Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Rock Radio November 1973 Gratitude & Jukeboxes

Keep On Truckin’ & Rockin’ Juke Joints   

There’s no doubt, if you look around your life, you’ll find something this Thanksgiving month, to be thankful for. Personally, when I rise every morning the first thing I do (almost) is thank the Universe for another opportunity to make someone smile.
True Thankfulness comes with age.  ~ L. Rochelle 

For the November 1973 article, I sent an email to my dear DJ friend and BFYP “resident radio mentor,” Bill Gardner, asking for his thoughts and whereabouts  

NOVEMBER 1973 Radio Muse & News     

Bill graciously replied, “You brought back quite a few memories from freakin' 50 years ago!” I could hear the smile in his words. So where was he? Were you shivering in the cold, listening to KDWB in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Bill warmed his fingers, spinning the vinyls to keep you Rockin’? Enjoy this excerpt from my BFYP Book 3, Rock & Roll Radio DJs: Psychedelic Seventies book in progress …

“Program Director Jack McCoy and I had left KCBQ San Diego in the summer of '73 for temporary positions at WMYQ-FM Miami. I remember Jack had said ‘I have a guy I want to introduce you to who's running Fairbanks Broadcasting. George Johns is the National Program Director for this company and Jim Hilliard is the company president.’ I'd worked for Jim when he was Program Director in my hometown, at Famous 56 WFIL Philly, but didn't know George Johns. Jack told me ‘They're good people and they pay well.’ On meeting, George told me they were putting together this ‘middle of the road station in Dallas called KVIL’ and was interested in me, to join the team." So, Bill nearly headed to Texas, but …  
       “At the same time, I had a job offer to be the morning guy at rock and roll station KDWB/Minneapolis and ironically, Time Magazine ran a cover story in September 1973 about Minnesota, and how it was the most wonderful place in America to live! I fell for it.
       “I drove up from Miami in September wearing shorts and when I got there, it was 35 degrees! Then it got cold in the days to come. Quite honestly, I was thinking of leaving from the minute I got there. Meanwhile, George Johns was still assembling his airstaff for KVIL/Dallas. He told me years later that he'd check his newspaper in the morning down in Indianapolis, and if he saw the Minneapolis weather was crappy and very cold and maybe even snowing, he'd call me and say, ‘How you are liking it up there?’ What a hoot. His strategy finally worked. I would join KVIL in early 1974.

       “KDWB in the fall of '73 had an amazing on-air staff including Chuck Buell in middays, ‘True Don’ Bleu in afternoons, and Rob Sherwood evenings. Later, Chuck worked at WLS/Chicago, Rob Sherwood in San Francisco, and when I turned down a job at KYUU-FM/San Francisco, I recommended Don for it. He later went on to be a twenty-year market legend at KYUU-FM, and on my California station when I left K-101 (KIOI)/San Francisco.”  

Whether you were braving the chilly morning air with Bill Gardner in Minneapolis, or hanging out with Dick Sainte at WCFL in equally frigid Chicago, you likely enjoyed plenty of great Rock & Roll music … 50 Years Ago this Month 

November 9th: Man, what are you doin’ here Columbia Records releases the Piano Man album by singer-songwriter Billy Joel. Although his second studio album, it truly launched his career. The single (same name) was apparently released a week earlier (November 2nd), but for the life of me, I cannot find it on the vintage radio surveys!
       I wasted um, spent, SO much time searching for “
Piano Man” on vintage radio music charts. His popular tune tells a melodic, fictional version of real happenings, when “Billy Joel” as “Bill Martin” (his real name is William Martin Joel) needed to reinvent himself for a time. You would think it would show up on station surveys like KHJ/Los Angeles, or WABC/New York, no later than December or January (’74). Nada. After researching surveys through at least June—I feel like I’m in a time vortex—it’s nowhere to be found. Well we're all in the mood for a melody | And you've got us feeling alright    

November 10th: Although The O’Jays released their second album, Ship Ahoy, on this date, it took the first released single, “Put Your Hands Together”, until February 4th of ‘74 to hit charts. The feel-good, optimistic tune with a touch of gospel, hopped right to #18 on its way up the WABC/New York radio survey, where it stalled at #13, before dropping off by month’s end.

