Saturday, June 1, 2024

Rock Radio 50 Years Ago ~ JUNE 1974

Steamy, Sexy Summer ~ Let’s Go Surfin’!  

Update 06/13/24 - Yay! JUNE 1974 has it all! There’s no denying, Rock & Roll was and is still, synonymous with Summer. And 50 Years Ago this MonthSurf Rock and Radio DJs were hot! Sorry to have made you wait, but I hope you’ll feel it was worth it …   

JUNE 1974 Radio Muse & News  

Raise your hands, Boomers. How many of you used to win frequent radio prizes? In the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, radio stations vied for listeners with fun contests and top prizes. Since it was long before digital phones, it truly was your dialing finger and push-button skills that made you a winner.

Who did you talk with on the phone to win? The DJ of course! Welcome to National DJ Month! Sponsored by “Music Talkers,” who recognize that DJs certainly deserve the month-long celebration, the site generally reports music artist news, so it isn’t strictly about DJs.

Since I’m a little partial, a few appreciative words about Radio DJs … Today they aren’t a whole lot different from those of yesteryear, except for how they’re viewed. Radio Insight quotes, “’Disc jockeys do weddings,’ says programmer-turned-broadcast-instructor Len O’Kelly. “’I’m fine with DJ, but my, oh my, that rubs some radio types the wrong way,’” says Mike Wiethorn.”

So true! Especially when it comes to the stories of pioneering DJs from the 1950s, ‘60s & ‘70s. And, more interesting insights with Sean Ross.

Although back in the day in radio, there were (and still are) subtle differences between jocks, personalities, and broadcast announcers, you never called them “wedding DJs.” Now, they’re often referred to as “on-air hosts.” Bottom line, their common denominators are people (their loyal listeners) and entertainment. That hasn’t changed.

Are you wondering what it was really like as a pioneering radio DJ? Visit former WIBG, KCBQ, KVIL (and more!) radio jock/announcer/personality & DJ, Bill Gardner!

This month, call your local radio station and wish your hardworking DJs a wonderful month. Better yet, listen to them … live. Tune in and let them know you’re listening.

For more June celebration, who remembers (or knows of history) the first time you heard “Let’s Go Trippin’” on the radio? Arguably, it’s the tune that ushered in the reason for International Surf Music Month!

Sadly, the sponsor link is not a secure site. So fair warning … if you’d rather not visit the North East Surf Music Alliance, my alternative choices are for sites that provide the history behind the music, like …  

Ground-breaking Rock guitarist Dick Dale, dubbed the “King of the Surf Guitar,” and legendary band, The Beach Boys (still touring!), are considered pioneers in the early California surf sound.

Each with their own style, Dick Dale (yes, he did surf) excelled in instrumentals, telling surfing stories with his incredible guitar riffs, beginning withLet’s Go Trippin’” (1960) and a Surf Rock version of “Misirlou” in 1963. By December 10, 1961, Dale’s “Let’s Go Trippen” (sic) had crested at #13 on San Diego’s KCBQ radio chart.

Dale and his band, the Del-Tones, aptly provided movie soundtracks that Surf Music inspired. Go ahead, rent or scour streaming services for 1963’s Beach Party and 1964’s Muscle Beach Party (both starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello). You’ll never have so much fun without sand!

Emulating Dale’s energetic guitar style, adding their own nuances and vocalizing the SoCal sound, The Beach Boys made waves with “Surfin’” (September 15, 1961, acoustic demo video) and followed up with top tunes, “Surfin’ Safari” (1962), “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” and the ultimate summer love song, “Surfer Girl” (both released late 1963). Little surfer little one | Made my heart come all undone | Do you love me, do you surfer girl Then he splashes her, and they dive into the frothy waves together. Ahhhhh 

Now, fast-forward to 1974 … what were our top tunes on the radio ten years later?

