Monday, August 1, 2022

Rock Radio AUGUST 1972 No Messin’ with Jim

Hey! Don’t Be Tuggin’ on Superman’s Cape! 

Or go messin’ around with Jim ... didn’t your parents teach you manners? Heehee. I doubt “Miss Manners” extended her etiquette to meeting superheroes ... they live by a different code of ethics (which is often, their downfall). But this month at BFYP, we’re warning you not to mess around with Jim ... Croce, that is! Let’s get Rockin’ 50 Years Ago this Month ...

Then & Now Rockin’ News & Views
The "dog days of summer" make a great time to reflect ... on the year so far ... the last few years ... or a lifetime of years. With that in mind, I want to pay tribute to a Blast from Your Past DJ friend, who I only recently learned, passed away in 2019. 

      William F. Williams knew how to have fun and always looked forward, which is why he was truly a pioneering disc jockey. Locking into radio as it began its upward Rockin’ climb in the mid-1950s, he was a vibrant man who took the proverbial bull by the horns in every situation he faced. I'm proud to say I knew him, and you can read some of his tantalizing tales as he romps through all three of BFYP's historical DJ decades.
      1972 was William’s final year behind the mic, as he followed his passions of acting and screenwriting. At KPPC/Los Angeles, that was the year he interviewed a cast that performed nude on stage, in “The Dirtiest Show in Town.” His avant-garde sense of humor (and the little devil on his shoulder) urged him to interview them live, in the studio—nude. He thought they’d play along and get naked with him. They were not amused. Just one of many, many outrageous stories William lived, behind the mic of his pioneering DJ circuit.
As a tribute to William, and proof that I am still working on BFYP Book 3: The Psychedelic Seventies, read William F. William’s draft preview from the third and final book of the series. And then ...

> AUGUST 1972 Rockin’ News Then … 
Comin’ at ya in cool shades of summer, Dave “the Rave” Parks is your dynamic DJ at WFIL “56”/Philadelphia, August 7, 1972. Another pioneer in Rock & Roll Radio, Dave and the other DJs who were there in 1966 when WFIL flipped to Top 40, propelled the station to star status and kept it there. Exciting personalities are what fans gravitated to—Dave made sure he brought them in.

It’s been seven years since Dave “the Rave” passed into DJ Heaven—08/24/2015—which makes this month’s Featured Radio Survey especially poignant. He’s still missed in radio circles, says our resident DJ extraordinaire, Bill Gardner. [Image: Bill sent their fun reunion photo--he's front row-center and Dave starts out the 2nd row, first fella on right.]
“Dave Parks was one of the wonderful guys who I worked with at WFIL. He was there in ‘68 when I worked there, as well. The last time I saw Dave was at something called "the Philly legends radio reunion" in 1996, hosted by program director Scott Walker, and on-air at WOGL-FM/Philadelphia. Me, in August '72? Still in my year-and-a-half stretch at KING/Seattle.” 
      What else caught radio listeners’ attention in AUGUST 1972? Onward ...

August 5th: It was this day that venerable Brits of The Moody Blues thought, why write a new song when we can simply re-issue an old one and rest on our laurels? They did just that and fared even better the second time around with 1967’s “Nights in White Satin.” It hit #10 on WFIL’s September 11th survey and finally scrambled to #1 by October 9th. Proving once again, recycling is a good thing. Just what the truth is | I can’t say anymore ...    

August 21st: The summer wasn’t so hot for Grace Slick, of Jefferson Airplane, who some reports claim, was maced by police when a band official called cops, pigs. As usual, nothing is as simple as a misleading headline. Since it happened at a concert in Akron, Ohio, I’d like to think the Akron Beacon Journal set the record straight, describing the chaotic “war-like” concert happenings between fans, band, and police. 
“Slick later said she merely lost her balance and tried to steady herself on an officer. Patrolman Robert E. Gott didn’t see it that way. In his arrest report, he said Slick ‘grabbed his whistle chain and deliberately ripped it from his uniform.’ He said she scratched his arm while swinging wildly to claw his face. Slick’s boyfriend Paul Kantner, 31, tried to intervene and got maced. The two were charged with assaulting an officer.” Which is nothing new for band members then or now!

> AUGUST 2022 Rockin’ News Now
Now for this year’s hot summer Rockin’ news. Read on for a hunka-hunka burnin’ love, for book lovers, vinyl record fans, and if you’re “of a certain age,” pat yourself on the back—you made it this far!

August 9th: Bibliophiles unite—it’s Book Lovers Day! According to Wiki the official title is National Book Lovers Day, but let’s not nitpick the semantics. Although shameless self-promotion is not new for me—after all, Blast from Your Past books founded this site—I can’t exactly ignore today! If you’re reading this blog, you obviously love old music, old radio, and new takes on old history. Have you read any good books on them yet?

      Blast from Your Past books about Rock & Roll Radio DJs of yesteryear, pay tribute to the often-raucous personalities who created a ruckus behind the microphone of some of your favorite pioneering Rock Radio stations. If you haven’t already read them, Book 1 The First Five Years (1954-1959) and Book 2 The Swinging Sixties are available on Amazon (Book 1 in eBook only, at the moment). Get them both and make a day of it!

