Great lost hit: Billy and the Beaters, “I Can Take Care Of Myself” (1981)

(Above: The Rhino re-release had a picture sleeve. I don't think the original did.) Early summer of 1981 wasn't a whole lot of fun for me. I was in-between seventh and eighth grades, and - I keep threatening to write about this - junior high school was probably my least favorite time in life. Major … Continue reading Great lost hit: Billy and the Beaters, “I Can Take Care Of Myself” (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

Christmas on the air: The songs I hated – and loved – to play

In the last post, I talked about working in both retail and in radio.  In both careers I got to deal with people, often at their worst.  I also worked on or around Christmas in both jobs, and it is for that reason that I think I never truly appreciated the holiday like I did … Continue reading Christmas on the air: The songs I hated – and loved – to play

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the mall: Atlantic Soul Classics (1985)

(Above: The mall used to get a bit trashed on the day after Christmas.) In my career, I have worked in three main areas: Retail (1985-1988). My first job was selling cigarettes to minors at a gas station in Tinley Park, IL. From there I moved to working at the mall. Most of the time … Continue reading ‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the mall: Atlantic Soul Classics (1985)

Radio and Records Top 89 of ’89: AOR (December 15, 1989)

(Above: Before the Internet, it's how we looked for work.) Once upon a time, even DJs read the paper, and that paper was Radio & Records.  R&R, as we called it, was a paper that served as the journal for both the radio and the music industries.  It was where you read about program directors … Continue reading Radio and Records Top 89 of ’89: AOR (December 15, 1989)

Summer’s almost over: The Billboard Hot 100, August 23, 1986

(Above: Madonna, from the video of the song sitting at #1.) It's just about the end of August, 1986. My friends from my high school class, in most cases, are headed off to their freshmen years of college.  I'm not going anywhere; I didn't necessarily make the best choices about college at the end of … Continue reading Summer’s almost over: The Billboard Hot 100, August 23, 1986

A frustrated rocker: The Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, August 5, 1989

(Above: Me in my WJTW shirt in the production room of WCFL/Morris, 1990.  I do not know why I am wearing it there.) In the summer of 1989 I was just starting to get my legs under me in terms of my radio career. The station I worked for in Joliet, Illinois, WJTW, gave me … Continue reading A frustrated rocker: The Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, August 5, 1989

Greatest misses: Mick Jagger, “Throwaway” (1987)

(Above: the 45 sleeve.  Remember those?) Now that summer school has ended and the grades are posted (hooray!) I can get back to doing some research.  A project that I am very excited about is the WLRA History Project that I began in May.  The 50th anniversary of the launch of my college radio station … Continue reading Greatest misses: Mick Jagger, “Throwaway” (1987)

The Spirit of Western Illinois: WJEQ, Macomb (May 1990)

(Above: The WJEQ Morning Mug from my collection.) Over the course of almost 30 years in radio I was associated with some outstanding radio stations - and some not-so-good ones. If you were to look over my resume and try to guess which ones were the great ones, you'd probably guess the major-market ones and … Continue reading The Spirit of Western Illinois: WJEQ, Macomb (May 1990)

Songs you hate, then love: The Beach Boys, “Kokomo” (1988)

(Above: Which is the guiltier pleasure - the song or the movie?) If I haven't made it clear enough in earlier posts or by dropping lyrics into text sans citation, I like the Beach Boys.  A lot. That's why the revulsion I felt when I first heard "Kokomo" was so troubling.  Eventually, though, I came … Continue reading Songs you hate, then love: The Beach Boys, “Kokomo” (1988)