KAAY 1090 Little Rock --- 60's Underground AM...Beaker Street w Clyde Clifford

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lemonade kid, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    A good example of why we loved AM radio as a lifeline to all kinds of music, and how it illustrates the sad state of radio today.

    For all you guys that were interested in this from other threads....Memories of the best radio from the 60's (they just don't make 'em like that anymore):



    KAAY Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford - June 26, 1970



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    Here is more than an hour of untelescoped Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford on Friday night, June 26 1970, from 11:00pm to 12:14am. This is submitted by Thomas Connelley of Carbondale, IL...

    AIRCHECK from 1970...and many more at the bottom of the page (site)
    Look at this Songset...MC5 too? Oh yeah!

    Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady
    Sugarloaf – Train Kept a Rollin’
    Temptations – Ball of Confusion
    East of Eden – Xhorkom/Ramadhan/In the Snow For a Blow
    Flow – Arleen
    East of Eden – Gum Arabic/Confucius
    Grand Funk – Hooked on Love
    MC5 – Rambling Rose/KICK OUT THE JAMS
    Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
    John Hartford – To Say
    Amboy Dukes – Prodigal Man
    The Corporation – India


    The Mighty 1090 KAAY: KAAY Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford - June 26, 1970

    We'd put our little AM transistor radio under our pillows so the folks wouldn't hear, and rock on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  2. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

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  3. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter


    “The history of how this made it onto CD can only be speculated. This was among my younger brother’s music collection when he passed away. He and his roommate had a CD recorder. There are a couple of short glitches in the audio that sound like a tape deck auto-reversing or the CD recorder being paused to resume with another tape. The show is uncut other than the short glitches where practically no music was even lost. The last song is a 19+ minute song, so only the first couple of minutes are on this CD. But it is a Beaker Street classic, so please include the part that is there.” (note: it is India, by The Corporation).

    “As a matter of personal history, I grew up in Little Rock. And as with others that I have spoken with, Beaker Street changed my life. The music on the show prompted me to become a professional musician. I played my first professional (paying) gig in the seventh grade in 1968! I also had dreams of being on the radio which I accomplished later in life. I wish that I still had the armful of cassette tapes that I had back in the day of KAAY and Beaker Street. Little did I know how important the memory of this radio station would be to me and so many others 45 years later!”

    Beside the question of how this aircheck originated, there is also a mystery over Clyde Clifford’s opening remark where it sounds like he is saying goodbye to another jock at the station.

    Clyde: “Hmmmm, you say this is your last night, eh?”
    Unidentified voice: “Ah, feels like it”.
    Clyde: “Feels like it.”
    Unidentified voice: “Feels like it, man…”
    Clyde: “Well, that’s the way it goes. So let’s go…”

    Does anybody know who this guy was???

    A big thank-you to Tom for submitting this aircheck, and for compiling a discography of the music:

    Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady
    Sugarloaf – Train Kept a Rollin’
    Temptations – Ball of Confusion
    East of Eden – Xhorkom/Ramadhan/In the Snow For a Blow
    Flow – Arleen
    East of Eden – Gum Arabic/Confucius
    Grand Funk – Hooked on Love
    MC5 – Rambling Rose
    Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
    John Hartford – To Say
    Amboy Dukes – Prodigal Man
    The Corporation – India



    With respects & thanks to....Greg Barman for sharing these wonderful memories and sounds.
     
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  4. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Some great words from fans of the great Beaker Street too. Enjoy!

    :tiphat:
     
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  5. Mark Dillman

    Mark Dillman Active Member

    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Clyde Clifford often engaged in a minute or two of on air banter with the DJ ending his program at 11:00pm. That DJ would be at the studio of KAAY in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas while Clyde Clifford and his studio were reportedly located at the KAAY transmitter site outside of the city. So, the two DJs talking could not see each other. I listened to Clyde Clifford's "Beaker Street" program on KAAY a LOT starting in 1968. "Beaker Street" compared very favorably with the four (not all at the same time) stereo FM progressive rock radio stations we had in Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas, between 1967 and 1976.
     
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  6. varispeed

    varispeed what if?

