HANK BALLARD AND THE TWIST
|In the fall of 1998 I was managing a station in Aberdeen, Maryland. Oldies 97 WAMD's 500 watts were hard pressed to cover all of Harford County. Nevertheless, we were attempting to provide some personality and pizzazz with the format. In some ways we succeeded.
One way we raised attention was through the station's relationship with Buddy Deane. The venerable radio and TV legend contracted with us to host a Saturday show on the station.
Joe Evelius would produce Buddy's program and then do his own all-request show after Buddy.
One day, fellow broadcaster J.B. Brown ('The High Priest of Soul') told me he knew R&B great Hank Ballard and would we be interested in getting him on the air for an interview.
After some discussion, it was decided to have Hank call in to the station and appear on Buddy's show. Buddy was 'live' in studio with Evelius.
After the two exchanged pleasantries and aired a couple of Hanks' hits with the Midnighters, the subject turned to 'The Twist'.
I was also in studio on that day and quickly became fascinated with the conversation between Ballard and Deane.
Hank said, 'Buddy Deane is the guy who put me on the air with the Twist. I give him credit for starting interest in the song'. Buddy replied, 'Hank, I appreciate that but you got to give credit to Dick Clark on that one'.
Well, the two started to provide their own sequence of events. Ballard said he knew the song had something going for it and was having a hard time getting Clark to give it a spin on 'American Bandstand'. He asked Buddy to call Clark in Philadelphia and endorse the song.
Buddy's take was a little different, saying that Hank's people made the call. Deane was admittedly not a big fan of Dick Clark, and vice versa. Their 'cold war' started when 'Bandstand' couldn't be aired on Baltimore TV. Why? Because Buddy's local dance show aired 6 days a week on the ABC affiliate and the station elected not to carry Dick Clark.
In return, Clark was hesitant to do Buddy any favors. Deane and Fred Foster founded Monument Records in the late 50's, and in 1958 the label had what would be its first big hit.
Billy Grammer's 'Gotta Travel On' eventually hit the top 5, but was late getting play on Dick Clark's national show, probably because Deane had something to do with it.
Getting back to Ballard and the Twist, the two went back and forth on the air, each animatedly denying the other's version of the story. Finally, the two agreed to disagree.
Buddy Deane was never one to take credit for something he felt wasn't his to claim. And in an ironic twist, in spite of the views of some in Baltimore (namely misinformed individuals who have bought into the 'white guilt' liberal spin on Deane's reportedly refusing to integrate blacks and whites on the show), just about every major black artist AND air personality of the era loved Deane and considered him a straight shooter and a good friend. One time, James Brown himself came to Pine Bluff, Arkansas to perform in concert. Deane met him at the airport and Brown explained in a loud voice for all within earshot to hear, 'BUDDY DEANE!! The first white man to put me on TV and play my records!!!!
We'll address the integration issue in another thread.
Ballard eventually captured Clark's attention regarding the Twist. However, an unexpected development occurred. When Clark tried to book Ballard to introduce the song on 'Bandstand', the singer was involved in another project and couldn't commit.
As the story goes, Dick Clark then became aware of an unknown singer who was local in Philadelphia and had re-recorded the dance. One thing led to another and that artist came on the show and unveiled what was to be the most successful dance single of the rock and roll era.
Of course, we're referring to Chubby Checker and his version of 'The Twist'.
Hank Ballard was a pioneer in R&B. He said that Deane was willing to give him a shot based on a song's individual merit. Ballard went on to say he had difficulties in getting play on 'Bandstand', because in light of earlier releases such as 'Work With Me Annie' and 'Annie Had A Baby', said, 'Dick Clark probably thought I was trying to promote another dirty record.'
BUDDY DEANE - OCEAN CITY MEMORIES
|I first met Buddy Deane in person on April 1, 1995.
He was in Baltimore that night to host a reunion dance for his 'Committee' members. These folks were the teenaged boys and girls who danced on his TV show every day. A program that lasted the better part of 7 years from 1957-1964.
Our meeting was arranged by Arlene Kozak. She was Buddy's Chief Assistant on the show. I got in touch with her through Janet Johanssen, a co-worker of mine at the time at WITH Radio.
Buddy and I began a lifelong friendship that continued until his passing in July, 2003. In those 8 years, Buddy hired me to manage his radio stations in Arkansas, worked for me as a weekend personality on one station I managed for several years, and worked with me on more than 50 record hops and appearances that took us to several states and the Caribbean.
I would have enjoyed Buddy's company if he were a plumber, a bricklayer, or a school teacher. He was that interesting and likeable. Some of my best times with Buddy were away from the 'business'.
He told stories of the show and inside info of the performers. Those were downright fascinating. However, his observations on life in general were even more so.
Several exchanges come to mind. We were in Ocean City, Maryland in late October, 2001. I had negotiated a gig for Buddy to do a sock hop on a Friday night. The following night, he emceed a concert featuring Martha Reeves and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits.
Some good friends came along for the weekend, including WBAL Radio's John Patti and his wife, and WGET Radio's Fred Snyder and his wife.
Buddy and I went to a restaurant after the Friday night dance in OC, and he said 'I am going to make a list of the 10 biggest movies of all time. I want you to check off the ones you haven't seen and then get back to me with a review on each one'. I didn't get to all of them before he left, but I knew of all of them and did in fact, see a few. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and Gone With The Wind were a couple of them.
The following day in Ocean City, Buddy wanted to see the building where long ago he hosted record hops every weekend in the summer. Before we arrived, I asked him to tell me about the experience.
