Creature Feature hosted by Sir Cecil Creape

No… this is not a goth punk band… but I will post a song from Han’s draft at 11 CST today.

This morning I wanted to share this memory of this fun local horror host. When I was a kid I thought Sir Cecil Creape was a little scary but a lot of fun. It was a gentle way for kids to be introduced to older horror movies.

If you didn’t grow up in Nashville in the 70s you will be thinking… who? I’m sure local stations in other areas had someone like this or maybe not. This was before cable, DVD’s, VHS, or personal computers.

Sir Cecil Creape was actually Russ McCown (film editor) playing the host that featured a  B horror movie from the 40s and 50s. The show was called Creature Feature and it was originally on between 1971-1973. They would rerun it through the seventies and that is when I caught him. It was on the NBC afflilate Channel 4 in Nashville. It would come on late at night. Creape would do different skits with a corny sense of humor and it worked. I thought the set was absolutely the coolest set I’d ever seen.

WSM (Channel 4) even created a Sir Cecil Creape Fan Club, which offered a poster and a cardboard mask perfect for terrorizing younger brothers and sisters, and the Boy Scouts of America Middle Tennessee Council issued a special “Sir Cecil’s Ghoul Patrol” patch.

They aimed the show at high schoolers and college students but soon children would want to stay up past their bedtime to watch it. I do remember t-shirts and buttons of Creape…and occasionally I still see a few around Nashville. Pat Sajak, long before hosting the Wheel of Fortune, assisted in the scripts.

In 1983 Russ McCown revisited Sir Cecil in the Phantom of the Opry on TNN for 13 episodes. I read where someone said he sounded like a Southern-fried Boris Karloff. That sounds right!

Dr. Gangrene's Mad Blog: Sir Cecil Creape T-shirt UpdatedDr. Gangrene's Mad Blog: Sir Cecil Creape - 1970s Nashville Horror Host

He was elected into the The official Horror Host Hall of Fame in 2015! Russ McCown passed away in 1998.

Beach Boys – Don’t Worry Baby

This is my fourth song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The Beach Boys Don’t Worry Baby.

Those who follow my blog and know me…know I like older music than my generation. I was once told by a co-worker that it’s “unnatural” to like music before you were born…which I think is hilarious and totally idiotic. I go through phases with music. When Hans and I talk about The Beatles I tend to listen to them and nothing else for a while…and the same with other bloggers.

I have done this my entire life…I get into something and I’m obsessed. I never really discard anything after my obsession dies down…it keeps coming back and in the case of the Beatles and others… never goes away.

In my senior year of high school I went through a surf music phase. I wore Hawaiian shirts and coco butter everywhere. I was  looking forward to the Florida trip my friends and I were planning in spring. I would roll in the high school parking lot with Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, or The Beach Boys blaring out of my Mustang. I had a hell of a stereo system in my car. When Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” can drown out The Scorpions coming from another car…the system is loud.

During this time surf music hit the musical spot in me. The musicians on those surf records were incredible. This song dug deeper…much deeper. I still listen to the song. Don’t Worry Baby is about a girl and a car…when you are an 18 year old boy…a girl and a car are the two most important topics…at least they were to me. It has always stuck with me and I’ll never forget that year. My first serious girlfriend, a 66 Mustang, and Don’t Worry Baby… 1985 was a good year.

We did go on that spring trip to Cocoa Beach Florida. A fifteen-hour drive one way in a Celica Sports Coupe with 4 guys packed in there. We picked the name (Cocoa Beach) because it sounded great…Yep pretty stupid because we could have driven 7 hours to Pensacola instead.

It was written by Brian Wilson and DJ Roger Christian. This was conceived as a follow-up to the Ronettes #2 hit “Be My Baby.” When Brian Wilson heard the Be My Baby on the radio, he wondered aloud if he could match it. Wilson’s wife Marilyn reassured him, saying, “Don’t Worry, Baby.”

This is pop perfection by the Beach Boys.

Don’t Worry Baby

Well it’s been building up inside of me
For oh I don’t know how long
I don’t know why
But I keep thinking
Something’s bound to go wrong

But she looks in my eyes
And makes me realize
And she says “don’t worry, baby”
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby

I guess I should’ve kept my mouth shut
When I started to brag about my car
But I can’t back down now because
I pushed the other guys too far

She makes me come alive
And makes me wanna drive
When she says “don’t worry, baby”
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby

She told me “Baby, when you race today
Just take along my love with you
And if you knew how much I loved you
Baby, nothing could go wrong with you”

Oh what she does to me
When she makes love to me
And she says “don’t worry, baby”
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby

Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died In Your Arms ….Power Pop Friday

I hardly ever post #1 songs but when this song came out our radio station liked it. No they LOVED IT. I kid you not it was on every hour. It got to be a running joke with my friends on how many times we would hear this song in an afternoon.

It was either this song or the Outfield song “Your Love”…they were a year apart but they seemed joined at the hip on our rock radio station. The two songs had distinctive openings…Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight and Josie’s on a vacation far away…

Our band was playing in a bar at this time and we would just play the opening line and mock it… Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight It must have been something I ate… everyone applauded and laughed because they were as tired of it as we were. 

After a few years I hardly heard it anymore and then something  happened…I started to like it…a lot!  It is a fun 80s style power pop song that I probably liked when I first heard it but I heard it too many times back then. It was written by Cutting Crew lead singer Nick Van Eede.

They formed in London in 1985 and hit big with their first album Broadcast with two hit singles. 

The song was huge…it peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100,  #1 in Canada, #4 in Canada, and #50 in New Zealand. 

Nick Van Eede:“Yes, I cannot tell a lie. It’s a song written about my girlfriend (who is actually the mother of my daughter). We got back together for one night after a year apart and I guess there were some fireworks but all the time tinged with a feeling of ‘should I really be doing this?’ Hence the lyric, ‘I should have walked away.

I know it sounds corny but I awoke that morning and wrote the basic lyrics within an hour and wrote and recorded the demo completely within three days.”

From Songfacts

Richard Branson started Virgin Records in England in 1972, but it wasn’t until 1987 and the release of Cutting Crew’s Broadcast album that Virgin broke through in America. Nick Van Eede told us about his experience with the record company: “We were signed to Siren records which was part of Virgin so we were always a little bit on the outside but it was the ’80s and they certainly put their money where their mouth was. We were flown to New York for the initial recordings of the album and this is where we got a great recording of ‘I’ve Been In Love Before.’ Then we were flown to Australia to shoot videos… all a bit crazy really. We gave them their first US #1 with ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’ but the company soon outgrew us as music stars were changing in the early ’90s. We wrote one slightly veiled song having a pop at US A&R antics in our ‘Between A Rock And A Hard Place’ from The Scattering (1989) album. I sang, ‘I got a brick but I can’t find a window,’ as they continually blocked our album’s release for months making us lose so much momentum.”

Mika used a great deal of this song on his 2007 track “Relax (Take It Easy).” Says Nick: “I know as well as any other song writer that these things can happen and its just the way of the composing world. I am completely confident Mika stumbled in to it accidentally and I am proud to be given the co write… Kerching!!!”

This song has been sampled or interpolated by a number of rap and R&B artists. Jay-Z did a remake of the song, and Amerie used it on her track “I Just Died.”

This was used in the Stranger Things episode “Suzie, Do You Copy?” (2019) and the Cold Case episode “Lonely Hearts” (2006). It also appears in these movies:

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Hot Rod (2007)
Never Been Kissed (1999)

In a 2020 Planters commercial that aired during the Super Bowl in 2020, Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes are riding the Peanutmobile, singing along as this song plays on the radio. Mr. Peanut is driving. When he swerves to avoid an armadillo, the vehicle goes off a cliff and the three are left hanging by a tree. To save the others, Mr. Peanut plunges to a fiery death. His elegy reads: “Mr. Peanut. 1916-2020.”

