Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Soul on the Air #4: Johnny Lloyd, 1966

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Today's return to the "Soul on the Air" series features Washington D.C.'s WOOK, which made its debut as the city's first black-format radio station in 1947. During the classic soul era, WOOK battled with WUST (home of future Stax prexy Al Bell) and WOL (home of Bob "Nighthawk" Terry and talk show host Petey Greene) for dominance in the R&B market, and the station further served D.C.'s black community via WOOK-TV, which at its inception in 1963 was the first black-format TV station in the United States. By the '70s both WOOK-AM and WOOK-TV were out of business, partially due to financial and technical problems but also due to fallout from a "numbers game" scandal: a minister was using his program to give out winning lotto numbers, which were encrypted in his Scripture references! It is my understanding that WOOK flipped its call letters to an FM station and continued for some time afterwards, but I don't know anything about that portion of the station's history.

I also don't know anything about WOOK disc jockey Johnny Lloyd, but on this June 1966 aircheck he serves up some great music, including Robert Parker's "Barefootin'" (at the time the top tune on the station's hit list and most likely one of the top R&B songs in the country), the Bobbettes' "I've Got to Face the World" and Tammi Terrell's "Come on and See Me," interspersed with plugs for WOOK-TV programming, ads for Waxie Maxie's, the legendary DC record store, and notices of a forthcoming Otis Redding concert.

(EDITOR'S NOTE - The limitations of AM radio and aircheck tape trading come through here, as the sound quality fluctuates somewhat. Fortunately, the soul still rings through!)

8 comments:

edie2k2 said...

This is truly GOLDEN...

Jason, you have struck oil. I'm back in my time machine, euphorically rocking back n forth to You're The One by the Marvelettes. I haven't heard that in so many years..lawd.

Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL stuff...and I thank you for such an incomparably delicious gift.

This Lloyd guy..like the rest of em, has his own style and he's cracking ..me.. UP! I love his little ditties that are interspersed throughout the broadcast. That's one of my favorite things, observing how each jock handled his show.

Fascinating.

I'll be back.. this is so good to my soul.

Dave Alan said...

Stepfather, let me take time to thank you for the great airchecks you provide. Many web sites provide top 40 airchecks, but it's truly a pleasure to hear the sounds that I grew up with. You just don't know what memories come back when I listen to these classics.
F.Y.I. Here's a little history on WOOK FM (from dcrtv.com Thanks Dave).
Back in the early 1970s this was WFAN-FM, a Spanish language station. It was owned United Broadcasting along with an AM urban contemporary station on 1340, WOOK, and TV 14 WOOK. The FCC apparently had some problems with the operation of 1340 and was in the process of withdrawing the license. So, United flipped the profitable urban contemporary format and WOOK calls to 100.3 FM and the Spanish format and WFAN calls to 1340 AM. The 100.3 frequency was eventually sold to another broadcaster and retained the urban contemporary format as OK-100. For a while 100.3 was WDJY and then flipped to WJZE with a jazz format. The FM station was sold and eventually became Oldies 100 WBIG.

jd said...

i think this aircheck is from May '66 (probably 19th or 20th) and not June. The concert dates and the Jose Torres advertisment suggest mid-may. the grocery store ad suggest the weekend is coming up...
Great aircheck though! Thank you for sharing!

Bruce Bonner said...

Is this site gone? I can't get the airchecks to play.

Bruce Bonner said...

The airchecks are working now.

Geoff Cruz said...

This is a really cool podcast, it's back in the golden age. This is why I love podcasts. Keep it coming.

emmypro said...

I produced the documentary on the Teenarama Dance Party which was the African American teen television dance show on WOOK-TV. I am familiar with Johnny Lloyd. I'm looking for his son that lives in Maryland. Maybe Baltimore. Maybe Temple Hills. He contacted me several years ago and I lost his contact information. Johnny Lloyd lives in Las Vegas in a retirement home, he said. If you know how to contact Johnny Lloyd's son, email me at blin100579@aol.com.

Beverly Lindsay-Johnson

Sylvian prat said...

I went to robert fulton.annex. an fulton high school. I remember the summber holidays like the fourth of july when famiy got together. An. We would have picnics we didnt have a lot of music to play so we would to wawa on the radio dr bopp with his loud bold voice would set. plasant. Edmusfrice those were some good days