Sunday, June 2, 2019

Rock Radio JUNE 1969 Hits & Misses


Vintage Rock Radio Gauntlet Hits & Misses 

From down-home iconic music to a haunting tune of ancient world apocalypse, June 1969 moved our souls and our imaginations as artists moved up and down the radio survey ladders.

Without iPods and online streaming songs, what did you listen to, “back in the day”? What energetic DJs blared your favorite music through the airwaves? Cousin Brucie on the East Coast? The Real Don Steele in the West? Or Wolfman Jack, who could be heard practically everywhere, even before his American Graffiti fame?

In this middle month of the final year in a turbulent decade, Elvis reminded us of hardships, taking us across the tracks, “In the Ghetto”; Henry Mancini and his Orchestra kept the big band era alive with “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet”; and Tom Jones swiveled his hips to rival Elvis, as he pleaded, “Love Me Tonight.”

50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio
June 7th: Johnny Cash moved from radio to TV when his self-titled show debuted on ABC. It was a big day for Johnny; teamed with Bob Dylan, their Grand Ole Opry Special aired on the same day. Yeehaw!

Jun 11th: "The Ballad Of John & Yoko" by The Beatles hits #1 in UK. In the US, the controversial song found us oddly restricted in our rebellion of the era; "The Ballad of John and Yoko" never appeared on WABC/New York or WLS/Chicago radio music charts. After a diligent search (of large market stations), I found it languishing at #26, in WCFL/Chicago’s “Big 10 Count Down” for June 11, 1969. It peaked at #8 before losing power and slipping down the musical ladder.

Jun 21st: Zager & Evans release "In the Year 2525." Best song to ever come out of a cow pasture. Though it moved up quickly, it hadn’t quite made the top ten on WABC/New York’s “Music Power Survey” by June 28th (Featured Survey). Their “Big Bonus” section listed it with other “bubbling under”* tunes. The one-hit wonder hit it big in July, grabbing the top spot by the July 19th survey—c’mon by again next month for an expanded look at this errant humanity song, in 50 Years Ago this Month!
            *A music survey term for those tunes that are scaling the chart ladder, but not quite made it into the ranks—yet, or—maybe never.

Featured Radio Survey: In 1969 were you listening to legendary DJ Cousin Brucie on WABC/New The June 28, 1969 survey featured Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow as “All American of the Week.” He is an honored BFYP Rock & Roll DJ and one of few in all three books, spanning 1950s, ‘60s & ‘70s! … 50 Years Ago This Month in Rock & Roll Radio. That awesome day when … 
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Celebrate JUNE 1969 and … Rock On!
 
Share on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk

LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and 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 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Radio Rocks MAY 1969 Music & Mayhem


Behind-the-Mic Scenes of Music & Mayhem 

On the radio in 1969, we heard the DJs rave about a new song, as they slapped it on the turntable and talked over the first few seconds of its spinning, slick vinyl grooves.
Neil Ross Honolulu KKUA ‘68

“Flamethrower” stations (the big guys) may have transitioned to reel-to-reel tapes, but either way, musicians’ studio recordings personified the best of the bands’ musical prowess … then we began to hear rumors of what went on behind studio mics, or we scored tickets to see them in concert … LIVE … a whole different experience.

50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio
May 10th: By 1969, we were used to hearing about the bad-boy antics of boy bands, and learned of the many real or imagined concert mishaps. But none so prestigious as this one …
Reported by 95.9 The River’s “Today’s Rock History,” “The Turtles and The Temptations performed at the White House for a ball given by President Richard Nixon’s daughter, Tricia. Mark Volman of The Turtles was reported to have fallen off the stage several times.”
Most reports set it at FIVE times. That musta hurt. Or not … until the next day.

May 24th: We were told to “Get Back,” and we didn’t mind a bit! On nationwide average, The Beatles' single clawed its way to #1 on Rock Radio charts, where it stayed for most of another month.
DJ Don Bombard at WOLF/Syracuse, New York, is featured on the cover of their “Hot 30 in the Salt City” survey for May 14, 1969. At that point, “Get Back” cruised to #2; but a week later, peaked in the #1 spot.
Meantime, WABC/New York fans & most Rock stations of the nation, also boosted The Beatles’ “Get Back” to #1 in mid-May, where it stayed on WABC until late June, when knocked off the top by the Henry Mancini Orchestra and “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet.” Talk about night and day. From lyrical admonishment to silent amour.
Fun fact or fiction? Per Wiki on “Get Back”: “Lennon also said that ‘there's some underlying thing about Yoko in there,’ saying that McCartney looked at Yoko Ono in the studio every time he sang ‘Get back to where you once belonged.’” Oh my.

Featured Radio Survey: Just before “Get Back” stepped forward on the music scene, WOLF/Syracuse, New York, listed a mighty mixed bag of songs in their top 30 tunes. Who remembers dreamy “Atlantis” at #10 (Donovan – who by the way, celebrates his 73rd birthday May 10th); and at #20, hilariously skewed lyrics of “Bad Moon Rising” (Creedence) … ♪There’s a bathroom on the right! ♪ Check out all the charted hits on WOLF50 Years Ago This Month in Rock & Roll Radio. That awesome day when … 

Celebrate MAY 1969 and … Rock On!
  
Share on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk

LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and 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 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!

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