August 29, 2010

Mad Daddy - Top 40 and Haywire Personalities seemed to go hand in hand.

Hard to imagine, since what we call Top-40 radio these days is pretty devoid of personalities. But the airwaves in the 1950's and early 1960's were jammed with those endlessly chatty folks with gimmicks and alter-egos whose sole purpose was to be bigger, better and weirder than the other guy. Peter "Mad Daddy" Myers was one of an entire genre of radio personalities who seemed to fit in perfectly with the dawn of rock n' roll and Top-40 radio. Mad Daddy's shtick was a sort of "cool-ghoul", a rhyming quasi-Surrealist with a dollop of Dracula to go with the sound effects. And throughout the 1950's, his inimitable style was unbeatable.

Sadly though, Top-40 Radio was gradually weening off the gimmick based Disc-Jockey by the mid 1960's and guys like Mad Daddy were pretty much relics by the end of that decade. Although, Pete Myers wouldn't make it to the end of the 60's as suicide had different plans in 1968.

This aircheck, the last fifteen minutes of his show for WINS from August 31, 1963 perfectly illustrates his trademark style and why Top-40 radio in the early days had such wide appeal and probably seems so strange now in comparison.

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