'Back in the late 50's', Buddy recalled, 'the city fathers grew concerned over the increasing amounts of kids roaming the boardwalk at night and asked if I would come down and hold a record hop for them on a weekly basis. I asked how much they were going to pay me, only to be told they had no money but I could feel free to charge whatever I wanted and could keep whatever I made.
'So I decided to do the hop and charged a dollar admission. I'd take stars down there to lip-synch their songs and I would plug the hops on my TV show.
'Buddy added, 'I would get sometimes up to a thousand kids in there on Friday and Saturday nights. I'd throw the dollar bills in paper bags and bring them home, go to bed, and sometimes I would wake up, go downstairs, and Jo Ellen and Debbie (Buddy's oldest daughters) would empty the bags, pile up the dollar bills on the floor and roll around in them.'
'After a while, the city fathers got wind of all the money we made and asked to renegotiate our "deal". In spite of the fact that 'a deal was a deal', I eventually agreed to give them 10 percent of the take.'
During that Saturday, Buddy and I drove the length of Ocean City's Coastal Highway. Mr. Deane was a very observant individual. Keep in mind, this was 6 weeks after 9/11 happened. Buddy said 'Look at all of these hotel marquees. They all say "God Bless America". So we decided to count all of the marquees posting that statement. We tallied 26 in all.
Here is one more observation about the Ocean City Record Hop story.
In the fall of 2001, Buddy was about to undergo a hip replacement. He was using a walking stick to get around and relieve the pressure on his sore hip. We pulled up to the boardwalk at the south end of Ocean City on Saturday morning to take a look at the building where the hops were held. Today, the space is occupied by 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not' museum.
As we exited the car and slowly walked up the ramp from street level to the boardwalk, Buddy appeared to be lost in thought.
Then as we stepped on to the boardwalk, Buddy and I turned to our left and the long thoroughfare stretched out before us. About a block up the boards, on the right, silhouetted against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, there it sat.
Buddy looked me and handed me his cane. 'Hold this, stallion ( a name he occasionally used to address me), I'll be right back'.
He strolled down the boardwalk by himself at a steady gait, stopped in front of the building. He looked up at the second floor windows where it all happened...and stood there for a good 2-3 minutes.
Then, he turned around, came back down to where I was standing, retrieved his cane, and said in typical Buddy Deane fashion, 'Let's go get something to eat'.
Buddy loved life and lived in the present. He always looked to the future (usually another hop) and recalled the past with a keen attention to detail.
We'll share more Buddy stories in future blogs.
Meanwhile, you're missed, old friend. I wish we had more time for new adventures, new projects and new conversations...but I cherish the times we had.
See you later.
MEMORIES - FEBRUARY 1977
|This countdown is kinda special for me. These songs played together evoke vivid personal memories.
At this time in early '77, I was a 19 year old student at the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in Baltimore. I schlepped through ice and snow and bitter cold that winter to attend the five day a week classes at the old facility at 201 Homeland Avenue.
On February 16th of that year the school sent me and two other students (Woody Williams and Pat Oltman) down to WSUX-FM in Seaford, Delaware. Each of us interviewed for a weekend slot which had just opened up. The Program Director (Allan Frazier) talked to us separately and listened to our audition tapes. After that process, he thanked each of us for coming and said he would be calling one of us to offer the position.
As the three of us drove back to Baltimore that afternoon, we speculated on what it would be like to get that first paying gig in radio...and what each one would do if he got the nod.
Well, that very night I got a call from Mr. Frazier, who also hosted afternoon drive on the station. He offered me the job at the princely sum of $2.30 an hour. I was asked to report for work on Friday night of that week.
Friday February 18, 1977.
I took the bus down to Seaford. The Trailways bus driver passed right by the station at 1039 S. Dual Highway (US 13) just south of town. He left me off at the curb (They were allowed to do that in those days) and I walked into the building.
Frazier met me at the station and introduced me to Dave Fleetwood. He was the evening jock (7-Midnight) and would be responsible for training for me.
I went through the lobby, turned right, walked past the production studio, the AM studio, and the final studio was the FM. As I turned the corner and walked inside, I felt so thrilled. A dream was about to come true. A dream of getting into radio. They could have paid me 23 cents an hour, I wouldn't have cared.
At the time of my entrance, a high school basketball game was being broadcast. Fleetwood gave me a quick tutorial on the board, told me to sit down, and with a quick, 'I'll be in the adjacent studio if you get into trouble', left to make a phone call to a girl he was dating at the time. Like Charlie on the MTA, Dave never returned. Must've been some conversation!
We got through that baptism of fire as I recall with a minimum of issues. However, it was but a taste. The real 'fun' would come the next night. No one would be there to 'hold my hand'. It was showtime, bay-bee!
Saturday February 19, 1977
My first full shift was drawing nigh. Saturday 6 to midnight. Earlier that day, I went a few miles north into Seaford and grabbed some dinner, and then returned to the station.
When I arrived, Frankie Lee (Frank Bradley) was on the air. I was told where to pull the songs, again given a refresher on the format clock, and then Big Al (who had come in on his day off to brief me on a few things) wished me well. Just before he pulled off in his black sports car, he said, 'If you get in trouble, call me. I'll be at home'.
As I sat down and began announcing the top 40 hits and oldies of WSUX's format (SUX by the way stood for Sussex County and certainly not the quality of the station which was ranked #1), I began getting into the groove.
'Stereo 98, Radio WSUX! This is Bob Mathers on your Saturday night with Al Stewart and Year of the Cat!'
'Delmarva Weather on WSUX calls for a clear and cold night, with a low near 15. Sunny tomorrow, with a high of 31'.