 On Your Tinny Transistor Radio  
Where were you bein’ thankful in November 1973? San Diego, Nashville, maybe Chicaaaago? Here’s a tasty turkey sampling of what and who you were listening to … at WCFL 

We slid quietly into the Gratitude ATTitude month of November, but WCFL/Chicago wasn’t quite finished with October. We’re taking a peek-a-BOO at their orange and black “one hundred and thirty-ninth” Top 40 survey, for week ending November 3, 1973—which of course, is still celebrating Halloween.    
Although love in all its many forms of angst still dominates the airwaves, the early 1970s is seeing an infiltration of offbeat tunes to tease our senses. Anyone remember Cheech and Chong’s “
Basketball Jones”? It’s #3 on our monthly Featured Radio Survey. Also on the chart and for truistic futurism, plus love, at #15 and climbing, is “We May Never Pass this Way Again,” by Seals & Crofts. Good song for a night of quiet revelry and a lava lamp. Dreams, so they say, are for the fools | And they let 'em drift away  
       Playing those tunes for Chicagoans was dynamic
DJ, Dick Sainte (1938-2005). His lengthy broadcasting career delighted listeners the length of the West Coast from Portland, Oregon, to Los Angeles. But he didn’t stop there. After a quick stint at WLS, Dick also graced the Halloween Edition of WCFL/Chicago’s survey cover for November 3, 1973. According to a mini-bio at SF Radio News, he “… possessed an encyclopedic mind on the subject of music history …” However, he didn’t just know music, he was also a musician in his own right. “Mr. Sainte toured as a trombonist for a short time [with the Les Brown big band], and also formed his own brass band.” 

Monthly Song of Note  
Still working its way up the top hits ladder of local tunes in Chicago’s “Super CFL Survey Nov 3,” Eddie Kendricks’ “
Keep On Truckin’” is more than just a feel-good dance melody. Since this is the time of year when we reminisce, ruminate, and do a little dancin’ over the Holidays, it’s an apt Song of Note to remind us, no matter what bumpy roads or wrong turns we stumbled on this year, we need to just keep on, keepin’ on.
       At WCFL it begins the month at #6, trucks up to #3 the following week, and starts the round-trip back at #6 by
November 24th issue, “number one hundred and forty-two.” 
       Still smarting from his sour split with The Temptations a couple years earlier, in the lyrics, Kendricks gave a gentle jab to his former bandmates … In old Temptations' rain, I'm duckin' | For your love through sleet or snow, I'm truckin'
       According to sources, the three co-writers, Kendricks,
Frank Wilson (producer of much of Eddie’s solo work) and songwriter, Leonard Caston, Jr., wanted something danceable and a crossover from R&B to
. Mission accomplished! 
       Did the “keep on truckin’” catchphrase from a 1968 cartoon inspire them? Although the Robert Crumb male-strutting ‘toon became a hippie t-shirt icon, even that wasn’t the first reference to “truckin’” I found. Crumb discovered his inspiration in a fun, bouncy little 1936 tune by
Blind Boy Fuller, “Truckin’ My Blues Away,” so we were “keepin’ on” long before 1973.
       Is this too much information on Truckin’? Heehee. Well, without truckers, this ol’ country would be in dire straits. Metaphor or not, we need to Keep On Truckin’!

Quirky Band Names
10 C.C. qualifies for this month’s Quirky Band Names, by process of elimination … the only group on our Featured Radio Survey not using their lead singer’s name, and, hasn’t been showcased yet. I fear we’ll need to change this article highlight soon, as more artists grab name-only spotlights.  
       But this is a good ‘un!
10 C.C. hails from across the pond to shoot its “Rubber Bullets” up the American charts, hitting #7 at its peak on WCFL’s November 3rd survey. It’s said that the song is a nod to Elvis’ 1957 hit, “Jailhouse Rock,” with recent visions of an Attica State Prison riot, reminiscent of old James Cagney movies. 
We all got balls and brains | But some's got balls and chains | At the local dance at the local county jail     
       And yes, they do. Although one version of their name origin is fun, but ethereal: King [their prominent UK record producer] chose the name after having a dream in which he was standing in front of the Hammersmith Odeon in London where the boarding read ‘10cc The Best Band in the World;’ another story tells a hilarious, more graphic tale, pure 1970s style. You can
read that version here … 
       Either way, the group’s original four artists, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme always had a special connection. Still Rockin’, according to their site, “‘Because we existed in our own world [all four are admirable singer-songwriters], we didn’t need anyone to tell us how good we were. We listened to the records and went, this is everything we want it to be and more,’ says Gouldman.” 

