The Summer of ’71, or how I became a music fiend

Jeremiah was a what? I place a chunk of the blame on Three Dog Night.

In my past life — that is, before I moved to Fresno to become a drifting nonentity 7 1/2 years ago — I wrote about music for 20 years at my first two papers back in Connecticut, as well as freelance for some weeklies (including, for a couple years, The Boston Phoenix). Which let me build a record and CD collection beyond anything I could have imagined as a kid. (Well, CDs were beyond anyone’s imagination then …)

I also have done radio on and off for 20 years at a station (WPKN in Bridgeport, Ct.) that lets me play whatever the hell I want.

Yes — it’s hard to imagine (especially for my Fresno friends), as I live out of a room at the moment, with most of my stuff in storage, but I’m a music fiend. And until recent years, I was able to live the music fiend’s wildest dream: get paid for writing about it, have people throw free albums at me from all directions, do a radio show and share it all to my heart’s content.

And it was 40 years ago this summer, as an impressionable 10-year-old, that the music bug took full flight for the first time.

It would be easy to say it was The Beatles who made me this way. After all, they landed at JFK when I was a 2 1/2-year-old toddler in Brooklyn, and you couldn’t help but hear these fascinating, good-looking guys who talked funny anywhere you went — even my parents’ old-folks’ radio station (which was set to Joe O’Brien and WMCA in the morning). Or the rest of what was going on in radioland. Or, a couple years later, The Monkees, like other kids my age. (Fat chance — my folks made me go to bed at 7:30, even in summer. Any correlation between that and me being a night owl the rest of my life is purely not coincidental.)

But my musical development couldn’t have been farther from the above. We moved to Connecticut a year and a half later, and my folks found an even older old-folks station, WATR in Waterbury. And, save for bonding with Albie, my father, over Johnny Cash and “A Boy Named Sue” on the radio, I was clueless as to what was going on in the musical world.

What it took was an ancient transistor radio and a bunch of kids on the playground singing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog …”

*****

The year 1971 was pretty big for me for two reasons. One was because it was where most of my torment as a child and adolescent began. The other came that spring, in the playground at Canfield Park in Prospect, next door to Algonquin School, when I heard some kids singing the opening lines of Three Dog Night’s monster hit — the No. 1 hit of the whole year, actually — “Joy to the World.”

I was already feeling like an outcast at that point, and I felt more like an outsider, more like the geek with short hair and square clothes — no, wait … that was me! — and less like one of the other kids. And not having a radio or music beyond the fogey stuff made me feel like even more of an outsider.

Still, as square as my folks’ musical tastes were, they had a profound influence on me. Well, maybe not Mom’s Engelbert, Johnny Mathis, Al Martino, etc. It was more like Albie: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Frankie Laine.

A couple years before, he came upstairs with stacks of mostly obscure records from the ’50s and an old RCA 45 player, with the huge spindle in the middle and the automatic changer, for my brother Jim and me. And the exploration of songs mostly beyond the mainstream realm (especially the mainstream realm of the late ’60s) gave me a lifelong appreciation of those songs stuck in the nooks and crannies of memory, of stores, of history.

Well, one night around the end of the school year, he came up from the cellar with a radio. It was old, but there was still a little magic in there.

It was a Zenith portable transistor radio from the ’50s. (Tried to find a photo of it on the Web, but no luck.) It was green with a pebble vinyl finish and a large, gold-trimmed black speaker screen. And by “portable,” I mean the standards of the ’50s, when “solid state” and “transistor” were the new rage: The radio — only AM, mind you — was about 10 X 15, must’ve weighed about 4 pounds, and had a large, black, rectangular swivel handle that doubled as the antenna.

And the on/volume knob worked after all these years of inactivity, of sitting in an oft-damp cellar, and so did the tuning dial in the upper right. We had music. And I had a new world through which to rummage.

*****

The first station I sought out was WABC. Kids, it’s hard to believe, since it’s been a talk station for nearly 30 years now — and the flagship for Limbaugh and Hannity — but Musicradio 77 in New York was the bomb, the most popular and influential top-40 station of all time. It was W-A-Beatle-C when the Fab Four touched down in America, its music was the coolest, and the deejays were — and still are — legendary: Dan Ingram, Cousin Brucie Morrow, Ron Lundy, Harry Harrison, Chuck Leonard, etc.

