I’m a storyteller. I always have been. This is a book of some of those stories. I write as I speak, no fifty-cent words here. I think that makes for better storytelling. I was a cut-up in high school, a class clown. So, the first part of Radio Daze is about my childhood, including how and why I decided to become a DJ. It is a memoir, after all.
If you were looking for a book about what it was like to be a radio DJ in the ‘70s, I have that, too. The radio stories start with The Last DJ.
My first radio job was at the third FM station in the country to switch to a rock format. You’re going to love the story of my 1974 interview with The Doors Jim Morrison. Morrison, by the way, died in Paris in 1971. That makes for an interesting interview. My vacation on the road with Skynyrd is another great story, as is the story of working for the Father of Rock and Roll, Sam Phillips.
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. Although radio was fun then, it was much different from today’s radio.
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.
If you don't know who Don is, you have missed the heart of Memphis music. In the mid-'60s, His friendship with Leon Russell and Carle Radle, who he met through touring. The friendship with Russell, a big producer at the time, landed Nix a position in Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars backing Gary Lewis & the Playboys, one of Leon's acts. Don learned how a session was put together, and he began a new career of engineering and producing at studios around Memphis such as Stax and Ardent. Make sure to read the other book bubbles of Radio Daze 1970-1976.
Radio Daze 1970-1976
Don’s an excellent songwriter and wrote a killer song called "Going Down" that was originally recorded by a local Memphis group called Moloch. It was later recorded by Freddie King on Shelter, and many more artists have also covered, including Jeff Beck. Don also wrote a song recorded by Albert King on his Love Joy album that Don also produced called “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven (But Nobody Wants to Die)”, That’s one of my favorite Don Nix songs; Don has had a great career; the next year, he formed the Alabama State Troupers with other notable Memphis musicians like bluesman Furry Lewis, Brenda Patterson, and Ken Woodley. Don was also a member of the Mar-Keys with his high school buddies Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn. Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns was also in the group. They had a hit with the instrumental "Last Night" on the Satellite Records label, which later became Stax.