Big news here for fans of late 1960’s/early 1970’s classic rock: veteran radio/t.v. personality and concert promoter Barry Richards has opened his archives to create a new DVD that will delight the rocker brigade. The Barry Richards T.V. Collection, Vol. 1 collects a DVD’s worth of killer vintage rock and soul performances from shows produced by Richards – including everyone from Little Richard to Alice Cooper – and adds a bonus CD with rare recordings of even more performers. Read on for all real-deal rock details, including quotes from Richards himself…
Long-Lost Classic Rock Performances Surface on DVD!
Legendary DJ Barry Richards releases live broadcasts not seen in 40 years; stars include Alice Cooper, Muddy Waters, Little Richard, more!
November 1, 2011 — LOS ANGELES — Long before there was such a thing as MTV, Washington, D.C. disc jockey and concert promoter Barry Richards brought rock music to television in a series of local TV shows featuring completely live performances by such famous names as Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Byrds, Captain Beefheart, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Muddy Waters, Richie Havens, Humble Pie, and many more. Thought lost for decades, the master tapes of these amazing shows sat moldering in a garage until an obsessed fan tracked down Richards and convinced the DJ that this treasure-trove of rare classic rock performances was worth preserving and releasing.
The result is “The Barry Richards TV Collection Vol. 1,” an amazing collector’s DVD/CD package that captures all the wild energy and musical abandon of this bygone era. The two-disc set is available now at http://www.barryrichardsshows.com.
With titles such as Turn-On, Groove-In, and The Barry Richards Rock Show, Richards’ broadcasts spanned the psychedelic heyday of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The footage exists nowhere else, and has not been seen since it was beamed over UHF airwaves 40 years ago.
To see excerpts from The Barry Richards TV collection, click this link: Barry Richards TV Collection Trailer.
“These are old TV shows that I did back in the seventies- they’re very primitive, but they’re still great!” says Barry Richards “It’s the first time that anybody that I know of had live rock acts on television. Turn-On was an interesting show. We taped the groups during the week and then Saturday night we ran it back. I ran a chapter of Flash Gordon, Bowery Boys, or maybe an old cowboy movie. Meanwhile, everybody was high. This was free-form TV. It was all done in a small studio at an independent station, WDCA channel 20. Of course back in the seventies, who had UHF? I was probably talking to myself! We had Alice Cooper, Humble Pie, Ten Years After, BB King… I have no idea of some of the groups that we had, ‘cause I was high also!”
Richards called his early rock shows “free-form television”, mixing live music with old movie serials, hippie comedians, interviews that ran the gamut from Buster Crabbe to local head-shop owners, and improvised studio shenanigans. The broadcasts often ran all night until the small UHF station played the Star-Spangled Banner.
“I had a great time doing it,” Richards says. “Looking at this footage now, it’s like a time capsule, a look back at an amazing time in popular music.”
The loud, raucous performances were recorded live, with no lip-synching allowed. The one and only Little Richard pounds out “Good Golly, Miss Molly” with a long-haired stoner group called Jamul. A young Bob Seger sings “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”, “Lucifer”, and “Song For Rufus” with his early band The Bob Seger System, nearly blowing out the studio microphones. Alice Cooper does his then-new single “(I’m) Eighteen” and climbs into an electric chair during his classic album track “Black Juju”. Humble Pie, with a young Peter Frampton on guitar, delivers a scorching rendition of “Rollin’ Stone” in a segment taped just one night before the band recorded their classic live album at the Fillmore East. Fats Domino jams with The Byrds on “Blueberry Hill”. Even the legendary Muddy Waters stops by Richards’ studio to play his signature songs, “I Got My Mojo Workin’” and “Baby Please Don’t Go”.
“I first heard of Barry Richards over 15 years ago,” explains producer Eli Brown, who compiled and restored the material for release on DVD. “I saw a really grainy black-and-white VHS copy of a Long Island band called The Illusion playing live on some local TV show in Washington. Even though this copy looked terrible, I was amazed and wanted to know more about this guy Barry Richards and his show. It took about ten years before I could find a way to get in touch with him. I tried to convince Barry that I could turn his tapes into a DVD. He thought I was crazy and that no one would want to see this stuff 40 years later. He wouldn’t return phone calls; he ducked me when I flew out to California to meet with him. This went on for two years, but I wouldn’t stop and I think I just wore him down to the point where he gave up and let me look at the tapes. When I finally got to see the original color masters, I just knew this stuff was magic. It also looked amazing considering the reels have been all over the country in basements and garages!”
Once Richards agreed to let Mr. Brown restore the old tapes, the project took years to assemble. A search through Richards’ personal archives turned up reels of audio tape that contained, among other unique finds, an interview Richards conducted with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr just prior to the Beatles’ historic 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
A screening of the footage at the AFI Silver Theatre in Maryland in late 2009 brought a rave review from reporter John Kelly of the Washington Post under the headline “D.C. DJ’s Old TV Show Tapes Make For A Groovy Project”. The event brought out longtime fans who grew up watching the shows, as well as younger rockers who wanted to go back in time; among the enthusiastic viewers were documentary filmmaker Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot) and Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi.
“It was a monumental task putting the whole thing together, essentially by myself,” Brown says. “I spent a year re-mastering the audio, which was recorded by the set designer who had never touched a microphone before! None of this was easy, but I think it’s such an important document and such a rare collection that it is vital that it be saved and made available. The laid-back vibe of the show really brought out incredible performances that you’d never get on a high-budget major network set. For true music fans, this is just about the coolest show ever!”