And a few years later, the first punk bands in the Lower East Side were trying to replicate the sounds heard mainly on WABC when they were kids. The Ramones, Blondie, The New York Dolls, The Dictators and The Fleshtones, among others, acknowledged their love of ’60s top-40 in their songs.

So, enough with the history lesson. Back up a few years again to the summer of ’71: It would be WABC for me. Only problem: It didn’t come in well on my ancient box. At all. So, on to Plan B:

WPOP in Hartford (1410 AM), now one of the multitudes of ESPN stations, was one of the state’s more popular top-40 stations at the time, and I remember walking up to the bus stop at the top of the street a couple times in kindergarten and first grade with the much-older Dubay sisters next door, Jackie and Betty, and they would have WPOP on the radio, and the hyper deejay (Woody) and the tunes just sounded great coming out of their small radio.

Well, the girls had long since graduated grade school and their family had split for Florida the year before I got my radio, but I figured it still had to be a cool station. And I was right.

Since I was busy being a kid, much of my listening took place at night, in my room, sometime before heading to bed and then as I was going to sleep. The nighttime jock was a pleasant-voiced guy named Frank Holler. Nothing stands out about him in my head — he just happened to be the guy talking around the tunes I was listening to.

And I was hearing so many songs besides “Joy to the World,” which was falling off the charts by that point. There were no real genres in my head as I was taking this all in. There was my parents’ music … and then there was music. It all melted into one flow and came out of the turntables of one station in the suburbs of Hartford. The Five Man Electrical Band? The Osmonds? Led Zeppelin? Bread? Carole King? The Stones? Marvin Gaye? Paul McCartney? George Harrison? Sonny & Cher? Bill Withers? The Raiders? Chicago? The Undisputed Truth? The Buoys, with their ode to cannibalism? All the same to me. From the same station.

In the modern era of strict narrowcasting — and if you were born from the early ’70s onward — it’s hard to even conceive all those artists living in peaceful coexistence. But that’s what shaped my wide and eclectic tastes, my aversion to pigeonholing sounds too tightly — or to adhering to all the dogma you were supposed to follow it you were a fan of a certain genre. If it sounds good, it sounds good. Period.

And my best friend, as the summer wore on, would be my ancient transistor radio.

*****

The summer of ’71 was also big for me in terms of adventure.

I was a total highway geek as a child. I was fascinated by these big, long ribbons of concrete and asphalt that were spreading out from all directions all over America by the mid-’60s, in the thick of the construction of the Interstate Highway System. I was fascinated by the huge green signs and the red-white-and-blue Interstate shields and the massive interchanges that would take me somewhere — anywhere — away from where I was living.

The child in me didn’t know about the consequences: tearing up pristine lands, destroying and isolating communities, etc. In Waterbury, the city next to which I grew up, a huge interchange of I-84 and Route 8 was being built right through the heart of the city. Down in New Haven, I-91 — and the huge intersection with I-95 and Route 34 — was being finished, part of the city’s gleaming new makeover that would eventually end in failure. Back in Brooklyn, where I lived my first 4 1/2 years and where my grandma still lived, there was the reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. And all this newness and all these shiny highways to somewhere fascinated me.

And 84 was being built all the way to northeastern Pennsylvania. It was to end somewhere between Scranton and the stomping grounds of my father and his kin, Wilkes-Barre, and we usually visited them every year. We’d end up staying at my Uncle Gene and Aunt Lucy’s summer cottage in Harveys Lake, about 15 miles west of Wilkes-Barre. And on the Sunday of our visit, the kinfolk would come driving up the steep hill that was First Street and find some way to squeeze their cars into the driveway or the yard.

Genie had placed an old Philco fridge beneath the big tree with the tree fort nestled in the branches; he hammered in a Stegmaier Beer tap on one side, and the inside, minus shelves, held a keg just fine. And if he needed a reserve, his next-door neighbor, Rick, a burly truck driver with the sideburns of the stock car driver he once was (his junk of a ’59 Impala stocker, “The Fifty-Niner,” sat buried in the woods of his backyard), would pull one from his fridge and haul it over on his shoulder.

And next to the tree, toward the center of the mostly dirt-and-flagstone yard with patches of grass amid the damp soil, was a giant telephone cable spool turned on its side; someone would draw a pitcher, and folks would elbow up to the spool and talk and drink beers — the official state pastime of Pennsylvania.

