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Vintage vinyl rocks again

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Disc jockeys Mike Wisland, left, and Greg Carlisle talk with music fan Kelly Stephens at the Apollo in American Fork.

Disc jockeys Mike Wisland, left, and Greg Carlisle talk with music fan Kelly Stephens at the Apollo in American Fork.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

AMERICAN FORK — Folks in their 40s, 50s and even 60s may have forgotten the popular songs of their youth, but Mike Wisland of Cedar Hills has not.

Wisland owns about 10,000 vinyl albums that date back to the 1950s and 1960s, plus a large collection of the smaller 45s, fondly remembered among old-timers for having one song on each side and a big hole in the middle for playing on a record player. They spun at 45 revolutions per minute, hence the moniker. His vinyl collection of albums also spins at 33 and 78 RPM.

From his personal collection, he and Greg Carlisle have created a vintage vinyl rock 'n' roll radio show on Provo's K-STAR (KSRR) the first Friday of every month, which is repeated at the Apollo dance hall in American Fork later that night.

"I think he has the best collection in the state," Carlisle said.

Wisland and Carlisle expect people of all ages to come out and boogie, jitterbug or just listen to songs they may have never heard (if they're under 30) or haven't heard in decades. The music brings back the nostalgia of the period where young people listened to AM radio in their cars as they tooled up and down Main Street or stopped in at the local malt shop where they danced to the jukebox.

"We play a lot of songs that are forgotten by most radio stations," Wisland said.

Most of the golden oldies played on today's radio stations are just the top hits of the period, he said. Wisland plays songs that never made it to the top but were still beloved. Among them are "Lonely Boy" by Andrew Gold, "Montego Bay" by Bobby Blume and the working version of an old Beatles song, "Fool on the Hill," that was never released.

Others on the playlist are songs by vintage favorites Stevie Wonder, the 5th Dimension, Guess Who, the Temptations, the Supremes, Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Rascals. Their music runs the gamut from 1955 to 1999.

"Within five years (the vintage period) will be dead if we don't keep it going," Carlisle said.

Half a century ago radio stations were locally owned and run. In the 1980s the conglomerates began buying them up and today own thousands of them. The largest groups are Clear Channel Radio and Simmons Broadcasting Inc.

That ended for the most part the thrill of requesting and dedicating songs for the local disc jockey to play while you dragged Main in your '55 Chevy or your dad's new Pontiac with your girlfriend snuggled next to you. Vintage rock music programs are now broadcast nationwide from an established playlist that often excludes the lesser known songs, Wisland said.

Because K-STAR is independently owned, the duo was able to get time on the air for their "Vintage Vinyl" show.

"We couldn't do this on another radio station," Carlisle said.

A former DJ of the period, Carlisle now owns an advertising agency.

Wisland has 5,000 CDs of vintage remakes of the most popular older songs that he also draws from when he goes on the road to private parties and other events.

If you go

What: "Vintage Vinyl" dance and record concert

Where: Apollo, 50 N. Church St., American Fork

When: 8 p.m. March 3 and the first Friday of each month

Cost: $5 per person

Phone: 763-5859

E-mail: rodger@desnews.com