I mentioned in an earlier post that the universe changed as I was listening to the radio one day in 1964. I was listening to my favorite song, Lena Horne’s Stormy Weather and it was followed by the Beatles version of Twist and Shout. It really felt like we were entering a whole new world.
There were 2 stations in
I had an old tube radio by my bed and a small transistor with a tinny little earpiece. I don’t know why ear buds sound so much better today.
Childhood was like a movie and KXOK played a sound track of Beatles, Monkees, and Good Vibrations. When I hear Len Barry’s 123 I still slip into a nostalgia delirium.
I was a big Johnny Rabbit fan. He had a sidekick named Bruno J. Grunion.
If you are familiar with The Paul Winchell/Jerry Mahoney show or even the later Pee Wee Herman show you’ll understand the effect Bruno J. had on kids in
Johnny Rabbit had been stationed with Elvis in
From what I can remember Bruno was the manager of a band called The Aardvarks. I loved these guys. They even opened for The Beatles at Busch Stadium.
We were living in
The event is famous in St. Louis history because a hundred bands played before The Beatles arrived. It rained the whole time. When The Beatles finally got on stage their set lasted 18 minutes. No one could hear anything of course.
Later, as a young man, I would get to know Ron Elz (Johnny Rabbit), Chuck Connors (Bruno J. Grunion) and Mike Newman (Guitarist for The Aardvarks). I thought I knew all the really important personalities in
All three of these guys are great in their own ways. Chuck is a saint and I’ll definitely do blog about him and his restaurant The Other Mother.
The Johnny Rabbit and Bruno J. Grunion of my childhood were both Don Pietromonaco and Mike was too young to have been in Aardvarks yet. I have had a few adventures with Mike and his ex, Gail.
I remember driving around with my mother in 1970. We were listening to the top 100 count down from the sixties on KXOK. When it got to number one it was Hey Jude. We sang along. We always sang along to the radio.
My mother’s favorite pastime was driving us around as she dreamed of living in one of the pretty little houses in one of the nice little neighborhoods we’d visit.
By the end of the sixties culturally conscious kids outgrew the commercialism of the AM stations and moved on to KSHE and WESL or MAJIC 108.
Even by then
I’ll never forget listening to WESL (
WESL’s DJ “Dr. Jockenstein” ranted over every record he played. It made great radio. Most of it was Funkadelic.
We learned George Clinton himself gave Jockenstein his name and the title cut from Mothership Connection was based on his show.
Years later I was tending bar at the Broadway Oyster Bar. Jockenstein came in, jumped up on the stage, got the band to jam on a riff and did a spectacular Old School Hip Hop routine. He was pure
The Frank O. Pinion show has been talking about KXOK all week. I’m not really much of a fan of the show but Frank seems to have the same nostalgia for the station that I do. I had forgotten what Bruno J. Grunion really sounded like. I think kids are too sophisticated for that kind of radio today. I think the whole world grew up the same time The Beatles did.
Check out this link.