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The ORIGINAL History of Rock and Roll Radio!
Click on an album cover to see the contents
(NOTE: Track listings are for the original issues only.)

CRUISIN' 1955 - Jumpin' George Oxford, KSAN, San Fransisco CA CRUISIN' 1956 - Robin Seymour, WKMH, Detroit MI CRUISIN' 1957 - Joe Niagara, WIBG, Philadelphia PA CRUISIN' 1958, Jack Carney, WIL, St. Louis MO
CRUISIN' 1959 - Hunter Hancock, KGFJ, Los Angeles CA CRUISIN' 1960 - Dick Biondi, WKBW,  Buffalo NY CRUISIN' 1961 - Arnie 'Woo Woo' Ginsberg - WMEX, Boston MA CRUISIN' 1962 - Russ 'Weird Beard' Knight - KLIF, Dallas TX
CRUISIN' 1963 - B. Mitchell Reed, WMCA, New York, NY CRUISIN' 1964 - Johnny Holliday, WHK, Cleveland OH CRUISIN' 1965 - Robert W. Morgan, KHJ, Los Angeles, CA CRUISIN' 1966 - Pat O'Day, KJR, Seattle WA
CRUISIN' 1967 - Dr. Don Rose, WQXI, Atlanta GA CRUISIN' 1968 - Johnny Dark, WCAO, Baltimore MD CRUISIN' 1969 - Harv Moore, The Boy Next Door, WPGC, Wash. D.C. CRUISIN' 1970 - Kris Erik Stevens, WLS, Chicago IL
CRUISIN' WITH PORKY CHEDWICK - WAMO, Pittsburgh, PA





News and Updates:


Click on the car radio to hear the original Cruisin' radio commercial!

NEW NEWS!: March 9, 2010: How cool is this? Just heard from the one and only Savior of Dallas radio himself, RUSS "Weird Beard" KNIGHT! Yes, he's still around, Cruisers. Currently recuperating from back surgery, Russ has been retired from radio since 2000 after an incredible career on the air and behind the scenes. It's an honor to know he dropped by and liked what he saw. (The 1962 volume is one of my all-time favorites in the series.) Again, Russ, thanks for the kind words. And let's all salute him the way any true Cruiser would do, by running a Gillette razor over each side of our faces! (SFX: ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz) Smooth! Smooth! Now the other side. (SFX: ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz) Smooth! Smooth! Stay groovy, Russ, and thanks!
OLD NEWS: April 17, 2006: Liner notes for Cruisin' 1968 (Johnny Dark, WCAO) added. Now, if I can just get the liner notes for the Porky Chedwick volume...Also, thanks to a fellow Cruiser through the guestbook, we can tell you that Robin Seymour (of Cruisin' 1956 fame) is, at this date, alive and well and running Opportunity Productions in California, which specializes in video production. Also, I've updated Dick Biondi's page with a new picture and a link to WZZM, where he's now heard Weeknights from 9 to Midnight.
Past updates: April 14, 2005: There's been quite bit of technical problems with the guestbooks as of late; hopefully the new guestbook will get them cleared up soon. You'll find the link at the bottom of this page. On the other hand, some long-broken links have been fixed (and inactive ones removed).


Blasts from the past


Dr. Don Rose
July 5, 1934 - March 31, 2005

Dr. Don Rose passed away in his sleep on March 31, 2005 at the age of 70. I had the honor a few years back of receiving some wonderful emails from Don (including one of his patented awful puns, which I will not reveal here, except to say it was worthy of a moo from Lulu-Belle), including comments regarding his participation in the Cruisin' series, which I may reveal someday. For information on Dr. Don, please visit the official site at doctordonrose.com.

Hunter Hancock (Cruisin' 1959) passed away on August 4, 2004. An excellent website, The Doo-Wop Society of Southern California, has a terrific page about Hunter, written by the man himself, which you can access by clicking HERE. So long, Hunter.

Joe Niagara, a fixture on Philadelphia radio for more than four decades, died on June 4 of heart failure. He was 76.

Born Joseph F. Nigro Jr., the South Philadelphia native served in the U.S. Army for one year. He was only 20 when he landed his first job on the radio at WDAS-AM.

