Author Topic: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963  (Read 6004 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« on: March 31, 2007, 09:25:57 pm »
I have secured some playlists that radio stations in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho generally relied on for the predominant format found on stations in the rural mountain western states in 1963 - a sort of folk-country with some pop standards thrown in for good measure.  I have virtually all of the music involved already available to me.  I am wondering if there was any interest in building a special around the music that would have been heard by anyone in Wyoming back during the summer of 1963.

If there is an interest, I'll record a special or series of specials showcasing the music and possibly even some advertising from the era for a BBM Radio Special, but don't want to invest the effort if there is limited/no interest.
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 02:02:06 am »
Great idea! 

Offline Sepian

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2007, 10:00:01 am »
I love the idea Sergeant S
and a few ads from Wyoming at that time.

serials were still being played on radio back then
I remember ab out that time listening to Orson Welles reading "The Black Museum"
A western serial or two??

I would definitely listen
I love your playlist now SgtEric
Det ensomme liv under ben himmel og de r men smukke omgivelser danner langsomt rammen om en mhed mellem de to mnd.
The lonely life in the open air and those rough but beautiful surroundings slowly create a tenderness between the two men.

Offline Cameron

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2007, 10:26:04 am »
I think it is a great idea too.

I would also be really interested in hearing the old commercials.

I think it is reallly fascinating to see and hear old advertisements, and see how different they are from today.

Wonderful idea!!!



Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Radio Special + What Would Jack & Ennis Have Heard/Watched...
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 10:47:21 am »
I love the idea Sergeant S
and a few ads from Wyoming at that time.

serials were still being played on radio back then
I remember ab out that time listening to Orson Welles reading "The Black Museum"
A western serial or two??

I would definitely listen
I love your playlist now SgtEric


Radio 2 will have some old time radio shows on it to enjoy from the era when it launches.

There are just over 150 songs in my collection that made it big in the mountain west region in 1963, so it can be an extensive review of the music of the era.  Back then, most folks in rural mountain states had nothing on FM to listen to, and their AM radios received the few local stations that operated at the time, almost all of them playing country or a variation, and the rest listened to the regional clear channel radio outlets running 50,000 watts which made it regionally in the daytime (groundwave reception) and throughout the entire region at night (skywave - the same thing that lets you hear stations from around the country at night on AM - as well as shortwave radio stations around the world).  By far the most important stations for most in the mountain states were the 50,000 watt KOA Denver, KSL Salt Lake City, KTWO Casper, and the CBC outlet in Alberta.  Wyoming had a handful of radio stations in most of its larger communities (and for Wyoming, large might be 15,000 people).

What the filmmakers may not have realized is that television in Wyoming was a far bigger challenge than they let on in the film with shots of Del Mar family TV in the apartment in Riverton and the TV set in the trailer with nothing beyond rabbit ears.  Good luck.  In the 1960s, Riverton had access to just one television station in Casper - around 120 miles away!

In large parts of the state, the only way you watched television was with a robust external antenna on your roof, if not mounted on a large metal tower!  Rabbit ears would not cut it.


KTWO was the first TV station in Wyoming, signing on in 1957, owned by the same family that owned the major newspapers in the state.  KTWO, being the only choice for most of the state that was able to receive the signal, was a primary CBS affiliate (no surprise there - until the early 1970s, CBS was by far the most popular network in the heartland, south, and rural west - NBC was favored more in urban areas on on the east and west coasts, and nobody watched ABC until the mid-1970s when they finally stopped being considered a perennial loser).  However, they also picked some popular shows from NBC and aired those, and there are unconfirmed reports they would carry one or two shows from ABC as well.  And that, until 1981, was about it as far as network television in the Riverton area is concerned.

Living in Wyoming until the 80s arrived was a great way to escape, because television was a challenge, especially in mountainous areas that would easily block the signal.

Then cable and satellite TV arrived and things changed rapidly.  For many early cable subscribers and large "C" band satellite dishowners, if the cable company couldn't bring in another station from Wyoming, most folks got network affiliates from Denver which were uplinked on satellite.  As new stations could be assured they'd have a spot on the cable TV dial, they demonstrated enough viability to get startup money from investors, and a bunch of new stations signed on, including translator/repeater stations that rebroadcast signals from larger cities into smaller ones.  Riverton/Casper finally got its second station carrying NBC shows in 1981.

And what did Jack watch down in Childress?  With a decent antenna, that Thanksgiving football game would have come from a TV station in Amarillo, Texas which just barely served Childress county as part of its market. 
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Offline Toast

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 09:09:35 pm »

Interesting TV facts Phillip.
Television had not become such a universal babysitter in the 60s.


Looking for ward to some Old Time Radio serials on Radio 2.

Good work on BBM Radio Eric.
I should listen more though.



Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 03:17:54 am »
Interesting TV facts Phillip.
Television had not become such a universal babysitter in the 60s.

It sure was my babysitter in New York.  I watched a lifetime's worth of TV when I was a kid in the 60s. 

Offline fritzkep

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 07:26:36 pm »
I remember that in very small markets with only one TV station, it frequently happened that the one station carried the most popular programming from all three networks. When we visited an aunt in Alexandria, Louisiana, at her cabin north of town, the only available station was KALB Channel 5, and throughout the week there would be programming picked and chosen from all available networks. I especially remember that they picked up Disneyland from ABC, and would show Zorro a week later than the main network feed. The town didn't get a second station until the late 60's.

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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 04:06:25 pm »
I have begun work on this special.  Now have a decent microphone as well.  It's a lot of music to go through as well.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Radio Special: The Music of the Mountain West - Summer 1963
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2007, 05:26:02 pm »
Looking forward to this so much, Phillip!

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