Tuesday, September 26, 2017

FM Rock: January 1969

1969 kicks off with a couple of milestones. In radio, the progressive freeform underground format gets it first 24 hour AM station with WHMC serving the Washington, D.C. area, though other AM stations had been broadcasting rock in limited blocks, usually an hour or two around midnight. WHMC, billing itself as "Radio Free Washington" was short lived however, perhaps because a big draw for the format was that it highlighted the burgeoning acceptance of stereo as the preferred way to listen to the new rock music and AM just wasn't there yet.

The more important milestone, however, was on the music front as January '69 saw the introduction of Led Zeppelin to underground airwaves. The record labels had become increasingly hip to underground airplay equaling LP sales and Atlantic had furnished many progressive stations with a white label acetate of the debut Led Zeppelin album a good month before it's actual release in stores. Because it got such heavy airplay before its release, it outsold Cream's new album, released at the same time, in many markets. Led Zeppelin would continue to shake up the rock scene, both musically and marketing wise, for years to come. Another artist that would become one of the biggest superstars of the 70's saw his first airplay on many stations in January as well - Elton John with his "Lady Samantha" single, though it would still be a year before he truly had his breakthrough. The Beatles were in full force with the White Album still topping the charts and a new soundtrack album with a clutch of some more new songs and if that wasn't enough, John and George had solo albums going too (which were very underground indeed). Many songs in this month's mix have stayed classic rock staples: The Zombies' "Time Of The Season", Bob Seger System's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", and Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" in particular. This mix also contains a couple of fantastic covers that really deserved to stay on classic rock radio; Tiny Tim's dynamite take on the Jerry Lee Lewis classic "Great Balls Of Fire" and Dion's brilliant reworking of Hendrix's "Purple Haze" - these two songs may seem on the surface to be a bit kitschy or have an air of novelty about them, but really, they hold up so well still to this day - at least I never get tired of hearing them! All in all, a great kick off to a watershed year in rock and one that starts to show solid signs of how the 70's would start to shape up.

  • 1Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin
  • 2Ramblin' Gamblin' Man by Bob Seger System
  • 3Mendocino by Sir Douglas Quintet
  • 4Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • 5Wade In The Water by Harvey Mandel
  • 6All The Same by Spirit
  • 7Bad Night At The Whiskey by The Byrds
  • 8Wild Child by The Doors
  • 9Hot Smoke & Sassafras by Bubble Puppy
  • 10Time Of The Season by The Zombies
  • 11Purple Haze by Dion
  • 12...And The Gods Made Love/Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) by The Jimi Jendrix Experience
  • 13Variations On A Theme By Erik Satie (1st & 2nd Movements) by Blood, Sweat & Tears
  • 14Sabre Dance by Love Sculpture
  • 15Termination by Iron Butterfly
  • 16Soap And Turkey by Stained Glass
  • 17You Can All Join In by Traffic
  • 18I Will Serenade You by Rhinoceros
  • 19Can You Travel In The Dark Alone by Gandalf
  • 20Madame George by Van Morrison
  • 21The Anecdote Of Horatio & Julie by David Stoughton
  • 22Susie's Gone by Afterglow
  • 23Happiness Is A Warm Gun by The Beatles
  • 24It's All Too Much by The Beatles
  • 25To Claudia On Thursday by The Millennium
  • 26To Susan On The West Coast Waiting by Donovan
  • 27Lady Samantha by Elton John
  • 28We Are The Good Rats/Joey Ferrari by The Good Rats
  • 29Great Balls Of Fire by Tiny Tim
  • 30Dear Doctor by The Rolling Stones
  • 31You Don't Miss Your Water ('Till Your Well Runs Dry) by Taj Mahal
  • 32I Shall Be Released by The Band
  • 33(Bach) Orchestral Suite #3 in D by Wendy Carlos

Saturday, September 23, 2017

American Jukebox: September 1975

1. Dickie Goodman - "Mr. Jaws" (#4)
2. ABBA - "S.O.S" (#15)
3. Ray Charles - "Living For The City" (#91)
4. Bruce Springsteen - "Born To Run" (#23)
5. War - "Low Rider" (#7)
6. Neil Sedaka - "Bad Blood" (#1)
7. Travis Wammack - "Easy Evil" (#72)
8. Leon Haywood - "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You" (#15)
9. Sly Stone - "I Get High On You" (#52)
10. B.T. Express - "Peace Pipe" (#31)
11. Hamilton Bohannon - "Foot Stompin' Music" (#98)
12. Salsoul Orchestra - "Salsoul Hustle" (#76)
13. Pat Lundi - "Party Music" (#78)
14. Sunshine Band - "Shotgun Shuffle" (#88)
15. Aretha Franklin - "Mr. D.J. (5 For The D.J.) (#53)
16. Melissa Manchester - "Just Too Many People" (#30)
17. Eagles - "Lyin' Eyes" (#2)
18. Joan Baez - "Diamonds And Rust" (#35)
19. Smokey - "If You Think You Know How To Love Me" (#96)
20. Captain & Tennille - "The Way I Want To Touch You" (#4)
21. Chicago - "Brand New Love Affair" (#61)
22. Outlaws - "There Goes Another Love Song" (#34)
23. Poco - "Keep On Tryin'" (#50)
24. Linda Ronstadt - "Love Is A Rose" (#63)
25. Linda Ronstadt - "Heat Wave" (#5)
26. Katfish - "Dear Prudence" (#62)
27. George Harrison - "You" (#20)
28. David Bellamy - "Nothin' Heavy" (#77)
29. Waylon Jennings - "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" (#60)
30. Rusty Wier - "Don't It Make You Wanna Dance?" (#82)
31. John Fogerty - "Rockin' All Over The World" (#27)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

