Teenagers dancing 1967
. . . and you danced a lot.

It’s June 16, 1967 – You Live In L.A. – You’re Listening To KBLA, And Your Heart Is About To Be Broken

Teenagers dancing 1967

. . . and you danced a lot.

KBLA – The Diamond Mine – June 16, 1967 – Hour 1 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

KBLA – The Diamond Mine – June 16, 1967 – Hour 2 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

KBLA – The Diamond Mine – June 16, 1967 – Hour 3 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

It’s June 16, 1967 – and if you were a teenager, lived in L.A. and were one of the many thousands who had your ears glued to the radio this night, you would have heard something that was ultimately sad and horrifying – KBLA, one of the powerhouse stations that played stuff KRLA, KFWB and KHJ wouldn’t, was going off the air. This was the last night – the last installment of the Diamond Mine – dedications to all the “Beverly Hills Underground Trippers” and ‘Putting the boss on a bummer with a record only the Burner dare play”. Those hours were numbered – in fact, there were only three of them left.

But that was June and it was 1967 and there was a lot going on. Some of it you didn’t notice at the time – some of it, you woke up the next morning and wondered where you had been. 1967 was not only a groovy year, it was a strange and perplexing one.

If you graduated in June you would be concerned – you would have a lot of choices, and there was a lot going on, but you were worried because your 18th birthday was lurking. If you were a guy, it meant a trip down to the Draft Board and letting General Hershey know you were draftable. You added your name, got your draft card – told them you were planning on going to school next semester and waited. You heard the legal drinking age in New York was 18 – drinking wasn’t your thing though – smoking Pot was, and you had a friend of a friend of a friend who had it on good authority he was scoring some Window Pane for the 4th of July. Your adventures with LSD were just around the corner.

But it was all about the Music – and on this night it was all about Dave Diamond and his Diamond Mine. It was a Friday night after all. Maybe you had a date – maybe you were going to the Shrine Expo Hall or cruising Sunset – maybe you were hanging out with your friends or maybe you were just by yourself. Or maybe (just maybe) you were high on the floor of your room with the radio cranked up.

Whatever it was, wherever you were, whoever you were with – it was June 16th and you were smack in the middle of 1967. To a lot of you it was the last blast before reality set in – before things got complicated and angry. It was summer and you didn’t have to be anywhere, at least until September.

September was a lifetime away.

And Super 15-KBLA would be something else in the morning.

Enjoy.

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8 Responses

  1. Pete Tesoro says:

    Very great stuff! I was just finishing 11th grade at the time, living where I grew up – Burbank; and KBLA was “our” station. You definitely heard stuff on KBLA that the other 3 Rock stations in LA weren’t playing. This is a very historical piece of 1967 LA Radio, and a farewell send off to a short-lived (February 1965- June 16, 1967), but truly great, one-of-a-kind AM station. Thanks for the post, and please, keep ’em comin’!

  2. Dave Davis says:

    I can’t place some of these songs. Anyone got a playlist?

  3. Fred Smith says:

    Hi Gordon,

    It’s amazing the Drake format survived 1967, the year hippies, album rock radio and vinyl junkie radio took over teenager hearts. The Boss jocks didn’t fit with 7 minute album cuts.

    What I want to know is what those teeny bloopers on the cover of “Beat Magazine” look like today? I’m guessing, if they are still alive, they’re all 63 year old “beefy ballerinas” with many wrinkles from that “warm California Sun”?

    Fred Smith

  4. Bill says:

    Thank you–especially for the lost middle hour! I love these air checks. I loved radio when I was a kid and these still sound better than anything I can get on the radio now!

  5. SD says:

    Thanks for this post. I was a 10-year-old Valley kid in the summer of ’67, and at that age was not ‘hip’ to KBLA. As a 4th grader, my tastes hadn’t yet strayed from the mainstream of KHJ and KRLA. I appreciate being able to listen to these checks lo these many years later. Cheers!

  6. Bill (again) says:

    Hmmm…kind of odd that he played only one Beatle record. Sgt. Pepper had just come out and everybody had it blasting from their little phonographs. You could walk down the main street in my town and start with the opening guitar part blaring out a window and by the time you got to the end of the town, that giant piano chord. Diamond WAS too hip for AM radio!

  7. …of course, once KBLA Program Director Humble Harve took the evening shift at KHJ — which Dave Diamond had as one of the original Boss Jocks at The Big 93, ironically — the writing was on the wall at 1500. Both Bob Hudson and Dave Diamond were on KFWB by the end of the summer, but by the Spring of ’68 they were on the beach again. Rock ‘n roll nighttime radio in Los Angeles that was worth a damn virtually shriveled up to B. Mitchel Reed on KMET, Wolfman Jack on XERB/XEPRS/KDAY and then a long stretch until Frazer Smith on KROQ…

  8. …interesting that Diamond does a live read ad about renaming the Cinnamon Cinder club in Studio City. The Cinnamon Cinder was a group of teen nightclubs primarily owned by Diamond’s sometime competitor on KRLA, Bob Eubanks. The original club was, as I recall, in Long Beach, and the Studio City and North Hollywood locations were expansion locations. That’s how Eubanks was offered the chance to promote The Beatles’ Hollywood Bowl concerts, as the main promoter for top-line Los Angeles concerts thought Brian Epstein was pricing himself out of the market. This aircheck was from around the time Eubanks was hitting big as emcee of “The Newlywed Game” on ABC-TV; maybe he sold the clubs because his employment by both KRLA and Chuck Barris took away the time to concentrate on running the clubs…