The fast-talking broadcaster joined WIBG-AM as a disk jockey in 1956 and spent more than 13,000 days at the microphone. Known as The Rockin' Bird, he built a reputation for mixing Perry Como and Doris Day music with upstart genres like R&B and rock 'n roll. Teens adored these new tunes and boosted the station's ratings by becoming devoted Niagara listeners. They also crammed into high school sock hops to hear him spin songs like "The Bristol Stomp" and "You Send Me."

In 1959, disk jockeys all over the country lost their jobs for taking under-the-table payoffs to play certain songs on the radio. Known as "payola," the practice sparked an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives and caused Niagara to resign from WIBG. He moved to Los Angeles for a couple years, did a bit part in the Elvis Presley movie "Blue Hawaii," then returned to Philadelphia -- and his old job. He also worked for WFIL-AM, WCAU-AM, WCAU-FM, WDAS-AM and WIFI-FM before ending his career in 2002 at WPEN-AM.

Niagara was listed in the 1980 Guinness Book of World Records for playing the most consecutive different versions of "Stardust"; he aired more than 500 covers of the song. Niagara also received a star on the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame.

November 28, 2003...

Hope you have a happy holiday season. Other than a new SOUNDTRACK OF THE 60s playlist (more Watermark related than Cruisin' related, but still...), and the fixing of a couple of broken links, nothing new to report. Click the logo to head there.

February 12, 2003...
Have you ever wondered exactly HOW the CRUISIN' albums were put together? Well, Cruisers, wonder no more. "Cap'n Billy" to the rescue! Bill Hergonson, who engineered many of the albums in the series, has been kind enough to provide the answer to that very question. Go to "The Making of CRUISIN'!" to learn the deep dark secrets of the mystic art of creating a rock and roll radio album!
January 28, 2003...
1000 Hits!!!

Yes, at 02:19:12 PM PST, January 27th of 2003, the CRUISIN' site received its 1000th documented hit. Thanks to all of you who've visited this site so far. Obviously, these albums still mean something to those of us who've heard them. Again, thank you.
In other news, look to this site shortly for a review of Cruisin' 1964 host Johnny Holliday's book, "From ROCK To JOCK," along with details on how you can obtain an autographed copy from the Cruisin' site. God bless, Play Nice, and...above all else... Keep Cruisin'!


In Memoriam
Zalman Yanovsky
December 19, 1944--December 14, 2002
Gone but never forgotten... Founding member of The Lovin' Spoonful

More pictures added in various places around the site, with still more to come!

A lot of exhausting work has come to a successful conclusion, with the completion of The Cruisin' Songbook - an alphabetical listing of every song on every volume of the Cruisin' Series! Click on this button to see the list!

You'll notice I'm making a few cosmetic changes to the CRUISIN' site, starting with the buttons. I've also introduced a couple of new pages: Your CRUISIN' Hosts (self-explanatory) and The CRUISIN' Notebook (an alphabetical listing of all the artists heard on the Cruisin' albums). Both pages are presently under construction, but click the buttons anyway to see what they look like so far.


Photo: KJR Tribute Site
CRUISIN' 1966 host Pat O'Day's new book, "It Was All Just Rock 'n' Roll" was released on October 19, 2002 at the Northwest BookFest in Seattle.

The Daddio of the Raddio himself
Who is PORKY CHEDWICK, and WHY do we owe a great debt to this guy? The answer can be found by clicking on the newest entry in our Cruisin' discography (which also happens to be the final volume in the series), CRUISIN' With PORKY CHEDWICK.

Harv Moore today, from Oldies 104.1, 
WHTT, Buffalo NY
HARV MOORE, Weekdays 10 am - 3 pm on Oldies 104.1, WHTT Buffalo, NY, and Host of "Cruisin' 1969," tells all...mostly, in an exclusive feature for the CRUISIN' site - Harv, thank you very much, and Keep Cruisin'!


Scrapbook


Just recently discovered a brief, but interesting, interview with the legendary Ron Jacobs regarding what exactly went into the creation of the Cruisin' albums, at Dale Patterson's Rock Radio Scrapbook. You can read the interview by clicking Here.
And in honor of the liner notes from the CRUISIN' 1963 volume being posted on this site, you can read Dale Patterson's story about B. Mitchell Reed, titled "The Boy On The Couch" by clicking on that title.

