Mitch McCracken

Biographies & Memoirs

Author Profile

Mitch  McCracken

Mitch McCracken has spent most of his adult life as a Disc Jockey on album rock stations. Before his radio career, he was the class clown. He still thinks he’s funny but admits he has no class. McCracken’s first job in radio was at the third station to go rock on FM, WMC FM in Memphis. When DJs played what they wanted to play and said what they wanted to say. Much different from the radio of today. Radio was fun then, especially if you have a dream job, working for the Father of Rock and Roll, Sam Phillips, at his station in Florence, Ala, WQLT. Working for Estelle Axton, the “AX” of Stax Records, was another high point of his career. McCracken accepted the position of National Promotion Director of her new label, Fretone Records. Mitch took their first record right up the charts, and “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees was named the Peoples Choice Award Winner of 1977. Mitch is known among his friends and family for his storytelling. His writing style makes you think he is sitting right there with you telling his story, like his 1974 interview with Jim Morrison, who died in Paris in 1971.

Books

Radio Daze 1970-1976

Biographies & Memoirs

I'm not sure how this happened, I was never inspired to write a book, but I sure do enjoy telling stories. So I wrote a few of them down. My first radio job was at the third FM station in the country to switch to a rock format. I'm going to tell you about my 1974 interview with The Doors Jim Morrison. Who died in Paris in 1971. Or my vacation on the road with Skynyrd. One of the most challenging things about writing this book was reliving the story of how a serial rapist trapped, beat, and raped my girlfriend. You will read about what happened to her, how she dealt with it, and how it affected her life and mine. I also detail how my magazine, Radio Magazine, was embezzled by Stax Records and Union Planters Bank, how I helped the Attorney General at the time, Hugh Stanton, in his investigation into the bank and one of its officials. Radio Daze takes a lighthearted look at some serious issues. It also gives you an inside look at the other side of the radio microphone and what it was like to be a disc jockey in the seventies. Radio was fun then. The DJs got free albums, concert tickets, movies, and meals, much different from today's radio.

Book Bubbles from Radio Daze 1970-1976

Gary Guthrie, the new "Head of Household"

I'd like to introduce you to my old boss, who was also my best friend. We had a great time working together, and learning together. It was a great time to be in radio. Radio was fun then, and we were trying a lot of new things. This was before radio allowed the corporate "shirts" to take over. The shirts took our records and gave us a hard time, uh drive. DJ's went from picking out what they wanted to play to being told what to play and what to say. Tom Petty nailed it.

Sam Phillips

I had the extreme pleasure of working for the grandfather of rock and roll, Sam Phillips, at his hometown radio station, WQLT-FM, in Florence, Alabama. This Bubble is about how I met him.

Trying to prevent the inevitable

I was stuck at the radio station, on the air, sounding so cheerful when I was anything but. I was so worried about Pat. As it turns out, I should have been. What I was worried about, what I wouldn't dare think of, was about to be realized. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comment section to the right.

The Calm Before the Storm

Pat, the woman I lived with, was finally weaning herself off heroin. But there is danger straight ahead. This is how Chapter 8: Welcome to My Nightmare ends.

To all the women I have loved before

...and after. The female sex has always been my favorite. I wasn't shown a lot of love growing up. That could have been devastating for me had it not been for my female friends. They were kind and nurturing. It made a big difference when I got motherly love from my motherly friends.

The British Invasion

My mother's abuse was based on one simple issue, control. If we fought her, she would pull out all the stops, it was game on. I must admit I fanned the flames a bit. Here is one example. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

I See Radio in Your Future

Mr. Hester, my high school drama teacher, recommended that I pursue a career in broadcasting. Mr. Hester was beaming with pride when later that year for one of his class projects, I went after the number one disc jockey in town, George Klein. He was also one of Elvis' best friends. George, or GK as Elvis called him, agreed to do the interview and we became friends until his death on February 5, 2019. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

Tom Petty two years before you heard of him

In 1975 I met Tom Petty at a Boz Scaggs show he was playing with his original band, Mudcrutch. Melissa Manchester had just released "Midnight Blue," she was also on the bill and I interviewed her for the show. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

A Free Man in Paris

What a night that was. A friend who was doing promotion for one of the major labels invited me to go to Little Rock to a concert. Target, a Memphis group, was opening for one of his acts. If you know the meaning behind Joni Mitchell's "A Free Man in Paris", you'll get the connection. If you don't, Google it. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

The Grandfather of Rock and Roll

Early in my radio career I went to work at WQLT in Florence, Alabama. Upon my arrival, I was surprised to learn it was owned by no other than the Grandfather of Rock and Roll, Sam Phillips. I kept an eye out for him and then, it happened. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

A Beatle's Dad

When I was working at FM100, Jon Scott interviewed Don Nix and George Harrison's father, Harry Harrison. Harry shared some rock and roll history with us. That's not Eric Clapton playing on The Concert For Bangladesh. George Harrison had to overdub his work. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

That is NOT Jim Morrison

The owner and General Manager of WRNO, Joe Costello, was a bit naïve when it came to rock stars. Case in point, he wanted me to interview Jim Morrison in 1974. The problem being, Mr. Morrison passed in 1971 as one of the founding members of the "27" Club along with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The other members of the Doors knew there was an imposter, but they didn't know who he was. This chapter tells how I found out. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

Would you call this abuse?

Not all mothers are loving and nurturing. Mine wasn't. Mother's Day was always hard for me. Everyone else is talking about what a great mom they have. I was just quiet, because I didn't have those warm and cuddling moments with my mother. This is one of my Hallmark moments growing up with Maleficent. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments in the comments section to the right.

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