Vintage WKMI, Kalamazoo Audio From 1964 Will Jingle Some Memories
Nostalgia is a big deal, especially when the audience is aging or when times are difficult. It's one of the reasons the local Facebook site "Vanished Kalamazoo is so popular with nearly 35,000 members sharing and/or simply remembering what might be for many kinder and gentler times, from their youth.
When we see a post with the call letters WKMI, that, of course, raises our interest even more. And early this week, one such post features audio from WKMI recorded in 1964.
The recording is from September 26th, 1964 and the disc jockey is Paul Christy. Christy went on to work in major radio markets, like Chicago (WCFL) and in Detroit at the former WCAR. (A funny note about WCAR. The station billed itself at one time as the Rock of Detroit, and it's transmitter is located in Gibraltar, Michigan, so it could legitimately call itself The Rock of Gibraltar.)
Listening to the "aircheck" as it's referred to in the industry, Christy mentions an appearance at Read Fieldhouse by Sen. Hubert Humphrey who was soon to be elected vice-president of the United States. Following a singing Chevrolet commercial, there's a WKMI "One-der", which is a song that charted at #1 on WKMI. This time it's Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann's "Apache". And coincidentally, Tom Hanks' movie "That Thing You Do" is set in 1964 and the band's name is originally spelled "The One-Ders".
Following that song is a commercial for the Town and Country Markets, and then for Stafford's Restaurant on "Old 131, south of Portage". The commercial talks about an all-you-can-eat buffet for $2.75." And the audio ends with a different take on "Volare", by the Platters.
It was a different time and world fifty-eight years ago.