It was evident that I sounded 19, and with a 'Bawlamer' accent to boot. Nevertheless, I felt like Jack Edwards, Dan Ingram, and George Michael all wrapped into one. Man, was it fun.
When I got off the air at midnight, I had to come back the next day and work 11 AM - 6 PM. So, I bunked up on the couch in the lobby.
Didn't own a car and had no money for a hotel. To compound the situation, the east coast was in the middle of a cold snap so severe they had to bring Coast Guard icebreakers up the Chesapeake Bay.
The lobby had a draft and it was really cold on that couch. Didn't matter, man. I was now officially in radio!
Sunday February 21, 1977
I managed to get a few hours of shiverin' shuteye and early that day rose up and splashed water on my face to wake up while freshening up in the station's bathroom.
A little after 10 I moseyed my way to the studio and began pulling my oldies for the shift.
The studio was set up as follows. It was raised about a foot off the floor on a platform. The studio emanated RF, which is a condition where strange sounds and noises get mixed in with the audio which goes out over the air. To the right on the countertop: two boxes containing the top 40 songs in the survey. To the left, two turntables that were activated remotely by switches. In front of you, the control board and a series of cart decks. Carts, or cartridges, resembled 8-tracks. However, each cart featured just one track, be it a commercial or a song.
There were signs and notices posted, including the format clock for the announcer to follow.
Every other song was an oldie, and every song was followed by a jingle. Unless you were going into a commercial break. No exceptions.
That afternoon went flying by. Listeners were calling and welcoming me to the airwaves. I was taking requests. I could have stayed on for 24 hours and never gotten my fill.
By the time Sunday night rolled around it was time to leave. Soon, I was back on the bus for Baltimore. I was on cloud nine and couldn't wait to go back next weekend....even if my check after taxes was equivalent to the cost of a round-trip bus ticket from Seaford to Baltimore.
Until next time....
JANUARY 3, 1959
|When I produce a countdown, my mindset inevitably takes on a perspective that to some degree reflects what folks were thinking about during that time of history.
For example, what strikes me about the beginning of 1959 is the out-of-sync compatability of the music compared with the times. And boy, were those times a-changin'. The sounds of early 1959 were heavily influenced by a slight revival of the pre-rock 'hit parade' arrangement (both vocally and instrumentally) and a notable absence of rock in general.
The dynamics of Top 40 in 1959 served to calm the 'savage beast'. At this time, the early pioneers of Rock N' Roll were into other things. Elvis was in the Army, Jerry Lee Lewis was washed up due to scandal, and Little Richard had retired. These developments made way for the emergence of teen idols and folk music. Doo-wop was holding its own and mainstream R&B sounds (Motown, Stax) were still a year or two away.
As far as the times, the 'Cold War' was heating up. Castro's takeover of Cuba in this week of '59 was at first received positively by the U.S., but Fidel's embrace of the Russkies by the summer of the year caused the Eisenhower administration to swing into action with plans to remove him from office. Those developments helped to lay a dark undercurrent of moves and counter moves which would eventually result in the JFK assassination and the Vietnam war. However, that's a subject for another time. The point being: It didn't matter in January 1959. The general public had no clue and pretty much continued in their post World War Two prosperity pursuit.
Another observation from recording this countdown is the fact that Frankie Sardo had a song below the 40. Who is he? Sardo was one of the performers on a concert tour of cities and towns in the midwestern U.S. This winter caravan was to garner the attention of the music world precisely 30 days later when three of its performers would die in a plane crash. Sardo would not see his budding career result in stardom, but Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper would enter immediately into music immortality. Early 1959. Storm clouds were on the horizon, but the 'innocence' of the times still reigned. At least for the moment.
Until next time....
A CHRISTMAS PERSPECTIVE
|The word 'Christmas' usually evokes thoughts of hectic preparations involving shopping, crowds, cooking and cleaning. Christmas also connotates food, drink, presents, parties, travel and reunions with family and friends.
Christmas is at the same time, primarily designated as the season and day America and other nations set aside to observe the birth of Christ. When that word is mentioned, that is, the word 'Christ', a different set of thoughts come to mind.
For some, Jesus Christ represents the baby in the manger. For others, He is God the Son, the baby who grew into the man who performed miracles, lived 33 years, was crucified on the cross and died, only to rise again. For others, the mention of Jesus as Christ the Lord is very offensive. Makes 'em downright angry. And they have no hesitation in telling you so.
I won't spend a lot of time dissecting this apparent dichotomy. In other words, doesn't it seem strange that a man who was never convicted of sin, never forced Himself on anyone, and only gave to others without taking...would be subjected to such fierce anger? Yes it would seem that way, except the bible explains why that is.
The average person who denies Jesus in whatever fashion usually offers several reasons for their stand. 1. Hypocritical people who call themselves Christians and 'judge' others. In other words, 2. The 'unfair' claim that Jesus is the ONLY way to God to the exclusion of all other 'religions'. 3. The 'burdens' that Jesus places on people, that if you believe in Jesus you live a boring life and adhere to a list of 'don'ts'.
Somebody once asked me 'What is the difference between Christ and religion'? Before I could reply, the questioner answered, 'Religion is our way of attaining standards thus making God equal with us. Christ is God's way of making us acceptable. He did this when he asked His son to become the 'once for all sacrifice' on the cross for the sins of the world. That is, for any who would ASK for that forgiveness through Christ.
Recently we saw the passing of Christopher Hitchens. He died of cancer at 62. He was an extremely vocal opponent of not just Christ, but faith in God as a whole. There is no evidence that Mr. Hitchens changed his point of view prior to his passing. As an atheist, he proclaimed that there was no heaven or hell and that belief in God was a myth.
