WKLO Toys for Tots
WKLO's Toys for Tots Lineup
1962: Unknown [Contact
John Quincy if you have more information.]
1963: Unknown [Contact
John Quincy if you have more information.]
1964: Archie Campbell, Dale
Ward, Dickey Lee, Hank Cochran, Monarchs
Billy Joe Royal on stage with
Wayne Young and Soul, Inc. at the 1965 WKLO Toys For Tots show
1965: Bill Carlisle, Billy
Joe Royal, Chateaus, Dickey Lee, Ian Whitcomb, Lonnie Mack, Tex
1966: Billy Joe Royal,
Brenda Lee & The Casuals, Ronnie & the Daytonas, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs,
Sandy Posey, Two of Clubs, The Shametts, Dale Wright & The
Wright Guys, The Exiles, The Oxfords, The Indigos, The Nightowls,
Soul, Inc., The Mystics, Kenny & The Accents, The Lynchment
1967: American Breed, Betti
Webb, Bobby Goldsboro, Bobby Wood, Buckinghams, Embers, John
Fred & the Playboy Band, Lemon Pipers, Oxfords, Parliaments,
Premieres, Robbs, Royal Guardsmen, Soul, Inc., We the People
1968: 1910 Fruitgum
Company, Bobby Russell, Classics IV, Elysian Field, Fanatics,
Gene Pitney, John South & the Believers, Kenny & the Accent
Review, New Colony Six, New Company Front, Professor Morrison's
Lollipop, Robert Knight, Saturday Morning Cartoon Show, Shadows
of Knight, Soul, Inc.
1969: [Complete lineup
John Quincy if you have more information.] April 2011
Update: Denny Allen writes: "One of the groups that was on
the program for the 1969 Toys for Tots show was the Spiral
Starecase –- which at the time had a big hit song called 'More
Today Than Yesterday'. (I believe that was the correct title). I
was one of the local horn players brought in to back them up
that day. I also think that the group that had out 'Green
Tambourine' may have been on the show that year as well. I
backed up Andy Kim the following year in 1970. Those shows were
a blast with the thousands of kids that attended."
December 2011 Update: Steven Lee Cook writes: "I was at the
1969 Toys for Tots Show. Spiral Starecase was the headliner with
'More Today Than Yesterday' and their latest 'She's Ready'. The
Lemon Pipers were there with 'Green Tambourine' -- but the
group that got a thunderous ovation was a band called New Hope;
their set-ending 'Won't Find Better Than Me' was incredibly
good." July 16, 2015 Update: Byron Rohrig writes
"I know that two scheduled acts
were The Rugbys (Louisville band whose 'You, I' went to #13 on
Billboard that summer) and R.B. Greaves ('Take A Letter,
Maria'). I don't believe Greaves made it to the stage, however.
I was working in the newsroom [at WKLO] when his manager called
around 5:45 p.m. from Nashville, wanting to know what time
Greaves was scheduled to perform and apparently under the
impression Toys for Tots was an evening event. To the contrary,
it began at noon and ended around 7, as I recall."
1970: Andy Kim, Arthur
Conley, Brothers Pride, Damnation of Adam Blessing, Fanatics,
Mark Lindsey, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Ron Dante, S.A.G.E., Wayne
Young & Common Ground
1971: Bill Withers, The
Exiles, The Bar-Kays, John Hartford, Frijid Pink, The Parliments,
The Newcomers, Chase, The Carnations, The Oxfords, Chukkar,
Otis, Wayne Young and Company
1972: Austin Roberts,
Beverly Bremers, Brownsville Station, Carnations, Chukkar,
Crushed Velvet, Danny O'Keefe, Detroit Emeralds, Exiles,
Frederick Knight, Free Rein, Millie Jackson, Time Seekers
1973: Jim Stafford,
Stories, Newbeats, Butch Kaufman, Lynchmen, Bennett Higgins,
Raven, Dr. J. & The Interns, Bluegrass Alliance, Monkey Meeks,
Louisville, Fugitives, Robin Waggener, Fanatics, Karen Kraft
Copperfield, The Rhodes Kids, Mantis, The Hagers, Fancy, Les
1975: Harry Chapin, Spirit,
Jimmy Castor Bunch, Munch, Austin Roberts, David Geddes, Arthur
Alexander, Wild Honey, Midnight Special, Mantas, Copperfield,
Free Fall, Karen Kraft & The Young Kentuckians, Crushed Velvet
Louisville record collector and
discographer Leonard Yates writes: "I have a very good
friend who went to many of the shows circa '62-'64 and then from
around '67-mid '70s and he tells me the first couple of shows
were more like dances with local bands held in the side rooms
off the West or East Wings of the Fairgrounds. Even the '64 show
may have been more of a dance then it eventually moved to
perhaps one of the wings and eventually to Freedom Hall and
became a concert event with the two shows, advance tickets etc.
