Monday, August 2, 2021

Rock Radio AUGUST 1971 We Just Wanna Cel-e-brate!

Celebrate Summer Music 50 Years Ago 

At least some of the world is trying desperately to get back into its groove, tentatively feeling the rhythm again, as we sail into summer with classic Rock tunes that still warm our hearts, 50 Years later. Do you recall your favorite Radio DJs who first spun them ‘round the radio dial for us?

Chicagoans, have fun slipping into the memory of a suave Robert E. Lee who sent you into a frenzy playing “Resurrection Shuffle” by Brit band, Ashton, Gardner & Dyke on WCFL. The affable DJ cooled his listeners down with John Denver’s poignant (still-popular today) West Virginia anthem, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” ♪ Dark and dusty, painted on the sky, misty taste of moonshine, teardrops in my eye 

But a song that resonates even more with so many in 2021, lingered long in radio charts’ top ten, 50 Years Ago this Month. Though we’re cautioned, there is still cause for concern, we can’t help shouting with Rare Earth’s song … ♪ “I Just Want to Celebrate another day of livin’ …”! ♪

So let’s get back to a Blast from Your PastAUGUST 1971

Rockin’ News & Views ~ Then & Now 
Marriages are tough enough without fame and fortune. For celebs Then & Now, on radio and TV, we celebrate their joy on the good days and feel their pain when it all falls apart … as we look back 50 Years Ago

>Then …

>August 1:  The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour premiered on CBS. Any surprise that it revived their flagging music career? The energetic variety hour embodied all the fun that the '70s had to offer--bright colors, glitzy graphics, and corny hippiness. It showcased their music and a side of Sonny and Cher that radio listeners didn't know they had. Parade magazine's Mara Reinstein featured it this month, 50 Years later, with other TV shows, suggesting to us, "why it mattered."
       We reveled in Sonny's humble cluelessness and Cher's diamond-sharp barbs that together, formed a funny twosome. For a short time, anyway.

       Their duet rendition of "
All I Ever Need Is You," one of their last top ten hits, charted later in 1971 and turned out not to be so true … unless they were singing for someone other than each other ...
       One more
hit came along in 1972, "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done," which topped charts, but it was downhill from there. The dynamic duo’s very public on-and-off-stage feud began to dominate their popular show, barely hanging on until the bitter end in 1974. A year later, the show moved into divorce court. But Sonny & Cher remain in memory, one of Pop’s favorite couples.

>August 31st: John Lennon, born in Liverpool, Lancashire (now Merseyside), England, thrilled U.S. fans when he made New York City his permanent home on this day, 50 Years Ago. Can you “Imagine”* a world without John Lennon‘s music? In 1971 he was everyone’s rebel, around the world.
Sadly, we would have his brilliant mind, music, and activist politics for just one short decade.
Lennon’s murder in December 1980 stunned the globe and cut short the life of a creative virtuoso. *”Imagine” released in September 1971.

We’re leading off this month with music inspired by radio tunes from 50 Years Ago this Month and the annual tribute week for Elvis Presley!

>August 11-17th: The folks at Graceland are ready to Rock & Roll for the 2021 Elvis Week, in-person and virtually. From Elvis’s quote page, “Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess.”  Are you ready to jiggle? “Roll On” (The New Colony Six), I have just the place to get you in the mood …

>August 15th: Thinking about Elvis and Oldies is a great reason to visit your local vintage clothing store for National Thrift Shop Day! In San Diego we boast more than a few vintage clothing shops and consignment malls. Even a few that support great causes through their sales.
      But if you’re not on the “Left Coast,”
grab this link from NARTS, enter your zip code and locate one near you! Shop for a great Elvis-style Hawaiian flowered shirt, a hip pair of striped bell bottom pants, or anything with fringe, to create your mood and celebrate …

>August 17th: We’re Rockin’ out to Baby Boomer's Recognition Day. The official link is a bit outdated (2018), which means we can make up our own! After shopping vintage, it’s time to dig out your ol’ tinny transistor radio from the attic (or pick one up on eBay), and crank up the volume! “I Woke Up in Love This Morning …”  ♪ (Partridge Family).

