What’s in a name? Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers” (2008)

(Above: Map of most popular girls' names by state forty years ago.) I was having some fun on my radio show last week. (I should mention: there is now a weekly radio show.  It's called "Rock School with Len," and it airs Thursdays at 10am Eastern on WCKS Radio, the student station at Grand Valley … Continue reading What’s in a name? Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers” (2008)

College Radio Day 2018: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (1988)

(Above: Joan's 1983 album, called Album, which is fantastic.) Today is the 8th annual College Radio Day. CRD started in 2011 as a way for college radio stations to get together and celebrate what they do: give artists that wouldn't otherwise get a chance some exposure, and give new air talent that wouldn't otherwise get … Continue reading College Radio Day 2018: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (1988)

Rest in peace, Marty Balin: Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (1975)

(Above: Balin with the rest of the Airplane on the cover of Surrealistic Pillow.) Marty Balin, one of the founding members of the Jefferson Airplane, passed away yesterday at the age of 76. No cause of death has been given. Balin, along with Paul Kantner, Jack Casady, and - of course - Grace Slick, formed … Continue reading Rest in peace, Marty Balin: Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (1975)

Songs of senior year: The Billboard Hot 100, September 21, 1985

(Above: The new sign in front of Andrew High. I never sped past this playing the "Miami Vice" theme.) September 21, 1985 is a Saturday - which is the day that all of the Billboard charts come out. It was a hectic time at the start of my senior year of high school. The night … Continue reading Songs of senior year: The Billboard Hot 100, September 21, 1985

30 years ago this week: The Billboard Hot 100, September 10, 1988

(Above: What a wacky college morning show looks like, apparently.) Thirty years ago this week I was starting my second year at Lewis University on the air at WLRA. I almost didn't come back; at the end of my first year I was left off of the management team and threatened to take my ball … Continue reading 30 years ago this week: The Billboard Hot 100, September 10, 1988

Ten Albums: R.E.M., Document (1987)

(Above: File under "fire.") We're continuing the Facebook-inspired meme of "post ten albums that mean something to you but don't say anything about them," except that I'm saying something about each of them. Born to be wild. #9 - R.E.M., Document (1987) By now it's probably very clear to readers of this blog that the … Continue reading Ten Albums: R.E.M., Document (1987)

Ten Albums: Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991)

(Above: You don't have this one?) There's been this thing going around on Facebook where people are posting up their ten favorite albums, or ten albums that meant something to them, or so on. You've probably seen this: you get tagged, you make the post, you tag someone else. I got tagged in one last … Continue reading Ten Albums: Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991)

Congratulations to Johnny B! Johnny and the Leisure Suits, “Just Havin’ Fun” (1981)

(Above: In the early 90s, in Chicago, you had this CD. It was the law.) The Hyper Rooster is in the Hall. For the second year in a row a local Chicago radio legend has gotten the call for the Radio Hall of Fame.  Jonathon Brandmeier, who held down mornings at WLUP in Chicago through … Continue reading Congratulations to Johnny B! Johnny and the Leisure Suits, “Just Havin’ Fun” (1981)

One night in college radio, End of Semester Edition: WLRA-FM, May 3, 1988

(Above: They should have let the kid walk.) There was a commercial for Pillsbury Cookies in the 80s that my wife and I quote often. You may remember it (if not, allow me to remind you). There was a kid threatening to run away from home, and Mom gets him to stay by making cookies … Continue reading One night in college radio, End of Semester Edition: WLRA-FM, May 3, 1988