Sunday, May 1, 2022

Rock Radio MAY 1972 Blues Now & Then

BFYP BULLETIN 05/08/22: Have been trying to post this news flash for 3 days, but it was Mother’s Day weekend, ya know ... happy news! 1950s & ‘60s BFYP Rockin’ DJ, Burt Sherwood, turned 94 over the weekend! Radio’s Best Friend, Art Vuolo, is spreading the news, and the ROCK Radio community celebrates! Burt's stellar radio career turned to radio station ownership in the 1970s after learning the ropes behind the mic. As a station owner, Burt said, "I got lucky, but I knew what I wanted and I hired only people who had more talent than I did." Cheers m'dear! And now, let’s flip on the studio mic, and Rock On back to MAY 1972 ...

Once Upon a Time a Song Sung Blue ...   

Yep, we all get the blues now and then, but it doesn't mean we should despair. Let's take our blue words, put ‘em in a song, and sing our way out of the blues, back to ... green or yellow, or even rosy pink! It’s a month of Oldies and goodies as you Rock your way into MAY 1972 ...

Then & Now  Rockin’ News & Views 
Some months, I know, are better than others under this tag. Without a photographic memory, I usually need research to help dredge up the good ol’ days. Some days I just need to be creative. This month, you get a little of both. News to remember and views to consider, from 50 Years Ago this Month ...

¯MAY 1972 Rockin’ News Then …
May 8th:  For one New York Times music journalist, Radio City Music Hall’s maiden voyage into Rock music on this date was mostly a colossal flop. Touted for its extraordinary acoustics for a Rock concert, in his opinion, Bill Chase displayed the most musicality and Todd Rundgren clearly fell short, as they both struggled with the Hall’s massive venue. Billy Preston apparently found mastering the monster organ more than he could handle, but still managed to harness a little praise. Were you there? Feel free to offer your comments!

May 11th:  John Lennon and wife, Yoko Ono, were still stirring up politicians as they created their own music, sans The Beatles. This date is news as he proclaimed on the nationwide, popular Dick Cavett Show that it’s likely the FBI is tapping his phone. Did you see the show? Do you know it was true? Yes, not much has changed. This is the kind of juicy tidbit late night talk show hosts still crave. 

May 18th:  American pop rock band Looking Glass released their single "Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)" on this day 50 Years Ago. It debuted at #23 on KHJ/L.A.’s June 6th Top Thirty. Good thing they made a big splash with that catchy tune about a lovesick barmaid. Looking Glass only put out two albums and “Brandy” was their only million-copy single. Brandy, you’re a fine girl | What a good wife you would be, but ...  ah yes, there’s always a “but.”

¯MAY 2022 Rockin’ News Now  
Believe it or not, it isn’t always easy to unearth special days or exciting month designations we can celebrate, specific to Oldies or Rock & Roll. So, because R&R is a melting pot of many music genres, you will often find some general music fun here. Speaking of fun ...
Thump, thump, thump, pow! It’s Drum Month! There was no official site attached to it, but I found celebrating International Drum Month with a rat-a-tat, bang! They’re offering a bang-the-drum wicked contest to win a free drum lesson with a master, on your new $200-prize of drum equipment!       

May 26-29th: Polish up the ol’ ivories for Old-Time Player Piano Weekend! According to their site, you can look forward to this fun piano-playing contest every Memorial Day weekend in Oxford, Mississippi. Pianists compete for cash prizes ... but the catch is ... their music must be written prior to 1940. How fun is that?!
  While it may not be Rock & Roll, there’ll likely be plenty of melodies that served as catalysts for early Rock music. So limber up your fingers and let’s celebrate it! Take a musical peek from 2019 here ... 

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio   
MAY 1972 ~ The Blast from Your Past Collection is crowded with nostalgic surveys for MAY 1972. Apparently spending more than I should have, I collected four notable charts, beginning with May 9th KHJ/Los Angeles having fun with a rowdy cowpoke, DJ Robert W. Morgan riding the cover. KFRC/San Francisco’s survey for May 15th is devoid of DJs, but an awesome sample of Psychedelic Seventies artwork. KSEA/San Diego’s May 22nd chart doesn’t sport amiable DJs either, or even ads, it’s simply bringing you the music; and of course, our Featured Radio Survey, is WFIL/Philly’s May 15th Top 30 classic with Dr. Don Rose on your morning ride to work.
By the time  “Dr.” Don or just “DDR,” reached Philly, he was a seasoned DJ, having found his corny niche of zany one-liners and jangling cowbell in the ‘60s. He arrived at
WFIL/Philadelphia in 1968 and by ’72, was only a year away from making the cross-country trek to what became his most celebrated gig at San Francisco’s KFRC.
       (You’ll find
Dr. Don Rose’s 1960s story, plus 30 more DJs, in BFYP Book 2 ~ Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties.)