And stretching from the tree out toward the woods at the back end of the yard was the horseshoe pit. While the women sat at the picnic table and talked about their families, the uncles — Albie and his brothers Gene and Gil, my Aunt Mary’s husband Uncle Don, and a handful of neighbors and buddies of Genie — would get into some heated games. Lots of clanging of iron, drawing sparks; lots of ringers snuck in, leaners thrown and knocked away, and many arguments over who was closer to the peg, and occasionally someone would find a crooked stick to measure just how close. And in the end, they’d all end up back where they started, around the spool with pitcher after pitcher.

And if you were a kid like me, you’d watch the horseshoes either from a safe distance behind the men or up in the treehouse. Or ride the many swings — wood planks secured with chains — that were hung from the gigantic branches of the tall tree in the back center of the yard, near the outhouse. Or play with my cousin John’s Matchbox cars, or the 1930s-vintage Monopoly game or one of the other board games in the living room, or sit out on the porch, which had a bench swing along the side, and watch the cars go up and down the hill.

And sometimes a bunch of the cousins would get together and walk the path through the woods behind the vacant lot across the street, and about a quarter-mile away, we’d end up at what we called the Penny Store. We’d load up on penny candy — for me, it was the Neapolitan coconut strips and Swedish fish — and come back to the house and inhale it.

But we’d leave room for dinner. Lucy made the German potato salad she learned to make from her German mom. Genie owned a butcher shop near the center of Wilkes-Barre and wasn’t lacking for burgers and dogs for the big day. It was a small shop, and I can still smell the fresh meats he and his pal Joe would cut in the back, see the white porcelain-finished scales with the sign FRESH MEATS on the front, see and feel and smell the sawdust floors, and feel the shiny, smooth, metal-relief Life Savers display rack — shaped like stacks of Life Saver rolls, with labels for each flavor of the time — that was a source of fascination to this little one.

And for five or six days a year, it was a respite from the boredom of my suburban dead end. And it was fascinating to chart the progress of 84 each time we drove out there. Each year, Albie would have a new road map, and the dotted lines of construction were slowly being filled in.

In the ‘60s, 84 ended just over the New York line, in Brewster, with small segments completed here and there, so for us, it would mostly be Route 6 out to the Poconos and a couple of smaller roads heading to I-81 near Scranton. Counting a stop, often in the Pennsylvania border town of Matamoros, it was a five-hour ride, except for 1969, when we inadvertently stumbled into swarms of traffic — and hippies — in Port Jervis, on the tri-state borders of Pennsylvania and Jersey. Woodstock. Six hours that trip.

But the trip to Pennsylvania this time would really be a new adventure. A few months before, 84 was completed through New York state, all 71 miles of it. It actually took us a mile into Pennsylvania, ending in Matamoros. No more winding through smaller towns and up the hairpin turns that led to the Bear Mountain Bridge, near West Point. I was looking forward to riding the shiny new highway for the first time.

*****

Oh yeah — the radio. This is about music, right?

As usual, we left early on a Saturday morning so we could get to the Fried family house in Wilkes-Barre, where my aunts Ellie and Blanche still live, by midday before heading out to the lake in the afternoon. Albie had just bought a nice ’65 LeSabre from a co-worker — creamy yellow, black vinyl top, the tri-shield Buick emblem midway between the taillights that pulled out and to the side to reveal the gas nozzle. Hey, new car, new highway, new adventure — kids have simple pleasures, y’know?

And as we headed westward toward Danbury, near the New York border, I bugged Albie to turn on WABC. If it was gonna keep the kid quiet for the long ride, he was gonna oblige. And certain songs stuck in my head on that trip.

The New York segment of 84 would degenerate into a chewed-up mess by the mid-’80s and warrant ripping up and redoing the entire highway, bit by bit, through the late ’80s and early ’90s. But in the summer of ’71, the concrete was still very light, bright gray, especially in the morning sun, and pristine. And as we crossed the Croton River and climbed the hill out of Brewster, I remember hearing the thumpity-thump-tha-thump of Tommy James’ “Draggin’ the Line” on the radio, seemingly in time with the spaces in the concrete.

