Wolfman Jack was a gravel voiced DJ who pioneered the “talk it how you feel it” radio DJ scene; the kind of guy that if you were lucky enough to hear, would change your musical tastes with the flick of a wrist of turn of a dial.
Wolfman was a huge fan of Alan Freed, a DJ who was (in many peoples eyes) crucified for his belief of free speech during the racist period of black music VS white music – the late 50′s and early 60′s – and helped introduce many white fans to black music and vice versa. Alan was a touchstone of pop culture that many overlook, and Wolfman was a true believer of Alan’s view of equality in the musical sphere.
Many became familiar with Wolfman after his appearance in the ubiquitous night time DJ in George Lucas’ “American Graffiti”. In lieu of payment, Wolfman opted to settle for a fraction of a “point” of the films profits – which seeing as American Graffiti turned out to be a modern day classic – set Wolfman up with money for life. But before American Graffiti Wolfman had been dj’ing steadily since 1962. He became the voice of a lost generation – the generation post 60′s – that desperately needed a voice in a time when the national “voice” of the subculture lay between the under appreciated (at the time) works of Hunter S Thompson and the over appreciated (at the time) voices of the rapidly right-leaning government. Simply put: Wolfman Jack would turn you on to songs you would never hear.
His death in 1995 was ultimately as righteous as the way he had lived; as poetic as his midnight ramblings. He died in his wifes arms following a book tour: following a long, long tour of his latest autobiography he had exclaimed on his last live broadcast that “I can’t wait to get home and give Lou (his wife) a hug, I haven’t missed her this much in years.” When he arrived at his home in North Carolina, he entered his home, hugged his wife Loud, said “Oh, it is so good to be home!”, and died in his wife’s arms.
Wolfman deserves a lot of credit for his perseverance of garage-rock based guitar music during the 1970′s and in general, his refreshing voice on the radio for all those years. Manolith salutes Wolfman and all that he stood for.