“Super Hit” Radio Station Music Surveys From The Past” – What Were You Listening to 48 Years Ago this month?

“This music station preceded FM radio, which at the time was in an experimental stage. They were the WABC AM 77 of black music.”

This is a new category for the blog!  Reuniting with some of my history from my storage pod recently, I came upon some masterpieces, preserved  to now share with you.

When I was growing up and just starting to get into music, I’d stop by the records shops on the way home (anything to stall going back there) to pick up the hottest 45rpm record my allowance allowed and the latest hit ‘survey” sheets that all of the local radio stations put out regularly, listing what they were playing , by who and what was bubbling-up to be a smash soon! My parents didn’t even want me to listen to this music.  I remember my mother asking me, “What are you doing listening to that gut-bucket music?!”  I think I was listening to some Motown on my record player at the time. My folks and their relatives used to act all bourgie sometimes.  In retrospect, seeing it for what is was, typical generation-gap disrespect, I guess. We all are subject to do it, poo-pooing the fashions or new trends of those that follow us – if we keep a closed mind.

This survey was right on top of the pile when I opened that now falling-apart file; from forty-eight years ago this month and at the time New York City’s number one “Soul”  and R&B (Rhythm and Blues, if you don’t know) music station, waaay down at the end of the AM radio dial on 1600, WWRL.  The mainstream “Top 40” stations were the powerhouse “Musicradio 77WABC” and at the other end of the dial WMCA AM 570, featuring “The Good Guys”. Theonly other “competing soul stations were WLIB AM and over in New Jersey, WNJR AM, but they had weaker signals with more static. All of this was pre-FM radio.

WWRL 10.71

Do you remember any of these songs, or maybe the versions other groups and bands did as covers of them? And the gentlemen on the right-hand column were some of the guys who made me want to be a radio DJ too (though at the tine I didn’t know it).  I even got to hang out with all of them except Enoch Gregory (top) who, if memory serves me correctly was the morning disc jockey at the time.  All but a couple are not with us in the physical world anymore, but not forgotten.

Turn the page and you’d see:

WWRL 10.71B

I remember going to Alpha Distribution when I started DJing back in 1972 to get promotional copies that were free for us to play at parties!

On the back, “Jack” you’d see two more places to get the latest vinyl:

WWRL 10.71C

I’m so happy to have found these in great condition and as the month go by, I will share more from those same past months with you. Ironically I still own much of these records and they are still very playable (secret: never lend records to anyone)!

Please comment on anything here that moves you or, if you are too young to have known these records, feel free to email and ask me about them.  I am here to educate and connect the musical “dots” for you, unlike so many people on the air fail to do these days. This is positive history; after all…its musik !

As always, be sure to flash on over to the mothership  blog which spawned this one, www.achilliad.wordpress.com for mostly non-music content and diary ramblings now going on ten years of blogging!  Thank you.

End of Summer, Beach Bummer…

“…I rock to and fro like Ray Charles at the piano, as their trademark harmonies grow…”

As a lover of summer (as long as there is silently cool a/c at night to sleep in), the start of Autumn can be a bummer, which is one reason I love a  South Carolina beach, where I’ve enjoyed surf and sandy days in October!

That is as far south as I plan to trek ; maybe someday, I’ll buy a house there with an ocean-facing deck. September somehow also makes me always want to hear The Beach Boys.  Maybe because as a disc jockey, I’d never play them again in a typical year until their Christmas song.

This tune from their Holland Days (sauce) sessions, with new singer for the time-being, Blondie Chaplin is my Fall folly anthem.  It took me a “minute” to realize it was them singing it too!  Part of the problem was that it was played on Rock stations and the jocks rarely back-announced it; same for the Pop stations of those early 1970s days.   Still a smooth Indian Summer groove and its those trademark, in-unison background “ooos” and “ahhs” that ultimately give it away to my ears as a classic “Beach Bums” jam.  I rock to and fro like Ray Charles at the piano, as their harmonies grow.  Just like good vibes, fun, California Girls and T-birds, for my every summer, they sing the last words of inspiration:

“Seldom stumble, never crumble Try to tumble, life’s a rumble Feel the stinging I’ve been given Never ending, unrelenting Heartbreak searing, always fearing Never caring, persevering Sail on, sail on, sailor…”

 

Marvin Gaye Finally Has His Own US Postal Service Stamp! I Wonder What He’d Say…

“‘Did you hear you have your own postage letter stamp, Mr. Gaye!?  Naw Man, I’m “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby”.’..

marvin-gaye-stamp

Would he ask, “What’s Goin On?” Or say, “What’s Happenin’ Brother”?  Maybe he would have suspected this day would come and say “Oh I Heard It Through The Grapevine”… followed by, “I’ll Be Doggone” upon looking at it for the first time!  ‘Did you hear you have your own postage letter stamp, Mr. Gaye!?  Naw Man, I’m “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby”.’

Or, maybe he would not like the likeness of himself and have the “Inner City Blues” (Make Me Wanna Holler)”.  And by-the-way, why didn’t they use a red wool cap on his head like on the “Lets Get It On” album cover?

Or he might say nothing much, like in “Trouble Man” or “T” Plays It Cool…

 If he went to the Post Office and tried to get a mat of them, and the postal worker at the counter didn’t recognize him and asked for “$8.18, please…”, Marvin might go, “Oh, Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)”.     

586104-L0

If they asked him to advertise the stamp, he could say to all of us, “Come Get To This!”, even.

He might be overjoyed and say, “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”, Postal Service!  Marvin might view the honor with “Joy” and consider it the “Dream Of A Lifetime”. He’d say that you “Got To Give It Up” to the mail carriers and message the Postmaster General, “You’re A Wonderful One”!

 

He might suggest a “Diana & Marvin” stamp to bring the honor “All The Way Around”. “Gates” as we called him, would certainly have thought a stamp dedicated to “Save The Children” would be more appropriate.

The philosophical Marvin might reply to the interview question about how it feels to be honored with a postage stamp with, “That’s The Way Love Is”.

In his soft-spoken way he might advise, if you write a love letter with hopes of getting a little “Sexual Healing”, that you seal the deal by using his stamp on the envelope…

On behalf of Marvin, I thank the USPS Musical Stamp Director for “Your Unchanging Love”.

gaye_marvin_marvingay_114b

 

*Remember to check out my mothership blog, achilliad.wordpress.com for more general topics and opinion.  Thanks for reading and commenting!

My Vinyl: James Ingram Impressions

“…James Ingram and Jeffrey Osborne shared the same era in Urban soul music, competing for chart position in Billboard and other music industry trade magazines and papers of the day…”

I never, “Just Once”, met nor saw James Ingram “live” in-concert during my on-air disc jockey career travels from radio station-to-station. He wasn’t high on my list because he kind-of never rose to the level of Luther Vandross,, Lionel Richie or Al Green, but I dug his honest, loving sound and liked talking-up or back-announcing his records. He was maybe, too “clean”?

When “One Hundred Ways” came out in 1981, on Quincy Jones’ “The Dude” album (“the black album  cova”), I recall using that song to impress the lady of my desire who I was dating back then as a punctuation to a Valentine’s Day or anniversary day surprise.  It worked!

Dude

It is interesting how “Q” (Quincy Jones) always manages to find previously undiscovered voices and bring them to the fore successfully.

James Ingram and another similar R&B crooner, Jeffrey Osborne shared the same era in Urban soul music, competing for chart position in Billboard and other music industry trade magazines and papers of the day in the early 1980s.  I recall waking up to it in the middle of many afternoons when I was an overnight DJ – I was hooked by the soap opera, General Hospital at the time and somehow it became a theme song – I guess it was Luke and Laura’s love song…

PATTI-AUSTIN-JAMES-INGRAM-BABY-COME-TO-ME-Solero
 

I can still hear the late Frankie Crocker announce, “Patti Autin…James Ingram…Baby COME to Me….on 107.5,WBLS…” circa 1980.  

I have no special relationship between my vinyls of James Ingram.  They are just tools in his song catalog which, upon opening recall hints of past romance and love for me during that era.