And several other songs would wend their way into my tiny but overactive brain on the way through New York: “When You Say Love,” Sonny & Cher’s knockoff of the then-popular “When You Say Bud” jingle. “Signs” by The Five Man Electrical Band. Marvin Gaye’s still-electrifying “What’s Going On.” “Funky Nassau” by The Beginning of the End. “Treat Her Like a Lady” by The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose.” “Superstar” by The Carpenters — who I didn’t know had grown up in New Haven. (Right around the corner, in fact, from St. Bernadette’s, the church where The Five Satins recorded “In the Still of the Nite” in the basement in 1956.)

“Beginnings” by Chicago, which actually came out the year before. “I Woke Up in Love This Morning” by The Partridge Family, who I’d watch faithfully every Friday night after “The Brady Bunch” and before bed. “Yo-Yo” by The Osmonds and Donny’s hit version of “Go Away Little Girl.” By the time WABC faded between Newburgh and Goshen, I’d had my share of good tunes. Heard some more as we drove through Pennsylvania, like Joan Baez’s version of “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down” and a couple of tunes from the previous year: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s version of “Woodstock” and Quicksilver Messenger Service’s “Fresh Air.”

And when we were at the lake, my cousin Mary played a cassette for me — Carole King. First time I had heard “It’s Too Late.” I would hear a lot of that “Tapestry” album parceled out as 7-inch vinyl over that summer: “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “So Far Away,” “Smackwater Jack.”

We drove into rain on the way back home, getting stuck in the eastbound bottleneck on 84 at the toll for the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, which was then just one two-lane span. And the music was appropriately rainy, as if the deejays were choosing the tunes to suit the climate. The Doors and the recently deceased Jim Morrison leading “Riders on the Storm” with a thunderstorm, and McCartney’s “Uncle Albert” breaking into a thundershower before clearing as “Admiral Halsey.” The Carpenters again with “Rainy Days and Mondays.” And, for a goofball element, Harry Nilsson putting limes in coconuts.

A couple Saturdays after that, we took a daytrip down to Long Island, to Babylon, to see some friends of the family. And once again, I coerced Albie into turning the knob to the magic of Musicradio 77. And many of the songs were familiar by now, but I noticed a much more soulful groove coming from the cheap cardboard speakers as the car inched along the Cross Island Parkway toward the eastbound ramp for the Long Island Expressway.

I wasn’t quite an adolescent, but I knew James Brown’s “Hot Pants” just sounded right for a steaming summer Saturday afternoon in the 90s. And Aretha’s blistering “Spanish Harlem,” from the melody of its soul-sister “La-laaaaaa” harmonies and the noodling organ accents, sounded like it was sung by sassy sisters with blowout Afros and dashikis and bellbottoms and huge hoop earrings, up in Harlem. And there were the pop hooks and soulful harmonies of “Stick-Up” by The Honey Cone. As I said, the sounds coming from the big 77 seemed to have a lot more soul.

*****

Well, as Rod Stewart sang toward the end of that summer, I really should be back at school. And thus, the summer turned into fall and other interests and more pre-adolescent angst.

And it was never the same after ’71, the trips to Pennsylvania.

The Flood of ’72 took place the following June. Two straight weeks of rain from Hurricane Agnes turned the Susquehanna River into a swollen rage from upstate New York to Maryland, and by the time it reached Wilkes-Barre, it was a 41-foot-high agent of destruction, taking out many homes and businesses, a bridge, King’s and Wilkes colleges along the riverbank, and about 2,500 corpses ripped from graveyards.

Uncle Don and Aunt Mary’s three-story house, a half-mile from a dike that burst, was obliterated. Gene’s butcher shop was flooded out; someone told us they saw TV footage of the Fried’s Market Coca-Cola storefront sign at water level. He wouldn’t reopen. (I couldn’t find an old photo, but I did spot the site on Google Maps.) Gene and Luce’s year-round house in Wilkes-Barre was flooded to the top of the first floor.

Our trip out there that summer wasn’t to enjoy, but to help out. The horseshoes and beer at the lake were, understandably, subdued. And Albie spent a day or two with Genie in the July heat and humidity, mucking out the remnants of the store — shoveling out mud, dealing with removing the bestenched, rotted, maggot-infested meat. Actually, there was a stench throughout downtown as the waters receded and the mud and muck began to dry — and you can’t truly understand it unless you’ve experienced it, and I hope you won’t have to.

