The Frankie Crocker Show

September 10, 1983
WBLS (107.5 FM)
New York, NY, USA

This classic is a 34 year old recording of the Frankie Crocker breakfast show on WBLS! 

Just like Grace Jones' The Apple Stretching, this is a beautiful snapshot of early morning early 80s New York, this time, from 1983. There may only be one Rap tune on this tape, but the recording is about much more than just one track, it's an illustration to younger generations, of how things used to be, as well as bein' a throwback to simpler times for the older listeners. In 2017, so many people are all about retro this and vintage that, so, as well as the fashions, why not enjoy the sounds from those good old days too ? 

Frankie is an icon of New York, and this is him at his charismatic best, on the station known as the 'World’s Best Looking Sound', WBLS [or WBL Kickin S, if you go back that far]. The tape opens with an ad for a Tower Records album signing; the LP, Speaking In Tongues, the band; Talking Heads. These shards of sound are what we enjoy just as much as the music here at RRR, the simple and joyful nostalgia of hearing quirky radio ads from 3 decades ago.

Some of the most enjoyable elements of these shows are the mic-breaks; containing the 'cosmic forecast' [star-signs] and random bits like the flowers and colors for the day [rose and mahogany]. All very odd, but strangely, and retrospectively beautiful in a broadcasting sense. Channeling the Chief Rockers' community spirit, Frankie explains that it's a 'good day to show the more humanitarian side to your nature'. In a motivational moment, he advises the listeners to start their day with a 'helpful attitude'. 'Dont be afraid to walk up to someone and say, can I help? I'll help you carry those packages. You might get smacked in the mouth but ya gotta try' !!

As well as classic music from Rufus n Chaka Khan, Stephanie Mills, Madonna and the Mary Jane Girls, Frankie announces a 'new artist', Anita Baker. There are ads for the Budweiser Super-Fest @ Madison Square Garden, with Rick James & the Mary Jane Girls !! Frankie announces a competition for the 'Studio 54 Dance the Last Days of Summer Party' featuring Madonna, the West St Mob, Kurtis Blow and mysteriously, 'the breakers'. Frankie plays Dancin on the Ceiling and does a bit about Lionel Richie getting stoned. He talks about Lionels' 'Bob Marley bag' and the fact that there is 'alotta smoke in the room'. Again, a bizarro but beautiful document of the time. 

In the same way millions of people utilise radio [and platforms like Spotify and Youtube] today, the sound of 107.5 was commonplace, and a typically conventional way to start your day if you lived in the tri-state area [We think the contemporary streaming services sound so bland in comparison]. NY listeners tuned in for what is now considered the ‘urban contemporary sound’, fine tuning to hear that panning station ident voiced by Frankie [station director at one point]. Whether people wanted music from club DJs Timmy Regisford and David Morales on the famous Saturday Night Dance Party shows, the beloved and iconic Kool DJ Red Alert, or Reggae from the visionary Bobby Konders, people tuned in in their thousands.

This tape was, as you can see from the recording memorandum [who knew they would be so handy 30 years later ?!!!] was recorded by an ex-colleague [the coolest IT support specialist on the planet and all round good soul, Keren A], as she holidayed with her family in Cambria Heights in Queens NY. It was recorded over 2 nights, this is a composite of both shows. HUGE propers to Keren, much love as always!

  • Talking Heads – Tower Records 4th & Broadway Instore ad
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Lovebug Starski – You Gotta Believe
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie – Helpful Attitude
  • Fever  – Beat Of The Night
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie – Helpful Attitude
  • Ads:
  • La Yoghurt
  • Ask your Pharmacist
  • Eastside gynaecology
  • Crazy Eddies [Atari/ Texas Instruments]
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Rufus & Chaka Khan – Aint Nobody
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie – Jamaica Dance Theatre/ Studio 54 Competition Madonna West St Mob Kurtis Blow & the ‘Breakers”
  • Ads:
  • Lustrasilk Right On Curl Activator
  • Ask your Pharmacist
  • Mighty Diamonds & Monyaka Show
  • Ron Carlow Cosmetics
  • WBLS Walk a Mile Fundraiser
  • Frankie ‘My Idol’ ID
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Lionel Richie – All Night Long
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie [‘Lionel, havin a good time’]
  • Stephanie Mills – Pilot Error
  • WBLS – The Godfather Part 3 Prank bit
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Latoya Jackson – Bet ya Gonna Need my Lovin
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie – Budweiser Super-Fest
  • Ads & News:
  • Archers skin-tone cream
  • Lighten Up
  • Budweiser Super-Fest @ MSG [Rick James/ Mary Jane Girls/ Mtume/ O-Jays]
  • Kentucky Fried Children
  • News Update
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Lew Kirton – Talk To Me
  • Anita Baker – Squeeze Me
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie [Coming up, live mixing from Sergio Munzabai & Timmy Regisford]
  • Starpoint – It’s So Delicious
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Ads:
  • Michelob
  • Unknown
  • Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long
  • I Listen to WBLS Promo
  • Madonna – Holiday
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Ads:
  • Miss Cool Hair Products
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie
  • Western Airlines
  • Talking Heads – Tower Records 4th & Broadway Instore ad
  • Pan American Airlines
  • Approved by the NY State Education Dept
  • Mic Break w/ Frankie – [Mets vs Cardinals result]
  • One Way – Shine On Me
- Irish Craig - RandomRapRadio