Rest in peace, Vera Lynn: “We’ll Meet Again” (1939)

  "Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?" That line, in Pink Floyd's "Vera," was my introduction to the existence of Vera Lynn. At the age of 11, with a fresh copy of The Wall in hand, I didn't necessarily understand all of the references (or all of the material, for that matter) contained in it. … Continue reading Rest in peace, Vera Lynn: “We’ll Meet Again” (1939)

Rest in peace, Little Richard: “Long Tall Sally” (1956)

Richard Penniman passed away today at the age of 87. Like anything about Little Richard, that sentence doesn't tell the whole story. Little Richard began his recording career in 1951 with RCA Victor. His early sides for them, including "Taxi Blues," didn't go anywhere on the charts. But in 1956 the world changed. Richard, recording … Continue reading Rest in peace, Little Richard: “Long Tall Sally” (1956)

Rest in peace, Phil Phillips: “Sea of Love” (1959)

  R&B singer John Philip Baptiste passed away Saturday at the age of 94. You know him as Phil Phillips, who - from a pop standpoint - had one hit: 1959's "Sea of Love," recorded with The Twilights as the backing group. Originally released on the Khoury record label, it was later picked up by … Continue reading Rest in peace, Phil Phillips: “Sea of Love” (1959)

Rest in peace, Jack Scott: “Leroy” (1958)

  Jack Scott passed away yesterday in Michigan after suffering from congestive heart failure at the age of 84. His may not be a name that's immediately familiar to you. Let's fix that. Scott was born Jack Scafone in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1936. His family relocated to the Detroit suburbs when he was ten … Continue reading Rest in peace, Jack Scott: “Leroy” (1958)

Rest in peace, Doris Day: “Everybody Loves a Lover” (1958)

Word circulated through the media this morning that actress and pop star Doris Day passed away at the age of 97. In a bit of irony, I got the news in my Facebook feed just as I was beginning a lecture in a communications class about death and mourning on social media, and how that … Continue reading Rest in peace, Doris Day: “Everybody Loves a Lover” (1958)

Rest in peace, Peggy Sue Gerron: Buddy Holly & the Crickets, “Peggy Sue” (1957)

(Above: Jerry and Peggy Sue Allison) Word has come out of Lubbock, Texas by way of TV station KCBD that Peggy Sue Gerron has passed away at the age of 78. You likely don't know her, but you know the song that was written for her. Peggy Sue dated Jerry Allison in high school, and … Continue reading Rest in peace, Peggy Sue Gerron: Buddy Holly & the Crickets, “Peggy Sue” (1957)

Rest in peace, Art Hellyer: Ray Charles, “America the Beautiful” (1972)

(Above: Art having fun at WCFL, circa 1951.) Sad news from the world of Chicagoland radio: Art Hellyer, longtime radio and television host, passed away last night. He was 95. Art held the distinction of being my oldest Facebook friend.  Before becoming ill earlier this year, he was in the habit of sharing Facebook live … Continue reading Rest in peace, Art Hellyer: Ray Charles, “America the Beautiful” (1972)

Rest in peace, D.J. Fontana: Elvis Presley, “My Baby Left Me” (1956)

(Above: D.J. Fontana and the singer that he's best associated with.) Word spread this morning that Dominic Joseph Fontana passed away peacefully last night at the age of 87.  There is no question that you have heard him play the drums. D. J. Fontana was recruited to accompany Elvis Presley along with Scotty Moore and … Continue reading Rest in peace, D.J. Fontana: Elvis Presley, “My Baby Left Me” (1956)

The gift that kept on giving: My first 45s, 45 years later (Part 2)

(Above: Clearly Mom wanted the records in the basement. That's usually where they end up.) In the last post I explained that I received my first record player 45 years ago, and started rifling through my parents' records. This past weekend I went through a few thousand 45s, found the original records I inherited, and … Continue reading The gift that kept on giving: My first 45s, 45 years later (Part 2)

The gift that kept on giving: My first 45s, 45 years later (Part 1)

(Above: The box of records that used to belong to my parents. I've had it for 45 years.) Think back to when you were a kid. What was the one gift that you received that you remember more than any of the others? The one that, though you didn't know it at the time, changed … Continue reading The gift that kept on giving: My first 45s, 45 years later (Part 1)