Thursday, May 31, 2012

GOODBYE TO THE "BIG X"

A Recording of Wolfman Jack's Goodbye Speech from 4/14/1972, his Last Day on the Border Blaster, XERB 

Bob Smith aka Wolfman Jack had been the king of the high-powered Mexican “X”  radio stations for nearly 8 years before he finally surrendered the throne in 1972.  As fans know, he first began broadcasting as Wolfman out of Ciudad Acuna, Mexico on the 250,000 watt station, XERF.  The powerful signal, which was five times the US limit, meant at night Wolfman could be heard over much of North America as well as Europe and the Soviet Union. Wow!  Keep in mind this was long before the internet made it so simple to communicate instantly across the planet.   About 2 years later he became co-manager and DJ of another Mexican station, this one broadcasting from the Northern tip of Baja in Mexico.  The station, XERB broadcast 50,000 watts and had a nighttime signal that would blast North all the way up the United State’s West Coast states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska and Canada too.  With these two stations alone, Wolfman captured an enormous nighttime fan base with a demographic that varied from kids on “school-nights” covertly listening under their bed covers on transistor radios to big rig truck drivers, trying to stay awake, as they hauled freight loads across the country on dark, lonely interstates.  


Wolfman, whose appearance was mostly a mystery, blasted all kinds of music, sang along with the records, made outrageous innuendos, broadcast phone call requests from fans and made prank phone calls outside the studio.  He put on an incredible show that sounded like a party being broadcast from the studio and made the listener feel like (and thus become) a participant in the fun.  It was extremely infectious.  Even to this day, if you listen to some early broadcasts from the ‘60s with Wolfman yelling and singing along to the words of a song such as, “Hello, I love you,” by The Doors, one cannot help but get a good feeling inside.  Wolfman was having a great time and you could feel it.  In fact, I dare anyone to seek out and listen to the famous recording of Wolfman singing along to “Nothing Takes the Place of You,” by Toussaint McCall and not want to smile.  It just can’t be done. 


Interior of the Mexican studio, XERB from which Wolfman's pre-recorded shows were broadcast 1966-72.

Wolfman would have continued to spread the news about rhythm and blues and other great music on XERB forever but some nasty legal maneuverings by the Mexican government forced him to give up control of the station around 1972. (Please see my “En El Aire Pt.1” post for more about this.)  The last night of his reign over the Mexican airwaves was Friday, April 14, 1972.  Here I’ve posted a recording of the announcement he made on his last night on the big 1090.  By this time the XERB station letters (which were owned by Wolfman), had been changed to XEPRS.  It truly marks the end of an important time in radio broadcasting history.  The following Monday Wolfman would begin broadcasting from the Los Angeles, California station, KDAY, and then four months later film his cameo in American Graffiti, and very soon after begin an 8-year stint as the host of the weekly TV program, Midnight Special, as his syndicated radio show spread his voice across the globe. He was evolving from a cult hero into an international superstar.  The recording of his rather rambling emotional announcement involves Wolfman mentioning, in a very positive, groovy manner, that he is leaving to go to another station and notes that his show will be available in syndication. It lasts about 4 minutes, and was originally played several times during his last show. Enjoy.
 

Wolfman Says Goodbye 4/14/72 XEPRS

"Don't fret if the sun catches you troubled.  'Cause there's gonna be times when trouble will help you find the right direction."

 



__NOTES:______________________________________________ 

  • Wolfman Jack and Byron Laursen.  Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock 'n' Roll Animal. Warner Books, New York 1995.
  • Wolfman Jack.  Howling on the Air. Audio CD.  Big Ear Music. 1998. (Out of Print)
  • Wolfman Jack and the Border Blasters. Rick Everett. CD.  Air-Check Factory.com. 2002.
  • XEPRS Air check (4/14/1972)


Monday, May 28, 2012

DATES & DETAILS

Modesto American Graffiti Car Show & Festival

Modesto Junior College West Campus, Modesto, CA

Friday June 8th thru Sunday June 10, 2012


50th Anniversary of the time period portrayed in the movie American Graffiti. How do you answer the question "Where were you in '62?"

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins, and Paul Le Mat, all actors in the movie, will be attending the Festival to help celebrate the occasion.  
  •  Gene Winfield, the famous car designer, will also be a guest and around to talk to. 
  • The evening Parade in famous Downtown Modesto on Friday, June 8 begins @ 7pm. 



KRUISE OF KLAMATH - SHOW 'N' SHINE
Klamanth Falls, Oregon
 JUNE 22, 2012  _______________________________________________ JUNE 24, 2012

Its time to shine up your Chevy, detail your '32 coupe, and hustle your hot rod too the celebration of America's love affair with cars.  At the Kruise of Klamath the cars are "cherry," the cruisin is "boss" and the atmosphere is "too cool!"
 
This annual, three-day blast from the past filled with music, food and beautiful cars gives baby boomers the chance to relive the "happy days" and provides an opportunity for those who didn't to experience the "good 'ol days" firsthand. 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS EXCITING EVENT PLEASE CONTACT THEM:

http://www.kruiseofklamath.org