The History of Rock and Roll
In 1975, Theroux found that the History of Rock and Roll 1969 script contained too many inaccuracies and omissions, so as Drake-Chenault programmer/DJ/music historian he researched, rewrote and rebuilt the program entirely from scratch. The new version dramatically expanded the story with fresh interviews, insightful narration, far more music and a host of innovations—all in a modular format which allowed stations more programming flexibility. Bill Drake knew that the rising popularity of stereo FM rock stations made it necessary to redo the show in stereo. The documentary approached each year with a focused half-hour and had separate segments devoted to all the key artists or trends. Bill Drake himself narrated the rockumentary.
Among other things, Theroux had Drake-Chenault chief engineer Mark Ford painstakingly assemble two kinds of annual montages: one of each chart-topping hit of a given year (in sequence) and the other of other key songs there was no time to play in full. Those #1 hit montages were reprised for the climactic final hour of the show—edited together back to back to create a fast-moving 45-minute medley of every chart-topping hit from 1955 to the present. The 1978 edition of "The History of Rock & Roll" debuted as a marathon broadcast over more than 400 domestic stations and another 400 overseas and won Billboard magazine's "Top Special Program of the Year" award.
That success sparked Theroux (who co-produced, along with Ford and Drake) to write "The Top Ten: 1956–Present," a book about the ten biggest hit records of each year. Theroux eventually hosted his own version of "The History of Rock 'n' Roll" as a fast-moving syndicated daily 21⁄2-minute feature.
- Lycan, Gary (2008-11-30). "Radio pioneer Bill Drake dies at 71 | drake, radio, khj, top, boss - Entertainment - OCRegister.com". OCRegister.com. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- Gilbert, Bob and Gary Theroux, "The Top Ten: 1956-Present," Pop Record Research, Fireside Books, Simon & Schuster, New York. 1982 (ISBN 0-671-43215-X).
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