Fifty years ago in the Quad Cities: The KSTT-AM Super 40 Official Music Survey, March 20, 1969

(Congrats on that High School Hall of Fame induction, BCHS!) Back in the early 1990s I worked at 97X, legally known as WXLP-FM in Davenport, Iowa. The station was safely tucked away in the former funeral home we called the Rock and Roll Mansion. WXLP had a sister station, KSTT, that was a legendary Top … Continue reading Fifty years ago in the Quad Cities: The KSTT-AM Super 40 Official Music Survey, March 20, 1969

Snow’s coming: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Stranded” (1980)

(Above: Mayday, this is Echo Hotel.) The first winter storm warning of the season is upon us for 2018. Unfortunately, it's hitting a good portion of the plains and upper Midwest on the busiest travel day of the year: the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Each year more travelers fly on this day more than other, and … Continue reading Snow’s coming: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Stranded” (1980)

Ten Albums: Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991)

(Above: You don't have this one?) There's been this thing going around on Facebook where people are posting up their ten favorite albums, or ten albums that meant something to them, or so on. You've probably seen this: you get tagged, you make the post, you tag someone else. I got tagged in one last … Continue reading Ten Albums: Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991)

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)

One night in college radio, End of Semester Edition: WLRA-FM, May 3, 1988

(Above: They should have let the kid walk.) There was a commercial for Pillsbury Cookies in the 80s that my wife and I quote often. You may remember it (if not, allow me to remind you). There was a kid threatening to run away from home, and Mom gets him to stay by making cookies … Continue reading One night in college radio, End of Semester Edition: WLRA-FM, May 3, 1988

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)

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, an air personality doesn't get a last show.  It can be risky: a story that I … Continue reading The big on-air farewell: Peter, Paul, and Mary, “Leaving On a Jet Plane” (1969)

Forgoing your college eligibility: Stevie Wonder, “I Wish” (1976)

Above: Me in a WJTW polo shirt.  For some reason, this was taken in the production room of WCFL/Morris. 28 years ago tonight, I did my first professional radio show at WJTW-FM in Joliet. In an earlier post I discussed how I had applied for a job at the station in sales, but that my … Continue reading Forgoing your college eligibility: Stevie Wonder, “I Wish” (1976)

Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts: Henry Mancini, “Experiment in Terror” (1962)

For Halloween, let's do three stories in one. The first has to do with haunted radio stations.  I understand that many of you do not believe in ghosts, or a supernatural presence, or what have you.  That's fine. Had you worked with me at WXLP in the Quad Cities, you may have an opinion that … Continue reading Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts: Henry Mancini, “Experiment in Terror” (1962)

Light and easy: Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, “One Note Samba/Spanish Flea” (1966)

(Above: 1706 Brady Street used to be the launch pad for flamethrowin' beautiful music.) In the fall of 1989 I moved away from home to take my first full-time job in radio at KRVR in Davenport, Iowa. Earlier that year I had decided to spend more time at my radio job and less time in … Continue reading Light and easy: Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, “One Note Samba/Spanish Flea” (1966)