil Ross, Bill Gardner and so many awesome broadcasters over the years. Get well quick, Jack!

Featured Radio Survey: For your fun and enjoyment – a KCBQ/San Diego “Hit Parade” from the week of August 28, 1966 – accessed at ARSA Survey Search. The most comprehensive list (and many images) of radio charts/surveys, I’ve found on the ‘Net! KCBQ listeners still had “See You in September” as high as #6. Slap it on the turntable, Jack!

Celebrate AUGUST 50 years ago and … Rock On!

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