Trips Festival ’67: Dick Curtis at KJR

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Here is a Seattle radio oldie but a goodie. I have been working with former KJR jock, Gary Shannon, on two articles that will be of interest to readers from the Pacific Northwest. One piece is on the topic of the jocks and voices of the Golden Years of KJR (mid-sixties).  We are also collaborating for an in-depth story, with audio and video, on legendary KJR and Chicago jock, Larry Lujack.

Trips Festival Poster, May 30, 1967

While sorting through many historic airchecks, trying to locate the best material, I stumbled on a gem that is highlighted in today’s post. The voice featured is legendary Seattle jock, Dick Curtis. This recording is from KJR’s Golden Years in the mid-sixties). This 52 year-old recording is as crisp and clear as the day it was recorded.

The concert promoted was the Seattle “Trips Festival,” on May 30, 1967. I remember hearing about this event back when I was a kid. Since I was a mere Bellingham High School sophomore, my parents deemed me too young, too naive and too dumb to go.  Now half a century later, I will be damned if I can even decipher the psychedelic show poster — although I can make out the word “Byrds.” In addition to The Byrds, there were other major acts at this festival, including Jefferson Airplane, The Electric Prunes and northwest favorite, Don & The Goodtimes. Take a look at the poster shown here, you might agree that it is hard to read — it’s like it was printed backwards or inside-out or similar. Maybe with all the readily abundant psychedelic drugs in the sixties it was easier to decipher back then.

Since the poster was artistically creative, but of questionable merit as an advertising vehicle,  I figure the  success of the Trips Festival was largely the result of Dick Curtis’ commercial on Channel 95 KJR — it let you know who was really performing while the poster fell short in that regard. Take a listen to Dick’s original radio spot, just click on the cart machine below. (How many years has it been since you put a cart in the slot and pressed “start?”  My personal answer: it was 20 years ago).

 

Dick with Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys) 1966

Dick Curtis made his radio broadcasting debut in 1957 at KREW in Sunnyside, WA.  His career took a giant leap toward the heavens three years later (1960) when KJR hired him to be a Top-40 deejay. Dick was one of the great jocks of KJR’s Golden Years, sharing the airwaves with the likes of Lan Roberts, Tom Larson, Pat O’Day, Larry Lujack, Tom Murphy, and Jerry Kaye. Dick spent about 45 years in broadcasting. In Seattle he is, perhaps, best-known for his on-air time at KJR, KOL, and KVI. Over the years, Curtis was a DJ, a newsman, and he held programming and management duties.  Two KJR alumni, Pat O’Day and Dick, operated Concerts West — a northwest-based concert promotion company.

 

 

Credit for cart machine in motion to Gearmod youtube channel

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Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

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