A one-time broadcast colleague of mine who once was a pastor related to me a harrowing story where his then spouse threatened his life at knifepoint. He said this prompted him to not just leave the ministry, but to abandon his belief in Christ. I discovered quite recently he has enthusiastically embraced atheism. After receiving a number of facebook postings from him and others in his circle mocking God, I decided to write him privately and respectfully re-examine his decision to turn away from the Christ who loved him so.
He responded by stating 'I'll see your arrogant ass in hell'. This I thought odd because atheists supposedly don't believe in hell. Nevertheless I pray for the man.
There is a rapidly growing sentiment in the United States against Christ, God, the Bible and its validity. Contrast this with current conditions in America dealing with a bad economy, corruption at every level, 'rights' for those who practice unnatural and perverted sexual lifestyles and sanction the choice to take a life in the womb. Colleges graduate illiterate students, companies reward faithful employees with firings to increase bonuses for top execs, and the Christian church in many respects has stopped loving the non-Christians only to turn their attention to enriching their kingdoms on earth.
A verse in the Holy Bible reads 'Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord'. Could there be a connection?
Neither you or I have all the answers and we certainly don't have it within us to find the solutions. Only Christ can help us. You can't beat His track record. Study the promises, actions, and words He offers us. They're pure, loving and true.
Many talk of a coming armageddon. The truth is, each of us every day face our own personal armageddon. It's called the end of our life on earth. It could end next year, next week, or in the next hour. But it will end, and that's for sure.
As I sit here finishing this latest installment of the blog, the sound of Christmas songs fill the house and a week of vacation awaits (for which by the way I'm grateful to have a job, let alone time off from one). Food is in the fridge. The house is heated. The wife is happy (at least for now but that could and most likely will change very soon. After all, she has to put up with me). Still, I ponder at a time of year that's supposed to be 'happy'...the undercurrent of concern and in some cases fear that is expressed to me through many friends and acquaintances.
Here's a thought. Let the world do its thing. Let the country do its thing. You have control over one person. You. Whether you're having a great Christmas, a lonely Christmas, a troubled Christmas, a happy Christmas, or a financially barren Christmas....I'd like to wish you first a Merry Christmas.
Next, and most importantly, I'd like to invite you to talk to a friend of mine who loves me whether I do good (rarely) or do bad (which happens way too much for my liking). Whatever you need, if you are hurting, even the happiness you may be celebrating, tell Him about it.
Jesus says, 'Behold I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If any man (or woman) opens the door and lets me in, I will come in and dine with them and they with me'. Yes, that baby in the manger is 'all grown up'. He is the miracle of the Christmas, and you know what? He can make YOUR life a miracle too. Like He did for me.
I asked Him to forgive me of my sins on my birthday. December 9, 1980. The day after John Lennon died, I felt empty inside. A number of developments in my life produced this emptiness and that tragedy simply added to a sense of bewilderment. He heard me, He forgave me, and although the journey has had its bumps in the road (and it will), He never lets go of my hand.
And He never will.
And He promises the same to you.
I invite you to go with the Lord Jesus Christ and put your trust in Him, because He loves you very much. It's the best Christmas present one can ever receive.
Until next time,
WHAT MAKES A SONG A MYSTERY SONG?
|In reference to the latest show posting on Ultimate Oldies Radio, I must say it was fun selecting the songs. After completing the show, I asked myself, 'Why didn't I put one of these together in the past?'
Whatever the reason, it's way past time for this little brain teaser. Then again, should you take the challenge of identifying each of the songs contained herein, you may easily figure them out.
So...what constitutes a 'mystery song'?
One of my colleagues at WTTR in Westminster, Maryland is Jack Edwards. He has been in radio since 1956. He possesses every single Top 40 chart from Baltimore radio stations beginning with the 50's. Therefore he knows every single song that was a hit in Baltimore. However, what about Dallas, Seattle, Fargo, North Dakota? Even (Jim Liddane's town) Limerick, Ireland? Folks in those enclaves may not have heard of dozens of the songs Jack calls 'hits'. Yet to Jack, a song that received lots of airplay elsewhere is not a hit if it didn't happen in Baltimore.
To sum it up, the beauty of 'local' Top 40 from back in the day means even decades later, 'new discoveries' of old releases.
Who says there's nothing new in the world of Oldies?
COUNTDOWN COMMENTARY - DECEMBER 18, 1960
|While putting this countdown together, I was struck by the absolute lack of rock and roll sounds during this period of Top 40 history. There were some interesting undercurrents however that were laying the foundation for what was to follow.
The first of those was the music of Chubby Checker. Many fans of early 60's music overlook the fact that Chubby was a major pioneer in changing how people danced to the music. Realize that prior to 1960, every dance involved interaction. It didn't matter whether it was a jitterbug, mambo or waltz. Every song took 'two to tango'. Until Chubby popularized 'The Twist'.
The one-time chicken plucker followed that up with the likes of 'The Fly, 'The Pony' and in this countdown...'The Hucklebuck'. The Chubster's influence was so profound that even when a dance came along involving multiple participants like 'The Madison' (a craze that reached its peak in the spring of 1960), the dance floor saw every man (and woman) fending for himself.
Some say rock and roll came of age in 1960, with top performers like Anka, Rydell and Darin reaching out to the adult audience with big band arrangements and appearances at top clubs like the Copacabana. This trend prompted the poobahs of the music industry to be ever searching for the next 'big' trend or wave.
Then again, others say just the opposite. That is, rock and roll went away in 1960...and in retrospect really never came back until the British musical 'invasion' of early 1964.
