Grade school earworms: Songs Of the Letter People (1972)

(Dude had an appetite, apparently.) I'm susceptible to earworms - those bits of music that get inside of your head and stay there. Usually, they happen when you hear a song, and then the whole tune (or a piece of it) stay on repeat in your mind. In many cases the worse the song is, … Continue reading Grade school earworms: Songs Of the Letter People (1972)

Songs of senior year: The Billboard Hot 100, September 21, 1985

(Above: The new sign in front of Andrew High. I never sped past this playing the "Miami Vice" theme.) September 21, 1985 is a Saturday - which is the day that all of the Billboard charts come out. It was a hectic time at the start of my senior year of high school. The night … Continue reading Songs of senior year: The Billboard Hot 100, September 21, 1985

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)

A summer vacation soundtrack: The Billboard Hot 100, June 9, 1984

(Above: The end of sophomore year. Someone please get this kid a haircut.) The first full week of June 1984 would have meant the start of summer vacation. I had just completed my sophomore year at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park. The bulk of my daytime activity that summer involved something that … Continue reading A summer vacation soundtrack: The Billboard Hot 100, June 9, 1984

Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Top 45s, April 1, 1978

(Above: No one has ever doubted this claim.) April Fool's Day 1978 would have been at the end of fourth grade for me. By this time I was starting to add my own records into the pile of vinyl that I had inherited from my parents (written about variously here and here, among other places). … Continue reading Forty years ago in Chicago: The WLS Top 45s, April 1, 1978

Rest in peace, Dolores O’Riordan: The Cranberries, “Linger” (1993)

(Above: Dolores in concert.) The music world was surprised today to get word of the passing of Dolores O'Riordan, the lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, at the age of 46. As of this posting a cause of death has not been shared, and the word "unexpected" has been used in several circles. The … Continue reading Rest in peace, Dolores O’Riordan: The Cranberries, “Linger” (1993)

‘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)

Happy 75th, Harry Chapin: “W*O*L*D” (1973)

(Above: There's a lot going on on this album cover.) Harry Chapin would have been 75 today. The singer-songwriter is probably best known to classic rock audiences (and classic rock DJs in need of bathroom breaks) for his epic "Taxi," which tells of a cabdriver's chance meeting with an ex-lover one evening. To pop audiences, … Continue reading Happy 75th, Harry Chapin: “W*O*L*D” (1973)

Songs of sock hops: The Billboard Hot 100: October 6, 1984

(Above: This sort of rain calls for a forecast of drama and commitment.) Another weekend, another opportunity to catch the VJ Big 40 Countdown on Sirius XM's 80s on 8 Channel.  This weekend they chose to go back to 1984 - my junior year of high school. It would have been right around Homecoming time … Continue reading Songs of sock hops: The Billboard Hot 100: October 6, 1984

Rest in peace, Tom Petty: “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985)

(Above: Tom Petty from the coolest video of 1985.) This one's going to be hard to write. I have a list of them in my head: the musical obits that will be tricky ones for me, because the music that the people who will be featured in them meant so much to my formative years. … Continue reading Rest in peace, Tom Petty: “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985)