Mom helped Luce do some cleaning at the house, while somehow, we kids managed to keep ourselves occupied and not complain. A couple times, we walked down to the Chevron station on the corner — which had one of those giant fiberglass lumberjacks standing sentry with his axe — and got ourselves some fresh water from the National Guard trucks. We weren’t gonna complain about being bored — after seeing what so many people were going through, tossing mud-caked furniture and TVs and sometimes keepsakes and mementoes at the curb, we sure as hell had no reason to complain.

And back home, I eventually drifted away from WPOP. The Zenith radio gave out after a year or so. For my 12th birthday in ’73, I got a groovy red Panasonic Ball-and-Chain radio, which was often tuned to WQQW in Waterbury, WABC and WNBC in New York, and the Yankee games at night, under the covers, on WATR.

And by the time I got to high school a couple years later, AM was replaced in my heart by FM — another expansion of my musical knowledge, in the days when FM rock radio was truly progressive and incredibly eclectic. Connecticut had four good FM stations at the time that I would alternate among: WCCC, WHCN and WDRC in Hartford, and WPLR in New Haven.

And in addition to my usual FM fare, Sunday nights would especially be my college of musical knowledge through high school, and I furiously turned the knob back and forth: Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” from 7 to 10:30 on DRC-FM; Dr. Demento from 10 to midnight on HCN; and from 7 to midnight, the foundation of my oldies education: John Bunnell’s “J.B.’s Solid Gold Rock’n’Roll Party” on WNVR in Naugatuck.

But AM — and radio, period — was never as magical to me as it was my virginal summer of 1971.

And the entire Pennsylvania stretch of 84 was completed by 1976. It’s now a three-hour straight shot to Wilkes-Barre from my folks’ house. Saves on the time spent listening to the radio, which is now an exercise in torture.

*****

August 2001. Ten years ago this time of year.

I got a call from my mom early on a Saturday evening. Gene took a nap that afternoon and never woke up. He had just turned 75 the previous November; the last time I saw him was at his surprise party at Ellie and Blanche’s. He was kind of the patriarch of the Fried clan, the center of the Pennsylvania part of the universe. And with his passing, an era was gone, a torch was passed, whatever you want to call it.

And so, that Wednesday evening — in the midst of the madness of getting my New Haven Register Weekend section ready to go — I headed out to my cousin Mary’s house, near the lake, for the funeral the next morning.

I had done a 30th-anniversary Summer of ’71 show the month before on WPKN, with most, if not all, of the songs listed below, and had the aircheck on three cassettes, and I cued the first tape so that “Draggin’ the Line” was playing as I was climbing out of Brewster on 84. Somehow, the tunes didn’t sound the same, and not just because car sound systems have gotten a hell of a lot better since Albie’s Buick. For one, I kinda knew which songs were coming when, and for another, back when I was a kid, the songs were fresh and new. This time, entering middle age, the charm and excitement and freshness had degenerated into the patina of nostalgia.

I decided, since I wasn’t gonna get to Mary’s until dark anyway, I would take the scenic route and get off 84 in Matamoros, where it ended in ’71, and wind my way along Route 6, past the biggest lake in the state, the man-made Lake Wallenpaupack, then the back roads to I-81 in Moosic, south of Scranton (and these days the home of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees).

Just wasn’t the same. The ride has gotten a lot more, say, civilized. That’s bound to happen in 30 years, I guess, but oodles of developments and traffic lights and a few chain stores had sprung up around Wallenpaupack, giving it a very sanitized feel.

Just in case it still existed, I was looking for the Char-Bar, the burger shack where we stopped that summer on 6 between the lake and the nearby turnoff for Route 590. It didn’t. But it did remind me I was getting hungry, and I pulled off just as darkness settled in at this teeny mom-and-pop burger joint on Route 690 near Moscow, the hometown of a former girlfriend of mine, about 15 miles from Scranton. Wound up at Mary’s place around 10ish, where she, my brothers and I assumed the official state pastime: sitting around and yapping over beers at the kitchen table.

