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Before Viagra, there was John Brinkley.
May 29, 2003 9:35 AM   Subscribe

"Are You a Manly Man Full of Vigor?" Such was the come-on in John Romulus Brinkley's ads for his goat-gland operations. He made enough money from them to start first station KFKB (Kansas First, Kansas Best!), then (after he was run out of Kansas) XER out of Del Rio, Mexico, at a half-million watts the most powerful station in the world, which made the Carter Family (among many others) famous. Read William Bryk's brilliant account, and if you get nostalgic for the old days of AM, listen to the Blasters' great "Border Radio."
posted by languagehat (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
XER out of Del Rio, Mexico...

In high school, it was then XERF and the home station of Wolfman Jack playing that soul and blues all night. You could hear it all the way to Canada... [Wolfman Jack] XERF in Del Rio, Texas--that's right, Baby! Owooooooooo-oo-oo! [/Wolfman Jack]

Del Rio evidently straddled the border....
posted by y2karl at 10:18 AM on May 29, 2003


that's a great find and a great read languagehat.

goat testes, limp penis jokes, a govenor's race, and the king of mexican radio?? what more could i ask for?
posted by car_bomb at 10:45 AM on May 29, 2003


What more could you ask for? Mexican Radio, by Wall of Voodoo, of course!
posted by tommasz at 11:39 AM on May 29, 2003


Great article.

W.B. Yeats had monkey gonads implanted in the 30's by one of Brinkley's European colleagues. He claimed that it worked. Well.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:10 PM on May 29, 2003


zz top's heard it on the x is the quintessential border radio song. in fact they even give a nod to brinkley.
posted by birdherder at 8:34 PM on May 29, 2003


We can all thank Doctor B
who stepped across the line.
With lots of watts he took control,
the first one of its kind.


That's great; thanks, birdherder, I'll have to listen to the song!

Does anybody know why the (annoying) capital letters magically became lower case when I cut and pasted from the lyrics birdherder linked to? I had resigned myself to lower-casing them myself once I pasted them, and was amazed to see it done for me.
posted by languagehat at 7:21 AM on May 30, 2003


I imagine those letters were published as lower case, with an uppercase style applied to them.
posted by Songdog at 6:36 AM on June 5, 2003


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