August 30, 1975: Natalie Cole, Innervision, Fatback Band, Chocolate Milk, Esther Phillips


WOLFMAN JACK, America’s most famous disc-jockey, is now probably even better known over here for his pivotal role in “American Graffiti” than for his shows on AFN. When he came to London last week to appear on Capital Radio it was my privilege to work closely with him (that’s us clowning for the cameras, right), and thus I was able to find out about a lot of his tricks.

When recording his syndicated shows, carried by hundreds of radio stations worldwide, the Wolf merely sits down with a running order list and puts his voice links on tape, without any music, leaving three second gaps between each link. An engineer then records the master tape. playing the records, running in the pre-recorded links, and slotting in other relevant “bits” that are already on cart, like the famous wolf howls (actually, a coyote). This explains why on the two “American Graffiti” albums the Wolf often crashes the vocals – he had no control!

Possibly the greatest surprise when watching the Wolfman at work is to see that all his incredible raps are in fact read from books. Wherever they go, he and his manager, Don Kelley, note down anything that inspires them. Don is then able to flip through piles of thick notebooks until he finds something apt for the music and mood of the moment. which the Wolf then transforms into a rap that sounds totally spontaneous. He also uses the notebooks to whap in time with the beat when rockin’ to Little Richard!

To change from his normal speaking voice into his maniacal radio style, the Wolf goes into a wheezing chuckle that gradually intensifies until it bursts out into his much copied growling rasp – which is full of amazing resonances. Even when wearing cans, at the mike he often puts a hand over one ear in traditional announcer’s fashion. A true AM jock, he likes lots of EQ, and sits well back while ranting and raving.

As well as radio shows, there are Wolfman Jack discos, syndicated on tape to locations that he and Don Kelley control. Because these are mainly in hotels, the music that they very carefully programme for each hour-long tape is angled to get bashful business men onto the floor, and each tape follows an almost scientifically proven formula. This includes a healthy quota of really big oldies, with one Latin cut per hour.

As well as all this the Wolf is the main presenter of America’s long-running “Midnight Special ‘ Rock show, plus he has his own lavish touring stage show that choreographs the history of Rock ‘n Roll radio, plus he’s had numerous songs written about him, plus . . . like I said, he’s the World’s most famous DJ.


From Peter Dunn: Coppercoins Country Club, Nr Haverfordwest, Pemb’s): Useful as a nice happy party record, MEL BLANC I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat (MfP Surprise Surprise FP 27) is especially good if just the main Tweety Pie verse is cut in, for unexpected shock effect. This and many more party goodies of a silly nature are available on cheap kiddies discs in places like W. H. Smith & Son – they’re worth trying.

New Spins


NATALIE COLE: This Will Be (Capitol CL 15834)
Nat “King” Cole’s daughter is a merry young soul on this happy stamper (reviewed last week as an import), which much like Barbara Acklin’s Love Makes A Woman really does move like the clappers! Hopefully modern dancers can cope with the fact that it actually swings . . . and how! My fave of the month, if not year.

INNERVISION: Honey Baby (Be Mine) (Private Stock PVT 17)
An instantly catchy bass line makes the purposeful yet gentle rhythmic drive that fronts some impassioned harmonies and should win friends in a hurry. In fact, I’ve a hunch this could hit.

THE FATBACK BAND: Yum, Yum (Gimme Some) / Trompin’ (Polydor 2066590).
A lip-smacking treat for funky folk, this bouncy thumper may seem monotonous to others as the bass predominates in a very repetitive way. Spirited flip.  Continue reading “August 30, 1975: Natalie Cole, Innervision, Fatback Band, Chocolate Milk, Esther Phillips”

August 23, 1975: Hamilton Bohannon, Ralph Carter, Jimmy Bo Horne, Howeefeel, Andy Mackay


CAPITAL RADIO’S zany ace DJ, Kenny Everett will now be officiating at the grand opening ceremony for Disco ’75.

Kenny, madcap hero of millions, will be cutting the tape an hour or so after the NADJ-run National DJ Convention and Exhibition opens its doors to the public at noon on Monday September 8 at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel.

On the following day, as previously reported, Capital will be broadcasting live their lunchtime Cash On Delivery show, starring Kenny’s erstwhile partner in fun, Dave Cash. Other Capital stars expected to visit Disco ’75 during the two days include Roger Scott, Nicky Horne, Tommy Vance, Graham Dene, Kerry Juby, Tony Myatt, Peter Young, Greg Edwards, Mike Allen and Ian Davidson.

The free flimsy disc containing Capital jingles, exclusively revealed to RM readers last week, will also be introduced by Kenny Everett. This disc will be given to all visitors to Disco ’75, and is designed with disco and hospital jocks in mind. As now finalised, the disc begins with some foolishness from Kenny, and there then follow a great many of Capital’s jingles of various lengths, all separated by several seconds of silence.

Apart from all this, the main attraction at Disco ’75 will be the exhibition stands of virtually every major disco equipment manufacturer and of many record companies. Full details may be obtained from organiser Ben Cree, of the NADJ, at PO Box 23, Hitchin, Herts SG4 9JT (telephone 0462 50918).


