WABC-FM – Almanac Of Folk Music – October 30, 1965 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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Contrary to what many people might imagine, Pop Music didn’t suddenly go from Doo-Wop to British Invasion to Summer Of Love in a few short steps. And contrary to what many imagine the state of radio was in 1965 – did not suddenly go from Teresa Brewer to Janis Joplin in a day. And FM radio didn’t go from modified Elevator to Underground overnight.
Music, like everything else, was a slow transition – in some cases taking years. Not everybody clamored to current sensations – some liked what they liked and were loyal no matter what. Same with clubs.
New York, like just about every other major metropolitan area, had a healthy night club scene. One of the most notable would certainly be New York’s Greenwich Village; a veritable melting pot of Jazz, Folk and eclectic. The Village was a place that became ground Zero for a number of genres and movements. But in 1965 there was still a strong and thriving Folk scene. But like everything, it was changing – like Dylan, going electric. But not overnight.
Radio, particularly FM radio was still out there in the fringes; primarily made up of Classical, Jazz and Folk programs – it was music that FM was made for, especially if you were one of those people who fancied yourself an “Audiofile” – you spent a princely sum of money for the best stereo equipment, and an FM Multiplex-Stereo Tuner was essential to your musical experience. FM radio wasn’t available in your car, unless you had a VW which was factory equipped with a Blaupunkt radio that included FM – in which case you were lucky and beyond hip.
But all of that would change by 1968 – even The Village, to some degree. FM radio would have stumbled upon its audience and never look back. This one-hour (well . . 50 minute) slice of WABC-FM from October 30, 1965 gives some insight as to what was going on at the time and how the 60s weren’t necessarily one size fitting all.