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May 27

The Day The Music Dies

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

The “Day the Music Died” refers to the plane crash on February 3, 1959 that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. Richardson AKA The Big Bopper. Sure, had Buddy Holly lived, he would have gone on to be the Frank Sinatra of rock and roll, but since everyone who was alive in the fifties is now dead, that doesn’t mean a whole lot anymore. What should mean a lot to people is May 31st. That’s the day the music will die for people in Greater Washtenaw County.

On June 1st, WSDS AM 1480 switches formats from classic country, bluegrass, and rockabilly, and goes to an all-Spanish music format. You may recall that WSDS was purchased by the Birach Broadcasting Corporation a few months ago. Sima Birach has been slowly buying up radio stations all over the country, revising the format, and making a ton of cash. He purchased WWTL AM 770 in Washington DC and changed the call letters to WGOP. He also took a lot of heat back in 2001 when he leased airtime to a company that programmed Islamic talk-radio that broadcast anti-Semetic conspiracy theories. He defended the show for over a year before finally removing it from the air and apologizing.

My favorite WSDS memory takes me back to the summer of 1966. I was driving my father’s 1959 DeSoto Firedome Sportsman hardtop from Chicago back home to Pennsylvania when I broke down on Michigan Avenue. While I was waiting for someone that I could flag down for help, I flipped around the dial until I stumbled up AM 1480. When I heard the dulcet tones of Webb Pierce singing “In the Jailhouse Now,” I knew I was home. The rest is history, or at least a composite sketch of history that I prefer to tell.

The important thing here is you only have FOUR days to hear as much classic country as you can before the music dies again. I’m not saying this event will make you shiver, with every paper you deliver. I’m just saying that the end of an era is near and we should celebrate what we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of for the last forty years.

Word around town is that the massive record collection will be made available first to the DJs. I don’t know what will become of the leftover stuff. If you have any information, please eMail me.

We owe it to Johnny Danger, JP, and the rest of the WSDS gang to listen as much as we can the next couple of days.

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