However one looks at the Top 40 landscape of 1960, it was what it was. Many of the songs contained in this countdown wouldn't stand a ghost of chance of receiving airplay on a 70's Top 40's format let alone playlist inclusion on today's oldies stations. Even so, the music reflected the times, and that's the beauty of going back in time. Any given week of 40 songs reflect not just the musical tastes, but the culture of those times. If you lived it, these tunes are perfectly normal and attuned to life in 1960. If you came up in later years and are a student of 'back then'...learn your lessons well.
Until next time,
77 SUNSET STRIP
|We need to blog more about the days we love. So here we go.
Thanks to the unforgettable Jimmy Williams. He's opened up the pages to make it happen.
Recently I came across a site which links to handful of episodes from the first season of '77 Sunset Strip'. The show to my knowledge is not available on DVD. What a shame.
For those of us who love the 50's and the culture from those times, 'Strip' dramatically personifies the meaning of the word 'cool'.
More to come.
ARLENE KOZAK PASSES
|(Baltimore) - Arlene Kozak, chief assistant for the entire run of the Buddy Deane TV show in Baltimore and local dance and cruise promoter, died Tuesday night of complications from lung cancer. She was 72.
The former Arlene DiDonato was working in a musical one stop store handling record orders and monitoring sales when she met WITH morning DJ Buddy Deane in the mid-50's. A professional relationship quickly developed between the two, as Buddy Deane was the first Baltimore DJ to play rock and roll music and he was impressed by Arlene's accuracy in predicting and monitoring hit records. Several years later, Mr. Deane began his legendary run on Baltimore's WJZ-TV as host of a 6 days a week dance show with the emphasis on the Top 40 hits of the day. Mrs. Kozak became the chief assistant on 'The Buddy Deane Show'. As the show caught on with Baltimore viewers, Arlene's duties expanded to oversight of the regular dancers, known as 'the Committee'. Arlene also handled the crush of record promoters who would visit the station every weekday to pitch their product in hopes of getting airplay on the program. As Arlene once recalled, 'Buddy asked me to come up with a system to bring some order to the situation. It was decided to limit the time for promotion people to see Buddy to between 1 and 2 hours a day, depending on our schedule. That time was usually between 11 and 1. Buddy would have a small phonograph player in his office, and the men would go in one at a time, pitch their records, and leave so the next one could come in.'
In the early 60's, Arlene married Joseph Kozak. The two met through Joe's position as a record promoter. When the show was cancelled by WJZ in 1963, Arlene took a position with Donnelly Advertising, a Baltimore company that handled billboards and local yellow page listings.
Arlene kept the committee members together for decades after the show's end. She would host large dances drawing crowds of up to 1500 people. These affairs would reunite the committee members and fans of the show. Buddy Deane would fly in from Arkansas to host the events. In the mid and late 90's, Arlene hosted a series of Carribean cruises involving Deane and a series of performers, including Ronnie Dove. For many years, Arlene served as local liaison for Mr. Deane, handling media requests and queries for Deane's involvement in local fund-raising charities.
Mrs. Kozak loved sharing stories about celebrities who appeared on the program during 1957-64. Her personal favorites were Bobby Darin and Joni James. She also related interesting anecdotes about other performers who made appearances, including actors such as Robert Conrad and George Maharis, and recording artists Brenda Lee and Bobby Rydell.
Mrs. Kozak is survived by her husband Joe, sons Mark & Tony, and 6 grandchildren.
BIG BOPPER AUTOPSY CONFIRMS CAUSE OF DEATH
|KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson suffered massive fractures and likely died immediately in the 1959 plane crash that also killed early rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, a forensic anthropologist said Tuesday after exhuming the body.
The performer's son, Jay Richardson, hired Dr. Bill Bass, a well-known forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, to look at the remains in Beaumont, Texas.
There have been rumors a gun might have been fired on board the plane and that the Big Bopper might have survived the crash and died trying to get help.
Bass took X-rays of the body and found nothing Tuesday to support those theories.
"There was no indication of foul play," Bass said in a telephone interview from Beaumont. "There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures. ... (He) died immediately. He didn't crawl away. He didn't walk away from the plane."
The rock 'n' roll stars' plane crashed after taking off from Mason City, Iowa, on February 3, 1959 -- a tragedy memorialized as "the day the music died" in Don McLean's song "American Pie."
Jay Richardson, who performs in tribute shows as "The Big Bopper Jr.," didn't know his father, who gained fame with the hit "Chantilly Lace." His mother was pregnant with him when his father died.
The Civil Aeronautics Board determined pilot error was the cause of the crash. A gun that belonged to Holly was found at the crash site, fueling rumors that the pilot was shot, but no one has ever proved a gun was fired during the flight.
Richardson watched Bass open the coffin on Tuesday and observed his examination. He said he was pleased with the findings because it proved the investigators "knew what they were talking about 48 years ago."
"I was hoping to put the rumors to rest," he said.
Bass and Richardson were surprised to find the body preserved enough to be recognizable.
"Dad still amazes me 48 years after his death, that he was in remarkable shape," Richardson said. "I surprised myself. I handled it better than I thought I would."
The body was reburied in the cemetery but in a different plot where there will be room for a graveside statue to be installed later.
Bass, 78, is a pioneer in his field and has worked on such famous cases as confirming the identity of the Lindbergh baby that was kidnapped in 1932 and murdered.
BALTIMORE OLDIES DANCE - JUNE 2, 2007
|All are invited to attend the 'Committee Reunion Record Hop'! The date is Saturday June 2, 2007 from 8 until midnight. Bob Mathers of Ultimate Oldies Radio (and formerly of WITH, WQSR & WAMD) will be host and DJ for the event.
