Rest in peace, Skip Haynes: Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah, “Lake Shore Drive” (1971)

(Above: AHJ around the time of LSD) As if the music world hadn't suffered enough this week, the Chicago music scene took a specific hit as word spread that Skip Haynes passed away in Los Angeles on October 5 at the age of 71 after a long bout with cancer. Skip was the Haynes in … Continue reading Rest in peace, Skip Haynes: Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah, “Lake Shore Drive” (1971)

Leonard Chess at 100: Jackie Brentston and his Delta Cats, “Rocket 88” (1951)

(Above: Leonard Chess, who I don't think looks like Adrien Brody.) One hundred years ago today - March 12, 1917 - Lejnor Czyz was born in Motal, which was in Poland then but is in Belarus today. I'm sure that no one in the village had any idea that he'd go on to become a … Continue reading Leonard Chess at 100: Jackie Brentston and his Delta Cats, “Rocket 88” (1951)

Radio time travel: Ron Britain, WCFL, Chicago (January 28, 1967)

(Above: The psychedelic world of Ron Britain, WCFL.) In the last post I lamented the inability to travel through time to hear the WERX countdown.  Today, at least, time travel IS possible, because we have this bit of radio wonderfulness to enjoy. 50 years ago this weekend, Chicago was cleaning up from the Blizzard of … Continue reading Radio time travel: Ron Britain, WCFL, Chicago (January 28, 1967)

12+ Blogs of Christmas: Mona Abboud, “The Pretty Little Dolly” (1966)

(Above: Johnny's not sure what he signed up for.) 50 years ago tonight - December 15, 1966 - a classic Christmas moment took place on The Tonight Show. Mona Abboud, an actress who performed children's voices in commercials, got her chance to sit on the panel with Johnny Carson. She performed a song about the … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: Mona Abboud, “The Pretty Little Dolly” (1966)

12+ Blogs of Christmas: The Les Tucker Singers*, “Hardrock, Coco, and Joe” (1951)

(Above: It's not Christmas without these puppets.) You can take the boy out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the boy. Get in a discussion with anyone of a certain age about growing up in Chicago, and the discussion inevitably turns to local television, especially for kids. It's amazed me how many … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: The Les Tucker Singers*, “Hardrock, Coco, and Joe” (1951)

12+ Blogs of Christmas: The Rotary Connection, “Silent Night” (1968)

Thanksgiving is over.  That's when the Christmas music starts. That was my rule as a program director.  It probably cost me a few ratings points over the years, but I took it seriously.  Thanksgiving remains one of my favorite holidays, and I didn't like seeing what was happening to it - the disappearance into the … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: The Rotary Connection, “Silent Night” (1968)

Election day special: John Records Landecker, “Press My Conference” (1974)

(Above: JRL in what is described as a "pensive promo shot.") I've been tremendously lucky to have worked with some of the most talented people ever to grace a radio station.  I've joked with students that in some ways I was a sort of Forrest Gump of radio, being in the right place at the … Continue reading Election day special: John Records Landecker, “Press My Conference” (1974)

Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts: Henry Mancini, “Experiment in Terror” (1962)

For Halloween, let's do three stories in one. The first has to do with haunted radio stations.  I understand that many of you do not believe in ghosts, or a supernatural presence, or what have you.  That's fine. Had you worked with me at WXLP in the Quad Cities, you may have an opinion that … Continue reading Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts: Henry Mancini, “Experiment in Terror” (1962)

Rest in peace, Herb Kent: The Kool Gents, “I Just Can’t Help Myself” (1956)

Radio lost a true legend on October 22 when Herbert Kent passed away at the age of 88.  Herb was known to generations of radio listeners in and around Chicago as "The Cool Gent." His night show on WVON was rated second only to WLS in its powerhouse AM days in the 1960s. It's hard … Continue reading Rest in peace, Herb Kent: The Kool Gents, “I Just Can’t Help Myself” (1956)