(I Just) Died In Your Arms

Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must have been something you said
I just died in your arms tonight

I keep lookin’ for somethin’ I can’t get
Broken hearts lie all around me
And I don’t see an easy way to get out of this
Her diary, it sits by the bedside table
The curtains are closed, the cats in the cradle
Who would’ve thought that a boy like me could come to this

Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must’ve been something you said
I just died in your arms tonight
Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must’ve been some kind of kiss
I should’ve walked away
I should’ve walked away

Is there any just cause for feelin’ like this?
On the surface, I’m a name on a list
I try to be discreet, but then blow it again
I’ve lost and found, it’s my final mistake
She’s loving by proxy, no give and all take
‘Cause I’ve been thrilled to fantasy one too many times

Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must’ve been something you said
I just died in your arms tonight
Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must’ve been some kind of kiss
I should’ve walked away
I should’ve walked away

It was a long hot night
She made it easy, she made it feel right
But now it’s over, the moment has gone
I followed my hands not my head, I know I was wrong

Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must’ve been something you said
I just died in your arms tonight
I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must’ve been some kind of kiss
I should’ve walked away
I should’ve walked away

ZZ Top – Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

The thing about ZZ Top is they never seem to take themselves too seriously. No concept albums or big love ballads… just good old fashion boogie blues rock.

I saw them in 1983 in Nashville. I remember the light show was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it since. Near the end they made it look as if the stage was shaking and someone fell out of the lighting rig to the stage. Everyone at first thought it was a real person but it was a stuffed dummy.

They sounded great that night and it’s a concert I’ll never forget. The Little Ol’ Band from Texas didn’t disappoint. Who knew at that time they would be be together over 50 years with the same members they started out with.

The death of Dusty Hill had me to pull out Tres Hombres and give it another listen. Compared to other trios like Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience…ZZ Top played more in a groove. Dusty wasn’t all over the place on bass but he kept that bottom end grounded for Gibbons guitar to dance around in while Beard was locked with Dusty.

Tres Hombres was released in 1973. The album had four of their best known early songs such as La Grange, Waitin’ For The Bus, Jesus Just Left Chicago, and this one.

The album peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 in 1973 and #13 in Canada…thanks to Vic (The Hinoeuma Cosmic Observation) for the Canada info.

Billy Gibbons: “On to a gig in Phoenix, we were driving through a West Texas windstorm. We, the band, were waiting to discover a place with some safe ground cover when the late-night lights of a roadside joint appeared. It was just across the line outside El Paso into New Mexico.

We ducked in quick and came face to face with our kind of folks… those soulful souls seeking solace, not only out of the dust and sand, but out of mind. What chance does one get better than that! We joined the gathering and started scribbling.”

From Songfacts

Group composition “Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers” (with or without the ampersand) is a fun track with the band playing up to their Southern redneck image. Unusually, bass player Dusty Hill supplies the lead vocal, backed up by axeman Gibbons.

It has been suggested that the line, “Baby, don’t you wanna come with me?” means something a little more explicit than, “Would you like to accompany me to the honky-tonk, miss?” If that is indeed the case, then the censor missed it; although it was not released as a single it received considerable airplay, including in the UK, where in 1973 this sort of innuendo would not have been tolerated by the BBC.

The original version runs to 3 minutes 23 seconds, and the song has been covered by both Van Halen and Motörhead, the latter of whom produced a blistering track with some fine and innovative soloing by Fast Eddie Clarke, but as is often the case, the original has not been bettered. 

Here is a live version from 1980. I don’t like posting live versions unless they were done around the time of the release…this is as close as I could find as far as a video of them.

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

If you see me walkin’ down the line
with my fav’rite honky tonk in mind,
well, I’ll be here around suppertime
with my can of dinner and a bunch of fine.

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Uh-huh-huh, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?

The crowd gets loud when the band gets right,
steel guitar cryin’ through the night.
Yeah, try’n to cover up the corner fight
but ev’rything’s cool ’cause they’s just tight.

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Huh, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?
Ah, play it boy.

The joint was jumpin’ like a cat on hot tin.
Lord, I thought the floor was gonna give in.
Soundin’ a lot like a House Congressional
’cause we’re experimental and professional.

Beer drinkers, hell raisers, yeah.
Well, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?

Camper Van Beethoven – Take the Skinheads Bowling…. 80’s Underground Sunday

I am posting a bonus version of 80’s Underground Mondays on a Sunday. I hope you enjoy this one.

Back in the late eighties I was working while going to college. A co-worker of mine kept playing this song and it drove me up the wall. My first reaction was to ask…”what the hell is this and why are you playing it?” By the end of the week I wanted a copy of it so she taped it and gave it to me on cassette. This song was heavily played on college radio in the late 80s.

In the song it sounds like he is  making fun of skinheads or poking fun at them. The song in itself doesn’t make much sense but it sure is catchy.

From allmusic…

They described themselves as “surrealist absurdist folk,” the group started in the summer of 1983 when David Lowery and friend Victor Krummenacher (bass) started playing music together around Riverside and Redlands, California.  Chris Pedersen (drums) and Chris Molla (guitar) to join the the band… Greg Lisher (guitar) and Jonathan Segel (violins, keyboards, mandolin) were added in 1985.

Their songs were built on acoustic and electric, traditional and punk influences. The band released their 1985 debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, on their own Pitch-A-Tent label… it was soon reissued by Independent Project Records, and thanks in part to the college radio success of this song… it made the Top Ten in the 1986 Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll.

The song peaked at #8 in the UK Indie Charts. The band were mystified that the song became a college radio hit. They would get signed to Virgin Records a little later on.

David Lowery:

I never thought that Take the Skinheads Bowling would become a Hit. If someone had traveled from the future and told me we would have a hit on our first album I would not have picked this song as being the hit. Not in a million years. I would have more likely picked Where the Hell is Bill.

Why? We regarded Take The Skinheads Bowling as just a weird non-sensical song. The lyrics were purposely structured so that it would be devoid of meaning. Each subsequent line would undermine any sort of meaning established by the last line. It was the early 80′s and all our peers were writing songs that were full of meaning. It was our way of rebelling. BTW this is the most important fact about this song. We wanted the words to lack any coherent meaning. There is no story or deeper insight that I can give you about this song.

Lassie and Where the Hell is Bill were silly but there was at least a point to the songs. Plus both songs were pretty jokey. Something that seemed popular at the time.

The band is still together now…sit back and enjoy Take The Skinheads Bowling!

Take The Skinheads Bowling

Every day, I get up and pray to John
And he decreases the number of clocks by exactly one
Everybody’s comin’ home for lunch these days
Last night there were skinheads on my lawn

Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling
Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling

Some people say that bowling alleys got big lanes
Some people say that bowling alleys all look the same
There’s not a line that goes here that rhymes with anything
I has a dream last night, but I forget what it was

Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling
Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling

I had a dream last night about you, my friend
I had a dreamI wanted to sleep next to plastic
I had a dreamI wanted to lick your knees
I had a dreamit was about nothing

Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling
Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling

https://www.allmusic.com/song/take-the-skinheads-bowling-mt0034723980

Van Morrison – Wavelength

The first time I saw Van Morrison was on November 4, 1978 on Saturday Night Live. I was 11 and didn’t know anything about him. I hadn’t even heard Brown Eyed Girl…I would not hear that song until I was 18 in 1985. That in itself is one of the mysteries of life…how I could of possibly go 18 years without hearing that song.

He was playing the song Wavelength and it sounded great. I would not become a fan until 1985…I bought a compilation album of the sixties and I heard Brown Eyed Girl…it started a Van Morrison record buying frenzy. Since then I’ve been a huge fan. I saw him on March 7, 2006 at the Ryman Auditorium and he didn’t disappoint. If I could sing like anyone in history…it would be Van.

