Monday, May 25, 2020

The 93 KHJ-LA Complete Boss 30 - 1967

The third in this KHJ series was completed last night and what a great year it was! By my count, all but nine songs are original mono single mixes. I had a lot of help from AYBCS readers, as well as a couple of Faltonians! I'm sending it out without having listened to all of it yet, Your comments are appreciated! 444 tracks and nearly 16 hours long. Every single song that appeared in KHJ's Boss-30 Survey for the year, with as many 1967 airchecks added in as I could get. Coming up next are upgrades to 68 through 71.

Commentary from Kwai Chang:
KHJ 1967(The Wrecking Crew)
Technology by definition must keep advancing...a never-ending sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes in the effort to create new value.

Hence, a perplexing situation was that of KHJ in the quest to be BOSS! For all of the technical limitations of the late 1960s, radio was not immune to the effects of the primitive playing field which was nothing more than a threshing floor. In that regard, never before had something so business-like seemed like something so genuine in its everyday-lifelike!

And yet, we all know the first rule of business: If you're not bringing in more capital than you're NOT a business. So, it seems amazing that KHJ brought a flair to the world of radio and even more so, to the world of music than had ever been known prior. KHJ had no real advantage in the radio world. It was still becoming modern. It was in the process of being created and it was pretty simplistic in terms of risks, odds, vision! It was still trying to figure out what it wanted to be. This might be enough to keep a radio station busy even when objectives are practically realizing themselves. So, in KHJ's situation, things were going very much as planned. The project seemed to be devoid of monetary concerns when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

We needn't concern ourselves about the protocols of commerce. This was already part of the mechanism as The Beatles learned when Andy White was able to relegate the drummer, Ringo Starr, to tambourine at the sessions for Love Me Do. It is simply a matter of economics to never let investment become more of a risk than the situation requires. In the early years of KHJ, this was an unwritten rule that preceded all other considerations. It is not exactly clear where one entity stops and another begins...but in the radio world( BUSINESS) it's always about efficiency. This is apparent by the inserted advertisements that corporate sponsorship pays large premiums for. Broadcast slots are strategized and even more so, the commercials themselves are crafted by professionals who do nothing else but specialize in making you want to buy products.

In Hollywood, most of this work was sub-contracted out to The Hellers. This was the slickest team of gimmick creators who made most of the connections with the tuned-in consumer. We have never seen any amateur efforts on television when the programming breaks for a word-from-our-sponsors. It is common industry knowledge that our favorite television shows are only there to fill the space between the commercials. So, with that pretext in mind, we can only marvel at the clever finesse utilized by BOSS radio when their own airchecks were broadcast sounding very much(read EXACTLY) as if they were recorded by the current hitmakers in the TOP 30.

This was not the work of The Hellers...but, rather by a group of their contemporaries. In fact the collective didn't really have a name. They were simply a small group of musicians that worked 40 hours a week doing what they did best...providing musical backing tracks for very realistic sounding endorsements. However anonymous such a function could actually be, there was much more to this relationship than anyone knew.

We now know this elite team by the name The Wrecking Crew. The KHJ airchecks DID sound exactly like the Beach Boys had made it...because The Beach Boys records were actually backing tracks produced by The Wrecking Crew. Why would it...why SHOULD it be any other way? Music is a business and most of the BOSS Top 30 was created in this most efficient manner. In this way, the VERY best music could be created, broadcast, surveyed...and purchased. It isn't an is professionalism. It wasn't intended to be illusory...but it WAS a huge blur that kept everything running smoothly and profitably. Most of all, it made everything sound fun while captivating anybody who loved music, radio, or record collecting. It isn't clear whether KHJ and The Wrecking Crew were really separate limbs of the same didn't matter. Very few artists have the technical expertise to ever achieve stardom. We'll never know what The Beatles' own fate would have been had not Andy White been there for 'them'.

