Saturday, December 19, 2009

On The Radio

Long-time Chicagoland Radio Personality Jonathan Brandmeier has been let go by The Loop (three months early from the sounds of things).

Johnny B. was one of the biggest names on radio for the past 30 years, but he now finds himself (like so many of us) amongst the unemployed.
But unlike the rest of us, he's got the means (and the talent) to have some fun with this whole situation ... check out his new video (pretty scathing ... and pretty profane ... but, without a doubt, ALSO some of the most spot-on, accurate commentary on the state of radio today ... and the idea that "personality" simply isn't part of the program anymore. You're preachin' to the choir here, Johnny B!!!) Truth is, love him or hate him, this is a HYSTERICAL clip! If you haven't seen it yet, you've got to check it out ... and if you're an unemployed jock who's devoted the better part of your life to keeping radio fun and interesting, you will TOTALLY relate!!! (And kick yourself for not thinking of this first!!! lol)
I mean, how can you argue with lyrics like these:
“Johnny B.’s the best and he’s got awards to prove it.

But now the suits say it’s cheaper to play music.
Hey, monkey, push a button and play another song.
Talent on the radio just doesn’t belong.
Enjoy this crap while you can ’cause it won’t last long.
It’s the last time I raise a ship from the dead.
Now I’m gonna watch it sink all over again.”
You gotta see it and hear it to appreciate it ...
Click here: YouTube - JOHNNY B "UNEMPLOYED MO FO"

Seems like some hearty congratulations are in order for our radio buddy Scott Shannon ... check out THESE news clips!
Scott tells me he’ll be working “primarily with the major-market music stations, but will be available to work with all Citadel properties, on an as-needed basis.” So call him an in-house consultant who’s already got a very full workload at WPLJ, New York (PD and morning host) and the Citadel Media-syndicated True Oldies Channel (one of the loves of his life, now on 66 stations). Turns out Scott’s been working with Los Angeles classic rocker KLOS (95.5) – and the results are strong enough for CEO Farid Suleman to give him the VP / Programming title and the opportunity to “assist program directors at Citadel’s major-market stations with overall programming and content decisions.” L.A. manager Bob Moore says Shannon’s been “the architect of the new direction at KLOS, which has propelled the station to its highest ratings in the past 20 years.” Scott famously took onetime beautiful-music WVNJ, Newark (100.3) from broom-closet status to top 40 winner as New York’s Z100, in a miraculous feat of “worst to first.” He later journeyed to Los Angeles to do “Pirate Radio” KQLZ and returned to New York in 1991 at hot AC WPLJ (95.5).

WPLJ / NEW YORK PD and morning co-host SCOTT SHANNON as VP of Programming for the company. SHANNON will remain PD at WPLJ and will continue to program CITADEL MEDIA's TRUE OLDIES CHANNEL while adding duties assisting CITADEL's major market PDs with overall programming and content direction.
"SCOTT is one of the preeminent radio programming talents in the industry and we are very fortunate to have him as part of our company," said CEO
FARID SULEMAN. "He has been instrumental in recent successes and innovations at several of our stations as well as the network."
"SCOTT's contribution to radio are legendary and his success are many," said WPLJ and
WABC-A / NEW YORK Pres. / GM STEVE BORNEMAN. "He is a proven resource for us and simply the best music programmer in the industry today. During the last 12 months, we’ve been able to elevate WPLJ to some of its highest ratings ever, clearly positioning us as one of the leading stations in NEW YORK. I’m delighted about his new position and know he will continue teach us all how it’s done.
WTG, Scott! Clearly your work has not gone unnoticed! You pretty much single-handedly saved the oldies on terrestrial radio ... and now you're taking over the rest of the broadcasting universe! Congratulations! (And if you ever need a hand programming The True Oldies Channel, I AM available ... and for a whole lot less than what Johnny B.'s gonna want!!!) kk

Meanwhile, Hit Parade Radio is moving forward at a stepped-up pace right now, too, thanks to the acquisition of Liz Doyle, who'll now serve as Vice President of Operations for the network. With a stellar track record behind her, John Rook is anxiously awaiting the results of what Liz will do to help market this exciting new format, catering to the demographic that traditional radio has chosen to ignore for decades now.

Greetings from Dallas.
I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Liz Doyle, the new Vice President of Operations of Earthworks Entertainment’s, Hit Parade Radio.
The first quarter of 2010 we are introducing our newest programming network, Hit Parade Radio. It targets the largest and fastest growing demographic group in America; 45+ year old adults, 70 million people and 28% of the population. This demographic is also the most underserved radio audience as well.
Hit Parade Radio is the creation of John Rook whose programming successes are well known at dozens of stations nationally including WLS-Chicago; WCFL-Chicago; KFI-Los Angeles and KABC-Los Angeles. John brings a wealth of experience and a gifted feel for what attracts radio listeners.
The on air talent is anchored by Larry Lujack and Wink Martindale. Larry, the first “SuperJock” in the US started his career in 1958 and is best known for his work on WLS and WCFL in Chicago. Inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in June 2002, the Radio Hall of Fame in November 2004 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in April 2008, Larry Lujack is a magnet for radio consumers. Wink Martindale is the recipient of many awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His voice is one of the most recognized in radio. He also has hosted several syndicated TV shows and numerous game shows nationally. LuJack and Martindale bring their experience, unique personalities and style, knowledge of music and ability to communicate to Hit Parade Radio.
Hit Parade Radio offers a great format along with state of the art digital and marketing support.
I invite you to listen for yourself by clicking on or via Wi-Fi, our latest and greatest method of digital delivery.
I look forward to talking with you about Hit Parade Radio and your market needs and how we can help you achieve them.
Liz Doyle
Hit Parade Radio