FROM Theo Loyla (Banana Power Discos, Bridge, Kent): “Just before the end of Barbados I cut in with the old JOE GIBBS Hijacked (Amalgamated AMG 865, which is probably deleted). It’s good danceable Reggae which makes a topical and amusing foil to Typically.

A multitude of Misty’s

RAY STEVENS Misty (Janus) and now THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND All I Have To Do Is Dream (UA) have been so useful at MOR type gigs that I reckon a look at some other Country-fied Pop oldies could be timely. The following recent US releases are only obtainable on import at the moment, but they do deserve issue here.

RONNIE DOVE: Things (Melodyland ME 6011F).
Bobby Darin’s perky fave gets a pounding bass and strident steel along with Ronnie’s frantic rhythm hopping. Not up to the original, but a fresh approach.

BUDDY ALAN: Another Saturday Night (Capitol 4075)
Bouncily thumping Country beat improves immeasurably on Cat Stevens’s version of the Sam Cooke lilter. Definitely useable.

BUCK OWENS & SUSAN RAYE: Love Is Strange (Capitol 4100)
Mickey & Sylvia’s Rock-A-Cha adapts well to Buck & Susan’s similar simple style. Solid bass and all the original catchiness.  Continue reading “August 23, 1975: Hamilton Bohannon, Ralph Carter, Jimmy Bo Horne, Howeefeel, Andy Mackay”

August 16, 1975: Sparrow, Russ Regent & His Rhythmaires, Banzai, Peoples Choice, Calhoon

Flimsy jingle freebie!

DISCO ’75 visitors will not only get the chance to see Capital Radio in action but also be given free copies of Capital jingles to use on their own shows.

The NADJ – run National DJ Convention and Exhibition, Disco ’75 is to be held on September 8th/9th at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel, from which on the second day, Tuesday, Capital’s lunchtime Cash On Delivery Show will be broadcast live. Radio freaks (as most DJs must surely be) will see how a studio works when famous Dave Cash gets behind the decks, aided by glamorous gal producer Annie Challis and an army of hard drinking engineers. There may even he an in-person appearance by the station’s lofty record librarian (hullo). Seriously though, throughout the day there will be a steady trickle of Capital’s celebrated DJs – stars like Kenny Everett, Roger Scott, Nicky Horne, Graham Dene, Peter Young, Greg Edwards, Tony Myatt, maybe even Mike Aspel and Gerald Harper – all behaving themselves and shaking hands with the visitors.

Better even than this though for most will be the news that every DJ visiting Disco ’75 will be given a free flimsy disc containing a set of Capital jingles. The flimsies will be designed so that the jingles and linking Capital DJ greetings can be dubbed separately onto tape and used as a set of individual stabs and voice-overs to make disco presentations sound even more impressive. How long before every pub, club and disco DJ is conning that they broadcast on 194?!


From the Bindle Stiff mobile disco, Hullbridge, near Southend, Essex: “Great idea I just came across – during singalongs at such as weddings, you can have slides of the words made up, so that the people who don’t know the words to things like Run Rabbit Run or Only Girl In The World can join in. It’s most effective.” Nice one, JR!

New Spins

Bop shoo wubbuddy Booby doo wup, doc

SPARROW: Oh Doctor (CBS 3527)
What’s the cure when all your girl can say is “Bop shoo wubbuddy dooby doo wup”? In best doo-wop style the creamy-singing guys in Sparrow ask the doctor (played by Humphrey Bogart), and their ’50s-type slowie picks up where Mud leave off. Great.

RUSS REGENT AND HIS RHYTHMAIRES: The Happy Organ (20th Century BTC 1004)
Atmospheric subdued auditorium FX intro and then Russ romps through the old Dave “Baby” Cortez instrumental with a rapid clapping rhythm that (although not aimed that way) will probably break up North before sweeping the nation.

BANZAI: Chinese Kung Fu (Contempo CS 2068)
Excruciatingly dull unless you’re out on the floor, the Disco Version flip is nothing like as direct as the plug side of this disco stomping instrumental that’s already selling big as an import. Catchy Chinoiserie melody and lotsa Hoo! Ha! Could even hit.  Continue reading “August 16, 1975: Sparrow, Russ Regent & His Rhythmaires, Banzai, Peoples Choice, Calhoon”

August 9, 1975: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jeanne Burton, Steely Dan, Al Wilson, Rod Stewart


LOTS OF jocks get gigs in Scandinavia, so here’s a bit of info from someone who’s over there now.

Peter Brown (Seasons Disco, Wembley, Middlesex) is spending some of the Summer working at the Hawk Club in Bergen, Norway, and from what he says it seems the Norwegians are fairly normal if just a wee bit behind the times. He writes: “My favourite music is soul . . . however, over here you have to play some really weird disco music. For instance, MAX BYGRAVES Tulips From Amsterdam (Decca) goes down tremendously, and GLENN MILLER always works a treat! You wouldn’t hear many other than mobile discos playing those in England, I’ll bet!” And more’s the pity, say I.