before declining along with Top 40 radio in the mid '70's." [Contact
John Quincy if you have more information.]
Courier-Journal Article -
December 13, 1965
Police Called In Teenager
Toys-For-Tots Causes Stir
Police were called to Freedom Hall
yesterday when a crush developed among thousands of teenagers attending
the fourth annual Toys for Tots show.
Four squad cars responded to a report that six youngsters had been hurt
in the scramble.
Reserves struggle to hold back a crowd of screaming youngsters at
the Toys for Tots show and dance yesterday afternoon at
Louisville's Freedom Hall. The show, attended by an estimated
40,000 persons, was stopped for 25 minutes before order was
restored. One girl was taken to a hospital.
Five of these returned to show after
short rests, while the other, Julie Wimberley, 15, of 1108 Garden Row,
was admitted to St. Anthony Hospital. She suffered an abdominal muscle
injury and was reported in satisfactory condition last night.
Sgt. Claude Reno of the Fire Prevention Bureau estimated that
30,000 to 32,000 persons were inside Freedom Hall at the time of
the disturbance, and most seemed to want to get as close to the
stage as possible
The Indigos sing to
a packed house of teenagers at Louisville's Freedom Hall. The
crush in front of the stage yesterday became so bad at one point
that the show was stopped for 25 minutes and police were
called.One girl was hospitalized after being hurt in the pushing.
Trouble At Minimum
The show was stopped shortly after 3 p.m., about three hours after it
The 125 Marines on hand moved some of the crowd up into the stands. The
curtains around the stage were taken down and the seats behind it were
opened to the crowd.
Sgt. Reno said, "considering the size of the crowd and the activity, we
had the minimum amount of trouble that could be expected."
Activity there was plenty of.
More than 20,000 toys were collected for Louisville-area underprivileged
children as people dance, jumped and frugged to the music Billy Joe
Royal, Ian Whitcomb and others.
When the music started the whole floor of Freedom Hall began to jump,
and the young people in the highest levels resembled animated puppets
jerked by a least three unseen hands.
This is the fourth year that Toys for Tots has been sponsored by radio
station WKLO and the 47th Rifle Company of the Marine Corps Reserves.
Admission was a toy, and 16 truckloads of them were carried away by the
|Teenaged girls were more
impressed by the show than by men in uniform at the Toys for Tots
show. The Marines were there to keep the crowd under control.
In addition, many toys were collected
earlier as people exchanged toys for tickets. For those who had neither
tickets nor toys, toys were on sale at the door.
The performers donated their time. They were not unrewarded, however, as
the governor's wife, Mrs. Edward T. Breathitt, conferred on all of them
the title of Kentucky colonel.
Among the performers were Dickie Lee, Tex Williams, Lonnie Mack and
Little Joe Williams, Bill Carlisle, the Indigos, the Rugbys and the
Courier-Journal Article -
December 11, 1967
1967 Toys for Tots WKLO Promo
Donate Toys for Needy
Teems Shriek and
Bop, Play Santa for the Tots
By Paul M. Branzburg
Courier-Journal Staff Writer
An exhausted drummer wearing red pants,
a blue jacket, an orange shirt and a Technicolor tie pounded his drums
savagely as sweat dripped off the end of his nose.
