Thursday, February 23, 2023

Rock Radio FEBRUARY 1973 Love is in the Air

It’s February 1973 and You are My Destiny   

Can you feel it, smell it, hear it? LOVE is in the air! Like the soft fur of a cuddly new puppy, the heady scent of heart-shaped cookies fresh from the oven, to the vintage song that played for your first “real” kiss … it’s February 1973!

Then MONTH 1973 Rockin’ News & Views  
It seems at first glance, this Valentine month 50 Years Ago, everything is coming up hearts and roses … on our Featured Radio Survey, fans in San Bernardino, California, favored love in all its glory, with “Love Train” (O’Jays) at #1, and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” (Spinners) close on its heels at #2. (KXFM “Radio 59” February 16, 1973.)

In the number three song however, Lobo threw a love lob-ball at amour with “Don’t Expect Me to be Your
Friend.” Ouch.

The glum attitude continues down the chart with “You’re So Vain” (Carly Simon) at #4, and rounding out the top five songs is the depressing-but-not, “The World is a Ghetto,” by protest band, War. Sigh, yes, love is complicated … Happiness is here, have your share | If you know you're loved, be secure 

> On Your Tinny Transistor Radio     
Some months, our pioneering radio stations’ surveys practically mirrored each other from coast-to-coast. Top Ten songs showed the love fans everywhere had for the same sweet melodies, with several tunes in the list on both sides of the country.

       Other months, like this one, different cities and states varied widely in musical attitudes. Of course, there are a lot of variables, like stations receiving record releases at different times, and at that time, the attitude, likes and dislikes of the music and program directors, could affect the course of a record in any radio market.
As distant in Top Ten tunes as they are in miles, my sample surveys for February 1973 are from the first week at KKLS/Rapid City, South Dakota, and week two at KFXM/San Bernardino, California. Only two songs made both Top Ten lists and interestingly, they’re both about love lost:
“Don’t Expect Me to be Your Friend” by Lobo (mentioned above), comes in at # 2 for
KKLS and #3 for KFXM; and “Last Song” by Edward Bear lands at #4 for KKLS and #7 for KFXM.

Monthly Song of Note  
In the lovers’ month of February 1973, just as now, many radio listeners asked themselves, “
Could It Be I’m Falling in Love"? The Spinners declared their love in leaps and bounds with fans at KKLS in the middle of the country, showing their passion as it climbed to #11 by February 9th. With another week to get into the mood, the West Coast’s KFXM, pushed it up to #2 by February 16th. Meeting you was my destiny♪ 
       The song is a virtual lullaby for lovers. And just who were “Mystro and Lyric,” the lovesick lyricists credited with the hit song? None other than Atlantic Records’ songwriter brothers, Melvin and Mervin Steals.   And honey you'll always be the only one for me

February Survey’s Dynamic DJs  
Since my
Blast from Your Past books are all about Rock Radio Disk Jockeys, this is a good spot to share those who made the stations’ survey cover. This monthly feature will tell you who’s on whatever vintage survey(s) I have collected for that month, and if I can learn any new or old news about them. What a fun month to start it …
In case you hadn’t already picked up on it, KFXM/San Bernardino (CA) and KKLS/Rapid City (SD) are the two surveys in my collection for
February 1973. KKLS chose to go simple without jock pics, boasting instead, their top twenty song list, a top ten album list, and a fun ad for their “secret sound” contest. Did you win?

But hands-down, KFXM gets the FRS nod, for including a “Jock Talk” blurb in their survey, and images of all six DJs. Who was your favorite? 
We found Doug Collins waking you up in the morning, Bruce Chandler spinning through your afternoons, Johnny Kaye, making nice in your nights, Ron Christian keeping you company all night long, and the wacky weekend DJs, Marsh Carter and Vic Moreno.
With a quick search on the fly, only two of the six produced results for additional notes.  After a short stint at KMEN, the other hotshot station in San Bernardino, Bruce Chandler stopped for a few years at KFXM before heading south to Los Angeles. He breezed through KEZY and KIQQ and eventually found his way to KRTH around 2001. 
The BFYP Collection of surveys places Doug Collins at KFXM as early as 1969 and I found hints that he stayed a while after 1973 as the fans’ fave morning guy.
Any of you “oldsters” remember the illustrious “Tennessee Ernie Ford” (1919-1991)? The popular 20th century singer and comedian found his inner “Tennessee” as a DJ in the late 1940s, at KFXM radio.
I kid you not.

Quirky Band Names ...
So what do we have this month for weird, wonderful, or just plain Quirky Band Names? A heap of good fun, starting with Uriah Heep. Some of you who read the classics will recognize the character name from Dickens’ iconic David Copperfield, chosen by the band (known as “Spice”) in December 1969, when the hundredth anniversary of Dickens’ death was in the news. Their “Blind Eye” hit #6 this month at KKLS. I didn’t know then, and still don’t understand what the song was trying to say. It is truly … Stranger than the sunrise  
Brighter Side of Darkness is an odd name for an odd early boy-band style. One of many one-hit-wonders of the era, their “
Love Jones” tells the darker side of love in a rambling dialogue bordering on obsessive. It resonated with enough fans at KFXM to take it to #4 before dropping it back to #11. As with other short-lived bands, there isn’t much history on them. But ya gotta love their synchronized dance moves and matching yellow jumpsuits!  
Last but not least, have I got a “Tonic for the Soul” – it’s Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show! This Chicago R&B/soul group has a most unique and poignant story behind their name. Word is, one of the band’s founding members, Ray Sawyer, wore an eyepatch after losing his right eye in a 1967 car crash that nearly killed him. Feeling a bit like “Captain Hook” of Peter Pan fame, he urged the band to adopt “Dr. Hook”—to which their name was shortened in 1975.

       And what’s their claim to fame beyond their name? We’ve all heard (and probably sung in karaoke) “
The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’” rising from #22 to #14 at KFXM this month. Did they ever make Rolling Stones’ cover? Oh yeah, in March … but watch the video first … all the way to the end for Wolfman Jack’s comment. Then you’ll know why the magazine fed their egos, but with only three of the seven members in caricature on the cover, and a minimal caption: "What's-Their-Names Make the Cover."

> Now MONTH 2023 Rockin’ Today  
Well, it’s difficult enough to find fun stuff to populate this section and this month’s article is sooooo late, we missed World Radio Day. It’s still included though, since we tend to celebrate everything all month anyway.

February 13th: By its very name, World Radio Day celebrates radio on a global level, as it should. Just when we think it’s going to be usurped by technology or simple lack of interest, radio finds a way to reinvent itself and remain relevant in our lives. Enjoy it … embrace it. And don’t forget to thank your Rockin’ DJs—in whatever medium you appreciate them.
As UNESCO says, “At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out [to] the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard.”

February 27th: If you’re reading this article, you likely already know about National Retro Day. Though their official NRD is the 27th, on Facebook, they celebrate it every way, every day, all year. That’s because radio and “retro” go together and are merrily subjective, and changing with every generation. Go, take a look, enjoy and contribute!

BFYP Featured Radio Survey 
FEBRUARY 16, 1973 ~ KFXM/San Bernardino, California ~ I would be no friend to our Rock & Roll Radio

DJs, if I didn’t designate KFXM as the FRS this month! After all, the survey has devoted a whole section to “Jock Talk”! And take a peak at “Music Notes” news about Mick Jagger, Bill Withers, and Alice Cooper50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played

Let’s Celebrate FEBRUARY 1973 and Rock On!     

BFYP Book 1 (1954-1959) on Amazon
BFYP Book 2 (Swinging ‘60s) on Amazon
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 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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