Sunday, May 3, 2020

Rock Radio MAY 1970 Righteous & Outasight!

Expressive Creativity Comes with Personal Freedom 

The 1970s erupted in decadence, personal freedoms, and expressive creativity. Oh wait … let me rephrase that … it reminded us of all those expressions. We’ve enjoyed them in various degrees of inanity and insanity, every decade since the inception of our country.

Truth be told, much of those movements resurfaced in the late 1960s, but we embraced and honed their definitions in the ‘70s. Enjoying a modern-day Renaissance of sorts, art permeated every aspect of life, from ornate and “mod” fabrics, to elaborate scrollwork jewelry, even adorning the music charts of our Rock and Roll radio stations …

50 Years Ago this Month ~ MAY 1970 
Let’s face it, the major market stations and neophyte wannabes played the same songs, over, and over, and over … but in all fairness, we did request them. Our voices gave structure to the order of songs’ appearance in any given week and various geographical radio markets, reflected in Radio music charts.
The point being, we could drive across the country and still hear the same songs. So why choose one station over another in our local areas?
From coast-to-coast In May 1970, stations took 1960s’ pop art, added a little elaborate Art Nouveau, and leaned heavy into the psychedelia, to adorn their surveys and grab our attention. Many were quite unique in creative designs, if not in their top 40 tunes.
Traditional scrollwork blended with swirls and curlicues that flowed into celestial details, punctuated with “Outasight” and “Righteous” exclamations. And often, they inserted “let’s-see-if-they’re-really-reading-this” text into the art, with amusing or outlandish statements like, “Under 1 billion listeners.”
The stations’ artistic music charts reflected life around us in carnival mirror images. We were treated to ornate artistry reminiscent of the past like—KOL/ Seattle, Washington, May 29, 1970—while others capitalized on the ‘70s popularity of futuristic space travel, astronomy and astrology like—KADI/St. Louis, Missouri, May 6, 1970.
Establishing an identity with art was not a priority for others, though. Take the plain-Jane chart for KSLY/San Luis Obispo, California’s “Famous Fourteen” list, May 1, 1970. It got the job done, listing the top 30 tunes, without all the hoopla.

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio ~ MAY 1970 (radio/music & DJs)       
With the songs all the same, it took outstanding musicality to grab our attention with a tune. Calling all memories! What songs stood out for us in this spring month, oh so long ago? While your reminiscences bubble to the surface, let me ask if you recall …
Everything is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens … apparently we thought so (and still do). This upbeat, truly righteous tune hit several stations’ top 20 about the same time, as it climbed into the top 10 for a nice run. It marked Stevens as a serious songwriter, after a run of novelty songs. Did you hear him a year earlier in the top 10, without a serious bone in his body, belting out, Gitarzan he’s a gitar man in a thin disguise defining the music industry’s “jungle”?
Two of this month’s showcased surveys carried “Cecilia” in the top 10. Seattle’s KOL only got it up to #29 by the end of the month. Simon & Garfunkel outdid themselves again, with another hit song from their much-touted Bridge Over Troubled Water album. Rumor has it, the title pays tribute to the Catholic patron saint of music … but Simon reportedly wrote the lyrics with a deceitful paramour in mind … two very conflicting concepts. Celia, you’re breaking my heart
Ya know what can make one vintage music survey more collectable than another? Misprints & misspellings. For instance, two of the three survey charts for the above radio stations gave “Cecilia” the common name spelling of “Cecelia.” Only KOL spelled it properly for the patron saint.

Featured Radio Survey: KADI/St. Louis, Missouri, wins the coveted Featured Radio Survey spot for this month. It’s colorful, fun, and truly “Déjà Vu” (C.S.N.&Y., aka, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), as the song tops the chart.  50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played …We have all been here before

Celebrate MAY 1970 and … Rock On!  

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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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