November 2023 Music & More   

November 22nd: Get out your dime … okay, make it five bucks … put your money in the Jukebox and let’s dance on National Jukebox Day! Without an official link, I searched for helpful sites to enjoy the rich history and nostalgia of these old juke joint players.   
       The juke joints of rural, Southern America weren’t just the namesakes of jukeboxes—they’re where the Blues, liquor, and good times for hard-living plantation workers mashed into early Rock & Roll. So when you celebrate the veritable Jukebox, give a nod and a whisper of thanks to its origin and cultural significance.     
       Even if you don’t have a Jukebox, find a way to listen to
Oldies Rock & Roll and throw in some heartfelt Blues for soul. Thinking about investing in a Jukebox? It can look retro, but sound phenomenally modern. Choose your vintage style to play old 45s, albums (78s), CDs, or some even go Bluetooth! ... put another dime in the jukebox, baby  *...    

November 23rd: I know Thanksgiving Day isn’t exactly a Rock & Roll event, although, that depends on the family! When I was young, it was typically the day that mom stacked some old 45s of her favorite Christmas songs on the old stereo phonograph, like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Gene Autry’s, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” When I grew up and the kitchen was mine, my Thanksgivings Rocked! Think “Little Saint Nick,” by The Beach Boys (1963) and “Jingle Bell Rock” (Hall & Oates, 1983). However you celebrate, even if it must be alone, let your memories be tasty, plentiful, and joyfully musical.

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  
NOVEMBER 3, 1973 ~ WCFL/Chicago – that’s where Rock was happening! Illinois’ capital city Rock Radio listeners enjoyed the last vestiges of October in an orange-and-black image of popular DJ, Dick Sainte—you may have known him personally, as Richard Arnold Middleton. The “Super CFL Survey Nov 3 ~ Halloween Edition ~ collector’s issue number one hundred and thirty-nine,” is a Top 40 list of powerhouse music. What’s at the top? The Rolling Stones’ “
Angie.” And they’re still at the top today50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio, where were you that groovy day when your radio played 

Let’s Celebrate NOVEMBER 1973 and Thank You for being here!

BFYP Book 1 (1954-1959) on Amazon        
BFYP Book 2 (Swinging ‘60s) on Amazon 
Blast from Your Past Gifts
Share your Golden Oldies R&R fun on Twitter:

* “I Love Rock N’ Roll” by Brit band, the Arrows (1976), before Joan Jett (1981)

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LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and author by way of Rock & Roll. Two books (of three planned) 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 … Book 3 – 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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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Rock Radio October 1973 Witching Hour

While we look over our shoulders at the ghosts of Halloweens past, let’s flip on the studio mic, and do a little Monster Mash

It’s ROCKtober on the Witchy Train to …    

… meet with Wolfman Jack! Whether he figures into the time frame is irrelevant. He was simply the quintessential Halloween Rock & Roll Disk Jockey! You better believe it, baby! Okay, I feel better now. Let’s Rock

OCTOBER 1973 Radio Muse & News  

We start the month with a prolific Philly station survey that boasts a sultry stare on the chart from Ringo. Moving West, Detroit chimes in with a chart indicative of the bigger-than-life art of the ‘70s, and by the time we hit the West Coast, we’re cruisin’ California’s capitol city “K Street,” in humorous Halloween style. Let’s get Rockin’!

