Sunday, November 7, 2010




In the 60s music was changing almost every month. If you take a look at a 1962 survey sheet from WARM you saw songs from standards singers Tony Bennett on it. Then there was the emergence of the “girl groups” and the “Wall of Sound” from Phil Spector. One of the biggest and popular arrivals on the scene was the era of folk music epitomized by the Rooftop Singers, Peter Paul and Mary and the Seekers. WARM decided to capitalize on this new folk wave by running a program ON Sunday night entitled “WARM Hootenanny”. It wasn’t anything that was in depth or probing. It was just an ancillary program filled with that type of music sponsored by a business and then promoted by WARM throughout the week. Not wanting to rock the cash cow boat WARM created with Top 40 and News and Information, the show was safely tucked away on a Sunday night sandwiched between the Stegmairer Oldies Show and the WARM public affairs block that ran at 11PM Sundays until signoff.
A few years later WARM also introduced a TOP Ten countdown of the Country Hits in the nation. Again, it was sponsored but not put in any place to change the outcome of their main format.
These two attempts were clear demonstrations that while being number 1 with a major share of audience. WARM had its ear to the ground trying to make sure they weren’t missing anything in the pop music field. This dalliance into niche broadcasting was shortlived since those Hootenanny hits and country songs crossed over into the regular top 40 rotation. But it is worth noting that WARM, even in the 60s was looking to make sure they kept themselves in the music game. According to my records and interviews with people, (albeit very sketchy) The Hootenanny Show ran from '62 to about late '63 and the WARM Country Countdown lasted about 6 months from January 1966 to about mid May).


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I remember it - uh - not terribly well, but my brother and I always tuned in! (The Sunday Hootenany that is.)
It was totally enjoyable, and even included comedy sketches from the then-virtually-unknown Smothers Brothers, played from their 2 albums.

Stegmeier Beer was one sponsor, and they even did a 'folksy' banjo-heavy ad that ended with the words "Stegmeier beer goes with fun!" sung with 'Kingston Trio-esque' enthusiasm.

I recall hearing Peter Paul and Mary doing "Stewball", and running out to buy the "In the Wind" album because of it. (First album I ever bought, in fact!) Another PP&M tune they played was "Flora".
That would seem to indicate the show was still on in 1963, and that sounds right to me.

Thank you for posting this memory.
It's funny, because people don't think of WARM as having been a "variety" station, but they were definitely the ones who brought the "folk music" fad to the area when that was going strong in the early 1960s, with that show. Kudos!

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