The next morning, at the funeral, I did one of the readings ahead of the eulogy; not very long before, my brothers and I were among Lucy’s pallbearers. And no way in hell were any of us wearing ties; we all hated them, and the only time Genie ever wore them was for weddings. Afterward, we went back to the home of my cousin John, Gene and Lucy’s only son among four daughters, in nearby Dallas, and did what everyone usually did:  The women sat at a table up near the house, the guys — now Albie, my brothers and me, and the cousins — pitched horseshoes and drank beers. And then I had to leave early, about 2:30, to get back and finish putting out the Weekend section in New Haven. No long way home this time.

And that was 10 years, two jobs, one gender and one prolonged stretch of joblessness ago. I haven’t been back to Pennsylvania since.

And anyway, that’s the long, scenic route to telling you about the summer that turned me into a music fiend and shaped a huge chunk of my future. Which now seems to be my past. And here’s my Summer of ’71 playlist, with a couple of hits from ’70 thrown in, as I first heard them this particular summer. And keep your dial right where it is:

Joy to the World — Three Dog Night

Beginnings — Chicago

Draggin’ the Line — Tommy James

Treat Her Like a Lady — Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose

Two Divided by Love — The Grass Roots

Timothy — The Buoys

Yo-Yo — The Osmonds

Sweet Hitch-Hiker — Creedence Clearwater Revival

I Feel the Earth Move — Carole King

Brown Sugar — The Rolling Stones

I Woke Up in Love This Morning — The Partridge Family

Don’t Pull Your Love — Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds

When You Say Love — Sonny & Cher

All I Ever Need Is You — Sonny & Cher

Signs — Five Man Electrical Band

Rock and Roll — Led Zeppelin

Baby, I’m-a Want You — Bread

Superstar — The Carpenters

That’s the Way I Always Heard It Should Be — Carly Simon

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart — The Bee Gees

Go Away Little Girl — Donny Osmond

Woodstock — Matthews Southern Comfort

It’s Too Late — Carole King

Tired of Being Alone — Al Green

Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) — The Temptations

Want Ads — The Honey Cone

If You Really Love Me — Stevie Wonder

What Is Life — George Harrison

Funky Nassau — The Beginning of the End

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) — Marvin Gaye

What’s Going On — Marvin Gaye

Indian Reservation (The Plight of the Cherokee Reservation Indian) — The Raiders

Smiling Faces Sometimes — The Undisputed Truth

Mr. Big Stuff — Jean Knight

Hot Pants — James Brown

Spanish Harlem — Aretha Franklin

Stick-Up — The Honey Cone

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep — Mac & Katie Kissoon

Down by the Lazy River — The Osmonds

Get It On — Chase

Ain’t No Sunshine — Bill Withers

Riders on the Storm — The Doors

Rainy Days and Mondays — The Carpenters

So Far Away — Carole King

Wild Horses — The Rolling Stones

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey — Paul & Linda McCartney

Coconut — Nilsson

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again — The Fortunes

Sooner or Later — The Grass Roots

I’ll Meet You Halfway — The Partridge Family

Questions 67 and 68 — Chicago

Thin Line Between Love and Hate — The Persuaders

All Day Music — War

Liar — Three Dog Night

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down — Joan Baez

Smackwater Jack — Carole King

Fresh Air — Quicksilver Messenger Service

What About Me — Quicksilver Messenger Service

Woodstock — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get — The Dramatics

I Just Want to Celebrate — Rare Earth

Maggie May — Rod Stewart

Won’t Get Fooled Again — The Who

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3 Responses to “The Summer of ’71, or how I became a music fiend”

  1. Five Songs, Part 42 « Franorama World Says:

    […] Franorama World The wild, woolly world of someone who's in between two worlds. Strap in — it's some ride … « The Summer of ’71, or how I became a music fiend […]

  2. Pete Miller Says:

    Hi Fran!

    Great recollection piece on the childhood / radio connection. I grew up just a few houses away (part of the Chandler Drive gang) listening to many of the same stations, with the addition of Waterbury’s WWCO (SuperMusic ‘CO) and WNBC, another New York Top-40 AM powerhouse.
    I should point out that the glory years of WABC live on through MusicRadio77.com – a repository of scoped and unscoped airchecks, studio and air talent photos and jingles. Dan Ingram is, and always will be one of my radio role models.
    Pete Miller
    Prospect CT

  3. Take a load off (Levon Helm, 1940-2012) « Franorama World Says:

    […] my real immersion into music wasn’t until the summer of 1971, listening to the top 40 on WPOP in Hartford and WABC in New York, I didn’t know that Joan […]

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