October 19th: Ringo’s top tune, “Photograph,” released this day in the U.K., but they were a tad behind the U.S. September 24th release. WFIL/Philadelphia posted Ringo’s photograph in their October 1st survey, with the poignant love-lost song aptly tagged as Hitbound. It was largely written a couple years earlier while Ringo, wife Maureen, and former Beatles bandmate, George Harrison with his wife, Pattie Boyd, were taking a holiday cruise with singer, Cilla Black. While the yacht swayed with the waves, they all put their two cents’ worth in, and a hit was born.

October 24th: John Lennon, another former Beatles member and political activist, was hot under the collar today as he sued the U.S. government for wiretapping his phone. Of course, it was denied, with a feeble excuse that was enough to keep Lennon in check until he attained his green card in 1976.

October 29th: Certainly, the timing of John Lennon’s Mind Games release, his fourth studio album, took advantage of the “bad publicity,” but it didn’t help much. The album fared rather poorly and according to Wiki, even Lennon said, "The ‘Mind Games’ single is fine, but there's just no energy to sustain through the album and there's no clarity of vision. That cover says more than the record to me."  

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio  
Where were you bein’ witchy in
October 1973? Philly, Detroit, NorCal? Here’s a sample of what and who you were listening to …

 WFIL/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ~ Top 30 survey October 1, 1973, gave DJ Jim O’Brien his due with a cover image to show off his Sterling Magazine “Personality of the Month” trophy. From all accounts, Jim was truly an all-around nice guy, soon gaining the same nice-guy reputation in broadcast television, as well as radio. On his jarring, premature death from a skydiving accident in 1983, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted, “He was without a doubt the most-liked man in Philadelphia." That's quite a tribute.

What top tunes did Philly listeners deem the best? Well baby, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye topped their Top 30 list, followed closely by Grand Funk Railroad declaring “We’re An American Band,” and rounding out the top three … Cher’s “Half Breed.” Rockin’ on, we find …

WDRQ/Detroit, Michigan ~ “The Super Q’s” October 15, 1973, top 25 tunes topped by Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” with The Rolling Stones’ “Angie” hot on her heels, followed by apparent audience pleaser, Cher’s “Half Breed.” The survey’s back cover featured Donny Osmond’s latest album Superstar, while the front was simply a lot of sunny, puffy ‘70s psych art.

Was their art the only creative reason to listen to WDRQ? Oh, heck no. They hired great disk jockeys for your music pleasure! Bill Bailey got you primed for work with cash giveaways, like a chance to “rip him off” of a measly $2,000. He was followed by DJ Joey Ryan who kept the midday crowd listening with a trip for two to San Juan, Puerto Rico, pumped with, “… because WDRQ has balls …” Ah yes, the good ol’ days of awesome listener prizes! That brings us to …

For a radio music chart collector like me, a radio prize means finding a print Easter Egg in a survey. Looking for fun band names for the Quirky Band Names feature, I discovered that the “Super Q” had a sense of humor. When it came to researching the band The Dramatics, that included their song climbing the chart at #16, “Fell for You.” The Super Q couldn’t help themselves … they listed it as “Fell for Q.” Good one! Uh-oh girl | I think that I have fell for you   Um, songs aren’t always known to be grammatically correct. And now, it’s time for …

KROY/Sacramento, California ~ October 19, 1973 – Halloween edition! They got into the spooky mood, sorta, with a fun cartoon music chart! Their top three songs are indicative, however, of a not-so-scary, month of music. We again, find Cher’s “Half Breed,” keeping the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” down a notch at #2, and “That Lady” by the Isley Brothers waiting at #3, wondering what to wear for Halloween.  

Remember when we were all quoting the dairy industry’s ad, “Milk has something for every body”? (And skewing it with anything we thought was kitschy other than milk.) KROY/Sacramento’s “Music Power Survey” gave it a plug on their back cover, along with a list of 19 hitbound tunes. Yep, not 15 … nor 20 … 19. Alrighty. It included a couple of future iconic masterpieces like Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and Jim (printed as “Jin”) Croce’s “I Got a Name.”