Seconds later, a self-satisfied grin came to the face of a hoarsely
screaming, wildly strumming rock 'n' roll singer as the teeny-boppers in
the audience shrieked ecstatically.
And outside Freedom Hall, a lovely 14-year-old girl explained her reason
for her presence: "I have a younger sister who is mentally retarded and
so I want to help other little kids."
30,000 Jam Freedom Hall
The event, of course, was the annual Toys for Tots show yesterday
afternoon at the Kentucky Fairgrounds in Louisville. The 42nd Rifle
Company of the Marine Corps Reserve and Louisville radio station WKLO
sponsored a six-hour show of popular music that packed an estimated
30,000 teenagers into Freedom Hall.
Admission price: One toy for needy children.
The toys will be distributed December 16, 18 and 19, when some 2,500
needy parents whose names are on file with the Community Christmas
Committee go to the old drugstore area of the Heyburn Building, 332 West
Broadway, to choose their children's presents.
|'Baby, Baby, Baby' crooned the
singers at the Toys for Tots show yesterday, drawing screams and
sighs from the lips of thousands of Louisville girls. Here The
American Breed, a group from Chicago, rocked Freedom Hall with
four strong voices backed up by six enormous speakers.
A Wild and Gay Scene
The scene at Freedom Hall was wild and gay. Young girls almost swooned
when they saw their idols from singing groups such as The Buckinghams
(Chicago), We The People (Orlando, Fla.) and The American Breed
(Chicago). And Marine guards were hard put trying to keep out the more
than 2,000 who showed up after the hall was filled to capacity.
Everyone carried away his own impression.
Perhaps it was Santa Claus doing a spirited dance with two young girls
behind the stage.
Or it may have been two pretty young things with adoration in their eyes
talking to a jaded sideburned singer who was clearly bored with his
A few may have noticed a shy girl of about 16 who ventured a timid wave
at one of the Buckinghams. Miraculously, the singer noticed her gesture,
and without missing a word or a stroke on his guitar, he smiled back at
her. There was great pleasure in her eyes and she breathed a deep happy
Dozens must have seen a young girl arise in the audience and practice
her impressive repertoire of shrieks, screams and sighs.
A treasure trove
of toys was loaded into trucks yesterday by Marines at Freedom
Hall. Some 30 student nurses from six Louisville schools handed
out admission tickets in return for the toys.
But while Freedom Hall rocked to words
such as "Baby, baby, they're playing our song" or "There is no girl in
the whole world who…", there were quiet moments of drama taking place
among the 2,000 waiting out in the drizzle to get in.
Bill Blankenship and Cecil Bradshaw, both 17 and both of the Kentucky
Children's Home, held their toy gifts and explained why they had come.
"Most of these kids have got a feeling for other kids," Bill said. "I
think they understand how some kids feel. Kids need something for
Christmas other than an old piece of candy."
Cecil put it this way: "I want to bring a toy to help other kids. I'm in
a home myself. I like to help other people because other people help
And Carolyn Robards, 13, of 101 Woodmore Avenue, said: "I feel that I
want to give things to people who can't afford them because I'm kind of
The cynics may snicker, but amid the blaring of the bands, the gyrations
of teenage go-go girls and the cool eyes of a trombone player, there was
something called the spirit of Christmas.
December 23, 1967
The Sixth Annual Toys for Tots Show,
sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve and WKLO Radio, Louisville,
attracted an estimated 20,000 to Louisville's Freedom Hall Sunday, Dec.
10, according to Mitch Michael (Terrell L. Metheny), WKLO
program director. Some 15,000 people were on hand when the entertainment
began at 12 noon Sunday. By 2 p.m., 2,000 people had been turned away,
Mitch reports. The talent line-up included the Decades, the
Premieres, the Parliaments, Beti Webb, the Oxfords,
the Lemon Pipers, the American Breed, Bobby Wood,
We the People, the Royal Guardsmen, the Show-Offs,
Bobby Goldsboro, John Fred and the Playboy Band, the
Buckinghams, the Robbs; Soul, Inc., and the Embers.
