Sunday, August 2, 2020

Rock Radio AUGUST 1970 Sweat, Snow & War

BFYP BULLETIN 08/09/20: Sadly, just days after I posted August's BFYP blog, Pat O'Day, the DJ spotlighted with our Featured Radio Survey, passed to DJ Heaven (at 85 years old, Tuesday, 08/4/20). Pat's, popularity as a pioneering West Coast DJ was legendary. This feature has now turned into a tribute ... RIP, Pat.
And now, flip on the mic
, let's Rock On back to Pat's era,1970 ...

Summer Sweat, Snow, and War 

Except during a World War, more than ever in our lifetime we’re dealing with extreme highs and lows, and too many personal tragedies. With slightly less calamity, we look back on the 1970s.

No matter our capacity for empathy, we cannot take on the mourning of every loss; so often, we express our profound grief for celebrities, as an alternative. The 1970s would prove to be a tough decade of deaths for young artists. But August 1970, the summer heat covered us in sweat, no tears …

50 Years Ago this Month ~ AUGUST 1970  

August 8th: The Capitol Theatre (Port Chester, New York) hosted Janis Joplin where she introduced
the first incarnation of “Mercedes Benz.” Talk about spontaneity … reportedly, Janis was stirred by the first line of a song by poet, Michael McClure, "Come on, God, and buy me a Mercedes Benz."
She and music buddy Bob Neuwirth found their mutual muses in a local area bar where they penned the anti-establishment song and introduced it in the second show.
Sadly, barely two months later, we Rock & Roll fans still suffered from the death of Jimi Hendrix (September 18), when we met with another painful loss in Janis’ death on October 7th.
Janis recorded the a cappella “Mercedes Benz” in one take, October 1, 1970, but never saw it released on the B-side of her May 1971 posthumous hit, “Cry Baby.” She died three days after the recording session. (I never thought “Mercedes Benz” received the respect it’s due. Definitely better than a B-side release.)

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio ~ AUGUST 1970       

Pop music station, KFRC/San Francisco, blasted the summer with fan-favored hits in its 08/17/70 chart listing. Two weather extremes, with hits like Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime,” and Anne Murray’s “Snowbird” grabbed out attention in the top ten. The snowbird sings the song he always sings ♪ but … ♪ It’ll soon be summertime | And we’ll sing again
            Then, as now, the summer airwaves reverberated with riots and protests. In a 5-week top-of-the-heap run reflecting the global mood, “War” by Edwin Starr clung to #1. Grasping its heels at #2, Dawn’s love song, “Candida,” headed up by lead vocalist, Tony Orlando, challenged the musical ravages of “War” … did it kick the protest song off the chart the following week?
            Nope. “Candida” slipped to #4 in the third week of August, taking the place of “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” (Creedence Clearwater [Revival]) that skipped up to #1 and finally knocked “War” one rung down, to #2.
            A notoriously misunderstood song jumped 7 rungs up that chart’s ladder in one week, to land at #18. Apparently, the meaning of “25 or 6 to 4” made popular by Chicago, took on a life of its own, beyond composer Robert Lamm’s original thought. Just time, people, just time … not referring to illegal happy drugs or code for a renowned person. Simply, the time he began writing the song … it was, oh, 25 or 26 minutes to 4:00 a.m.! Gotta love it.
            And what dynamic DJ graced the broadcast air at KFRC summer of 1970? Avid listeners may remember the affable Frank Terry (1939-2007), on your 610 radio dial from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Frank had the scoop on the sweltering hot tunes!
We’re not all about the left-coast here. What was the other side of the country doing for musical fun? Check it out …

At the tail end of the summer, WLOF/Orlando, Florida, featured popular DJ Pat O’Day in a handsome caricature on the cover of its “Fun 40 Hits” survey (08/28-09/04/70). Did “War” headline its chart, too? Take a peek … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played …

Celebrate AUGUST 1970 and … Rock On!  

Share on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk

LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and author by way of Rock & Roll. Two books (of three) are published 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. Occasionally, since I often feature real people, there may be an unsecured link. As with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion and risk. 

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rock Radio JULY 1970 Heck Yeah I Remember!

From Tinny Transistor to YouTube! My Treat … 

While we continue to struggle with the literal and figurative ailments of the day, it’s so important to enjoy a little brightness. With a special treat this month for classic radio fans, I hope you find your bright spot of pleasure, here.

