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KSHE's Early Rock Days

It was 7:39 a.m. on November 22, 1967 and Johnny B. Goode emerged from The Beatles “Hello Goodbye” as enthusiastic as one could be that early in the morning. He guided the listener through the morning’s offerings like an auctioneer at a large sale.
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There were no contests; they didn’t have the money. There were few commercials; the sponsors hadn’t yet signed on. There was a small man who was big, and a big man who was a Pumpkin. There was a Brother, a Jesuit Priest in the making, a Prince and over them all was a former Rabbitt who didn’t know how to play a guitar but took the mythical name of one who did.
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Where It All Began

I first started listening to KSHE as a teenager at precisely --- Thanksgiving 1967. My brother and I listened to AM_FM_LW_ Shortwave radio to get our own “playlists” of rock songs we liked from around the world. November 1967 is when I got a brand new Zenith Trans-Oceanic 3000-1 (still have one and and its' original FM stations’ list).  I “logged” a lot of rock songs from that period that I liked to hear, (BBC, Netherlands, even Cape Town, South Africa was pretty hip!) {My bro' and I had been Johnny Rabbit Army members (officers!) earlier on, and I did keep all the KXOK bookmark surveys from that 1966-67 era of Don P. and Bruno J. Grunion. Many times over the years I have heard people tell me they “heard KSHE's first rock broadcast”, some say they have it recorded “somewhere” on reel-to-reel... 99.99% of the time I know it is B.S. I sure didn't hear the first KSHE broadcast, but I did hear those on weeknights late Nov-Dec ’67. KSHE was real hard to find, it was NOT listed on early FM station logs as a St. Louis station, but as from Crestwood, MO. (KADI was a STL station with adult mellow jazz then, listed oft incorrectly as 96.5 FM)

1967-- From my brother’s and my perspective there was no real reason to listen to KSHE on the obscure wasteland FM broadcast band EXCEPT at night. KSHE in the 1967 daytime, (when most teenagers were in school) wasn't much different than KXOK, or KWK. Most teenagers didn’t even have an FM radio, and it did not come standard in many US made cars. FM needed an antenna to listen to the band, why would an average teenager go to FM? In STL, FM was a virtual desert of only 5 radio stations, that’s ALL there was to hear, and they were all adult-oriented.  So many facts of what early KSHE meant to us teenagers are really blended myths. In short, most of what STL baby-boomer people speak about remembering early KSHE is what they truly remember from much later in 1968 and really into 1969. 
Mid- and especially late-1968 was when North County hip teens were starting to flock to find KSHE in the early “album side” era — Moby Grape, Amboy Dukes, Chambers Bro's, Arthur Brown, Iron Butterfly, etc... they would then hear KSHE on Post Bellum head shop store speakers into ’69, ’70, ’71, blah, blah. It wasn’t like that in 1967.

Just my opinion, as a North Side teenager who “scanned the radio dials” in Fall-Winter 1967 to early 1968, it was Don O’Day's night show that launched KSHE. It was “Alices Restaurant” that made KSHE a place to tell your teen buddies about. Teens would go to KSHE just to hear that weird “Alice's Restaurant”, it was absent on any AM station. It wasn't just the other “hippie music” but the “protest music” that KSHE played... and of course the songs longer than 3:05 minutes.
Here's some of my personal logged early KSHE favorites late ’67 into early ’68 (sure we liked typical Hendrix, Doors, Dylan, but here’s some we couldn't find on AM radio and were very specific to KSHE):
“Alice's Restaurant"-- Arlo Guthrie
“Pictures of Matchstick Men” – Status Quo (played a lot at night)
“Outside of a Small Circle of Friends” – Phil Ochs (played that a lot at night)
“Bottle Of Wine” -- Fireballs (was big around Xmas time, got some limited AM play but fit better on KSHE format)
Later winter into ’68:
“Today” – Jefferson Airplane
“People Get Ready" – Vanilla Fudge 
“Suzanne" – Leonard Cohen

Finally, as a teen I hung out near Club Imperial and would sometimes talk to Bob Kuban about music. He told to me to “get a haircut” cause “longhair was just a passing fad.”. He gave me one of his broken drum sticks as a memento, and he recommended I get my clothes to look more “Botany 500” style... instead of that “dirty hippie crap”.

J. Ferrell
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