    Location:
    Los Angeles Ca
    I first caught Clyde's show in 1967 and then listened to it at various times in 1968 and 1969. Musician-hours insomnia had kicked in for me in 1961 or so. It was great to have something of interest music-wise on the radio at 2am in the morning by 1967. As anyone remembers, there was basically no tv after midnight in many areas, lots of am stations signed off at midnight or so....underground FM stations hadn't completely inserted themselves on the airwaves, and even if you were a musician at a gig or in the studio late at night......which I often was..... late-night diversions (other than the normal ones :) ) were soooo welcome. I have hours of Beaker Street on tape as I'd sometimes flip on one of the tape decks to capture new interesting stuff I may not be aware of.

    Amboy Dukes, Rotary Connection, Lothar & the Hand People, Mothers......lots of stuff I wasn't super aware of. First time I heard Nazz' "Under the Ice" and "Beautiful Song" was on Beaker Street. Clyde jumped on Creedence when they appeared with Suzie Q. He'd play "Keep On Chooglin'" constantly, as well as Born on the Bayou. Quite a few airings of the long "Motorcycle Song" or whatever that "motorcickle" thing was by Arlo Guthrie. Alice's Restaurant found it's way on regularly after Woodstock. Clyde seemed to have a heyday with Woodstock artists after the festival. I could've done with less of Clyde's playing of Chamber Brothers "TIme", but oh well. I loved it when Clyde would play the longer version of Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet. That was great over the am radio.

    I distinctly remember that at 4am or whatever, Clyde would end Beaker Street and then come back on a minute later in regular non-hip, radio dj mode to read the news or a commercial. I don't know if he always did this, but I definitely heard it happen a few times. Not that I was in to being up at 4am listening to the radio.

    By 1968, Beaker Street had a most interesting intro collage at the top of the program. It had the Clapton "It's God" line from Nasal Retentive Calliope Music, a bunch of other stuff, and a short snip of a rock song where (and I've mentioned this before) the singer sings a line that is "Can-dy....my vibration" For the life of me, I still can't figure out what/who that is. A real nice, driving snip of a song though. That entire collage intro was great. Alas, I don't have it on tape.
     
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  7. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    This is correct. Clyde, real name Dale Seidenschwarz, by day was an RF technician who maintained broadcast towers. I don't remember if the tower was on Shinall Mountain or down in Wrightsville.
     
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  8. Billchi_11

    Billchi_11 What would DBoon do?

    Location:
    Chicago
    My first introduction to some GREAT music; and all that "space noise" between songs. Just like you said...little transistor radio on the pillow. Thanks for memories. You're my hero Lemon Kid!

    (didn't they play that "fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well" song a lot??)
     
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  9. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    My brother and I used to listen to this in Kansas City Missouri. They had a very powerful transmitter!
     
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  10. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    50,000W clear channel. At night they switched to bi-directional and could be heard from Canada to Central America.
     
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  11. scoutbb

    scoutbb Forum Resident

    Location:
    LA
    I did the same. AM radio under the pillow!!
    Wow, what great memory.
     
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  12. Former Lee Warmer

    Former Lee Warmer Emotional Rescue

    Location:
    NoBoCoMO
    Beaker St...the legend.
     
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  13. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    KAAY and Clyde Clifford...the legend

    Beaker Street
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford was the first underground music program broadcast regularly on a commercial AM radiostation in the central US. The station's signal carried far and wide. In early 1967 Beaker Street was a staple for adherents to the burgeoning underground communities in the upper Mid-West especially in Des Moines, Iowa, where it was the only access to Dr. Demento and Firesign Theatre.[citation needed] Beaker Street began on Little Rock, Arkansas 50,000 watt AM radio station KAAY late in 1966 and ran through 1972. The show's original announcer, Clyde Clifford, moved to FM in 1974[1] as the rise in popularity of FM radio began to impact the operations of many AM stations. Beaker Street pre-dated the FM radio boom of the mid-1970s and foretold the rise of Album-oriented Rock and Classic rock formats.

    History

    Dale Seidenschwarz, aka Clyde Clifford, was the prototype of the laid-back late-night radio DJ, known for the very long pauses in his speech.[2] The stage name of Clyde Clifford continued a tradition at KAAY whereby the on-air personalities often fashioned a stage name from the names of the board of directors of LIN Broadcasting, the owners of KAAY. Clyde W. Clifford was the comptroller general of LIN Broadcasting.

