Monday, July 3, 2017

FM Rock: February 1968

February '68 and progressive rock continues to gain strength, sometimes in odd contexts. Cleveland station WCLV-FM dipped their toes in the water by testing a once-a-week show on Friday nights from 11:15 pm to 6:30 am called "Perlick's Project" and it featured album rock cuts presented in the style that we're focusing on in this series. The catch? This is a classical music station for the remainder of their broadcast week. The progressive rock show was actually paying for the classical music programming the remaining six nights of the week! This was because "Perlick's Project" was, in fact, underwritten by the record companies who had clearly cottoned on to album radio exposure turning into album sales. This even resulted in an interesting cross pollenization with younger kids getting into classical music because they felt WCLV was now a "groovy station"! Add in the cultural shift caused by the Beatles and Sgt. Pepper and then also remember legendary classical conductor Leonard Bernstein was on national television with a program called "Inside Pop" where he heaped praise on the new generation of rock musicians and it's hard not to see this era as truly artistically significant, a modern day renaissance. WCLV was also pioneering how progressive rock radio could be utilized by inviting Arlo Guthrie to sit in on the program for an hour and a half after his local gig that night. The station also hosted a "Be-Out" (the opposite of a "Be-In"!) which featured live on-air performances from Blood, Sweat & Tears and Canned Heat. The following night on the station they would air their usual classical record review roundtable as if it all fit together perfectly.

Even though this series is titled "FM Rock", there truly was an emphasis on an openness of exploring all genres of music. Again, the cultural impact of the Beatles cannot be understated. Their ability to put folk, music hall, heavy rock, pop balladry, Indian raga, musique concrète, psychedelia and many other forms of music all into one cohesive album really was a major game changer and opened up many minds to the endless possibilities that could be achieved with music. 

Some artists included in this mix are making their first radio splashes - Billy Joel as a member of the Hassles (and obviously very influenced by Stevie Winwood and Traffic on the track featured here), Spirit's remarkable debut (which also incorporates some deeply classical elements), Lee Michaels (who would later have a huge pop hit with "Do You Know What I Mean"), and there's even some comedy from Murray Roman who comes on a bit like a psychedelic Lenny Bruce.

  • 1 All Along The Watchtower by Bob Dylan
  • 2 Bold As Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • 3 Natural Harmony by The Byrds
  • 4 Draft Morning by The Byrds
  • 5 Tin Soldier by Small Faces
  • 6 Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf
  • 7 Outside Woman Blues by Cream
  • 8 On The Road Again by Canned Heat
  • 9 Fresh Garbage by Spirit
  • 10 Next Plane To London by The Rose Garden
  • 11 Flying by The Beatles
  • 12 Sunrise by The Who
  • 13 Lazy Old Sun by Kinks
  • 14 Lemons Never Forget by Bee Gees
  • 15 Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale by Love
  • 16 Martha by Jefferson Airplane
  • 17 Horse Latitudes by The Doors
  • 18 Moonlight Drive by The Doors
  • 19 Double Yellow Line by Bonniwell Music Machine
  • 20 Speed Kills by Beacon Street Union
  • 21 White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground
  • 22 Hello by Lee Michaels
  • 23 Out Of Focus by Blue Cheer
  • 24 Square Room by Them
  • 25 Iron Butterfly Theme by Iron Butterfly
  • 26 Flower King Of Flies by The Nice
  • 27 Ego Trip by Ultimate Spinach
  • 28 Citadel by The Rolling Stones
  • 29 Crystals by Crome Syrcus
  • 30 Phase Three: Voices In Time by Vanilla Fudge
  • 31 Three Kinds Of Highs/That's A Bust/The Banana Thing/Anything You Want To Do by Murray Roman
  • 32 Hound Dog by Dirty Blues Band
  • 33 Warming Up by The Hassles
  • 34 Just Holding On by The Hassles
  • 35 Intro/Easy Rollin' by The Rascals
  • 36 Chilling Of The Evening by Arlo Guthrie


  1. Hi Mark,
    The site is really shaping up! Love all the information and the copies of the actual charts. A great companion to your Mixcloud page.

    1. Thank you kindly, seventyfive! Credit where credit is due and I wouldn't have started this blog had it not been for your suggestion. So, thank you very much for that as well!