Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts: Henry Mancini, “Experiment in Terror” (1962)

For Halloween, let's do three stories in one. The first has to do with haunted radio stations.  I understand that many of you do not believe in ghosts, or a supernatural presence, or what have you.  That's fine. Had you worked with me at WXLP in the Quad Cities, you may have an opinion that … Continue reading Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts: Henry Mancini, “Experiment in Terror” (1962)

Imitation and flattery: The college radio show intro (1987 – 1988)

This piece is a little different today as it doesn't highlight a specific song, but will talk about a number of songs that all served the same purpose: starting my college radio shows. There's not much that people in radio don't rip off.  If you've moved around the country, you've no doubt noticed the preponderance … Continue reading Imitation and flattery: The college radio show intro (1987 – 1988)

Rest in peace, Bobby Vee: “Walkin’ With My Angel” (1961)

2016 has struck again, it appears. Singer Bobby Vee, who had battled Alzheimer's disease, passed away today at the age of 73. His son confirmed Bobby's death in a statement today. Bobby was just starting his recording career in Minnesota in 1959 when fate worked in his favor.  The ill-fated Winter Dance Party had just … Continue reading Rest in peace, Bobby Vee: “Walkin’ With My Angel” (1961)

Rest in peace, Herb Kent: The Kool Gents, “I Just Can’t Help Myself (1956)

Radio lost a true legend on October 22 when Herbert Kent passed away at the age of 88.  Herb was known to generations of radio listeners in and around Chicago as "The Cool Gent." His night show on WVON was rated second only to WLS in its powerhouse AM days in the 1960s. It's hard … Continue reading Rest in peace, Herb Kent: The Kool Gents, “I Just Can’t Help Myself (1956)

Light and easy: Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, “One Note Samba/Spanish Flea” (1966)

(Above: 1706 Brady Street used to be the launch pad for flamethrowin' beautiful music.) In the fall of 1989 I moved away from home to take my first full-time job in radio at KRVR in Davenport, Iowa. Earlier that year I had decided to spend more time at my radio job and less time in … Continue reading Light and easy: Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, “One Note Samba/Spanish Flea” (1966)

50 years of happiness: The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)

(Above: Two copies of the same song, released 50 years apart.) This week marked the 50th anniversary of, what was at the time of its production, the most expensive rock and roll single ever made. "Good Vibrations" cost a cool $75,000 to produce in 1966 - about a half a million bucks in today's cash. … Continue reading 50 years of happiness: The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)

Support your local rock, Michigan edition: The Unrelated Segments, “Where You Gonna Go?” (1967)

One of the things I've most enjoyed about delving into music history and local charts is finding regional hits. If you stick to the Billboard Top 10 or even Top 20, you are missing out on a lot of great music. A bit of context is necessary.  Once upon a time, kids, radio stations enjoyed … Continue reading Support your local rock, Michigan edition: The Unrelated Segments, “Where You Gonna Go?” (1967)