Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Where Detroit Radio Plays On


October 31st, 2014

MCRFB Rock and Roll logoFrom the MCRFB music calendar:

Events on this date: OCTOBER 31










Johnnie Johnson 1952

Johnnie Johnson 1952 (click image for larger view).

1952: When his original guitarist has a stroke just before a New Year’s Eve gig, popular St. Louis boogie-woogie pianist Johnnie Johnson hires for his group The Sir John’s Trio a 26-year old hairdresser named Chuck Berry.

1963: The Beatles return from a tour of Sweden to find 50,000 screaming fans waiting for them at London’s Heathrow Airport, the surest proof yet that Beatlemania is a national phenomenon. Waiting at the airport is American TV host Ed Sullivan, who notices the furor. “Who are those guys?” he asks a bystander, who tells him they are “England’s foremost singing group.” Having never heard them, Sullivan nevertheless immediately contacts manager Brian Epstein to book the band for three appearances on his CBS show early in 1964.

1963: In Detroit, low-rated radio station WKMH switches to a top 40 format with new calls, WKNR, “New Radio 13.” Ratings-wise, this transition would become known as the fastest turn-around ever in Detroit radio history — from bottom to No. 1 — within a scant ten week period.

Ray Charles Booked! October31

Ray Charles booked! October 31

1964: Ray Charles is arrested at Boston’s Logan Airport for possession of heroin, his third drug since 1958. The singer is ordered to rehab in order to avoid jail time.
1964: For the first time since January 1964, the Beatles do not have a song currently on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. No less than 14 singles hit the charts in the previous ten months.
1964: Joan Baez sings three songs with Bob Dylan at tonight’s concert in New York: “Mama, You Been On My Mind,” “With God On Our Side,” and “It Ain’t Me, Babe.”

1965: Lead singer Wayne Fontana leaves his group, The Mindbenders.

1967: The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones is released on 750 pounds’ bail from Wormwood Scrubs prison in London after being charged with marijuana possession. Seven fans are arrested for demonstrating outside the prison gates.

John Lennon's famous Abbey Road White Suit

John Lennon’s famous Abbey Road white suit is auctioned.

1967: The Stooges make their live debut at a Detroit, MI, Halloween party.

1968: Paul McCartney’s new girlfriend, Linda Eastman, moves into his London home.

1970: Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas marries actor Dennis Hopper, a marriage that is annulled seven days later.

1974: Members of Led Zeppelin launch their new artist-owned label, Swan Song, at the Chislehurst Caves in England, with the Pretty Things, Bill Wyman, and Groucho Marx — not to mention several dozen naked models — attending.

1975: Southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band headline a fundraising concert for Presidential nominee Jimmy Carter.

1976: Elvis Presley makes his last recording, singing Jim Reeves’ “He’ll Have To Go” over a pre-recorded backing track in the Jungle Room of his Graceland home.

1995: James Brown is charged with assault at his home in Aiken, SC, after allegedly striking his wife Adrienne with a mirror.

2000: Napster announces a deal with entertainment giant BMG to make its illegal file-sharing software into a paid subscription service.

2005: The Isley Brothers’ Ron Isley is sentenced to 26 years in federal prison on tax evasion charges.

2005: The white suit John Lennon wore on the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road sells at a Las Vegas Amnesty International charity auction for $118,000.

2007: Elvis Presley tops the annual Forbes magazine list of most profitable dead celebrities, his estate having taken in $49 million over the past year. John Lennon makes the #2 spot; George Harrison, James Brown, and Bob Marley also make the list.

Motor City Radio Flashbacks logoDeaths

1968: Malcolm Hale (Spanky and Our Gang) 2002: Claude Johnson (Don and Juan) 2005: Skitch Henderson



1912: Dale Evans 1922: Illinois Jacquet 1927: Anita Kerr 1934: Ray Smith 1937: Tom Paxton 1944: Kinky Friedman 1945: Rik Kenton (Roxy Music) 1947: Russ Ballard (Unit 4+2, Argent) 1952: Bernard Edwards (Chic)


1975: Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”


1930: Count Basie, “Somebody Stole My Gal” 1958: The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You” 1960: The Everly Brothers, “Ebony Eyes”

1960: Elvis Presley: “In My Father’s House,” “Joshua Fit the Battle,” “Swing Down, Sweet Chariot,” “I’m Gonna Walk Dem Golden Stairs,” “If We Never Meet Again,” “Known Only to Him,” “Crying In The Chapel,” “Working On The Building”
1961: Bobby Darin, “Irresistible You”
1963: Bob Dylan, “Restless Farewell”


october311960: Elvis Presley’s LP G.I. Blues enters the charts
1964: The Supremes’ “Baby Love” hits #1
1964: Barbra Streisand’s LP People hits #1


1970: James Taylor’s LP Fire and Rain is certified gold
1972: Curtis Mayfield’s “Freddie’s Dead” is certified gold

And that’s just a few of the events which took place in pop music history OCTOBER 31



October 30th, 2014

BILLBOARD - OCTOBER 30, 1965A MCRFB VIEWING TIP: To fully appreciate this Billboard Hot 100 October 30, 1965 chart feature — to enlarge this image FULL SCREEN — click on the image and open to second window. See ‘Original size: ‘3283 × 4533‘ at the top/left and click on that link for EXPANDED LARGEST VIEW (twice). Click image anytime to return to NORMAL image size. (Click your server’s back button to return to MCRFB main home page).


