RIP John Wetton: Asia, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (1983)

(Above: And now you find yourself in '82.) Among the first stories that I read this morning was the sad news of the death of John Wetton at the age of 67.  Wetton was a part of a group that isn't often referred to as a "supergroup" anymore, Asia - although they definitely count as … Continue reading RIP John Wetton: Asia, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (1983)

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As I board my plane: The Ides of March, “L.A. Goodbye” (1971)

23 years ago this week I came back from my first trip to New Zealand to find myself unemployed, and at the same time caught up in a battle to obtain a visa as an immigrant worker that was rejected. Some context is required.  At the end of 1993 two things happened. One was that … Continue reading As I board my plane: The Ides of March, “L.A. Goodbye” (1971)

Radio time travel: Ron Britain, WCFL, Chicago (January 28, 1967)

(Above: The psychedelic world of Ron Britain, WCFL.) In the last post I lamented the inability to travel through time to hear the WERX countdown.  Today, at least, time travel IS possible, because we have this bit of radio wonderfulness to enjoy. 50 years ago this weekend, Chicago was cleaning up from the Blizzard of … Continue reading Radio time travel: Ron Britain, WCFL, Chicago (January 28, 1967)

Pop charts: WERX, Grand Rapids, Michigan (January 12, 1967)

(Above: Pepper-Uppers, unite.) If there's one thing we can count on in 2017, it's a lot of 50th anniversary retrospectives looking back at 1967.  "Anniversary fatigue" is real, and while I don't want to do a lot of it this year, the problem is that some aspects of popular culture are just too damned good … Continue reading Pop charts: WERX, Grand Rapids, Michigan (January 12, 1967)

Saturday night with a box of records: Part 2, Also The 1980s

(Above, Me, every time I turn on the radio lately.) You get two for the price of one tonight - the next box was also from the 1980s.  It's marked Box 3.  I skipped Box 1 because it contains all picture sleeves and (I suspect) bigger hits than we'll find here.  In the last post … Continue reading Saturday night with a box of records: Part 2, Also The 1980s

Saturday night with a box of records: Part 1, The 1980s

(Above: Charlie Brown gets it.) It's a quiet Saturday night.  Mrs. O has plans with some colleagues tonight.  My plans involve a frozen pizza, a couple beers, and a box of 45s. Over the years I've amassed a pile of records.  Some came from radio stations where I worked (ssh). Some, as I've referred to … Continue reading Saturday night with a box of records: Part 1, The 1980s

Guilty pleasures: Lesley Gore, “California Nights” (1967)

(Above: Lesley Gore as Pussycat, 1967) I will freely go on record as saying I like Lesley Gore records. There.  It's out there. Sure, the songs are sometimes over-simplistic.  They're often dismissed as watered-down tales of high school romance that devolves into fights ("Judy's Turn to Cry") and frustration about the egghead not noticing her … Continue reading Guilty pleasures: Lesley Gore, “California Nights” (1967)

Remembering our leaders: Tom Clay, “What the World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin, and John” (1970)

(Above: CKLW's Tom Clay, in younger days.) Federal holidays to honor great Americans are celebrated in strange ways.  Just a few minutes ago I saw a Tweet from a sandwich shop urging me to "dream big," since it is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the way to dream big is to think about … Continue reading Remembering our leaders: Tom Clay, “What the World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin, and John” (1970)

The big on-air farewell: Peter, Paul, and Mary, “Leaving On a Jet Plane” (1969)

(Above: Some of the trucks I've rented over the years.) One of the rarest things in radio is a planned, scheduled last show.  I've had more than my share of them, across almost 30 years on the air. Usually, air talent don't get a last show.  It can be risky: a story that I heard … Continue reading The big on-air farewell: Peter, Paul, and Mary, “Leaving On a Jet Plane” (1969)

Happy birthday to the 45 (1949)

(Above: The RCA Sample 45 to introduce the format.  I covet this item.) 68 years ago today, RCA Victor debuted the new 45 RPM record, without which, this blog would have no title. One of the things that I have enjoyed working into history lectures is the history of recorded music.  Time was, if you … Continue reading Happy birthday to the 45 (1949)