You can’t have one without the other: The Kings, “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” (1980)

(Above: The Kings debut LP.  I'll take a hundred or two for it.) I actually got to thinking about this topic in the car this morning on the way to campus.  One of the Sirius XM classic rock channels (and I have all of them on the same bank in the memory) played Elton John's … Continue reading You can’t have one without the other: The Kings, “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” (1980)

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30 years ago this week: Billboard’s Top 40 (November 29, 1986)

To close out the Thanksgiving weekend, we made a trip to Chicago to celebrate with my dad as he turned 70. One of the things I normally listen to in the car on weekend trips into the city is Sirius XM's 80s on 8 channel.  While the novelty of the original MTV VJs on the … Continue reading 30 years ago this week: Billboard’s Top 40 (November 29, 1986)

Tinkering with tape: Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (1973)

(Above: 1970s technology - turning kids into radio stars all over the world) November 25, 1976 was Thanksgiving Day. As we almost always did, we went over the canal and around the forest preserve to get to my grandparents' house on the South Side of Chicago. Our ritual for the holiday was not unlike what … Continue reading Tinkering with tape: Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (1973)

How terribly strange to be seventy: Simon & Garfunkel, “Old Friends” (1968)

(Above: Mom showing me how the phonograph works, circa 1971.) My parents turn seventy this week.  To be precise, my father does: my mother passed away before turning 59. In my family, you either live a very full life or a very short one. My grandmother (Dad's mom) also has a birthday today, and is … Continue reading How terribly strange to be seventy: Simon & Garfunkel, “Old Friends” (1968)

Greatest misses: Roger McGuinn, “King Of The Hill” (1991)

The Byrds were great. Tom Petty was and is great.  Put those singers on the same record, and it's bound to be a hit, right? Not so fast. This is one of the reasons the pop charts fascinate me. (Well, one of the reasons is my belief that they are contrived, but that makes for … Continue reading Greatest misses: Roger McGuinn, “King Of The Hill” (1991)

Who Did It First? PhD, “Little Suzi’s On The Up” (1981)

Today marks the first in a new series of posts that I hope to continue: Who Did It First? Many of the songs we enjoy had lives before they were hits.  Sometimes, it's simply a case of the wrong song at the wrong time.  Sometimes, it's sheer luck that something becomes a hit in the … Continue reading Who Did It First? PhD, “Little Suzi’s On The Up” (1981)

Glittering prizes and endless compromises: Rush, “The Spirit of Radio” (1981)

Sometimes a song has two distinct memories, and it's hard to decide which one is more powerful.  Today is your lucky day, for you get both of them. In 1982 I was a freshman at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. My formative years were spent between Tinley … Continue reading Glittering prizes and endless compromises: Rush, “The Spirit of Radio” (1981)

One day in college radio: November 14, 1988

Above: A clinic in how not to design a business card, in terms of readability. Monday, November 14, 1988 was an overcast day around much of Chicagoland. The snows of winter weren't falling yet, and on the campus of Lewis University thoughts were beginning to turn to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  The Chicago Bears had … Continue reading One day in college radio: November 14, 1988

Lost local hits: Cornerstone, “Holly Go Softly” (1970)

Above: The Top 10 on WLAV/Grand Rapids, MI, 2/20/1970. You wouldn't likely predict that a song about a young man trading sex for money would have been a big hit in the conservative burg of Grand Rapids, Michigan in early 1970. But that's exactly what happened when "Holly Go Softly" by the band Cornerstone made … Continue reading Lost local hits: Cornerstone, “Holly Go Softly” (1970)

Forgoing your college eligibility: Stevie Wonder, “I Wish” (1976)

Above: Me in a WJTW polo shirt.  For some reason, this was taken in the production room of WCFL/Morris. 28 years ago tonight, I did my first professional radio show at WJTW-FM in Joliet. In an earlier post I discussed how I had applied for a job at the station in sales, but that my … Continue reading Forgoing your college eligibility: Stevie Wonder, “I Wish” (1976)