The event will be held at the Wells-McComas Post 2678, 6251 North Point Road in Edgemere, Maryland. The facility is situated just off I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) near the Key Bridge.
The music will be strictly 50's and 60's dance favorites. Tickets are $25.00 each and include lite beer, wine, soda, chips and pretzels.
For more information, call dance coordinator Joe Loverde at 1-410-788-9995, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mail your check along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to DANCE, P.O. Box 21206, Catonsville, Maryland 21228.
FRANKIE LAINE DIES AT 93
LOS ANGELES Frankie Laine, the big-voiced singer whose string of hits made him one of the most popular entertainers of the 1950s, died today. He was 93.
Laine died of heart failure at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, Jimmy Marino, Laines producer of more than a dozen years, told The Associated Press.
He was one of the greatest singers around, Marino said. He was one of the last Italian crooners type.
With songs such as Thats My Desire, Mule Train, Jezebel, I Believe and That Lucky Old Sun, Laine was a regular feature of the Top Ten in the years just before rock n roll ushered in a new era of popular music.
Somewhat younger listeners may remember him best for singing the theme to the television show Rawhide, which ran from 1959 to 1966, and the theme for the 1974 movie Blazing Saddles.
He sold more than 100 million records and earned more than 20 gold records.
He will be forever remembered for the beautiful music he brought into this world, his wit and sense of humor, along with the love he shared with so many, Laines family said in a statement.
Laine said his musical influences included Bing Crosby, Al Jolson and jazz artists including Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holliday.
When people nowadays say that Elvis was the first white guy to sound black, I have to shake my head; what can you do? he said in a 1987 interview. At the time of Thats My Desire, they were saying that I was the only white guy around who sounded black.
He occasionally recorded songs by country singers, such as Hey Good Lookin and Your Cheatin Heart by Hank Williams. In 2004 he released an album called Nashville Connection.
Laines variety show Frankie Laine Time ran for two summers, 1955 and 1956, on CBS, and he also appeared in films including When Youre Smiling, and Sunny Side of the Street.
He had a top 25 hit on the Billboard charts in 1969 with You Gave Me a Mountain, a song written by Marty Robbins.
Laine was born Frank LoVecchio on March 30, 1913, in Chicago, the son of a barber who emigrated from Sicily.
He struggled from his teens until well into his 30s even having to earn a living as a marathon dancer before hits began coming his way with Thats My Desire in 1947. His breakthrough came when Hoagy Carmichael heard him sing in a Los Angeles nightclub and praised his work.
People like to say, Oh, I wouldnt change a thing, he said in an interview for the book Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music. But if I had it to do over again, there is one thing I would change. I would make it happen maybe 10 years sooner.
Ten years is a good stretch of scuffling. But I scuffled for 17 years before it happened, and 17 is a bit much.
In recent years, he remained active in touring and in charity fundraising. Punning on the title of one of his hits, he called his 1993 autobiography That Lucky Old Son.
He was married to Nan Grey, a leading lady in Hollywood films of the 1930s who died in 1993.
Survivors include his second wife, Marcia; a brother; and two daughters.
BENEFIT CONCERT IN CINCINNATI FOR DENNIS YOST
|DENNIS' WEBSITE IS www.classicsiv.com
On Monday, July 11th, 2006, Dennis Yost, lead singer of The Classics IV, took a serious fall and hit his head. He was flown by medi-copter and admitted to the emergency room at a local hospital with serious brain trauma. Since that time, Dennis has been in and out of a coma, treated at 9 separate facilities and undergone a great amount of rehabilitation while continuing his battle to get back to the soulful performer he is known for. In this time, the medical bills have grown and remain a terrible burden for his wife, Linda, who has exhausted all other means to pay this increasing debt.
To help assist the Yosts, a benefit concert will be held on March 25th, in Cincinnati to raise money for Dennis' medical costs. Starting at 3 p.m., RHINO'S LIVE will be the location for this wonderful event, which so far has drawn a number of your favorite oldies artists performing for this cause:
LARRY HENLEY of THE NEWBEATS ("Bread and Butter") DIAMOND DAVE SOMERVILLE of THE DIAMONDS ("Little Darlin'") JOEY MOLLAND of BADFINGER ("Day After Day") OTIS WILLIAMS & THE CHARMS ("Heart of Stone") CARL EDMONSON & THE CASINOS ("Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye") GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER of THE FLEETWOODS ("Mr. Blue," "Come Softly To Me") CLIFFORD CURRY ("She Shot A Hole in My Soul") FRANKIE FORD ("Sea Cruise") TONY BUTALA of THE LETTERMEN ("When I Fall In Love") JIMMY BEAUMONT & THE SKYLINERS ("Since I Don't Have You")
JOE G, lead singer of THE ZIPPITY DOO WOP BAND, the official tribute to Del Shannon, as well as DENNIS YOST'S predecessor for THE CLASSICS IV, will also be performing in honor of Dennis.
Many artists were unavailable to perform at the event, but were gracious enough to donate some memorabilia that will be auctioned off. Some of the artists include:
JOEY DEE of THE STARLIGHTERS ("Peppermint Twist") JOHNNY TILLOTSON MIKE PINERA of BLUES IMAGE & IRON BUTTERFLY ("Ride Captain Ride") JIMMIE RODGERS ("Kisses Sweeter Than Wine") RON DANTE of THE ARCHIES & CUFFLINKS ("Sugar Shack," "Tracy") SONNY GERACI ("Time Won't Let Me," "Precious & Few") PAT UPTON ("More Today Than Yesterday") FABIAN ("Turn Me Loose") BOBBY VEE ("Devil or Angel," "Come Back When You Grow Up Girl") JAY & THE TECHNIQUES ("Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie") THE MYSTICS ("Hushabye") BERTIE HIGGINS ("Key Largo," "Just Another Day in Paradise") RHINO'S LIVE 11473 CHESTER RD SHARONVILLE, OHIO www.rhinosbg.com
More details, including how to purchase advance tickets and directions to the venue, will be coming soon. In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation to help the Yosts or have a card, letter or prayer you'd like to share, you may mail it to:
THE CLASSICS IV PO BOX 581 Slingerlands, NY 12159
Everything received will be read to Dennis by his wife, Linda.
