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The Birth of FM Radio - Magic Mike
Until the late 1960's FM radio was either classical music, elevator music,
or a rebroadcast of the AM station. I changed that.

Tom Waits

Looking for Magic in America, Or, How I met The Dalai Lama of Tibet
Copyright 1997-2012 "Magic Mike Berger " (Unpublished)

Denverradio.net forum
Cadillac Man - 5-1-2005 at 06:32 PM

I wish they'd do a real KTCL retrospective going back to maybe 1975-1980.
Those were the glory days for KTCL, not the 90s.
I'm talking John Hartford, Jamie Brockett, Jonathan Edwards, Al Di Meola, Gil Scott-Heron, John Prine, ads for Avagadro's, Rocky Mountain Records and Tapes and Mishawaka.

Well pass it to me baby, pass it to me slow
we'll take time out to smile a little before we let it go
cuz we gonna lay around the shanty mama-- and put a good buzz on.

 

I became a big fan of Tom Waits in 1974 when I heard him on the radio performing a cover of an old song by Red Sovine, "Big Joe and Phantom 309", an eerie song about a ghost truck driver who picks up a hitchhiker on a cold dark night and gives him a dime to buy a couple coffee at the truck stop he lets him off at.

After that I began to actively follow anything that Tom Waits put out. I could tell right away that he had talent that captured and created a unique style of singing that was uniquely Tom, and I knew it was going to be much more from Tom Waits.

At this point I was working at a radio station in Fort Collins Colorado called KIIX-FM, it later became KTCL FM named after Alf Landon's wife. It was 1975 and The Eagles had just put out Ol' 55 and I was surprised to see that it was written by Tom. So I was able to look up play Tom's version. The Eagles version was much more of a pop hit but Tom's version was magical, and made me feel his blues. Because it wasn't a pop song he allowed it to let me feel the blues of the end of a night, wrapped me up in its shawl, and deposit me gently at home as the sun came up, after a slow long night. It wasn't a pop song, so it's tempo was much slower, like a sunrise creeping up. It wasn't too long before Tom put out a wonderful album called, "Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night". Here's his early nightclub version of it that I saw in 1975, and the version on the album was much quicker in tempo and so it became a hit. But this version is fun and full of Tom's tongue in cheek humor.

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyyFLYNbQpg>

Months later, Tom was sharing a billing at a nightclub in Boulder with Gene Clark from the Byrds. After Tom went on I ambushed him in the lobby. I told him about hearing him and playing in on the radio on my show, last word and did to magic tricks which lit up his eyes.


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