Van has said that this song is about the Voice of America, which is a radio service run by the United States government for political purposes. Morrison said that he listened to the service when he was a kid.

The song peaked at #42 in the Billboard 100 and #63 in Canada in 1978. The album Wavelength peaked at #28 in the Billboard Album Charts, #31 in Canada, #27 in the UK, and #9 in New Zealand in 1978.

Van Morrison: “It’s actually about Europe, because that’s where the station was. It came out of Frankfurt, and the first time I ever heard Ray Charles was on the Voice of America. We tried to get a tape recording of the Voice of America to put on the front of that track, but it didn’t work out. I didn’t get it by the time the album was due to be mixed. But I think it would have made it a lot clearer if the signature thing was on the front of it. It doesn’t click for a lot of people.”

Wavelength

This is a song about your wavelength
And my wavelength, baby
You turn me on
When you get me on your wavelength
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
With your wavelength
Oh, with your wavelength
With your wavelength
With your wavelength
Oh mama, oh mama, oh mama, oh mama oh mama, oh mama

Wavelength
Wavelength
You never let me down no
You never let me down no

When I’m down you always comfort me
When I’m lonely you see about me
You are ev’ry where you’re ‘sposed to be
And I can get your station
When I need rejuvenation

Wavelength
Wavelength
You never let me down no
You never let me down no

I heard the voice of America
Callin’ on my wavelength
Tellin’ me to tune in on my radio
I heard the voice of America
Callin’ on my wavelength
Singin’ “Come back, baby
Come back
Come back, baby
Come back”

Do do do dou dit do do dou dit do do do do do
Do do do dou dit do do dou dit do do do do do

Won’t you play that song again for me
About my lover, my lover in the grass, yeah, alright
You have told me ’bout my destiny
Singin’ “Come back, baby
Come back
Come back, baby
Come back”

On my wavelength
Wavelength
You never let me down no
You never let me down no
When you get me on
When you get me on your wavelength
When you get me
Oh, yeah, Lord
You get me on your wavelength

You got yourself a boy
When you get me on
Get me on your wavelength
Ya radio, ya radio, ya radio
Ya radio, ya radio, ya radio
Wave wave wave

My love of GODZILLA

No this is not a review of the new movie…just memories from a Godzilla fan. I will say though that I did enjoy the movie…The fight scenes are the best I’ve scene through this monster universe reboot…I felt like I was 10 again.

When I was a kid I loved monster movies. Huge monsters stomping through cities. My monster was and still is Godzilla. I watched all of those Japanese movies of the sixties and seventies and loved them. I will still watch one every once in a while. When I was around 11 I bought a monster book while on vacation in Florida. I took it to school and some jerk stole it. I would love to have that book back…so if you are out there…come on…give me the book back!

Godzilla Has A Bunch Of Ridiculous Movies That Actually Make King Of The  Monsters Look Sane - CINEMABLEND

My best friend growing up was named Ronald…he was and still is a huge Elvis fan and I am a huge Beatles fan (we both liked older music) and we would have good natured arguments over who was better. I still think I’m right!

Ok back to Monsters he was a Kong fan and Godzilla was my guy…another argument we would gladly have. After he sees the new movie we will probably have it again.

Godzilla Vs Kong Review | Movie - Empire

In 1998 a new Godzilla was in the theaters. I was so excited… normally I’m not a big fan of CGI BUT… with monster movies…oh yes! I could not believe what they did to my Godzilla…they made him a large sidewalk lizard. They changed his looks and sound. I didn’t think they would ever come out with anything again. At the time I did get some of the recent Japanese Godzilla movies and they were good.

1998

why is zilla 1998 so bad? - Godzilla Forum

In 2014 the movie Godzilla came out and I felt like a kid again. This was the Godzilla (minus the man in the suit) that I loved as a child…

We all know Kong connects with people and that is a great thing but Godzilla is just so cool with his atomic breath and dorsal plates. Godzilla looks at people like ants but as long as we don’t attack him…he is cool with us…except if you own tall buildings on the coast! If you do you better get a lot of insurance.

┐(◕﹏◕)┌

Here is Godzilla through the years.

Chaplin (1992)

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my biographical entry.

This fulfills my biographical genre. I started to get into silent movies in the late eighties. It started with a book on Clara Bow and it mushroomed from there. By 1992 I was ordering silent movies on VHS from New York and bootlegs where ever I could get them. The actors and actresses that got my attention were Clara Bow, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks Sr, Mary Pickford, and Charles Chaplin.

In 1992 I had just settled into my small Laverne and Shirley basement studio apartment when this movie was released. It was perfect timing because this was the peak of my silent movie interest. I would get USA Today everyday to check my Dodgers box scores and I read about this movie coming out. There was an advertisement where you could make a 99 cent phone call (per minute) to listen to some of the movie on the telephone. Yes I was that desperate (sucker) to do just that… to hear some of the movie…it was a different time.

I had read where Johnny Depp was up for the role and I thought he would have been the perfect person to play Chaplin. I was totally wrong…the perfect actor to play Chaplin was the one who got the role…Robert Downey Jr. He became Chaplin on the screen. He went as far as learning to play tennis left handed.

Robert Downey Jr. had a terrific cast surrounding him. Chaplin’s own daughter (Geraldine Chaplin) played Chaplin’s mom in the movie. Dan Aykroyd portrayed Mack Sennett, and Kevin Kline plays Douglas Fairbanks Sr. It was also directed by the great Richard Attenborough.

The movie starts with an 8 year old Chaplin taking the stage to sing after his mentally disturbed mom was booed off. Chaplin’s childhood was straight out of a Dickens novel. With help from his older brother Syd he got a job with a vaudeville unit ran by Fred Karno. He also met his first love Hetty Kelly who would shape his love interest for the rest of his life. His brother Syd worked as his manager when Chaplin got famous. In the beginning Syd was much more well known than Charlie…until the little tramp appeared.

The movie moves fast…sometimes a little too fast. All through the movie he is talking to an editor (Anthony Hopkins) about his then new (1964) autobiography and that is how they move the movie along. I wanted to see more about certain movies I’d enjoyed but they did have a lot to cover. They manage to touch on some of his political problems like with J. Edgar Hoover and when he made The Great Dictator.

The movie follows Chaplin through his movies, personal life,  and his politically rough waters. As with any movie about a historical figure…things will be missed, wrong, and forgotten but the movie hits the high spots of his life.

If you  really want to know about Chaplin read Chaplin: His Life and Art by David Robinson or watch one of the many documentaries on him. Chaplin was a complicated man…too complicated to be summed up in a two hour motion picture…but it was a great try. After reading so many books, what I wanted would have taken a 6 hour movie…so this is a good introduction to Chaplin.

The movie was very enjoyable and you do get the highs and lows of Charles Spencer Chaplin. You also get a hell of a good acting job from Robert Downey Jr. The movie also combines shots of the real Chaplin in his movies. Sitting in the theater it was magical…near the end of the movie they show real Chaplin clips as seen on an award show in 1972. The laughter in the theater was the loudest I’ve ever heard before or since… the Tramp still drew laughs in 1992 and he still does in 2021.

After watching this movie you will probably want to watch some Chaplin movies…that would be the best outcome…if you haven’t watched any…you are missing a true artist who not only starred but wrote, directed, and produced.

