Monthly Archives: December 2015

DAN’S MESSAGE

Hard to believe that Dan Fogelberg has been gone for eight years now. I will forever remember the night he tamed a very rowdy Eagles crowd with just a Martin guitar and his irresistible songs. “Souvenirs” (with Joe Walsh’s help) from 1974 has to be to be one of the best singer-songwriter LPs of the ‘70s.

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Even more important than Dan’s music was his message at the end of his life; prostate cancer is not a death sentence! Early detection is the key. Men, with the help of your urologist, stay on top of your PSA numbers.

 

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By | 2015-12-17T18:03:51+00:00 December 17th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on DAN’S MESSAGE

BOY

Well, here it is; the actual, very worn album that started it all.

 

lp!

 

Thirty-five years ago today while I was music director and afternoon DJ at the Long Island rocker WLIR-FM in New York, I walked into the air studio with an import LP (from England) on Island Records.  It was from a new, unknown band called U2. Talented beginners from Ireland…what a beginning and game changer. Always looking for what was new, edgy and bold, the air staff fell for them immediately.

 

By | 2015-12-13T15:43:11+00:00 December 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on BOY

THE NIGHTBIRD AND OLD BLUE EYES

On the occasion of Frank Sinatra’s birthday centennial, a fond radio memory with Allison Steele comes to mind. Allison was one of those larger-than-life legends in the radio world who everyone knew as the Nightbird. Her sultry, late night delivery won over the Big Apple for years with classic rock n roll, poetry and conversation.

alison!

Years later, as it turned out, she was working down the hall at WNEW-AM while I was over on the FM side of the building. Now she was playing some of the finest jazz and big band hits like Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald with that same sexy delivery. Every Sunday night for a couple of years, I’d come down the hall to say hi, take meter readings (FCC required) and catch-up with her while listening to some truly great stories.

One evening as we were talking shop the hotline rang in the air studio. That’s the direct, private studio number for radio station staffers or close friends. “Hold that thought, and let me get this Ray.” With that breathy perfect voice she picked up the phone and said, ”hi, this is Allison. Hey, hi Frankie, I was just talking with one of the guys here at the station. How have you been? What’s new? No, I’m getting off in a few minutes at 8. I’d love it…let’s definitely get a bite and catch-up. Have your driver pull up in front of the building and I’ll meet you there.” As she hung up I immediately quizzed her with a smile, “Frankie?” She laughed and said yeah it was Sinatra. They were old friends and he was driving around Manhattan listening to her show on the radio and thought they ought to go to dinner, so he called from his limo. We said goodnight and as I left Allison’s radio studio I smiled again and said “have a nice dinner, you lucky duck!.” As I headed home to Long Island I imagined the Nightbird and Frank Sinatra heading up Third Avenue in Old Blue Eyes fancy wheels.

frank!

By | 2015-12-13T15:16:49+00:00 December 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on THE NIGHTBIRD AND OLD BLUE EYES

THE RISE AND FALL OF TOWER RECORDS

Browsing in a record shop, now that’s the way to spend a few hours. And, meet some great people at the same time. In fact, while my radio career was getting started, I worked at a very cool little jazz record shop in Wethersfield, Ct. called Integrity ‘n Music (it’s still around).

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I just saw an indie film the other night for vinyl & CD lovers by Collin Hanks (Tom Hanks’ son) called “All Things Must Pass”. It’s a terrific documentary about the biggest of them all; Tower Records. It’s part love letter, as well as a truly fascinating tale and a delicious bit of music biz history. It’s all there; the humble start, the mighty expansion and the breathtaking collapse.

 

So, how could this company fail? Thanks to director Hanks we get the whole back story to this invincible, musical Titantic cruising toward it’s rendezvous with the big iceberg called the internet. We meet the charming founder Russ Solomon and his loyal and lovable staff as well as some very famous Tower customers like Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl (who used to work for the chain in Seattle). You’ll love their comments about hanging around Tower’s miles of CD and record bins. Whether it be the original San Francisco shop on Columbus, their giant store in Tokyo, the packed outlet in Austin or NYC’s uptown and downtown stores it was always a fun (and expensive!!) hang.

By | 2015-12-01T01:28:28+00:00 December 1st, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on THE RISE AND FALL OF TOWER RECORDS