Murray Saul’s 80th Birthday Party Get Down at the Beachland Ballroom – Friday, May 16!
The well-preserved Murray Saul will be making his first personal appearance in THIRTY YEARS in a special 80th Birthday Party Get Down celebration. Murray will perform, meet and greet, and have copies of his The Get Downs, Volume One, for sale and signing. Also on the bill – Cleveland rockabilly favorites – The Balls of Fire. More details forthcoming.
The above photo, shot by Dan Keefe, and taken from the September 10 issue of Exit, shows Murray at his first live “Get Down” on Friday, September 5, 1975.
There’s interesting history here. Greater Cleveland was the last major city in America that didn’t have a regional transportation system. To take advantage of the recently-signed-into-law 1974 National Mass Transportation Act – as well as the opportunity to tap into the $11.8 billion in funds made available by the federal government – Cleveland City Council and the Cuyahoga County Commissioners established the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
On September 5, the RTA merged selected suburban systems with the Cleveland Transit System (CTS). In advance of that date, the RTA approached local radio and TV stations for promotional ideas to support its debut. We looked at it as a chance to take Murray’s “Get Downs” to a live audience and broadcast it on WMMS Friday night at 6, from Mall C in downtown Cleveland.
The RTA heard “live broadcast.” They were not aware of Murray’s “Get Down and its subject matter.” Nor did we bother to tell them or get too specific on our plans.
So, under the camouflage of WMMS holding an RTA rally – we did our first live “Get Down.” We didn’t know what expect in advance – but we were pleasantly surprised to see hundreds of people waiting patiently for that magical moment at 6 PM when Murray would officially kick off the weekend.
Murray’s “Get Down” was augmented by a brief appearance by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, who were in town for a “Freaker’s Ball” (which many participants turned into a “streaker’s ball”) event at the Smiling Dog Saloon later that evening.
The broadcast went off without problem – almost. Murray concluded his “Get Down” by jumping into the crowd – and temporarily losing his microphone to an over-zealous fan shouting a graphic description of National Bee Week.
More on Murray’s live Get Down in Chapter 11 of The Buzzard
Murray Saul’s The Get Downs, Vol. 1(TaurusGold) is available from Amazon.com, LittleFish.com, and select retail outlets. Distributed by Traditions Alive, Lakewood, OH 216.226.6200