Tuesday, May 31, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – A to WXYZ

Fast Talkin’ Slow Walkin’ DJ Dude It was June 1966 ...

WXYZ/Detroit – was BFYP DJ Joey Reynolds ahead of his time? This guy can TALK and that he did – fast – while grabbing records for the turntable and slapping down The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.”
WXYZ was too proud to give up the music biz through the highs and lows of the charts, but finally opened the conversation for a talk format in 1984.

Back in 1966 the top 40 station followed the Rock & Roll crowd, beat for formatted beat. Think Joey looks bored in his jock picture on WXYZ’s music chart? He was.

My 2008 interview with Joey pinpointed when stringent station formatting became unbearable. “I quit [radio] — in 1967-68. I didn’t want any more of it, I hated it. I wasn’t going to be playing something that someone thought the audience wanted.” And there you have it! [Joey’s story and more in BFYP-Book 2, The Swinging Sixties, coming this fall.] Ah, but did he stay retired ... ?

Monday, May 2, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – Mamas (& Papas)

Mamas (& Papas) and Mondays in May!

The Mamas & the Papas made radio news commiserating with the lovelorn, as their melancholy “Monday, Monday” hit the top of the charts, throughout May 1966.
As early as the May 8th issue of “The Original Official Top Thirty,” WGH/Tidewater, Virginia, latched on to the song that is distinguished as the group’s only #1 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Were you listening when Bob “Ol’ Boob” Calvert or Roger “The Lodger” Clark set “Monday, Monday” to spinning on the turntable?

Or were you in Chicago when WCFL listeners jammed the (Jim) Stagg Line requesting The Mamas and the Papas’ popular song, keeping it at #1 as late as the May 26th Sound 10 Survey?*

In late May, though no longer charting at KFWB/98, L.A., The Mamas and the Papas were front page news in the station’s Hitline newsrag. (Vol. 1, No. 52, May 31, 1966) Were Wink Martindale, Lord Tim and Gene Weed your fave KFWB heartthrob DJs? Speaking of love

Sunday, April 10, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – Questions by Donovan

Still looking for answers ...

But I say, the 1960s were not an answer, they were the question... and it still holds particularly about the way we are treating the planet ~ Donovan. 

And so, we celebrate Earth Day April 22nd – which just happens to be a “Full Pink Moon” as well. Cool.

You know what else is cool? 50 Years Ago this MonthBFYP Rockin’ DJ, Ken Chase (aka Mike Korgan) produced the ultimate party song, “Louie Louie.” April 11th marks International “Louie Louie” Day, and It hit #8 on the WILS/Lansing (MI) Top Twenty survey, April 27, 1966!

You can likely still find a copy or two of “Louie Louie” and other top tens of the day, at your neighborhood vinyl record store. Hopefully, not too many scratches on the grooves for “Good Lovin’” (Young Rascals) and the Mamas & Papas’ “Monday, Monday.”

Maybe you’ll even catch ‘em on sale – ‘cause April 16th is Record Store Day. Remember how we used to swing to the beat on the Radio, then hightail it down to our fave record store on our Schwinns? Thank your local pioneering Rock Radio DJs for their service …

Is that all there is? Heck no! Then … Let’s keep dancin’ April 23rd is National Dance Day! So put your boogie on and let’s groove to the beat, baby.

Featured Radio Survey: Of course, I have an original WILS April 27, 1966, record chart! DJs Bob Carey and Gene Healy ruled the airwaves and spun the platters in Lansing. Enjoy the Moment … Again.

Let's take this on outta here … Let's go!

Celebrate this month 50 years ago and … Rock On!


Share on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month - Lennon Rocks Radio Boat

Teen Power 50 Years Ago this Month = Boomer Power Now!

If today’s power-mad teens think they are the driving force of retail sales, let them be reminded – we started it!

Week of March 12, 1966: “Teen Power – America’s 24 million teenagers spent $15 billion on leisure time activities last year, a boost of $3 billion over the past two years. According to Billboard magazine, youngsters bought around 68% of all single records and 34% of all albums sold across retail counters.