All donated their services. The toy count was expected to hit
28,000 with all to be distributed to 10,000 underprivileged
children in the Louisville area
The 1968 WKLO Toys for Tots Lineup
Post-1968 Toys for Tots Promo WKLO Piece
1970 WKLO Memo to Toys for
Toys for Tots Act CTW Memo
1970 Toys for Tots WKLO
WELCOME TO LOUISVILLE,
AND TOYS FOR TOTS.
The show is held in Freedom
Hall (across from the Inn), the house will be in excess of
30,000 people. Admission to the show is a new toy for a needy
child. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve collects the toys and
distributes them to the children. There is no money that
exchanges hands other than the rental for the hall and hotel
charges, which are both picked up by WKLO.
The management of Executive Inn gives us a 20% discount on all
rooms as their contribution to Toys for Tots. They will also
make every effort to see that you are satisfied with your
accommodations. The tab for food and rooms is taken care of by
the radio station - long distance phone calls and bar tabs are
The day of the show: There will be two WKLO
representatives at the Inn from 10:00 AM til 6:00 PM. They are
responsible for answering any questions you have and for
informing you of the transport arrangements to Freedom Hall in
time for your appearance. They are: Chris Hubbs and Bill Welch.
They can be reached by calling the front desk.
Backstage: The WKLO disc jockeys will be wearing elf
emblems on the backs of their coats. When have a need, grab an
Freedom Hall and sound: Since it is one of the two
largest indoor arenas in the world, it poses some unique sound
problems. The man in charge of the house equipment is Marvin
Maxwell, a pro who knows the hall and equipment. The bass amps
will total 2,000 watts; the P.A. amps will total 3,000 watts of
power. All will be run through the finest Acoustic, Altec, and
Shure equipment and will be balanced and mixed by Shure sound
engineers from the home office. There will be 12 new Shure
studio mics ($470.00 each) on stage connected to 12,300 watt
power amps and run through 50 Shure columns and 6 Altec columns.
Lead guitars run through stacks of 3 or 4 Acoustic stage amps
all connected in phase in a series.
If you need anything else, it's probably there - just grab an
Thank you for making it possible.
1970 Toys for Tots Act and MC Schedule
1970 Toys for Tots Stage Diagram
Courier-Journal Article -
December 14, 1970
30,000 swoop into Toys
for Tots show
By Brian Woolley
Courier-Journal Staff Writer
Minied, midied, maxied,
stars-and-striped, long-fringed, high booted, tie-died, flop-hatted,
denim-jacketed, the adolescent hoard swooped into Freedom Hall
like unto Gengis Khan of old, each clutching his yo-yo, his
teddy bear, his plastic gun, his rubber duck.
They came until the cavernous hall could contain no more. Those
the firemen locked out banged on doors, broke two of them, sent
two large plate-glass panes crashing from a box office window,
hurled soft-drink bottles against the brick wall.
There were 30,000 of them, a Fairgrounds official said. A few
destroyed. A few were arrested. Nearly all of them got in
eventually, and nearly all were orderly - sitting transfixed by
the orgy of sound or wandering singly, or in small packs,
"Where you going, Man?"
"Looking for somebody."
"Who you looking for?"
It was the annual WKLO "Toys for Tots" show, where by dropping a
toy for a needy child into a big cardboard box a guy could blow
his mind on more than six hours of ear-splitting rock brought
directly to his durable eardrums by the switched-on instruments
and super-heavy-duty amplifiers of a small army of young and
remarkably sturdy musicians.
