The Music Will Never Stop 45

Forty-six tapes remain.

Today’s project was a tape labeled “Assortment #1,” which was a motley collection of tracks I liked off albums that (at the time) I wasn’t that enthusiastic about, along with a few singles I had on hand, and a stretch recorded off the radio.

It included a typed list which turned out to be absolutely accurate, right down to the counter numbers. The entire first side of the tape, roughly an hour and a half, was stuff I already had on iTunes, so I didn’t need to record any of it.

Side 2 was another matter. I had the first four songs, but then came Neil Diamond’s “Holly Holy,” which I think may be his best song ever (he thought so, too, I’ve read), which was recorded off the single, which I’d bought when it first came out.

I don’t have the single anymore. It went missing somewhere in the thirty-plus years between making this tape and copying my singles to MP3. So I booted up Audacity and started recording, and didn’t turn it off until halfway through the next-to-last song. (Would’ve been sooner if I’d actually been paying attention.)

So I got “Holly Holy,” then skipped a couple, but transferred Bette Midler’s “Delta Dawn” because while I still had the single (it’s the B-side of “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B”), it was kind of scratchy by the time I copied it to MP3. So now I have two copies of the same record, where one’s scratchy and the other’s weak in the higher frequencies (a common problem with old magnetic tape, and with this particular tape recorder).

And that’s apparently where I ran out of stuff to record when I originally made this tape, because the next five tracks were recorded off the radio. Specifically, according to the list they were recorded off WYDD 104.7 FM, which was the station I listened to when I lived in Pittsburgh, 1974-1977.

WYDD has changed call letters many times since, it seems, but from 1967 until some time in the ’80s it was WYDD. Apparently it started out as a jazz station, but when I listened to it it was album rock, and very, very good.

I was horrified to discover just now that it’s now WPGB and is a right-wing talk station. In the ’70s it was about as far from that as can be imagined. I’m trying to remember their slogan — “WYDD — [something] radio for unsold ears.” Can’t fill in that blank right now. They were locally owned, completely independent. (WPGB is Clear Channel.)

Honest radio for unsold ears? Maybe.

Anyway, they played a huge variety of cool stuff, from Dr. Demento to unreleased recordings by Buckingham Nicks (I’ll get to those later — I taped them). And I taped five tracks here — but I didn’t do a terribly good job of it, so there are missed beginnings and endings, and a couple of places where I apparently paused the tape for a fraction of a second for some reason, causing a blip. I also didn’t always catch the DJ saying what he was playing. So the first of the five tracks is “unidentified boogie #1,” and the second is “unidentified boogie #2.” They’re instrumental, so I can’t use the lyrics to track them down; no idea who recorded them, but they rock, despite my interrupting the first one twice and missing the beginnings and ends of both, so I’m keeping them.

The next track is “It’s All Over Now,” by Rod Stewart — slightly truncated, alas, missing about fifteen seconds of a six-minutes-and-change running time, but still worth keeping.

And then “I’m Going Home,” by Alvin Lee, recorded live — but not the performance at Woodstock. Not Ten Years After at all; Alvin Lee solo. No idea where it’s from. I loved WYDD.

And finally — well, I thought this was one I wouldn’t be keeping, but I was wrong. It’s “Radar Love,” by Golden Earring, and I have the album “The Continuing Story of Radar Love,” but this isn’t the same version. I had the album version; now I have both the album version and the full single version. (There’s also an edited-down single version.)

But after that I finished out the tape with half a dozen more album tracks, and those all duplicated items already in my collection.

So I kept/copied seven songs out of thirty-nine.

Six tapes down, forty-six to go. Progress!

3 thoughts on “The Music Will Never Stop 45

  1. Thank you, I find these writing interesting. I know these recordings are for your personal listening pleasure. And like me you tend to archive your tapes. Unfortunately for me, my tapes are cassettes. My interest here are your recordings of WYDD 104.7 FM, especially any on-air personality air checks & announcements. It would nice to get a copy of them but I know you probably are just recording them for yourself. When me and my friend recorded the local football games for TV 3 in New Kensington, we go up to WYDD 104.7 FM radio station and get music videos to play before the games (this was back in the 1980 before MTV).

    1. I wouldn’t mind sharing these, but alas, I don’t have any of the on-air personalities at all — I deliberately edited them out when I originally made the tapes, because all I was after was the music. I did save a Scotch recording tape ad I had accidentally recorded because I found it amusing, but other than that it’s just the music — Buckingham Nicks, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Loggins and Messina, Eric Clapton, Seals & Croft, and those unidentified boogies. (Which I just played to see if there was anything on there you might be interested in; there isn’t, but they still rock.)

      Oh, and I have the King Biscuit Flower Hour for Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, Boston, the Rolling Stones, George Thorogood, Jefferson Starship, and the Grateful Dead; some of those are from WYDD, some are from WKQQ Lexington. Again, they were edited to remove everything local.

      At this point, alas, I no longer have the original tapes — they were deteriorating rapidly, and as of two years ago they’ve been trashed. I just have the digital copies I made, and thanks to software changes I’m not sure I can still play the raw transfers at all. The MP3 versions are still fine, though, and backed up several places.

  2. I understand. I’m on WYDD 104.7 FM Facebook Group page and people somethings post youtube videos of the air checks or they are looking for recordings of the Freeform Rock days. I have a old recording (now digital) announcing concerts for Atlanta Rhythm Section with The Cars at the Stanley Theater also Patti Smith, UK & Diamond Reo, and Boston. Speaking of Boston, I have a recording of WYDD playing new tracks from Don’t Look Back for the tour.

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