Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday This And That

Sacred Cows: 
Hey Kent –
Thanks for the e mail. WOW, some response to the Bruce Morrow piece!!! Everyone has an opinion, not only of Bruce but of all of us who happened to be working in that golden era of radio the late 50's and 60's right up through the middle 70's.
But you have you know when it's time to step away at the right time ... and hopefully you get to make that call yourself.
I think back to the last time I played the hits and it had to be 1978 ... FORTY years ago! But for me, the timing was right and I moved on to Sports. I'm sure what I did at WHK in Cleveland, 1010 WINS in New York, KYA in San Francisco and here in Washington, DC at WWDC probably would not play in the climate we're in today. But that’s okay … things change and we move on. Like you said, guys like Bruce Morrow and Dick Biondi paved the way.  Hey, I'm just happy they are both still with us! 
Johnny Holliday
Well, you made both those to DJ lists, too, so your early work certainly didn’t go unnoticed. And you were able to spin that off into a far more lucrative and long-lasting sports casting career. Most aren’t so fortunate. (We’ve got a few former top 40 jocks working on television or as weathermen or sidemen on the radio … when you’re born with the gift and the passion it’s hard to step away.)
Sadly, with the sad state of radio today, kids are no longer inspired to pursue a career in broadcasting.  Think about it … how many stations even have live deejays anymore?!?
It’s a shame - and certainly not what any of us grew up with.  (kk)
I'm with you, Kent ... we could talk about it for hours.
I don't get it ... I got in the Biz when I had just turned 18 and loved every minute of it.  Today I enjoy it just as much as I ever did ... but in a much different way.
Anytime you want to discuss further, give me a call.
Keep up the great work.

As always, late to the party, but I had to comment re: Cousin Brucie gaffe and the subject of talking head radio DJs.
Growing up in the Dallas - Ft.Worth area, we did not have (as I recall) any real superjock radio personalities. Ron Chapman of KVIL reigned in the Adult Contemporary sound, John Labella and John Rody from KZEW were the class duo in the rock music scene. Perhaps the shock / supertalk came along later, but at that point I had switched to the oldies station KLUV, which did not have the intense on-air personalities.
Even if there had been more opportunities to hear that type of personality driven programming, I would not have chosen to do so. I love an informed, low-key presentation that showcases and enhances the music; knowledgeable commenting and sharing of accurate information and experiences.
The radio personality who is a master of this format is Bob Stroud of Chicago’s 97.1, The Drive. Stroud is perfection on the air: classy, well-informed, mature, professional. He makes the radio listening experience a real pleasure for those who truly love and appreciate music and musicians. It is a solid relief to know that in listening to a Stroud show, one will not hear prank calls, embarrassing “discussions” of inappropriate bodily functions, or insane cackling from some lame toady in the background.
I will always love Dick Biondi for his pioneering in radio broadcast and for the longevity he has deservedly had. He has an honorable legacy that no one can deny. I have no familiarity with Cousin Brucie, but when a radio personality is frequently passing incorrect information as fact or experience, it’s time to hang it up ... beloved or not. 
Mrs. kk / Frannie 

I enjoyed reading Allan Sniffen's support for Cousin Brucie. However, for Allan to suggest, or even equate him as an on-air DJ equal to The Real Don Steele is beyond absurd.  Steele had far more talent (his ad-libs remain the stuff of legend) whereas Brucie just eeee-i-eeee-i-o'd his way along for years, fumblin, bumblin' and stumblin', as Chris Berman would say.  Still, WABC fans ate it up.  Well, no accounting for taste!
The big difference between both DJs - unlike the famed Cousin, Steele NEVER took himself too seriously. He knew the whole presentation was all about doing a job and giving 110%, yet he knew when to turn off the schtick.  The man didn't carry his on-air perceived ego 24-7, whereas Brucie laser-beams it, projecting that 'better roll out the red carpet for me' kinda attitude to this very day. Steele was one of the most private individuals in the radio industry.  I found that out when, like a radio dork, I went to Los Angeles on vacation, circa 1986. While running all over the city airchecking stations and hitting the boss beaches, I had hoped to flag Steele down after his daily shift stop at KRLA and maybe chat for a few minutes in the parking lot.  Not happening, haha!  Hey, could you even imagine Cousin Brucie doing the role Steele played in "Eating Raoul"? Only Steele could pull that off, because of what I just stated.
A shout out to your followers, Kent, if I may - if anybody out there has board-quality airchecks from WAVZ New Haven, CT, circa 1972 - 1976, please let me know.  I already have everything that is available elsewhere, Reel Radio, etc.