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio  
Where were you twistin’ the radio dial of your cool Pontiac Firebird, cruising under the summer sun, JUNE 1974? WTAL/Tallahassee, Florida, Walnut Creek, California (KFRC/San Francisco), or the mile-high city, KTLK/Denver, Colorado, heading into the Rocky Mountains? Here’s a sample of what and who you were listening to …

Boasting the “Undisputed #1 station for 8 years” on their music chart, WTAL/Tallahassee, listeners were feelin’ a little maudlin this vintage summer. They boosted the war-weepy “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero” by Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods, up to the #1 place of honor, June 17, 1974. Although the tune (and reported history) doesn’t identify the war Billy died in, Vietnam was heavy on everyone’s mind …  

On the sunny left coast, KFRC/San Francisco fans were tiptoeing on love clouds, with their June 18, 1974, #1 happy hit, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics. The wide-scoping station catered to the whole Bay Area, to include Oakland, Walnut Creek, Concord, even reaching as far south as San Jose. And popular morning DJ Dr. Don Rose, never let his listeners feel anything except fun.

Then we stepped up to reach Denver, Colorado, at KTLK whose listeners were wondering if their love was stepping out, June 22, 1974. And it really is, one mile high

If you were bein’ cool in the steaming days of summer, chances are you were “takin’ the drag” in downtown Denver. Were KTLK listeners identifying with a troublesome love song when they drove Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” to the top of the chart? I can picture every move that a man could make | Getting lost in her lovin' is your first mistake | Sundown ya better take care | If I find you been creepin' 'round my back stairs   

Which Rock & Roll radio station is JUNE 1974’s Featured Radio Survey? Keep reading … 

JUNE 1974 Song of Note  
La Grange” by ZZ Top takes the top honor for Song of Note this month! It’s classic ZZ and ‘70s attitude. Ever wonder where the idea came from for the movie, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? It was a real place (The Chicken Ranch, 1905-1973) in a real town on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas! It rode rode high at #5 on the KTLK/Denver chart this month. The song and 1978 musical (later, 1982 movie) were all about attitude … well, and sex. Welcome to the ‘70s!  Just let me know if you wanna go | To that home out on the range   

Quirky Band Names   
Well darn, the one with the quirkiest name has little-to-no info on how it came about. And its contender likely could tell us more about its moniker, if you can read Nederland’s West Germanic Language. Here’s what I found …

In a close race for June 1974 Quirky Band Name honor, Golden Earring is best known for “Radar Love” that shot up KTLK’s chart from #39 to #25. I did learn that teen friends George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen, formed the group “The Tornados” in The Hague (English), circa 1961. They banged around a bit and began getting gigs to open and close for Brits’ The Hunters, who played an instrumental titled “Golden Earrings.” The Tornados learned there was another band with their name, so decided to honor their mentors by switching to Golden Earring (dropping the “s” along the way to their own fame). As I mentioned, I’d love to tell you more, and the link is for their English version, but it too, glosses over the title details. We've got a thing that's called Radar Love | We've got a line in the sky, Radar Love    

Love the band name, Wet Willie! Its “Keep On Smilin’” is planted at #19 on June 22, 1974’s chart for KTLK/Denver. History tells us they began in Mobile, Alabama, as “Fox” when drummer, Lewis Ross, put the group together about this time of year in 1969. For whatever reason—change of scenery? better opportunities?—Fox headed to Macon, Georgia, and by 1970, their unique brand of Southern Rock was now known as Wet Willie. Still Rockin’ today, too! And there you have it.

Keep on smilin' through the rain, laughin' at the pain | Just flowin' with the changes, till the sun comes out again  

And this month’s Quirky Band Name trophy goes to … I had to choose a tie-breaker, so took a closer look at their charting songs. Both with great messages, and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” 1) had a catchier tune, and 2) lyrics that resonated with more listeners. C’mon, a love connection that transcended life itself?! The ultimate love song … pulling out ahead, it’s Golden Earring for June 1974’s Quirky Band Name honor!

JUNE 2024 Music Events & More  

June 15th: Here’s something to go with your International Surf Music Month! What good is it without surfing? Or at least visiting International Surfing Day’s sponsor link. With all the live beach cams around, even if you live inland, you can enjoy a bit of the beach vibe. Live from the Hotel Del, San Diego, California … Cowabunga, Dude & Dudettes!

