Monday, May 4, 2015

The FINAL Beaker Street on KAAY - April 3, 1985

The Day The Music Died.  That phrase has been used to describe what happened to so many AM Rock stations that wound up dumping their cherished music formats during the 1980’s.  It was happening all over the country, even to big legendary stations like WABC/New York, WLS/Chicago, CKLW/Windsor-Detroit, KIMN/Denver -- stations that nobody thought would ever give up the music that made them great.  Sadly, it became KAAY’s turn to throw in the towel on April 3, 1985, when it capped several days of reminiscences about its legendary history with a final Beaker Street show, AND with Clyde Clifford, at the final hour before Midnight.

We are fortunate that this Blog has great accounts of that Final day from people who were there.  The first one is from Barry McCorkindale:

And, from the final PD, David Treadway:

The last KAAY Beaker Street show featured many of the songs it helped to make famous back in the day:

Arthur Brown – Fire
Deep Water Reunion (with Barbara Raney) – Cindy’s Cryin
Allman Brothers Band – Revival
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Fresh Air
Leon Russell – Delta Lady
Jamie Brockett – Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic
Jefferson Airplane – Wooden Ships
Black Sabbath – The Wizard
Joni Mitchell – The Circle Game

Here is the aircheck of the final hour of that final day on KAAY.  Clyde Clifford gave tribute to his co-workers, his listeners, the music, and the grand old RCA 50,000-watt transmitter…..and “put the old girl down”:

This brings to a close our Beaker Street aircheck series, for now (until some “new” old tapes of the show re-surface, I got a feeling they’re still out there, somewhere).  We hope you have enjoyed this series as much as we have in putting it together. 

Next time:  The Reunion

Greg Barman


  1. I'll always remember the story about how the RCA transmitter wouldn't go down at the end of the Last Beaker Street and how Felix McDonald had to break the relay over with a broom handle to shut her off!!! I've also been told that she had been reactivated a time or two since that time...and that's all I'll say! Bud S.

  2. WLS Chicago was the last one to dump the music format. Did so in Aug. 1989.

  3. From KAUR:

    "Former Employees Of KAAY Mark Anniversary Of 'The Day The Music Died'"