Stuck inside of Mobil, or How I Missed Live Aid: Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)

(Above: Had I seen Live Aid, I would have no doubt seen this image.) I didn't watch Live Aid. Every year around this time - July 13 - someone brings up the anniversary of Live Aid, the benefit concert that took place in London and Philadelphia on that date in 1985.  It was a huge … Continue reading Stuck inside of Mobil, or How I Missed Live Aid: Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)

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Great playlists: WGRD’s “Big 30 In the Furniture City,” July 15, 1970

(Above: The same groovy look that CKLW, KHJ, and many other stations used for their surveys.) Every few weeks I've made it a point to dig out an old AM radio survey and look at what was popular on a local playlist.  Inevitably, two things happen: a) I look at WLS from Chicago, since those … Continue reading Great playlists: WGRD’s “Big 30 In the Furniture City,” July 15, 1970

Sailing and stunting: The Little River Band, “Cool Change” (1980)

(Above: The peace of having the water all to yourself.) I was off the grid for the past week. My wife and I made it a habit for many years to take a week, rent a cottage, and extricate ourselves from all media. The first year we tried it, it went well - except for … Continue reading Sailing and stunting: The Little River Band, “Cool Change” (1980)

Rest in peace, Ed Buchanan: Jonathan Edwards, “Shanty” (1971)

(Above: Uncle Buck, 1949-2018) The Grand Rapids, Michigan radio dial is a quieter place today. Ed Buchanan, known to generations of radio listeners in West Michigan as "Uncle Buck," passed away this morning from an apparent heart attack. Ed had most recently been hosting a Sunday morning program on WLAV-FM called "Breakfast In the Basement," … Continue reading Rest in peace, Ed Buchanan: Jonathan Edwards, “Shanty” (1971)

Congratulations to Johnny B! Johnny and the Leisure Suits, “Just Havin’ Fun” (1981)

(Above: In the early 90s, in Chicago, you had this CD. It was the law.) The Hyper Rooster is in the Hall. For the second year in a row a local Chicago radio legend has gotten the call for the Radio Hall of Fame.  Jonathon Brandmeier, who held down mornings at WLUP in Chicago through … Continue reading Congratulations to Johnny B! Johnny and the Leisure Suits, “Just Havin’ Fun” (1981)

Great lost hit: Billy and the Beaters, “I Can Take Care Of Myself” (1981)

(Above: The Rhino re-release had a picture sleeve. I don't think the original did.) Early summer of 1981 wasn't a whole lot of fun for me. I was in-between seventh and eighth grades, and - I keep threatening to write about this - junior high school was probably my least favorite time in life. Major … Continue reading Great lost hit: Billy and the Beaters, “I Can Take Care Of Myself” (1981)

Great lost hit: Fred Knoblock, “Why Not Me” (1980)

(Above: Picture sleeve from "Why Not Me.") If I asked you to name as many Top 20 hits as you could think of from the summer of 1980, I'd wager what's in my wallet that the name Fred Knoblock would have escaped you. I've been digging into the early 80s charts lately and finding some … Continue reading Great lost hit: Fred Knoblock, “Why Not Me” (1980)

RIP Matt “Guitar” Murphy: Chuck Berry, “Bye Bye Johnny” (1960)

(Above: His guitar playing was much better than his cooking.) Word circulated this weekend that Matt "Guitar" Murphy passed away at the age of 88. My first exposure to Murphy's work, like many people, was through his role as a part of the Blues Brothers band in the film of the same name. I don't … Continue reading RIP Matt “Guitar” Murphy: Chuck Berry, “Bye Bye Johnny” (1960)

Rest in peace, D.J. Fontana: Elvis Presley, “My Baby Left Me” (1956)

(Above: D.J. Fontana and the singer that he's best associated with.) Word spread this morning that Dominic Joseph Fontana passed away peacefully last night at the age of 87.  There is no question that you have heard him play the drums. D. J. Fontana was recruited to accompany Elvis Presley along with Scotty Moore and … Continue reading Rest in peace, D.J. Fontana: Elvis Presley, “My Baby Left Me” (1956)