JAMES BROWN DEAD AT 73
|AP - December 25, 2006 - ATLANTA - James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured Godfather of Soul, whose revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap, died early Christmas morning. He was 73.
Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died of heart failure around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music.
He initially seemed fine at the hospital and even told people that he planned to be on stage in New York on New Years Eve, Copsidas said.
Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. From Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson, David Bowie to Public Enemy, Browns rapid-footed dancing, hard-charging beats and heartfelt yet often unintelligible vocals changed the musical landscape. He was to rhythm and dance music what Bob Dylan was to lyrics.
James Brown changed music
He was an innovator, he was an emancipator, he was an originator. Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown, entertainer Little Richard, a longtime friend of Browns, told MSNBC.
James Brown changed music, said Rev. Al Sharpton, who toured with him in the 1970s and imitates his hairstyle to this day.
He made soul music a world music, Sharpton said. What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip-hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music. This is a guy who literally changed the music industry. He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of music. He pioneered it.
Browns classic singles include Papas Got A Brand New Bag, (Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine, I Got You (I Feel Good) and Say It Loud Im Black and Im Proud, a landmark 1968 statement of racial pride.
I clearly remember we were calling ourselves colored, and after the song, we were calling ourselves black, Brown told The Associated Press in 2003. The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song can change society.
He won a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as Grammys in 1965 for Papas Got a Brand New Bag (best R&B recording) and for Living In America in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance, male.) He was one of the initial artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.
Brown, who lived in Beech Island, S.C., near the Georgia line, triumphed despite a turbulent personal life and charges of abusing drugs and alcohol. After a widely publicized, drug-fueled confrontation with police in 1988 that ended in an interstate car chase, Brown spent more than two years in prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police officer.
The Hardest Working Man in Show Business
From the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, Please, Please, Please in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of cross-country tours, concerts and new songs. He earned the nickname The Hardest Working Man in Show Business and often tried to prove it to his fans, said Jay Ross, his lawyer of 15 years.
Browns stage act was as memorable, and as imitated, as his records, with his twirls and spins and flowing cape, his repeated faints to the floor at the end as band members tried in vain to get him to leave the stage.
His Live at The Apollo in 1962 is widely considered one of the greatest concert records ever. And he often talked of the 1964 concert in which organizers made the mistake of having the Rolling Stones, not him, close the bill. He would remember a terrified Mick Jagger waiting offstage, chain smoking, as Brown pulled off his matchless show.
To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No ones coming even close, rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told the AP.
Brown routinely lost two or three pounds each time he performed and kept his furious concert schedule in his later years even as he fought prostate cancer, Ross said.
With his tight pants, shimmering feet, eye makeup and outrageous hair, Brown set the stage for younger stars such as Michael Jackson and Prince. And the early rap generation overwhelmingly sampled his music and voice as they laid the foundation of hip-hop culture.
Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what Im saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me, Brown told The AP in 2003.
I wanted to be somebody
Born in poverty in Barnwell, S.C., in 1933, Brown was abandoned as a 4 year old to the care of relatives and friends. He grew up on the streets of Augusta, Ga., in an ill-repute area, as he once called it, where he learned how to hustle to survive.
I wanted to be somebody, Brown said.
By the eighth grade in 1949, Brown had served 3 1/2 years in Alto Reform School near Toccoa, Ga., for breaking into cars. While there, he met Bobby Byrd, whose family took Brown into their home. Byrd also took Brown into his group, the Gospel Starlighters. Soon they changed their name to the Famous Flames and their style to hard R&B.
In January 1956, King Records of Cincinnati signed the group, and four months later Please, Please, Please was in the R&B Top Ten.
Pete Allman, a radio personality in Las Vegas who had been friends with Brown for 15 years, credited Brown with jump-starting his career and motivating him personally and professionally.
He was a very positive person. There was no question he was the hardest working man in show business, Allman said. I remember Mr. Brown as someone who always motivated me, got me reading the Bible.
While most of Browns life was glitz and glitter he was the manic preacher in 1980s The Blues Brothers he was plagued with charges of abusing drugs and alcohol and of hitting his third wife, Adrienne.
In September 1988, Brown, high on PCP and carrying a shotgun, entered an insurance seminar next to his Augusta office. Police said he asked seminar participants if they were using his private restroom. Police chased Brown for a half-hour from Augusta into South Carolina and back to Georgia. The chase ended when police shot out the tires of his truck.
Brown received a six-year prison sentence. He spent 15 months in a South Carolina prison and 10 months in a work release program before being paroled in February 1991. In 2003, the South Carolina parole board granted him a pardon for his crimes in that state.
Performing until the end
Soon after his release, Brown was on stage again with an audience that included millions of cable television viewers nationwide who watched the three-hour, pay-per-view concert at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.
Adrienne Brown died in 1996 in Los Angeles at age 47. She took PCP and several prescription drugs while she had a bad heart and was weak from cosmetic surgery two days earlier, the coroner said.
More recently, he married his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, one of his backup singers. The couple had a son, James Jr.
