If you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in the New York metro area, and were tuned into music at all, then you listened to WNEW-FM, 102.7. the mother of east coast progressive radio. FM radio was a relatively new thing in the 60s, at least in the public ear, and WNEW was in the forefront of trying new stuff..until someone figured out there was money to be made then it all went downhill from there.
As an NEW fan you had to be well acquainted with the sultry voice of the late Allison Steele -The Nightbird. Many a night I would sit in the basement, turn on the blacklight and the lava lamp while relaxing on the pillows on the floor with Allison speaking to me through the Radio Shack stereo. So suburban 60’s.
From time to time she would do a “Space Set” – music perfect for tripping or getting stoned. Music like Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra from 2001 or anything by Tangerine Dream. A staple, tho, was a thing called Space Hymn by Lothar and The Hand People. This was a song that could not be bought at any price as the album had long gone out of print – and people clamored for it. I know. I worked in a record store and we’d get constant requests for it. Me, being the tech-geek-youth I was, decided to make a tape of the song off one of her broadcasts. I tripped (no pun intended) over it yesterday while rifling through a box of old cassettes (surprised it wasn’t an 8-track). Gotta be 40 years old or so.
I’ve copied it on my computer in digital form and was going to post it, but checked just for the hell of it, and sure enough, someone had posted it on YouTube. That’s ok. My version has the voice of Ms. Steele outro-ing the song. So there. And she had a smokin’ voice.
Anyway, I thought i’d post the YouTube version here. Now remember, this was the late-60’s – long before synthesizer was a popular word in the music lexicon, long before EST, long before ambient music, long before psychotherapy became a major industry and guided meditation was a career goal. So it may not seem like a big deal now but back then…it was far out.
One note – the clip below runs 10 minutes – the song is only 7 minutes. you can skip the 3 minutes of silence at the end – unless you’re too blissed out to care. Right on.