Cast

  • Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin
    • Hugh Downer as Charlie age 5
    • Thomas Bradford as Charlie age 14
  • Marisa Tomei as Mabel Normand
  • Geraldine Chaplin as Hannah Chaplin
  • Paul Rhys as Sydney Chaplin
    • Nicholas Gatt as Sydney age 9
  • John Thaw as Fred Karno
  • Moira Kelly as Hetty Kelly, Charlie’s first love / Oona O’Neill
  • Anthony Hopkins as George Hayden
  • Dan Aykroyd as Mack Sennett
  • Penelope Ann Miller as Edna Purviance
  • Kevin Kline as Douglas Fairbanks
  • Matthew Cottle as Stan Laurel
  • Maria Pitillo as Mary Pickford
  • Milla Jovovich as Mildred Harris
  • Kevin Dunn as J. Edgar Hoover
  • Deborah Moore as Lita Grey
  • Diane Lane as Paulette Goddard
  • Nancy Travis as Joan Barry
  • James Woods as Joseph Scott
  • Francesca Buller as Minnie Chaplin
  • David Duchovny as Roland Totheroh

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight

When you play in a bar band…you better know this song. I played it so many times that while I still like listening to the song…I dreaded playing it but it was hard to avoid. Just to add a little fun to it I would add a naughty description in the lyrics…no I won’t repeat here…trying to make the guys laugh. I’d get a wink from some of the slow dancers but no one seemed to mind…it added a little spice to this slower than slow song.

It’s another song inspired by Pattie Boyd. The list is long with Pattie. She inspired a lot of great songs. George Harrison wrote “Something” and “For You Blue” for her, while she inspired Clapton to write this, “Layla,” “Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad,” and “Forever Man.”

Pattie Boyd on Twitter: "Hmm ..... 'train sequences for A Hard Day's Night'  ... sounds familiar ...… "

Pattie was married to George Harrison when Clapton expressed his love for her in the song “Layla.” Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, and Harrison even played at their wedding in 1979. Eric and Pattie divorced in 1988.

The song peaked at #16 in the Billboard 100, #15 in Canada, #2 in New Zealand, and #81 in the UK in 1977. The song was on the album Slowhand.

Pattie Boyd: “Clapton was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, ‘Listen to this!'”

From Songfacts

A fixture at proms and weddings, Eric Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” in 1976 while waiting for his girlfriend (and future wife) Pattie to get ready for a night out. They were going to a Buddy Holly tribute that Paul McCartney put together, and Clapton was in the familiar position of waiting while she tried on clothes.

On March 28, 1979, the day after they were married, Clapton brought Pattie on stage and sang this to her at his show in Tucson, Arizona.

Clapton released a live version in 1991 recorded in London with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. This is the version that charted in the UK. It is included on his album 24 Nights.
In the time she had taken to get ready Clapton had written this song.

In the 2000 Friends episode “The One With the Proposal,” this plays in the background while Chandler and Monica are dancing. It also shows up in the 1984 Miami Vice episode “One Eyed Jack” and in the 2013 movie Captain Phillips. >>

This was used in the movie The Story Of Us with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. The song plays in the background as they eat dinner together at home, even though they had separated.

In 1997 the boy band Damage recorded a cover reaching #3 in the UK. A then unknown Craig David sent in a self-written song called “I’m Ready” for a competition Damage was running, which they used as the B-side.

Wonderful Tonight

It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear.
She’ll put on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair.
And then she asks me, “Do I look all right?”
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight.”

We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me.
And then she asks me, “Do you feel all right?”
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight.”

I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes.

And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you.
It’s time to go home now and I’ve got an aching head,
So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed.

And then I tell her, as I turn out the light,
I say, “My darling, you were wonderful tonight.
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight.”

The Bad News Bears (1976)

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my Sports entry.

The Bad News Bears fulfills my Sports portion of the draft.

A small personal story to show how true this movie was of the time and why I can relate to it so much.

Our coach would be hitting grounders to each of the fielders from home plate and I was the catcher that day. The infielders would throw to first and then throw back to home…normal right? Not so fast… Our coach would have a beer in one hand and would hand it to me when hitting the ball. I would hand it back while the first baseman was throwing it back to me. This would happen in each practice on the city field. We didn’t think anything about it. The catcher was also the official beer passer and holder…none of us blinked an eye.

This movie was a surprise hit in 1976. It’s about an inept baseball team that is coached by an alcoholic named Morris Buttermaker. He is recruited by an attorney who filed a lawsuit against a competitive Southern California Little League, which excluded the least athletically skilled children (including his son) from playing. To settle the lawsuit, the league agrees to add an additional team…the Bears which is composed of the worst players.

The kids are foul-mouthed and the coach could care less… for a while anyway. When I watch this movie I’m in little league again. There was a remake in 2005 but I’ve always stuck to this one.

The script is smartly written and the comedy is good. Sometimes this movie gets overlooked but it is a great baseball movie. The cast includes Walter Matthau, Tatum O’Neal, Vic Morrow, Jackie Earle Haley, and a cast of unknown kids.

Walter Matthau plays the drunk Morris Buttermaker, perfectly… he does the minimum for a while.  He has the kids cleaning pools in one scene while drinking beer and driving them down the road in the next. While hunting around for a business to sponsor uniforms. Other teams have Pizza Hut and  Dennys but Buttermaker gets a …”Chico Bail Bonds” and that is fitting for this team.

The first game the Bears were beat 26-0 and Buttermaker recruited 12 year old girl name Amanda (Tatum O’Neal) who was the daughter of one of his old girlfriends. Amanda could pitch and pitch well. He taught her at a younger age. He talks her into pitching for the team.

The team starts coming together. Now comes the rebel. Jackie Earle Haley plays Kelly the cool neighborhood punk who rides his motorcycle at the ballpark interrupting games. He is the best athlete around but he refuses to play. He starts liking Amanda and after a bet begins playing with the team.

With the Kelly and Amanda, the team starts winning. They are moving up in the rankings and play for the championship. The last game is when the tone of the movie changes dramatically. Winning comes before everything and Buttermaker becomes serious… and the kids help produce a showdown.

What makes the movie special is despite the huge ensemble you get to know these  kids and the quirks they all show. It also sums up little league quite well.

One thing I remember when this movie was released was the absolute shock of parents everywhere because of these kids swearing. What the parents in 1976 didn’t understand was this is how many kids talked when adults weren’t around…mostly picked it up from their parents.

The movie is so 1970s and it pulls the veil back on youth sports then and now. They really nail down what the adults are like in little league… I coached little league a few years ago and I had a parent actually call me about his son at 10pm because he thought he should be hitting 3rd instead of 5th…this was a team of 4 and 5 year olds. I have seen a coach and parent have a fist fight in the back of the stands…

If you have never seen this film you are missing a baseball classic. But since we do live in 2021…if bad language stresses you out…don’t watch it.

There are two sequels. Bad News Bears Breaking Training and The Bad News Bears Go To Japan. Breaking Training is ok…Avoid the Japan movie at all costs.

Cast

Walter Matthau – Coach Morris Buttermaker
Tatum O’Neal – Amanda Whurlitzer
Vic Morrow – Roy Turner
Joyce Van Patten – Cleveland
Ben Piazza – Bob Whitewood
Jackie Earle Haley – Kelly Leak
Alfred Lutter III – Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Chris Barnes – Tanner Boyle
Erin Blunt – Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Gary Lee Cavagnaro – Engelberg
Jaime Escobedo – Jose Agilar
Scott Firestone – Regi Tower
George Gonzales – Miguel Agilar
Brett Marx – Jimmy Feldman
David Pollock – Rudi Stein
Quinn Smith – Timmy Lupus
David Stambaugh – Toby Whitewood
Brandon Cruz – Joey Turner
Timothy Blake – Mrs. Lupus
Bill Sorrells – Mr. Tower
Shari Summers – Mrs. Turner
Joe Brooks – Umpire
George Wyner – White Sox Manager
David Lazarus – Yankee
Charles Matthau – Athletic
Maurice Marks – Announcer

My Inner Evel Knievel

I was watching a documentary of Evel tonight and I thought of a post I posted 3 years ago that only two people saw so I rewrote the post and updated it.

