Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Music 'Til Dawn

Warning: nostalgia ahead.

During the summer of 1966, I lived with my sister. Well, technically I suppose I still lived with my parents, but I spent the whole summer at my sister's house. My brother-in-law was in basic training that summer. I spent it reading and watching TV, mostly old movies and reruns of shows like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and DOBIE GILLIS. I also wrote the longest piece of fiction I'd done so far, a 40,000 word mystery novel shamelessly in Hardy Boys mode, featuring me and my friends as the detectives. (Long, long since lost, and I wouldn't put it up on Amazon as an e-book even if it wasn't . . . I don't think.) I also wrote a 30,000 word piece of what we'd now call fan fiction, combining two of my interests, the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs and secret agents. That's right, I called it TARZAN: THE MAN FROM A.F.R.I.C.A. (Go ahead and groan. I did.) This one is also long lost.

After those long days of reading paperbacks and comic books, watching TV, and scribbling furiously in spiral notebooks with a fountain pen, every night I listened to an hour or so of a radio show that ran every night on KRLD 1080 AM from 11:30 at night until 5:00 in the morning. It was called "Music 'Til Dawn" and was a nationally syndicated show sponsored by American Airlines. It featured easy listening music, which I already liked even though I was 13 years old. What can I tell you, I was a weird kid. But I think mostly it came from growing up around small-market mixed-format AM radio, so I listened to and liked just about every kind of music.

I really liked the theme song from "Music 'Til Dawn", which I think was played by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. But I don't know the title of it, and I've never run across anybody else who even remembers the blasted show. Figuring that the entire knowledge of the universe can be found in the blogosphere, I thought I'd ask here. Do any of you (those of a certain age) remember ever hearing American Airlines' "Music 'Til Dawn"? Did I hallucinate it? And if it was real, does anyone recall the name of the theme song? I've searched the Internet for this info with no luck. I'd love to hear the song again nearly fifty years later.

UPDATE: Thanks to Todd Mason for sending me the link to the clip below. I had thought about "That's All", but for some reason that seemed wrong to me. Nice to know that my first instinct was right after all.


9 comments:

Todd Mason said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWe2MY5BvWY

for the opening theme... "Thats All"

http://www.speakingofradio.com/interviews/andres-jay-personality/

for one of the hosts, Jay Andres...


Randy Johnson said...

I don't know, The Man From A.F.R.I.C.A., a more professionally written one these days, might make for interesting reading. At least knowing what the letters were short for anyway.

Randy Johnson said...

Oh, and we've all done that likely. Before I got a typewriter, I scribbled on lined note paper with pencil. I have two first drafts, at least I think they're still buried somewhere in some boxes in the house, U.N.C.L.E. novels.

Talking about bad.

Bill Crider said...

Wasn't there a show on a just before "Music Till Dawn" called "Music for Night People"? I remember listening to that one.

Todd Mason said...

It seems a natural title, Bill...but I don't see anything national, at least, although there is no lack of albums, including mid-'60s anthologies of orchestral music, with that title...those last might well be related...

James Reasoner said...

Todd,
Many thanks for those links. I added the clip of the theme to the post.

Randy,
I'm afraid I have no clue what A.F.R.I.C.A. stood for. I'm sure I thought it was really cool in 1966, though. As I recall, the plot had Tarzan getting involved in some espionage case more or less as an innocent bystander, rather than actually working for the organization.

Bill (and Todd again),
I vaguely remember "Music for Night People". I think it was a local show on KRLD. Ran from 8:00 to 11:00 or something like that. Right before "Music 'Til Dawn" came on, KRLD ran the half-hour religious program "The World Tomorrow", hosted by Garner Ted Armstrong. I'd hear the last minute or two of it when I'd turn on the radio to listen to "Music 'Til Dawn".

Ian Sutton said...

Oh wow! Does this bring back memories from the 1950s-60s! Thanks so much for posting. I listened to MTD every night from a small town in Canada (near Ottawa)....all night quite often, mainly from WBBM Chicago with Jay Andres and, when the WBBM signal occasionally faded, with Bob Hall on WCBS, Chicago. I went into radio myself in the early '60s and once managed a classical station, but spent most of my career in radio and print news. I learned more than anyone will ever know about music and about radio from these terrific broadcasters.

T Conners said...

Does anyone know the themesong for the Musin in the Night program? I have a friend that listened to it and is wanting to hear it again!
Thanks!

BParsons said...

I also listened to "Music Till Dawn" throughout my junior high and high school years. KRLD, 1080, Dallas, with Tony Garrett. As has already been noted, the lead-in local program was "Music for Night People," which I also enjoyed.

KNX in Los Angeles was nearby at 1070. Since I was about 200 miles west of KRLD, the signal was adequate, but not overpowering, and KNX often bled in with similar music. I had to tune my AM radio carefully to get just one, but sometimes, at 5:30, as KRLD was winding down, I could tune back every so slightly, and get two more hours when the ionosphere was just right.

I wish someone had recorded a whole night of Tony Garrett's "Music Till Dawn" so I could re-live it one more time.