The ‘crackling’ quake
The big earthquake we had here in Tehachapi last Friday, July 5, 2019 brought back fond memories of the 1971 Sylmar earthquake.
At that time we were living on East Avenue J in Lancaster, and our favorite radio station was KMPC 710 AM out of Los Angeles. The “Morning Man” on KMPC was a disc jockey named Dick Whittinghill and his music program started at 6 a.m., which was the same time I had my alarm set to get up and get ready for work.
KMPC would also change their broadcast signal from nighttime strength (low) to daytime strength (high) at that same time, and Whittinghill would kick his program off every morning at that time with a rousing, upbeat recording.
So on February 9, 1971 at 6:09 a.m., the power was up, the Sylmar earthquake started, and Whittinghill started his program by playing Neil Diamond’s hit recording of “Crackling Rosie.”
We were hanging onto the bed for dear life as the earthquake bounced us across the bedroom to those rollicking lyrics. The earthquake seemed to go on forever, but it probably only lasted for a half a minute or so. We were very relieved when the shaking stopped and the remainder of the lyrics to that great song helped calm us down and get us ready to resume our normal routine on a day that started out not at all normal or routine. Wilbur W. Wells