It’s incredible, unbelievable and downright shameful that for the first time since 1948, when WIRB, 600 on your radio dial, went on the air, Enterprise, the City of Progress, has no active radio station, since WVVL had to skedaddle earlier this year.
WIRB was a mediocre 3-wood away from the original House of Adams; were it still on Ouida Street, WIRB would be a par-5 from the current HoA
WIRB was a magical place that invited Cub Scouts into its studio where we stepped up to a microphone and said our names for everyone, like WOOF’s Sonny Harris (and singer Oscar Toney Jr.) said, “within the sound of my voice” to hear in their homes, cars and places of bidness.
Wednesday, the afternoon drive disc jockey on Elvis Radio said Elvis’ two-sided No. 1 hit(s) on “Billboard Pop Charts” for this week in 1956, “Don’t Be Cruel/Heartbreak Hotel,” stayed atop the charts until November 3, when “Love Me Tender” knocked them down.
The DJ explained 65 YEARS have passed since those tunes dominated America’s radio airwaves, then played “Don’t Be Cruel,” written by Otis Blackwell, who also penned “Return to Sender,” “All Shook Up” and “One Broken Heart for Sale” among scads of songs Elvis dug.
Otis also wrote “Fever,” a hit for Peggy Lee, Little Willie John and Elvis, among other singers in that era when most Baby Boomers first heard our tunes on AM radio.
Today’s date, September 19, has been charmed, musically speaking, especially in 1960, when Chubby Checker’s rendition of Hank Ballard’s tune, “The Twist,” was not only the nation’s No. 1 hit but also arguably promoted the biggest dance craze from the Charleston 100 years ago until today.
Chubby’s version wouldn’t go away; it returned to No. 1 in early January 1962, and kept physical education classes dancing at Enterprise Junior High, Enterprise High School and most everywhere young’uns and our music arrived at the same place at the same time.
September 19 saw noteworthy music folks born:
Billy Ward (and his Dominoes), “Sixty-Minute Man” (1921)
Lurleen B. Wallace, 46th Alabama governor (1926)
Brook Benton, “It’s Just a Matter of Time” and “Rainy Night in Georgia” (1931)
Bill Medley (Righteous Brothers), “Hung on You” (1940)
Paul Williams, wrote “Rainy Days and Mondays” (1940)
“Mama” Cass Elliott (Mamas & Papas), “Monday, Monday” (1941)
Freda Payne, “Band of Gold” (1942)
Trisha Yearwood, “Seven Year Ache” (1964)
Sadly, three important musical folks also died on September 19: Red Foley, “Peace in the Valley,” (1968); Skeeter Davis, “The End of the World,” (2004); and Earl Palmer, The Wrecking Crew, world’s greatest drummer, (2008).
Why’s Lurleen B. Wallace, Alabama’s governor from Jan. 16, 1967—May 7, 1968, listed here?
Well, her son, George Wallace Jr., had a rock & roll band, The Governor’s Four, “Little Blue Pill,” in the ’60s.
But that’s not all.
The EHS Wildcat Marching Band and the Coppinville High School Eagles Band, directed by current Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper, marched in Gov. Wallace’s inaugural parade up Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue.
But that’s not all.
Gov. Wallace delivered the keynote address when Enterprise State Community College’s Ray Lolley Gym was dedicated during her brief term.
And the EHS Band provided the tunes.
Yes we did …