Whenever I see red, white, and blue not only do I think of the flag but I think of Evel Knievel. A hero to many in the 1970s… He is responsible for more broken arms, legs, bruises, bumps, scrapes than anyone… Kids setting up homemade ramps and then jumping them with their bicycles. I said kids…it wasn’t exclusive to boys because I do remember some girls jumping also.

Riding down hills standing on your seat, popping wheelies, jumping ramps with your buddy stupidly laying in-between. We wanted to be Evel Knievel jumping over those cars or busses.

He was THE Daredevil… There are Daredevils around today but no one has reached the popularity that Knievel achieved. Not only did he jump and crash he looked cool jumping and crashing. He was like a cool Elvis in a jumpsuit jumping various objects.

Another big part of the Evel Knievel experience was the toys. There were not many kids who didn’t have that windup motorcycle (the Stunt Cycle) and Evel Knievel doll…Make a ramp and wind up the Stunt Cycle with the little Evel riding and they would shoot out and go. There was also a truck, a dragster, and the skycycle…I’m sure there were more I’m missing. I only had the Stunt Cycle.

Image result for evel knievel wind up toyImage result for evel knievel rocket\ toy

Evel made over 75 jumps ramp to ramp. He didn’t fail many times…but one of his failures made his career.

Caesars Palace Jump… this one hurts to watch. Evel jumped over the fountain and then crashed as he landed on the ramp wrong… then tumbled like Stretch Armstrong rolling down a hill. His body was like rubber when it hit the pavement. 

The Caesars crash jumpstarted his career as the networks would play the crash over and over again.

Image result for evel knievel caesars palace

Snake River Canyon… I remember the build-up to this jump…Everyone was talking about it…it ended up being the most anti-climactic out of all his jumps… No motorcycle of course…he was basically in a rocket and the parachute prematurely opened and Evel drifted safely to the bottom of the canyon.

Image result for evel knievel snake river

Evel did jump the shark so to speak…

The Shark Tank…no, not the Fonz… It was not televised but in a practice run, Evel jumped a shark tank and then hit a cameraman coming off of the ramp. It did injure the cameraman.

Image result for evel knievel shark jump

Evel left a huge footprint in the seventies. He played hero to a lot of people including me.

His son Robbie has made a career out of doing the same thing. The interest isn’t there as much anymore. There is no more must-see TV with anyone jumping vehicles. Maybe it’s because Evel was the first on that level to do what he did and the timing of when he did it. With Vietnam, inflation, Watergate and the aftermath, he was embraced by adults and kids at a time when people needed a distraction.

I still ride a bicycle at a park sometimes for exercise…I can still see in my mind those old wood planks we used as ramps held up by a brick and I want to do it but…nah….I think I’ll just look for another Stunt Cycle.

Interview with a Radio Disc Jockey…Keith Allen

We are going to mix it up today. First I want to thank Keith Allen (nostalgicitalian) for being kind enough to answer 15 questions. Keith said he would be happy to answer any questions you have if we didn’t cover it. I have a link to a post of his at the bottom of the page that he elaborates on the last question. 

To make this more well rounded I reached out to a few bloggers for some  questions. Hanspostcard, Vic, LisaRun-Sew-Read, and Dave,…so thank you all. I wanted to reach out more but I didn’t want Keith to have to type a novel worth of answers. 

Remember to go over to Keith’s blog and ask anything that was not covered. First a little about Keith.

Keith Allen’s Bio: 

Keith Allen was born and raised in Michigan.  While he was a senior in high school (1988), he became an intern at WKSG, Kiss-FM in Detroit, which would lead to his first on air job.  He would next work at WMXD-FM also in Detroit.  For someone with no radio experience whatsoever, starting his career in the 6th biggest market in the country (at the time) was pretty special.   

In 1991, he moved to the west side of the state to work at WKZC-FM.  The job was short lived, a mere 6 months.  Upon moving back to Detroit, he was lucky enough to land a job at the first oldies station in the country, the historic Honey Radio (WHND-AM).  It was here that he really honed his on air personality.  When Honey went off the air in 1994, he started at his next country station, WWWW-FM (W4 Country) in Detroit.  Yes, the same station Howard Stern is at in Private Parts. 

In 1998, Keith got a call from Flint, Michigan to come work at a fairly new country station, WFBE-FM (B-95).  In 2002, the station changed management and he travelled across town to WKCQ-FM.  He continued his career in country music at WCEN-FM (The Moose), which was a powerhouse station that covered 27 counties in the state.  He returned to WFBE-FM to do mornings after a 5 year stay at the Moose.  After another management change, and another firing, Keith decided to go back to school to learn another trade.   

He began working as a part-time personality on WCRZ-FM (Cars 108) in Flint.  An opportunity to actually program a station came in 2009.  He became program director of 103.9 The Fox (WRSR-FM) until the station was sold.  He returned to WCRZ-FM part time, as well as doing part time work again for The Moose.  He remained at both places until the Covid-19 pandemic.  While technically still employed at both stations, he has been off the air since March. 

He currently works full time as a Polysomnographic Technologist at a Sleep Evaluations Center.  He helps to diagnose Sleep Apnea in adults and children.

  1. Why did you want to be a DJ?

    When I was in high school, I was a band nerd.  I loved playing in band and actually aspired to be a band director.  During my senior year, I worked part time at a boat marina in the Parts Department.  In the fall and winter, once the boats were winterized, business was slow.  So I would sit in there with the radio on and do inventory.  I would listen to Jim McKenzie on Kiss-FM every day.  He was a great example of what a DJ should be – the listener’s friend.  Every day I listened, and I felt like he was talking to just me.  He kept me company while I worked.  The more I listened to him and other DJ’s, the more I began to think, “Hey, I could do that!  I’d enjoy doing that!”  I called the station and asked to speak to someone about getting into the business.  The guy I spoke with told me that I could 1) go to broadcast school or 2) intern at the station for a while and see if I could break in that way.  I chose Option #2. 

    I started interning for the news guy.  I took news stories off the wire and rewrote stories and helped compile a newscast.  I then began hanging out with the morning show (Paul Christy and the Christy Critters).  I enjoyed this so much more.  This was where the real action was.  I got to see them plan bits, edit phone calls, and more.  Eventually, I started running Paul’s Saturday show, which was all on tape.  He would throw it to me from the tape and ask about the sport scores, lottery numbers, and weather.  I did this for about 6 months and they let the overnight guy go.  I was asked to fill in on the show temporarily.  The temporary job ended up being full time.  Paul believed I had some talent (although not much of it showed during my time there) and gave me my first break in radio.

  2. Who was your personal favorite DJ and what did you like about that DJ.?

    It’s hard to pick just one, because there really are so many.  If I had to narrow it down, I’d say on a national scale – Wolfman Jack.  He was just so fun to listen to and he always said some of the coolest stuff.  I used to close my show with one of his quotes:  “Keep smiling.  A smile is just a light in the window letting people know your heart’s at home.”  I thought that was just awesome!

    Local DJ, would have to be Richard D from Honey Radio. I really found him to be a great mentor and teacher.  He and I loved the same bad jokes and used to make fun of each other all the time on the radio.  His show had daily benchmarks, which were so reminiscent of the “good old days” of radio when DJ’s were truly personalities.  He branded everything.  When somebody won a contest, he would “Richard D-clare” them the winner.  He always played an obscure record every day called the “Tricky Dicky Off The Wall Record” (he had a whole intro to this).  He’d read celebrity birthdays and history bits from his “Poor Richard D’s Almanac,” and so much more.  He ALWAYS sounded like he was having fun and I really tried to do the same thing.  He really was one of the best!

