Saturday, November 29, 2008

WKRP Episode: "Nothing To Fear But..."

In the 20th episode of season 3 (written by Dan Guntzelman from an outline by Tim Reid), an unsolved robbery at the station sets off the usual reactions: paranoia, fear, gun ownership and bad parties.

The use of music in this episode is really exceptional, some of the best in the series. There are two sequences that are entirely timed to the music: the robbery in the first scene takes place to "Love Man" by Otis Redding, and when Venus and Johnny are alone in the station, the music is "Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr. Using "Just the Two of Us" has become something of a cliché, but the song was brand-new at the time, and it really creates a strange, almost eerie feeling when combined with the dim lights and the characters' nervousness.

The first song in the episode is "Rock Me Baby," also by Otis Redding, and the music during the party scene is by Bob James -- I can't remember the title. Also, this is another episode that shows Les's fondness for singing hit songs from the '50s.

Cold Open and Act 1

Act 2


Anonymous said...

Can you post the WKRP episode, "Dear Liar?" Thanks!!

VP81955 said...

Speaking of radio, I note the passing of Bill Drake, who created the Drake-Chenault "more music" format that became popular on Top 40 in the middle and late 1960s. Its first and most famous station was KHJ in Los Angeles, which adopted the format in the spring of 1965 and became the dominant station in the market. Drake took the format to other markets (such as CKLW in Windsor/Detroit), and some consultants adapted similar formats in their towns. Drake-style stations were tight to the nth degree, but a DJ with personality could still thrive under it. Ken Levine has a nice tribute to Drake at his site.

Steve said...

The Bob James song is "Westchester Lady." Sounds like the live version from the "All Around the Town" album.

I have read that Drake's top-40 format was born in the Battle For Fresno, 1963. After some polishing and refining he brought it to KHJ and dubbed it "Boss Radio." Those were the days.

Chris said...

In honour of the season could you possibly post "Jennifer's Home for Christmas" and "Bah, Humbug"? Thanks in advance.