Monthly Song of Note 
Some impressive songs vied for this month’s Song of Note culled from our Featured Radio Survey ... In WFIL’s May 15th chart, Philly fans quickly pushed one of the funnest novelty songs , “Hot Rod Lincoln” (remake of Charlie Ryan’s tune from 1955) by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, from #21 to #15, in one short week.
But it’s
Neil Simon’s mega-hit, “Song Sung Blue” that scaled the chart from #25 all the way up to #12 in just seven short days that captured my Song of Note attention! It made #1 by the June 5th survey. Wiki quotes Neil: “I never expected anyone to react to "Song Sung Blue" the way they did. I just like it, the message, and the way a few words said so many things."
Me and you are subject to | the blues now and then | But when you take the blues | and make a song | You sing ‘em out again  

Quirky Band Names 
Not much history readily available to give us a hint of Gallery’s moniker, so we may not know why the interesting name, but we do know they formed in Detroit around 1971. While Gallery was fairly prolific in number of songs, “Nice to Be with You,” climbing the charts this month, ultimately remains the band’s most popular tune. It bounced its way up from #9 to #5 on KFRC/San Francisco’s May 15th chart.
April Wine’sYou Could Have Been a Lady” is slipping down WFIL’s chart, landing May 15th at #28, tied with Detroit Emeralds’ also slow slide down with “You Want It You Got It.” Although identifying with April Wine’s delicious band name, again, there is no real background story other than the Canadian band chose the name when band members began to collaborate in 1969.
So for those bands without easily discoverable histories of their unique name, let’s use our imaginations and put our own spin to them. When I hear the
Gallery name, art, museums, and even a Zoom roomful of people pics, come to mind. April Wine ... well, April is a fine month for wine. 😊 However, now and again, we find a band with a fun meaning that forces our imaginations to conjure spacemen ...
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen was mentioned above for their kooky novelty hit, “Hot Rod Lincoln.” They gave the song a second life after its 1955 pop hit for singer/songwriter, *Charlie Ryan. But the band’s quirky name has a life of its own. Per Wiki, “Hot Rod Lincoln”* was their first and still, most popular song from their first album, Lost in the Ozone. Were they lost in space? Sort of ... it’s said the feature character inspired Commander Cody’s name from the 1950s Commando Cody science fiction serial. The Lost Planet Airmen got their start from a 1951 Syfy film of the same name. And now you know! (*The song too, has a great origin. Wiki tells us of its humorous birth in Charlie’s mind and yes, it is about a car.)  

BFYP Featured Radio Survey    
MAY 15, 1972
~ WFIL/Philadelphia’s Top 30 survey for May 15th featured the inimitable DJ Dr. Don Rose, which is distinctive in itself. But adding a promo pic of Todd Rundgren on the inside chart was very smart. Especially since his “I Saw the Light” shot up 8 spots from #27 to #19 that week. The City of Brotherly Love’s fans evidently loved it. The song clawed its way up to #8 by June 5th before starting a downward slide … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played …  

Let’s Celebrate MAY 1972 and Rock On!    

BFYP Book 1 (1954-1959) on Amazon  
BFYP Book 2 (Swinging ‘60s) on Amazon 
Blast from Your Past Gifts

Share your Oldies R&R fun 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!

Orig’l 05/01/22 intro – LR / BFYP NOTE 05/01/22: Well, here I go again ... I have a valid reason for why you’re reading this blurb rather than a full, fun and informative article for MAY 1972. (I offer reasons, not excuses 😊.) Thursday through today, I attended an intense writing event to learn the in-depth scoop on Amazon’s recent changes in their convoluted publishing model. It’s necessary to move forward in my efforts to finish and publish Book 3 of the Blast from Your Past trilogy, The Psychedelic Seventies. When will you be able to read the MAY 1972 article? Sometime very soon (hopefully, later this afternoon, PST). Have you enjoyed the antics of APRIL 1972's "Out of the Cave" yet?  Work in progress and Rockin’ On ... don’t touch that dial!

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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