Keener Turns 50!

On Halloween night, 1963, WKMH, a perennial also-ran in the Detroit radio race, began a transformation that would broadcasting history. It began with 24 hours of halloween programming, followed by “The Battle of the Giants” where listeners literally decided exactly what would be played on the air. What followed was and amazing run from the bottom to the top of the ratings. In 72 days WKNR became the most listened to rock radio station in the Motor City.

To celebrate the birth of Keener 13, former WKNR DJ Greg Innis will be broadcasting a special program on WCXI, AM 1160 in Detroit. Greg says, “ On Friday afternoon, November 1st, I will bring many Keener airchecks, promos and jingles  join Jimmy James as we pay tribute to Keener 13. We will also count down the entire 1st-ever Keener music guide. Hopefully we can talk on the air to a couple of former Keener jocks from the 60′s, as well as hear from various listeners as they share their memories of WKNR.
The show will air from 2:PM to 5:PM (EST). If you have a hard time getting the signal, you can hear it on the WCXI web-site. Simply type in WCXI AM 1160 and click on where it says listen live.”

All of us at hope you’ll celebrate here as well. Explore our exclusive air check archive, page through our complete digital library of WKNR Music Guides and share your own Keener memories on our Facebook page.

WKNR’s prime was all too brief, but for so many of us who grew up in Detroit in the 1960s, it was the soundtrack of our lives. And as long as we have memories, Keener Lives!

Scott Westerman and Steve Schram –

Oct 25th, 2013 | Filed under Keener

Some classic video from the Keener Era

Remember the Sheik? Bobo Brazil? Here’s some footage of these two great characters in combat from a 1960s episode of Big Time Wrestling.

Besides the Detroit Tigers, nothing spoke of summertime like Detroit Dragway.. Here’s a classic radio commercial from 1966.

Some of us may have forgotten it, but Detroit was a contender for the Olympics in the 60s. Here’s a 1965 promotional film, narrated by Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, entitled “Detroit: A City on the Move”.

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Jun 20th, 2013 | Filed under Keener

Scott Regen on “The Downside of Anti Aging”

The Burger ClubScott Regen is alive and well and living in Florida. After a long and fruitful career in broadcasting, the record business and journalism, The Head Burger now writes occasional Op Eds for the Orlando Sentinel, teaches meditation and enjoys his grandchildren. His wisdom fits well in this space, where we celebrate the soundtrack of our young lives, while fully facing the adventures ahead.

Written on August 24, 2011 -

This past Sunday was National Senior Citizens Day. It seems like a good time to reflect on the value our culture places on — youth.

I recently overheard a small boy with his family in a restaurant. An adult asked how old he was. He responded that he was 4.

He was next asked, “When will you be 5?” Everyone laughed when he answered, “When I’m done being 4.”

Unknowingly, he echoed former Harvard professor Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and his 1971 book, “Be Here Now.” And Eckhart Tolle’s 1997 New York Times best-seller, “The Power of Now. Oprah Winfrey brought Tolle’s book to our awareness, as well as “A Course in Miracles,” which Tolle quotes.

All three books advise: We can’t be 5 when we’re 4, 40 when we’re 50, or 50 when we’re 60. We can only be who we are — now.

So the downside of anti-aging is, first: It’s impossible. Second: It guarantees a psychological denial of all we’ve been and done. Third: It denies who we are now.Perhaps it’s a lighter form of anti-aging — hair coloring. Or a harsher form — plastic surgery. Either way, it affirms being or looking younger is better than being or looking older. And because we’re older, we’re somehow not good enough, and must try to look younger.

Why do we do it? Psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote: “The birth of a human being is pregnant with meaning, why not death? For twenty years and more the growing man is being prepared for the complete unfolding of his individual nature, why should not the older man prepare himself twenty years and more for his death?”

Jung interprets our anti-aging masquerades: We’ve become a youth-obsessed culture and, of consequence, a death-fearing culture.

Even the young are handcuffed to the double bind, for they, too, will age.

Why have we bought into the competitiveness of being younger? What are we trying to prove and to whom? Why have we become so outer-approval focused? For whose approval, whose love, for whose “I’m OK” do we hunger? What are we not facing and why?

So, what can we do? We can acknowledge the truth of the Byrds’ No. 1 “Book of Ecclesiastes” song: “Turn! Turn! Turn! To everything there is a season.” And, we can become conscious of the unavoidable psychological conflicts anti-aging arouses. In these ways, we encourage gratification, meaning and love, toward all ages — now.

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Jun 11th, 2013 | Filed under Keener

Happy 80th Birthday to the Drive-In Theater

The first drive-in movie theater opened in June of 1933 in Camden, New Jersey. In honor of that momentous event, here are some classic intermission ads.

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Jun 11th, 2013 | Filed under Keener

The Most Famous Chord in Keener History

Randy Bachman talks about how Giles Martin showed him the most famous chord in Keener history.

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Jun 8th, 2013 | Filed under Beatles

MC5 July, 1970

The MC5 were the house band at Russ Gibbs Grande Ballroom for good reason. They put on one heck of a show. Not much in the way of concert video exists that documents their volcanic performances. But we’ve got one here. From July 17, 1970, here’s their live performance of “Lookin at You” from a concert at Wayne State. By the way, the guy in the white hat to the right of the amplifiers is former WKNR Key Man Jerry Goodwin.

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Jun 7th, 2013 | Filed under Keener

D-Day on the Radio

D-DayOn June 6th, 1944, there was no CNN, no Twitter or Facebook and the task of covering one of the biggest news stories of the century became radio’s challenge. The gargantuan task of reporting the D-Day landings in France [image] lead to the invention of the pool broadcast, where every network’s correspondents filed stories for broadcast across all webs. It was one of the first times that recorded news actualities were allowed to air. Prior to D-Day the networks had policies (and technology) that required news broadcasts to be live.

The CBS coverage of the first 48 hours after D-Day has been preserved and is in circulation among Old Time Radio collectors. In celebration of this historic day, here are three hour-long segments, starting before the official announcement and running through dawn. You’ll hear some amazing accounts by reporters who helped to define radio news for a generation.

CBS D-Day Coverage Part 1
CBS D-Day Coverage Part 2
CBS D-Day Coverage Part 3

Learn more about how radio covered D-Day HERE. And you can follow D-Day as it happened on Twitter.

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Jun 5th, 2013 | Filed under Keener

Mrs. Burke! I thought you were Dale!

Courtesy of Keenerfan Jeff Smith, the classic Grape Nuts commercial from the 60s that most of us either loved or hated.

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Jun 2nd, 2013 | Filed under Keener

Happy Birthday Herb!

Herb AlpertHerb Alpert turns 78 today.

Charting multiple times on the WKNR music guide, Herb enjoyed five national number ones, eight Grammy awards, fourteen platinum and fifteen gold LPs. With more than 70 million album sales worldwide, Herb Alpert is the only recording artist to hit number one with both an instrumental and a vocal. Oh yeah.. He and partner Jerry Moss are the founders of A&M records, too.

Alpert’s musical accomplishments include five number one hits, 28 albums on the Billboard charts, eight Grammy Awards, fourteen Platinum albums and fifteen Gold albums.

Happy Birthday, Herb!

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May 31st, 2013 | Filed under Keener

Pure Michigan, in the Keener Era

Back before the Pure Michigan ad campaign, the Michigan Tourist Council bought magazine ads across the country, promoting our Water Wonderland. Here’s an example.

Vacation in Michigan

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May 30th, 2013 | Filed under Keener