October 30th, 2014

From the MCRFB radio news scrapbook: 1948

Fort Industry Corp., WJBK in Detroit News Tie-In





FLASHBACKDETROIT, October 30 – A new full scale tie-in on news coverage between WJBK, flag station of Fort Industry Corporation, and the Detroit Times, Hearst-owned daily, was completed Monday, October 18, with a schedule of hourly news broadcasts — on the hour — at the station covering 24 hours of the day. The program is being interjected into the various shows on the air, chiefly the two Jack The Bellboy shows, the Joe Gentile and Ralph Binge three-hour morning stint, and Bob Murphy’s two daily jockey shows.

Actual newscast will originate in the Times office,where a special broadcasting booth has been installed adjoining the newsroom. Both United and Associated Press wires as well as the paper’s own local coverage will be available to WJBK under the new set-up. This will give WJBK, which has no network affiliation despite rumors of changes, a closer newspaper tie-in than any other local station except WWJ, which is owned by the Detroit News, the only other afternoon newspaper edition in Detroit. END

(Information and news source: Billboard; October 30, 1948).


October 28th, 2014

Motor City Radio Flashbacks logoIN LOVING MEMORY OF GEORGE GRIGGS

It is with much sorrow and with great regret we wish to inform our friends here, George Griggs, curator of Motor City Radio Flashbacks, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, October 28, 2014. He was 65.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time. We will provide further information, here, as they become available.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 2:54 P.M.


HARRY J. WILL FUNERAL HOMES | 37000 W. Six Mile Rd., Livonia, MI 48152  734-591-3700


In Memory of

George Griggs
April 23, 1949 – October 28, 2014



George “Butch” Griggs passed away on October 28, 2014 at his home with his family by his side. He was 65 years old. George was born April 23, 1949, in Detroit, to Mary (nee Perrin) and George M. Griggs.

George was a dedicated member of the United States Air Force before becoming a lab technician and scheduler for the Ford Motor Company.

George is survived by his loving wife Patricia of 39 years. His son Scott (Teresa) and daughter Gina (Geoff) Novack. His sisters Diane (Daniel) Giesin and Karen (Hilton) Ehrisman. His brother-in-law Gary (Dawn) Pedinelli, his nieces Rebecca Kolbicz, Danielle Giesin, Alessandra Pedinelli, and nephew Antonio Pedinelli.

Visitation will be held Thursday, October 30, 2014, from 2 to 8pm at Harry J. Will Funeral Home, 37000 Six Mile Road, in Livonia. A Funeral Service will take place on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 11am at Harry J. Will Funeral Home. Friends may visit the funeral home on Friday beginning at 10am.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 7:34 P.M.


Reflections by Art Vuolo, Jr.

George L. Griggs, 65 has passed away, as reported in on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, he was only 65. In recent weeks he had been fighting lung cancer, even though in over twenty years that I called George a close friend, I never saw him with a cigarette. People call me a radio archivist, but it was George, who in concert with Scott MacKinnon and a few other broadcast enthusiasts who started an amazing web site originally called “Detroit Radio Flashbacks” it is now known as “Motor City Radio Flashbacks” but is best accessed by the initials It represents many years of his collecting audio clips and memorabilia from Detroit area stations, dating back the late 1950’s. He was an amazing man and I will miss him terribly.

Please visit the web site he founded at for photos and audio memories. The Detroit Radio community has lost the true “Keeper of the Flame” to the Motor City’s radio glory years. George may be gone, but his efforts and the signal will go on for years to come. Rest in Peace my friend.

Art Vuolo, Jr.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 7:47 P.M.
George L. Griggs April 23, 1949 - October 28, 2014

George L. Griggs  April 23, 1949 – October 28, 2014

Art Vuolo, George Griggs, Michael Collins, Jimmy Hampton and Scott MacKinnon. Photos courtesy Jim Hampton October 28, 2014; 7:48 p.m.

Art Vuolo, George Griggs, Michael Collins, Jimmy Hampton and Scott MacKinnon. Photos courtesy Jim Hampton (October 28, 2014; 7:48 p.m.)


October 27th, 2014
George Griggs with Scott MacKinnon

George Griggs with Scott MacKinnon
(click on photo for largest view).

LEE ALAN and GEORGE GRIGGS * Jimmy James Show * WPON-AM 1460


Motor City Radio Flashbacks logoGeorge Griggs. Scott MacKinnon. Motor City Radio Flashbacks had its beginnings, some 10-years ago. And it all started with them. From 2004 to 2011, this website today, was the former Detroit Radio Flashbacks. In part, the fact we are here on the web is because of George Griggs. This is his website. If Motor City Radio Flashbacks holds any degree of success by your many, many frequent visits here (over 2 million 300,000 plus-hits just short under a year), we are reminded that it was due to his passion, his love for Detroit radio which transcended well everything this website is about today. Preserving memories of great Detroit radio. It’s glorious past. Remembered. All archived here. All here in one place. And to that end we are indebted to him, always.

Thank you, George. Our good friend. For this wonderful website you gave us all.

   J i m   F e l i c i a n o 

 Monday, October 27, 2014 12:06 AM



Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Where Detroit Radio Plays On

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