Christmas on the air: The songs I hated – and loved – to play

  In the last post, I talked about working in both retail and in radio.  In both careers I got to deal with people, often at their worst.  I also worked on or around Christmas in both jobs, and it is for that reason that I think I never truly appreciated the holiday like I … Continue reading Christmas on the air: The songs I hated – and loved – to play

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‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the mall: Atlantic Soul Classics (1985)

(Above: The mall used to get a bit trashed on the day after Christmas.) In my career, I have worked in three main areas: Retail (1985-1988). My first job was selling cigarettes to minors at a gas station in Tinley Park, IL. From there I moved to working at the mall. Most of the time … Continue reading ‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the mall: Atlantic Soul Classics (1985)

The Graduate at 50: Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sounds of Silence” (1965)

(Fun fact: that leg belongs to Linda Gray, or so she claims.) Every semester, in every class I teach, I save time on the last day for a lecture I call "So, What Didn't I Teach You?" It's an opportunity for students to question me about anything that they were expecting to cover in the … Continue reading The Graduate at 50: Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sounds of Silence” (1965)

Christmas on the hi-fi: The Ray Conniff Singers, “Ring Christmas Bells” (1962)

(Above: Darn, that looks like fun in stereo.) When we think of classic Christmas albums, many of the same names come to mind, but one we don't think of by name was playing on darned near every hi-fi in the country 55 years ago. In 1962 Columbia Records released We Wish You a Merry Christmas, … Continue reading Christmas on the hi-fi: The Ray Conniff Singers, “Ring Christmas Bells” (1962)

Fifty years ago this week in Grand Rapids: The WERX 15+30 Survey (December 6, 1967)

(Above: A bit of this week's chart, typos and all.) The bulk of the research done for my dissertation had to do with looking at original copies of pop surveys from the 1960s. You see these for sale on eBay and at record shows quite often for big stations like WLS and WCFL.  The ones … Continue reading Fifty years ago this week in Grand Rapids: The WERX 15+30 Survey (December 6, 1967)