Underground filmmaker Nick Zedd still remembers the impact Turn-On had on him. “I followed the show religiously when I lived in Adelphi, Md.,” he recalls. “It was the most subversive local program on TV and has never been surpassed. To a teenager living in the stifling hellhole of conformist Maryland, it was a breath of fresh air. Barry Richards was the closest thing we had to a hipster hero. I can’t wait to see those old tapes!”
The finished DVD is already getting rave reviews from rock fans of all ages.
“It’s a classic and heavy rock treasure trove that has to be seen and heard to be believed—and for those of us mucking our way about the seedy underbelly of the music industry, an utter inspiration. In A Word: Smithsonian,” wrote JJ Koczan of the Aquarian Weekly.
DVD Contents Include:
Cliff Nobles- The Horse
The Flavor- Sally Had A Party
BARRY RICHARDS PRESENTS (1970)
Richie Havens- Handsome Johnny
Jamul- Tobacco Road
Zephyr – St. James Infirmary
Little Richard- Good Golly Miss Molly
Alice Cooper- Eighteen, Black Juju
Humblie Pie- Rollin Stone
Fats Domino with the Byrds- In Love Again, Blueberry Hill, I’m Ready,
Walkin’ To New Orleans
Bob Seger System- Lucifer, Song For Rufus, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
Biff Rose- Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Myrtles Pies, Nothing To Gain
THE LOST TURN-ON REELS (LOWER QUALITY BW HOME RECORDINGS)
Illusion- When I Metcha Babe, Did You See her Eyes, Man , Lets Make Each Other
Crow- Cottage Cheese, (Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie on the) King of Rock’n’Roll
BARRY RICHARDS ROCK’N’SOUL SHOW (1974)
Iron Jaw Samson
BARRY RICHARDS ROCK SHOW SNEAK PREVIEW (1973)
Muddy Waters- Baby Please Don’t Go, Got My Mojo Working
Rory Gallagher- Walk on Hot Coals
Barry Interviews the Beatles (1964)
Little Richard Radio Interview
Little Richard’s unreleased Barry Richards Theme Song
Dr. John- Gris Gris, Wash Mama Wash
Ace Trucking Company
Emitt Rhodes- Live Till You Die, She’s Such A Beauty
Alice Cooper telephone call, Concert ad
Alice Cooper/Flo & Eddie/Barry- radio mischief
STILL GALLERY FEATURING 40 UNPUBLISHED PHOTOS AND ARTWORK
24-PAGE BOOKLET LOADED WITH UNPUBLISHED ARTIST AND SET PHOTOS
AUDIO EXTRAS FEATURING VINTAGE INTERVIEWS WITH BUSTER CRABBE, JAMES WHITMORE, CHRIS MITCHUM, and PATRICK WAYNE
About Barry Richards:
Barry Richards is a popular DJ, television host and concert promoter from Washington, D.C., where he is known as “The Boss with the Hot Sauce”, “The Heavy Head Leader”, “The Hunk of Funk”, “Hairy Barry”, and “The Reazar”. He has worked with such greats as Little Richard, Link Wray, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, Jethro Tull, Rod Stewart and Faces, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Vanilla Fudge, The Jeff Beck Group and many others in a colorful career spanning five decades of pop music history.
Barry broke into the music business in the 1960s as a teenage protégé of Don Dillard, the radio pioneer who introduced a generation of D.C. kids to rock and roll on WDON. Another early mentor was TV dance-show host Milt Grant, who reigned over local record-hops during the era of Alan Freed and Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” and went on to create WDCA Channel 20 before building the Grant Group.
During the same period, Barry became a major player booking and promoting concerts in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. His dynamic presence on the radio and his involvement in the live music scene led to several television shows broadcast in the area.
Barry’s early TV shows included a brief stint on “Wing-Ding” (1967), “Groove-In” (1968), “Sears Sound Revolution” (1969) and “Barry Richards Presents” (1970). The most well-remembered of Barry’s shows was “Turn-On” (1970-71), which introduced a “free-form television” format that included live in-studio performances by many of the major rock bands of the time as well as guest appearances by various celebrities ranging from Richard Pryor to Buster Crabbe (who was hocking his own brand of swimming pools at the time!)
“Turn-On” featured mind-blowing segments with Alice Cooper, Humble Pie, the Bob Seger System, Steppenwolf, Dr. John, Ides of March, Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Cheech and Chong, Wolfman Jack, Charlton Heston, Robert Klein, Robert Mitchum and many more. The show was taped and broadcast from WDCA Channel 20, a UHF station owned by Milt Grant. The TV show helped promote Barry’s concerts as well as up and coming acts. It entertained viewers with a mix of both light and heavy music in between old Flash Gordon serials, Abbott and Costello and The Bowery Boys. The show was open ended starting at 11pm on Saturdays and ran until the movies and the rock bands were over. The National Anthem was played and the station went off the air.
Over the years, Barry hosted over 13 different TV shows in different parts of the country, always staying on the cutting edge of new music. He has since worked at major radio stations across the country and consulted with Jerry Clifton’s New World Communications. He hosted TV shows in New Orleans such as “Live at the Famous” (1980) and “Video Trax” (1981) – BTV in Fresno and in Los Angeles he even did play-by-play for California Championship Wrestling, and hosted “Dancin’ On Air” and “The Video Zoo”. Barry is still on the cutting edge of today’s music, as interested in Lil Wayne and Eminem as he is in Little Richard and James Brown.