Floodgates Open


As a kid tuned to KPUG, Kirk Wilde was the first jock I ever listened to. We have stayed in touch over the years. I hear people argue and debate “what was the ultimate year for rock music.” In the past, if Wilde entered the fray, he’d say something that made sense like: “The Big Year is SO subjective. It tends to be whenever you started really paying attention. Age 13-19. Or when you finally got liberated. 20-24.” But he does locate the heaviest hit period….Steven L. Smith, editor Puget Sound Media


I don’t think there was ever such a time in music, before or after. And I was fortunate to be there for it, touching it, dealing it out like the Candyman.

Spring and summer of 1965, the most astonishing cornucopia opened for monster hit after hit after hit. I mean, Satisfaction, Like a Rolling Stone, I Can’t Help Myself, Wooly Bully, Game of Love, I Know a Place, Eight Days a Week, Ticket to Ride, What’s New Pussycat?, Help Me Rhonda, California Girls, Nowhere to Run, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, It’s Not Unusual, You Were on My Mind, Mr. Tambourine Man, Cara Mia, For Your Love, Down in the Boondocks, She’s About a Mover, Seventh Son, Yes I’m Ready, I Got You Babe, It Ain’t Me Babe, Hang On Sloopy–on and on–History, every day in the mail.

Music director of KFLY-downtown Corvallis, I got to open those packages. Christmas every day. Iconic gems I could bring to life and then share as first-time eargasms to all the chicks at Oregon State. I got to introduce them to the Who. Got to upend them with Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. To shock them with Them’s Gloria, the Sonics’ Psycho. Intrigue them with the Zombies. Patronize them with Herman’s Hermits. I got to open yet another guaranteed #1 from the Supremes and breathlessly bring it to the control room.

Was there ever a more concentrated booty drop? Or a bigger sense of professional satisfaction?



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Kirk Wilde

Author: Kirk Wilde

Kirk Wilde, a Tacoma boy, was in the Top 40 wars in the Pacific Northwest and Denver. Wilde never stopped following the music.

12 thoughts on “Floodgates Open

  1. Jay,,
    When KENY, later KBFW, was down on Unity Street across Cornwall from Sears (when you lived here), they had egg cartons for sound proofing. That went away when they moved to the towers. It was funny but around 1991, when we moved KBFW again, I needed to sound proof the control room and basically what we ended up with was buying from Broadcast Supply black foam squares that had the shape of egg cartons. You glued them on the wall. So I guess the egg carton theory was not bad, but it did look pretty low budget.

  2. My piece was not about the best year for music–only the heaviest drop. It wasn’t even about a year, but 6 months.

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