Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning July 2006 Detroit Underground Radio Early 70s, WABX, CJOM Previous Next
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Polaar
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Username: Polaar

Post Number: 18
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 1:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My favorite years of Detroit radio were WABX and across-the-river CJOM from about 1970 to 1974. I've been able to find out very little about the history of those days... David Carson says a little about WABX in his books but I remember CJOM was as popular. W4 and pre-formatted WRIF had some good years as well. Does anyone have stories or suggestions for historical resources about this era of Detroit radio?
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 395
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was fortunate my dad saved his recordings from ABX and W4 and even WLLZ was cool when they where new. I still like to listen to them. You hear all kinds of stuff, and it aint Aerosmith and Bob Seger neither.
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 836
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 1:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I sincerely hope the Air Aces collaborate on a book very soon. WABX was the best FM free-form radio station ever (imho). It's hard to imagine a radio station like that.

Come on, Peter Werbe, Jerry Lubin, Frank Joyce and all other Aces!

When I was in high school in OldRedford, and on the school newspaper, we used to get newsletters from the Air Aces. Are there any of them floating around?
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 725
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 4:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Noon, Hi Friends.....
(Jerry Goodwin)

WKNR-FM seems to be the forgotten "underground" station when ever a discussion like this comes up. Their music mix was near as good as ABX, and better then WXYZ-FM (before it became WRIF), their big disadvantage being that they were broadcasting in mono, not stereo....

(Message edited by douglasm on December 07, 2006)
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 1928
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 4:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I posted this in the early days of the forum it is time to revisit.

My best friend at the time (early mid 70's) was very good friends with the chief engineer of 'ABX who incidentally did a lot of work at WUOM. We would go up to the ABX studio way up on the top of the Stott bldg and hang out.Ocaasionally we would go up to teh roof of the bldg and smoke pot.

Older forumers may remember a promo where the voice over would say "Wabx the station of your wildest dreams" that was the old gentleman that ran the elevator.

One particular night my friend brought his Boa constrictor along for the ride to the station. Gail Parenteau was on the air that night. Things were humming right along until she saw the snake...........She freaked quite literally.She jumped out of her chair and in doing so knocked the needle off the turn table.To fill the dead airspace Jim the engineer turned on a small transistor radio to Wjr where Ernie Harwell was broadcasting the Tigers. Too bad the squares got a hold of the industry because that kind of spontaneity is long gone
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Cklwbig8
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Username: Cklwbig8

Post Number: 83
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 5:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

how about WABX "the seventh day program" played whole albums every sunday . cool stuff late 70's early 80's
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Waz
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Username: Waz

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 10:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a two-piece article about the fabled Air Aces in the Metro Times back in the mid-90's. Find it if you can.

Ahhh, the days: DJ's who talked like human beings to listeners - remember, we spent years listening to loudmouthed in-yer-face blastfurnaces before the free-form guys came along. How about a set of Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Aretha and Sun Ra? No one would touch that nowdays. Even Penhallow before he got all over-the-top was fun to listen to.

How about Ronnie Legg, the CJOM DJ who sounded like Howlin' Wolf after drinking a gallon of chlorine? Whatta guy!!
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Sailor_rick
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Username: Sailor_rick

Post Number: 152
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 3:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...or when Patti Smith and Ted Nugent had it out over the air (a supposed unintentional meeting) on WABX circa '78...
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Pythonmaster
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Username: Pythonmaster

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 5:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I miss Dave Dixon on ABX and the early days of WDET when they had the Bombay Bicycle Club. There is little spontaneity on radio these days.
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East_detroit
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Username: East_detroit

Post Number: 842
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 5:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What was the Bombay Bicycle Club?
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 842
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 09, 2006 - 6:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

or when Jerry Lubin accidentally played Rivers of Shit on the air?
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 4062
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 3:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Spontaniety on the radio? In this day & age, it's non-existant with the exception of Liz Copeland on WDET late nights.

I miss the days when the DJs were the people we listened to because they were the experts on music. We tuned into them for their musical ear and expertise. And if they left one station for another, his/ her following would drift over. Now all radio has become is corporate. They play one genre and that's it.