August 9th - 16th: Are you making your annual pilgrimage to Graceland for Elvis Week? Whether in person, online, or only in your memories, enjoy the best of Elvis. Arizona Central newspaper republished a cool article that appeared in July’s USA Today (by esteemed music critic Jerry Shriver) that links practically all music genre with Elvis’s uncanny ability to sing each not just good, but masterfully. “... when assessing the more than 750 songs Elvis recorded, it's more useful to appreciate his mastery of multiple styles rather than quibble over whether "How Great Thou Art" was, well, greater than "Hound Dog." Enjoy ...

August 12th: Let’s go spinning ‘round and ‘round and ‘round on Vinyl Record Day! Unbelievably, this day has no official sponsor, either. There are a couple Record Store Days on the calendars (April, June and July) with retail sponsor links (of course), but none just for vinyl records. Let’s face it—they are the granddaddies of music media, especially Rock & Roll!
      How many vintage vinyl records do you own? Bet you can name your top five vinyl records off the top of your head, regardless of how long it’s been since you set them spinning on a turntable. Do it again and watch the black vinyl roll around, as you feign karaoke night in your living room!

Want to know where to buy more of the shiny black music disks (and in rare form, colors) in your neighborhood? Check out
Vinyl Times’ website for a long list of nationwide stores and their vinyl record shows throughout the year. Ray K, the site’s owner knows his stuff, as a former Radio Jock and club DJ. It was second nature for him to begin collecting back in the day ... and now, he wants to make his wife happy. He’s selling his 30,000+ vinyl record collection ... have fun!  

August 17th: I’m OK with most of my readers who (like me) can enjoy musical memories of the 1950s,’60s and ‘70s. Besides Oldies Rock & Roll, we share today’s special Baby Boomer's Recognition Day! The link’s reference site is stuck in 2019 ... by the time August rolled around in 2020, the world had stopped ... and for some websites, it’s been slow to get kickstarted again. But we’re still here, kickin’ up our heels—if only from our chairs. 😊
Although a tad off-subject, many people ask, what’s the big deal about where to place an apostrophe? What a difference a day makes ... another Baby Boomers Recognition Day (sans apostrophe) is also listed on my fave
calendar site as June 1st. So take your pick and enjoy your day!

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio   
1972 ~ WFIL/Philly’s August 7, 1972 survey shared a cigarette-smoking Jim Croce picture next to his #7 song climbing the radio charts. Sadly, at the zenith of his career, Croce perished a year later in a plane crash. The day set Croce’s two-year-old son, A.J., on a heartbreaking path that today, has led him finally, to his father’s music. CBS News’ June 2022 article tells A.J.’s poignant story as we delve into his famous dad’s pinnacle of success ...

Monthly Song of Note
Great tune for the middle of summer, as heat waves flare tempers across our great nation. At #7 on this month’s
Featured Radio Survey, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” offers a couple of tough life lessons!
You don't tug on Superman's cape | You don't spit into the wind | You don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger | And you don't mess around with Jim. However, like many things in life, a situation may not be all it seems ... and according to the song’s lyrics, Jim soon found himself outwitted by “Slim.” In my interpretation, its lesson also reminds us, violence is never the answer ...
       It wouldn't be Croce's only song about a tough guy who got his comeuppance ... we hear it again in Spring 1973's top tune,Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” Although you might think they’re self-reflection, like many writers, he reportedly based the tune’s bad guys on life acquaintances.

Quirky Band Names  
At #11 on
WFIL’s survey, it isn’t surprising that an off-the-wall song title like “Motorcycle Mama” came from an oddball band named Sailcat. Little is known about them beyond a Wiki account of the essentially one-hit-wonder artists. The short-lived southern pop/rock group was apparently made up of some members who would later go on to greater prominence—just not together.
Crusaders on the other hand, simply changed their name from the Jazz Crusaders and added popular music to their repertoire, to find themselves at #20 with catchy instrumental, “Put It Where You Want It.” By the late 1970s, they had gone full circle, back to jazz funk.
      But the
O’Jays have a story we love to share! Scraping the bottom of the survey at #30, their “Back Stabber(s)” came complete with choreographed dancing reminiscent of the late 1950s—great moves! The surveys list the song singular, but the official title is plural—yep there’s definitely more than one. It climbed up the chart to #4 by September 11th. Best part? They paid tribute to Cleveland Radio Disc Jockey, Eddie O’Jay with their group name! (These days, they’d be sued for it!)

BFYP Featured Radio Survey 
AUGUST 7, 1972
~ WFIL/Philadelphia, was already looking back at the “WFIL Solid Gold” Rock & Roll of a year earlier in a Top Five song list from August 1971. Tommy James’ “Draggin’ the Line” took #1 spot. Another week topping the Top Thirty: Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again” … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played 

Let’s Celebrate AUGUST 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!

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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