Hello music lovers. Today's compilation is a tribute to one of the best radio dj's ever. About 10 years ago i first heard one of his '58 radio shows and since then i'm searching for more. Why? Because he was a pioneer in rock & roll radio making in his own unique stylee with a great taste of music too.
Cleveland has produced more than its share of atypical personalities. Jimmy Scott, ScreaminвЂ™ Jay Hawkins and Lux Interior are all natives, and the city served as a key breakout radio market for rock & roll. Fabled as the home base of DJ Alan "Moondoggy" Freed and of jock Bill Randle, who gave Elvis his first serious airing outside the South, Cleveland claimed a proclivity for nurturing hipsters that reached its most frantic apex with the untamed big-beat platter jockey Mad Daddy. The rap-rhyme mania of Mad Daddy (Pete Myers) sparked rock & roll tongue-tripping to new heights, igniting a fervid cult, but MyersвЂ™ publicity-drunk pace ultimately destroyed him.
The San FranciscoвЂ“born Myers gained his first broadcasting experience in psychological warfare for the Army during the Korean War. True to form, he didnвЂ™t necessarily seem to be on our side, cooking up a War of the WorldsвЂ“style broadcast that proclaimed a sea dragon was thrashing about in Tokyo Bay; it was so convincing that when General Douglas MacArthur heard it, he ordered troops to mobilize.
An aspiring actor before he landed a job in Ohio as a broadcaster, Myers used his thespian skills in a stunning run of unscripted jive patter and sound effects. He worked with eight turntables, layering echo, outer-space tones, rocket launches, bubbling cauldrons and spooky chords between his blood-curdling laughter and rants ("Jet speed, saucer blasts, smoke and fire, Mad Daddy flies up higher and higher!") as lead-ins to the kind of gutbucket-funky R&B selections rarely heard outside a handful of black-operated Southern stations like MemphisвЂ™ WDIA. He was a big champion of Andre Williams (particularly "The Greasy Chicken"), and also spun HowlinвЂ™ Wolf, Muddy Waters and trashy instrumentals like "Train to Nowhere," conjuring a sleazy miasma of honking saxophones, jungle tom-toms and manic guitar.
Playing previously all-black labels (known then as race music) unknown to most white disc jockeys, and pioneering the southern white version called rockabilly, Myers helped to popularize the low-budget records that were being cut in music- stores, basements, and the back rooms of diners. He followed his own tastes and eventually introduced a kind of humorous, off-beat rhythm 'n' blues that he called "wavy gravy."
Myers was soon climbing the local ladder, officially going with WJW radio in Cleveland around the end of January, 1958. Myers jumped ship in the spring of 1958 and went with WHK for twice his WJW salary. But even the job change gave the Mad Daddy creator trouble. Since he did not give WJW the required 90-day notice, and by virtue of an off-the-air clause in his contract, he found himself banned from broadcast at a time when keeping a high profile was critical to his career. Myers cooked up a plan to fill Cleveland harbor with gelatin and, wearing a Zorro costume and dumping bushels of records, parachute into the gooey mess from 3,000 feet.
DJ Mad Daddy Telling everyone that he had parachuted hundreds of times in Korea and intimating that Walt Disney was picking up the tab for pitching Zorro, he schmoozed the Civil Aeronautics Administration into permitting the stunt. True to his promise, Myers yelled,"Zorro!" and leaped, plummeted 100 seconds, and hit the chilly 60-degree water unharmed. He was fished out and headed to Captain Frank's for coffee. Later he said,"I didn't want those cats to forget me."
At WHK, the character's popularity became incredible. Other stations would have saved money by not broadcasting when he was on. He introduced almost every Cleveland rock hit, including national hits on local labels. Everyone listened to Mad Daddy, and commercial time on his show was pure gold. He did a national "Double Cola" ad, which aired during American Bandstand. Mad Daddy was mobbed wherever he went for personal appearances. In his black cape and his pink Pontiac, Mad Daddy had finally arrived.
WHK's ritzy New York sister station, WNEW, gave Pete Myers the Big Break. On July 4, 1959, to as much fanfare as any disc jockey-or foreign dignitary-gets there, Mad Daddy arrived in the Big Apple. After Mad Daddy's first show in New York, the phones at WNEW rang off the hooks, but Myers' elation upon hearing that the switchboard was jammed soon shattered. What came in was a resounding all-night put-down, something Myers had never encountered, even in his days with WJW. He had come a long way to a dead end; the Big Break was a big mistake. Mad Daddy was a no-go in New York. A television shot that had been hinted at was quickly nixed, Mad Daddy forever forbidden by WNEW. So while he had been a legend in Cleveland, in New York, Pete Myers was just another disc jockey. He had named his place and price, there was not much he could do about it.
Four years later, in 1963, he escaped to WINS, New York, a rock station and home to famed deejay Murray the K Kaufmann. Myers portrayed the Mad One intensely, but things had changed. The music was different, for one thing. Except for the new Motown sound and the Philly sound, rock in 1963 was not the good old wavy gravy he had played four years earlier in Cleveland.
What was happening was doing so across the Atlantic in England. Myers, having lived and studied in London a decade earlier, was one of the first to recognize that an English pop phenomenon could be the biggest act going. When Myers told everyone at WINS that the Beatles would be bigger than Elvis, they thought he was mad. When The Beatles toured the US, Myers was at the airport with the famous WINS welcoming entourage, passing out wigs and sweatshirts.
Myers had to leave WINS in 1965, though, when the station changed its format to all news. He returned to the security of the middle-of-the-road WNEW, again trading his Mad Daddy persona for that of the standard, mellow-voiced disc jockey, the quiet Pete Myers. As he lost more control of his professional life, he turned further and further inward. Approaching 40, Myers became increasingly pessimistic about his future.
He still sent taped Mad Daddy shows to stations in cities where he was still idolized, but a new possibility, sort of a Carnaby Street Mad Daddy British TV series, fell through. In a 1967 interview, he admitted he'd do it again given the chance:" ... if it's earthy beat, gut-bucket rhythm and blues, by me it'll be wavy gravy in 1987," but New York wasn't buying his act. Life as a disc jockey without personality in a town of 10 million wasn't much of a payoff for the brilliant Pete Myers.
The radio business was changing dramatically from what it had been in Myers' early days. By the autumn of 1968, program directors were controlling every disc jockey's music and routines, leaving little freedom. During the first week in October, line-up changes were afoot at WNEW in New York, changes that would shift the "Pete Myers Show" from its daytime slot of 1 to 4 p.m. to a later time-8 p.m. to midnight. Station officials later said they thought Myers was"enthusiastic" about the change.
On Friday, October 4, 1968,"lovable, laughable Pete Myers," as he had come to be known, arose and dressed for work, putting on his finest clothes. That evening was to be the beginning of his new time slot, and perhaps half-sleeping, his wife, Lisa, noticed how elegant he looked. The 40-year-old trouper had chosen to play his final role that day, a samurai frustrated by all normal channels of honor. A collector of guns, he took his most valuable weapon, a prized shotgun, and calmly strode to the bathroom.
(article from a Mad Daddy site that isn't on line anymore)
So i tought it's about time to put a nice collection on the net in tribute of the great Mad Daddy, floppin' and boppin' like oobla-dee.......
Tracklist in comments.
Download link: http://rapidshare.com/files/61011104/544359938.zip.html
Download Radio bits of Mad Daddy here: http://www.reelradio.com/bt/index.html (scroll down the page)
The album code is : ODI166002