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  
JUNE 22, 1974 ~ KTLK/Denver, Colorado, where you could pick up a free copy of “Denver’s Double K 1280” music chart at most dime stores and record shops! … 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played 

Let’s Celebrate JUNE 1974 ~ And Rock On!  

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 “X”/Twitter:
@BlastFromPastBk 

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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 PastTM series, available on Amazon: Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959TM (eBook only; coming soon in updated print edition) and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging SixtiesTM (eBook & print). Coming soon-ish … Book 3 – The Psychedelic Seventies!TM 

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. This site is wholly owned by LinDee Rochelle & sponsored by PenchantForPenning.comTM. No compensation is received for any mentions of businesses, products, or other commercial interests. *All holiday and special event days are found at Brownielocks.com’s calendar site. Enjoy! 

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ORIGINALLY POSTED 06/01/24 
We’re Talkin’ Home on the Range  

Yea! It’s summer in JUNE 1974 and we’re Rockin’ … well, we will be soon, anyway. In the meantime, I hope you’ll Rock On with MAY’s finally-finished article! Three great vintage radio surveys spread the music love, and there’s plenty of early radio banter. We upped the Quirky Band Names category to a mini-awards version, giving you a little tuneful suspense.

We’ll be tying in June’s fun facts and Rockin’ fantasies with the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California. Opening June 12 – July 7, it features an awesome RETRO theme! Look for updates and our X (Twitter) posts for their fun through the generations.

And wait ‘til ya see what we mean by Home on the Range. Scintillating summer fun! Take in MAY’s fun below, then come on back soon!

Let’s Celebrate JUNE 1974 ~ And Rock On!  

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 “X”/Twitter:
@BlastFromPastBk 

 

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Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Rock Radio 50 Years Ago ~ MAY 1974

South of the Border & Drummin’ Up Tunes  

Final finally posted: May 31, 2024 ...
The elder rental/renovations issue isn’t going away, it’s just being moved to our sister site,
39AndHoldingClub.com, where there is a new menu listing—Elder Advocacy—and link for my full story (Opaque Elder Abuse), in all its frustrating glory. As the sign says, Final Boxes for #1xxx. This move didn’t kill me, but not for lack of trying! Trust me, this could happen to any of you and/or your loved ones. But here and now, we’re ready to Rock! 

Last month we had Guitar Month, March was Piano Month, so it just seems natural to follow up with Drum Month! Drum solos are decades-old epic features in many outstanding Rock songs … give it some thought—betcha you can name more than a few that you’ve enjoyed over the years! Onward and Rock On with all I managed to piece together for …

MAY 1974 Radio Muse & News  

DJ Dave Sebastian (Williams) made a career of radio—this month 50 Years Ago at KHJ/Los Angeles—before diving into the natural transition of voice over work. His legacy in that industry began with a back pocket piece of folded notepaper in 1988, and the Voice Over Resource Guide (lovingly known as The VORG), is still alive and well. Its history is HERE, where you’ll find that he and his wife, Terri, sold it to young’uns to keep it relevant, in January 2018.

On Your Tinny Transistor Radio  
Where were you spending the end of Spring and Memorial Day weekend in May 1974? Upstate New York, Monterrey Mexico, or SoCal? Here’s a sample of what and who you were listening to …

Yes, I know WGNA/Albany, New York, is a COUNTRY station. But hey, we all know many country tunes have shared the airwaves with Rock & Roll for decades. So their May 8, 1974 “.45 Caliber Survey” caught my eye. Especially since one of our BFYP DJs spent some time there. You’ll find Warren Garling listed with the news team—no surprise, since he eventually went full-time into radio and TV news. Their #1 tune: Dolly Parton’s classic, “I Will Always Love You.”

And, let the crossovers shine, as the survey shares titles with XEG/Mexico, and KHJ/L.A., like “The Streak,” The Sting’s “The Entertainer,” and “If You Love Me.” 

If you ventured forth South of the Border, surely the familiar gravely voice of Wolfman Jack caught your ear as you rotated the radio dial. XEG/Monterrey, Mexico, featured Wolfman’s faves for the month, in his “Thundering 30” list (05/13/74), along with 7 each, “Striking New Hits!” and “Wolfman’s Extras!”