As usual, we start with memorable people and music of July 1970. But it’s who is On Your Tinny Transistor Radio that brings you news of two pioneering Rock & Roll DJs glowing in 5,000 watt glory, even after 50 years. Let’s not waste another second …

50 Years Ago this Month ~ JULY 1970 

July 1st: Anniversary of Wolfman Jack's death (1995). The innovative, quintessential DJ needs no major introduction here, but should be noted as the disc jockey to whom the BFYP series is dedicated. Celebrating birth days rather than deaths have always been my criteria for tributes to those who have gone before us. Look for Wolfman’s homage again in January 2021! Aoooooww!

July 11th: Casey Kasem launches “American Top 40for national syndication. What quickly became a radio format staple has never really gone away. Mixing artist bio info and trivia with music, he co-founded ATF with fellow DJ Don Bustany

July 24th: Cousins Day! There is no link in my source associated with the day, so we’ll claim it for a Blast from Your Past featured DJ, Cousin Brucie! He is still “everybody’s favorite cousin.”

Music-wise, Eric Burdon & War tells us to “Spill the Wine” at #4 in this month’s KYNO/Fresno, California, Featured Radio Survey! That was okay when we were drinking Riunite or Blue Nun. (And we won’t even mention Boones Farm!) ♪ … and take that pearl … ♪

Hopefully, we’ve evolved to a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon that we definitely don’t want to spill. Pour yourself a glass, lean back, and reminisce … besides reincarnated Burdon sans Animals, what was playing …

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio ~ JULY 1970 (radio/music & DJs)                  
In addition to the music, we’re all about DJs at BFYP. Who was cueing up “Spill the Wine” for your radio pleasure? Boy, do I have a treat for you!

Any 1970s Philly radio fans here? Two of broadcasting’s most popular behind-the-mic dudes got together recently for a “virtual” fun feast of memories (and probably a little libation, too). 

Smooth talker, Bill Gardner, joined shock jocker, Joey Reynolds, in Joey’s “Hangout” on YouTube. Bill and I correspond often, as he graciously wrote the forward for my Blast from Your Past book series. He mentioned hanging out with Joey recently, and I jumped on the chance to ask a poignant question for this month’s 50 Years Ago blog …

He replied, “Do I remember where I was in July 1970? Heck yeah! Midday guy on WIBG/Philadelphia. Joey Reynolds hadn't joined us yet...it would be a few more months.” 

Bill became a legend in his hometown of Philly, spreading his good cheer across the nation to San Diego, Phoenix, and beyond. He’s proud that younger brothers, Al and Andre followed in his DJ footsteps.

Meanwhile, Joey’s legendary status behind the mic came with gigs that included Detroit, Cleveland, Hartford, and his beloved New York.

Rarely did Bill and Joey’s paths meet in radio, but when they did, it was memorable! At one time, WIBBAGE (as WIBG was affectionately known) was home to both Rockin’ jocks. Can you imagine?!

Bill is our self-deprecating darling of radio … he told Joey up front, “You may be able to do three minutes here” … they went on about radio life (& life in general) for more than half-hour, ending with a Bill Gardner and Little Richard interview replay from 2005.

Of course, Joey knows better, exclaiming with obvious respect for Bill, “How many disc jockeys in the world became airline pilots, commercially?” Tame, coming from Joey, but mid-interview when recalling original meanings behind radio station call letters, look out! Joey has honed his shock-jock skills. (And please keep in mind this was recorded in the middle of COVID-19 drama, but just before the recent civil unrest.)

You won’t want to miss their raucous and randy reminiscing about life as a Rock & Roll Radio DJ in the 1970s

Take a break from your daily grind (it gets that way even working at home, doesn’t it?) and watch Bill Gardner and Joey Reynolds. Trust me, you’ll smile … a lot.

Featured Radio Survey
Though it wasn’t easy to learn, apparently the dairy industry launched ad campaigns in 1969 to beef up their milk sales. (Pun intended!) KYNO/Fresno, California, gave ‘em the back cover and splashed a hunky male lifeguard on its July 15, 1970 survey. Oh, yeah, and it had songs listed too … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played …

Celebrate JULY 1970 and … Rock On!  

Blast from Your Past Gifts

Share on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk

LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and author by way of Rock & Roll. Two books (of three) are published in her Blast from Your Past series and 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. Occasionally, since I often feature real people, there may be an unsecured link. As with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion and risk.

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