By Ken Foote

(CBS11) – As a kid growing up in Dallas, I listened to four stations in the DFW area: 1190 KLIF, 1480 KBOX, 1270 KFJZ, and 1360 KXOL. These four stations were in a perpetual battle for the #1 Top 40 station in the area.

KLIF and KBOX were in Dallas, while KFJZ and KXOL were in Fort Worth. KLIF was the only station at that time in that format with a big 50,000 daytime signal that covered the market and then some, but at night it had to reduce it power to 1,000 watts (it later received permission from the FCC to boost nighttime power to 5,000 watts). KBOX was a 5,000 watt station during the day but also had to reduce power at night. Same for KXOL in Fort Worth (a station where retired CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer had worked). KFJZ was a 5,000 watt station day and night but had different signal patterns required by their license to protect others on that frequency, especially at night.

In addition, Top 40 stations had regularly scheduled newscasts at specific times of the day and night. McLendon was known for starting his “20/20” news on KLIF (meaning 20 minutes after the hour and 20 minutes before the hour). In addition, the FCC used to require stations to report on how much news they planned to air during their license terms which back then were every three years. So when a DJ was getting ready to air the news, he or she had to pick a song that they could join in progress or leave in progress in order to hit the news on time (and that also included hitting a national radio network newscast on time as well).

One of those songs used for this purpose (other than just playing it normally) was performed by a group from Memphis called The Bar-Kays. Members included Jimmy King, Ronnie Caldwell, Phalan Jones, Ben Cauley, James Alexander, and Carl Cunningham. Unfortunately, the group was on the same plane that killed Otis Redding in 1967 and claimed all the lives of The Bar-Kays except for Alexander (who did not board the plane) and Cauley (who survived the crash). While the group reformed later, the original group had only one hit but it was a good one.

“Soul Finger,” written by all members of the group, was released April 14, 1967 on the Volt record label. The song was a hit in the U.S., peaking at #3 on the Billboard R&B chart and #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also featured in the 1985 Warner Brothers movie “Spies Like Us” with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd. Running time is 2:20.

Turn this one up loud!!

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