More Radio Relics

Last December I blogged about a series called Psychedelic Promos and Radio Spots. It’s a vast collection of radio ephemera from the mid-to-late 1960s—commercials, station promos, jock bits, and even a few newscast excerpts.  The collection opens a unique window into 60s pop culture, giving us a chance to hear what went on between the hits that are still so familiar 40 years later. Here’s another taste of it:

We’re Only in It for the Money: In 1963, before they were famous, the Rolling Stones recorded a jingle for Rice Krispies cereal that was used on a European TV ad. In late 1968, after a string of hit records, Neil Diamond cut a spot for Buick. Later, he did another for Coca-Cola, at a time when Coke was signing up everybody from Ray Charles to the Who to sing variations on “Things go better with Coke.”

We’re in It to Serve the Public: Around 1967, the Who also did a recruitment PSA for the United States Air Force, which seems deeply strange, given that they’re English. Sometime around 1968, Bob Seger recorded one too. Also from the public service file: the audio from a January 1968 episode of Dragnet turned into a campy anti-LSD PSA.

We’re Not Sure Why We Did It: The Four Seasons did a spot on behalf of Brunswick, the bowling equipment manufacturer, encouraging you to take up bowling. “Take your baby out tonight and you’ll be scoring high,” they sing, but I’ll bet the kids didn’t hear it the way Brunswick meant it.

We’re Saving Us All Some Time: For a time, WCFL in Chicago produced “capsule countdowns,” in which they ran through the top 10 songs on the weekly survey in 90 seconds. The collection includes one from the week of February 2, 1967.

We Are Not Impressed: There’s an audio clip of what was presumably the lead story on NBC-TV’s The Huntley-Brinkley Report from what must be Sunday, August 17, 1969, talking about Woodstock. The clip illustrates the media’s preferred narrative over that weekend—that the festival was clearly a disaster for the poor town of Bethel, but the silly, long-haired, drug-addled kids kept coming “for reasons that baffle most of their elders, if not betters.” Oooh, snap.

I’ve posted the Woodstock report as a separate file here, but the rest of the spots mentioned in this post are in the zip file below. Enjoy.

NBC News Woodstock report, 1969
Miscellaneous promos and radio spots zip file (about 9.35 MB)

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