30,000 strong came to Freedom Hall for yesterday's
Toys for Tots rock show
Andy Kim, Mark Lindsay, Paul
Revere and the Raiders, Arthur Conley, the Damnation of Adam
Blessing, Sage, The Gentrys, Ron Dante, Brother's Pride and
Wayne Young and the Common Ground all sent their decibels
shrieking, crashing and soaring through the multitude, their
songs and plugs for latest albums preceded and followed by that
peculiar language that all deejays and absolutely no one else
"Here they are, The Triple-A state champs from Butler High,
Let's hear I for 'em right now! How about that! And now we're
going to present that crystal ball! Here it is, fellas! Nice
Some had waited outside, in the cold, in the snow flurries, on
the sidewalks and brown winter grass, since 8 a.m. When the
doors finally swung open at 10:30, they were ready to go in. Two
members of the 29-man Local Special Police detail were knocked
down. One of them was Ford Fletcher, an eight-year veteran of
Freedom Hall crowds.
"They shoved right through and tromped me, and when I got up,
I didn't have my wrist watch or my badge. It's the worst I've
But most were orderly. The only real trouble came when the hall
was full and the doors swung closed. Several hundred fans were
stranded outside, clutching their toys, shouting angrily at the
policemen and Marines who tried to reason with them through the
The fans in the rear pushed. Those in front pounded on the
doors. Glass crashed and tinkled. The metal bottom panel of a
door gave way and skittered across the concourse floor. Police
rushed to the doors, yanked the supposed culprits though,
strong-armed them to a small jail inside the police office,
frisked them, locked them up.
|New toys overflow
a huge box at Freedom Hall, donated by the 30,000
who attended the WKLO Toys for Tots show yesterday.
"When you gonna learn
"Why'd you do that?"
"I wanted in."
"What have you been drinking?
Six were arrested, including three 16-year-olds on charges of
public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
City police arrested Harold L. Stillwell, 20, of Charlestown,
Ind., and charged him with disorderly conduct. Special police
arrested Joseph H. Rademaker III, 18, of the 6800 block of
Bethany Lane, who was charged with disorderly conduct and
malicious throwing of a deadly missile, and James A. Calvert,
18, of the 1900 block of Dixie Garden Drive, who was charged
with disorderly conduct and destroying private property.
Shortly after the arrests were made about 1 p.m., a city police
paddy wagon arrived, and the crowd retreated from the door.
Louisville radio stations urged rock fans who hadn't yet arrived
at Freedom Hall to stay away.
All seven of the city's seven fire inspectors patrolled the
crowded building - a job usually done by one or two men during a
basketball game, said Capt. John Robinette.
"They're basically pretty orderly, but the place just won't
hold over about 20,000. They're wandering around, and as some
wander out, we let some more filter in. At one time during the
day, we had about 10,000 outside. I don't know if they're all
still out there or not."
|They filled the
hall, the hallways and the aisles at the Toys for
Tots show. Listening, intently, are David Turner,
his chin on his arms, and John McDonald, with arms
folded. Some were not able to get in the hall.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves,
sponsoring the Louisville "Toys for Tots" campaign for the 23rd
year, loaded and hauled away truckload after truckload of new
playthings throughout the afternoon and a WKLO disc jockey
praised the teen-agers' donations as "the best ever."
Up front, near the bandstand at the north end of the hall, the
soles of the listeners' feet, their fingertips, their stomachs
vibrated with the grinding beat of the drums and electric
basses. Trumpets blasting directly into microphones screamed
into both ears and the sound traveled to the center of the head,
where whatever tune there was disintegrated and crashed like a
ton of cymbals dropped on concrete.
Pretty girls tried repeatedly to talk an aging and cynical
reporter out of the "Backstage Pass" button pinned to his drab,
"Hey, are you boss here?"
"Do you know the Brother's Pride? I gotta get back there and see
"You know Johnny Lightning?"
"You know anybody?"
"Can I borrow your button for a minute?"
A young Marine, guarding an entrance near the bandstand, turned
a glazed, wordless, uncomprehending stare toward one who asked
how long he had been there.
"Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the muuuuusiiiiik! Celebrate!
Celebrate! Dance to the muuuuusiiiiik!"
Catp. V.L. Conrad, in charge of the Local Special Police detail,
found nothing to celebrate in his day. He and his men had
donated their time and had been on their feet for a long time
and would be for a long time more. If his tailor-made pants got
torn, he would be out $28. If he lost his hat, $29. Jacket, $26.
Belt and gun $200.
