A Mother’s Day Jukebox (various)

(Flashback to Mom showing me how the record player worked.) It's Mother's Day in the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, India - in other words, most of the places where this blog gets read. I thought it might be fun to craft a playlist for Moms, Moms-to-be, people who … Continue reading A Mother’s Day Jukebox (various)

Rest in peace, Hal Blaine: The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (1963)

Word circulated Monday that the greatest rock and roll drummer who ever lived passed away. Hal Blaine was 90. That sentence, in some circles, may start an argument. Except that it's hard to argue just how important Hal Blaine was to rock and roll. There are estimates suggesting that he played on up to thirty … Continue reading Rest in peace, Hal Blaine: The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (1963)

Rest in peace, Peter Tork: The Monkees, “Words” (1968)

Peter Tork, best known for his work in the Monkees, has passed away at the age of 77. Tork had been diagnosed with cancer about ten years ago, and had beaten it for a long time, but succumbed to the disease yesterday. I'm reluctant to say "ex-Monkee Peter Tork" in a piece like this. For … Continue reading Rest in peace, Peter Tork: The Monkees, “Words” (1968)

Soul sounds: WGES-AM/Chicago Top 30 Tunes, February 1, 1962

(Above: The back of the WGES survey, complete with on-air lineup.) One of the great tragedies of history occurs any time we lose something we can't get back. Along the way to doing the research for my dissertation, I learned quickly that the efforts made to preserve popular culture aren't equal, and there's no better … Continue reading Soul sounds: WGES-AM/Chicago Top 30 Tunes, February 1, 1962

Rest in peace, Michel Legrand: Noel Harrison, “The Windmills Of Your Mind” (1968)

Michel Legrand passed away in Paris yesterday at the age of 86. Here's where it's tempting to say "Where do I know that name from?" It could be from the three Oscars that he one: one for Yentl, one for Summer of '42, and one for The Thomas Crown Affair (the subject of this post). … Continue reading Rest in peace, Michel Legrand: Noel Harrison, “The Windmills Of Your Mind” (1968)

Fifty years ago in GR: WGRD’s Hot 30 in the Furniture City, January 8, 1969

(Above: The good folks at Woolworth's shouldn't have stamped across Mr. Merchant's picture like that....) January 8, 1969 was a Wednesday. In Chicago, Robert Sylvester Kelly was born; he would go on to have a starried if not controversial career as an R&B singer without his middle name and only an initial. In Miami, New … Continue reading Fifty years ago in GR: WGRD’s Hot 30 in the Furniture City, January 8, 1969