>August 28th: Let’s give Radio Commercials Day its due. Yes, advertising gets to be a bit much sometimes, but “back in the day,” radio station ads were less prominent and way more entertaining. Someone was enterprising enough to create this day, but no official link gives it a sad commentary, considering the history of radio commercials and jingles.
       DJs, in their best mostly straight-faced delivery, were a part of that, often doubling as ad announcers in the days of live radio. Gleefully,
their flubs were at times more interesting than the commercial, as in DJ Van Harden’s blooper, mid-1970s KRNT/Des Moines, Iowa.

50 Years Ago on Your Tinny Transistor Radio  

>DJ tidbits behind the mic … Love it when a DJ or two or six, is featured on our monthly survey. Because Blast from Your Past began (and continues) as a tribute to our pioneering Rock & Roll Radio DJs. It’s particularly rewarding to be able to showcase them, and especially frustrating when nothing about DJs pops up in my collections for the month. I’ll try to scratch up something about DJs to enhance this area, in future months.       
What I run up against is discovering reliable (if any) facts about DJs for that era, as “the names were changed to protect” the stations.
    Aha! Update: I thought my DJ friend, Bill Gardner, might “know a guy” who would know more about the elusive Robert E. Lee featured on WCFL/Chicago’s AUGUST 1971 survey … he does! Though facts are still sketchy, Bill’s fellow DJ friend, Ted Scott in Denver, said, “His real name is Robert Huey.” Ted knew of Robert post-WCFL when he knocked around at a few stations in Denver in what appears, the late 1970s. “Before he worked at KIMN,” says Ted, “he worked at another small Denver station, KICM—called ‘Kiss-em’—he was known as Robert E. Lee ‘The Tiger Tamer’” … as opposed to a rival DJ … “‘The Denver Tiger.’”
Thank you to Bill and Ted for giving us more background and the true identity of Robert E. Lee! But the WCFL mystery remains … August 1971 gives us a debonair Robert E. Lee on the cover of WCFL/Chicago’s survey. In researching, I found more than one DJ who answered to that radio personality name … just none who spun the vinyls at WCFL that I could definitively identify … yet, there’s his picture! Apparently, he followed Clark Weber in the 10a.m.-1:00p.m. slot. So …we continue the mystery of how/when “Robert Huey” arrived in Chicago. There must be more to the “real” story of this fun-loving Robert E. Lee DJ!
Feel free to comment

>Music musings from the Featured Radio Survey … Some songs are derived from divine inspiration, some are substance-induced, and others simply come together to celebrate life. “I Just Want to Celebrate” by Rare Earth could fit the latter in this category, or even stand out in the next …
Have you been following our crazy ‘70s band names? But wait … there’s more! Undisputed Truth (with the hauntingly frank, “Smiling Faces Sometimes”), the Dramatics (with “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”), The Glass Bottle (lamenting “I Ain’t Got Time Anymore”), and The Free Movement (“I’ve Found Someone of My Own”) marks just the tip of August 1971’s iceberg of unique band names.

We haven’t expounded much on the origin of artists’ names; some stories are murky at best, or totally lost to the ravages of time. However,
Wiki tells us the The Glass Bottle band was literally named to uphold a promotional deal with one of their producers. It was hoped the name reference on a hit song (or two or ten) would help save the glass industry, at a time when soda bottles were in combat with the piranhas of plastic. Too bad their popularity was short-lived, and plastic won.

 BFYP Featured Radio Survey  

>AUGUST 26, 1971 ~ WCFL/Chicago, “Big 10 All Hit Music, Collector’s Issue No. 25” survey: “Resurrection Shuffle” had not only clambered to #10, WCFL splashed Ashton, Gardner and Dyke’s album image across the top of the back cover, while a nonchalant Robert E. Lee adorned the front … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played …

<>All songs are listed on the current Featured Radio Survey, unless otherwise noted and/or outside the August 1971 scope.

Let’s Celebrate AUGUST 1971 and … Rock On!    

Blast from Your Past Gifts
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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 and/or singular sources there may be an unsecured link. As with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion and risk. No compensation is received for any mentions of businesses, products, or other commercial interests. *All holiday and special event days are found at’s calendar site. Enjoy! 

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