Breaking News 04/29/18: If you have never heard of “Radio’s Best Friend,” now is a great time to introduce yourself! With a lifetime love of radio, Art Vuolo started out decades ago on a selfless journey to video-record radio station DJs, their broadcasts, and special events. He’s finally getting his just rewards, with an exhibit dedicated to his life’s work in the Radio Hall of Fame.
Eastern Michigan University’s recent article chronicles Art’s fascinating life and says, “The Radio Hall of Fame, located within the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago, is developing a permanent exhibit, ‘A History of the American Disc Jockey’ with Vuolo’s collection as its nucleus.”
Blast from Your Past owes several of its DJ features to the contacts Art graciously provided. Thanks Art and congrats on such a prestigious legacy!
And now, flip on the mic, let’s Rock On back to 1968 …
BONUS April Featured Radio Survey!
Says Bill, “We were three years into the KLZ-FM Denver launch and publishing a ‘Supersonic 70 Survey.’ Some of the ‘near misses’ we were playing back then are funny to see today. No doubt you remember ‘Fat Albert’ by the Fat Albert Orchestra? Probably one of the all time greats. And Steve Alaimo beating out ‘Lady Madonna’ by the Beatles with a song called ‘Denver’ at number one?!?!” Great memory, Bill thank you! Any wonder "Denver" was #1 in Denver? Check it out now … or read this month's fun retro writing and see link below.
The Waltz Returns with Hair
Swinging into Spring 1968, love is in the air! We proclaimed our affections singing with the Radio charts’ top tens including Bobby Goldsboro (“Honey”), The Beatles (“Lady Madonna”), and the Box Tops (“Cry Like a Baby”). *
You know, it just hit me … growing up Country until Rock & Roll really kicked into high gear, I was used to the down-home tunes often labeled as “cryin’, dyin’ and goin’ away” music.
But when you think about it, that’s what all music embodies, regardless of genre—feelings. So it was no stretch to find charts from both sides of the country throughout April 1968, giving us ample outlets to express our feelings.
In the film industry though, we were treated to a rebirth of a song even further back than 50 Years Ago this Month …
April 3rd: We fell in love again with the flowing strains of Johann Strauss’s “Blue Danube Waltz,” an original big hit back in 1867. It brought Classical Music back to life in the future-forward film debut of 2001: A Space Odyssey. “I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.” What, he can’t dance?
April 29th: By the end of the month, Broadway let down its Hair to wild acclaim, proving Rock (title song) was still king, and love isn’t the only emotion to write about. As we know, war inspires expression, too.
On the same day, WMMR/Philadelphia, shocked its listeners when it flipped from “beautiful music” to progressive rock/freeform as "The Marconi Experiment." Brainchild of its first Rock DJ, Dave Herman, the show led off with The Beatles’ “Flying” and away they went. "To have a radio station go 50 years without changing format is remarkable... and for a rock station, it is unprecedented," said PD Bill Weston. (Quoted by RAMP, 04/23/18) The experimental format proved successful and the rest is proverbial Rock history!
Do you have a Rockin’ April ’68 memory of your own? Feel free to share below in a comment, or choose a “reaction” to express your emotion. Keep the stories coming!
*Featured Radio Survey: KMEN/San Bernardino, California in its “Kmentertainer” magazine (vol. 3 no. 19), week ending April 13, 1968. Classic pics of DJs and vintage ads. Cool, man … 50 Years Ago This Month, recall that awesome day when …*BONUS KLZ-FM/Denver April 1968 survey with BFYP DJ Bill Gardner, added 04/15/18!
Celebrate APRIL 1968: 50 Years Ago and … Rock On!
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LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1 – Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2 – Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!
* FYI, I know that over the years, some early artists’ reputations have lost luster for one reason or another. I am not glorifying anything of the era, or anyone. I simply report the way it was …
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