A year ago today we lost yet another titan of Philadelphia broadcasting - Hy Lit.
Wiki has Hy Lit's
complete bio, but
I'd like to share
with you some
a man that I
* Born Hyman Litsky
in South Philly
* 50+ year career
as an icon of
radio and television
*Legendary AM radio deejay and Wibbage (WIBG) “Good Guy”
* Architect of rock ‘n roll and the early sound of Philadelphia
* Worked with all the greats: Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, the Beach Boys, etc.
* The Beatles, hiding from throngs of squealing girls at the hotels, stayed overnight at Hy Lit's house and, as the story goes, slept on the floor.
* TV dance show host
Hy Lit's dance show is the memory maker that I would like to expand upon. From 1965 to 1971, Hy Lit hosted a televised dance party on Channel 48, WKBS (Kaiser Broadcasting) in Philadelphia.
Judy Arnold - Eastern WarriorsIt was the same cool indie station that carried two of my other favorite shows, Roller Derby and the Banana Splits.
make a bunch
and so do
I was a devoted follower of the Hy Lit Show during the late 60s when the program’s playlist percolated with edgy, gritty, junk-in-the-trunk funk. Hy frequently had the joint jumpin' to funky, Philly-style instrumentals.
Remember Harold, Sherri, Doug & Ting, the featured dancers on the show? The Soul Train gang had nothin' on them! Remember Hy Lit's sidekick, Bucket Belly? (LOL)
Here, on a timeline, are the most memorable get down sounds from the Hy Lit Show of the late 60s. Listen to a clip or two and you’ll understand why Lit’s get-together was, like that Cornelius enterprise in Chi-town, one of television’s hippest trips!
Hy Lit’s Greatest Hits (late 60s):
“Boogaloo Down Broadway” – Fantastic Johnny C (October ’67)
“There is” – Dells (January ’68)
“Tighten Up” – Archie Bell & the Drells (April ’68)
“Wear it on Our Face” – Dells (April ’68)
“Ain’t Nothin’ but a House Party” - Show Stoppers (June ’68)
“The Horse”/”Love is All Right” – Cliff Nobles & Co. (June ’68)
“Here Comes the Judge” - Shorty Long (June ’68)
“I Can’t Stop Dancing” – Archie Bell & the Drells (July ’68)
“Hitch it to the Horse” - Fantastic Johnny C (July ’68)
“Stay in My Corner” – Dells (July ’68)
“The Mule” - James Boys (September ’68)
“Do the Choo Choo” – Archie Bell & the Drells (October ’68)
“There’s Gonna Be a Showdown” – Archie Bell & the Drells (December ’68)
“Switch it On” - Cliff Nobles & Co. (February ’69)
“It’s Your Thing” – Isley Bros. (March ’69)
“Snap-Out” - Interpretations (April ’69) Here's a sound sample of this rare track.
“O-Wow” - Panic Buttons (May ’69)
“I Turned You On” – Isley Bros. (June ’69)
“Keem-O-Sabe” - Electric Indian (August ’69)
Hy Lit was known as the Goodwill Ambassador of Philadelphia Radio. He truly was one of the good guys. I liked his style. Versatile, knowledgeable, articulate, sophisticated, and absolutely oozing cool, Hy Lit was as comfortable among hard rockers as he was with 50s do wop balladeers.
Hy Lit with the Four TopsHy Lit had massive crossover appeal, becoming a hit DJ on black radio stations as well as white radio stations. Hy was a great humanitarian who led by example. He was the kind of color blind unifier America needed then and needs now. Hy Lit was part of the solution. Solid, man – thanks!
Have a Shady day!