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One Photo; One Story: Baby, let me bang your box.

The lines of the dirty filthy song blasted out of the speakers over and over again. It seemed like it would go on forever.

I had no idea that I was airing a dirty song on the radio.

This was my first job in radio. I was 22, a sophomore at Slippery Rock State College. I was about to be fired.

My boss Hap Nicholas was the general manager, president and owner of WACB, Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The station was a small 1000-watt day-timer on a hill over looking Armstrong County in Western Pa.

He had called me into his office just outside of the studio to discuss a live commercial when he stopped the conversation cold. His head popped up and his trademark handle bar mustache almost twitched off of his face. He looked troubled.

“This is a dirty song”, He screamed.

He bolted for the studio. I followed not realizing what the hell was happening. He threw open the door and dove for the turntable. He grabbed the needle and the music stopped with a long loud “Scrrrrratch”. He glared at me and said: “Talk”.

I keyed the microphone and stumbled through the talk set. “Um Hey. This is MMMMark Rich-Richards and this is 1380 WACB radio you can call your own. That was …..umm this is Huey Lewis and the News on 1380 WACbbbB”.

Hap lingered in the studio reading the label on the 45. He looked at the record and he looked at me. It was a song from 1965. It was by the Pittsburgh group The Bangers. It’s a rare 45 that was considered a cult classic and is considered a dirty song.

“Never play this again”. Hap stormed out.

Hap had a friend who held a large collection of 45’s. He sent the collection over to the radio station to help us expand our library. There was no organization to the vast library.

The above is an actual photo of the collection.

I grabbed the song from the middle of the stack and let it fly on the air. The song is about the waning hours of a party and a man finds an old piano, he invites his lady friend over to the piano to continue the night’s festivities.

The chorus repeats over and over.

Baby let me bang your box….

Baby let me bang your box….

Baby let me bang your box….

Baby let me bang your box….

You get the picture. The song played once for about 48 seconds during the summer of 1982. This was not a song about playing a piano. Come to think of it The Who’s Squeeze Box is not about an accordion. Or is it?

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