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 … 
But no one can deny that we had a lot of innocent fun. It was an era we can only wish our children of today were still experiencing. Not that there wasn’t crime and violence, but it wasn’t the norm, and not our idea of “fun.”
Fun was joining Ron Riley’s Batman Club at WLS/Chicago; and tripping up our ankle-biting siblings as they raced around us with Remco’s Batman Wrist Radios!
Ahhhh, that was then – this is now – we Boomers only confess to 39 and Holding, so we can reminisce and remember … … now I cherish so, When Liking Turns to Loving  

Featured Radio Survey: WILS/Lansing, Radio 1320 “Music in Michigan,” February 23, 1966 (issue #113) featured DJ Bob Carey’s future hit pick, “Good Lovin’” (Young Rascals). See all the DJs’ picks – is your fave among them? 

Celebrate this month 50 years ago and … Enjoy the moment … again!
Share on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk 

*Songs on WILS survey February 23, 1966:
“California Dreaming,” Mamas & Papas – #14
“When Liking Turns to Love,” Ronnie Dove – #11
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