Speaking of KENM, 1450 on your radio dial circa 1955

This is Monet George talking to you from KENM, Portales, New Mexico.  The peanut  basin of the nation.  And we’ve got a little song here for you today.

The theme song for the station was “My Adobe Hacienda.”

Lord how I hated that song.  They played it at every opportunity.

But they also loved, “Dear Hearts and Gentle People,” which didn’t exactly describe the local population except in fantasy.

Helped them feel better about themselves than they had any business doing.

“Doing What Comes Naturally” actually fit them better and, believe it or not, they liked that one, too.

I suppose “Buttons and Bows” would have resonated with any but the most stalwart souls in Portales, New Mexico, circa 1950-60, and it sure as hell got plenty of play.

Those were the days of “Knock knock” jokes, and the favorite joke around there was, “Knockknock.”  “Who’s there?”  “Kilroy”  “Kilroy who?”  “Kill Roy Rogers!  I’m Gene Autry’s fan!”

KENM was a Gene Autry Fan.

WWII vintage folks ruled the world then.  If it hadn’t been for “Tennessee Waltz”, Bonaparte’s Retreat” and “Fraulein” I expect KENM would have had long silences trying to figure out what to play.

Old Jules

6 responses to “Speaking of KENM, 1450 on your radio dial circa 1955

  1. Thanks for the amble down Memory Lane.

  2. “But they also loved, ‘Dear Hearts and Gentle People,’ which didn’t exactly describe the local population except in fantasy.”

    Great line, Jules. I can picture the locals back then getting weepy eyed while listening to that song, then knifing each other in the back alley behind the bar 20 minutes later over some slight, real or otherwise.

    • Cotton Boll Conspiracy: Actually it was a ‘dry’ county. Aside from various bootleggers the nearest place to get alcoholic beverages was Kenna, New Mexico. A spot in the road 45 miles away. A lot of Portalesans used to get killed between Kenna and Portales, usually inbound. Portales folks [non-Hispanic] didn’t lean to knife fights in those days. It was almost all fist fights, beating the wife and kids, snearing about Mescins, and bad-mouthing whichever Christian denominations they didn’t belong to. Which is to say, mostly non-Baptists, though the Church of Christers took a hand in things and had the moral high ground because they didn’t dance or have music in the church.

      Sure, there were Pentacostals, Nazarines, Jehovah Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, but they didn’t have the numbers. There were only so many street corners in that town a congregation put place a church onto.

      I was shocked when I left Portales and found out there were Catholics who weren’t Hispanics. And only years of hindsight allowed me to realize the town included at least one Jew. And one black man who operated the elevator in the Cal Boykin Hotel. We kids used to go down to the Cal Boykin and pretend we had a reason to ride the elevator just so’s we could have a look at him.

  3. I remember a lot of Bobby Helms, Donna Fargo, Tammy Wynette, and Faron Young on the radio when the family visited my grandparents’ farm. I remember watching Dinah Shore’s teevee shows sponsored by Chevrolet. She often appeared in the commercials, too. I became fond of Betty Hutton’s music much later, while hosting my Sunday afternoon Big Band show. This was a good memory jog.

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