Cancer Fundraiser for Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street
For the remainder of March, 100% of profits made from the sale of Beaker Street apparel will be donated to the family of Dale Seidenschwarz (Clyde Clifford) to help out with expenses in his fight against cancer.
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Kids today don’t know what it was like to sit by the radio and wait for their favorite song to come on so they could push record on the cassette tape player. And nobody played better jams than Clyde Clifford on KAAY’s Beaker Street.
Dale Seidenschwarz, aka Clyde Clifford was a late night DJ and a pioneer of underground music at a time when culture and music was changing. He created Beaker Street in Little Rock, Arkansas on a 50,000 watt AM radio station in 1966. I can still hear a record fading out, some strange background noises and then in comes the easygoing voice of Mr. Clifford speaking over some eerie sounding background music.
I later found out that those strange sound effects in the background were Clyde masking the sound of a nearby transmitter. You could hear it because Clyde decided he would run his show from the tower sight in Wrightsville rather than the radio station in Little Rock. Clifford claimed that was his claim to fame.
“I was a disc jockey who had a first class radiotelephone license and from midnight to about 6 a.m. I was the entire thing. I was the disc jockey, the newsman, the transmitter engineer – and for a 50,000 watt radio station with a directional array you have to have a first class licensee operate the transmitter – and there I was.”
When Clifford quit the show in the 1970’s to pursue another job, listeners were devastated. Until the 1980s when he brought the show back until it was cancelled in 2011 for good.
The best part of the show was that Clyde played a lot of songs directly from original vinyl albums, and you didn’t hear a lot of the same songs twice. He just picked songs out on the fly going off of what kind of mood he was in that day and let each song play off the next one. On a typical night you may hear hard rock, jazz, blues, and even west coast music that you couldn’t really hear anywhere else if you lived in a small town. You may hear an artist on Beaker Street that may have not been able to get airplay on any of the more mainstream stations.
His radio show stretched from Arkansas to Central and South America, the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico and Canada — and it was rumored that it stretched all the way to soldiers fighting in Vietnam. KAAY also broadcast programming to the Cuban people during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Today, we just want to honor Dale Seidenschwarz. We recently found out that he has cancer. So in honor of this local legend, we are giving 100% of our profits from Beaker Street products to his family that we make in the month of March.
Buy a Beaker Street shirt or hat and help a family! And to honor Beaker Street and Clyde Clifford, we have a brand new Beaker Street shirt! Actually, this is not a new Beaker Street tee but it is the first time we have printed it. You can also get the classic Beaker Street shirt on white or a heather grey tee or our new Black or Heather Gray Beaker Street Hats. See all the Beaker Street products here:
Did you say new Beaker Street shirt?!?!
Why yes we did!
Lori Lemley, a friend of Dale’s family, created this shirt years ago and we are printing it for the public!
See the tee HERE
Lori Lemley, the creator of the new shirt design, remembers the first time she met Clyde Clifford: “While a student at UCA in the late 1980's and early '90's, my friends and I rarely missed listening to Beaker Street on Sunday nights. The music reminded me of early childhood with my young parents in the early '70's. When Magic 105 held a T-shirt design contest for the show, friends encouraged me to enter. I was completely stunned to find out I'd won and would actually get to -meet- Clyde Clifford, while joining him on-air for a Beaker Street show! During that show, Clyde was so very calm and kind; I was a nervous wreck, prattling on about the design being a tribute to those of us who were born just a little too late to enjoy much of the music of that time in person, but who loved it all the same.
The coolest thing about that evening, though, was that Clyde told me about a volunteer opportunity for an animation project at UAMS. I offered assistance to the two animators there, who taught me how to clean and color the animation cells. Soon I was 'tweening and drawing short sequences, and that summer they hired me on. That job led to others in graphic design and illustration, and I now owe a 30-years-and-counting career doing what I love to Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street!” -Lori Lemley
Clyde Clifford on the air at KAAY in the 1960s. Photo: KAAY1090.blogspot.com.
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