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Thursday, August 27, 2015

WORLDBUILDING WEDNESDAY: The Gravel Pit

Whew! Just barely made it!

"Live From The Gravel Pit" started in 1956 on TV station KQUO. There isn't really an actual club called "The Gravel Pit", it's just a room in the studio, named as such because the headquarters is on the edge of a quarry.

Originally started as a talent/variety show called "The Quarrymen's Variety Entertainment Hour", the show was comprised of mostly novelty acts and gentle comedy, meant to be a brief distraction for the evening. The acts were just local talent in the immediate area, however acts recommended by sponsors took higher priority.

However, the focus gradually shifted to music when both the radio and TV Station found that Rock Music was becoming popular amongst the young and used it as an opportunity to gain more, younger customers. So, the name changed to "Live At The Gravel Pit" to appear more "hip".

Usually when a band appeared on "Live at the Gravel Pit", they were close to making it big, as the radio station, WQUO, would be playing their music non-stop. However, it was quite common for the station to require the song changed its lyrics, whether for profanity or other "controversial" statements. Still, many bands went along with the station's request, because of the privilege it brought.

It's main competition at the time slot was "Live From The Dustbowl", which was the same program, but with the acts rearranged and aired on a different channel, seemingly keeping the same announcer. KQUO did this to get more money from different sponsors. Everybody who caught on to the ruse just turned off their TVs at their time slot.

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