I’m Rick Shoemaker. Growing up and making a life on the West coast of Southern California, I have worked as a Singer/Songwriter, Session Player, Music Teacher, Disc Jockey and Music Business Executive. Most importantly I ” came of age ” in what is arguably the greatest decade of music in all of history. The 1960’s. If you share my passion and curiosity for this incredibly prolific and creative period in music history, please join in the conversation and share your ideas, experiences and questions. I guarantee you will hear some great Sixties Music Secrets !
Musical diversity exploded on the radio in the 60’s. In fact, 1960 ushered in a new programming format called ” Top 40 radio.” Quite simply, it was a format that featured the 40 most popular songs and artists based on various surveys, charts and, get this, the 40 most played tunes in those quaint ” Jukeboxes” that peppered every Bar, Diner and ” Malt Shop across America. For the first time in radio, you could tune into one station that played something for everyone, no matter the genre or generation. In a single hour you could hear The Beatles, The Stones followed by Sinatra,Elvis, Dean Martin, Streisand, Johnny Cash,The Drifters, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix! Back to back,( sounds a little insane in retrospect, but it worked ) and like never before and never since, The Top 40 radio format provided ” The Soundtrack to our Lives ” no matter what your age or where you lived. Every city in America had a Top 40 station. In L.A. Where I grew up, it was KRLA 1110a.m. They played ” more music,” had the coolest disc jockeys and the best contests that gave away unbelievable amounts of money and prizes. I must admit, I won a few bucks, which kept me tuned in all the more. What was your local station and fave D.J, who you thought was the coolest guy you ever heard ? SMS wants to hear your 60’s Top 40 radio story. You know you have one !