May 1959 – WINS/WABC – Various disc-jockeys – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
He couldn’t find another job and stay here. No – that would be too easy. Your dad and his company are moving to Los Angeles. That includes you, your brother, your mom, your records and Huey; the dog that doesn’t look like any other dog. The movers are coming at the end of the week and you’re getting packed into the Plymouth and heading off to some place called Van Nuys.
You don’t like the sound of it – you don’t like anything about it. You have friends here – you might possibly have a girlfriend here – everybody knows you. Almost everybody likes you. You like that it’s Spring here – you’ve heard there are no seasons where you’re going, that sometimes you can’t see across the street because of Smog.
Worse; you have to start all over. Nobody will know you where you’re going. You’re going to a new school. Everybody will stare at you – nobody will like you. They never do – you’ve heard stories.
So you try to scoop up as many reminders as you can. Taking pictures of everybody – taking pictures of your school – taking pictures in every room of your house. You want memories of this place. You talk your dad into letting you borrow his tape recorder. You load up the one reel of tape he let you have and you start cramming as many of your favorite radio stations and as many of your cool tunes as you can. You want something to listen to when you’re stuck in Van Nuys on one of those weird nights you’re convinced will be coming. You’re also convinced there will be no happy times once June rolls around. Unfortunately, with only one reel of tape the most you can get is 2 hours. So you have to be picky and some of the disc jockeys you aren’t too crazy about, but you’ve got to do it. Fifty years from now you’ll listen to this tape and wonder and maybe think back on moving to L.A.
And maybe you’ll laugh – or maybe not.
Here’s 90 rather frantic and disjointed minutes from a sweep of Top-40 stations in New York from May 1959. Music crammed in – Disc jockeys crammed in – abrupt cuts – choppy starts. But a reminder nonetheless. And you probably made a tape just like this – sitting in a box in a garage someplace. Waiting.
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