Author Topic: Summer of '63 Radio Special  (Read 4277 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Summer of '63 Radio Special
« on: July 31, 2008, 04:34:41 pm »
The Music That Played Across Wyoming One Wonderful Summer of 1963

We're proud to bring you The Summer of '63 Radio Special on BBM Radio One for the remainder of the summer.  The playlist was compiled after researching the actual songs and commercials aired on great Wyoming radio stations like KTWO-AM Casper, the 50,000 watt powerhouse heard across Wyoming day and night.

While much of the country was embroiled in the struggle for civil rights, the post-Cuban Missile Crisis diplomacy with the Soviet Union, and the controversy over the policies of President John F. Kennedy, life in the mountain west states was more basic - just struggling to earn enough money to keep going.  Topic Number One in states like Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas, and Idaho was making a decent enough living to raise a family in this economically depressed, rural region of the country.  This was the era before Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty.  Just getting the basics like electricity and telephone service to all of the rural communities across these states was a major factor of life.  Few people had lots of free time to worry about the national discussion on civil rights and the beginnings of a generation gap that would be such a factor later in the decade.

Wyoming radio was decidedly conservative in what was broadcast to listeners.  This was the mountain west, so most of the music played was decidedly from what we'd now call classic country and western.  Many stations played no African-American artists whatsoever, and the rock and roll era took much longer to reach this part of the country.

Most radio stations survived on the local advertising purchased by tobacco companies, auto and farm equipment dealers, local shops, and ads for oil and gas suppliers.  Many stations also ran on-air auctions and trading posts where folks would pay a small fee to sell goods and services.  The rest of the day, programs imported from the national radio networks filled out the schedule.  Radio stations in Wyoming affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, and NBC.  Radio in 1963 was critically important across the state, as television was problematic in the mountain terrain, unless you lived near Casper or Cheyenne.  At night, folks tuned into AM radio stations from San Francisco, Nashville, Seattle, Salt Lake, and most importantly, Denver.

So as Jack Twist made the journey from Lightning Flat to Signal, his trusty AM truck radio would have certainly found its way to KTWO-AM, and we're thrilled to be able to bring you the music that was heard on KTWO that year.

You'll hear all of the traditional themes of country & western: broken hearts, lamented losses, cheating hearts, triumph over adversity, self-reliance, and the importance of family and traditional values.  To fans of Brokeback Mountain who weren't around in 1960s Wyoming, it really opens a window on Annie Proulx's characters and helps give insight into the challenges faced by Jack and Ennis and why they coped with them the way they did.  That realism was one of the reasons Proulx's work continues to receive such high praise.

Enjoy, and let us hear your thoughts and comments!
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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: Summer of '63 Radio Special
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2008, 11:29:45 pm »
I don't usually listed to country (and let's face it this IS country).

But I've had the radio on all day (about 16 hours) and I like it.

I like older music (prefer 1950's pre-rock and earlier stuff - before my time cause I know too well the music of my life). Recognised about a dozen tunes (cross-overs to the pop charts) and was drawn to one tune I'd not heard before ('Air Mail to Heaven' by Carl Smith).

Mostly use it as background. Shame about the repetitous commercial and the occasional interuptions (when asked if I want to continue). Love the coke jingles (there are two of em, right?) in particular.

Thanks for this Phillip. I KNOW it took quite a lot of time to make this project happen.
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Summer of '63 Radio Special
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 09:12:00 pm »
If there is any interest, I might be able to assemble some podcasts people can download and take with them, without the Live365 commercials.  Let me know if there is interest.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Summer of '63 Radio Special
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2008, 10:43:13 pm »
Yes, I would be interested. I need to listen to these songs in more depth. I find some of them disturbing, in the same way that the radio patter in the background of Brokeback Mountain was kind of disturbing.
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Summer of '63 Radio Special
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 09:27:39 am »
If there is any interest, I might be able to assemble some podcasts people can download and take with them, without the Live365 commercials.  Let me know if there is interest.

Tell you what, I am just about brainwashed into a career in the 'Clandestine Services'!  I've heard that commercial four or five times in the last hour!  :D

I'm happy that I'm back listening to BBM Radio, though, after too-long a hiatus!

Thanks to Eric and Phillip and anyone else who keeps it operating!
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Offline SFEnnisSF

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Re: Summer of '63 Radio Special
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2008, 11:41:38 pm »
Tell you what, I am just about brainwashed into a career in the 'Clandestine Services'!  I've heard that commercial four or five times in the last hour!  :D

I'm happy that I'm back listening to BBM Radio, though, after too-long a hiatus!

Thanks to Eric and Phillip and anyone else who keeps it operating!
 8)

You're very welcome Darlin'.  Ain't it somethin', how you can turn the radio station on, and it all just comes back to you...just like it was yesterday....

Thanks for listening.  I'm really glad folks are still enjoyin' it after all this time.  :)