On your trip back North, a flip of the dial tuned you into venerable 930 KHJ/Los Angeles. Their music chart #464 for 05/21/74 featured the coolest image of DJ Dave Sebastian sprawled across his car with the “I’m a DJ” license plate! Gotta love it. Their chart also held an interesting list of Top 30 that includes a remarkable three tunes from cinema and TV theme songs: The Sting; The Exorcist and Soul Train. We loved our movies and their theme songs.

Monthly Song of Note    

May’s Song of Note is a tantalizing tune for the Gen Xers who were conceived as Maria Muldaur softly coaxed their parents into a little hanky-panky, with “Midnight at the Oasis.” Released February 1974, it took a couple months to make its way up to the Top Ten’s middle rung in the City of Angels (wow—is that a misnomer these days!), on KHJ’s “93 ‘Thirty’” chart for May 21, 1974. 

According to Wiki: “AllMusic reviewer Matthew Greenwald describes the song as ‘so sensual and evocative that it was probably one of the most replayed records of the era and may be responsible for the most pregnancies from a record during the mid-'70s’.” Oooooooh, so gather your memories, Boomers, and Let's slip off to a sand dune, real soon | And kick up a little dust  

May 1974’s Quirky Band Name
Choosing
May’s premier Quirky Band Name was incredibly tough, especially when I was in a super-hurry to post. Yep, if there is more than one on the Featured Radio Survey, we’re gonna have a run-off. It’s easy if there aren’t many innovative band names on the survey. Or, if a band with the oddest / goofiest / or most unique name also gives us a one-hit wonder. But all three below had outstanding hits we all (from the era) still remember. Only one, though, can take our top honor. And the nominees are …

Starting in the KHJ/L.A. chart’s Top Ten, at #9 is Main Ingredient with  Just Don’t Want to be Lonely.” The Poets was their first iteration in 1964—actually, I kinda like that one best—then decided to be the Insiders for a few years. Why “The Main Ingredient” in 1968?  We all know it as a phrase once printed on Coca-Cola bottles. One of the trio’s founding members passed suddenly in 1971 from leukemia. Rather than fold, a backup vocalist, Cuba Gooding, Sr., stepped in and by 1974, The Main Ingredient had a couple great hits on their hands. When you're gone (When you're gone) | I just don't wanna be lonely | I'd rather be loved  

Let’s move next to #23 on the chart, and Redbone’sCome and get Your Love.  If you’re not familiar with the band, watching YouTube’s song intro will give you a huge hint as to who they were and what was important to them, before they flow into the popular song’s melody. (Also a great example of Drum Month!) Reportedly a Cajun term for a mixed-race person, the band’s name bespoke the founding brothers’ proud heritage of Mexican American and Native American. Formerly the Vegas Brothers (Pat and Lolly), they added a couple members and became first, Crazy Cajun Cakewalk Band (that’s a mouthful!), and morphed into the Avantis, before settling on Redbone. Hell, with it, baby, 'cause you're fine and you're mine | And you look so divine  

Then there are the bands with a name ya just gotta love. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils pretty much says it all in “If You Wanna Get to Heaven” … you got to raise a little hell. Amen! The tune just got started at #30 on the KHJ chart, but up against some heavy-hitters this month that dominated the airwaves, it was destined to ride the tide to ever to slowly to #17 by early July. Originally “Cosmic Corn Cob & His Amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils," after eschewing their maiden name of “Family Tree,” and flirting with “Buffalo Chips,” the band wisely shortened it to Ozark Mountain Daredevils. They’ve been happily active over the decades and currently heading into a farewell tour late this summer (August events posted!) I never read it in a book | I never saw it on a show | But I heard it in the alley | On a weird radio  

So … have you guessed yet, which band takes the May Quirky Band Name honor? Though it was a toss-up with Redbone, I couldn’t help m’self … since learning my Grandpa C was born in the Ozarks back in 1893, I had to go with the Daredevils. Between the Ozarks and an Irish heritage, our family has certainly demonstrated their song’s message and name and just plain fun. Rock On! 

