- King Biscuit Flower Hour
The program was broadcast weekly on Sunday nights from 1973 until 2007, although new programming ceased in 1993 and previous shows were repeated from that point. During its prime, the program was carried by more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States. The show’s name was derived from the influential blues radio show “
King Biscuit Time”, which was sponsored by the King Biscuit Flour Co., and the hippie phrase “flower power”. The first show was broadcast on February 18, 1973 and featured Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Bruce Springsteen. The long-time host of the show until the mid ‘90s was Bill Minkin, whose velvet-smooth voice was the perfect blend of hipster enthusiasm and stoner casualness. [Gallucci, Michael. “King Biscuit Flower Hour Records: There’s Plenty More in the Archives” "Goldmine" May 8, 1998: 42-46]
Some of the biggest names in
rock musicwere featured over the years— Aerosmith, Boston, Chicago, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Genesis, Elton John, Journey, John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, U2and the Whoall appeared on the show.
The concerts were usually recorded with a mobile recording truck, then mixed and edited for broadcast on the show within a few weeks. In the 1970s, the show was sent to participating radio stations on reel-to-reel tape. In 1980 D.I.R. began using the LP format, producing the show on a three-sided, two record set. The first show on compact disc was a live retrospective of
the Rolling Stonesbroadcast on September 27, 1987. By the year 2000, King Biscuit was using CD-R media to distribute the show. These tapes, records or compact discs were accompanied by a cue sheetwhich gave the disc jockey a written guideline of the content and length of each segment of the program.
In 1982, a three-alarm fire damaged the Manhattan office tower that housed D.I.R. Broadcasting. Reportedly, many of the King Biscuit Flower Hour recordings were lost in the fire. ["Fire Sweeps Tower's Lower Floors" "New York Times" Jan. 3, 1982: 26]
Although closely associated with
classic rockin its recent incarnation, the King Biscuit Flower Hour dedicated much air time to new and emerging artists, including a healthy dose of new wave and modern rockartists in the late ’70s and early ‘80s. Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, the Ramones, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Devo, U2, Men at Work, Psychedelic Fursand the Stray Catswere all featured on the program early in their careers.
In 2006, the King Biscuit tape archives were acquired by
Wolfgang's Vaultwhich began streaming concerts online and has made some available for download.
King Biscuit Flower Hour Records
After founder Bob Meyrowitz sold his interest to new ownership, which became King Biscuit Entertainment Group, King Biscuit Flower Hour Records was formed in 1996 with the intention of releasing live albums from the archives. Although licensing issues prevented the release of the most popular artists featured on the program, dozens of recordings did see commercial release including those by America,
Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Pat Benatar, David Crosby, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Humble Pie, Kansas, the Steve Miller Band and Robin Trower.
List of shows
* [http://www.kingbiscuit.com/ King Biscuit]
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