"You call that civilized? What makes them act like that? It's
just plain luck that we haven't had any big trouble. I tell you,
when my commission expires this time, I'm gonna rack it up. Not
going anywhere there's a crowd of more than three people. Just
wish I was old enough to get Social Security, that's all."
At 4:30, more people began leaving than arriving. By 6, the
die-hards were dancing on the seats. Parents were searching for
their young. At 6:15, all went. And among them somewhere was
Sandy Vross, 17, of Westport High.
"I've been here all day. I've been having a ball, meeting
lots of people. Really cool. I never get tired of it."
Louisville Times Article -
December 14, 1970
|A capacity crowd
of 30,000 people filled the seats and aisles at
Freedom Hall during yesterday's Toys for Tots rock
bash. Thousands more were unable to gain entrance to
Freedom Hall Packed
Youths Miss Rock Show,
Still Give 'Toys for Tots'
Hundreds of long-haired,
rock-music-loving teen-agers have proved that they still believe
at least one adage - the one about giving being better than
Many youths who were unable to get into the WKLO-sponsored "Toys
for Tots" show at the Fairgrounds yesterday took their admission
price - one toy each for a needy child - to the station or to
police or fire stations around town.
Police estimated that at one time during the day some 10,000
rock fans were left outside Freedom Hall while 30,000 luckier
ones whistled and shrieked along with the super-amplified live
Some of those left out got into the hall eventually, as other
youths filtered out during the day. A few of the disappointed
ones made trouble. Two glass doors were broken, two plate-glass
panes were knocked out of a ticket booth and six youths were
'Minor in Comparison'
But Carl Truman Wiglesworth, WKLO disc jockey, discounted the
trouble as "minor in comparison with the size of that crowd."
Some of the fans had waited in temperatures in the 30s since 8
a.m. for the doors to open at 10:30. It was 4:30 p.m. before the
crowd began to thin.
All day, they listened to the near-deafening roar from Andy Kim,
Mark Lindsey, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Arthur Conley, the
Damnation of Adam Blessing, Sage, The Gentrys, Ron Dante,
Brother's Pride and Wayne Young and the Common Ground.
While the music blasted away, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve,
which has sponsored the "Toys for Tots' campaign for 23 years,
carted away truckloads of dolls, stuffed animals, toy trucks and
Wiglesworth said the Marines will spend the next two or three
days counting the toys. Then they'll be placed in nine
neighborhood distribution centers, set up by the Kentucky
Department of Economic Security, where families can pick up
their allotment of toys.
Next Year to Be Discussed
While this year's toys are being distributed, the staff of WKLO
and other sponsors will be meeting to talk about next year's
"We'll have to talk about some way of dealing with the crowd,"
said Wiglesworth. "We've talked about shortening the show, but I
don't think that would help."
He said the station will pay for the damage to the Fairgrounds
auditorium and considers it "a small loss".
Those arrested were Harold L. Stillwell, 20, of Charlestown,
Ind., who was charged with disorderly conduct; Joseph H.
Rademaker III, 18, of the 6300 block of Bethany Lane who was
charged with disorderly conduct and malicious throwing of a
deadly missile; and James A. Calvert, 18, of the 1900 block of
Dixie Garden Drive, charged with disorderly conduct and
destroying private property.
Three 16-year-olds were arrested on charges of public
drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
1971 WKLO Toys for Tots Ticket
Courier-Journal Article -
December 13, 1971
|Lines backed up to
the parking lot outside Freedom Hall yesterday for
those waiting to get into the Toys for Tots
afternoon show. The crowd began to arrive well
before 10 a.m. for yesterday morning's 11 o'clock
show. A total of almost 35,000 persons came to the
shows. The price of a ticket was a toy to be given
to an underprivileged child.
Thanks Lots, Tots
Toys they gathered for
the little kids
let the big kids rock at Freedom Hall
By Bill Peterson
Courier-Journal Staff Writer
They started before 10 a.m. and
continued in an unending stream until late afternoon, almost
35,000 altogether, wearing the colors and uniforms of you - skin
tight body shirts, baggy Army fatigue jackets, hotpants, denim
bell bottoms, letterman jackets, floppy hats, acne and heavy
They swooped in the barn-like hall for the two shows, promenaded
through its ailes and sat transfixed in its seats, drawn to an
orgy of sound and sweat by some mysterious Pied Piper.
The promoters said everyone in the audience wanted to play Santa
Claus to underprivileged children. But that was only a small
part of it, a convenient explanation for the popularity of the
10th annual WKLO Radio "Toys for Tots" show at Freedom Hall
What was the attraction then? There were many.
"My girl isn't too excited all this," said a bored father in a
suit as we waited outside the hall for his daughter. "We live
out the country. There's nothing, I mean nothing, for a
teen-ager to do out there.
"I just dig the sounds," commented a young Marine, his
leatherneck swaying to the driving hard rock beat of a group
called the Frijid Pink.
Spotlights zero in on entertainers at the Toys for
Tots benefit show at Freedom Hall in Louisville.
"It's all the groups, we came
to see the groups," said Darlene Jeremiah, a 17-year-old wearing
her most with-it faded denim bellbottoms and a poorboy sweater.
The "groups" included some of the hottest performers on the Top
40 circuit - names largely unknown to the post-teen set but
almost bywords for anyone who happens to be 15 years old and
spends four hours a day plugged into a transistor radio.
There was Bill Withers, from Slab Fork, W. Va., who sang "Ain't
No Sushine"…The Exiles, a Kentucky group, who did a thing called
"Got to be All Right"…the Bar-Kays, who recorded "Son of Shaft"
and "Soul Finger"…John Hartford, who has appeared on network
television with Glen Campbell…Frijid Pink, five guys who dress
in varying shades of pink and purple…the Parliments…the
Newcomers, a group best know for a song called "Pin the Tail on
the Donkey"…Chase, a brassy group that recorded "Get It On." And
a bevy of local artists - the Carnations, Oxfords, Chukkar,
Wayne Young and Company and Otis.
Each group sent its sounds - amplified a hundred decibels of
thousands of dollars worth of electronic gear - shrieking,
shouting, bombasting and echoing through the hall to thousands
of teen-agers, who had purchased a ticket for the event by
donating a toy for distribution to underprivileged children.
There was almost eight hours of ear-splitting music altogether,
interrupted by a procession of WKLO deejays who introduced one
"super-super group" after another in their own version of radio
"We've got one more big super-super group coming up" a deejay
would say. "But first, here's our thanks to all of you who made
this possible with..."
Louisville Times Article -
December 13, 1971
Toys Are the
35,000 attend Freedom
Hall shows to benefit tots
By Judy Rosenfield
Louisville Times Staff Writer
It was 9:30 a.m., an hour and a
half before the Toys for Tots show was scheduled to begin - and
there were hundreds waiting.
There was Jackie Offutt, 16, who was wearing no coat in the
morning chill. His teeth were chattering as he joined the people
patchwork in front of the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center. He
was grinning. It was his fourth Toys for Tots concert.
There were Carolyn and Debbie Matten, 15, and their friend
Cheryl Freibert, 14. It was their fifth concert.
There were Cathy Lanham, 17, and four chums from Fairdale High
School who wrenched themselves from bed at 4:30 a.m. to get
there by 6.
In all, an estimated 25,000 of them showed up yesterday - in
blue jeans and overalls, in hot pants and letter jackets, and in
a good mood.
It was the WKLO Radio "Toys for Tots" show at Freedom Hall, that
combination of good deeds and good music that has drawn crowds
for the past nine years.
At last year's day-long concert, crowds climbed past the 30,000
mark. Some people couldn't get in. Soft-drink bottles were
thrown. Two plate-glass windows were broken. Six people were
So this year there were two performances, one at 11 a.m. and
another at 4 p.m. And toys, to be distributed by the Marine
Corps Reserves, who sponsor the campaign, were cashed in for
tickets before the concert at Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets,
Thom McAnn shoe stores and Chess King stores.
|Wayne Young &
Company face the spotlights and the Toys for Tots
audience. It was one of several local groups
Even so, when the doors - which
had opened at 8 and then closed temporarily - reopened at about
9:45, the great crunch of people came.
