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Friday, May 27, 2022

Cream Of the Crate: #6 – Various Artists _ Cruisin’ 1961




cream of the crate: #6 – various artists _ cruisin’ 1961


 This review was originally posted on the first Toorak Times web site which was abandoned for its current site in March 2017. The old site will be permanently closed in 2020 and these reviews are being re-published in order to preserve them on the current Toorak Times/Tagg site. 


"Hit songs, radio commercials, jingles, disc jockey chatter and other audio memorabilia" [Liner notes] - "Arnie "woo Woo" Ginsburg (was) the city's number-one disc jockey from 1956 - 1967." [Liner notes]

From the Cream of the Crate Collection – An album in my collection that is irreplaceable, and simply a classic!

Number six in the series of albums I’m featuring is part of a series of albums. This is the Cruisin’ Series, which consists of 16 albums covering 1955 to 1970.

cruisin’ 1961
The Cruisin’ Series of albums [CLICK to enlarge]

What makes these albums so desirable is that apart from the best music of each year, these albums also contain ‘grab’s from the “top DJ” of that year, along with the adverts they would run.

I have a number of the albums (sadly not the lot), but it is great to see that more recently they have been re-released on CD; for me my vinyl copies are special.


So it’s a delight to share this one – the Cruisin’ 1961 album. Yes in part it only has some “ok music”, frankly while some is supreme, other is crap – we need to remember that this was the period of schmaltz following the “payola scandals – BUT it does feature the voice and performance of Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.

 cruisin’ 1961
CLICK to enlarge


Arnie Ginsburg (born August 5, 1926) and was a highly popular American disc jockey in the Boston radio market from the mid-1950s to the 1970s.

It was at WMEX that Ginsburg became a popular disc jockey. He was unusual, and not just because of his voice (he jokingly referred to himself as “Old Leather Lungs” or “Old Aching Adenoids”).

It was an era where top-40 DJs were given non-descript and non-ethnic radio names, however, Ginsburg kept his birth name and would not change it.

So, as the LP cover notes declare, “The Year is 1961 and Cruisin’ presents radio, just as it was then. Arnie was the city of Boston’s #1 disc jockey and his WMEX show was the #1 program and was titled – Night Train.

There were far better years for music than 1961, in fact R & R was largely emasculated during this period due largely to the payola scandal of the late 1950’s.

But firstly it’s interesting to listen to what the kids of the day were being offered musically, and, there is Arnie!

In the meantime, we teens of the period were still waiting (without knowing), for the music explosion that would come from Britain.

There are two outstanding tracks on the album, Chick Berries ”Nadine”, and Lee Dorsey, “Ya Ya”. These two fabulous tracks are supported by Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry with “But I Do”, and Freddie King with “Hideaway.

But holding the music world together during these dark days were the irrepressible DJ’s like Arnie Ginsburg.

His voice combined with kazoo, cowbell, buzzer, Bermuda bell, car horn, oogah and train whistle epitomised the noisy awkwardness of teenagery, and provided a form of entertainment that up until this time, had only been alluded to.

As we listen to this record, we are completely transported back to 1961.

cream of the crate: #6 – various artists _ cruisin’ 1961
Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg


I have included some of the best of the pieces of Arnie, so do check out the sound clips, and, IF you believe that the period 1955 to 1965 was indeed the Golden Age of Radio – then you need to add these recordings to your collection.

Side One (20:48): Arnie Ginsburg Theme – The 3D’s: Blue Moon – The Marcels (2:15) WMEX Tower of Talent: My True Story – The Jive Five (2:30) Adventure Car Hop commercial : Nadine – Chuck Berry (2:25) WMEX jingle: Wooden Heart – Joe Dowell (2:00) WMEX Mystery City Contest: But I Do — Clarence “Frogman” Henry (2:15) 1961 Ford Commercial: Beep Beep – The Playmates (3:04) WMEX station ID.

Side Two( 20:26): Arnie Ginsburg Theme – Freddie Cannon: Tossin’ & Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis (2:10) WMEX Teacher of the Day contest:  Daddy’s Home – Shep and The Limelights (2:47) Pal Mal Rock Commercial – Mal:, The 3D’s, and Arnie: Runaway – Del Shannon (2:17) WMEX jingle: Barbara Ann – The Regents (2:12) Fenway DJ promo: Ya Ya – Lee Dorsey (2:17) 1961 Pontiac commercial: Hideaway — Freddie King (2:34).

Cruisin’ 1961 – Part 1 (Featuring a selection of material from Side 1)


Cruisin’ 1961 – Part 2 (Featuring a selection of material from Side 2



This is not a clip of Arnie Ginsberg in his hey day, because none were filmed. However, what makes it interesting (and quite funny) is that the man talks about how he got his name and, about his show!


Rob Greaves
I have been with the Toorak Times since April 2012. I work as Senior Editor of the Toorak Times, but I also think of myself as senior contributor. I've been in the Australian music scene as a musician since 1964, and have worked in radio and TV and newspapers (when they were paper ), serious experience in audio editing, and a lot of video editing experience. Currently I'm working as a radio program producer for a national interview program as well as my work with the Toorak Times