Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Where Detroit Radio Plays On


November 2nd, 2014

From the MCRFB music calendar:

Events on this date: NOVEMBER 2








1956: A riot breaks out at a Fats Domino show event at Fayetteville, NC, with police resorting to tear gas to break up the unruly crowd. Fats jumps out of a window from the building in which the show was being held to avoid the melee; during his escape, he and two other band members were injured in the process.

Dion circa 1963 (click on image for larger view).

1963: Dion (formerly of the Belmonts) angrily walks off the ITV television program Ready Steady Go! in the middle of performing his hit, “Donna, The Prima Donna,” claiming the go-go dancers surrounding him during his song were distracting.

1963: Reviewing the Beatles’ concert the night before in Cheltenham, England, the British paper Daily Mirror uses the headline Beatlemania! effectively inserting the phrase into the popular consciousness for the first time.

1964: Brenda Lee gives a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II in London, along with Cliff Richard and Cilla Black.

1966: Paul Revere and the Raiders appear on tonight’s “Dizzoner The Penguin” episode of ABC-TV’s Batman.

1968: Cream is presented with a platinum album for Wheels Of Fire at the Madison Square Garden stop of their farewell tour.

November 21969: The Rolling Stones quasi-documentary Sympathy For The Devil, directed by Jean-Duc Godard, premiers in San Francisco.

1974: George Harrison begins the first-ever solo tour by a Beatle when he performs the first night of his Dark Horse Tour in Vancouver, BC. The tour, which is plagued by Harrison’s laryngitis, is a disaster.

1979: The British rock band Who debuts their film Quadrophenia in theaters across the U. S., featuring relatively a small part in the movie by Sting.

Marvin with his parents, Rev. Marvin Pentz Gay, Sr., and Alberta Gay in 1972.

1984: Marvin Gay, Sr., father of Motown great Marvin Gaye (who added the e when he signed with Motown) is found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of his son, but courts rule the shooting was in self-defense, and the elder Gay is given five years’ probation.

1985: With his new single, “Part-Time Lover” topping the charts, Stevie Wonder becomes the artist with the longest period between Number Ones: 22 years. “Part-Time Lover” also sets a record by going to Number One on five different Billboard charts.

1994: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s David Crosby is hospitalized after suffering liver failure; he’s fortunate to find a donor for a transplant.

1995: The syndicated R&B dance show Soul Train celebrates its 25th year on the air with guests appearances by Al Green, Diana Ross, Bill Withers and Patti Labelle.


Motor City Radio Flashbacks logoReleases: 1963: “Be True To Your School,” Beach Boys. 1968: “For Once In My Life,” Stevie Wonder. 1971: ‘Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 2,’ Bob Dylan.

Recording: 1967: “Hello Goodbye,” Beatles. 1973: “Never say Goodbye,” Bob Dylan.

Charts: 1955: “Sixteen Tons,” Tennessee Ernie Ford, enters the charts. 1955: “Cry Me A River,” Julie London, enters the charts. 1963: ‘In The Wind,’ (LP) Peter Paul and Mary, hits No. 1 on the LP charts. 1974: “You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” Stevie Wonder, hits No. 1 on the charts. 1974: “Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues),” Three Dog Night, enters the charts on this date. 1974: ‘So Far,’ (LP) Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, hit No. 1 on the LP charts.

And that’s just a few of the events which took place in pop music history NOVEMBER 2


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).

Motor City Radio Flashbacks

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