Classic Rock Bottom

WOR-FM, THE FIRST COMMERCIAL FM ROCK STATION PT.3

We will continue this week with the celebration of that First Commercial FM Rock Station, WOR-FM.
I mentioned last week, a union strike over a new pay scale for FM jocks prevented the hired DJ's to go on the air.
They were anxious to go on that first day, July 30th 1966, but not allowed.
On the 2nd day, July 31st 1966, WOR-FM did a very strange thing.
They started running announcements explaining their position and predicament regarding this labor dispute.
Very very unusual in Radio, where silence rules the day!
You know what I mean- your favorite DJ suddenly disappears...and there is no explanation, hell no MENTION of him or her ever again!
But here was WOR-FM treating us as if we were intelligent, and giving us a look at what was going on behind the scenes.
That foretold well what was to come, as WOR-FM would treat Rock & Roll and us like adults- even if we weren't yet adults, lol!
And I'll have a continuing look at my Radio hero, not the only one but certainly the most important to me, Scott Muni.
You'll hear Scott do a couple of short ads for concerts regarding then contemporary artists.
Back then there were virtually no concert venues, and the Fillmore East was 3 years away!
Concerts in New York City were limitted to discotheques (with dancing and a house band), small clubs in the Village, probably best of all were colleges, and long trips away from the city.
Also, I am sure you have heard of him as a Disc Jockey for many decades- but how about my man Scott as a Newsman/Sportscaster/Weatherman?
It's in this episode...plus LOTS of Music Of The Period!
I hope you are enjoying this look at Radio History, because I am having a ball!
 
Here's the link to the beginnings of what is so commonplace today, Rock Music on FM Radio, at WLSO.FM:
 
 
Mike
 
 

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Comment by Mike Pell on August 5, 2011 at 9:25am

RJ,

Starship, Airplane, it's NOT all the same to them, lol!

Sad about the funeral, wish it weren't so.

Maybe the music can help a little.

Mike

Comment by RJhog (Admin) on August 5, 2011 at 8:17am

Starship, Airplane, it's all the same to me...just kidding.

 

I'm off today for the funeral, but I'll definitely be watching my email.  Thanks Mike.

Comment by Mike Pell on August 5, 2011 at 12:41am

RJ,

Just noticed you wrote Jefferson Starship.

It was the Jefferson Airplane at that time, and they were just beginning to become huge!
Watch your mailbox for music.

And a couple of weeks ago I listened to your 2nd Kiss CD, haven't had a chance but more on that.

Mike

Comment by Mike Pell on August 3, 2011 at 5:34pm
RJ,
First of all, sorry to hear about your Grandmother passing on.
But judging from her being in her 40's in 1966, she lived a good long life.
We can only hope to do as well.
Music definitely has beauty and power, I have said many times I could only write a proper autobiography if I happened upon the right songs that would trigger memories I would never get on my own.
Wonder what your Grandmother liked and was listening to in the 60's, and beyond?
I am overjoyed that you are loving this series, I sure am.
I chose that Beatle song because of the labor dispute, We Can Work It Out- another of my brilliant choices, lol!
I was so young in the 60's, but it seemed the whole world was young, too young for me though, and I missed out on a lot.
But there was a carryover into the 70's, like the Sexual Revolution, and I was all over it.
And those ticket prices were still in effect at the legendary Fillmore East years later.
Positively 4th Street I remember was a single between two albums, and was not on either LP- you had to wait for Dylan's greatest hits to get it in stereo.
And what a bitter song- listen again to hear "You got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend", and I always latched on to the end when Bob sings, "I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, then you'd know what a DRAG it is to SEE you!"
Damn, that is angry!
Again I am surprised, you never heard Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind?
Wow, and I got to play it first for you.
For years, when Scott Muni was on 2-7PM, 7 days a week, I loved that I could always tell without a clock or a watch (not that I had a watch then, lol!) that it was about 3 minutes to 7 when I would hear him play that song.
And Bob Lind was an interesting dude- he made I think 2 albums, got turned off about the music business and literally headed for the mountains, not to be heard from again for years!
But it is a gorgeous song, and there have been many times when its overwhelming power because of those sweet, beautiful, youthful, happy memories has caused tears to roll out of my eyes.
Music is magical, and I am very proud to have taken you not only straight to the time period that is the subject of this series, but also to memories of your Grandmother.
I did better than I could ever have hoped!
Thanks for writing and telling me what happened, and my condolences to you,
Mike
Comment by RJhog (Admin) on August 3, 2011 at 12:29pm

Mike,

Hey bro.  I'm loving this series.  Loved the Beatles tune, followed by the antique commercial (is antique a valid description here?).  Also, really loved the commercials for The Loving Spoonful and Jefferson Starship, especially those ticket prices.  The 60's really must have been a great decade.

 

I'm not a Bob Dylan fan, but I think that song Positively 4Th Street is fantastic, even his singing voice.  Then Homeward Bound by S&G.  There really was some great music in the 60's.

 

Now, for the true hidden gem.  I think you said it was Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lynde.  I'm about to tell you why music is magical.  I've never heard that song before.  First, I think it's a gorgeous song.  I love the aura of it.  Although I had not heard it, it took me straight to the time period that is the subject of this series.  Here's where it turns serious.  My maternal Grandmother died yesterday.  She's been very sick for a long time and has only suffered over the last 6 months, so I know she's in a better place.  But this song just made me think of her.  I can't tell you why.  But it made me think that in 1966, she was in her 40's.  It made me wonder if she listened to FM radio back then.  It made me wonder what kind of music she liked back then.  Unfortunately, I'll never know.  It just made me think of her, and that is the beauty and power of music and someone like you who loves it and keeps the 60's and other decades alive (through your show) for folks like me. 

 

So enough of the sad parts of life.  Thanks for making me think of my Grandmother today.

 

RJ

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