Monday, September 4, 2023

Rock Radio SEPTEMBER 1973 Sailing a Sunshine Ship


BFYP BULLETIN 09/24/23: Another sad note for Blast from Your Past readers. Pioneering Rock Radio DJ and station owner, Burt Sherwood (95), passed on to music heaven September 21, 2023, in Sarasota, Florida. He accidentally stepped into radio in the late 1940s and by the 1970s, began buying small stations. He never thought of doing anything else. “I got lucky,” said Burt in a 2008 interview with me, “I knew what I wanted and hired only people who had more talent than I did.” Rock On, m’friend! Read an excerpt from BFYP Book 1: The First Five Years of Burt’s WMCA/New York political intrigue …      

BFYP BULLETIN 09/04/23: Rick Snyder, a 1950s-ʼ60s BFYP DJ passed away August 14, 2023 at the youthful age of 82. Recalling his interview, it was interesting that he was a 1960s POP DJ, but as he said, “I begged the PD (at WTRY/Albany NY) to let me play Oldies through the night.” Of course, Oldies then, were from the 1950s! One of Rick’s proudest moments came in 1965 when he posed in a studio picture with The Rolling Stones. Keep on Rockin’ & Rollin’ m’friend!

And, in more music heaven news, I must pay homage to the idol of my 39 and Holding Club ATT-i-tude, the late, great laid-back island-charm singer, songwriter and Margaritaville icon, Jimmy Buffett. His passing on September 1, 2023, left us with many of his poignant words to quote, from here to eternity … If we couldn’t laugh | we would all go insane | If we weren’t all crazy | we would go insane 

And now, let’s flip on the studio mic, and Rock On back to SEPTEMBER 1973 It’s a long one, so grab a libation and relax with me

Time to Take a Trip on the Sunshine Ship!  

This month’s article is dedicated to the good people of the Hawai’ian Islands, still reeling and struggling with horrific losses from August wildfires. 50 Years Ago this Month, our September Song of Note, “Sunshine Ship,” by Arthur, Hurley & Gottlieb, was #2 on the KPOI/Honolulu “Action 20 Records” chart. Its uplifting lyrics and lively melody could be just the anthem needed to reflect hope and ohana for the Hawai’ian people.

As I mentioned in our August bulletin, please show your support for radio listeners of KPOA (Lahaina) & KPOI. Give generously … iHeartMedia Honolulu offers a link for monetary donations through the Hawai’i Red Cross at

San Diegans, if you want to proudly wear your support and donate, scoot down to Belmont Park’s Sun Diego Boardshop in Pacific Beach (or one of several shops in the county) and grab your “Maui Strong” t-shirt before they’re gone! Your purchase goes directly to support the people of Lahaina.

I know a special place 
       where the sun is always shinin’ 
People helping each other out
       and … they’re never mindin’  

 50 Years Ago this Month we were Rockin’ into Fall 

SEPTEMBER 1973 Radio Music News  

In the wake of Hawai’i’s wildfire tragedy last month, imagine my surprise when I saw that one of the four vintage surveys I have for your Memory Lane travels this month is KPOI/Honolulu!

It's special in more ways than one. In survey-collecting, some powerhouse stations are plentiful and grab much attention, like KFRC/San Francisco, KIMN/Denver, WCFL/Chicago, WIBG/Philly, WABC/New York. But that doesn't make their music charts historically valuable. It’s the smaller, or lesser-known stations that many collectors desire.

Last month’s Featured Survey, KOVO/Provo, Utah, is a great example. So are this month’s WAQY/Springfield, Massachusetts, and KPOI/Honolulu’s music chart with a coveted Psychedelic Seventies-style cover image of The Beatles. Doubly collectible!

Our four fun vintage radio surveys this month, are WCFL/Chicago, KPOI/Honolulu, KKDJ/Los Angeles, and WAQY/Springfield, Massachusetts. Which one commands our monthly Featured Radio Survey? Not a tough guess, if you read the intro! And of course, more images coming soon.

So let’s dig into some September 1973 Music News, and Rock On

September 19th: When you think of Pirate Radio (if you’re old enough to know what it is) you most likely dredge up the 1960s memories of rogue Rock stations off the UK and Ireland coasts—certainly not a religious station! But yep, though it was only a one-day-hit-wonder off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey, “Pirate Radio Free America” caused quite a stir at the time. Religious broadcaster Carl McIntire was in a continuous battle with the FCC and took his frustrations offshore. McIntire had grander hopes but not enough dollars for a boat that would run … it did, however, get his cause and name in the media.

September 20th: Tragedies for whatever reason, are unfortunately numerous in the celebrity realm. This day, fate prematurely took Jim Croce, his friend and guitarist, Maury Muehleisen and four other crew members in a Louisiana post-concert plane crash. “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” was still a solid hit on the charts and “Time In a Bottle,” one of his greatest tunes, shot to the top after its posthumous November release. His artistry and grounded appeal is still missed.

September 27th: Today in time marked a significant point in Barbra Streisand’s career when she released the retrospective single, “The Way We Were,” which doubled as the title song of the movie, released nearly a month later. Reviving her flagging popularity at the time, its political theme could be remade with ease, today.

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio  
Let’s Rock September 1973! I rummaged through the Blast from Your Past Collections to find not one, not two, but FOUR dynamic vintage radio surveys for you. Of course, only one made the Featured Radio Survey section, but all four have lots of fun memories to offer this month. In chronological order week of …

September 1st: KPOI/Hawaii – A rare radio survey, indeed! Once upon a long time ago, K-POI/Hawai’i was “The Rock of Honolulu,” serving their pop music fans at 1380 on their radio dial. The old call letters are now at 105.9 gently swaying with “The Wave, Hawaii's Relaxing Favorites.” Contrary to today’s soothing style, the 1973 survey #276 boasted 1970s-style raucous Psychedelic art in a rather creepy, yet creative mash-up sketch of The Beatles!