Mike Markesich
I don’t think Allan Sniffen tried in ANY way to equate the talents of The Real Don Steele and Cousin Brucie Morrow … quite the opposite, in fact.  I took his comment to read more as “imagine the fans of The Real Don Steele, a TRUE radio pro, seeing Cousin Brucie elevated to anything near that stature.”
I’ll tell you what … listening to the vintage airchecks on Reel Radio beats just about ANYTHING that’s on the air today … but it sounds like they may be ready to close up shop.  The donations just aren’t coming in to keep them supported … and ever since they had to cut all of their airchecks to scoped versions, it just hasn’t been the same.  But anyone who hasn’t checked them out and wants to hear what Top 40 Radio REALLY sounded like back then, owes themselves a trip to this website.  (There is an annual subscription fee required before you can listen.  However, I just checked and it looks like they are not taking new subscriptions at this time … makes me wonder if this really is the end of this site.  Too bad if it’s true … HOURS of enjoyment to be found here on every new visit.)  kk

Hi Kent:
I was a fan of Cousin Brucie in the Heyday, at least through the 60’s. Living in Milwaukee, I couldn’t get him all of the time, but I  thought he was kind of nuts, which I liked. He had that classic 4 Seasons Intro song. It was good fun. Having said that, I think these mistakes modern shows make are kind of laughable. With all the staff and internet research at your fingertips, it’s amazing how much nonsense gets spewed out. It’s just laziness on everyone’s part that gaffs like that are made. It’s also true that probably only music geeks like us give a crap. Still, it’s kind of unprofessional and seems bogus that simple items like this are messed up. 
I’m with Mike Markesich, I will listen to all the great old airchecks and skip the mediocre retro oldies fodder of the day. 
He still plays that custom Four Seasons track on his Sirius XM Program today ... definitely one of the highlights of his show!  (kk)

As a big AM-DX'er in the 60's, me and my brothers could spin that dial just 10 KC often to get a station with a song we wanted to hear.  What kept us mostly tied to WLS and CFL often WAS the great DJs.  Like you, I was late for Biondi at WLS and only heard him in REAL time when he returned to CFL late nights in late 67.  Even then, he seemed a bit out of place with the hip CFL sound of Barney Pip and Ron Britain coming before him at night.  It was SOOOO hard to choose what DJ on each station was the one to listen to.  Luckily, it was only a 110 KC flip of the dial to go from 890 to 1000.  Biggest obstacle was Larry Neil's OKC stations.  Living in Dodge City, Kansas, WLS and WCFL were clear channel stations who had big drawbacks in my area.  890 was also home to KBYE and 1000 to KTOK, BOTH in OKLAHOMA CITY!  I have tapes of both stations with the OKC stations fading in mentioning the call letters during a song I obviously wanted to tape from Chi stations.  Making it even more odd, was that OKC was home to two great Top 40 stations, WKY at 930 and KOMA at 1520!  930 was also home to LA's great KHJ and we even got it at night and taped it one night in 68!
Now, about Cousin Brucie.  WE were in 7th heaven when WABC came in over another troublesome station.  770 was clear channel WABC, but also housed KOB Albequerque, who was ALSO 50,000 watts like WABC!  Ugh!  We only got WABC (and many other greats) at night, so we heard Brucie, Charlie Greer and Harry Harrison and just knowing about those guys and the station made them stars to us.  It wasn't until I met Ricky Kaufman when he was co-DJ with Larry Neil at KOMA in the 90's that Ricky sent me tapes of Dan Ingram on WABC.  After hearing Ingram on WABC tapes, I found him every bit worthy of praise that Ron Riley and the WLS / CFL jocks got.  To me, Riley and Dex Card and Jim Stagg were the perfect top 40 pro sounding jocks of their times. Ron Britain and Ingram and Big Jack Armstrong were the most crazy and fun guys to hear with great funny wit.  Pip was the trumpet master and unique in every way and his opposition, Art Roberts was the amazing calm story teller that we all loved.  It was just amazing radio.  Clark Weber had his great humor, but being a morning jock (after 63), I seldom heard him in real time, as I was getting up for grade school then.  Those guys have had a lasting effect on me all my life.  Lujack?  He was with me so much longer from 67 - 87 and then for a time in the 2000's, so it's tough to compare, but he was awesome IMO.  So many greats could be mentioned.  We heard Chuck Buell as early as 1961 on KIMN Denver and Fred Winston on WKYC Cleveland in 68.  It was a great time!
Your synopsis is pretty right on, I think.  I appreciate Biondi more NOW than I did then, mostly for his artist help and his controversial radio-speak vs. the powers.  Indeed, he was of the same cloth as the Geater, Brucie, but with the outspoken views of a Bob Crane (yes, HOGAN!) in LA on KNX at the time.  Biondi deserves his legendary status and altho I have changed views of some DJs like Brucie or Jimmy O'Neil, who was a star on TV and KOMA and in LA but was really a line bumbler more often when at KOIL Omaha in the 70's.  STILL, I agree that they are legends and I'd go back and listen to them all if I could.
As for Mike Markesich's nice words, that guy carried the BOSS RADIO flag brilliantly when he first took on radio in the 80's when no one much knew about airchecks.  He was young, but was wise beyond his years as far as 60's radio and music went.  Both Sides Now's Mike Callahan and I had traded tapes and basically, I knew no one else at the time but youngsters like Mike and FH'er Stu Shea were very astute and have carried the flag for decades since.  Both have written books on bands and garage rockers that should be read.  Look them up for some cool reads!  I hope Mike won't mind me sending along a short aircheck of his youthful radio days in Connecticut on Boss Radio WQAQ in the early 80's (?).  I helped supply some vintage edited jingles to fit WQAQ and Mike provided the KHJ format and great DJ patter of 60's Boss radio with obscure tracks long before we had CDs and the internet to find these artifacts.  Pretty nice work dealing with cassettes and 45s and 8 track PSAs like we all did back in the days. 
Great to read Ron Dante's take on writing "Band in Boston" too.  Thanks, Kent!!!  You rule when getting to these guys with obscure questions!  As for Jim Peterik congratulating Paul Shafer on his new show, I hope Paul fixes a big mistake whgile he was Letterman's sidekick.  GET JIMBO on your show.  You played "Vehicle" almost monthly on the show, yet never got Jimbo on to sing and play with the band.  Why?????
As to the Graham Nash / Allan Clarke controversy, I think TONY HICKS is the mastermind of the Hollies.  If you read the great Hollies biography, "Long Dark Road," you might agree that through all the leaving, coming back, leaving, etc, TONY HICKS was the guy who kept the whole thing together and picked many of the hits to record from demos, while Nash and Clarke (both great) get all the applause and accolades.  
Clark Besch

