I grew up in Evanston (a northern suburb of Chicago), was an active DX-er, and I was fascinated by this powerful, exotic station from Arkansas that boomed in every night on 1090. The signal was sometimes almost as strong as our local big city rockers, WLS and WCFL. But Beaker Street sure didn’t sound like anything on the air on AM or FM in Chicago! The underground rock music with the southern blues, folk and country influences, Clyde Clifford’s laidback style, the “Head” music bed under his raps – it was all such a strange, spooky, interesting mix. I can’t count the number of nights I stayed up late to listen, keeping the volume low so as to not wake up anyone else in the house. As a young man who was fascinated with radio and so eager to work in the business, Beaker Street and KAAY were radio magic to me.
This is a full 3-hour show I taped the night of June 1-2, 1972, 11pm-2am, telescoping the aircheck along the way (sorry, there is no untelescoped version). The signal fades up and down, but as you’ll hear it’s pretty good skip reception most of the time. The aircheck ends with the intro to Beaker Theater and Clyde’s dry, funny description of what was to come.
This show has been posted previously in two parts, but this is first time the entire show is posted in one single file. Bud Stacey says this aircheck may well be the best and most representative of the original Beaker Street, and I agree. The music is a rich mix of artists that includes:
Hour 1: The Flock, McKendree Spring, Nick Drake, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Robert Johnson, Leon Russell, Judy Collins.
Hour 2: Hawkwind, Daddy Cool, Steppenwolf, Joyous Noise, Vigrass & Osborne, Bloodrock.
Hour 3: Dust, Bloodrock, Arlo Guthrie, Foghat, The Chambers Brothers, Spooky Tooth, Mason Proffit.
The commercials are great, too. It amazes me how someone could to go to A Warehouse in New Orleans and hear such tremendous music for just $4!
Listen to this show in a dark room or on a dark road at night to best capture the mood. Thanks Clyde, for all the entertainment and music discovery you provided for us young people growing up in the Midwest.