GOLDEN GIFT Our thanks to Famous Amos and Anita Bonita for this exhibit, contributed to REELRADIO for Memorial Day Weekend, 2003. It's another GOLDEN GIFT — from friends who care about your dental health.


 by Russ "Famous Amos" DiBello

It is little understood by the public at large, how the seemingly-unrelated disciplines of Top 40 Radio and Dentistry are so uncannily entwined.

Picture of Dentist and Excited Patient Mainly, I was getting my pearlies spiffed at the office of Dr. Larry Itskowitch on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan a few weeks back. He started up one of those one-way dentist-patient conversations with me about Radio, knowing that I was a lifelong victim of the profession. "You know", he said, "back when I was in Vietnam, the New York radio stations said that if any of us boys over there wanted to hear the countdowns and the Radio shows from back home, we should just write to them, and they'd send us programs. We got tapes from WMCA and Cousin Brucie on WABC... I've got a bunch of them at home..."

Picture of Mouth and Teeth
I want you now to visualize your very own, personal Famous Amos, mouth full of water and suction, receiving this news. Apres le deluge (Danny Thomas would have been proud), there was some heavy-duty wheeling and dealing to do with Dr. Larry, here, and I was just the man to do it! What I received when I stopped back at his office the next day was nothing short of a Radio goldmine.

So, enjoy this amazing snapshot of the late Sixties, that shows us vividly just how important Top 40 Radio was to the culture of the times. And be sure to brush and floss, and visit your dentist regularly!

G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (14.5KHz)
PLAY Cousin Bruce Morrow, WABC New York, January 29, 1969 (54:23)

. . . maybe I oughta tighten that up, I guess, yeah, don't worry about it . . .

WABC Logo from The Top 100 of 1968
[Description by Famous Amos]

The first of our Vietnam tapes is a bit less specific for Vietnam, but no less historical in value. For here we have Cousin Brucie, pre-recording his regular nighttime show on New York's WABC, and then sending it off to Vietnam. Unlike the WMCA feature, this show actually aired on WABC, from 8 to 9 p.m. on January 29, 1969. The station ran news at :25 and :55, so Bruce and his engineer taped in production, in "real time", using time checks, jingles, and stopsets..
Cousin Brucie
Cousin Brucie, from a couple of years after this aircheck.
Each of the two 25-minute segments here was meant to roll from reel-to-reel, after both the legal I.D. and the top- (or bottom-) of-the-hour jingles were played live on cart. So each segment starts cold with a song, is followed with the body of a real "show" in format, and ends with one of WABC's famous collection of fill-to-newstime instrumental rockers.

G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5KHz)
PLAY Cousin Bruce
WABC Jan 29 1969 (scoped)

A special bonus! If you don't feel like sitting through the music, yet want that feeling of cruising in your Mustang or GTO and hearing that Mighty Wurlitzer of an audio chain with its heavy-bottomed EMT Plate reverb resounding through your dashboard... here is a scoped version of that January 29, 1969 Cousin Brucie show, complete with a virtual restoration of WABC's audio processing!


The audio quality is near hi-fi... portions sound like they were recorded yesterday. And because it came straight out of WABC's production room, there is no compression or the phamous phat WABC reverb. What's notable about this show is how little of it contains The Cuz! Dunno what else he had to do that day, but there are sure a lot of segues. Of particular note: listen carefully for when a certain spot ends, a record begins, and Brucie talks up the ramp. There was actually an edit there, before the song... how do we know this? The Cuz TELEGRAPHS it in reverse! A broadcasting first!

[* Uncle Ricky Tech Note: Like all REELRADIO exhibits, this exhibit was processed for acceptable performance on the Internet.]

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5KHz)
PLAY Jack Spector, WMCA New York, February 19, 1969 (30:36)

[Description by Famous Amos]

. . . Everyday People, that's who we hire . . .

Picture like Smiley Face, WMCA
Tape #2 was a special ongoing feature, recorded in production at WMCA, the formerly Fabulous 57. The jocks we'll hear are Jack Spector and "Dandy" Dan Daniel — they are doing a half-hour Top 10 countdown show especially for the armed forces in Vietnam, based on the WMCA surveys from the weeks of February 19, 1969 and April 1, 1969 (listen for the reference to how they could no longer refer to themselves as "The Good Guys"... that odd period after their heyday, and before they brought the slogan back, captured for posterity!). The sincerity and warmth of Spector and Daniel are quite apparent.

It's sponsored by Coca-Cola, and the company gets one commercial in the middle of each program: those now-legendary Coke jingles, sung by the pop artists of the time, fashioned after the production of their actual hits. It was from this series that you'll remember the breakout recording by The Fortunes, "It's The Real Thing", which became an Advertising legend.


G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (14.5KHz)
PLAY Dan Daniel, WMCA New York, April 1, 1969 (29:19)

. . . This is Dan Daniel, transcribed from New York . . .

Dan does an unreal job of communicating to the individual soldier, reminding him like an old buddy from the neighborhood that man, it's really wonderful back here, and the job and the girl are all waiting for you when you get back home, which hopefully will be soon. It's absolutely gut-wrenching to listen to, given the prism of history and the vantage point of 33 years in the future.

But what's especially mind-blowing about the content of Dan's show, is the ease and frequency with which he urges the soldiers to visualize a world where war has been banished, where peace would reign, and they'd never have to go off and fight in a foreign land again.



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