Piano Red and WAOK
Do Not Forsake Me Ole My Darling…
is it “Get Along Little Doggie….”?
It is both of them! Both of those tunes are playing in my head. It is like my own personal in-house Battle of the Bands.
I heard on the news this morning that Governor Sonny Perdue made a blunder on a radio station that was having callers asked him questions. I won’t repeat it because I might misquote it and that wouldn’t be fair and I’m sure too lazy to research to the exact words.
The radio station was WAOK. WAOK was, and I suppose still is, a mostly black radio station. When I was a teenager it was owned and operated by blacks and all the announcers were black.
(harp music) I remember as a teenager when you wanted to hear some good rhythm and blues, WAOK was the station to listen to. Their DJs had more freedom than their white counterparts.
Parents disapproved of this station and would have to use a politically incorrect word to tell what they called it.
One DJ on WAOK I remember is Piano Red. He did most his announcing from a piano stool. He would play a real record and then play with his piano and maybe carry on a romance with an imaginary friend, singing a lullaby to her and getting too darn mushy about what they did last night… then, he would let out a yep, “All right!!!” and go into a commercial and then play a record, then continue his romance with whomever as he played the piano.
It was kind of like “The Country Gentleman” on TV in the 50s who had a love affair with a TV camera – only different.
Years later when Underground Atlanta opened we saw Piano Red in person playing in a bar. He was short, stocky, redheaded, and covered with freckles. I can see why he had an imaginary lover.
But he was a good blues singer. A couple years ago, while looking for something else on Amazon.Com I stumbled across Piano Reds CDs. I ordered one… it is one of the best blues CDs I have. All right now!