Pop goes to college: The Billboard Hot 100, September 19, 1987

(Above: Lewis University's Fitzpatrick Hall, where I spent my Saturday afternoons in the fall of 1987. Watch this space for the FitzHall story, coming soon.) September 19, 1987 marked my third Saturday on the radio at Lewis University's WLRA. There's nothing significant about the show. Oh, sure, I have the tape of it somewhere, but … Continue reading Pop goes to college: The Billboard Hot 100, September 19, 1987

Rest in peace, Ramsey Lewis: “Wade In the Water” (1966)

Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, perhaps best known for his take on Dobie Gray's "The In Crowd," passed away at his home in Chicago today. He was 87. Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis was born in Chicago and started his musical career at approximately four years old by taking piano lessons in his neighborhood near Cabrini Green. The … Continue reading Rest in peace, Ramsey Lewis: “Wade In the Water” (1966)

Rest in peace, Charlie Watts: The Rolling Stones, “Mixed Emotions” (1989)

Charlie Watts, the drummer for the greatest rock and roll band ever, has died at the age of 80. Just last week Watts decided that he would not be taking part in the Rolling Stones' tour this fall. He had beaten cancer once, but decided that the rigors of the road - and his ongoing … Continue reading Rest in peace, Charlie Watts: The Rolling Stones, “Mixed Emotions” (1989)

The blog is back: Why haven’t there been any updates?

If you're a follower of this blog, your mailbox has been eerily silent for most of the past year. It's time for me to fix that. COVID-19 hit the world like the proverbial ton of bricks. It disrupted just about every activity we know, and for over 600,000 people in the United States, it ended … Continue reading The blog is back: Why haven’t there been any updates?

So long, 2020: Sending off a troublesome year in song

2020 has been one for the books, hasn't it? It seems like a lifetime ago that we were all gathering, making our plans for New Year's Eve, organizing parties and such. This year looks very different. Or does it? The last several years we've spent NYE at home in relative quiet. It's different when it … Continue reading So long, 2020: Sending off a troublesome year in song

New this week in ’70: July 11

(Above: Guys, this game doesn't count.) July 11, 1970 It's the day after "whites only" schools lose their tax-exempt status. This is not a foreign dispatch; this is a story from the United States, where ten thousand such schools, ranging from kindergarten all the way up through college, remain in existence years after Brown v … Continue reading New this week in ’70: July 11

Rest in peace, The Great Daryl Nathan: “Freaky Freaky Girl” (circa 1996)

Word circulated on social media today that Daryl Q. Nathan passed away in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 22 at the age of 54. That sentence, by itself, tells a story. But that story is incomplete. Anyone who spent time in and around Grand Rapids in the 1990s was aware of The Great Daryl Nathan. … Continue reading Rest in peace, The Great Daryl Nathan: “Freaky Freaky Girl” (circa 1996)