Thursday, November 06, 2014

J. L. Hudson Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit, 1962


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Music 'Til Dawn vs. Nightflight 760

Recently I received a email from Les Martens regarding one of the memories that appears on the webpage. It said:

Music Til Dawn sponsored by American Airlines was not on WJR but on WWJ. I was the host from 1956 to 1960. (Nightflight 760 was on WJR.)

I emailed Mr. Martens with a thank you, and he responded with this:


Confusion it is, and I long ago gave up spending time or energy to correct it, but I stumbled on your links and couldn’t resist. Congratulations on your Detroit sites.  It was fun surfing, and clearly you’ve put in a lot of time and energy as webmaster. 

FYI, here’s the 1.01 on Music Til Dawn. The program was the brainchild of C.R. Smith, founder of American Airlines, who worked late and could find no decent music (classical) late at night, pre-FM. (American was dominant in Detroit; the original Metro terminal was named for Smith.) Marketing people told him the demographics for classical music were limited, but he correctly intuited that the audience he wanted, professionals and educated upper middleclass, were the people travelling by air at that time, and they would fly his airline. He was right. 

The show was set up originally in nine cities, each with a local host, in CBS O&O stations in the early 50’s. The CBS pattern was broken in Detroit when WJR wouldn’t come to terms on all night rates, so American Airlines’ ad agency made a deal with WWJ, which as the world’s first radio station, operated by the Detroit News, was not chopped liver. 

A couple of years after I took over hosting in 1956, WJR started Nightflight 760, with a format of travelogue type info by Jay Roberts with related pop music. Memories later confused the two shows hopelessly. 

Pre and postscripts on me may be in order, given your encyclopedic Detroit memories. At WWJ I moved on in the 60’s to daytime record shows, telephone talk shows and, finally, anchoring afternoon news and talk from 4 to 7pm, which expanded into their all news format after I finally got a law degree and started practicing. I did both for a few years. For 20 years I did the commentary on Detroit Symphony broadcasts.

Actually, I started at WJR. As a senior at Redford High in 1949-50, I was the last of the teenage emcees on Make Way For Youth with the Don Large Chorus on CBS. After me, they used a staff announcer; I was never sure if I was irreplaceable or the last straw. 

Good luck with the Detroit Memories scene. You’re doing great work.

Les Martens

LISTEN to the Music Til Dawn Theme Song on YouTube

Vernors Ginger Ale

10 Reasons Vernors Ginger Ale Is The Best... 
The Huffington Post |  By Kate Abbey-Lambertz

"If you live in Michigan, you might have had one of these to drink in the last few weeks. But if you live anywhere else, you probably have no idea what Vernors is."

Read how everyone else is discovering what we've known for years!

Better Made makes a national mark

Better Made has been making potato chips in Detroit for 84 years,
but there's new momentum taking the company nationwide.
The Los Angeles Times picked up on a new trend taking the snacks
to the next level. Michiganders who have moved away from home
still long for their old hometown chips.

Detroit Street Racing, 1964

This priceless clip shows semi-organized drag racing
on the streets of
Detroit’s West Side in 1964.

Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (A capella)

No need to adjust your volume...this awesome video takes a
minute to start and showcases the superb voice of one of
Motown's best artists, Marvin Gaye.

Tiger Stadium replica to be built...

in Branson, Missouri
Developers plan to break ground this fall on a series of replica
Major League Baseball stadiums for Little Leaguers in the
southwest Missouri tourism mecca of Branson.

Backers of the Ballparks of America project are banking on being able
to lure the growing number of youth traveling teams to the
two-thirds-scale versions of stadiums, including
Detroit's Tiger Stadium, which closed in 1999
and was torn down in 2008.

READ MORE in The Detroit News

WKNR MUSIC GUIDE ~ November 14, 1963

Rare Trio of Ford Family-Owned Lincolns

Owning a mint-condition Continental Mark II grants you some serious
Blue Oval brownie points. Owning one that originally belonged to a member of the Ford family – well, that’s something special.
But owning three Ford family-owned Mark II’s? Impossible.