Saturday, April 16, 2011

Alison Steele, The Nightbird

“The flutter of wings, the shadow across the moon, the sounds of the night, as the Nightbird spreads her wings and soars, above the earth, into another level of comprehension, where we exist only to feel. Come, fly with me, Alison Steele, the Nightbird, at WNEW-FM, until dawn."

Those were the words that opened up the best late night radio show I've ever heard. When I was living in in New Jersey in 1968 and early 1969, Alison Steele's sexy voice, and her playlist of late 60's progressive rock, was the lullaby that put me to sleep each night. WNEW was one of the country's first FM progressive rock stations, and one of New York City's strongest. I had no trouble at all picking it it up in Eatontown, in Monmouth County, New Jersey each night. Her colleague, the über cool Rosko started the night off with progressive jazz, blues, and rock, then at midnight, Steele would come on, reciting her poetry, and mesmerizing us all with mind expanding progressive rock, and trippy psychedelic trance music. Of all the rock radio stations I have heard, WNEW was the best, and Alison Steele was far and away the best DJ. Sadly she only lived to be 58 years old, dying in 1995 of stomach cancer, but she lives on in my memory, and I'm sure in the memory of countless others. You can read her Wiki bio here.

Melissa XX