ORIGINAL LP COVER NOTES|
By Jerry Hopkins
It's 1958 radio on the CRUISIN' series and in St. Louis it's the sound of Jack Carney, a man whose sense of humor made it seem he was trying to add a "D" to his station's call lellers, WIL. That would have put him In Boston, on WILD, another of the several statlons he worked in the Fifties; Jack was one of radio's gypsies before he settled down In Missouri. This was where he made his mark, concocting bizarre stunts that appealed to so many (mostly teenagers) his station went from number seven in the seven-station city to number one six weeks after he joined the staff.
He invented a character called Pookie Snackenberg, who became a hero with the St. Louis teens. He asked listeners to pull the tuning knobs off their home and car radios so the dial couldn't be moved from WIL and weeks later irate parents still were digging through the three barrels of knobs Carney had received from their sons and daughters. He offered twenty dollars to anyone who showed up with a bird on his head (after playing a record called Bird on My Head) and there were fifty takers standing around with birds in half an hour. And when It was time for summer vacations to end he asked for fifty words or less he said he'd settle for one on "Why I am delighted to be returning to school," the winner to be driven by Carney to class and home each day for a week, in a limousine. Hokey. But Carney's presentation of "The Silver Dollar Survey" was one of the most influential programs on radio at the time.
As for the music, it was beginning to get a little "gingerbready" (after the Frankie Avalon hit of that name), as "Bandstand's" voracious demand for personalities and songs turned Dick Clark into rock's Henry Ford. In Philadelphia also known as Brotherlylovesville dance crazes, hit records and super-stars were created almost daily, on ABC-TV at five.
It was a period of settling in on the International scene as well, a period of shifts and starts and stops. Nlkita Khrushchev was named the new premier of the Soviet Union, Charles DeGaulle became the decade's second general to be elected a president, and there was a new Pope (John XXIII) in the Vatican. President Eisenhower, having recovered from a slight stroke, ordered U.S. Marines into Lebanon, while Egypt and Syria became one nation. And as an atomic sub slipped under the North Pole, the U.S. launched its first satellite . . . and nuclear test ban talks began.
Other headlines in 1958: Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize in literature . . . the Yankees took the World Series over the Braves . . . "Gigi" got the best picture Oscar.
TOP STREAM 64Kbps (14Khz)|
Jack Carney - WIL St. Louis - CRUISIN' 1958 (42:51)
The original Cruisin series was conceived and produced by Ron Jacobs. The "airchecks" on CRUISIN' were not actual broadcasts, rather, they were masterful re-creations featuring legendary air talent.
Our thanks to RJ for making this classic material available to REELRADIO.
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Copyright 1970, 2008, 2009 Ronald H. Jacobs