    Among the more memorable details of this radio program were the interludes of eerie sound effects and a background of space music between songs. These background sounds were necessary to mask the noise of the transmitter since the program originated at KAAY's transmitter location in Wrightsville, AR rather than in the station's broadcast studios in downtown Little Rock. Broadcasting from the transmitter site allowed a single employee, Clifford, to serve in the dual capacity of overnight broadcast engineer and as announcer. The original background music, composed by Henry Mancini, came from the dream sequence in the movie Charade. In the early 1970s, the background music was changed to sounds from "Cannabis Sativa" by a band called Head. This background is still in use today as a trademark of Beaker Street, although the need to mask transmitter sounds ended when the show left KAAY. The name of the show reflected the era in which it was created. Beaker Street was an oblique reference to LSD. The program featured Acid rock and its name alluded to the fact that "Acid" ( i.e., LSD ) was created in a laboratory beaker. The station tried to be as mysterious as possible, at one time even running a contest for listeners to try to guess how to spell Beaker, suggesting that it was spelled in some unconventional fashion.[1]

    Although Clyde Clifford (Dale Seidenschwarz) originated the concept of Beaker Street, the show continued for some years after Clifford left KAAY in 1974. Several Beaker Street hosts used the on-air name of Ken Knight, followed by Stuart McRae in the mid-1970s. Stuart McRae expanded the show from the original three hours to a full five and a half hours (11:00 PM to 4:30 AM). In early 1977, a new program director at KAAY decided to end Beaker Street, viewing it as inconsistent with other programming. McRae resigned over this decision, and the last regular Beaker Street shows were handled by Don Payne.

    Despite the show's demise on KAAY, Beaker Street remained a fond memory for many fans. When KAAY was sold and converted from a rock music to a religious format in 1985, Clyde Clifford was invited back to handle the final hours of rock music programming on March 3, 1985. At the conclusion of this melancholy and somewhat emotional program, believed by many listeners to be the last Beaker Street, the final song played by Clifford was 'The Circle Game' by Joni Mitchell.

    Years later, Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street returned to the airwaves every Sunday night from 7 p.m. until midnight Central Time, first on KZLR (KZ-95) and later on Magic 105.1 FM KMJX.[1] During that time the show was also streamed live via the internet, from the Beaker street homepage. As a result of a change in station programming format, the final Beaker Street on Magic 105 was broadcast February 17, 2008. Beaker Street begin broadcasting from its new home at The Point 94.1 FM on Sunday March 9, 2008, continuing to occupy the 7:00pm-midnight time slot on Sunday evenings. Ironically, the studio of The Point 94.1 FM is located in the same building (2400 Cottondale Lane in Little Rock, Arkansas) where Clyde Clifford broadcast the last hours of rock music programming on KAAY twenty-three years earlier. The last song of the new Beaker Street was, appropriately, the last song from KAAY, "The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell. Jaime Brockett's "The Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic" was also played in the third hour of the final show on the Point on February 6, 2011. Clyde Clifford was still searching for Beaker Street's next on-air home.[3]

    Significance of Beaker Street

    The strong nighttime signal of 50,000 watt, clear channel KAAY meant that it was possible to regularly listen to the station's nighttime programming in a wide area of the midwest and south. KAAY's late-night "footprint" gained fans as far west as Wyoming and Montana, north to the Dakotas and Manitoba and south as far as New Orleans and into Florida. This strong broadcast signal enabled Beaker Street to deliver the music of the late 1960s counterculture to many smaller cities and towns in America, where such music could not otherwise be heard over the air waves.[1] Beaker Street attracted a legion of fans across the Midwest with its pioneering format, which featured long album cuts from rock artists who otherwise would not get commercial radio airplay outside of large cities with freeform or progressive rock stations.

