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.