Saturday, November 30, 2019

Rock Radio DECEMBER 1969 True or Falsetto?

Rockin’ through Christmas into the New Year ~ New Decade!  

50 Years Ago this Month we faced a not-so-different New Year and New Decade. Our country struggled with the beginning of the first military draft “peacetime” lottery since 1942, and today, the wars still wage. Hardly a traditional Holiday for the countdown to Christmas. All the while, the music plays on.

No different than other industries, radio stations revel in change before the New Year, with format flips and staff severances. December can be a lot of fun or a lot of heartache. That choice is up to you. Every change is opportunity! My choice? Let’s keep Rockin’ …

Your Tinny Transistor Radio News ~ DECEMBER 1969          
December 6th: With a lead singer still of middle school age, The Jackson 5 released their debut album on this date, bolstered by the incomparable Diana Ross. From Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” shot up the December 30th chart at *KGB/San Diego to #9, forging up to #2 before starting a downward slide.

December 17th – In the early 1960s, falsetto singing could be heard from beach to shining beach; although now waning, one musical anomaly showed it wasn’t dead yet. After a dainty “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” in 1968, on this date in 1969, peculiarly falsetto, Tiny Tim (Herbert Butros Khaury), was flanked by yellow tulips for for his marriage to “Miss Vicki” (twenty years his junior) on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show.

December 30th: While it didn’t make a huge chart splash, The Archies’ “Jingle Jangle” made it to *KGB/San Diego’s “Boss 30” (barely, at #27). Filmation Associates produced The Archie Show animated television series on which the title-named fictional band’s antics delighted fans. BFYP DJ, Norm Prescott, a Filmation co-founder, had transitioned away from the DJ mic and into animated TV in the early 1960s, but his heart was never far away from popular music’s tinny transistor radios.

Rockin’ Retro Radio
December 1969, Blast from Your Past Rockin’ DJs were scattered across the country. Mitch Michael, aka Ron Terrell / Terrell Metheny, spent the mid-Sixties at WOKY/Milwaukee, then grabbed his buddy, Lee Gray, and skipped over to WMCA/New York in 1968, to become a popular program director.
            In BFYP’s The Swinging Sixties, by December ‘69 “Mitch” finally switched to his real name, Terrell, and had this to say about WMCA: We switched from DJs playing Rock & Roll to half Rock & Roll and half talk. Some sort of nightmare that the owner had … it was such a horrible nightmare.
            Of course, switching formats willy-nilly and literally overnight, was/is common for stations, but often a career disappointment at best, for DJs and staff, and job loss, at worst. The only constant is change.

Featured Radio Survey: KGB/San Diego, California, Boss Jocks were all the rage in ’69 and at KGB they were giving away up to $15,000 per day! "The good ol' days." Poke your memory as you reminisce over their "Boss 30" Issue No. 166, December 30, 1969, heading into the 1970s ... ♪ Well, I’m your Venus ♪ … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when …

Celebrate DECEMBER 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!

Note: FYI – All links in the BFYP site are personally visited, verified, and vetted. Most are linked to commonly accessed sites of reputable note. However, as with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion. 

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