KYA – Bobby Mitchell – April 14, 1961 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
It’s April 1961 – Spring in the Bay Area. Life is loaded with possibilities. Maybe it’s just you and maybe it’s happening to everybody, but Music is starting to become very important in your life. You haven’t felt that way before – but then, you weren’t quite fully formed yet. When you were younger you could take it or leave it, nothing was so earth-shattering in your life that it needed a soundtrack to go along with it. But now it seems like everything you do has some sort of theme song attached to it – and music is reminding you of things and places and people. It’s become the background music to your own movie and it’s a little strange in places. But then, you’ve never turned 14 before and have no idea what to expect.
Maybe you weren’t 14 in 1961 – maybe you were 14 in 1965 or 1971 or 1981. There’s something about you and the time and the surroundings that leave an impression on you no matter when; it’s the indelible imprint. It’s your own perfect storm. And you remember everything about that period as much if not more than any other period in your life.
And not everybody has the same recollection about the same pivotal events at the same time – that’s the thing about nostalgia; one memory doesn’t fit all. And perhaps April 1961 wasn’t such a good time for you – you hear music and songs and they bring back a lot of regret and sadness – there’s that too. There’s nothing that says a pivotal time in your life is supposed to be an extended treatise on the variations of giddy. It’s just the music and the place in time that leave an impression.
And maybe you were one of those people who hadn’t been fourteen for some time and you were hoping Rock n’ Roll was a passing fad, not destined to go anywhere. Or maybe you were one of those people who weren’t 14 yet and 1961 didn’t mean nearly as much as 1964 did – the music in ’61 was heading no place; it was floundering, waiting for the next big thing to happen.
It’s all relative. But the one thing that was constant was the music and where you got it. Now, in 2020 it’s not centralized; there’s no single place you get everything. It’s spread out and it’s hard to nail down. But in 1961, it was your radio. And if you were a teenager and you were living in the Bay area, most likely you’d be getting all your music from the radio and KYA was one of your go-to places to find out what was happening.
And for a sample of that, here’s an hour’s worth of Bobby Mitchell from KYA on April 14, 1961.