Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Where Detroit Radio Plays On


November 24th, 2014

Detroit Free PressDetroit Free Press Radio Guide 010657Detroit Free Press Tuesday, January 8, 1957

A MCRFB VIEWING TIP: To fully appreciate the 1957 Detroit Free Press radio listing above (and all the photos below) click on image 2x for largest detailed view.

Paul Winter was host to WXYZ's "Curtain Calls" radio show in 1956.

Paul Winter. WXYZ’s mid-morning personality on the popular “Curtain Calls” radio show, 1956.

WXYZ's Ed McKenzie in 1957. Was host on the "Record Matinee" show  during early-afternoons in 1956.

WXYZ’s Ed McKenzie in 1957. Radio 1270 host for “Record Matinee” in 1956. (All photos courtesy Greg Innis).

WXYZ's Jack Surrell was host on the nightly 'Top Of The Town' music show on 1270. Photo 1956.

WXYZ’s Jack Surrell was host on his nightly “Top Of The Town” music show. Photo 1956.


November 24th, 2014

From the MCRFB music calendar:

Events on this date: NOVEMBER 24









1950: The musical comedy Guys and Dolls premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre.

Harry Belafonte’s “Mary’s Boy Child” on UK RCA Victor single (click on image for larger view).

1957: Harry Belafonte’s “Mary’s Boy Child” becomes the first single to sell a million copies in the UK. It stayed at Number One for an unheard-of seven weeks and has since become a perennial UK Christmas favorite.

1959: Teen heartthrob Johnnie Ray is arrested in London for soliciting an undercover officer in a gay bar. (He is later found not guilty.)

1961: In yet another important development for British blues-rock, Chicago blues legend Howlin’ Wolf makes his first appearance in the UK, touring behind his latest single, “Little Baby.”

1962: Ex-Beatles drummer Pete Best, sacked from the group three months previously, nevertheless receives a birthday telegram from the band and manager Brian Epstein wishing him “all the best.”

1964: The Who, until recently the High Numbers, perform their first gig under the new name at London’s Marquee Club, promising what the posters famously call “Maximum R&B.”

1964: The UK’s first commercial radio station, Radio Manx, begins broadcasting from the Isle of Man.

Sinatra sings with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in his NBC-TV special “A Man And His Music” in November, 1965 (click on image for larger view).

1965: NBC-TV airs the musical special Frank Sinatra: A Man And His Music.

1966: Kansas City, MO police lock horns with rioting teenagers at a James Brown concert after officials stop the show due to Brown’s “obscene dances.”

1972: ABC-TV’s Don Kirshner-produced In Concert, the network’s weekly late-night answer to NBC’s Midnight Special, debuts. The initial episode features musical performances by Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Allman Brothers, and Poco.

1974: In the midst of his infamous “Lost Weekend,” John Lennon rehearses with Elton John for Elton’s upcoming Madison Square Garden performance, at which Lennon will make a surprise cameo.

1978: In a clear prelude to his coming “Christian” direction, the Jewish-born Bob Dylan plays tonight’s gig in Fort Worth, TX wearing a large gold cross around his neck.

Cyndi Lauper with her husband, David Thornton

1991: An ordained Little Richard marries singer Cyndi Lauper and actor David Thornton in New York, then sticks around to play at the reception.

2003: Glen Campbell is arrested for drunk driving and hit-and-run charges in Phoenix, AZ, after crashing his BMW into another car at another intersection and continuing on. The 67-year-old Campbell, who is sentenced to ten days in jail, allegedly knees an officer’s groin during the arrest.


Birthdays: 1932: Tommy Allsup (The Crickets) 1939: Jim Yester (The Association) 1941: Donald “Duck” Dunn (Booker T. and the MGs) 1941: Pete Best (The Beatles) 1944: Bob Lind 1944: Bev Bevan (The Move, Electric Light Orchestra) 1945: Lee Michaels

november24Releases: 1958: Jackie Wilson, “Lonely Teardrops” 1958: Ritchie Valens, “Donna” b/w “La Bamba”

Recording: 1965: The Young Rascals, “Good Lovin'” 1966: The Beatles, “Strawberry Fields Forever”

Charts: 1958: The Kingston Trio’s LP ‘The Kingston Trio’ hits No. 1 on the LP charts; 1973: Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” hits No. 1 on the charts; 1978: Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer’s “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” hits No. 1 on the charts.

Deaths: 1985: Big Joe Turner 1991: Freddie Mercury 1993: Albert Collins 1995: Junior Walker (Jr. Walker and the All Stars).






