Friday, December 16, 2016

Song #190: "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life"-- Indeep (1982)

One of the greatest things about growing up in the thriving metropolis of Beaverdam, Virginia was the great ability to pick up both television and radio stations from multiple markets.

On TV, I can't tell you how many summer mornings started with Porky Pig at 7:30, followed by The Flintstones at 8 on WTTG, Channel 5 out of Washington, DC. My choice for local sports was the great George Michael, also the host of the syndicated "George Michael Sports Machine" for many years, who handled sports on WRC-TV 4 with the great anchor Jim Vance. My first exposure to CNN Headline News was when WVIR-TV 29 in Charlottesville aired it weekdays from 5:30 to 6pm not long after its debut, first known as "CNN2", on New Year's Day, 1982.

Here's how Headline News debuted just after midnight almost 35 years ago....

Now, back to today's song. I've talked previously about the great Q107 in Washington, DC, which, in my opinion, was the greatest Top 40 radio station ever, at least of all the ones I heard. But there were lots of other out of town stations that dotted my dial, and my FM antenna that helped me find them. I listened to either Washington or Norfolk/Virginia Beach stations, depending on the weather conditions, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg on a regular basis, sometimes Tappahannock and, once in a blue moon, I'd even grab a station out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

One of the DC stations was WKYS-FM, an urban-formatted outlet that featured the great Donnie Simpson, who later became known for the show "Video Soul" on the early days of cable channel BET. Simpson is still on the air in Washington today on another station.

1982 was a year where, more and more, on Saturday nights, you'd hear urban stations begin to air "mix parties", where songs were segued with an extra beat sound to never allow an interruption of a long set of music. It was revolutionary 35 years ago, and well past old hat today.

And, likely, the first time I heard today's song was on one of those mix shows. The groove is insane, the story of the song hilarious, and, anyone with the guts to include a toilet flushing in the bridge, followed by a vocal "amen" of sorts ("Well, alright!") is fine by me.

Come back with me to the great early 1980's, when DJ's picked, played their own music sometimes, and even saved lives!  :)

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