It’s Happening All Again

Before we get to the drift of today’s gist, here’s a promotional announcement: I’ve had a couple of new posts up at WNEW over the last few days, one about bluesman Robert Johnson and the other about rock stars in beer commercials. I’ve put WNEW’s RSS feed in the left-hand column, but since it’s large and not very attractive, I haven’t decided whether it will be staying. There’s nothing in it that tells you which posts are mine, although I’m regularly contributing posts on the week in rock history and on rock’s founding fathers.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Because I am a history geek who also happens to be an old radio guy, I am especially interested in news coverage of historic events. The fabulous Classic Television Showbiz has posted a couple this week. One features NBC’s coverage of Richard Nixon’s resignation speech on August 8, 1974, and the network’s special report on the resignation itself the next day. If you want to skip the speech itself, start with the third YouTube screen. The tone of the reporting is extraordinary compared to what we commonly see today. There was no attempt to hype what viewers had just seen, or to convince them it was important. Another is the CBS Evening News from April 4, 1968, the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. Notice the length of the soundbites from LBJ and MLK, as well as the amount of international news in the broadcast—and the complete lack of celebrity gossip and fluffy features. (Also notice the celebrities appearing in the Budweiser commercial.)

Because I’ve been thinking about posting this song for a while, even though I posted some Edgar Winter just yesterday, and mostly just for the hell of it, here’s a record that would reach its chart peak the day after Nixon quit. You’d probably guess that Winter had but two Top 40 hits, “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride”—but there was a third, from Shock Treatment, the album that followed They Only Come Out at Night. Since it’s all about the passage of time and the way things change, it fits.

“River’s Risin'”/Edgar Winter Group (buy it here, in a package that includes both albums)

(Epic 11143, chart peak #33, August 10, 1974)

One thought on “It’s Happening All Again

  1. porky

    i’m just reading this old post but “Shock Treatment” is a lost gem from the 70’s. Except for some indulgent synthesizer garbage (Animal) almost every cut is a winner. “Queen of My Dreams” is great fake Zeppelin and the cool “Easy Street” was covered by David Lee Roth on “Crazy From the Heat” (Edgar even played sax on it). “River’s Risin'” got airplay on an automated FM in central IL at the time.

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