Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Celebrate 4th of July early - like, 1970

In the column at left, you'll notice we've posted nearly 2 hours of airchecks (neatly divided up into segments) from Bill Compton's July 4, 1970 broadcast on KCAC. Click on the top bar to start the whole program, or select just the part you want to hear. You can also download the files by clicking the link under the playlist. Enjoy, America!


Anonymous said...

Yeah Jimmy, thats why I'm going to skiptowne next week an go up to the Rainbow Gathering in CO an take the WEC 7/70 declaration with me...Try to find some peace with purpose in the naked woods....Wow !

Tape @ 7/11....


Jimmy said...

Good plan, Miner. You can download the first two hours of the broadcast here:


and the concluding two hours (which, for some reason, don't show up in the playlist) here:


Load 'er up!

Mariah Fleming said...

Well, Ronco!
Leave it to you to start a firestorm on the blog!!
You'd better start leaving a trail of breadcrumbs if you're right about all this stuff!

As for this being a site dedicated to the music, anyone who knows about KCAC knows it was as dedicated to political and social awareness as to the music! For the people of that generation the two go hand in hand.

"It's a wonderful world which runs by itself!" (not!)

Tom Wright said...

Re the July 4th aircheck: hey, that's my tape! Thanks, Jimmy, for posting it for others to enjoy.

For those of you interested in the "back story": the tape was recorded by a friend of a friend and given to me years later. (The original taper was Tom Klockenbrink, who gave it to David Mowry, who gave it to me.) It runs about 3 hours and was recorded right off the air, at 3 & 3/4 IPS on an 1800-foot reel of tape, on Saturday, July 4, 1970. KCAC had a notoriously low-quality signal, even for an AM radio station, so it represents something less than a sonic masterpiece, but give it time and your ears will adjust. I still have the original reel of tape, but in 2003 I copied it to CD using a stand-alone digital audio recorder (not a computer) with minimal processing to reduce the boomy, bass-heavy sound of the original. I gave copies of the discs to Jimmy Magahern, Dwight Tindle, KDKB, and to anyone else I thought might be interested. All of which is secondary, of course, to the magic of what's actually on the tape, and the chance to hear Bill Compton's voice again.

FYI: a have one other tape, from 1971, of Bill on the air at KCAC, but it is of much poorer quality and not nearly as interesting. I also also have a few tapes from the early days of KDKB, including Bill's interviews with Danny O'Keefe (1973) and a young Stevie Nicks (1975). On a sadder note, I have a copy of the special edition of "Forum" that was broadcast the night after Bill's death, with Mark Nykanen and Hank Cookenboo paying tribute to Bill and recounting his life and his work.

One treasure I do NOT have is a tape of KCAC's final sign-off in August 1971. I actually did record it at the time, but a few months later I accidentally erased the tape. ANYBODY OUT THERE GOT A COPY??? I remember Bill speaking about what KCAC had accomplished, and outlining his hopes for KDKB. Then he signed off with a set of songs about farewells and goodbyes, including Bob Dylan's "Restless Farewell", Tom Rush's "No Regrets", and Simon & Garfunkle's "Bookends". I've re-created that set of songs (to the best of my recollection) on CD, but a tape of the actual broadcast would be far more meaningful.

I was not part of the KCAC/KDKB community; I never worked at either station or met any of the principals (at least not until years later, and then only briefly). I was just an avid listener, but one with a tape recorder and some weird need to document what was happening on the airwaves. Anyway, I'm happy to share my tapes and my memories (such as they are), and would be glad to hear from other folks out there who feel the same.

Tom Wright

Jimmy said...

Happy to have Tom's comments and backstory on the tapes here. I credited him way back when we started this blog (16 months ago now!), but he deserves another big thanks for providing what's become the main media content of this blog.
I hope his call for others to scour through their garages and attics for old tapes will dredge up more stuff. I know these broadcasts are out there, somewhere, and now we've got a place to put 'em up for all to enjoy. If you can transfer your old reel-to-reels or cassettes to any kind of digital format, we'll do the rest.