Thursday, August 16, 2007

FM Radio

Before the mid sixties, FM radio in the New York metropolitan area consisted of simulcasts of AM stations, a few easy listening stations, a couple of classical stations and a couple of educational stations where people would have erudite conversations about why it is a sin to present Moliere in English. Then an FCC ruling severely limited the amount of simulcasting a station could do to hold onto its FM license. Necessity being the Mothers of Invention, this forced FM radio owners to do original programming for FM, rock music being an obvious choice. There would finally be a new outlet to play groups like Moby Grape.

WOR had a famous AM outlet and its tv station featured Joe Franklin. For FM it went with an album oriented rock format. It was weird because it started without disc jockeys because of a labor dispute. For several months, listeners could basically listen to all types of rock music without interruption. WABC-FM followed, and its night disc jockey Bob Lewis was featured with the folk oriented "Some Trust in Chariots" before the station took the full plunge. Even Dan Ingram did a jazz show on Saturday afternoons for a spell.

1967 was of course the big year in the psychedelic era. Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, the Grateful Dead have all been discussed during this anniversary year. The music even made it to the halls of my junior high school. Mr. Duncan, the 9th grade history teacher, saved the last day of class (also the last day of Junior High School for me) to discuss Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He actually brought in a copy, although there weren't any seeds in the inner cover.

The premise of the class was that is was prententious horse s--t. The Beatles, fearful of losing their audience were going to outrageous lengths to capture an audience that had migrated to Bob Dylan and the Five Stairsteps. And so ended my experience in Junior High School. High school would be better.
My father didn't like Sargent Pepper's either. Actually, he admitted he couldn't figure out what they were trying to do. The movement from logic to post-logic. Ultimately that was Mr. Duncan's problem too. The older generation thought they were supposed to "get it" and there was no "it" to get. It was the same with painting soup cans. Why make a painting of a soup can? I think I need another cup of coffee.
editor's note: I have been using Grammar Girl to help with the grammar of this blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like we all should check our ancient album collection for seeds in the covers! Have you checked yours lately?