Tony Hicks has never received the credit he deserves for his contribution to The Hollies.  He was the one out there finding a great selection of music for the band to record … and his third harmony helped give the band their distinctive sound.  Again, check out that “Look Through Any Window” DVD … it’s outstanding!  (kk)

I read this, then was really relieved that it wasn't about me!
>>>Cut him some slack… others who have NEVER cared for him in the first place and have always found him to be highly overrated … and then those who say, "yes, he's gotten older … and he's not what he used to be … "  (kk)
James Fairs
LOL … thanks, James, you made my morning!  Great to hear from you!  (kk)

On The Radio:
Some more good news on the local radio front … Me-TV-FM’s ratings are up AGAIN … I got an advance notice over the weekend from Neal Sabin, who couldn’t be happier.  (And with less competition on the dial these days, they should continue to rise … and more folks discover the wide range of variety that can be found here, all on one station!)

Hi Kent. 
Watch for the February Chicago radio ratings out tomorrow.  MeTVFM will be the story I believe.

According to the latest stats, Me-TV-FM jumped from 21st place to 6th in the latest ratings poll!   (That’s an increase in listener share from 2.4 to 3.6 … or 50%!!!)  This is ESPECIALLY encouraging after reading all that radio bankruptcy news over the weekend.

Sabin told Robert Feder:

“We continue to break many of the old ‘radio rules’ by playing thousands of different songs in a strategically balanced manner that span many decades, genres and tempos.”

I was also extremely pleased to see She-FM (100.3 FM)’s Brooke and Jubal program finally break into The Top Ten.  (This is the show that I listen to every morning on the way to work … just as entertaining as hell with a nice mix of music from the ‘80’s, ‘90’s, 2000’s and today … a nice break from my otherwise constant diet of oldies music and classic rock.

With K-Hits (they flipped to all Hip-Hop) and The Loop (now Christian Rock) out of the picture, stations like Me-TV-FM, She-FM and The Drive are enjoying a new influx of listeners looking for more of what they like best on the dial.

To that degree, NOBODY can touch the variety offered my Me-TV-FM.  (I was surprised to read that they’re now ranked #2 during mid-days … since they don’t stream, how is it that people are listening to them at work???)  I still say this is the key missing element that could propel them over the top … by being accessible 24/7 through not only streaming devices but also those areas that still have difficulty picking up their weak signal.  (When I had Me-TV-FM in the car, I never experienced any difficulty … we would often drive 140 - 150 miles outside the city and still get clear reception.  Sooner or later I’ve just GOT to get my car in to see if they can do a radio software upgrade.  Honestly, between Me, She and The Drive, I could easily give up Sirius XM again!)

