CHAOS (Parts 1 and 2)

Arbogast and Ross

Liberty 55197, 1959
Billboard: did not chart

One of the wilder one-shots in the history of pop, "Chaos" is six minutes (and, as it would turn out, the last six minutes) in the life of top-40 radio station KOS (and KOS-AM), featuring deejay Speedy Clip, complete with commercial break ("Pimple-On"), perky jingles, the news break to end all news breaks — including the murder of a station engineer, live — and some indistinguishable hit records. Reportedly it sold 10,000 copies in three days before the radio industry realized how severely it was being savaged by this satire and hurriedly ordered it off their playlists. Bob Arbogast (born in 1927) was a longtime L.A. radio personality and voiceover artist; Stan Ross (1937-2000) wrote songs (sometimes as "Sue Donem") and television shows, including the legendary opening to ABC-TV's Wide World of Sports. They apparently never teamed up again: then again, how can you follow up something like this? Maybe with Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor, played by the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Where can I get this on CD?
This is one difficult track to turn up; Dr. Demento has been known to play it on his radio show, but so far as I know, it's only been reissued once, and then only on LP: on the mid-1980s compilation More Hits, More Often: Liberty Records 1958-1963, EMI America ST-17204. Actual copies of the 45 are considered fairly collectible.

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Copyright © 2007 by Charles G. Hill
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