  3. How did the business change from the time you began until the time you ended your career?

    When I first got into radio, I feel like I was spoiled.  We had a lot of freedom.  We were creative and got to do a lot of bits on the air.  Again, radio was still a place that people went to hear music, but also enjoyed listening to what the DJ’s had to say.  Johnny Molson, who I followed on the air at WKSG, did some fantastic “theater of the mind” bits and had fun with them!

    Somewhere in the early 90’s, research started to say that DJ’s talked too much.  “More Music” became a thing, and DJ’s were told to shut up and read the cards.  To ensure that DJ’s kept it short, there were liner cards placed in the studios for us to read.  Talk breaks were eliminated and when we did talk it was to 1) outro the song, 2) read the liner card, 3) promote what was coming up next, and 4) play the commercials. 

    In truth, as another great mentor told me, it wasn’t that DJ’s talked too much – it was that they didn’t have anything to say.  Jay Trachman helped me to take a bit, write it out to where it all fit together and you didn’t waste the listener’s time.  Bits had a “catch” or a “hook” to peak your interest, then the “meat” of the bit, followed by the “out” or the “punchline”.  Short – to the point – and still entertaining. 

  4. How much control did you have on the playlist?

    Today – none.  You can bet that 99% of all stations have their music scheduled in advance.

    When I first started, our station was “all request.”  We had a computer in the studio and as long as the song met criteria, we could pretty much play whatever listeners asked for.  It was a pretty cool thing.  We had to check and make sure that the song hadn’t been played before we got on the air or that it wasn’t scheduled later in the show.  Even request shows today only have a few spots for request.  Music is scheduled ahead of time.

    When I was playing current music, in country, I had the chance to voice an opinion about which new song I thought we should add to the play list.  It was something that the Music Director, Program Director, and consultant made decisions on.

  5. Is there one song you had to play that sticks out as one you really disliked?

    I could probably name one song from every station I worked at!  While at country radio it was almost every song Rascal Flatts put out after their first album…LOL.  They all began to sound the same to me.  It always bothered me that stations would add new songs from “super stars” even though they knew the song was a piece of garbage.

    Anyway, I digress.  The one song that sticks out to me is The Boll Weevil Song by Brook Benton.  It seemed like this always played on Honey.  I’m not sure why it aggravated me so much, but I actually said how much I disliked it on the air.  Johnny Molson once talked about The Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind saying, “It sounds like someone ate a Hallmark card and threw up” regarding the lyrics.

    I think all DJ’s have their favorite songs and ones they hate.  That’s why there is volume control in the on air studio … I turned the speakers down a lot!

  6. Of the musicians you met or interviewed- which one impressed you the most?

    In almost 30 years, I have met so many.  Let me say that country artists are usually the most generous and gracious.  I found that to be true with 95% of them.  George Strait, Wynonna Judd, Emily West, Jeff Bates, Reba McEntire, and SO many were just like talking to friends.  They were just amazing. 

    Martina McBride impressed me the most.  I was escorting a backstage winner to her show.  She had bid like $700 on a silent auction package to see Martina, get a limo ride to the show, backstage passes, and dinner.  The auction was for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  I introduced the winner to Martina and told her about our winner.  When she heard that she had bid that much money to be there, she called someone over to her and whispered something to them.  Martina was so nice to this winner.  She autographed everything that the winner had with her, including the T-shirts she bought at the merchandise booth.  Her guy came back with a bunch of items and gave them to our winner.  There was a huge autographed window poster (like you would see in record stores), key chains, more T-shirts, bumper stickers, and all things Martina – almost all autographed.  THEN she gave the listener her money back for the shirts she had bought before the show.  She thanked the listener for being such a supporter of St. Jude and our station.  Most meet and greets are very quick, but Martina gave this winner almost 15 minutes.  It was truly amazing and speaks volumes for who Martina is.

  7. Who was the best/worst interview?

    Again, I have done so many great in person and telephone interviews, it is hard to pick the “best.”  In the running would be Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office), as he was very funny and was familiar with our area.  Also up near the top – Elmo from Sesame Street.  That was such a hoot.  I’m not even sure why we had him on the show, but Kevin Clash, who is the voice of Elmo, called and he had a very deep voice.  We chatted for a sec before the interview and BAM – there was Elmo!  My oldest son was about 2 when I did this interview and Kevin recorded a special message for him as Elmo and sent a stuffed Elmo to him at our home!  Pretty cool.  I also played poker with Chely Wright on the air as part of our interview because she took my money at a charity event and I told her I wanted a chance to win it back… LOL

    Toss up for the top spot – Aaron Tippin and Jewel.  Aaron was just amazing.  He was in for a show and was a blast to talk to.  He bleeds red, white, and blue!  He shared some great stories from on the road and he shared his mutual love for the music of Sinatra and Dean Martin. 

    Jewel, was a sweetheart.  She was live with me in the studio promoting her country album and show.  Her life is just so fascinating that it was easy to talk with her.  I asked if there was anything off limits, because I didn’t know if she really wanted to talk about the fact that she was living out of her van for a while.  She told me to ask whatever I wanted.  We talked about her poetry, her life in Alaska, her family, her hobbies, her pop albums, and a small role she had in a Wizard of Oz show.  I felt like I knew her all my life.  She was such a joy to hang out with. After she left, about an hour later, her record rep who was with her called me and told me that she said our interview was one of the best she had ever done.  She had told him I made her feel so at home. 

    I still have a voice mail on my cell phone from her telling me she would see me at her show that night. The show she was doing that night was about an hour and a half away from me and I had tickets.  However, there was a snow storm and I was unable to get out of the driveway to make it up to the show. 

  8. How would you respond if an interviewee accidentally swore during a live broadcast?

    Most stations are equipped with an “oops” button just for this reason.  The live feed of a station is usually broadcast on a five second delay.  So if someone swears, you hit the button and it jumps ahead to the live feed and eventually goes back to 5 seconds.  Yes, I have had to use this on occasion.  Most folks don’t hear when it happens, but a radio guy can tell when the button was pressed.

    That’s why most interviews are recorded.  When an interview is recorded, you can edit out stuff you don’t necessarily want in the interview.  You can also save it in pieces and play each piece over an hour or so and it sounds like the artist is hanging with you for an hour, when in reality, they were on the phone with you for 10-15 minutes.  We recorded the majority of our interviews whether they were in studio or on the phone.  Some, however, were broadcast live.

  9. Was there any difference between being a DJ at a Country Station and a Rock Station besides the music?

    First of all, your audience is different.  Your target demo for a Country station is usually women aged 25-54.  Your target for a Classic Rock station is men around that same age group or older.  So when you prep for a show, you cater how you prep to those demos. 

    Country stations really focus on artist stuff.  We had a few prep services that had all kinds of stories and sound bites from country singers about writing songs, awards, their favorite recipe, etc…  Country artists, especially current artists, always have something going on – a tour, a book, a new album, etc…  With Classic Rock (just like oldies) the music doesn’t change.  You are a “gold” based format.  You are playing only hits that have been around for decades.  Many artists have passed away.  So you talk about the songs themselves, the stories behind the songs (much like Max does in his blog), maybe a new biography, or a movie where a song is featured. 

    Depending on WHO you are talking to, you prepare a show for that.  You could talk about deer hunting on a rock station, where as you would probably talk about a deer widow’s weekend on a country station.  You have to know who your audience is and you go from there.

    Another thing that was different for me was my vocal delivery.  I found myself to be very conversational, but energetic on the country station.  On the rock station, it was different.  We didn’t talk up a lot of intros, so I was often talking with no music going behind me.  This allowed me to slow my delivery down a bit (not quite Johnny Fever or Venus Flytrap) and it was a bit more “me,” if that makes any sense….LOL

  10. Keith, what is your most memorable moment on radio?

    I have three that I will never forget.  The first was our St. Jude Radiothons.  I had been to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.  Touring the hospital, hearing the stories, seeing all that they do, and then coming back presenting it all to our listeners was quite an emotional experience.  I was lucky to meet two children whose family benefited from St. Jude and interview them on the air – Kyle and Allyson made an impact on me and our listeners.

