Rock Radio Scrapbook asked Ron Jacobs a few questions about the Cruisin' series, and he was kind enough to provide these informative answers (from his own "failing memory", as he describes it:)


Rock Radio Scrapbook: Were those records produced 'live to tape' or did the DJs record their tracks separately with the music and jingles added later?

Ron Jacobs: The DJs recorded their tracks separately, in advance, with the music and jingle rundown established so the lead ins and outros would be clean.  I guided them through, for element to element,  telling them what they were coming out of and where they were going.  I had to keep a lot of what we were going for in notes and in my head.

You can do that with the great pros those guys were.  Everything else was added later at Watermark, where we had one of the first 4-tracks in L.A. used for non-musical production.

At least half the people thought the things were airchecks,  ironically,  so they were not given credit for being pretty good production work considering how primitive the gear was at the time.  The engineer who helped me assemble them, Bill Hergonson, was terrific.

Rock Radio Scrapbook: Were the DJ tracks recorded in a central location (such as L.A.) or at a variety of locations around the U.S. (in other words did you go to the deejays or did the deejays go to you.)

Ron Jacobs: Both.  First, we did no taping for six months.  It took a while to determine which deejays in which markets because of all kinds of conflicts (guys had moved, station ownership and management had changed, etc.) and because I knew nothing about radio east of San Bernardino.  The late Bill Gavin was most helpful in advising who to select.  Ellen Pelissero (with whom I've collaborated on many projects -- she writes about her involvement on the "History of Rock & Roll" in my new book KHJ: Inside Boss Radio) went through every "Vox Jox" column in BILLBOARD to tabulate deejay mentions as one component of judging popularity.  This before computers to either search for data or tabulate same.  Also, every voice on every commercial had to be located in order to be paid and permission had to be received from every sponsor to use the commercials. It strikes me as typical that 99% of the people in radio have no idea what went into this series -- mostly because how seamless it came out, and because they don't read liner notes.

Rock Radio Scrapbook: Why is the music on the CD versions in some cases different from the LP versions?

Ron Jacobs: The company who distributed the original series, GRT, went under and its assets were sold off.  A music biz butcher with no concern for esthetics or the TLC that went into the albums merely dumped in records that he could clear wherever he was unable to re- license (or didn't wish to pay a higher price for) an original song.  When I found this out I told him to take my name of all his product or I would sue him for damage to my professional reputation.

Rock Radio Scrapbook: Are any more Cruisin' records planned?

Ron Jacobs: Highly doubtful.  The costs to clear songs have skyrocketed and no one is into paying for quality any longer.