Friday, March 05, 2010

Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?

We've talked about Alan Freed and his Camel Rock'n'Roll Dance Party before and have even featured several of those shows here at the World of Wonder. What initially sparked my interest in the R'n'R Dance Party was a record that my father had when I was a kid. (A record that has since disappeared. I have no clue where it went but was glad to find a copy of it in my travels to replace the missing gem!) The record was put out on the Radiola label back in 1978. It was called "Rock and Roll Radio" and featured Freed introducing great hits from the big names of 1956. I had always assumed that these were two complete shows from the CRRDP and never questioned it any further. Upon further inspection and research we find that was not the case. In fact, the origins of these two shows on the record were a topic of discussion amongst fans of the show for many years. The man responsible for the release of this album was J. David Goldin, owner of the Radiola label. Goldin said he had received the recordings of 23 issues of the Camel Rock'n'Roll Dance Party from a friend in Frankfurt who had access to the Armed Forces Radio archives there. However, the recordings already had been edited a lot. Among other things, the AFR had cut out Camel's (the show sponsor) name everywhere, which must have been in every second sentence Freed had said. The Radiola album Rock'n'Roll Radio (Radiola MR-1087) was a collection of the songs Goldin liked best. So, in a nutshell, they are not complete broadcasts but are a compilation of several shows edited together to make it seem like complete shows. Either way, the album is great! The recordings have amazing sound quality for tapes of shows that were, at the time, twenty years old. With such greats as Frankie Lyman, Bill Haley, Clyde McPhatter, Etta James, the Chordettes, Ivory Joe Hutton, Gene Vincent and the great, Chuck Berry. Also, be on the listen for the presentation of an award to Count Basie from Cashbox magazine as "Best Rock 'N' Roll Band in the Country," based on a nationwide poll of jukebox operators. Here is that great Radiola LP. Here is "Rock 'N' Roll Radio". Enjoy!

Rock 'N' Roll Radio

1 comment:

Jeff Gollin said...

Each of the 23 AFR broadcasts had at least 2 instrumentals by Count Basie or the Sam The Man Taylor-led Alan Freed Band. Most of the Freed band tunes were renditions of previous recordings. (Solos were similar but not identical and sometimes pleasantly surprising.

One version of "Pretzel" appears to be identical to the Pretzel that appears on a couple of re-issued Freed CD's - with one exception:

A really good solo by baritone sax artist, Heywood Henry in the AFR version has been edited-out of the Freed CD.

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