The BFYP Collections include three other KPOI surveys from back in the day, all featuring the inimitable self-described, “Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal,” Wolfman Jack. One, also details an artful sketch, but the 1970 image was obviously before we all got into the Psychedelic SeventiesTM.

September 1st: WCFL/Chicago – No doubt in the broadcasting realm, DJ Larry Lujack made the expansive radio world of Chicago feel like a small, tight-knit community to his adoring fans—regardless of which station he chose, to sit behind the mic. Between 1967 and 1973, Larry bounced between WCFL and WLS. He finally settled in at WLS in 1975 for about a dozen years.

As I prepped a few pictures for this article, I casually read over the by-then ubiquitous, mandatory radio station disclaimer that WCFL published, and discovered why Larry was likely smiling, and the 7-Up ad said “Right Un!”  Note the ATT-i-tude in CFL’s notice (the italics are mine just for emphasis): “SMALL PRINT DEPARTMENT: The Super CFL survey represents the relative popularity of records based on industry tabulations and record sales. So there. WCFL, the Voice of Labor, is owned and operated by the Chicago Federation of Labor.” Love it!

September 3rd: KKDJ/Los Angeles – Have you ever heard of KKDJ/L.A.? Not unless you’re my age. 😊 Now known as KIIS-FM, the quirky Los Angeles station shared its double-sided survey with album-oriented KUTE 102, popular KHJ, and a combo platter of Spanish stations’ top tunes of the day  (in Spanish) that included KALI, KWKW, and XEGM-95.

KKDJ’s artsy, whimsical banner stands out from the others’ dry headings with a Sunset Boulevard address and boasting “stereo rock.” Top two “Future Hits!” were “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh and “Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne” by Looking Glass. And they were …

September 8th: WAQY/Springfield, Massachusetts – Though all our September 1973 radio surveys have a week ending before mid-month, many of their top five tunes, like on WAQY/Springfield, stayed at the top for most of September. “The Morning After” (Maureen McGovern), “Live & Let Die” (Paul McCartney & Wings), “Feeling Stronger Every Day” (Chicago), “Touch Me in the Morning” (Diana Ross), and “Brother Louie” (Stories), were all around for a long while.

The obscure WAQY music chart wasn’t just a Springfield staple, but “only hand-printed” entry forms in “The Wacky Rock Pile” survey were eligible for a lucky listener to win a Honda mini-bike at a Thom McAn Store! You weren’t ‘70s chic unless you owned a pair of Thom McAn shoes.

Monthly Song of Note

Rumor has it, “Sunshine Ship” #2 on KPOI/Honolulu’s September 1973 chart, was written with the Hawai’ian people in mind. Island listeners identified with its bouncy, people-helping-people attitude. The upbeat tune by Arthur, Hurley & Gottlieb, doesn’t even have a pinkie-hold on the Top 30 tunes of our other three September ’73 surveys, nor on any in close time frames. But on KPOI it began bubbling under in mid-July and steadily made its way up to the top five. It just couldn’t quite knock Diana Ross out of 1st, with “Touch Me in the Morning.”

Fifty years later, “Sunshine Ship” seems like the perfect anthem for Hawai’i during its post-wildfire rebuilding.

But to get theretake a little trip
So c’mon everybody ... get on board the Sunshine Ship

Quirky Band Names

As more and more groups use the frontman’s name or solo music stars break out, some months of 1973 had a lack of creative names to play with. But, have you ever wondered how prolifically popular band, Pink Floyd, a Rock chart staple since 1965, settled on their name? Well, let me tell ya …

Picture this … late 1965 the band known as Tea Set discovered another band at a gig also sporting the name … seriously? Two Rock bands with the same peculiar moniker? Original guitarist Syd Barrett swore it was true. His immediate response? Why not take the names of two blues icons, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, and smash them together? So there you have it. Life and band names can change in an instant.

SEPTEMBER 2023 Music Events & More   

September 15th: The dinosaur of music returns! It’s National 8-Track Tape Day. I kid you not. Every year on this date muscle cars and music come together again to celebrate the 8-Track Tape Player that Ford announced as an option for its 1966 Mustang, along with luxury models of Thunderbird and Lincoln.

September 25th: Although National One-Hit Wonder Day apparently no longer has a support link, we wouldn’t want to add insult to injury for the many musical gems that became one-hit wonders. C’mon, let’s give ‘em the credit they’re due. Unless, of course, they’re the silly ones like Alan Sherman’s 1963 sadly laughable “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)” (1963). Or, as much as I dislike talking smack about Radio DJs, we could have done without Rick Dees & His Cast of Idiots (so they knew what they were creating!) and their parent-irritating “Disco Duck” (1976). For your enjoyment, a One-Hit Wonder from each Rockin’ decade … 1954: “Sh-Boom” (The Chords); 1962: but 2nd time around on the charts September 1973Monster Mash” (Bobby Pickett); and also in September 1973 charts top ten: “Brother Louie” by Stories. 

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  
SEPTEMBER 1, 1973 ~ 1380 K-POI/Honolulu’s “Action 20” survey has a terrific island motif border, but the Psychedelic Seventies Beatles cover is a cross between “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Frankenstein.” Artistic, yes, but … well, it makes for a great conversation starter a half-century later! Let’s explore the hits 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that
groovy day when your radio played 

Let’s Celebrate SEPTEMBER 1973 and Rock On!   

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