January 22, 2018

The radio stations

Was WHB an oasis where black and white pop music came together joyously, or a soul-less desert, where major domo Johnny Dolan turned up his nose at local groups and even the Beatles? Remember the 40 Star Survey? Or did you prefer the KUDL Boss 30?

The people

A scene doesn’t just happen. People make it happen, and some of the most happening people were the promoters and club owners of Kansas City’s rock ‘n’ roll scene.

London Wood, feat. Mike WaggonerMany of their stories have multiple chapters — like Stan Plesser with his Vanguard coffee house and Cowtown Ballroom plus Good Karma Productions, or Mike Waggoner, a guitarist and veteran of such bands as the Chontels, London Wood and Morningstar, who later  became a promoter. His greatest hits as a promoter included Led Zeppelin’s first KC show at Memorial Hall.

The record stores

Toon Shop record bar

You remember them: brick-and-mortar buildings, staffed by knowledgeable music lovers, where you bought black plastic slabs in big picture sleeves. You might even catch a recording artist performing in store or just browsing the shelves next to you.

Several veterans of Caper’s Corner and Penny Lane have appeared on local radio recently, reminiscing about those times.

What were your favorite record stores, where were they and what do you remember buying there?