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50 years ago this weekend the almost-unknown Newport Pop Festival happened - not the Folk Festival and not in Newport! For the first time, over 100,000 kids jammed a venue, the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California to groove to the newfound sounds of psychedelia. We're gonna play the faves from that weekend, oh yeah, Quicksliver, Jeff Air, Country Joe, The Byrds, Spirit and more - but (and it's a big but) - we're also gonna play some real rarities from Rhinoceros, Mother Earth, The Flock, Southwind, Illinois Speed Press and others! You weren't there (neither were we, dang it), so don't miss this "trip" back to an innocent time in Flower Power history! Pull out the elephant bells and love beads, brothers and sisters!
First, what it ISN’T: it’s not “folk music,” nor is it ‘hit songs.’ It also isn’t “for everyone.” But if you love that off-the-beaten-track music that you just can’t find anywhere else - that concert track, those deep album cuts, that bootleg, those festival recordings – well, then, we might just be what you’ve been looking for.
In short, SFRS offers a highly-curated set of playlists that feature live recordings, obscure recordings of popular songs, alternate tracks, covers, originals, deep album tracks and bootlegs that might appeal to anyone with a 60s or 70s music sensibility. But the music isn’t limited to those decades – songs can and do come from any time between 1940 and yesterday. Stan Jones’s Ghost Riders from the 40s to Leonard Cohen’s debut album to Joan Baez’s latest release in 2018. And everything in between.
But wait…there’s more. Much more.
Steve is a music historian who cherishes the backstories of songs, albums, artists, labels, festivals, clubs and time periods and provides you – the listener – with highly-researched and interesting tidbits about all of these topics. Every show is themed, and the music of each show is dedicated to that theme. Recently we aired a show featuring the music of founding Byrd/Burrito Brother/solo artist Gene Clark. We also featured a show spotlighting album releases from January 1968. Another show featured 12-string guitar players.
You get the idea. SFRS is the kind of FM radio show you might have heard late at night on your homemade Heathkit radio while hiding under your bed covers back in the day, flashlight in hand, wonder and awe in mind.
Steve grew up in the 50s and 60s and was influenced by the early FM radio jocks, especially the late night ones, who curated their own playlists and might pepper in Procol Harum with a deep track from a Turtles album. Or a Janis Ian track and something from Cream’s Wheels of Fire album.
Oh yeah – no commercials! WCSB is a live, local, noncommercial, nonprofit terrestrial station that is 100% funded by listener donations during our annual Radiothon (see our Radiothon page for details).
You might be surprised at how much the backstories enhance your listening pleasure. It’s fun to know that Felix Pappalardi produced folk albums as well as the hard-rock band Mountain, or that Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit instead of the other way around during their 1st American tour.
SFRS also places your fave songs in their historical perspective. Large events such as the Vietnam War, Civil Rights marches, assassinations and other noteworthy events are cooked into the music so a larger appreciation of the lyrics is gained.
So, why should you listen? Because it’s fun! Check out the playlists, then tune in. And although SFRS has aired live every Saturday morning 9-11am Eastern Time on WCSB 89.3fm out of Cleveland since 2001, we now stream live on the web AND the show is archived for a week at a time at wcsb.org.
There’s no need to wait til Saturday – tune in right now. And let Steve know how you feel and how he can make the show even better!
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