Friday, August 22, 2008

There are still 'blasts from the past'

I was listening to the Sixties channel on my XM Radio on the way to Burbank Airport Friday when I heard a familiar jingle:

"Thirteen 90, W-E-A-M."

Talk about your blasts from the past. I'd be willing to bet that most of us in the Class of 1967 had buttons on our car radios tuned either to WEAM or to WPGC at 1580. Both of them were highly entertaining radio stations, but both were seriously flawed.

While we were in high school, WPGC-AM only broadcast from sunrise to sunset. When the sun went down, WPGC was only an FM station. As far as I knew, most of us didn't have FM radios yet in the mid '60s. I know I got my first one in 1971.

As for WEAM, it was a directional signal that reduced power in the evenings, and for those of us who lived in Fairfax, it was almost impossible to get at night.

Those of us who were really into the music got it from far away. I remember the weekly countdown with Cousin Brucie on Tuesdays on WABC out of New York, and WBZ in Boston always seemed to be the hippest most up to date with British Invasion stuff. We could all get WKBW from Buffalo, CKLW from Detroit (actually Windsor, Ontario) and WCFL -- "The Voice of Labor" -- from Chicago.

But WEAM was our local station, and the thing I remember most was that coming out of the news at the top of the hour, they would play an oldie that had reached No. 1. When it ended, they would say, "No. 1 then, No. 1 now," and give us the current top hit.

Ah, memories.

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