LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — CBS2 Anchor Pat Harvey discussed Black History Month with another LA fixture — broadcaster Tom Reed who is all but synonymous with AM radio.
Known as “The Master Blaster,” the 77-year-old Reed, said Harvey, “has had an impressive career.”
Reed was known for playing the latest hits and becoming a prominent voice on the LA AM dial.
Harvey says to Reed, “I would call you a visionary.”
“I’m a visionary and I’m still looking! I’m still looking for it and I’m still listening to it,” Reed says.
Reed landed in Los Angeles in 1965.
His first job was at LA’s premiere radio station KGFJ.
He later moved on to KDAY 1580 AM.
There, Harvey says, Reed was at the center of a literal revolution.
Music was leading the nation at a time of major change — all with the promise of better days ahead.
LA, at the core, also was undergoing its own revolution.
“Music wise we had already had a legendary position in the music world,” says Reed, “For some reason people have blocked out LA as a music capital. But how can you do that when people like the Coasters, right here in this city became giants? Jesse Bellman one of the giants of rock and roll. Lou Rawls was out of Los Angeles. Sam Cooke was out of Los Angeles.”
Black music and music labels — like Duotone and artists like the Penguins, found major success.
LA quickly became a melting pot of art, music and culture.
“It was like an apex for new record companies, new and old record companies. White and black record companies. and Latino record companies,” says Reed.
All this success gave rise to the new generation of artists, in front of and behind the scenes.
Since 1980, Reed himself has been encouraging and nurturing the next generations with the program “For Members Only.”
“We were the first in this city to do specials and documentaries on Dr. King, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers. We were the first.”
Reed is also a published author, chronicling the history of the music and the movement in “The Black Music History Of Los Angeles — Its Roots.”
Harvey asks Reed about his long career, spanning over five decades. She notes he still has a passion for the business. Harvey asked Reed, “What keeps the passion going?”
“The creativity of people, and what they do and what they say. All of that is important in terms of media. It’s important in terms of life. Living gives you life, life gives you living.”