But a quick glance at KHJ surveys should reveal that current stars in the airplay rotation are really only singers...possibly only actors pretending to be music stars...trying to be loved. Probability gives better odds to those who know their own true functions. So, without dwelling on how the OTHER faces(band members) are selected to be on the record jackets...just know that NEVER before had so many been entertained by so few. This is why the music was so good in the first place and at least for KHJ...why they were BOSS!

1966 to 1967   Yandex    Zippy

1967 Part 1 (Jan-Feb)    Yandex    Zippy

1967 Part 2 (March-April)   Yandex    Zippy

1967 Part 3 (May-June)    Yandex    Zippy

1967 Part 4 (July-Aug)    Yandex    Zippy

1967 Part 5 (Sept-Oct)    Yandex    Zippy

1967 Part 6 (Nov-Dec)    Yandex    Zippy

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The 93 KHJ-LA Complete Boss 30 - 1966

Blank Frank Notes: 1966 is a fine, if not the best year ever. This 389 track 14 hour set compiles EVERY boss-30 song that appeared in the weekly KHJ-LA survey for 1966, in the order of its appearance. Some minor changes were made to accommodate airchecks, but they all stayed in the same survey week. Thanks to the help of Dave, Rory, and Kevin, the sound quality is outstanding and virtually all original single mono mixes, some of which have never been released since the original 45s were pressed. Thanks too for Kwai Chang for his essay and support/advice. Without their help, this collection would not have turned out as nice. Thank you all!! About airchecks, finding them in good quality and sufficient quantity was very difficult. They are what they are, but they do add to the overall KHJ experience.  I hope you're able to take this for your daily commute or listen on a long drive once we're all free of this quarantine. Surveys, tracklist, and essay included.

Kwai Chang - 1966:
To understand what radio was like before BOSS Radio is nearly futile because its creation was a well thought out campaign. The people responsible for its inception had a huge vision that was pure genius for it was clearly institutional in scope. It was as if Disneyland was a station on the radio yet, it was personalized to appear as though the individual listener could feel a part of it.

This is incredibly clever. It allowed for belonging on a constant basis...round the clock. It provided real personalities for the entire day with which the listener could identify and trust. It was a never-ending finger on the pulse of a genre that was clearly new and and and ALIVE. As if by an undeniable force there was endless excitement from the once dead realm of radio. Forget the novelty of had nothing so tangible for the modern consumer to do except the latent dormancy that accompanies catatonic immersion into the medium.

The beauty of BOSS radio was that it seemed fluid and constantly flowing. So much so, that TV was used as a self-serving gimmick that turned the television viewer into active participants as KHJ listeners. Contests were regularly held on KHJ that would offer prizes of meeting TV stars, visiting the sets of the productions, eating lunch with celebrities. So, you could be the biggest Batman fan on the planet...but, it would require a certain amount of radio participation to realize.

All the while, each KHJ Disc Jockey would use such promotions to continue building their own respective personalities into lovable identities that were more well known locally than Adam West or Burt Ward would ever accomplish. This is a heady accomplishment and may be based entirely on the irony that radio had returned from the dead. Was everything radio HAD BEEN before 1966 actually mundane and pointless?

By KHJ's game-plan, that assessment may be the only premise for the new format that exacted such sentiment. The BOSS Radio daily experience certainly made THE MOMENT the most important point on ANY chronology. 1966 was a very rich year for music. It must have been the most promising year of all for ANYONE that connected with the station...directly, or indirectly. That merely begs the question...was it better to be a KHJ DJ, or a KHJ listener?

THAT is just how good things were for everyone. The tinsel was everywhere...and everything was still new. Like a dream!!!

1965 to 1966   Yandex  Zippy

1966 Part 1 (Jan-Feb)  Yandex   Zippy

1966 Part 2 (March-April)   Yandex   Zippy

1966 Part 3 (May-June)  Yandex   Zippy

1966 Part 4 (July-Aug)  Yandex   Zippy

1966 Part 5 (Sept-Oct)  Yandex    Zippy

1966 Part 6 (Nov-Dec)  Yandex    Zippy

Friday, May 8, 2020

The 93 KHJ-LA Complete Boss 30 - 1965

After a five-month break, AYBCS has returned to continue this series of Los Angeles Top-30 tracks. In the beginning, I thought of this as the story of LA Pop music, but I've reconsidered and realized this is the story of KHJ's Top-30. So our story begins with the first survey from July 9th, 1965. Also, I scoured all the sources I could find and was able to insert airchecks between every second song. As this series continues, I'll try to keep this standard, but getting quality airchecks is very difficult.

