Written by
Bob Stumpel

September 16

Ray Charles, Tonight In The Bay Area (1962)

Off topic

KDIA, on the 1310 AM frequency, was founded as KLS in 1921. In 1945, it changed its name to KWBR, and its target audience to the African-American segment. In 1959 the call letters were changed to KDIA. Through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, they were was the premier soul and funk station in the San Francisco Bay Area.
William Roscoe Mercer (1927-2000), better known as Rosko, was a famous disc jockey. In the rare sound recording below, from 28 December 1962, you hear him announce the Ray Charles “In Person” concert (‘with The Raelettes and his orchestra) at the Civic Auditorium that night. Rosko jokingly calls Ray the Secretary of State*, probably referring to Charles’ many tours abroad.

* Not to be confused with Dizzy Gillespiewho put himself forward as a presidential candidate in 1964. If he were elected, the White House would be renamed The Blues House, and a cabinet composed of Duke Ellington (Secretary of State); Miles Davis (Director of the CIA); Max Roach (Secretary of Defense); Charles Mingus (Secretary of Peace); Ray Charles (Librarian of Congress); Louis Armstrong (Secretary of Agriculture); Mary Lou Williams (Ambassador to the Vatican); Thelonious Monk (Travelling Ambassador), and Malcolm X (Attorney General). His running mate would be Phyllis Diller.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *