KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR
Back with a new look!
New York, NY
Celebrating 30 years in broadcasting live rock and roll music, King Biscuit Flower Hour gets a facelift and launches a revitalized campaign to share their immense archives with the world. Long before late night VH1 and MTV, your parents were in the back seat of Grandpas 57 Chevy rockin to King Biscuits 10 o clock rock slot. Revolutionizing the FM format, KBFH aired live concerts as a nationally syndicated radio program. The first show was broadcast February 18, 1973 with a triple bill featuring Mahavishnu Orchestra, Blood Sweat & Tears and Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band.
The King Biscuit brand is one of the most recognizable trademarks in music history. Joining retail and revamping broadcast strategies, the company began packaging their archives for mass consumption. Among the first highlights were Humble Pies May 6th, 1973 show at the Winterland Theater in San Francisco, Uriah Heeps February 8th, 1974 show in San Diego at the SD Sports Arena and Bachman Turner Overdrives March 8th, 1974 show in Chicago. The recordings showcased an extremely vital period in each of the bands career capturing their monumental energy and professional skill.
Later releases such as Pat Benatars August 1981 Austin, Texas, gig, Kansas February 14, 1989 Tower Theater Philadelphia show and April Wines November 21, 1982 Toronto show benefit from significant advances in recording technology. Over the past 12 months, King Biscuit has revisited each of the original CDs, remastering and repackaged them with stunning artwork done by graphic designer Dave Bias (which in most case is far superior to the original artwork) and have re-titled them as a Greatest Hits Live series. This new effort gives the artist-rich catalog a classic, modern feel and is complemented by painstakingly compiled liner notes. The reissues are a collectors goldmine.
As one of the most important musical archives in the world, King Biscuit has amassed more than 16, 000 tapes with hundreds of hours of live concerts from the biggest names in rock including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eric Clapton and Elton John. Their 30-year presence has caught nearly every act, ever to grace the pages of rocks annals, at their peak. They have also provided three generations of listeners a unique window into the landmark performances of these musical legends. It didnt matter where you lived, as long as you could tune into KBFH, you were there - at the show.
King Biscuit Flower Hour continues to expand each week as they broadcast the brightest talent over the radio to hundreds of stations worldwide. The hour-long radio show currently transmits its strong signal to affiliates in every major market. They are also currently adding DVD novelties to their expanding library. To own a piece of musical history, visit their web site here.
The following are bits from the liner note I wrote for two of the KBFH releases.
King Biscuit Flower Hour
Austin, TX, 1981
When her tour bus pulled into Austin, Texas in 1981 Pat Benatar was a hit-making machine. Her shows were selling out faster than her management could book them and her red-hot romance with guitarist, Neil Geraldo was steaming up the stage. It was a big year for the little girl from Brooklyn, NY. At 28, shed just earned her first Grammy for Best Album Rock Vocal Performance by a Female. The award honored her second album, Crimes Of Passion, produced by Keith Olsen of Journey fame. The record itself nestled in comfortably at number two on the US charts with her single Hit Me With Your Best Shot clamoring into the Billboard Top 10.
Austin was one stop in a string of packed shows Benatar and band were playing in support of their third record, Precious Time. Promises In The Dark and the albums title song were quickly becoming crowd favorites but it was the mid-set barn-burner Fire and Ice that had the fans on their feet salivating over the spandex-clad titan with her voice of gold. King Biscuit was there to capture what would prove to be Benatars definitive set. Stacked with vintage classics, You Better Run, Treat Me Right and Heartbreaker as well as her newly spun power-rockers the Austin broadcast proved Benatar was at the top of her game.
King Biscuit Flower Hour
Tower Theater, Philadelphia PA 2/14/89
Pennsylvania discovered Kansas long before any other State in the Union, tells Phil Ehart founding member and principal drummer of the Topeka spawned group. Wed be out on tour opening for somebody and wed have a headlining opportunity and it would be in State Collage - wed have another and it would be in Philadelphia or Allentown or Harrisburg. The whole State just seemed to get it.
February 14, Valentines Day, 1989 introduced fans to a new era in the Kansas chronicles. Famed Dixie Dregs guitarist, Steve Morse supplemented the bands loss of original member Kerry Livgren. Greg Robert filled in on keyboards and backing vocals giving vocalist Steve Walsh freedom to seize the role of frontman. Bassist Billy Greer now occupied the vacancy left by Dave Hope and Kansas was operating without their trademark violinist, Robby Steinhardt. We didnt have the violin, but we had Steve Morse, pronounced Ehart. And so it was with aggressive confidence that Walsh led the five-piece on to the Tower dais with one thing to prove; Kansas was back to stay.
With a sure-fire set list that had been pounded out weeks before the group reached Philly, Kansas blazed through a number of their cherished standards. This particular night had the band performing in support of their current vinyl In The Spirit Of Things. The orchestrated recording of Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return taught the band not to paint themselves into a corner when it came to delivering on stage. Ehart confirms, Weve always wanted to be better live than our recordings. That night at the Tower Theater, I thought we were.
Website; King Biscuit