MAY 2024 Music Events & More    

It may be Drum Month in May, but with no supporting link, and since the rest of this blurb is about the eternal (so far) Rolling Stones, we’ll just mention the 2021 death of the Stones’ drummer, Charlie Watts. Certainly his absence is still missed by band members, and they’re down to three current core members (Mick, Keith and Ron), which you’d think might slow their roll a bit. It has not come close to rolling them off the stage … far from it!

Over decades, the Rolling Stones have been a hot new band to rival the Beatles, an iconic, experienced group, a respected concert band, and a vintage Rockin’ anomaly. What’s next? I’d say, a Rock & Roll emeritus band … except they won’t quit! And why should they? With four assisting musicians, they’re still out-playing bands 60 years younger!

The Stones’ latest tour on the release of the new Hackney Diamonds album, is sponsored in part by AARP. Smart sponsorship!

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  
MAY 21, 1974
~ KHJ/Los Angeles chart #464 – How could I choose anything other? It not only rocks with current top tunes, including “The Streak” at #1, on the “93 KHJ ‘Thirty” chart for six straight weeks, but DJ Dave Sebastian (Williams) and his classy “I’m A DJ” car license plate are classic Rock Radio! Check it out … 50 Years Ago this Month … where were you that groovy day when your radio played 

Let’s Celebrate MAY 1974 ~ And Rock On!  

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 “X”/Twitter:
@BlastFromPastBk 

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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 PastTM series, available on Amazon: Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959TM (eBook only; coming soon in updated print edition) and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging SixtiesTM (eBook & print). Coming soon-ish … Book 3 – The Psychedelic Seventies!TM 

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. This site is wholly owned by LinDee Rochelle & sponsored by PenchantForPenning.comTM. No compensation is received for any mentions of businesses, products, or other commercial interests. *All holiday and special event days are found at Brownielocks.com’s calendar site. Enjoy! 

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Previously posted May 25, 2024 …  

Well, I’m finally picking up the pieces of what’s left of my little life and Rockin’ on. It isn’t easy, but when I whined as a young’un, my mother always replied, “Nobody ever said life was easy.” Usually adding, “So get busy!” 

With that, vintage Rock lovers, I’m back! A lot worse for wear, but still muttering, Never Give Up! Soon as you do, the other guy wins!

If you’ve been here looking for more musical article notes beyond my rental woes, my apologies. The elder rental issue isn’t going away, it’s just being moved to our sister site, 39AndHoldingClub.com, where there will soon be a menu listing—Opaque Elder Rights—and link for my full story, in all its frustrating glory (look for it sometime in June). Trust me, this could happen to any of you and/or your loved ones. 

Previously posted 05/01/24: A full-fledged scion of Spring, May should bring joy and warm your winter heart with visions of flowers in bloom, listening to the drumbeat of Spring. If only I could enjoy it …

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know I’ve struggled immensely to write, while following a mandatory mandate set by apartment building owners to vacate the premises for a ten-day period, floor-by-floor, while they renovate inside and out.

Vacate doesn’t mean just me and a suitcase for a fun staycation returning to a beautiful “new” home. It meant we had to pack, move and allow them to store everything we own. But this is a senior citizen apartment building. From 60 years to 100 … stating they would give us “everything we need” to make it happen. They lied. And they didn’t make us aware of the personal ramifications.

The building owners have stolen time from my life, disrupted my goals, and deteriorated my health. Admittedly, until last year I had never lived in a high-rise apartment and am new to the ins-and-outs of its owner/property management/tenant constructs and skewed legalities. As happens many times in life, I wish I had it to do over again.

I am now going to appeal to you through the social media communities. By common definition, this is a borderline form of #ElderAbuse. If anyone reading this has ever experienced, or known/heard of this type of mass move-out of senior citizens from their homes for “renovations,” please contact me via X/Twitter: @Irishwriter or @39HoldingClub, either by DM or publicly. eMail is also available at Info @ LRochelle.com. (without spaces)

So, enough about me! Of course, I wanted to post a fun BFYP article for you today. Unfortunately, it’s going to be piecemeal again, and over a period of time. Please return for the beginning, hopefully tomorrow (Thursday 05/02/24) and periodically, for updates. In the meantime, remember, “Rock & Roll will never dieeeeee …” Coming soon …