This Friday night I'll be celebrating 8 years on the Internet with topshelf oldies.
After I tell you this weeks schedule, I'll reminisce about the past a bit.
This week I'll be featuring a little bit of everything from my collection.
The program is on from 7 PM till 3:01 AM over
I'm saving 9 PM for a couple of special things.
Of course it's country music at 12 AM on Midnight Country.
I'm thinking back to when I was a kid and wanted to be a Dee jay. I remember my old Wollensak tape recorder. I did my show on that little machine but I was the only one who heard it.
Back in 1960 / 61 I was a weekly guest on a folk music program called "Folklore with Lorrie." The host was George Lorrie and I used to preview different folk albums that George gave me to listen to.
When I went into the service I was doing oldie shows in 1961 at the Service Club at Fort Dix, NJ. I was playing music from the 50s which were starting to be called oldies. I always ended my show with a new song that just came out called "Good Goodbye" later renamed "So So Long". The song was by The Bob Knight Four and I still sign off my show with that theme song today.
When I came out of the Army, I spent many hours being MC of folk concerts at a place called The Community Cultural Centre in Brooklyn, New York and in the summer we moved the weekly concerts outdoors to a place called Sea Side Park. I was instrumental in getting some great people to sing for this non-profit organization. My old buddy George Lorrie did a concert for us. Besides being a Dee jay, he also sang. I had folk singer Barbara Dane, Tom Glazer, The Beers family, The Bergerfolk and several others did me the honor.
I also did MC work in Prospect Park for local bands from the area.
As time went by, it was suddenly the 1980's and I was on a weekly country music program in Elizabeth, New Jersey with Freddy the German Cowboy. I had a 15 minute portion of his show and I always made it seem like a big production. A couple times Freddy couldn't make it so he let me do the entire show. We later moved to WCNJ-FM in Hazlet, New Jersey. This was non-commercial radio and Freddie was paying for it as he reminded everybody that he owned The Blue Ribbon Inn. You must try mama's home cooking and especially her pierogies.
When Freddy moved to this station he bought a block of time Monday through Wednesday at midnight. Our theme song was "Just hooked on country" which I fell in love with and use on my country portion of The Pop Shoppe every week. Now Freddy was on Monday. I had Tuesday to myself and Freddy was on Wednesday. I programmed all 3 programs and learned a lot in those days.
There was time open earlier in the evening and I got the job of filling in any free time. I started something called "Return to Bleecker Street", a folk music show. Some weeks I did specials of different artists like Jane Olivor / The Surpremes and so many others. It was 1985 and I started fooling around with "The Pop Shoppe". This name actually came from a round robin tape club that I had been running. One day Freddy had enough with this station that just didn't cover enough area for him. The management liked the response to my show "The Pop Shoppe" so they let me stay on. In spite of the limited coverage the station offered, I was there for several years. Eventually several of the Dee Jays left to help start a new station in Freehold / Howell, NJ. It was there that I met Hattie who sits in for me when I take some rare time off my show. Our Program Director Dlanna eventually left and started topshelf oldies. In 2001 I joined her Internet station. I've been here ever since.
The web site for topshelfoldies is
My address is
And that address can be used to contact me during my show or anytime.
Remember this is my 8th year celebration. You must be here this night because I don't want to be alone.
Yours sincerely,
Stu Weiss / DJ STU
Congratulations on eight years, Stu! It's clear that you take a lot of pride in what you're doing ... and enjoy it, too! (We got this out too late to plug Friday's show ... but hearing you tell your story was well worth it all!) kk

And I've got to hand out some VERY special props to Y103.9 FM here in Chicago ... they just keep expanding their playlist ... it is a CONSTANT joy and surprise to hear some of the music that's been cropping up on there lately ... and it's clear that jocks like Jim Shea, Jeff James and Tom Kent really know, love and appreciate this music. You can catch their stream here:

Click here: Y103.9 - Homepage
(I mean, if you're going to advertise "The Greatest Hits Of All Time" then you might as well play as many of them as possible! They've even added a "Vintage Vinyl" feature, which allows them to play '50's music for the first time ever ... ALL ideas we've been promoting for YEARS now!!! WTG, Y103.9!!!) kk

But a great big "OOOPS! Of The Week" Award goes out to Greg Brown over at WLS-FM ... the other day on his weekday feature of playing a "#1 Song From This Date" he TOTALLY mixed up his "Believers". Acknowledging the fact that The Monkees had the #1 Record on this date in 1967 (which they did, with their chart-topper "Daydream Believer") he then proceeded to play "I'm A Believer" instead ... which was released the PREVIOUS December (as in 1966) ... and didn't hit #1 until December 30th of that year. Watch it, Greg ... the people who listen who know their oldies will catch you on this kind of stuff!!! You just GOTTA do your homework! (kk)

And finally, just one more reminder that you can now catch our very own Forgotten Hits on the Radio broadcasts over at our new podcast site. First up on the web: The Entire Top 50 Favorite Instrumentals Countdown, featuring Phil Nee of WRCO. Also posted: Forgotten Hits on The Flip Side Show with Mr. C. Both programs are fine examples of how some of our newsletter features have crossed over to oldies radio.
You can listen here: ... and read the results of some of our recent surveys here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Top 200 BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS of All-Time
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 20 Favorite Psychedelic Songs
Meanwhile, Scott Shannon's still getting major mileage out of our "First 45's" feature, too!
Click here: Forgotten Hits - FIRST 45's
Click here: Forgotten Hits - More of Your FIRST 45's
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Even MORE Of Your First 45's
Yep, Forgotten Hits is ALL over the radio lately ... be sure to check us out when you get a chance!