Sunday, January 1, 2023

Rock Radio JANUARY 1973 Rockin’ Your Past Life

Happy New Year! You Still Living in the Past?   

My plan, dear readers, was to be ready for the New Year with a spectacular article that would lead into another year of discovery and fun, in the life and times of Rock Radio DJs and their music, for 1973.

Have you heard the old adage, “The best laid plans of mice and men”—to which I add, and women trying to accomplish something—often go awry? Well, December found me gasping for deep breaths as my life took a major twist from which I am still reeling. All good, though.

So bear with me, please, while we dive into 1973 in bits and pieces, still “Living in the Past,” stepping hesitantly forward into a New Year. It isn’t complete yet, with lots more images and text to come, but hopefully, we’ll whet your appetite for more, and Rock your memories to bring you a smile!

Then & Now Rockin’ News & Views 
Have I mentioned lately how much I love perusing the old radio station surveys from yesteryear? My collection spans a little more than three decades, with the 1970s closing out the assortment—a few ‘80s managed to sneak in, but only if they included DJs I adore, like Wolfman Jack.
           
As I mentioned above, for your Song of Note this month, I chose a Jethro Tull tune that generally hit in the top ten across the country. It sports an apropos title for the beginning of the New Year—Then and Now—“Living in the Past.”
           
Some would say I’m living a bit too much in the past. While that may be true to some extent, my pure joy in writing these Blast from Your Past articles began with my books about our pioneering Rock Radio DJs, and is rooted in the musical memories they brought to us.
           
Admittedly, I am no expert about any of it; like many of you, I imagine, I am a fan of the music and back in the day, my faves were nearly all “danceable” tunes, whether I bothered to learn the lyrics or not.
           
Today, I’ve found that while returning to the past for these articles, I am discovering the music all over again—this time, savoring the often-quixotic history and angst, fantasy or love behind it. So yes, I’m living in the music of the past and learning more about the era and its similarities to the present, than I ever knew existed. Let’s Rock On ... 50 Years Ago this Month ...

> Then MONTH 1973 Rockin’ News
1973 is no less musically exciting than the previous two years of the decade, and some radio stations continued the psychedelic years with fantastic pop-art and some wild-and-crazy DJs!

We’re celebrating the DJs this month with a mention for Don Stewart, who made your weekends fun at KRIZ/Phoenix. However, even after scouring a few research and DJ sites, there was no info to be found on him. Is “Don Stewart” one of the infamous radio station monikers portrayed by many? If anyone knows ...

On the other hand, WCFL/Chicago, with a fun cover image, proudly offered their guys to top off your mornings. Bob Dearborn and Tom Murphy were both prolific jocks over the decades before WCFL. Bob began in Canada, working his way into the US as Bud Roberts or Mark Allen. He arrived at WCFL with the Dearborn name around 1970. Bob kept everyone up to date on his life and times in a blog for several years, but retired it in 2018. After a comprehensive Eastern radio career, last I heard Bob is still enjoying retirement back in Canada.

Fellow DJ, Tom, also kept his listeners happy before and after their Chicago gig. We found the “World Famous” Tom Murphy last told, residing in California’s San Fernando Valley, after a lengthy radio career from Portland to Cleveland and back. He and Bob spent a couple of years at WCFL, but Tom was making a name for himself first, at what he calls KJR/Seattle’s “Golden Years” (around 1966).

What else was happening to ring in 1973? So glad you asked ...
January 14th
: Elvis Presley donned a grass skirt and made television history as his satellite-broadcast special, “Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite” shook up the most-ever countries at once! At that time, over forty countries boasted watching the experience of Elvis-the Pelvis.
       Um, yeah, I know that's no big deal now, but it sure was then, as it proclaimed to entertain the biggest audience ever, by a solo artist!

 January 30th: Did you catch a bit of history on this day as heavy metal glam-band, KIϟϟ, began their meteoric climb to stardom on stage at Queens, New York’s Popcorn Club (soon to become the Coventry Club)? Wow! Then you’re a legend too—it’s reported that less than ten music lovers saw that show.

Monthly Song of Note ...
I have the quintessential 1970s “far out” tune to start the year(s)—1973 AND 2023! 50 Years Ago this Month ... UK audiences heard it first in 1969, but we only received a promotional release of Jethro Tull’s “Living in the Past.” It didn’t hit big here until its US-release in October 1972, when it scrambled our psyche enough to ring in the New Year for ’73. January 13th’s KRIZ/Phoenix chart saw it at #7, while Chicago fans boosted it #2 on WCFL’s January 27 Super Survey.
           
“Living” was the band’s first song to hit the Top 20 here, and its composer/band front man, Ian Anderson, later reflected on its lament of the naïve hippie lifestyle and era. Obviously a heartfelt statement, his passion in it only took an hour or so to write while staying in a Holiday Inn in Boston.
          The British band could easily slip into the Quirky Band Name category—did you know after nondescript names like Navy Blue and Candy
Coloured Rain, Jethro Tull’s booking agent who was a history buff, bestowed the name of the 18th-century agriculturist on them—and it stuck! 

... Now there's revolution, but they don't know | What they're fighting ... Oh, we won't give in | Let's go living in the past ...  

Oh, so much MORE to come! January 1973 was a dynamite year and we have yet to add great images, plus Today Rockin’ News + a tribute to Wolfman Jack to commemorate his January 21st birthday!

So c’mon back soon—it’s a Holiday weekend (again) so there won’t be more ‘til end of next week, but it’ll be worth the wait! Rock on ...

Let’s Celebrate JANUARY 1973 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  

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