Thursday, May 4, 2017

50 Years Ago this Month – Merry May 1967

(Few days late and a dollar short … traveling does that to you.)
Groovin’ with Respect, May 1967 

Most radio stations across the country charted “Groovin’” by The Young Rascals in the top five, 50 Years Ago this Month. With a lot of “Respect” from Aretha Franklin, they leap-frogged each other up the charts to vie for the #1 and #2 golden spots for much of latter May.

KXOA/Sacramento and WABC/New York were “Groovin’” at the top of their surveys for the week of May 17th and 19th (respectively). KFRC/San Francisco gave their listeners “Respect” at the top, with Ed Mitchell spinning the tunes for you from 9 a.m. ‘til noon, on the Big 610.

What else happened in May 1967? Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, baby!

-       The “secret’s” out of the bag! Spunky head Beatle, Paul, admitted they’d all dropped acid at one time or another.

-       Women everywhere swooned with envy as Priscilla Beaulieu married hunky Elvis Presley at the Aladdin in Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas!

-       Not wanting The Beatles to hog all the limelight, Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones did them one better (or worse)—and found themselves in lock-up on drug charges.

-       Repercussions? The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” suffered in the UK charts as BBC took their drug admissions seriously, and banned it.

May 25:
-       Defiance? Never let others dictate your personality, was John Lennon’s motto as he drove off in his newly renovated Psychedelic Rolls Royce.

-       Does it seem The Beatles dominated the late Sixties? Well, yes. But that doesn’t mean other great music wasn’t happening.

Featured Radio Survey: KFRC/San Francisco’s Big 30 for May 17, 1967, gave Aretha and their listeners the “Respect” we deserved. Capturing the moment in music, we heard Lou Rawls lament a “Dead End Street” at #5, and a peek into the upcoming Summer of Love, with “The Flower Children” (Marcia Strassman) hugging the #9 spot. Here’s the full top ten

Celebrate MAY 1967: 50 Years Ago and … Rock On!

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Monday, April 3, 2017

50 Years Ago this Month – April 1967

An Over-the-Shoulder Peek at April 1967 

50 Years Ago this Month saw Psychedelic Rock force its swirling climb up the charts, gaining heat as we moved closer to the torrid Summer of Love.

We began the month on a high note, at the top of WABC/NY’s All American Survey April 8, 1967, “Happy Together” with The Turtles.

Not all DJs were happy together however, with radio broadcasting formats. FM stations began playing follow-the-leader, finding their footing outside the Jazz genre, in AOR and other diverse areas. Especially after DJ Tom Donahue signed on at KMPX/San Francisco, Friday, April 7, 1967. Always a rebel, Tom began his push for Freeform Rock, combined with an all-female engineering staff. It worked.

Need more to celebrate April 1967? Party on, for “Louie Louie” Day, April 11th; and have you hugged your vinyl record store owner lately? The tenth annual Record Store Day, spins off April 22nd. (Though you can start as early as the 15th for some.)
By month’s end in the Top 40, frustrated and disillusioned, we lamented toiling at our jobs with The Easybeat’s “Friday on My Mind” at #12, on WABC’s April 29 survey. Following on its heels, we protested with Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”* at #13. Although the tune took two weeks to climb its way to the middle of the pack, that didn’t reflect on its emotional impact.

The mood of the moment is capsulized in a nice long excerpt from the newly released BFYP (e)Book 2 – Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties! Like many of his listeners, DJ Neale Blase, objected to the Vietnam War.

Doing so on the radio though, generally didn’t sit well with station management. One night, as Neale broadcast live in a special airing with Armed Forces Radio on KOMA/Oklahoma City …

“Here’s a song for Private Bob Smith from his wife in Montana … she’s hoping that you’ll be home soon, safe and sound … and by the way, Bob, we all want you guys home soon, because you shouldn’t even be there. So for all of you guys over there … listen very closely to the lyrics of this song.” KOMA listeners heard Buffalo Springfield warn, “There’s a man with a gun over there …” *

Aware of his opportunity as a DJ to comment on news of the day, Neale said, “I can’t tell you how many times we would talk over the intro of a song and express our views in a very compatible tone of voice, with the tempo of the song. Never underestimate the power of subtlety.” Read the rest of Neale’s Swinging Sixties story, here.

Featured Radio Survey: In view of this lengthy post, and the lamentable fact I don’t have an April ’67 vintage radio survey in the BFYP Collection, we’ll continue to enjoy the March KFRC/San Francisco survey, and bounce back with more than enough May ’67 surveys next month. Top 30 station, KFRC, tipped the iceberg of our music revolution. But the depth of its love came from the base of FM underground music that would soon emanate from KMPX and DJ Tom Donahue. Check out the eclectic mix in the March 1, 1967 KFRC Big 30 chart.

Celebrate APRIL 1967: 50 Years Ago … Rock On!
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Blast from Your Past BOOK 2 - 1960s BORN!

Blast from Your Past BOOK 2 - 1960s REBORN! 

FINALLY! There were days I thought I’d never say this … please welcome a new Blast from Your Past! family edition … BOOK 2 has arrived!
As many of you know, Blast from Your Past! Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties bore a long and painful labor … some would say it makes the pleasure sweeter ... hmmmm. I just hope you enjoy this newborn romp down Memory Lane with our Rockin' Radio DJs!

We’re boppin’ to the introductory price of $2.99 (eBook) 'til month’s end. AND if you haven’t read Book 1 yet, The First Five Years 1954-1959, get it now for a companion price of only $1.99. Sale prices effective through March 31st.  

Thank you to everyone who urged me to continue … some even prodded … and I am SO grateful. Of course, there is still another Rockin’ decade to go ~ The Psychedelic Seventies ~ but I’ll take a breather and enjoy my new 2nd edition until we explore the Seventies in 2018.

The eBook edition of The Swinging Sixties is being delivered first, so those of you who have been waiting for its arrival can offer your comments in a review ~ selected thoughts will be included in a review page of the print book!

Please share your comments and memories on the Amazon site ASAP, or feel free to congratulate me personally! Would love to hear from you …

Let’s Rock & Roll!

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Another Blast from Your Past! book published by Penchant for Penning.

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