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Note: On August 13, 2012, I received an email from Merriam-Webster which elaborated on the term, "a-go-go"...

a-go-go

\ah-GOH-goh\

DEFINITION adjective 1 : of, relating to, or being a disco or the music or dances performed there : go-go 2 : being in a whirl of motion 3 : being up-to-date — often used postpositively...

EXAMPLES

"The shop is chock-full of the latest in fashionable home decor—it's decorating trends a-go-go. "

"All of the major plot points are either utterly predictable or thoroughly explained by one of the characters, and that becomes kind of a drag after a while. Nonetheless, there's tons of suspense, monsters-a-go-go and strong performances from the whole cast."

— From a film review by Alonso Duralde on thewrap.com, June 4, 2012

DID YOU KNOW? The English word "a-go-go" has two functions. It's an adjective, as we've defined it above, but it's also a noun referring to a nightclub for dancing to popular music—that is, a disco. Both the noun and the first meaning of the adjective betray the word's origins: it's from the name of a Parisian discotheque—the Whisky à Gogo, which translates to "whiskey galore." The French club, which opened in 1947 or possibly 1948, predated the American discos that have also used the name, but the American versions undoubtedly had much to do with spreading the term "a-go-go" in English: the most famous of these, the still-operating Whisky a Go Go on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, opened in 1964, the year before our earliest evidence of the generic use of either the noun or the adjective "a-go-go."

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Unless otherwise indicated, all commentary and photography on this site are by Grady McAllister.

DOWN ON MAIN STREET: A dancer in the window of the Act III A-Go-G0, October 1, 1966. Photo by Grady McAllister.

Go-Go dancer in window on South Main in Houston, 1966

This is not the interior of a strip club.

The year is 1966, and the girl is dancing in the window of a go-go club. She was visible to anyone driving down South Main near the Texas Medical Center.

I took this picture through the window. I was 18 and still too young to go inside. Even then, I sensed that this would have historical value.

Typically, go-go girls danced in cages on raised platforms at regular night clubs. You can see them gyrating in movies and musical film clips from the 1960's. 

The term "go-go" could refer to any occupation that claimed to be high energy, including radio DJ's.

Even mutual fund managers became freewheeling go-go operators (also called "gunslingers").

For more about the Go-Go Days of 1966, see the KILT airchecks on this page.

Grady

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"What a way to go-go!"

— Line from the Batman TV series, 1966

This page features the epoch-marking year of 1966: KILT goes for Go-Go, and Dan Lovett goes to Vietnam.


Blade Parker digitally re-mastered the following recordings at his Houston studio.

They appeared here for the first time on line on June 15, 2011.

KILT Airchecks from 1966

Come with me now mentally to the go-go era of Houston radio. Think of 1966 as a way station between the British music invasion days of 1964-1965 and the psychedelic daze of 1967-1969. If you were to pick one year to stand for the entire decade, 1966 might be it.

By this time, we knew that we were deep into the 60's and that it was a decade very different from the 50's. By this time, we knew that the Vietnam War would not be a quick and short one. By this time, we knew that our own society was in rapid change with a future unknown.

Here I will paraphrase something I recall Alex Bennett saying at the end of August, 1966:"Do you realize that two-thirds of the 60's are already over?" Indeed they were, but the most exciting part of the decade — for better or worse — was yet to come.

Appearing below for the first time on the internet is a collection of airchecks we received from former KILT newsman Dan Lovett.

Click here to hear all these airchecks as one continuous recording.

You will find some duplication as a result of different edits for some of the material.

KILT, Houston, Concert Commercial

KILT, Houston, Dan Lovett

KILT, Houston, Richard Dobbyn, Sound of Home 1

KILT, Houston, Richard Dobbyn, Sound of Home 2

KILT, Houston, Faithful Listeners

KILT, Houston, G0-Go Jingle with Dobbyn

KILT, Houston, G0-Go Team Jingle

KILT, Houston, Unedited Reel

KILT, Houston,  Russ Knight (Weird Beard) and Dan Lovett

Bob "Blade" Parker converted these open reel tapes to mp3. A former program director for KFMK and KNUZ, Bob has also used the name Bob Edwards.

Click here for Bob Parker's SHOUTcast internet station. A new window or tab will open. Search for CBNet Radio.

Dan Lovett was the newsman KILT owner Gordon McLendon sent to Vietnam. In 2011, Dan Lovett provided the three tapes which contained this material. You also hear Dan Lovett on our Mainly '60's page in a recording I made myself on January 24, 1965.

Russ Knight was the main KILT night DJ from 1964 to 1967. He continued to work at KILT until 1968.

The late Richard Dobbyn was a prominent Houston newsman who worked at KILT, KIKK, and KNUZ. Elsewhere on this site, you hear Dobbyn on each of those stations, as well as KBRZ in Brazoria County. On the News & Talk page , you hear Dobbyn during the breaking KILT coverage of the Kennedy assassination.

The music Dobbyn uses in the greetings to servicemen is by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. It is "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," a song from the American Civil War.

For more about the War between the States, see our own archive of “Chiefly about War Matters,” an essay by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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