“Rebound”

final-power-rock

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

REBOUND

On September 12th, a major act played Mt. Holly for the last time. Bob Seger drew a disappointing crowd of barely five hundred. It wasn’t his fault.
It was Bob’s fifth area appearance in less than three months and he was scheduled to headline “Super Sunday” at Sherwood Forest on October 4th, which would be our final outdoor show of the year. The market had reached maximum saturation. Major expansion was scheduled for the Mt. Holly Lodge to accomodate a growing number of skiers in the winter months. Construction required early closing of the concerts in any event. It was time.

On September 18th, a coroner’s inquest found that Jimi Hendrix had died from “inhaling vomit” in London, England. It also stated that there was no evidence of drug usage. He was twenty-seven.

Al “Blind Owl” Wilson of Canned Heat was found dead in a Topanga Canyon, California garden. An empty bottle of barbiturates was at his side. He was twenty-seven.

On October 4th, Janis Joplin was found dead at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood. It was a drug overdose. She was twenty-seven.

Twenty-seven is the number three to the third power.

“Super Sunday” was attended by five thousand. Regular Sunday indoor concerts resumed on October 11th with Frijid Pink and Third Power.

Detroit’s Frijid Pink had sold over two million copies of “House of The Rising Sun” over the course of the year and were the first Detroit rock group to score a #1 global hit. They were heading to Australia on Quantas the following week.

Third Power also hailed from Detroit. Jim Targal, Jim Craig and Drew Abbott made up the extraordinary trio and were always just “one hit away” from shooting to the top. As with many frustrated groups, that elusive “one hit” never materialized, although Drew was to find enormous success not too far down the road with Bob Seger’s “Silver Bullet Band”.

Terry Knight had spent one hundred thousand dollars on a New York Times Square billboard promoting the new Grand Funk Railroad album “Closer To Home”.  Mark, Donnie, Mel and Terry were now “Superstars”.

The #1 single on WTAC was “War”, by Edwin Starr. The struggle in Vietnam continued.

In early December, Paul McCartney filed a writ in the London High Court against “The Beatles”, seeking legal dissolution of his partnership.

On December 8th, Jim Morrison of The Doors recorded poetry at Electra Record in Los Angeles. It was his twenty-seventh birthday.

On Christmas Night, Brownsville Station from Ann Arbor drew a capacity crowd at Sherwood Forest. Their “Rock ‘n Roll Holiday” was hitting the charts nationally and they were a sensational act. Cubby Coda played lead-guitar.

Christmas Night had become a new Sherwood tradition and attendance was considerably enhanced by the closing of all bars in Michigan from 6 p.m. Christmas Eve through Midnight on the 25th. We were the only action anywhere!  Sock It To Me, Santa!  Bob Seger had recorded a tune of that very title based on a WTAC listener contest of the same name. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment deal and had taken on a life of its own as a hit single in Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids. You still just never knew!

On New Year’s Eve, Alice returned as “Baby New Year” and had plenty to celebrate. His recording of “Love it to Death” had become a major, unexpected smash in Canada.  It had been released by Warner Brothers in the States. It had a new name and was gaining airplay everywhere!   “Eighteen” was already #1 on WTAC.

On January 11th, the long anticipated Fall ’70 PULSE  Radio Ratings came in.

My first full ratings book as Program Director of WTAC was GANGBUSTERS!!!

WTAC had moved from a 9.3% to a 15.8%  share of audience and had reclaimed “Number One” status.  CKLW had plunged from a 13.6% rating share to an 7.1%. Of equal significance was WTAC’s performance in the Tri-City area. There we had  regained major strength at the expense of several Saginaw stations and were also rated #1. A quarter of a million people listened to WTAC every week.

Fuqua Communications was overjoyed and even Asa Stallworth called to express his appreciation and congratulations. We were on the rebound!

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