Shoves from the back of the crowd packed the front
But the kids didn't seem to mind.
Most laughed or feigned melodramatic groans. A few couples
"This is what you call togetherness," laughed Caroline Matten,
as she was scrunched through the door.
"Hey, I'm not cold anymore," said Offutt, in the midst of the
If that was part of it, mostly they were there for the music.
To clap their hands and stomp their feet and listen to Chase,
Chucker, the Oxfords, Wayne Young & Company, Frijid Pink, the
Carnations, Springwell, John Hartford, Bill Withers…and more.
helped baby-sit with Raymond George, 3,, above, at
the Toys for Tots show. The program included the hit
song "Sunshine," done by Jonathan Edwards and an
Lee Gray, WKLO disc jockey, who
has shoulder-length brown hair and was wearing blue-tinted
sunglasses, blue pants and a leather vest, kicked it off:
"EVERYbody's here. EVERYbody's ready to COOK…and if you're ready
to GET IT ON…"
Otis launched into "Honky-tonk Woman" and Marine reservists
insulated themselves against the music and the shrieking which
rocked the hall by stuffing cotton into their ears.
The Exiles sang "We Can Work It Out." Deafening applause. The
lead singer told the audience "Thank you, thank you. You're very
"That's one thing you can be sure of. When you're in Louisville,
you're playing in front of the No. 1 Crowd."
The No. 1 crowd gave their next number, "Jesus Christ
Superstar," a standing ovation.
Jonathan Edwards came on later and sent cliques of 13- and
14-year-old girls into a crescendo of shrieks and squeals.
Advice From a Colonel
There were cameo appearances by Santa Claus and by Col. Harland
Sanders, who wished "all you chicken-eaters a merry Christmas
and a happy New Year."
"Don't use up all that energy," he told the crowd. "It's got to
last you a long time."
And there were the Wandering Crowds. Not a rock group. They were
the four girls from Durrett High School in identical jackets
circling Freedom Hall over and over and over again.
There were guys chortling and elbowing each other in the ribs
while they ate hot dogs.
There were two girls in T-shirts with black lettering: "Keep
your city clean. Eat a pigeon."
There were other girls in hot pants, fringed jackets, black
tights and white boots dancing in a doorway.
There were scores of them - walking, talking, eating, all during
"It's really great. You see a lot of your friends here and meet
a lot of people," explained a girl from Southern Junior High
"But the main thing," added her friend, "is the toys for kids."
|Doris Ann Bennett,
14, of Shively, got a view of the crowd from the
shoulders of her date as she waited to get into the
Members of the Local Special
Police, who donated their time yesterday as did the rock groups
and a half-dozen plain clothes city and council policemen,
complimented the well-behaved crowds.
The only arrest was of a youth reportedly found smoking
marijuana in a men's restroom.
"We figure one in 10 kids here probably has some pot on him,"
said County Detective Verlin Flaherty, who is also in the Marine
"You can smell it in all the boys' bathrooms."
A member of the Local Special Police who was strolling the halls
came up to a reporter and announced:
"I'm gonna get me some of those…." He pressed his lips together
fiercely during a long pause before he spit out "…marijuana
"I'm not gonna bother with the smokers. But if you see me
walking along with someone with a busted head, it'll be one of
those (pause) pot pushers."
A little after 3, the first of the two performances was over.
WKLO disc jockey Chuck Brady, one of the parade of deejays who
appeared yesterday, thanked the crowd "for making this the
greatest Toys for Tots show in the world."
Some 40,000 toys were collected, but the drive organizers are
hoping to collect 50,000 by Dec. 18. Toys can be dropped off at
the Marine Corps Reserve Unit, 5401 Southside Drive.
Double-exposure photos from a WKLO Toys for Tots show
1972 WKLO Toys for Tots Lineup
1973 Toys for Tots Act and DJ