Before the Show, 1983 Late afternoon, the record-breaking paid attendance of 36,943 gathers at the CAL EXPO Racetrack.

After the Show Shown about a minute after the finale, an ocean of spectactors overflows onto the race track.

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (20Khz)
PLAY KROY Sacramento 1983 July 4th Pyromusical Spectacular (45:14)

. . . Because tonight is the Fourth of July, and every American is a Winner! . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Of the ten July 4th Pyromusical Spectaculars I wrote and directed between 1982 and 1992, the KROY Sacramento 1983 July 4th Pyromusical Spectacular was my favorite.

Subtitled "A July 4th Fantasy", it chronicled the adventures of Captain Science and Billy on their light flight for freedom, seeking a place of freedom and justice.

This was before the Internet, remember, so our heroes consulted the Oracle of Truth, (of course!) She gives them some rhyming advice:

"Look to the sky, and travel with light,
on through the skywheel, and past colors bright.
Beware the Time Warp! Your answer will be
in the home of the brave, and the land of the free.

It was all an excuse, of course, to light the evening sky with lasers and an awe-inspiring fireworks display, all synchronized to music. Throughout the program, we added gobs of percussive accompaniment, keyboard and explosive SFX. (My one and only recorded music performance appears here on the "Synth Drum", a drum pad-like device that made cool electronic sounds.) As you listen, remember that when the narrator or characters spoke, we fired no pyrotechnics, but used the lasers liberally. (In reality, the Oracle of Truth was a column of shimmering light.)

Likewise, as you hear the powerful orchestrations of Star Trek/Wars and other dramatic compositions, imagine the music booming through a giant sound system enhanced by tens of thousands of dollars of synchronized pyrotechnic displays. We had the advantage of a closed venue — a race track — and much of the show featured low-level pyros for the paying customers.

and GOLDEN BEAR RACEWAY present the

A July 4th Fantasy

Pre-Show Announcer: Dennis Newhall
Original Music: Alleluia! and God Bless America written and performed by Charlie Peacock.
Narrator: Martin Ashley (Wonder Rabbit!)
The Oracle of Truth: Susan Hayward
Captain Science: Dennis Newhall
Billy: Sharle Davis
Computer: Marilyn Curry
Control: Dick Irwin
Recorded at: Heavenly Recording Studios and 97 FM / 1240 AM KROY RADIO, Sacramento

From the Official 1983 Program:

We hope you enjoy tonight's all new KROY July Fourth Pyromusical. Our show employs state-of-the-art technology to synchronize over 1,000 lighting, laser and pyrotechnics effects. Tonight, our heroes, Captain Science and Billy, take a fantastic "Light Flight for Freedom." Hang on tight when we go through the skywheel, and stand by the color blasters in the time warp! Our special thanks to the Oracle of Truth, for showing us the way to freedom and justice. Join us in tonight's festive fantasy - a contemporary tribute to American freedom and ideals.

And although we had access to both 24 and 4-track recording equipment, and created the master mix on the four track 1/2" (tape) machine, the majority of music edits were created by Master DJ Dennis Newhall using two turntables and a sharp razor blade. We tried to use as much KROY-FM music as was reasonable. Since much of the program is classic Pop and Rock, I think it still plays well after twenty years. And what great fun to create a "radio drama" for a fireworks show! Beat It vs. Whip It was cool. So were the Color Blasters and the evil Chroma Clouds, and finally defeating those doo-wop dudes in the Time Warp.

If you don't care to hear a radio program for fireworks, (even though the finale is a good excuse to rise and salute America) then please listen to the opening segment, which consists of two original songs composed and performed by Charlie Peacock. They were recorded at Heavenly Recording Studios, at the time, (owned by KROY). They came about as the result of a production problem. The show followed harness racing, and the track was fully lit. It took about 10 minutes to get all the lights turned off. One State employee had to go all the way around the track pulling breakers. So, we needed "warm-up" material. Charlie's wonderful songs were a fabulous extra arranged by my late friend Don Early.

As for Charlie Peacock, he left Sacramento in the mid to late '80's for a successful career in Nashville. Charlie was named by Billboard's Encyclopedia of Record Producers as one of the 500 most important record producers in music history, and we thank him for allowing us to feature some of his early work here.


The KROY Sacramento 1983 Pyromusical Spectacular was one of ten programs featured during the REELRADIO Pyromusical Spectacular Marathon on July 4, 1998.


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