Happy 90th birthday, Chuck Berry: “You Can’t Catch Me” (1956)

Chuck Berry turns 90 today.  If we have to pick one figure in American pop to whom the charts have not been kind, my vote likely goes to him. You certainly know the story of Chuck: born in St. Louis, went to Chicago, cut a few important sides for Chess in the 50s, faded out, … Continue reading Happy 90th birthday, Chuck Berry: “You Can’t Catch Me” (1956)

50 years of happiness: The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)

(Above: Two copies of the same song, released 50 years apart.) This week marked the 50th anniversary of, what was at the time of its production, the most expensive rock and roll single ever made. "Good Vibrations" cost a cool $75,000 to produce in 1966 - about a half a million bucks in today's cash. … Continue reading 50 years of happiness: The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)

Greatest misses: The Insiders, “Ghost On the Beach” (1987)

Sometimes, the difference between a hit and a miss is merely a matter of timing. In the fall of 1987 I started classes at Lewis University. It was there that I began my college radio career as a DJ on WLRA-FM. (A word of warning: this blog will often mention college radio.  It is something … Continue reading Greatest misses: The Insiders, “Ghost On the Beach” (1987)