What did we buy? Miniskirts, Espresso, Ben Franklin glasses, music by the Righteous Brothers, and more Rockin’ vinyls by the Rolling Stones.
As with today’s teens, our music and the artists we loved often reflected our restless and rebellious attitude, with reactions to it as diverse as the swirling colors in a tie-dye shirt.

Example: the UK public took John Lennon’s off-hand statement made in the London Evening Standard in March 1966, with Lot’s grain of salt. But in the US, it rubbed salt in Christian wounds ...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month – Batman Rocks Radio

1966 bore the weight of conflict and free speech. Those of us graduating high school in the late ‘60s teetered on the cusp of one extreme or the other. For many, our choices programmed the rest of our lives – into mainstream college and families, or experimenting with life and visionary innovations. But the country and we were still young.

Fifty Years Ago this Month, music played a crucial sanctuary for our insecurities, much like today. No self-respecting car cruising the drag was without a radio; and like televisions today, a radio commanded space in every room of the house.
Did your after-school job take a month to earn up to $40 for that Silvertone 4-speed automatic phonograph? Thumbing through the Sears (& Roebuck) catalog though, you could score an AM clock radio for half that. We were cool. California Dreamin’ … on such a winter’s day …
With our radios came those smooth-talkin’, happy-hawkin’ DJs who echoed our fears and soothed our tears … if only Batman could save the world!  

At WILS/Lansing Michigan, it was Batman to the rescue! Trading on the hottest show on television, the station’s “Top Sounds of the Week” for February 1966, featured “The exciting adventures of Bat-Fink and Rubin, the wonder-midget.” No, we were not particularly politically correct “in the day … 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

50 Years Ago this Month - Let's Go Trippin'

“Trippy, man” … and that’s how we began January, 1966 ~ 50 Years Ago this Month!  

Life is trippy even without LSD – better known as “Acid” – the hallucinatory craze of the late ‘60s. Well, I didn’t need any of the “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to ride the whirlwind of life which threw me into a new location on New Year’s Day.

And before I could even get my bearings, the dreaded cold bug invaded my senses – ‘twas the season, ya know? All better now though, and ready to tackle an exciting New Year of pioneering Rock & Roll Radio DJs. How about you? Let’s get at it then – January, 1966 began … 

With New York City at a standstill, public transportation workers went on strike January 2nd and remained off the grid until the 13th. Meanwhile, recent high school grads were called up for a different kind of duty … 
The Face of Battle (AP/Horst Faas) by
Andrew H. Talkov

8,000 US soldiers landed in South Vietnam on January 18th, bringing the total number to 190,000. It would be a brutal year for our fresh-faced high school buddies. RIP

How did we deal with it? We listened to KYA/San Francisco’s now-legendary DJs, Emperor Gene Nelson, Johnny Holliday and the others, spinning “safe” sounds of James Brown, the Righteous Brothers, and Simon & Garfunkel. But that was all about to shape-shift into wild, vibrant, swirling colors ...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

50 Years Ago this Month – Soul Stretching

Like 2015, 1965 was a year of change, unrest, and innovation. As the people spoke out on racism, religion, and war, our music reflected the times.

Leading a poignant revolution, The Beatles released Rubber Soul (December 3rd), their landmark album that marked a change in their tunes, from purely moneymaking pop to introspective creativity. Peace and harmony? Not so much …

Sunday, November 1, 2015

50 Years Ago this Month – DJ Dan Ingram Spins Sloooow

While we planned for Thanksgiving 50 years ago this month, The Supremes swayed to their music on the radio, thankful for a sixth #1 Motown hit, “I Hear a Symphony.”
The Supremes hung for two weeks at #1 on WABC/New York’s chart for 11/23/65, and it was still climbing at #3 on L.A.’s KRLA Tunedex. But what event earlier in the month cut fans off from their favorite songs?