Monthly Song of Note
We don’t have any “witchy” songs on the charts for SEPTEMBER 1973, although we do have two tunes taking us to the witching hour … but there’s nothing spooky about the love within them. Gladys Knight (& the Pips) took a
“Midnight Train to Georgia” for her man, and Cross Country found love “In the Midnight Hour.” Which one made this month’s Song of Note

We had to go with Gladys. The history behind Midnight Train and the fact it’s charting on all three BFYP Collection surveys, gave it the edge (grabbing #1 at WDRQ/Detroit). Both are great tunes. The song’s history is too long to repeat here, but you can read about it, and suffice it to say it turned out to be a dynamite karaoke song no matter what you know about it.

The piece was inspired by songwriter Jim Weatherly in a phone call with Farah Fawcett, who was packing for a midnight plane to Houston. It had changed by the time Gladys heard it and since she apparently doesn’t like planes, the train ride is perfect for traveling music to accompany her man back to Georgia. It won 1974’s Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus, and has been Gladys’s signature song for decades. And I got be with him | On that midnight train to Georgia | Oh, hey, I'd rather live in his world | Than live without him in mine   

Quirky Band Names

This much beloved band gives Quirky a hearty laugh. As if their smokin’ 1973 hit, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” didn’t have us guffawing enough (hitting the chart at #25 for WDRQ this month), after an inordinately long research combing through numerous accolades, a Last.FM bio finally told us why the 19-character Brownsville Station opted for such a long name. “… the band's name was chosen because it was so long that it took up most of the marquees that rock venues used in that era, thereby hogging the limelight from whoever Brownsville happened to be playing with.” Now that is funny. Teacher was lookin' for me all around | Two hours later, you know where I was found | Smokin' in the boys' room (Yes indeed, I was)     

Here's a little something I recently noticed ... many have said Boomers and their era are out of touch and not relevant. Tell that to the big pharma TV advertisers. If you sing along with “Oh oh oh Ozempic,” you’re actually playing right into their ploy, using Pilot’s 1975 hit tune, “Oh Oh Oh It’s Magic.” The association magic works, as this page tells us

OCTOBER 2023 Music Events & More    

All month, we can be a little bit Rock & Roll and a little bit Country for Country Music Month! And it’s official—"Little remembered among the accomplishments of Richard Nixon's presidency is this proclamation: in October 1970, Nixon asked the American people to mark October as Country Music Month.” Even a bad president can do some good. Yeehaw! (I couldn’t find an official CMM link, but if you want to celebrate Country Music in October, scroll down the link’s list for fun Country festivals!) 

October 31st: Halloween surely won’t be without yet another day of the “Monster Mash!” Like some ghosts, it just never seems to go away. According to WIKI: “In 2021, nearly 60 years after its release, "Monster Mash" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 37.” It had already lurched onto the music charts three times prior, for its debut in 1962 when it reached #1 and everyone danced to it for Halloween; reappearing with its ghostly presence in 1970; and creeping in one more time May 1973. Ready to bring it back again? Let’s do it And suddenly to my surprise | He did the mash | He did the monster mash ... It was a graveyard smash  

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  

OCTOBER 19, 1973 ~ KROY/Sacramento, California ~ With an angry spider guarding his web (see it in Featured Surveys), the hand drawn haunted mansion announcement has just one, teeny-weeny little faux pas. It tells you it’s opening October 15th, but doesn’t tell you where …not even on the cover. And I’m not sure what the dinosaur has to do with Halloween, but a rather ugly pumpkin is spoofing song lyrics that were old even for that era. (“Till There Was You,” 1957; even The Beatles’ cover was back in 1962.)   There were pumpkins on the hill | but I never heard them singing Ah well, looks like they had some Halloween fun! We’re scaring up memories … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played 

Let’s Celebrate OCTOBER 1973 and Rock On!   

aka: Wicked Witch of the West
BFYP Book 1 (1954-1959) on Amazon        
BFYP Book 2 (Swinging ‘60s) on Amazon 
Blast from Your Past Gifts
Share your Golden Oldies R&R fun on Twitter:

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LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and author by way of Rock & Roll. Two books (of three planned) 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 … Book 3 – 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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