– KHJ – The Real Don Steele – circa Feb. 22, 1967 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
If you were growing up in L.A. in the 1960s, one of the great rituals of listening to Top-40 radio was being the first kid on your block to hear the latest single before it was released by your favorite band of the moment. In 1964 and 1965 it was anticipating the newest Beatles, Kinks, Rolling Stones, Them or Herman’s Hermits record before they were released, and always with the exclusive radio station letting you know who was responsible by whispering, or joyously blasting over the record periodically – just so the competition wouldn’t get the leg-up. KHJ was subtle – every few seconds they would whisper “KHJ . . .exclusive!!” and that was the tip off you were getting the goods, even before it was hot off the press.
So in 1967 it was The Monkees, and the exclusive on this particular February day was The Girl I Knew Somewhere. The Monkees were huge, and their fans were legion. Any hint of something new or some latest piece of information was eagerly grabbed up by those who just couldn’t get enough. And life pretty much ground to a halt Monday nights when their show was on. And when The Real Don Steele was given the honors of breaking this exclusive Monkees release that February afternoon, most every teenager in L.A. between 13 and 17 stopped and listened. It was great for ratings and it was just one more element of what Pop Culture was all about before those waves of change broke and took us to new places.
Here is an hour’s worth of The Real Don Steele, recorded on the afternoon of February 22, 1967 (or thereabouts) – A staggering 54 years ago.
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