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Notes: Del Rio heard it on the 'X'

12/29/2006

DEL RIO, Texas — The incredible fishing as witnessed on Day 1 of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series event should further serve to put Lake Amistad on the map for even the most far-flung bass-fishing fans.

A great many, no doubt, already are aware of the 46-year-old impoundment on the Pecos, Rio Grande and Devils rivers, what with its ultra-clear water and more shoreline miles than the entire Texas Gulf Coast.

And for many folks of a certain age, the name of host city — Del Rio, Texas — rings a bell.

Why is that? Well, maybe you heard it on the "X."

Radio station XERF signed on in the 1940s just across the river in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. It was one of the famous "Border Blaster" radio stations, pumping out a 500,000-watt mega-signal that covered North America and South America and some say even reached over the north pole and into Russia.

In the early 1960s, a disc jockey by the name of Wolfman Jack made his name on XERF, known to rock and roll fans simply as the "X."

ZZ Top further popularized the radio station with its rocking 1970s anthem, "Heard It On the X."

Go back even further in history, to the 1930s, and it gets really strange. The original XERF building housed the original Border Blaster station XER, operated by Dr. John Brinkley, a medical doctor of dubious distinction.

Brinkley, it is reported, made more than $12 million from 1933 to 1938 by touting the services of his medical clinic in the area. The treatment offered was the implantation of goat glands into human male patients to restore their, um, "youthful vigor."

Protests from the legitimate medical community led Brinkley to lose his radio license.

He later moved the practice to Arkansas, where a popular story involved a prospective patient from an outlying rural area who arrived at the clinic leading his own goat on a string.

When advised by one of the doctor's assistants that he didn't need to supply the animal, the patient replied, "You don't understand; I know this goat."

It doesn't have much to do with bass fishing or the progressive, friendly city that Del Rio is today, but who can resist that one?