K-Chuck Radio: Another dive into my college radio days…

From 1981 to 1985, I spent most of my college time at the studios of our college station, WHCL.  88.7 FM on the left side of your dial, don’tcha know.

On occasion, I’ve blogged about the myriad of records we played at that station, as we grew from a five-watt low-power station that nobody could pick up on the Kirkland side of the campus … to a 270-watt behemoth that could be heard along the New York State Thruway – at least between Exits 31 and 33.

And on occasion, I’ve dedicated K-Chuck Radio blog posts to the music our station played.  It’s been a while.  Let me warm up the Technics SL-1200 MK2’s and put together a nice college radio playlist.  And we can start with…

INNOCENCE IN DANGER
Innocence in Danger

I sort of remember this band as being from New York City, they were just on the cusp of breaking through … and then, out of nowhere, their record company dropped them like spilled coffee.  Granted, they had a sound that was reminiscent (maybe too reminiscent) of RomeoVoid, but this song was still a great track nonetheless.

THE X-TEENS
Tonight Tonight

Not the Smashing Pumpkins track … this was a power pop group from (I think) North Carolina, this was their only hit, and it did quite well on the college radio circuit.  I also seem to recall that they may have been produced by Mitch Easter, who produced R.E.M.’s early hits.

TOMMY KEENE
Places That Are Gone

We played the early EP of this song, which had the old radio broadcasts and “Victory at Sea” orchestral intro.  Eventually Tommy Keene was signed to Geffen Records, and this song was re-recorded to eliminate the intro radio broadcasts.  Personally, I liked this raw, early version so much more.

RED ROCKERS
China

These guys could NEVER get past the fact that, for all intents and purposes, they were branded as “Clash-a-Likes” and never escaped that brand – not even with this smoothed-over throw-everything-at-the-wall and hope for a Top 40 hit.  And to their credit, they came damn close to getting that Top 40 hit.  Unfortunately, their follow-up was a feckless cover of “Eve of Destruction,” and the Red Rockers faded to black.

MADE FOR TV
So Afraid of the Russians

This off-beat track got a LOT of play on WHCL.  I’m also thinking this might be on Donald Trump’s personal iPod… along with the Classics IV’s hit “Stormy.”  😀

CHAGRIN D’AMOUR
Chacun Fait C’Qui Lui Plait

We received a compilation album called “Made in France,” containing a ton of French pop and rock tracks.  The song that got the most spin, however, was this rap track.  Yep.  French rap.  That’s rap, with a capital C.

SUZY SAXON AND THE ANGLOS
Boys in Dresses (We’ve Got Tonight)

Oh my GOD I forgot about this track… Richmond, Virginia’s Suzy Saxon and the Anglos got a crazy loud amount of play with this track.  I think this video even appeared on early episodes of MTV.  You know … back when there was a cable channel that played music videos day and night.  You know, the same one that’s currently playing Catfish day and night.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
Institutionalized

I think this song was on the soundtrack album for the film Repo Man, which found its way onto our playlists.  Yes, lots of DJ’s at our station played this track.  Over and over and over and over again.

NATIVE
Love Ain’t No Holiday

Hip-hop meets reggae and dances with techno.  Awesome, awesome track.  I think I ripped a copy of this from an original 12-inch and converted it to an mp3 for my digital music player – back when “digital music player” meant an RCA Lyra and uploading it meant working with software called MusicMatch.  Damn I’m old…

JIMMY THE HOOVER
Tantalize

I don’t think we ever had the short version at the station.  We had I think a 12-inch extended version of this track, and we played it until we wore a few inches off of it.  It was this and “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth and a couple of other candy-coated Caribbean-themed tracks … yeah, memories.

This was part of the eclectic, myriad, enjoyable mixture of music we played on campus back in the early 80’s.  And we’ve got it here for you today … right here … on K-Chuck Radio!