way out there

AlisonSteeleIf 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.



Filed under culture, media, music, NYC, technology, YouTube

9 responses to “way out there

  1. If I would lie down right now and listen to this I would fall asleep right away. And I only got up about 2 1/2 hours ago.:lol:

  2. I grew up in Connecticut so I remember her and that station. Great music. Great DJs.

    Some of these DJs are now on various Sirius/XM radio stations — Dennis Elsas for example is on Classic Vinyl. I still have a crush on him!

  3. perfect i just came from yoga class…..

  4. Nice post Coop.

    We had WABX 99.5 here in Detroit that was the equal. In fact across the river in Windsor CJOM 88.1 was very similar. ABX played the obscure that nobody else would no matter how long the song was or if it wasn’t among the top played the other stations played a thousand times a day.

    If it was good it got aired in its entirety. Sadly WABX was the first to go while the other shit station here still exists. Never listened to it back then and certainly never have had any use for it beyond.

    And the so-called classic rock station here wouldn’t know classic rock if it ran them down a million miles an hour. God how I long for that time again. Honest to God Hippie Generation.

    Freak Forever.

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