Greatest misses: Midnight Oil, “The Dead Heart” (1988)

(Above: LP cover for Diesel and Dust.) A few days ago I wrote about the process of going through old college airchecks and finding great lost songs - the ones that we played a lot on our college station, WLRA, but didn't seem to get the sort of chart popularity that they should have. I've … Continue reading Greatest misses: Midnight Oil, “The Dead Heart” (1988)

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RIP Dave Pell: “I’m an Old Cowhand” (1957)

(Above: The LP jacket for Swingin' In the Old Corral) Word filtered to me that jazz saxophonist Dave Pell passed away in May on 2017 at the age of 92. Dave Pell is not a household name, except perhaps to those who collect the "lounge" music of the 1950s. In the 1990s Capitol released a … Continue reading RIP Dave Pell: “I’m an Old Cowhand” (1957)

Greatest misses: Mick Jagger, “Throwaway” (1987)

(Above: the 45 sleeve.  Remember those?) Now that summer school has ended and the grades are posted (hooray!) I can get back to doing some research.  A project that I am very excited about is the WLRA History Project that I began in May.  The 50th anniversary of the launch of my college radio station … Continue reading Greatest misses: Mick Jagger, “Throwaway” (1987)

The politically incorrect jukebox: Bill Dana, “The Astronaut” (1961)

(Above: the cover of Bill Dana's breakthrough LP.) Comedian Bill Dana passed away last week at the age of 92. Dana wrote one of the most powerful television episodes dealing with race in the history of the medium - the episode of All in the Family where Sammy Davis, Jr. pays a visit to the … Continue reading The politically incorrect jukebox: Bill Dana, “The Astronaut” (1961)

Father figures and break beats: The Winstons, “Color Him Father/Amen, Brother” (1969)

(Above: The Winstons, in an ad from Billboard.) Father's Day weekend is upon us, and oldies stations will likely look for ways to adjust their playlists accordingly.  You'll no doubt hear Paul Petersen's "My Dad" at some point along the way, while some stations will turn the spotlight onto the "dads of rock and roll" … Continue reading Father figures and break beats: The Winstons, “Color Him Father/Amen, Brother” (1969)

How big was Batman, really? Neal Hefti and others (1966)

The death of Adam West on Saturday (June 10) at the age of 88 marked the end of an era for generations of TV fans. Sure, West was known for guest appearances in recent years on shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons, and did a lot of voiceover work, but was of course best … Continue reading How big was Batman, really? Neal Hefti and others (1966)

Dark of moon on the 6th of June: C.W. McCall, “Convoy” (1975)

(Above: the sort of thing that might be in your grandparents' cupboard.) In the mid-1970s in America it was hard to escape the citizens band (CB) radio craze. A simple hobby allowing ordinary people to communicate back-and-forth with each other wirelessly (this was a pre-cellphone time, after all) became a national obsession almost overnight. T-shirts … Continue reading Dark of moon on the 6th of June: C.W. McCall, “Convoy” (1975)

It was fifty – and forty – years ago today: The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

(Above: Odds are good that I don't have to explain what this is.) Much has been written, and will be written yet, about the anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. June 1 is the anniversary of the American release, as it was out in Britain for several days before that. … Continue reading It was fifty – and forty – years ago today: The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)