FM Rock: December 1968

This edition wraps up the rock year 1968 and if I try to find an overarching thread, it has to be one of progression, the happy psychedelia giving way to a maturing darkness - surely due to the cultural and political upheaval of '68 - but also an embracing of eclecticism, blues and classical sitting comfortably beside the rock and soul. It is also hard not to notice everybody getting naked by the end of the year - in promotional ads throughout the trade magazines, Blue Thumb Records pushing the boundaries and Mama Cass too, in promotional photos The Turtles, on album covers with John & Yoko - nudity had clearly, and often starkly, become a "thing". The Stones made another of their great leaps forward with the release of Beggars Banquet, dropping nearly every whiff of the psychedelia they'd been heavily steeped in a year previously. The Doors added horns and flirted with "selling out" according to some by purposely aiming at the top 40. The Monkees purposely (porpoisely?) aimed well outside of the top 40 with their movie and soundtrack for Head. Wendy Carlos was making big waves with the Moog synthesizer too, although back then she was known as Walter, making her a pioneer in more than one way. Along with these big names there were also plenty that have fallen well into obscurity - take a look at the underground playlists below and notice Dirty Filthy Mud's single getting airplay on more than one of the stations... I think it's a fair assumption to say that it hasn't been played in the nearly 50 years since on classic rock radio, but listening to it, it definitely deserves to be called a classic! Some of the obscurities here though certainly found new audiences in the 21st century, such as Silver Apples who are recognized as proto-punk and proto-wave groundbreakers in many circles. And 1969 is on the horizon with even more changes to come....

  • 1Sympathy For The Devilby The Rolling Stones
  • 2Touch Meby The Doors
  • 3Circle Skyby The Monkees
  • 4Still Raining, Still Dreamingby The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • 5Yer Bluesby The Beatles
  • 6Albatrossby Fleetwood Mac
  • 740,000 Headmenby Traffic
  • 8Stop Pulling And Pushing Meby Richie Havens
  • 9South Down Roadby The Paupers
  • 10Race With The Devilby Gun
  • 11The Forest Of Blackby Dirty Filthy Mud
  • 12A Pox On Youby Silver Apples
  • 13Nothing Manby The Deviants
  • 14The Transformed Manby William Shatner
  • 15Cantata #140: Sleepers Awakeby Wendy Carlos
  • 16River Deep, Mountain Highby Deep Purple
  • 17River Deep, Mountain Highby Eric Burdon & The Animals
  • 18The Motorcycle Songby Arlo Guthrie
  • 19Nobody Knowsby The Dillards
  • 20Everybody Knowsby Lily & Maria
  • 21Pony Bluesby Canned Heat
  • 22Play It Coolby Freddie King
  • 23Deseriby Ruben & The Jets
  • 24Here I Standby Africa
  • 25Hot Line Conversationby Giant Crab
  • 26Pictorialby The Children
  • 27Poor Mr. Drake's Afternoon Showby Wichita Fall
  • 28Bellsby Pentangle

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Narrowcast 8

It has been a hectic seven days. Hurricane Irma threatened much of my home state and though my area was not in its path, we did host many evacuees and that meant extended work hours for me. Exhausting, but it was the most rewarding week I've had at my job - it is always a humbling honor to help my fellow Floridians in times of crisis, even if in minor ways like relieving stress, being a sounding board for their anxieties and more crucual things like feeding and sheltering them. We also hosted FEMA drivers and power linemen going in and out of the storm's path, these men are heroes in my estimation, for sure. So, I've not been able to do any preparatory work on the FM Rock or Jukebox series mixes... they will resume shortly, however, here's another of the personal little mixes I make for myself and my commute to and from work - songs that have been going through my head lately, something to personally document this specific moment in time for me but really just a bunch of songs I love. Much appreciation to the great shows on mixcloud in my listening queue made by the best curators on the planet: seventyfive, Mick Capewell, Diagonals, Sonny Lee, The Secret Rock Show, Johnny Switchblade, Captain Maniac... look these cats up on mixcloud, you won't regret it, line their shows up in your player and you'll have the best radio station in the universe! 

  • 1Introduction & Theme/Night Lifeby Ray Price
  • 2I Ain't Gittin' Rid O' Youby Johnny Seaton
  • 3Whispering Pinesby The Band
  • 4Throw Back The Little Onesby Steely Dan
  • 5These Dreamsby Jim Croce
  • 6I Bred Quarter Horsesby Scott Trusty
  • 7Good Boyby Legend
  • 8Katie & Meby Bill Fay
  • 9Blown Awayby Jeff Lynne
  • 10Rick Rackby The Humblebums
  • 11Too Much Rainby Paul McCartney
  • 12Ode To Joyby Joe Jackson
  • 13Morning Moodby Duke Ellington
  • 14Dimeby Willie Colon & Ruben Blades
  • 15Phone Homeby Jonny Chingas