Today's Video Link

I grew up (to the extent I grew up) in Los Angeles in the sixties. That meant I often listened to 93/KHJ Boss Radio, the top-rated local Top 40 station. If you liked hearing the same hits played over and over, it was a great companion. They didn't play a lot of commercials and their on-air personalities — they called them Boss Jocks — didn't talk much.

Much fuss was made about the Boss Jocks and I never quite understood the delusion that they were superstars. They all had the same playlist and said pretty much the same things in their brief interjections so they were pretty much indistinguishable from each other. Still, the station promoted them (and they seemed to all believe) that the kids were tuning in to hear them, not the Beatles or the Doors or Petula Clark or any Mama or Papa.

I actually listened to KHJ an odd way…without the Boss Jocks. I had a then-modern/now-antique reel-to-reel tape recorder. I connected it to a radio and every so often, I'd tape a few hours of KHJ and clip out the songs I liked. I'd play the tape back, fast-forwarding through commercials and songs I didn't like (or already had) to find the ones I'd snip out with my tape splicer and edit onto my current "keeper" reel.

When I felt like listening to music, I listened to one of my keeper reels. I eventually had three or four, each of which ran an hour. I must have played each one a few hundred times and the playing order is still imprinted in some corner of my brain. Today if I'm in a store and they're playing "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams, I assume the next song will be "To Sir With Love" by Lulu…because that's what came next on my tapes.

One time I was in Las Vegas with a friend…and in the casinos of Vegas, especially downtown, they play a lot of sixties and seventies tunes. There was some study that revealed that the kind of folks who go into casinos are happier and "feel at home" with songs they know well from their teen years…and the patrons some casinos wish to attract are at the right age to know The Monkees from their teen years.

So there my friend and I were in the Golden Nugget and the speakers were emitting "Never My Love" by the Association. I turned to my friend, told him about my tapes and explained, "Every time I hear this song, I wait for the next tune to be 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' by Procol Harum…and of course, it never is." Then they started the next song and it was "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum. I still haven't figured out how the Golden Nugget got hold of my old keeper reels.

Here's twelve and a half minutes that should give you a good idea of what KHJ Boss Radio sounded like when I was in high school. It'll be more authentic if you can figure out some way to listen to this on a transistor radio with bad reception…