Congratulations to Neal Sabin, Rick O’Dell and Bill Cochran on your continued success!  (kk)

Clive Topol

This And That:
>>>Are you kidding me???  We’ve featured “The Monkey’s Uncle” a whole bunch of times before in Forgotten Hits!  In fact, I remember playing it one time on Jim Shea’s morning show and making the comment that if they remade this movie today, it would probably star Miley Cyrus, Maroon Five and Snakes On A Plane! (Definitely a better song than a movie!)  kk
I've got that clip of you and Jim ... love it when it hits my shuffle list ... great "updating" of a 60's classic (Annette/Miley. Beach Boys/M5. Monkey/Snakes ...on a plane no less ~ Great fun!),
Really?  Would love it if you could send it to me.  (Actually at the time I think I said Britney Spears … but Miley seemed even more timely today!)  Thanks, Phil!  (kk)
Great bit with the two of you!
Are you still in touch with Jim?
Totally off the cuff … and older than I remember since I referenced Disney’s OTHER “it girl” at the time, Lindsay Lohan … but that makes Miley Cyrus an even better updated choice! 
We hear from Jim every now and then … he’s still on the list and checks us out when he can … working as a podiatrist these days I believe!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
THANK YOU SO MUCH for featuring “MARY  LOU"  by the Great Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks!
He would be in his 80's and I think he is still around. One of our legends.
Glad all your readers had the chance to listen to it.
Hawkins was born in 1935 so he just turned 83 this year.  (He may be more famous for helping to form The Band than for his own work as an artist.)  He formed The Hawks in 1952 … YEARS before people were talking about anything called rock and roll!  (And DIDJAKNOW that he’s also a first cousin to Dale Hawkins of “Susie Q” fame?  (kk)

>>>As to the recording of THE (real) McCOY by the Ventures, I did not know that the instrumental was on the flip of WALK, DON'T RUN. However, and I went to double check since I have the 45, THE REAL McCOY came out in 1959 on Blue Horizon records with a flip called COOKIES AND COKE. Now the song THE REAL McCOY was written according to the record by Wilson and Bogle. The tune THE REAL McCOY is an instrumental with an occasional word or two spoken by a Walter Brennan sound alike. There might be a discrepancy here somewhere but I don't know.  (Larry Neal)
>>>So obviously "The Real McCoy" is a totally different recording that "The McCoy" then … now I'm curious to hear it!  (Especially since it predates The Ventures' hit status!)  kk

Harvey Kubernik’s new book on The Doors, “The Doors Summer’s Gone” is available now …
and check out this awesome cover!

FH Reader Tom Cuddy shares the good word about the revamped edition of one of his all-time favorite bands, Chicago ...

kk …
I went to shows like this one in my younger days,
Frank B.

Can you even imagine seeing a show like this, all on one bill?!?!  Crazy!!! (kk)

And, speaking of great shows, The Arcada Theatre is doing a special live concert television taping of Ann Wilson’s show on Wednesday, April 11th.  (Man, we can’t WAIT to see this one!!!)
Ann will be performing hits from the Heart catalog as well as some new material and soul favorites.  The whole thing will air later in the year on PBS … but you can see it LIVE if you act now.
Complete details can be found below …

St. Charles, IL:  Ann Wilson, the lead singer and songwriter for the superband, HEART, will record her live concert special on Wednesday, April 11th, at the intimate Arcada Theatre. The exclusive performance will air on PBS later this Fall and will include all of the songs that make up the essence of Ann - songs from her solo work as well as the unforgettable hits of HEART. For this special, Ann will also perform iconic soul stirring covers from her upcoming album, "Songs for the Living, Vol. 1," a collection honoring late artists who have greatly inspired and influenced Ann and popular music, set to release this Summer.  
President and CEO Ron Onesti announced the television taping after learning of how quickly Ann's first show, scheduled for Sunday, April 8, sold out. "For me, Ann Wilson truly represents the power of rock and the music of the era," said Ron, "As powerful as it is, even her ballads command rockin' respect."
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees and sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson first showed the world that women can rock when their band, Heart, stormed the charts in the ‘70’s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On” and so many more. For her Arcada appearances, Ann will be joined by special guests and backed by a band of 'true artists.' “Ann Wilson of Heart is what I have been preparing for all my life” said the singer, “The time is right, and I’m ready.”
Tickets for the 7:00pm performance are $75, $95, $125, $150 or $175 and are available at oshows.com or by calling 630-962-7000.
The Historic Arcada Theatre is a 900-seat Vaudeville-era theatre that hosts over 300 live concerts annually.

The Onesti Entertainment Corporation
105 East Main Street • St. Charles, Illinois 60174 • 630.962.7000 •