Friday, August 03, 2007

Mac Curtis and Radio

Mac Curtis began his career as a DJ in 1957. Mr. Curtis has worked at radio stations from Nashville to LA. Today he's the host of The Rockabilly Connection on 95.9 KFWR. He's in The Rockabilly Hall of fame and there is a reason.

He was born in 1939 in Fort Worth, TX. A neighbor taught him how to play guitar. He started a band in Weatherford in 1954. They performed country music, and rockabilly. Within a year they were "discovered" by Big Jim Randolph of KNOK. He was an early supporter. It was Randolph that scored them their first record deal with King Records. that first record even wowed Alan Freed, who booked Curtis' band for the 1956 Christmas Jubilee extravaganza at the Brooklyn Paramount. They'd gone from high school sock hops to the biggest rock n' roll radio show in America in 2 years. Then nada. Elvis took off in a way that made a lot of rockabilly fade into the background.

In less than a year Curtis was DJing at KZEE back in Weatherford. He barely had time to warm up the stool when the Army asked him if he wouldn't mid so much DJing in Korea. His radio experience got him an assignment with the AFRN in Seoul. He probably wasn't happy, but mercifully he was discharged in 1960 and went back to doing rockabilly records.

By 1971, Curtis made the transition from making records to spinning them. He got a show on KLAC in Los Angeles. He was rediscovered there by Ronny Weiser. Ronny went on to release a couple single on his fledgling Rollin' Rock label and eventually released three Curtis LPs. Discography here. Labels in Europe and Japan continue to put out his records. A loyal fan popped a couple tracks up on Myspace here, for your listening pleasure. Or if you live around Dallas you can probably catch him live & local.