“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.
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:
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:
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.