Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (as seen on public television)
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As aired on public television
Relive the rise and fall of rock radio with footage from all the eras
Hear from deejays Casey Kasem, Jerry The Geator Blavat, Dick Biondi, Raechel Donahue, Cousin Brucie Morrow and many more!
See vintage footage and sound of Alan Freed, Dick Clark, Wolfman Jack, Tom Donahue, Murray the K, Martha Jean The Queen Steinberg and others, plus The Beatles and Elvis!
Alan Freeds son talks about his dads involvement in the payola scandal
Maybe video didnt kill the radio star after all. Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio documents the history of rock and roll radio -- from the introduction of The Devil s Music by 1950s AM deejays to the FM pioneers who brought sex-drugs-and-rock to the airwaves in the 60s. Then witness the silencing of rock radio by government and big-business interests and, finally, see its promise of rebirth via satellite.
Hear from radio stars, and watch historic film footage in this award-winning documentary previously seen on public television. Featured deejays include Jerry The Geator Blavat, Dick Biondi, Raechel Donahue, Cousin Brucie Morrow, Martha Jean The Queen Steinberg, Dan Ingram, Meg Griffin and more. Plus, Lance Freed talks about his father Alan Freeds own rise and fall in radio. Musicians include David Crosby, Grace Slick, Little Steven Van Zandt, Bob Weir, Ray Manzarek (The Doors) and others.
Plus, see vintage footage and hear recordings of radio and rock greats like Dick Clark, Tom Donahue, The Beatles, Wolfman Jack, Murray the K, Elvis and many, many more!
Top Customer Reviews
It's more about how artists in America wind up getting the boot of government and corporate America on their neck for bucking the powers that be with anything fresh and new. Also a not so subtle subtext of racism and how the DJs fought it in the music they played and the dances and concerts they held for teenage kids from the 50s and early 60s. I see the parallel between hip hop artists today and the early rock and roll DJs.
Not as big a topic as "Inside Job" or "Waiting for Superman" but it has lots of appeal, with a different look than most docus. Editing rocks. Style reminds me of the Kid stays In Picture docu about Robert Evans, editing and design that's lots of movement and out of the ordinary.
The basic story:
Birth of AM Radio: The first part shows how the white AM station owners saw how much young people liked rhythm and blues sung by African American artists played by African American disk jockeys and imitated them with white Deejays. These personalities talked to kids and played them songs that drove their parents crazy.
Personality DJs Across America: A tour of America's popular DJs in about 1960. Here's the kind of story told; a New York DJ named Cuz Brucie is sso tight with his teenage listeners, when a kid runs away from home, the DJ right on the air negotiates a way back with the kid and his parents.Read more ›
At age 60 I am a little too young to remember the earliest days of rock & roll radio. Actually, as the legendary Memphis DJ and recording artist Rufus Thomas points out in the film the term "rock & roll" is actually a misnomer. What all those teenagers were turning on to in the early and mid 1950's was actually "rhythm & blues" which would eventually morph into what we now call rock & roll. I envy them because it must have been an incredibly exciting time. One of the strengths of "Airplay" is that it presents interviews with a number of the most influential deejays of the period. Among the featured deejays are Jerry Blavat from Philadelphia, Dick Biondi from Chicago, "Cousin Brucie" Morrow from New York City and the legendary Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg who at the time was an enormously influential African-American broadcaster at WDIA in Memphis. "Airplay" also features several rare clips of the legendary Alan Freed as well as an extensive interview with his son Lance. In those days disc jockeys really mattered and it seems that every teen had their favorite.Read more ›
In the early 1960s - when FM stations were only simulcasting AM radio programs - I was a "gofer" for a local radio station in Central New Jersey. I helped run "record hops" (remember them?) and stage shows featuring the big rock and roll stars of the day. I was also a big fan of Philly (PA) radio (when there was a "Top 100", not just "Top 40" and the deejays were "personalities". These were my prime radio listening years and, if they were yours too, this is a "must see" documentary. Directors Chris Fox Gilson and Carolyn Travis really did a great job in finding some of the true legebnds of AM Radio's heyday (and a few from the later FM years) to interview.
Jerry Blavat (Philly), Dan Ingram (NY), Dick Biondi (Chicago) and Martha Dean (Detroit) are here as is "Cousin Bruce" Morrow, who was on WABC-AM in the 1960s and is still doing radio (on Sirrius XM) today. (BTW, Blavat - the "Geator With The Heater"- still does this thing on WXPN in Philly on Saturday nights)
DJ's who had other later careers - Rufus Thomas (major soul hit artist) and Jay Thomas (TV actor) - are captured here. Yes, they use a lot of footage from the various Alan Freed movies from the late 1950s, but they also have rare clips of TV shows run by these DJs. Others interviewed include Pat Boone, Fabian, Casey Kasem and - separately - the members of Crosby, Stills and Nash.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting, I don't think anybody with any interest in radio will be disappointed. I grew out of AM radio in my early teens. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Norm K
OK - just ok - no beatles- what a joke - they must have paid for the picture to sell the discPublished 5 months ago by J S
Airplay was a well-done documentary. The only exception I have is that it dealt almost exclusively with East Coast activity. We were doing the same things in the West. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's OK, but I have seen better documentaries on the subject.Published 9 months ago by Joseph Curiale
Airplay takes us on a magical mystery tour through the decades of Rock & Roll Radio that grew up with baby boomers … and vice versa. Read morePublished 12 months ago by LinDee Rochelle
I gave this to my Dad as a gift and he loved it. Really GREAT documentary! Such an interesting era and so well done.Leaves you wanting more.Published 13 months ago
Corporations, payola, computer generated music stars. We have all been unsuspecting victims of a system of greed.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Though I came from an engineering background,I remember the stories the older jocks told me when I started. The payola scandal broke the year I was born. Read morePublished 15 months ago by David G Dalesky