Saturday, January 1, 2022

Rock Radio JANUARY 1972 Where Were You?

Where Were You in ‘72? 

Well, here we are again ... at the precipice of a New Year ... its fate—and ours--yet to be determined. We can never know about the days to come | Anticipation ... anticipation ...
(*Carly Simon, “Anticipation,” #14 on this month’s FRS.)

I like to think life is like Oldies Rock. When things get tough, the tough get Rockin’ & Rollin’! And it was tough, but this article posted in the wee hours of the 1st--champagne glass in hand--right on time! Still need to add a few details and images, but for the most part ... here it is ... 

If, like many, you felt stagnant over the past two years, remember, innovation is the cure to stagnation. Recreate yourself like radio did in the ‘70s ...

50 Years Ago our tinny transistor radios were morphing into colorful character radios to match the ‘70s’ wild and crazy lifestyles. Everything from Donald Duck to the Toot-A-Loop wrist radio flaunted our flashy styles. If I were to choose one word for radios and the music that blared from them in 1972, it would be flamboyance. From Elton John to Led Zeppelin, glitter, glam and gutsy, provocative moves ruled Rock & Roll.

So where were you in ’72?!? What were you wearing? Boots, mini-skirts, bell bottom pants and gold chains? Wherever you went, a radio went. More to the point, what radio station were you listening to? WING in Dayton, KERN in Bakersfield, KIMN/Denver, or WFIL/Philadelphia? Or were you listening to BFYP's DJ bestie, Bill Gardner, from 2:00-6:00p on KING in Seattle!?

Whatever your recollections are for 1972, music and nostalgia lovers, let’s get on with enjoying some of your great Oldies memories from ... 50 Years Ago this Month

Rockin’ News & Views Then & Now  

>Rockin’ News Then JANUARY 1972
January 17th: Apparently, when there are no more awards, accolades, and milestones to bestow on a celebrity, that’s when we start naming roads after them. Often, it’s posthumously, but now and again, the recipient is gleefully still among us, as was the case on this date, when Memphis formally renamed a 12-mile stretch of Highway 51 to Elvis Presley Boulevard. Coincidentally, it runs right by Graceland. Cool.

January 21st: Talk about a blow to the ego. As the story goes ... Chuck Berry appeared on stage at the Hollywood Palladium in all his performing glory, when much to his surprise, Keith Richards slid onto the stage to jam with him! Problem is, ol’ Chuckie didn’t recognize the British rocker of Rolling Stones fame, who Chuck felt was making too much noise, and ordered him off stage. Oh, my.

>Rockin’ News Now JANUARY 2022  
January 20th: Too many yearly calendar sites list National Disc Jockey Day as a day for, “Raising a Hoorah to the ‘DJs’ or Disc Jockeys out there making those boring parties bearable, National Disc Jockey Day is celebrated every year on the 20th of January.” (National Days Today) Au contraire my little chickadees. National Disc Jockey Day was originally created to note the passing of iconic RADIO DJ, Alan Freed. There were established RADIO DJs long before “party DJs” got a foothold. Let’s give credit where credit’s due.      

       While the following site still focuses on party DJs, at least they know for whom the day is named and give a nice, short history of DJs in general. “This holiday dedicated to disc jockeys is observed on January 20th because this is when the most famous American disc jockey, Albert Jame (sic) ‘Alan’ Freed dies in 1965. The day has been celebrated by Djs (sic) ever since to honor his contributions to the field.” (Holidays Calendar)
However, they get back to the partying aspect of the industry asap, glossing over Freed’s promotion of Rock & Roll that truly gave a face to music DJs, via his RADIO profession. Point is, have you hugged your DJ today? While we’re in the DJ party mode, lest we forget ...

January 21st: BFYP’s annual dedication to Wolfman Jack’s birthday! (I prefer celebrating birthdays rather than commemorating a person’s day of death.) He’d have been a ripe old 83 years of age today. Awwwwoooo! How’s your boogaloo, baby?
          What did he think of being a DJ? Well, he wasn’t your ordinary disc jockey ... he didn’t just bend rules ... he shattered them. And yet, he kept getting hired! Like Wolfman’s gig at WNBC: “Maybe the humor was a little juvenile, but for the audience, we were a stand-in for all their desires to be naughty, and to slip loose from the rules that everybody else has to go by. It was like we were getting away with what they wanted to get away with. And that’s kind of what people want from a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey.” (Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal.)

Remember When on Your Tinny Transistor Radio  

JANUARY 1972 ~ Remember, ya can’t believe all you read on the Internet ... 

> Monthly Song of Note : WIKI’s in-depth read on Don McClean’s now iconic song, “American Pie,” claims it hit the top of US charts on January 15th, which if Billboard is the authority, then it’s accurate. However, it actually grabbed our attention not long after its October 1971 release.
          “Pie” topped San Francisco’s
KFRC chart as early as December; and hit the top of BFYP’s Featured Radio Survey, WBBF/Rochester, New York’s, “Flower City Hits,” by January 5th. When it finally began a downward slide, it’s possible all radio fans in the country who listened to Top 40, knew every poignant word. ... But something touched me deep inside | The day the music died ...  

> Quirky Band Names : Not all were psychedelic, but many were certainly quirky if not notable. Badfinger’s mix of name stories runs the gamut from no rhyme or reason, to inspired by John Lennon’s “Badfinger Boogie” (pre-released title for “With a Little Help from my Friends”), so-named because of his poor piano skills, using his middle finger to navigate the keys.
          There is always a story behind the naming of bands ... fierce, fantastic, or simply funny. While there are several eye-catching monikers on this month’s
FRS chart, it’s the last three “Hit Bound” songs whose artists grab our amused name-game attention: Climax (with “Precious and Few”); Faces (w/pre-Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood and on vocals, Rod Stewart, both coming from the Jeff Beck Group in “Stay with Me”); and Think (anti-drug long before their time in “Once You Understand”). One makes a statement and the other two are profound in true 1970s tradition.

WBBF’s hot jocks worked the turntables on the “Big 95” (950 AM) with DJ “Ferdinand J.” melting the wax from 3:00 to 6:00p. Or did you know him fondly as “Ferdie J”? If you were a fervent fan, then you likely followed Ferdie to his new gig a few months later when he defected to the new radio nemesis in town, WAXC. But by 1973 Ferdinand J. Smith left radio behind, destined for bigger things in music composition, scoring, and advertising.

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  
JANUARY 5, 1972
~ WBBF/Rochester, New York, expanded its 1971 bare-bones charts of only ten hits listed in the local paper, to a full top 30 “Flower City Hits” survey. Its featured ad extolls the virtues of Carole King’s new album, complete with grainy picture. … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played …

Let’s Celebrate JANUARY 1972 and I wish you a Happy New Year 2022 … 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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