January 9, 1969 Radio Dial

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January 9, 1969

Al Workman, afternoon disk jockey who also monitors music on KBLE FM, yesterday offered supplementary opinion on “controversial” country-western records.
“I placed a lot of songs in our control room that I personally do not like.” Workman said. “But I put them there because the radio listener should have a chance to hear them – presumably to like them.
“I also put a lot in the garbage can.”
Workman said he nevertheless gets sore when a good record is passed over by a radio station because someone feels it might offend.
“I’m talking about records like ‘Ballad of Two Brothers,’ ‘What’s Happened to Mankind,’ and this type,” Workman said.
“I am proud that KBLE FM was first in this area to put ‘Brothers’ on a chart,” he said, “and also that we were the only one to put ‘Mankind’ on the air.
The latter song expresses regrets over social trends “by one who broke his back to build this country.”
Workman said a similar “politically controversial” selection is “Letter From Home,” by Hank Penny. The Penny work is a Dear John narrative to a fighting man.
“It is not a patriotic song,” Workman explained. “It is a ‘funny’.”
He said radio stations are sitting on it because they are afraid it might offend.
“I would like to point out that the song was first recorded during the Korean War and it sold almost 1 million copies. It’s hard to believe that a nation’s sense of humor could change since then,” Workman said.
Suffice, selections designed to hit-them-in-the-guts are aired on KBLE FM with same openness as are the I’m in Love With My Truck But I Can’t Find A Place in the Road Big Enough To Turn It Around epics.

Both KOL and KJR have shuffled disc jockey schedules a bit, one to be relatively long-lasting, the other temporary.
Robert O Smith, KOL’s resident psychedelic rocker and progressive talker, has moved to mornings, from 6 o’clock to 10 AM. Smith’s morning music is a little straighter.
His patter, delivered in seemingly offhand manner, is topical, if borderline.
He does funny bits like threatening to call roll on “Sweet Cream Ladies.” That is a song about prostitutes.
And Wonderful Bobby Simon returns to his 10 AM shift, followed by Dick Curtis from 3 PM to 6 PM.
Robin Mitchell escorts the teenagers from dinnertime through study hours, and at 10 PM Chris Hill squires listeners with an underground bent for four hours.
Someday we will tell you about Greg Connors, the smoothest disc jockey in town. But he comes on at 2 AM.

At KJR, Tom Murphy is double shifting at 6 AM and 6 PM while the station hunts down a Super Voice bold enough to come into town and ask “So who’s Lan Roberts?”

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Victor Stredicke

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times.

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