She’s your cover now: The Songs of Bob Dylan

  (Above: Dylan from the Blonde on Blonde gatefold, with pliers.) Bob Dylan turns 76 today. I've been writing this blog for about nine months now and have yet to include a Dylan song in it.  In a way, that's a means of checking myself: I love his music, and would be tempted to do … Continue reading She’s your cover now: The Songs of Bob Dylan

Advertisements

Don’t buy the liverwurst: Allan Sherman, “Shticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other” (1963)

(Above: Yet another #1 album for Allan Sherman.) I always enjoyed comedy and parody.  The earliest radio projects that I did (the ones I wrote about from sixth grade) involved taking something established and turning it on its ear in some way. When I got my own college radio morning show I sprinkled in liberal … Continue reading Don’t buy the liverwurst: Allan Sherman, “Shticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other” (1963)

Greatest misses: ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close” (1987)

(Above: LP cover for Welcome Home, 1987) In the summer of 1985 I got to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the first time.  It was the Southern Accents tour, perhaps now more famous for the concert shirts featuring the Confederate flag on them as "Rebels" was the single the record company was pushing.  … Continue reading Greatest misses: ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close” (1987)

A sixth-grader’s records: The Billboard Hot 100, May 17, 1980

  (Above: The place where my radio career started, in a very loose sense of the word.) The big story in the middle of May 1980 was the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State.  More than fifty people lost their lives in the blast, and it dominated the news cycle for several days.  … Continue reading A sixth-grader’s records: The Billboard Hot 100, May 17, 1980

Why TV Variety Shows Died: Pink Lady, “Kiss In the Dark” (1979)

(Above: Mie and Kei with Jeff Altman in the hot tub.) A lot of the television that I remember from the 1970s included the variety show. The show format had a long, successful history.  Mentioning the names of some of the hosts bring back pleasant memories of the family gathered around the console on a … Continue reading Why TV Variety Shows Died: Pink Lady, “Kiss In the Dark” (1979)

Happy birthday, Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys, “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” (1966)

(Above: Brian Wilson and a goat, from the album cover.) One day last semester during a lecture on the Sixties, I made an offhanded comment that 1966 may have been the greatest year ever in popular music.  As I would hope that they would, students respectfully challenged me to defend my position. "Simple," I said.  … Continue reading Happy birthday, Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys, “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” (1966)

Congratulations to John Records Landecker!

(Above: John Landecker on the air at WLS, circa 1977) (Edited: It was announced this morning - June 26 - that John was voted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Again we credit Robert Feder with the story, including a very John quote: “My first thought was: ‘I wish my parents were alive … Continue reading Congratulations to John Records Landecker!

Great lost hit: Henry Lee Summer, “Hey Baby” (1989)

(Above: The CD single artwork.) The post earlier this week about my time at WJEQ/Macomb, Illinois talked about a lot of the "oh wow" music that the station played. Since I was only at the station for a few months, I don't have a lot of tape to go through. But over the next few … Continue reading Great lost hit: Henry Lee Summer, “Hey Baby” (1989)

RIP Michael Parks: “Long Lonesome Highway” (1970)

(Above: The picture sleeve from the MGM single.) Singer and actor Michael Parks passed away today at the age of 77. Fans of television may remember him best for his role as Jean Renault in "Twin Peaks," while film buffs may recall his role in "Argo" or his part in the "Kill Bill" series.  In … Continue reading RIP Michael Parks: “Long Lonesome Highway” (1970)

The Spirit of Western Illinois: WJEQ, Macomb (May 1990)

(Above: The WJEQ Morning Mug from my collection.) Over the course of almost 30 years in radio I was associated with some outstanding radio stations - and some not-so-good ones. If you were to look over my resume and try to guess which ones were the great ones, you'd probably guess the major-market ones and … Continue reading The Spirit of Western Illinois: WJEQ, Macomb (May 1990)