I surely miss the days when I was INFORMED to new music. Admittedly I'd have to say 70-80% of the stuff they played never tweaked my fancy but the remaining stuff were musical gems to me! Places like Sam's Jams became my late Friday haunts just so I could go buy an entire album- and those sales were generated by the one song I'd hear from a DJ. And even the music that I didn't like, I grew to appreciate for its uniqueness.

It was truly an education back then. What these kids today missed out on. Where is this generation getting its musical knowledge? How will they expand their horizons?? Surely not from corporate radio stations.
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14509glenfield
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Username: 14509glenfield

Post Number: 50
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 10:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NOTHING...is CLASSIC now. Personal opinion! Live DJ's ... just about a thing of the past. Whatever mix is dictated by the coporates, get the air time. Not going to mention groups, but X amount of years from now those groups and their music will still be played. Hell, they use GIMME SOME LOVIN' for the intro of Amerprise. Zepplin for Cadillac. Oops, a group! IN THE MOOD, SUSPICIOUS MINDS, CAN'T HELP MYSELF, etc. Long Live that era. Hope I didn't offend the younger folk. Every generation can archive their preferences, stations, DJ's, the media, the continually aging public saves a little bit of the past for future. RAVE ON...it's free...ON THE RADIO.
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Jimg
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Username: Jimg

Post Number: 744
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 11:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bombay Bicycle Club...
Hosted by that crazy man Gary Barton, aired on 'DET in the early seventies. I can see him now, standing in front of those ancient Scullys cueing up tapes...he played what Jeri Stormer called 'audioverity' or something like that.
Ya never knew what you'd hear on the BBC. WDET was the most eclectic station on the dial in the 1970s. Not only in terms of individual program content but format, too. "Indian to Indian", "History of the March", "Gayly Speaking", "El Grito de me Raza", plus various jazz & blues programs including the Famous Coachman...DET truly played everything you didn't hear or rarely heard elsewhere. WABX was a great station and dosed it's programming with non-mainstream rock, blues and even some jazz. But the station as a whole didn't touch what was happenin' at WDET. FCC regs were looser, too, and "River of Shit" wouldn't have raised an eyebrow among program hosts. Even in the 1980s this was true - one host aired an interview with Lester Young during which Pres used "motherfucker" every other sentence.

(Message edited by jimg on December 10, 2006)
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 852
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 11:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MySpace is a good source of musical info. The internet as a whole works - with more effort to be sure.

Many small labels have great sites where you can download songs - LEGALLY - the way they used to release singles on the radio. Yep Roc is one I frequent.
http://yeproc.com/
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 1139
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 1:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a few links for you who'd like to read a bit more on the stations and music in the 1960s and 70s:
http://home.att.net/~s.m.geer/ wabx.htm
http://www.motorcitymusicarchi ves.com/crisis.html
http://home.att.net/~s.m.geer/ bands.htm
http://home.att.net/~s.m.geer/
http://www.detroitradioflashba cks.net/
http://www.motorcitymusicarchi ves.com/
http://www.440.com/mi.html
http://www.vuolovideo.com/audi oairchecks.html
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Pythonmaster
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Username: Pythonmaster

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 3:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bombay Bicycle Club was the late afternoon show on DET, I think the host was Gary Burton. He played a great eclectic mix back in the early 70's. It was fun to listen to radio back then. Not to hijack the thread, but anyone have a favorite streaming station?
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Corktown_paddy
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Username: Corktown_paddy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 3:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ahh Detroit radio when FM started to take over the popularity of AM.
Sure used to sound good on an underdash FM 8 track player.
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Pythonmaster
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Username: Pythonmaster

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leonard King had a great show on WDET. His interview with Sonny Stitt was one of the coolest things I have ever heard on radio.
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Bongman
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Username: Bongman

Post Number: 1358
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 11:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of those guys was talking about how they used to put on "In-A-GODDA-DA-VIDA"....then hop in their car and drive around the neighborhood and burn one, and be back before the song was over ! Might have been W4 though.

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