It’s February 1965 – You’re Seventeen – You Live In L.A. – This Is Your Last Semester, And All You Can Say Is “Great Kasaboo!”
KBLA – Roscoe – February 14, 1965 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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“The wind-down is starting, the clock is set, you’re ticking off days; Fifteen weeks, four days, 9 hours. The world looks lighter, everybody seems friendlier, even your teachers ask how you are. Everybody asks what you’re going to do after you graduate – you haven’t thought that far. All you know is, you’re busy filling out applications for college – preferably somewhere not in L.A. – your friends have all applied to Berkeley. Your parents aren’t crazy about that idea – they’ve been reading the papers and watching TV and they think everybody up there is Mario Savio – and knowing you, they’ll be getting a phone call in the middle of the night from the Police saying you’ve been locked up for demonstrating. Okay, so you got involved in Prop. 14 last year and you passed out leaflets and went to rallies. Somebody took a picture of you holding a picket sign at the big demonstration on Wilshire Boulevard at the La Brea Tarpits and it wound up in the Herald Examiner. Just your luck, your dad saw it. He didn’t say anything, but he had that look on his face for weeks after. The one that loosely translated to “where did we go wrong?”. He worries about you. He wishes you would get married and settle down – but you’re seventeen – you’re just getting started. You might not get married at all – you’ve been thinking about that. You wonder; what with the Bomb and the Cold War and Vietnam and Berlin and Cuba, who would want to bring kids into this mess? Nope – you’ve got other things to do – and you don’t want to blend into the scenery – maybe some day. But not today. You just found this new radio station and a disc jockey who says “Great Kasaboo” every few minutes. You don’t know what it means, but it says it all. You’ve taken to yelling “Great Kasaboo!” in the hallway during passing period. Everybody thinks you’re crazy anyway . . .”
And as proof that it was the legendary William “Roscoe” Mercer who coined the phrase, here is the very first week of KBLA (1500), featuring the man himself on February 14, 1965.