This Special Presentation was broadcast and streamed on WPON and WPON.COM May 22, 23, 24 & 25, and streamed for the July 4th, 2009 weekend by REELRADIO AIRCHECK CHANNEL.
On Memorial Weekend, 2009, I went back to my hometown of Detroit to go back on the radio one more time. The goal was to pay tribute to the radio I remember, along with the music, and the DJ's whose names are still remembered almost 50 years later. Pretty much any one who was a DJ in the 50's and 60's became a mini-star in the market. There were only a few stations playing Top 40, so while there was competition, it was nothing like today with all the distractions we have.
I did the show over four nights on a little suburban station (which also streams to the net), WPON. The first night had its problems, not only technical issues, but also my rusty chops. I had three feeds that I recorded from, but on the first night, every feed was distorted. I fixed it pretty much from then on. A lot of the equipment they had, such as CD players, didn't fire sometimes, or they misfired. What a nightmare!
Jim Hampton at the board
Fortunately, I did have my Mac computer and Radiologik software. But it did make for LIVE radio. I left a lot of those problems in the show because they actually sounded funny. As for my rusty chops, it has been almost 20 years since I did any real radio work, plus I wanted to end up somewhere between a DJ and a talk show host. Hopefully, that worked.
I couldn't have done this without the help of Mike Collins, himself a veteran DJ, talk show host, and TV feature reporter from Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinatti. He was terrific! Bob Hardt was my choice for the best news guy anyone could have. Remember him from Dan Ingram's show on WABC and then ABC Radio Network for 30 years. Wow.
Also, my Detroit buddies, George Griggs and Scott McKinnon who are collectors of all things audio, from missing rare records, to news events, to DJ airchecks, to you name it, they were invaluable. Plus, they have a real nice website dedicate to Detroit DJs, detroitradioflashbacks.com. And, they threw me the best barbecue that weekend. And, the WPON crew, Jimmy, James, Jim and Brian.
Last but not least, I couldn't forget Radio's Best Friend, Art Vuolo, who I have known since 1963. Art video taped most of the show. I hope to have some of it on YouTube soon. Art opened up his home and devoted the whole weekend to me and the show. I won't forget that.
As far as the DJ's are concerned, I only scratched the surface. Many of the airchecks came from REELRADIO (courtesy of Uncle Ricky) and I restored them. Plus, I have collected many over the years. Trying to find some of the obscure records that were played then on Detroit's expansive top 75 and more lists was quite a challenge. But we did it.
I got to do a lot of things I had thought about for years, but never had the opportunity. And, there is still much more that I would like to do.
All in all, this was the best vacation I have had in memory and I got to rekindle relationships in a city that I love. Anyway, I hope you enjoy what you hear, and I look forward to your comments.
Here is a blow by blow of what is on each of the 12 hours. (There's lots of music, but online music licensing doesn't allow listing songs in advance of their play.)