    The other was the last day that Honey Radio was on the air.  That day in November of 1994, we did our morning show, and then turned it over to Boogie Brian, who was the last live jock from our studio.  I recently went back and listened to the last break I did.  It is hard to listen to.  I felt like I could ad lib it, I wish I had written something down.  I was holding back tears through the whole break.  Then, when Boogie played his prerecorded 15 minute sign off, we all sat in a production room listening.  We all cried.  One of the most emotional days of my life, second only to ….

    9/11.  The planes hit the Twin Towers before I went on the air at 10am.  That day, I was the eyes and ears of what developments were happening for my listeners.  I remember the disbelief.  I remember the fear.  I remember the vivid visuals we saw on the news.  Life changed that day for all of us and radio changed too.  We began playing the National Anthem every day at noon.  We had numerous appearances where we raised money for victim’s families.  We sponsored blood drives and so much more.  The events of that day and literally throwing the format out the window to broadcast the latest information will stick with me forever.

  11. What is your most embarrassing moment on the radio?

    I always say that I broadcast the worst five minutes of radio in Detroit Radio History:  Short set up:  My morning show partner, Rob, did a ton of voices.  These characters were all part of the show and I was usually the guy who tried to keep the show (and them) in check.  So, the week Honey went off the air, Rob insisted I do a voice live on the air.  I had done it a couple times, but had recorded it.  The character was “Mitch Wallace”, who was loosely based on a real listener who called us all the time.  I had called Rob at home and used that voice and he said it was so good, he thought the guy had his number!  This particular day we had a stupid bit planned.  I was to enter the studio as “Mitch”.  I was to be upset about the station going off the air.  (Keep in mind this is long before school shootings and active shooters) I was to have a gun and Chuckie the bouncer (based on Charles Bronson) was going to beat me (Mitch) up and throw me out the window and we would then go into commercials.  For the theater of the mind, this bit required some sound effects.  Now, if only it had gone as smoothly as I described.…….

    We had 6 cart (tape) machines. Each machine played a different thing.   In #1 was the song we were talking out of.  In #2 was the gunshot sound.  #3 had the “fight scene” sounds (which were from an old western and had corny music playing underneath the fight).  #4 had the glass breaking.  #5 had the door slam for Chuckie’s exit and #6 had the first commercial.    I had NEVER done the character live before.  So when I did, I saw Rob start to chuckle, and that is all it took for me to start to lose it.  From there on, it spirals out of control.  We both began to laugh hard.  I was laughing so much, I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t see the board in front of me to push the buttons to start the commercial (because by this time, it was obvious we couldn’t do the bit).  We laughed all the way through the commercial set.  Rob insists that we can do it so out of the commercial break, we decide to try again.  As soon as I start to do the Mitch character, I started laughing again.  I said to Rob (and the entire listening audience) “Aw, hell, forget it!”  We were going to do the weather out of the bit this time, featuring our Scottish weatherman Lucky McCloud (another Rob voice). The first thing I did after laughing was cue up the bagpipe music we played when he did the weather….miraculously, Rob was able to jump into the Lucky character and eventually the bit happened on the air…..it was a long way to go for something that was probably only funny to us, but it remains one of my favorite moments on air with him.  It was also probably the most embarrassing.

     

  12. WKRP, what about it is realistic and what is not?

    LOL – DJ’s and other radio people get asked this a lot! I guess it depends on who you ask. Here are my thoughts –

    Are there sales people like Herb?  Yes.  Are they as annoying?  Yes!

    Are all news people like Les?  No, but there are plenty other folks in the biz like him. 

    Do all stations have a sexy secretary/receptionist?  Some of the stations I worked at did. 

    Are all General Managers like Mr. Carlson?  No, some are actually quite bright and know their stuff.

    Do DJ’s usually give their program directors (like Andy) a headache?  Yes.  Very much so!

    Do Programmers and General Managers often not see eye to eye on what’s going on with the station?  Many times this is true. 

    Can you get fired for saying “booger” on the air?  I don’t think so.  We spent an entire morning talking about how those green raisins look like boogers and we weren’t fired.

    Do many DJ’s have big egos like Venus and weird idiosyncrasies like Johnny?  Yes, and you know it almost immediately when you meet them.

    In many ways, WKRP is very realistic and while radio people probably find the show funnier than the average viewer, we also find one thing particularly annoying – the DJ’s don’t wear headphones in the studio.  When a DJ turns on the microphone, the speakers in the studio shut off so there is no feedback.  The DJ can hear the music and his/her voice in the headphones, so they know when to stop talking.  These guys never seem to have headphones on and it has always bothered me. 

    They also seem to have the uncanny ability to throw a record on the turntable and have the song cued up immediately.  I never had to spin vinyl until I moved to the west side of the state.  I can tell you, you have to put the needle on the start of the groove, play it through a small cue speaker and wait for the song to start.  You then stop it and turn the record back a ¼ turn, so that when you hit start, it plays at the right speed and doesn’t wind up to it.  Carts are a whole lot easier, but almost all the music on WKRP is on vinyl.

  13. When did radio start to change in your eyes?

    I think radio has always been changing.  What I look back on as the “good old days” of radio are not for those who were in it long before I was.  If I had to pick the moment it changed for the worse in my career, it would be the late 1990’s.  Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which lifted the “cap” on radio station ownership.  This led to many of the locally owned stations to be bought up by the big radio corporations like Cumulus, Clear Channel, and Citadel. 

    With less owners and more corporate control, music programming was dictated by those corporate programmers.  So music playlists became smaller – which meant you were hearing the same songs more often.  It also meant that some markets were not hearing local bands.  Can you imagine Detroit NOT playing any Motown artists, Bob Seger, or Kid Rock!? 

    With automation technology, the ability to record ahead of time became a thing.  I remember a few times where I was “on air” and listening to myself as I drove to a wedding I was DJing.  With big corporations trying to save money, they began eliminating DJ’s.  They were replaced by syndication or DJ’s from other markets who were recording shows from their home market.  Today, it is rare to find a station with more than one live LOCAL DJ.  When you do, it is usually a locally owned station. 

    When I was in radio, the fear was that Sirius XM radio was going to be the death of terrestrial radio.  In truth, terrestrial radio killed itself from the inside with automation and consolidation.  I guess the more I think about it, going back to question #13 … If I could bring back something from the past, it would be the way radio used to be, because terrestrial radio today is just sad to listen to.

  14. If you could reach back in time and revive things that DJs used to do, say or play on the air, what would you bring back?

    DJ’s used to have a big say in music.  Many of them were playing singles on 45 on the air.  So many hits from the 50’s and 60’s became hits because a DJ decided to spin “the other side” of the record because they liked it.  Elvis and the Beatles had “two-sided hits” because DJ’s played both sides.  I wish that DJ’s today had a little bigger part in selecting music for airplay.  They really don’t – I will explain that in the answer to your next question.

  15. Why do stations play only a few select songs from a band to death while ignoring their other songs?

There are a lot of factors involved in this, but the simple answer is because of music testing and consultants. 

Back in the 80’s and 90’s that had a format called “Album Oriented Rock” or AOR.  These stations tended to play deeper cuts or songs that weren’t necessarily “singles”.  This format really doesn’t exist anymore, at least the way it was back then. 

So what is a single?  It is the song from an album that record companies (and sometimes artists) believe would be a hit.  It is a song that will get lots of airplay and sell the album.  It is a song that they feel is “the hit.”  Most albums have 3-4 singles and then there is a new album.  The songs that were not released as singles don’t get any airplay. 