Ever wonder what ever happened to the Weird Beard? Now we know, thanks to Steve Eberhardt and his fantastic History of KLIF Radio 1190, Dallas website. (Click on the Cruisin' 1962 cover above for the answer and a link to that site.) Thanks, Steve!


"We are the Joy Boys of radio
We chase electrons to and fro..."

Fans of CRUISIN' 1964's Johnny Holliday can check out his connection to the Beltway's answer to Bob and Ray, the famous (infamous?) Joy Boys (Ed Walker and Willard Scott), by heading over to The Joy Boys' official website, located at www.thejoyboys.com.
Johnny's autobiography,"From Rock To Jock", is in bookstores now.

Out-of-print in their original versions, the CRUISIN' albums were the brainchild of legendary KHJ Program Director Ron Jacobs of Watermark, Inc. With their classic Mike Royer covers (almost all of which featured a car somewhere), and nearly 45 minutes' worth of the greatest rock 'n roll djs of the era recreating the sounds of their programs, with original commercials and jingles, the Cruisin' series remains the definitve audio scrapbook of a time in radio that can't happen again.

By the way, here is my review of the current CD reissues:
A reviewer, April 22, 2002 (*)
Cruisin' CDs...and the plague.
If you remember the original Cruisin' LPs from the 1970s, and expect to hear the exact albums in this CD reissue series, you will be more than extremely disappointed. Substituted songs (possibly due to the fact that whoever controls the tapes now could not get the re-issue rights, or just didn't want to spend the money) and ham-fisted edits make this entire series worth overlooking. If you want the real thing, search for the vinyl, and avoid these CDs like the plague. Oh, why a ''1 star'' rating? Because they don't offer ''0'' as a choice.
(Although the Cruisin' albums have been reissued on CD, Ron Jacobs strongly urges you to stay as far away from them as you can. For the reasons why, go to this link at bossradioforever.com.)

Drive by, have a look, sign the book, spread the word, play nice, and above all else, Keep Cruisin'!-Lee, your humble webmaster.
CRUISIN' QUOTE OF THE MONTH: "Smile even though it kills you, and you'll die with a silly grin on your face." - Dr. Don Rose


Released ...... Title ...................... Personality/Station and city
1/72 .............. CRUISIN' 55 ....... George Oxford/KSAN San Francisco
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 56 ....... Robin Seymour/WKMH Detroit
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 57 ....... Joe Niagara/WIBG Philadelphia
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 58 ....... Jack Carney/WIL St. Louis
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 59 ....... Hunter Hancock/KGFJ Los Angeles
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 60 ....... Dick Biondi/WKBW Buffalo
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 61 ....... Arnie Ginsberg/WMEX Boston
6/70 .............. CRUISIN' 62 ....... Russ Knight/KLIF Dallas
1/72 .............. CRUISIN' 63 ....... B. Mitchell Reed/WMCA New York
9/73 .............. CRUISIN' 64 ....... Johnny Holliday/WHK Cleveland
9/73 .............. CRUISIN' 65 ....... Robert W. Morgan/KHJ Los Angeles
9/73 .............. CRUISIN' 66 ....... Pat O'Day/KJR Seattle
9/73 .............. CRUISIN' 67 ....... Dr. Don Rose/WQXI Atlanta
6/89 .............. CRUISIN' 68* ....... Johnny Dark/WCAO Baltimore
7/88 .............. CRUISIN' 69* ....... Harv Moore/WPGC Washington
10/95 ............ CRUISIN' 70* ....... Kris Erik Stevens/WLS Chicago
7/93 .............. CRUISIN'* ............ Porky Chedwick/WAMO Pittsburgh
7/70 .............. THE CRUISIN' YEARS ...... Compilation (1956-1962)

*-made without Ron Jacobs' involvement.


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The CRUISIN' Series, A History of Rock 'n Roll Radio was conceived, created and produced by RON JACOBS, and originally issued on INCREASE RECORDS, A division of WATERMARK, INC. as well as on GRT Tapes. "CRUISIN'" is a trademark of Increase Records, Inc.
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