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06/03/2013

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As a white Canadian kid, I started high school in 1959. I am eternally grateful that the only music played at our school dances was R&B. We were a bit of a cult who travelled to Buffalo NY to buy records that weren't available in Canada by artists like Ike & Tina Turner, The Ojays, "The Crying" James Brown, Maxine Brown, Erma and Aretha Franklin, and so many others. I had a crappy little portable radio in 1962-64 that would bring in WLAC after sunset, I found it by accident and quickly told my friends about this incredible station whose commercials were for hair straighteners and skin lighteners as well as the great "3 for $2 Specials". I'll never forget sending in for the Five Blind Boys Special, But the ultimate joy was the first time I heard "Pain in my Heart" by Otis. We called all of the record shops in Toronto and the response was Otis who? We finally got a copy on Stax Volt mailed from a friend's aunt in Fla. Bless you John R., you improved my young life. Wayne, Toronto.

I loved to listen to John R on Sunday nights, however,I also remember other strong signal stations that were easily picked up down in southeast Georgia. There was WOWO, Fort Wayne, Indiana. WLS, Chicago. WBT, Charlotte. Also a station out of New Orleans. For some strange reason that station 750 out of Atlanta didn't carry well in our area. The daytime favorite was WAPE "BIG APE" 690 out of Jacksonville. All the small stations in our rural area went off the air at sunset. The three tv stations went off air at midnight. I always had my turn table to spin the vinyl when all else failed.

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