Music testing happens in all formats.  It happens with old and new songs.  They usually do it in an auditorium.  They get an audience of various ages and genders and play them 500-1000 “hooks” of songs.  These hooks are the 15 seconds of a song that are most recognizable.  They audience then rates the song.  Is it played too much?  Is it played too little?  Do you love it?  Do you hate it?  Is it offensive? Etc…The data collected from these music tests can help a consultant decide what songs his stations need to be playing and which ones need to go away.

With new music, it works the same way.  If listeners like the song and the test scores are high, that song will get more plays.  If the songs tests bad, it will get less plays on the play list or just go away all together. 

If you have any questions for Keith you can go to the link below and ask away! He also elaborates on this last question on the link below. 

Here is a link to Keith’s post about this topic.

 

Happy New Year!

This year was tough to say the least! I’ve gotten to know many more bloggers this year and have enjoyed all of you. When Covid started I met so many  because I think blogging was an escape for a while when everyone was in lockdown. Many of them stuck around and we have built relationships.

I’ve met some with similar tastes as mine and a few with different tastes but with enough of common ground to learn and appreciate. Newer music, harder music, and I even read some poetry that I never have before. That is what our community is about to me…learning new things and sharing things that will be new to some people. The one word I would use for us…is “Passion”…lets face it. We are not making money at this but we do it for the love of it…and I’m better for it. 

I thanked everyone in my Merry Christmas post…I want to thank you all again. Thanks for all of the comments that you have left…good or bad. I think I’ve learned more than I have shared but I’ll keep trying I promise. 

Well…lets make 2021 MUCH better than 2020…the bar is set pretty damn low so we should be able to make that goal. Everyone be safe in the New Year…

The Zombies…THIS WILL BE OUR YEAR…probably my favorite New Years Song…it’s a song by the Zombies but I included a Foo Fighters cover also at the bottom..again…HAPPY NEW YEAR! yea I’m shouting.  

This Will Be Our Year

The warmth of your love’s
Like the warmth from the sun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Don’t let go of my hand
Now darkness has gone
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget
The way you helped me
Up when I was down
And I won’t forget
The way you said
Darling I love you
You gave me faith to go on
Now we’re there
And we’ve only just begun
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

The warmth of your smile
Smile for me little one
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

You don’t have to worry
All your worried days are gone
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget
The way you helped me
Up when I was down
And I won’t forget
The way you said
Darling I love you
You gave me faith to go on
Now we’re there
And we’ve only just begun
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

A Not Famous Guitar

Not a famous rock guitar today. I will have the famous Rock guitars part 5 next weekend. This post is a little self-indulgent…no a lot.

I thought this guitar had an interesting story. My family made guitars for country stars in the 50s through the 70s. George Jones and Leon Rhodes are two artists that had them. They made quality acoustic guitars that compared to Martins… they also made mandolins but very few electrics. They were all high end instruments. Many were custom made for artists. They go for big prices now. My dad didn’t like making electrics because he said the craftsmanship wasn’t in them like acoustics. He told me son they are like a two-by-four with strings…ok Dad…but I got what he was saying.

What makes this guitar interesting is it was made in the mid-sixties. It then sat on a shelf for over 25 years. In 1991 I got this guitar and I was the first person to ever play the thing. 

A relative gave me this hollow body electric guitar that was made by his dad. Two of the same style guitars were made at the time…the other one was sold. I have it’s sister that languished on the shelf for years.

When I got the guitar it had everything except the pickups and tuning keys…so it had never been played. I have a friend who had two Dimarzio humbucker pickups and he installed them plus Grover tuning keys…it also came with a vintage Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece. 

Now…getting a little technical… these pickups were very “hot”…I don’t mean stolen but with a very high output…very loud but clear. One guitar tech told me they were the hottest humbucker pickups he ever heard. 

When you have a hollow body guitar and very hot pickups… they can make a guitar feedback at high volumes. It took me a good 2 years to really learn how to play this guitar properly without it getting away from me. It was like placing a jet engine in a car. I have some guitar friends who love it and it’s sometimes called “The Beast.”

The trim and the pickup toggle on the body had tarnished yellow by the time I got it.  My favorite color is green…and good thing because this one is a very unusual sunburst green.

I’m going to alter it bit coming up soon. I’m going to replace one of the humbucker pickups with a P-90 and give it a little variety. We will see how that sounds.

The guitar compares to a Gibson ES-335 or a few Gretsch guitars. The beast has a growl like no other. Out of all of my guitars this is the one I pick for dirtier sounds…

Vintage Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Sweet Hitch-Hiker

I was headed over to see my then girlfriend in 1985 and I was exiting off of the interstate. That is when I saw a beautiful girl hitch-hiking. She was stunning and conservatively dressed. So being a caring guy… I wanted to do a good deed! I stopped and asked her if I could help. She got in the car and was very nice and well spoken. She asked me where I was going and I told her to my girlfriend’s house.

Then came the question…did I want a “date” for that night…I told her my girlfriend would probably frown on that idea so I took her back where I found her and let her out…she was totally nice but yea I was a naïve 18 year old and ever since then this song reminds me of her…So this song is for her where ever she is now.

This is a great song that was on what was regarded as Creedence’s worse album.

The Mardi Gras album. By this time John’s brother had quit and the other two (Stu Cook and Doug Clifford) members had wanted more to do with the band’s direction. John told them for this album they would have more to do like writing and singing  3 songs each…they were not ready for that and the result was Mardi Gras…it was universally panned but there are some good songs on it…mostly the Fogerty contributions. It was their last studio album.

The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #36 in the UK in 1971. The album peaked at #12 in the Billboard Album Charts and #11 in Canada.

From Songfacts

This was the first CCR album that John Fogerty did not dominate. Other members of the band had accused him of being a control freak, so Fogerty let them do more of the songwriting and have a more prominent role on this album. It was the beginning of the end for CCR, as the album was a flop and this song the last of their hits.

In the line, “We could make music at the Greasy King,” The Greasy King was the nickname for the local burger stand in Berkeley, California near their rehearsal space, which they called “Cosmo’s Factory.”

This was the first single CCR released as a trio – Tom Fogerty left before the album was recorded.

The band started a four-continent tour as this was released.

Since they did not have other new songs to go along with this track, it was released as a single a year before the Mardi Gras album was issued.

The follow-up single, “Molina”/”Sailor’s Lament,” was never released in North America. It was released in Germany and became a major hit there in late 1971.

Sweet Hitchhiker

Was ridin’ alongside the highway
Rollin’ up the country side
Thinkin’ I’m the devil’s heatwave
What you burn in your crazy mind?
Saw a slight distraction
Standin’ by the road
She was smilin’ there
Yellow in her hair
Do you wanna, I was thinkin’
Would you care?

Sweet Hitchhiker
We could make music at the Greasy King
Sweet Hitchhiker,
Won’t you ride on my fast machine?

Cruisin’ on through the junction
I’m flyin’ ’bout the speed of sound
Noticin’ peculiar function
I ain’t no roller coaster
Show me down
I turned away to see her
Whoa, she caught my eye
But I was rollin’ down
Movin’ too fast
Do you wanna, she was thinkin’
Can it last?

Sweet Hitchhiker
We could make music at the Greasy King
Sweet Hitchhiker
Won’t you ride on my fast machine?

Was busted up along the highway
I’m the saddest ridin’ fool alive
Wond’ring if you’re goin’ in my way
Won’t you give a poor boy a ride?
Here she comes a ridin’
Lord, she’s flyin’ high
But she was rollin’ down
Movin’ too fast
Do you wanna, she was thinkin’
Can I last?

Sweet Hitchhiker
We could make music at the Greasy King
Sweet Hitchhiker
Won’t you ride on my fast machine?