That’s not the only way in which Peter finds the Norwegians lagging behind the times. “Norway is slow in catching on to new records. The Norwegian Top Twenty still has GEORGE McCRAE’s Rock Your Baby in it, along with I Can Help by BILLY SWAN which if a vote was taken would probably be their new National Anthem!”


FROM Peter Greig (Route 88 Discos, Plymouth, Devon): To make your own slip mats, get two coloured felt off-cuts (usually sold in one foot squares by remnant shops) and cut them to turntable size using a suitable plate as a pattern. Fold each in half and then quarter and nip the inner point with scissors. Stick them onto your turntables with some small dabs of glue and – presto! – you have a pair of perfect slip mats for professional cueing in.

New Spins


THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND: (All I Have To Do is) Dream (WA UP 35875)
Yes, despite the brackets, the Everlys’ cocos commercial oldie . . . given a Misty-style updating full of twinkling banjos and mildly bouncy subdued jollity, Dreamy MoR, could be a smash.

JEANNE BURTON: Nobody Loves Me Like You Do (Seville SEV 1010) Incredibly exciting shrilly screaming gallop paced hustler by a chick who combines Gloria Gaynor and the Queen Of Clubs to produce a sound that’ll send shivers up your spine. Make it a hit!

STEELY DAN: Do it Again (ABC 4075)
and again and again and again. Maybe this time?  Continue reading “August 9, 1975: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jeanne Burton, Steely Dan, Al Wilson, Rod Stewart”

August 2, 1975: Ritchie Family, Hudson Brothers, Calender, Hustler, Billy Ocean


DISCO ’75 is the inspired new name for this year’s National Disc Jockey Convention & Exhibition.

Organised by the National Association of Disc Jockeys, the exhibition will be open on Monday and Tuesday, September 8 and 9, 1975, at the Bloomsbury Centre Hotel, London WC1, where the 11,000 square foot London Suite will provide room enough for a bigger and better show than before. “Our first event last year was a great success and attracted over 1,000 Disc Jockeys from all parts of the country,” says NADJ boss Ben Cree, “and this year we are aiming to double or even treble that number.”

Just a few of the many companies who will be exhibiting their wares are disco manufacturers SAI, FAL and Disco Supplies, the Mushroom Disco Centre, Atlantic Records and Aarvak Electronics. “New names are being added almost hourly,” continues Cree, “and I fully expect the show to be a complete sell-out.” Ben Cree can be contacted at PO Box 23, Hitchin, Herts, SG4 9JT (Telephone 0462 50918) for fuller info.


THREE new items of disco equipment should interest many jocks, especially as each does a job that previously cost a lot of bread.

Roger Squire’s Disco Centre of 176 Junction Road, London N19, has launched a jingle machine that’s almost like the ones used on radio yet sells for a ludicrously low £29 (with a deluxe Auto-Cue model at £35). Adapted from a well-proven 8-track player, as which it can still be used, the Squire machine is designed to take special pre-recorded cartridges containing four jingles, one jingle per track on a 30 second loop of 4-track tape, cued by an illuminated track selector button. If these £2 carts are not personal enough, customised jingles cost £3.50 each.

Martin Blake Lighting and Effects of 14 Rydal Road, London SW16, have developed a carbon dioxide (dry ice) machine for creating that low-lying “Fog” effect popularised by such as “Thank Your Lucky Stars”. Evidently all other Fog Machines are incompatible with disco use, so that not only is this purpose-built unit cheap at £65, it’s also the only one available.

Proops Brothers Ltd of the Hyde Industrial Estate, Edgware Road, Hendon, London NW9 (with demonstrations at 52 Tottenham Court Road, W1), are blowing their trumpet about an effects projector selling for £19.95, which price may or may not include the necessary 12 volt transformer and a liquid wheel also quoted at £6. Less ambiguously worded, the many extras for the basic projector (which it must be emphasised is only 50 watts) include a range of eight picture wheels at £3 each and various image-splitting lenses from £6.50 to £10.


FROM David Crawt (Chessington, Surrey): “I always play BREAD’s The Guitar Man as the very last record and since it isn’t either slow or fast it gets a great response – especially when I turn the light show off and put on a strobe. A mate of mine does this as well and he enjoys it so much that he gets up and has a dance himself, leaving the decks unmanned.” Oh well, whatever turns you on!

New Spins


RITCHIE FAMILY: Brazil (Polydor 2058625)
Hip to the sort of US sound that’s big in Europe, French producer Jacques Morali went to Philadelphia to use arranger Richard Rome and the Family of Philly musicians (hence group name) on this breathless new treatment of the great old tune. The result is the new Hustle and is already ousting El Bimbo in European resorts. Incroyable!

THE HUDSON BROTHERS: Rendezvous (Rocket PIG 18)
Penned by Bruce Johnston with the Hudson boys and prod by Bernie Taupin, it’s totally pure and powerful Pop.

CALENDER: Hypertension, Pts 1 and 2 (All Platinum 6146308)
Picked up from the Pi Kappa label of Jersey City, this purposefully pounding sinister beater has elements of Grapevine with Temptations-type vocals. Mainly instrumental flip.  Continue reading “August 2, 1975: Ritchie Family, Hudson Brothers, Calender, Hustler, Billy Ocean”