Rockin' Rochester: 1950's

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Rockin' Rochester: The 1950's:


The Rochester Royals are NBA Champions after defeating the New York Knicks in seven games.


WARC-AM 950 a a locally programmed, personality-driven popular music station, is purchased by the B. Forman regional department store chain in 1953 and changed its call letters to WBBF, the last three letters of which stood for "Buy B. Forman". The format is retained.

Northgate Plaza opens as Rochester's first Shopping Plaza on October 29th. The Cisco Kid and Pancho are on hand to sign autographs.

Rochester's second TV station, Channel 10, signs on the air on November 1st. It is a shared operation between two groups, WHEC-TV and WVET-TV 


Channel 6, WHAM-TV moves to Channel 5 as part of a New York State revision of FCC VHF station allotments.


Rochester's Subway closes.

The Rochester Community War Memorial is built.


The AHL Rochester Americans begin their inaugural season as the shared affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Amerks make it to the championship, but lose to the Cleveland Barons 4 games to 1.


WBBF-AM (950) Jocks  are as follows: Mort Nussbaum handles AM drive time. Nick Nickson is there for the ride home. Future 'Mother's In-Law' TV show star Jerry Fogel is also a DJ at the station.

"You're No Good !!" b/w "I Want To Know Where You'll Go (Then I'll Be Happy)" Mickey Evans (aka Ersel Hickey) Fine 45-4M2657 (April 1957) (both sides available on:Rebel Rockabilly Rock, Vol. 10-Jim Jam LP, Netherlands, 1996 ; A-side also available on Grand Daddy's Rockin', Vol. 5-Lenox LP (France) 1995)

"Leap Frog" b/w "Blueberry Hill" Chuck Alaimo Quartet Ken 45, January

"Leap Frog" b/w "That's My Desire" Chuck Alaimo Quartet MGM 12449, March; Debuted on Cashbox 4/13/15, peaked at #56, -3 weeks on the charts; Billboard on 4/29/57 #91  for 1 week, Music Vendor (Record World) on 5/4/57 #85 for 1 week

"You're No Good!" b/w "(I Want to Go Where You Go) Then I'll Be Happy" Mickey Evans Fine FI-4M2657, April

"Hop in My Jalop" b/w "Rockin' in G" Chuck Alaimo Quartet MGM 12508, April

"Pan American" b/w "I'm Getting Nowhere With You" Don Hess Ken K-23, June 

"Local 60-6" b/w "How I Love You" Chuck Alaimo Quartet MGM 12508, July

"Where's My Baby" b/w "Lovers Again" Chuck Alaimo Quartet MGM 12589, November

September 17th: Alan Freed's "BIGGEST SHOW OF STARS FOR 1957" comes to the War Memorial . On the bill are: Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Paul Williams, Chuck Berry, The Spaniels, Johnnie & Joe, The Bobettes, Paul Anka, The Drifters, Frankie Lymon, Lavern Baker, Everly Brothers, Jimmy Bowen, Clyde McPhatter, Sam "The Man" Taylor

"You belong to me" b/w "Will I ever find my baby?" Bernie Campbell & the 4 Ekkos Fine F10-26571 (September 1957)

"Sputnik (Satellite Girl)" b/w "Unfaithlful One" Jerry Engler & The Four Ekkos Brunswick 9-55037 (November 1957)(available on these comps: Speed 45 Rock 'N Roll(Andromeda), That'll Flat Git It, Vol. 6 (Bear Family), MCA Rockabillies, Vol. 2 (Big Tone), Decca Rare Rockabilly, Vol. 3 & Rare Rockabilly,Vol.3 (MCA),Universe Rocketin' (Orb).

Read up on Jerry at the Buddy Holly page: http://www.chez.com/gvignal/homepage.htm

"Somebody loves me" b/w "Tarrantela rock" Frank Sandy with the Mel Thomas Trio Fine F12-1571 (December 1957)


January 19th: The Everly Brothers Tour comes to the War Memorial . On the bill are: Buddy Holly & the Crickets, The Rays, Royal Teens, Shepherd Sisters, Paul Anka, Margie Rayburn, Danny & The Juniors, The Tuneweavers, Hollywood Flames, Jimmy Edwards, Billy Brown, Mello-Kings, Al Jones, Sam Donahue & His Orchestra

"Hangin' Around" b/w "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" Ersel Hickey Epic 54-9263 (February)

"Goin' Down That Road" b/w "Lovers Lane" Ersel Hickey Epic 54-9278 (July)

"Daddy, Daddy" b/w "Lover Man (Oh Where Can You be)" Joy Palmer -Belmont 45

"The Girl Can't Help It" b/w "Jelly" Steve Alaimo & Redcoats -Lifetime 6112/3

"Blue Skies" b/w "I Want You To Love Me" Steve Alaimo & Redcoats -Marlin 45

"You Never Can Tell" b/w "Wedding Day" Ersel Hickey Epic 54-9298 (November)

"Home By Eleven" b/w "I Wanna Kiss You" Steve Alaimo -Dade 1800 

"Daddy’s Little Baby" b/w "Toasted Love" Mickey & Shonnie Lane, the Bright & Early Kids-Brunswick 9-55098 (October)

October 15th: Alan Freed's "BIGGEST SHOW OF STARS FOR 1958" comes to the War Memorial . On the bill are: Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, The Olympics, Dion & The Belmonts, Bobby Freeman, The Elegants, Jimmy Clanton, The Danleers, Duane Eddy, Clyde McPhatter, Jack Scott, The Coasters, Sil Austin Orchestra, The Roses (backed Buddy & The Crickets).

"Going to the river" b/w "A cottage for sale" Jerry Jaye Fine FI -1258 (December 1958)


"Cal's tune"b/w "Playboy" Vel-Tones with the Blue Shields Coy C-101, Kapp K-268X (March)  

"You Threw A Dart" b/w "Don't Be Afraid Of Love" Ersel Hickey Epic 54-9309 (April ) 

"Linda Lee" b/w "Gotta Lotta Lovin' To Do" Carl Morelli Belmont BEF-595 (May)

"Mushroom In The Sky" b/w "Love Me Baby" Eddie Kane with The Girl Friends-Kadet 45 

"People Gotta Talk" b/w "I Can't Love Another" Ersel Hickey Epic 54-9320 (June)

"The Weekend's Over " b/w "Gils! Girls! Girls!" Steve Alaimo & the Redcoats -Marlin 6065

"She's My Baby" b/w "Should I Care" Steve Alaimo & the Redcoats -Marlin 6067 (July) 

Special thanks to:

  • Fine Recording Studio 1947-1977: http://www.finerecordingstudio.com/ 
  • "Rockin' Country Style" one of the best info sites ever! http://rcs.law.emory.edu/rcs/index.htm

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