Summer School. You don’t hear about it that much any more, but in 1966 it was a ritual if you were still in School. Taking Summer school held the possibility that you might graduate a semester earlier, or you could make up the classes you flunked the semester before so you could graduate when you were supposed to. Summer School meant a lot of things; most of them not so much fun. But there was always the promise of meeting someone who was new in town – or who just moved and was switching schools in the Fall. There was that. It was time for you to fall in love with somebody. You were sixteen and the last girlfriend you had was in the 6th grade. So far, that was the best two weeks of your life. Maybe things might be different in the Fall. Maybe.
July 1966 and AM radio was still king of the hill, at least in St. Louis. FM was still for adults, or college guys with MG’s and Volkswagens who could listen to Jazz or Theodore Bikel records. Rock n’ Roll was not happening on that set of frequencies.
But in July of 1966 things were getting ready to change. Paul Revere and The Raiders were huge, but there were other things waiting in the wings that were going to turn everything around in a few short months. A month before this broadcast, The Mothers Of Invention released Freak Out! (which went mostly unnoticed, at least for a while). The Beach Boys Pet Sounds came out in May, along with Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. There was a lot to reckon with – and if you were plugged in, you would be knowing about these album and telling your friends.
You learned a lot about music from your radio, you were starting to learn from your more adventurous friends and the people behind the counter at the local record store. Times were changing.
As a sample of what the world was listening to on July 29, 1966 – here is an hour’s worth of Nick Charles on KXOK in St. Louis.