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November 22, 2021 12:15 pm  #1

Doc On Legendary Radio Station Temporarily Free Online - With A VPN

Back in 2019, I posted a short message about a new documentary called "WBCN And The American Revolution," about a freeform rock station that began in the late 1960s and became the CHUM-FM of Boston. It was unlike any format that had ever aired in New England before, taking the same route that 104.5 here would in its early progressive rock days. 

But unlike CHUM-FM, it wasn't in the hands of radio professionals at the beginning. Instead, a very button-down Harvard law student and club owner decided to take over the all-night programming of a struggling FM classical outlet in the city that was having severe financial troubles, by programming freeform rock overnight. In those days of Woodstock and hippies, the place would eventually become a sensation. 

Now that film, about how it happened, is available for free off of PBS' website, although you have to have a VPN set to the U.S. to see it. I've been through about half an hour of the 2-hour flick, and I'm hooked, taking a moment off to write this before going back to it. 

True, it's not about a place here most of us know. But it IS about a pioneering format and if you're into radio, it's a fascinating look at the evolution of prog rock as it once was. The vintage pics are great, along with interviews with the announcers and the people who were there at the time. None of them had any idea what they were doing - and, as it turns out, that's what made it work.

If this interests you and you have that VPN, you can watch it here

Thanks to the Oldies Music Board for making me aware that a movie I commented on two years ago was around for free. If you're into this stuff, it's well worth a look. But don't wait too long. It appears it will only be online until December 6th.,m,cg:true


November 23, 2021 8:10 am  #2

Re: Doc On Legendary Radio Station Temporarily Free Online - With A VPN

Interesting documentary. However, being a Top 40 guy at that time of my life, had I been a Boston resident then, WRKO and WMEX would have been my go to stations.


Today 2:11 pm  #3

Re: Doc On Legendary Radio Station Temporarily Free Online - With A VPN

If you missed the online showing, didn't have a VPN or just couldn't get around to it, WNED in Buffalo is airing this 2-hour documentary on a landmark progressive rock radio station that became a sensation in Boston in the 60s and 70s. It became THE go-to station for various movements in that era, as well as introducing artists who would become prog rock superstars. 

I know it's about a station many of us have never heard of, but I've seen it and it was quite good. And besides - how often does anyone produce an actual documentary about rock radio? It airs from 9 PM-11 PM Monday night (Jan. 24th) with a replay Thursday morning at 3 AM on Channel 17. 

     Thread Starter