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The Wrecking Crew/ Open Lines

Date: 02-24-12
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Open Lines, Kent Hartman, Russ Baker

During the first half of the program, Ian Punnett welcomed author Kent Hartman welcomed author Kent Hartman for a discussion on 'The Wrecking Crew,' a group of the largely unknown and uncredited studio musicians who played on countless classic rock songs. This coterie of artists, he explained, consisted of about two dozen LA-based musicians that were highly skilled at playing rock music in the 1960's. This proficiency led to record labels having them play in the recording studio rather than actual members of many well known rock bands. Since the band members provided the vocals and went on tour performing the songs, Hartman said, the record companies "didn't feel like they were totally lying to you."

Hartman detailed a number of instances where classic songs featured the Wrecking Crew's work instead of the actual bands which were credited with having played the music, including the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" as well as the Grass Roots' "Midnight Confession". He also shared the story of how producers actually refused to allow the Byrds to record "Mr. Tambourine Man," since they were considered "novices and incapable of playing at studio quality." As such, the album version of the song consists of the Wrecking Crew's work alongside Roger McGuinn, the only band member allowed to participate. Hartman noted that the recording of the song only took a handful of takes. Conversely, when the Byrds insisted on playing their own instruments for their follow-up song, "Turn, Turn, Turn," it required over 70 takes and days worth of studio time to complete.

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During Open Lines, Sid in Abilene, Texas shared the story of two strange encounters from his youth. He recalled seeing a kangaroo in a pasture in front of his house and, later, a six foot tall rabbit in the same area. The kangaroo, he said, was hopping up and down and "kinda waving his front arms at me." Ultimately, Sid was mystified over the nature of these odd events. Other callers included Peter in Minnesota, who recounted his own "pretty scary" experience hearing the "mysterious sounds" phenomenon and Leonse in Louisiana, who was puzzled by how the Piri Reis map could feature a detailed depiction of Antarctica's coastline. Meanwhile, Manuel in Stockton called in to note that, 70 years ago to the night, the Battle of LA was unfolding over the skies of Los Angeles.

O'Reilly & JFK

In the first half hour, author Russ Baker reacted to Bill O'Reilly's impending book on John F. Kennedy which claims to reveal "why his life was cut short." Baker traced O'Reilly's interest in the JFK assassination back to work he did as a newscaster in Dallas in the 1970's as well as later reports on the TV program Inside Edition. According to a former pundit from Fox News who spoke to Baker, O'Reilly frequently tried to do stories on the Kennedy assassination but "top ranked people" at the network "kept stepping on the story." While it would appear, based on his previous work, the book would lend credence to conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination, Baker surmised that "if Bill O'Reilly wants to keep his career at Fox, he is not going to be revealing anything."

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Bumper music from Friday February 24, 2012

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