Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN

( 6 )

Overview

Blaring the Cream anthem “I Feel Free,” WBCN went on the air in March 1968 as an experiment in free-form rock on the fledgling FM radio band. It broadcast its final song, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” in August 2009. In between, WBCN became the musical, cultural, and political voice of the young people of Boston and New England, sustaining a vibrant local music scene that launched such artists as the J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Boston, the Cars, and the Dropkick Murphys, as well as paving...
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Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN

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Overview

Blaring the Cream anthem “I Feel Free,” WBCN went on the air in March 1968 as an experiment in free-form rock on the fledgling FM radio band. It broadcast its final song, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” in August 2009. In between, WBCN became the musical, cultural, and political voice of the young people of Boston and New England, sustaining a vibrant local music scene that launched such artists as the J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Boston, the Cars, and the Dropkick Murphys, as well as paving the way for Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2, and many others. Along the way, WBCN both pioneered and defined progressive rock radio, the dominant format for a generation of listeners. Brilliantly told by Carter Alan—and featuring the voices of station insiders and the artists they loved—Radio Free Boston is the story of a city; of artistic freedom, of music and politics and identity; and of the cultural, technological, and financial forces that killed rock radio.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“From the first note of Cream’s “I Feel Free” carried by the FM signal at 104.1 in 1968 to the final note of Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” bringing the story to a close in 2009, Alan traces the station’s wild ride from its roots as a foundering classical music operation (WBCN stood for Boston Concert Network and employed a young Ron Della Chiesa), to its evolution into a free-form, counterculture outpost, and finally to a tightly controlled, corporate enterprise with two of its most popular, and controversial, shows emanating out of New York City. . . . The fairy tale of WBCN may not have had a happy ending, but Alan tells it with the kind of flair that does its original free-form spirit proud.”—Boston Globe

“Incredibly well researched, deeply interviewed, and as close to being ‘down the middle’ as is possible for a writer who was involved in much of the action.”—Arts Fuse

“Carter Alan remembers the first song he played on WBCN, “I’ve Had Enough” by The Who, from “Quadrophenia.” The former ’BCN DJ and current midday man and music director at WZLX remembers much more in his recently released and thoroughly engrossing chronicle, Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN.”—Boston Globe

“Alan’s book traces WBCN’s unassuming birth from the ashes of a classical music station in 1968, through its heyday as the ‘Rock of Boston’ in the ‘70s and ‘80s, to its demise in 2009, when, Alan writes, the station was ‘drained of its blood in the consolidated radio industry of the new century.’ To recount the story, Alan interviewed most every personality involved and willing to speak on the record.”—Boston Globe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555537296
  • Publisher: Northeastern University Press
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 268,513
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Currently a DJ and music director at WZLX in Boston, CARTER ALAN was a DJ at WBCN for nineteen years. He is the author of U2, Outside Is America, and Life on the Road.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Steven Tyler
Preface
Thanks
The American Revolution
A Radio Commune
I Read the News Today
Movin’ on Up
Camelot
The Battle Joined
Power to the People
“The Reallllll WBCN, Boston!”
I (Don’t) Want My MTV
Number 1 Rock ’n’ Roll Connection
Camelot Redux
From Boylston Street to Wall Street
Nelson, Howard, and “The Love Shack”
Any Given Sunday, Any Given Weekday
A Bad-Boy Business
Shine on You Crazy Diamond •Afterword
Bibliography
Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Hhgghh

    Vhhfg

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Highly Recommended-brings back great memories

    Great book that brings back great memories when radio was radio. WBCN was the best. Great stories of a better time in Boston radio. WBCN was catalyst for so many rock n roll bands. A must read for WBCN and rock n roll fans. Very enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    I read the paperback. No typos and what a great read. I loved he

    I read the paperback. No typos and what a great read. I loved hearing about the different bands that developed through Boston. And the Dj that wrote the book who I used to listen to is a great author as well. Totally and completely detailed and backgrounded I was amazed at all the information in here and yet it was a lot fo fun to read.  Great Job. 


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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Under new managment

    Chipdip101 is in cont. Now minecreft forever./:)?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Great story but the ebook has the most typos I've ever encounter

    Great story but the ebook has the most typos I've ever encountered in a published book. What happened to good copy editing?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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