Hosted by Westwood One News correspondents Jim Roope in L.A. and Steve Kastenbaum in New York, the program features some of the iconic pop and rock music that filled the airwaves that summer, along with extensive use of the Westwood One News archives -- including interviews with prominent pop culture figures of the time, like activist Abbie Hoffman, LSU guru Professor Timothy Leary, rock manager Bill Graham, singer Scott McKenzie; and others.
The archived audio showcased in the special was discovered on a 1987 Summer of Love 20th anniversary cassette tape unearthed during Westwood One News’ recent move to a new facility in Washington, DC. Longtime Westwood One producer George Achaves, who produced the 1987 special and is now based in Nashville, was able to track down the master reels. Westwood One News VP Kevin Delany was set to listen on a reel-to-reel machine he had salvaged but was quickly disappointed when it failed to play. He noticed it was recorded on Ampex 406 stock, which was a high quality tape in the 1980’s but also known for what’s called “sticky shed syndrome,” which clogs tape heads and guides and renders the tape unplayable without treatment.
Achaves also shared a memory about interviewing singer Scott McKenzie for the show. ”I read an interview with his mother in the Washington Post. She happened to live in an apartment building a block away from our office at the time. I looked her up in the phone book, called her out of the blue, and she put me in touch with her son, who was living in Lake Tahoe. Before she hung up, she said to me ‘If you speak with him, please tell him to call his mother once in a while.’ McKenzie gave me great stories about the Monterey Pop Festival and his hit song ‘San Francisco: Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair.’"
Westwood One News and Cumulus stations interested in the Summer of Love; Fall of Innocence 50th Anniversary special can contact Jim Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 895-2339.