Radio Recall Hour One:
16 minute collage of the DJs and Music from 1955 to 1969
Aircheck: Frantic Ernie Durham - WJLB
Top 5 Countdown from 1960
Aircheck: Robin Seymour - WKMH/WKNR
Hello Detroit Feature: Big Jim Edwards - CKLW
Radio Recall Hour Two:
Action Central News 1963 with Bob Hardt
Interview with Tom Shannon - CKLW
Aircheck: Tom Shannon - CKLW (Byron MacGregor - News)
Top 5 Countdown feature from 1964
Aircheck: Terry Knight (Jack the Bellboy) WJBK
Radio Recall Hour Three:
Action Central News 1969 with Bob Hardt
Hello Detroit feature: Johnny Randall - WXYZ
Aircheck: Joel Sebastian - WXYZ
Top 5 Countdown feature from 1965:
AIrcheck: Paul Harvey Blooper ABC Radio
Radio Recall Hour Four:
Airchecks: Bob Green - WKNR
Top 5 Countdown feature from 1963
Symphony of Detroit Radio Jingles
Radio Recall Hour Five:
Action Central News 1962 with Bob Hardt
Airchecks: Paul Winter - WXYZ - 1962
Interview with Grant Hudson - CKLW 20/20 News
Hello Detroit Feature - Lee Alan
Top 5 Countdown feature from 1958
Radio Recall Hour Six:
Action Central News 1958 with Bob Hardt
Airchecks: Mickey Shorr - Ben Basey
Interview: Lee Alan - WKMH/WXYZ
Aircheck: Lee Alan - WKMH/WXYZ
Radio Recall Hour Seven:
Airchecks: Scott Regen - WKNR - 1966
Mystery Themes from TV with Jim and Mike
Aircheck: Dave Prince - WKMH
Mike's First Date
Hello Detroit Feature: Robin Seymour
Radio Recall Hour Eight:
Action Central News 1967 with Bob Hardt
Interview with Joey Reynolds
Airchecks: Joey Reynolds with Jimmy Hampton WXYZ
Hello Detroit Feature: Bob Green - WKNR
Radio Recall Hour Nine:
Action Central News 1956 with Bob Hardt
Aircheck: Byron MacGregor CKLW 20-20 News
Interview: Jo Jo Shutty WWJ (widow of Byron MacGregor)
Aircheck: Dave Shaeffer - CKLW
Aircheck: Big Jim Edwards - CKLW
Radio Recall Hour Ten (Live From Motown):
Detroit DJ Collage and Show Open
WXYZ Detroit High School Jingles
Aircheck: Dave Prince - WXYZ - 1962
Aircheck: The Americans - Byron MacGregor - CKLW
Aircheck: Robert E. Lee - WJBK - 1963
Radio Recall Hour Eleven (Pop Tops):
Action Central News 1968 with Bob Hardt
Interview: Johnny Randall - WXYZ
Aircheck: Pat Murphy - WXYZ - 1965
Aircheck: Tom Clay - WJBK - 1956?
Radio Recall Hour Twelve (Love Tracks):
Action Central News 1957 with Bob Hardt
Top 5 Countdown in 1962
Interview: Dave Carson (wrote Rockin' Down the Dial)
Aircheck: Gary Stevens - WKNR - 1964
Aircheck: Robin Walker - WJBK - 1964
Interview: Dick Crockett - WABX
Detroit Tigers theme
Aircheck: Tom Clay Show Closing
TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (14 Khz)
Jim Hampton Radio Recall Detroit Jingle Symphony
. . . Our time is your time . . .
[Description by Uncle Ricky]
This is a wonderful Detroit Jingle Symphony from Jim Hampton's Memorial Day 2009 Radio Recall show.
It features a lot of many well-known jingles of the Top 40 era, produced and syndicated by the best jingle people.
You will hear PAMS. Lots of GREAT PAMS, performed by the original groups with the original mix, this is very classic material for WXYZ, WJBK, WKMH and WKNR,. There are also amazing Futursonic jingles, with only minimal tape skew for pre-acapella CKLW, and the sparse Johnny Mann CKLW jings are clean.
And who did those WCAR jingles? WCAR is getting it said..! Sounds like an early incarnation of the WCBS-FM material by Chuck Blore. Overall, an inclusive and AMAZING symphony for sure!
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TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (12 Khz)
Lee Alan, WXYZ Detroit, 1965
. . . and we'll call it the cream of the crop, until twelve o'clock . . .
[Description by Uncle Ricky]
Thanks to Jim Hampton for proving that there really was viable ABC sponsored Top 40 radio in Detroit, even as WKNR was overtaking the market. From Jim's Radio Recall, we learned quite a bit more about Lee Alan. We had one aircheck from Bob Green of Mr. Alan, but apparently, Lee Alan had a long history with WXYZ and held forth nightly in the Motor City, in addition to recording a record about his horn with major Motown artists. I guess if you don't ask, you might never know.
The opening to this Lee Alan Show and the generous distribution of PAMS jingles demonstrates that, in fact, the guys on the air at WXYZ were encouraged to think of the time they spent on the air as SHOWTIME. Radio was a show, you see, there were these guys called "disc jockeys" and...
Nevermind. You'll figure it out. Thanks, Jim!
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