Monday, April 13, 2015

Blast from Your Past - Book 1, Excerpt 5: DJ Ken Chase aka Mike Korgan

April 11th was “International ‘Louie Louie’ Day”! There were no raucous parties happening (unless at your place, and you didn't call me!), or even a link on the Brownielocks site that lists it as a special commemoration day.

But at BFYP it deserves distinct recognition because Ken Chase (aka Mike Korgan), one of our pioneering Rock & Roll DJs, produced the iconic song by The Kingsmen in April 1963. “Louie Louie” rose to the top of the charts and by November, and for all time, became the “ultimate party song.”

Granted, 1963 is out of the purview of BFYP Book 1 (1954-1959), but Mike’s tenure at the mic began well before “Louie Louie’s” bouncy beat hit the airwaves.

Rock on in Excerpt #5 from Book 1, Blast from Your Past! Rock & Roll Radio DJs:the First Five Years 1954-1959. Enjoy the moments … again!(TM)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Car Radios Blaring Louder than Ever

Sixty years ago, radio was thought to be gasping its last breath as the "boob tube" took over the airwaves ... and then along came Rock & Roll!

March 10, 1965, The Temptations’ #1 hit “My Girl” popped out of your car radio as my groovy new nephew, Steven, popped out singin’ a louder tune for my brother & his wife. 

Like our kids, radio grew, matured, & dared to find its way in a reinvented world. 50 years later it’s still #1 says RAMP"In-Dash Radio Doohickey Still Rules"!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cupid Missed ~ Valentine's Day 1965

Transistor radios were creative in '60s/'70s

It’s time to bare our hearts for February 1965 …
Oh! The temptations of LUV! WRIT* / Milwaukee DJs plucked our heartstrings in their cute cowboy hats for the Feb 7th song survey

Listeners quickly felt the foibles of crushed love to start the month of romance moaning “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’” (Righteous Brothers). What other station dodged Cupid’s arrow?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015 ~ Rock On!

Hooray! We made it to 2015 - that sounded SO SciFi 50 years ago

Happy New Year Rockers! As we look forward to 2015, take a moment to reflect on the past ... rejoice with the present ... and rejuvenate for the future. 

At BFYP we love to reminisce ... life 50 years ago this month (with This Day in Rock/History): 1965 … a golden year of musical extremes and rebel dreams …

Does it bring back personal memories that are entwined with the music of the day? Or are you just curious about the era ... here, let me help! 

Throughout the year we'll explore 1965 through our 50 years ago trivia, and the best Rockin' years, 1954-1979, reporting on behind-the-mic lives of Rock Radio DJs, yesterday and today.

Like DJ Lee Gray (pictured w/The Beatles at WTRY / New York, July 16, 1965), who enjoyed the pseudo-title of "5th Beatle" with other DJs of the era - did you have a "Ticket to Ride"?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blast from Your Past, Book 1 – Excerpt 4: Your New Year’s Toast!

Black-and-White ... newspaper or news? Both, of course. And isn't it interesting that we find ourselves back in the race issue after fifty years of protests and politics ... but taking it back even another ten years, we find one of the ways all cultures connect ... music. Rock on in Excerpt #4 from Blast from Your Past, Book 1. 

In addition to three published excerpts from BFYP-Book 1, 1954-1959, see new #4 below! 

Blastfrom Your Past-Book 1 Excerpt #3 
Blast from Your Past-Book 1 Excerpt #2 
Blast from Your Past-Book 1 Excerpt #1

A retro look back through a medley of news and music notes for 1955 ... 60 years down Memory Lane, from 2015. I think you’ll find some surprising similarities between then and now. Enjoy the moments … again!(TM)

1955 & the Music of Our Times | BFYP Excerpt #4, Snippet #1:
“Before Black artists made their own names in Rock & Roll music, their 'tell it like it is' bouncy tunes were pasteurized and milkified by White performers, for the White audiences.
Pat Boone covered Fats Domino’s 'Ain’t That a Shame' in 1955; and they both charted with it. Good thing Pat didn’t get his way on a title revision to 'Isn’t That a Shame' – it simply doesn’t have the same flow.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blast from Your Past, Book 1 - Excerpt 3: Radio Rocks Jay & the Americans

Sandy Deanne w/Jay & the Americans – Excerpt #3 from Book 1, Blast from Your Past! Rock & Roll Radio DJs: the First Five Years 1954-1959

Your Rockin’ Rochelle at BFYP-FM is stroking the clock for timely tunes. I’m tickin’ down the decade’s end with a tuneful tale from the other side of the microphone. Listen up, m’friends!
Mixing business with pleasure can be nice, but heed my advice, keep your cool, don’t be a fool, “Is That Too Much to Ask?”

Sandy Deanne
of Jay & the Americans
with bandmates Howie Kane and John Reineke (Jay #3)

BFYP trivia alert! Do you know that before Jay & the Americans, original member, Sandy Deanne, first wrote and released songs as founding member with the Harborlites in the late 1950s? And it was a friendly radio disk jockey who helped the teen trio hit the airwaves in New York City.
“Cousin Brucie and I were dating sisters,” said songwriter Sandy, in his palpable New York inflection. “I knew he was a DJ and he knew I had a band.” But until their record “Is That Too Much to Ask” was released in 1959, conversations were a fleeting “hi” in chance meetings at the sisters’ home.
“When the record came out,” Sandy continued, “Cousin Brucie stepped up to the plate. He really liked it, I guess, ‘cause he played it a lot. It was a turntable hit for us and got us started.”

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It’s Wolfman Jack month!

Well, it’s really ROCK-tober … okay, if you’re not into cutesy month designations, you can’t deny it IS October … the month when leaves loosen and cascade softly from their tree limbs, creating a stark bareness at month’s end, perfect for spooky Halloween.
Of course, at BFYP we’re excited because October truly was Wolfman Jack’s favorite time of the year. He howled his way through numerous Halloween events and loved every second of them. As The Guess Who urged us (1974), “Clap for the Wolfman!”

Little known Wolfman Jack facts:
On the path to his radio career, Robert Weston Smith devised the Wolfman persona while chasing his nephews around the house at bedtime (much to the chagrin of his sister and her husband).
Before there was Wolfman Jack, “Bob” sold Collier’s Encyclopedias and Fuller Brushes door-to-door! Did your family living in Alexandria, Virginia, buy from him in the late 1950s?

Bob kept Wolfman Jack’s appearance under wraps through his early days, after a run-in with the Ku Klux Klan about his integrated dance club, in Shreveport, Louisiana, early 1960s.

Wolfwoman, Lou, created Wolfman Jack’s original look, but they hired a Hollywood makeup guy to polish it for his first California gig as Wolfman, appearing with Little Richard in Santa Ana (late 1960s). “Getting out of the radio booth and onto a stage was a big leap. It was fantastic fun, but it also scared the hell out of me. That’s why I needed all my makeup, disguise, and outlandish trappings.” (Have Mercy! [1995]) 

Halloween is like Bob Smith bouncing around as Wolfman Jack. We get the opportunity to have loads of fun, without the pressure of being ourselves – if only for a day.

Be Safe ~ Have Fun ~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
(from your Wicked Witch of the West!)

Coming soon – Blast from Your Past, Book 2 in the series, with lots of great Wolfman Jack tales! While you wait, check out Book 1, Rock& Roll Radio DJs: the First Five Years 1954-1959, at Amazon.