    One example of the impact of Beaker Street can be seen in the evolution and success of the band Headstone, formed in 1969 by five students at the University of Northern Iowa. The band released a 45-rpm record "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" which attracted the attention of Clyde Clifford and was placed in regular rotation on Beaker Street. Headstone co-founder Tom Tatman characterized Beaker Street as "the ultimate Midwestern underground radio program of the day." The popularity generated by the Beaker Street exposure allowed the band to move to bigger and better performances, and in August 2006, the band was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[4]

    For fans of Beaker Street, many album cuts became favorites over the years, including songs which were generally not available on either 45-rpm records or LP albums. One such performance was a melancholy rendition of a Tom Paxton song, Cindy's Cryin, performed by the Little Rock band Deepwater Reunion with vocalist Barbara Raney. Original records or tapes of this performance are rare, but a similar version of Cindy's Cryin has been performed by talented fans of the music, fans who first heard the song on Beaker Street. Another rarely heard recording played on Beaker Street was the Jamie Brockett cover of an old Leadbelly song, which he called "The Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic"; a rambling 13-minute Titanic opus, recorded in 1969, which has the ship's captain smoking a hemp cigarette with the first mate minutes before the ship hits the iceberg.

    Radio theater also made a comeback on Beaker Street, in half-hour or hour-long segments called Beaker Theatre; sometimes utilizing serious (and occasionally not-so serious) re-workings of old radio serial scripts, voiced by the Beaker Players; sometime playing the recordings of the comedy group Firesign Theatre, especially the "Nick Danger - Third Eye" series of skits. During the run of Beaker Street, the Firesign Theatre actually made several live appearances on the show.


    Beaker Street in Cuba

    The KAAY nighttime signal was so strong that young people in Havana City and in other places in Cuba were able to receive it clearly. In the late 1970s, music sung in English was restricted by the Communist Government. Cuban radio stations were allowed to devote only about 20% of their time broadcasting music sung in English, so many young people used to listen to American radio stations as a response to that limitation, and the KAAY was one of the most popular. Today young people from those years still remember the DJ announcing "Beaker Street... an underground music service from KAAY, Little Rock, Arkansas..."[5]



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    In honor of Beaker Street:

    The Legend Of The USS Titanic
     
  14. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    All the way to Montana , and Cuba!
     
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  15. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Headstone...1970, Iowa acid rock inspired by Beaker Street. Regular rotation by Clyde on air...inducted into Iowa R&R Hall Of Fame

    It Really Doesn't Matter by Headstone
     
  16. Jim Werlei

    Jim Werlei New Member

    We used to listen to KAAY in 30 below temperatures in Northern Wisconsin. Clyde warmed our hearts and helped us survive!
     
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  17. Mark Dillman

    Mark Dillman Active Member

    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    I only recently learned that there were three AM radio stations in the 48 United States that broadcast from sunset to sunrise at 1090 on the AM dial. In addition to KAAY in Little Rock there were two more stations, one each in Seattle & Baltimore. So I guess KAAY was not QUITE a clear channel radio station at night but very close to it. By clear channel, I am of the understanding it had to be the only AM radio station in the 48 United States broadcasting on its frequency between sunset & sunrise.
     
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  18. Mark Dillman

    Mark Dillman Active Member

    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    I am happy to announce that "Beaker Street" with the one & only Clyde Clifford returned to radio (and internet streaming) on May 15, 2020, on the Arkansas Rocks radio network, heard on about ten radio stations in Arkansas. You can hear "Beaker Street" on Fridays from 9:00 pm - midnight Central time. Home
     
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  19. Billchi_11

    Billchi_11 What would DBoon do?

    Location:
    Chicago
    They playing newer stuff, older stuff?
     
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  20. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    KAAY Feature on Little Rock TV, Part 1 of 2


     
  21. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    Here's part 2:

     
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  22. Mark Dillman

    Mark Dillman Active Member

    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Mostly the older stuff as heard when Clyde was on KAAY. Recent tracks include King Crimson, It's a Beautiful Day, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Spirit, etc.
     
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  23. Mark Dillman

    Mark Dillman Active Member

    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Here are the set lists plus mp3 of each program starting with the first program of the current series on the Arkansas Rocks Radio Network, May 16, 2020: Beaker Street Set Lists
     
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  24. Billchi_11

    Billchi_11 What would DBoon do?

    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks ! I'm gonna find my bong and black light and check it out:)
     
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  25. Mark Dillman

    Mark Dillman Active Member

    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas

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