Tag Archives: May Music et al

May Music et al

May Music et al

Pete Seeger

May Music et al

In May, 1962: a Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of Pete Seeger. Fortuitously for Seeger, that same week Peter, Paul, and Mary’s cover of Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”  hit the Top 40 chart and his blacklisting began to dissipate. (2014 Nation article) (see June 27)

May Music et al

James Brown Live at the Apollo

In May 1963: recorded October 24, 1962, James Brown and The Famous Flames released Live at the Apollo. In 2003, the album was ranked number 24 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

May Music et al

Little Stevie Wonder

In May 1963: recorded in June 1962 during a Motortown Revue performance at the Regal Theater in Chicago Little Stevie Wonder’s The 12 Year Old Genius album released.

May Music et al

LSD

Beatles and LSD

May Music et al

In May 1967: Paul McCartney reported in Queen magazine that all the Beatles had “dropped acid.” (partial text of conversation via Beatles Interviews site) (see May 20)

May Music et al

The Road to Bethel

May Music et al

In May, 1969: Woodstock Ventures hired Hugh Romney and the Hog Farm commune to work at festival for security, free food, and free stage. (see Woodstock for expanded chronology)

May Music et al

John Yoko and the Dakota

May Music et al

In May 1973: John Lennon and Yoko Ono moved from Greenwich Village to a 12-room apartment at the Dakota near Manhattan’s Central Park. They bought the apartment from the actor Robert Ryan, making it past the building’s notoriously picky board. John and Yoko had been drifting apart, however, and she had busied herself recording the albums Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling The Space. (2010 NYT article) (see May 30)

May Music et al
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May 1 Music et al

May 1 Music et al

Teenage Culture

May 1, 1957: the first issue of 16 Magazine came out, with Elvis on the cover. (see Aug 5)

May 1 Music et al

Herman’s Hermits

May 1 – 21, 1965: “Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” by Herman’s Hermits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

May 1 Music et al

Beatles’ final scheduled live appearance in Britain

May 1 Music et al

May 1, 1966: The Beatles’ final scheduled live appearance in Britain. It was their fourth appearance at the New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert, which took place at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London. The Beatles performed before an audience of 10,000.

The group were on a bill which also included The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman’s Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Overlanders, The Alan Price Set, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Sounds Incorporated, Dusty Springfield, Crispian St Peters, The Walker Brothers, The Who, The Yardbirds and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. The comperes were Peter Murray and Jimmy Savile.

The Beatles played a 15-minute set which included five songs: I Feel Fine, Nowhere Man, Day Tripper, If I Needed Someone and I’m Down.

Although ABC TV was filming the concert, Brian Epstein failed to reach an agreement over terms, so the cameras were turned off while The Beatles performed. The group was, however, filmed receiving their poll awards. (see May 16) (see Beatles last UK concert for more)

May 1 Music et al

Lennon deportation

May 1 Music et al

May 1, 1972: Judge Bernard J. Lasker signed a temporary order in Federal Court restraining the Immigration and Naturalization Service from holding a deportation hearing for John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Judge Lasker ruled that the Government must first hold a hearing on a motion made by the Lennons before it takes up the matter of deportation. Lennon’s motion asks that they be classified as “aliens of distinguished merit and ability.” (next Beatles, see May 11; see Lennon for expanded story)

May 1 Music et al
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WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

A man of principles
(click below to listen to Rosko’s theme)
Fall 1969

We, all of us, sitting here in our small comforts, worrying about inflation…swapping small talk at lunch…wrapped in ourselves in our banalities…all of us must sleep tonight in the knowledge that we share in mass murder.”

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

William Roskoe Mercer

William Roscoe Mercer was born on May 25, 1927, in New York City. After first working as a government clerk and a men’s-room attendant, he began his radio career as a jazz disc jockey at WHAT in Chester, PA. Later he was a DJ at WDAS in Philadelphia and then to WBLS in New York.

In the late 1950’s, when DJ were trying to form a union, he refused to cross a picket line. Management black listed him for six months.

In the early 1960’s, Rosko was back on the radio in Oakland and then back east at WBLS.

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

WOR-FM

Rosko, though obviously experienced, was not as well-known a name as Murry the K and Scott Muni when WOR-FM switched to rock in 1966. He quickly became a favorite.

Only a year later in October 1967, WOR-FM management began to use the Drake system, which emphasized the replay of hits songs. It upped ratings, but greatly diminished the person style that the DJs  had developed.

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

Monday 2 October 1967

“I cannot go along with the new policy here.”

On October 2, 1967, without warning the station’s management, Rosko spoke for five minutes about why he was resigning, saying, ”When are we going to learn that controlling something does not take it out of the minds of people?’‘ and declaring, ”In no way can I feel that I can continue my radio career by being dishonest with you.

He added that he would rather return to being a men’s-room attendant.

Click the link below to hear his resignation.

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer

WNEW-FM  > France

By November 1967 WNEW-FM, hired Rosko  where he stayed for just a year.

It was in August 1968 that Rosko read the anti-war piece you hear over today’s blog entry. It was a new time in radio and Rosko was at that DJ forefront.

In 1970 he moved to France for five years and worked for the Voice of America.

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer
Back in the USA–Still principled

He returned to the US and was heard during the 1980’s on WBLS-FM and WKTU-FM. In 1985, Mercer quit WKTU-FM while on the air, because of a reported dispute with the station’s hierarchy.

In 1992, when he learned he had cancer, he refused chemotherapy, turning instead to alternative medicine.

He died on August 1, 2000: NYT obit

Full recording of Rosko on My Lai

WNEW Bill Rosko Mercer
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