2003   DECEMBER 18   #352

Claire Stewart - Duluth, My Home Town / Cast Of Thousands - This is WEBC

A record that originated in Minnesota finds it's way to an Atlanta thrift store. The A side is a delightful burst of civic pride which, like the other side, was written by the "WEBC Disc Jockeys", so the label says. I have no knowledge of Ms. Stewart's origins or whereabouts, but what a cute little song! She sounds like a Northern Patti Page, complete with double-tracking.

I cannot find a year for this record, but I am guessing mid-60s. Some of the WEBC DJs were "Lance 'Tac' Hammer, Dave Duluth, Lew Latto, Doctor Don Rose and Dave Gordon".

With the knowledge that the WEBC Disc Jockeys make their living speaking, listen for the very interesting English used on this B side promo. It doesn't take a "matour" person to realize that this fellow (I am theorizing it's Hammer) should have taken a second run at the copy and not used the "fledging" take. One wonders if a now-prominent young man from Texas was able to pick up their signal and appropriated their "unequivocal" style in his speeches.

WEBC still exists, but in an all-talk format (and it's now owned by Clear Channel which made it an all-sports station); a fate that befell many AM radio stations that played music. So sit back and take journey back to the time that unending music lasted 24 hours a day!

For a great history of the station, go to this page:

- Brian Phillips

TT-4:36 / 5.3MB / 160kbps 44.1khz

(Image courtesy of Brian Phillips)

Bob Purse writes:
This record appears to have been one of a group of records, made around the country (perhaps just in smaller markets). I have a tape containing part of the same record (same backing track, same tune, but sung by a male group, as I recall - the recording is horribly distorted), recorded off the radio, except that the song is about Jacksonville, Florida. (This tape came with a used reel-to-reel machine my folks bought in 1963, which means the song is probably from earlier that year.) In addition, David Letterman has played two different city versions of this song (I have long since forgotten which cities), over the years, during his "Dave's Record Collection" bit. My guess is that they were done with the involvement of a local station in each city, and that each station then provided the b-side. Since I was little, I have always wanted to be able to hear the Jacksonville song (or any other version of this song, once I knew there were more), and am deeply indebted to Brian Phillips and to Otis for making this wish come true.

Sammy Reed writes:
This record was made by the PAMS radio jingle company. They sang ID jingles for radio stations, but one of the other things they did was produce these records about ""My Home Town". It was the same tune, but rewritten for different cities. There's a website called www.reelradio.com that has many audio sounds having to do with top-40 radio of the 50's-80's. One of the clips is called "The History of PAMS". It talks about the different jingles made by PAMS in the 50's & 60's. At the 14:12 mark of the clip, they discuss the "My Home Town" campaign and play clips from the songs done for Houston and London. I think the website as a whole is pretty interesting. Here is a link to the "History of PAMS" clip: http://www.reelradio.com/haber/bobjames.html#pamshis. As for that thing on side 2, I'd have to guess that it was done locally by the station itself.

October14 writes:
""PAMS" was a jingle production company based in Dallas, and its initials stand for "Programming And Music Services." The "My Hometown" song is from PAMS named jingle package number 16, "Sound Of The City." I remember hearing the Flint MI version on WTAC. I've also heard the Detroit version, for WXYZ, on history-of-top-40 radio specials. The PAMS site dates SOTC as 1961, but Radio London, one of the UK offshore pirates, also used it. They signed on in 1964. PAMS jingle history and audio samplers can be found at: http://www.pams.com