So we have every song that appeared in a KHJ Boss-30  in 1965.  The vast majority are original mono 45 single versions. Also, each track is tagged with the survey where the song first appeared. Airchecks are on the other side of the survey for that week. This has been a labor of love and, I gotta admit, a very difficult series to compile. But with this you'll have the most complete view of what LA radio was like at the beginning of KHJ's reign. @320, essay, tracklist, and surveys included. Thanks to everyone who shared their time and collections to help make this project even better than I could have hoped.

Introduction Kwai Chang: 1965:
It must have been strange to watch television render radio obsolete. Radio had been good to the world. It's just that regarding the context of demographics, there is no loyalty to be found within American Consumerism. Gimmicks rule supreme and ANY gimmick is a good gimmick! So how long was radio ever supposed to compete with television when TV had the gimmick of moving images? 

Luckily, no one held their breath waiting for an answer. 

Perhaps, the real lesson of radio was to show us just how ANY advance in technology is really DOOM for all that came before it. Or, is there something much less obvious-- FAR more mysterious to be learned by the hastily available legacy with a bad case of eulogy-itis? Because, as RADIO lay deceased for the proceedings of February 9, 1964...the horizon unfolded itself into an omni-directional money grab led by anything sounding British along with a sublime sense of timing that was beyond the realm of human strategy. 

Depending on when you were born, and where you lived...RADIO was about to transform itself into many things...most of them unforeseen...and many of them inevitable. But, in 1964, Radio wanted to hold my hand. It is a situation that was culturally confusing that had assembled itself(or crumbled into) from the most simple events, chronologies, voids, supplies, demands, industry protocol, and some non-protocol innocence that slipped in at the very beginning. All of these things woke up CHANGED on the morning of February 10, 1964. The Beatles' would sell many 8-Crystal Transistor Radios while Capitol Records did the honors of giving the group structural support(manufactured retail units) and the rest of the world tried to hang on for the ride. For the next year, American boredom became doesn't matter what breaks the spell. By 1965, it seemed like all music came from England...and, American radio found itself in a most bemusing position. 

Thanks to television, pop music was left with an orphan known as Top-40 radio. The bonus of this situation was much the same as Los Angeles' musical identity dilemma before The Doors became its pride. Radio would now be standing on a wide-open potential that could have gone in any number of directions. And since it was happening in Los Angeles, AM radio was about to turn from B&W to COLOR. 

At the end of the really great year of 1964...American radio found itself standing over a new commodity. A parallel to Hollywood's Tinsel-Town and all that goes with the silver screen was now a wide-open be played out on the airwaves of Southern California. Just as Los Angeles had been a musical identity void prior to The Doors...this was, even more, the case in 1965 Los Angeles radio. But, childhood must end.

So, in that, it must follow that those of the right age and in the proper locations would be able to escape into a very real magic. No fictitious realities would impose themselves upon format least, not yet. But, that's because there was a very real need to chart the territory...and decide on a navigational course to start mapping. But, for the moment, a Boy-Scout compass would suffice. 

Modern music media, Los Angeles' Musical Identity, Industry Headquarters, Trend-Setting, Fast Lane Life, The Wrecking Crew, Radio Community Function, et cetera...AND KHJ BOSS Radio were ALL being born and learning to walk, talk, to dance sing...

(Well, 2-out-of-4 ain't bad)

So, what? Quidnunc? How do the lyrics really go??? And did those feet, in ancient times, walk up on....Los Angeles in 1965?


Zippy Part 1

Zippy Part 2

Zippy Part 3