And that’s just a few of the events which took place in pop music history, on this date . . . .  N O V E M B E R  2 4


November 22nd, 2014

WKNR Keener 13. com logo


A Scott Westerman WKNR profile card (click on image for larger detailed view).

A Scott Westerman WKNR profile card (click on image for larger detailed view).

On this best-of Keener podcast, we replay our November 20th, 2004 study of how radio reported the Kennedy Assassination. We begin with a rare logger tape from KLIF in Dallas. Keener fan and Kennedy scholar Jim Feliciano connected us with this one-of-a-kind historical record which can be heard in its entirety on the website. Rex Jones, Gary DeLaune, Joe Long and Gordon McLendon (yep, that Gordon McLendon – one of the fathers of Top 40 radio) described the rapidly unfolding events. Then we fast-forward one year later to the WKNR documentary about that day, produced by Bob Green and Philip Nye for WKNR News. It is said that television news came of age on that day, 41 years ago (Broadcast 10 years ago. Fast forward 2014, 51 years ago!) But for many, radio was still a trusted source of timely, if not always accurate information. The Keener podcast is hosted by Scott Westerman, Curator of (Notes by Scott Westerman).

(Podcast “The Kennedy Assassination” description above courtesy the archives; November, 2004).

A SPECIAL ‘THANK YOU’ goes out to our friends and hosts as well of the official WKNR website, Scott Westerman and Steve Schram, for granting MCRFB.COM honors allowing us to archive every one of those memorable classic podcasts Scott produced for the WKNR website from 2004 through 2006. These WKNR/S.W. podcasts were acclaimed by many then as the consummate podcast medium at the time — a new form of entertainment, communication art suited for the internet — a template model how all podcasts should sound like when first launched on the WKNR website, 2004. We agree.

Today, MCRFB will showcase the November, 2005, “THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION” podcast — there are  over forty podcasts we have listed the WKNR website produced a decade back. For Detroit radio purists alike, this was podcasting “Keener” gold for the 21st. century!

To relive the WKNR experience 24/7 visit  On Facebook? Visit Keener 13 there as well for all the news and updates and more. We salute you both, Scott Westerman, Steve Schram! Well over a decade there — still keeping those fabulous KEENER MEMORIES alive.

M O T O R   C I T Y   R A D I O   F L A S H B A C K S

THE KEENER PODCAST * The Kennedy Assassination * KEENER13.COM (Nov. 2005)

JFK riding through the streets of Dallas


November 20th, 2014

LA Times (logo)




By Randy Lewis | LA TIMES Staff Writer | November 19, 2014, 3:55 PM


Any suspicions that soul singer Jimmy Ruffin might have harbored hard feelings after his younger brother, David, snatched one of the great gigs in 1960s pop music out of his hands would have been dispelled when the siblings came together in 1970 to collaborate on a harmonious update of Ben E. King’s signature ode to solidarity, “Stand By Me.”

“Jimmy Ruffin was a phenomenal singer. He was truly underrated.”
- Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records

Motown's Jimmy Ruffin circa 1966

Motown’s Jimmy Ruffin circa 1966

Jimmy Ruffin, who died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital at age 78, had been in the running to join the lineup of Motown Records’ great male vocal group the Temptations in 1964. But when the other members of the group heard David sing, they gave him the job for his slightly grittier sound.

That didn’t sideline Jimmy for long: He heard a song that Motown writers William Weatherspoon, Paul Riser and James Dean had crafted with the Spinners in mind, and persuaded them to let him record it.

“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” a lament for the anguish a man feels in the face of love that has departed, gave Ruffin his first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It ignited a solo career that comprised 10 other charted singles, the last of which, “Hold On To My Love,” brought him back to the Top 10 in 1980 during a new round of popularity, the result of his move to England to further his career overseas.

“Jimmy Ruffin was a phenomenal singer,” Motown founder Berry Gordy said in a statement Wednesday. “He was truly underrated because we were also fortunate to have his brother, David, as the lead singer of the Temptations, who got so much acclaim. Jimmy, as a solo artist, had ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,’ one of the greatest songs put out by Motown and also one of my personal favorites.”

MCRFB note: For the rest of this Los Angeles Times Jimmy Ruffin Obituary article (November 19, 2014), please GO HERE.

Randy Lewis | Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Jimmy Ruffin

JIMMY RUFFIN (May 7, 1936 – November 19, 2014)

Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Where Detroit Radio Plays On

Hit Counter provided by laptop reviews