Two years later, Brown spent a week in a private Columbia hospital, recovering from what his agent said was dependency on painkillers. Browns attorney, Albert Buddy Dallas, said the singer was exhausted from six years of road shows.
Brown was performing to the end, and giving back to his community.
Three days before his death, he joined volunteers at his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, and he planned to perform on New Years Eve at B.B. King Blues Club in New York.
He was dramatic to the end dying on Christmas Day, said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a friend of Browns since 1955. Almost a dramatic, poetic moment. Hell be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way.
Brown is survived by at least four children two daughters and sons Daryl and James Brown III, Copsidas said. Friends were making flight arrangements Monday to come to Atlanta to determine how to memorialize Brown, Copsidas said.
FAVORITE 100 HITS COUNTDOWN
|Ultimate Oldies Radio is soliciting your top 10 favorite oldies of all time for inclusion in the First Annual UOR Favorite 100 Hits Of All Time. The program will be posted for listening during the last week of 2006, We hope you'll email your top 10 today to email@example.com. We ask that all lists be submitted by December 20th. Come on and be a part of our year end special and thanks for visiting and listening to Ultimate Oldies Radio!
BILLY PRESTON DIES AT 59
|PHOENIX - Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own series of hit singles, including "Outta Space" and "Nothing From Nothing," died Tuesday at 59.
Preston's longtime manager, Joyce Moore, said Preston had been in a coma since November in a care facility and was taken to a hospital in Scottsdale Saturday after his condition deteriorated.
"He had a very, very beautiful last few hours and a really beautiful passing," Moore said by telephone from Germany. "He went home good."
Preston, who had battled chronic kidney failure, had undergone a kidney transplant in 2002, but the kidney failed and he has been on dialysis treatments ever since, Moore said earlier this year.
Known for his big smile and towering afro, Preston was a teen prodigy on the piano and organ, and lent his gospel-tinged touch to classics such as the Beatles' "Get Back" and the Stones' "Can't You Hear Me Knocking?"
He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for "Outta Space," and scoring other hits with "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright.
56 WFIL DJ LONG JOHN WADE DIES
|By KYW Philadelphia's David Madden
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many around here listened to top 40 DJ Long John Wade. He passed on this week at his home in New England.
He made part of the Beatles 1964 American tour while working for a radio station in Hartford. In late 1966 he became one of Philadelphias Boss Jocks.
Wade followed George Michael weeknights. Larry Kane, who made the same Beatles tour, worked with Wade at WFIL:
"He made you think he was, at one point, an expert...an entertainer...and somewhat of a wise guy. And people loved that wise guy, comedic part of him."
Wade went to competitor WIBG in the early 70s and started a local branch of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. He even flirted with talk radio before retiring to Cape Cod. He had battled with bad health for several years before his death on Monday.
VAN DYKES & TOMMY VANN IN CONCERT IN BALTIMORE!
|For our friends in Baltimore, we'd like to tell you that tickets have just gone on sale for the Van Dykes in concert. The date is Saturday, October 28th from 8 til Midnight at the Catonsville Community College gymnasium in southwest Baltimore County. You will also enjoy a special appearance by Baltimore's popular 60's vocalist Tommy Vann. Ultimate Oldies Radio's Bob Mathers will be on hand to emcee and play oldies both before the concert and during intermission. Tickets are already selling fast, so get yours by calling 410-788-2425. The event benefits the Western Family YMCA.
JUNE POINTER OF THE POINTER SISTERS DIES AT 52
|LOS ANGELES (AP) -- June Pointer, the youngest of the singing Pointer Sisters known for the 1970s and 1980s hits "I'm So Excited," "Fire," and "Slow Hand," has died, her family said Wednesday. She was 52.
Pointer died of cancer Tuesday at Santa Monica University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, the family said in a statement. She had been hospitalized since late February and the type of cancer wasn't disclosed.
She died "in the arms of her sisters, Ruth and Anita and her brothers, Aaron and Fritz, by her side," the family statement read. "Although her sister, Bonnie, was unable to be present, she was with her in spirit."
The Pointer Sisters began as a quartet in the early 1970s with sisters Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and June. The group became a trio when Bonnie embarked on a solo career.
The group's hits also included "He's So Shy," "Automatic" and "Jump (For My Love)."
The sisters, along with their two older brothers, grew up singing in the choir of an Oakland church where their parents were ministers.
Bonnie and June formed a singing duo and began performing in clubs around the San Francisco Bay area. Anita and Ruth later joined the group and together, they sang backup for Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop, among others.
Their first, self-titled album, "The Pointer Sisters," debuted in 1973 and the song "Yes We Can Can" became their first hit. They followed up with the album "That's A Plenty," which featured an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from jazz to country and pop. They won the first of their three Grammy awards in 1974 for best country vocal performance by a group for the song "Fairytale."
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Bonnie left the group in 1977, and the sisters recorded several more albums, scoring several hit songs that became identified as the soundtrack of the 1980s.
The successful 1984 album "Break Out" earned two Grammy awards for the songs "Automatic" and "Jump (For My Love)." The album's other hit song, "Neutron Dance," was prominently featured in the movie "Beverly Hills Cop."
June recorded two solo albums, and later left the trio.
Anita and Ruth still perform under the group's name. Ruth's daughter, Issa Pointer, is the trio's newest member.
Two years ago, June Pointer was charged with felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor possession of a smoking device. She was ordered to a rehabilitation facility.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
GENE PITNEY DEAD AT 65
|LONDON Apr 5, 2006 (AP) Gene Pitney, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whose hits included "Town Without Pity" and "Only Love Can Break a Heart," died Wednesday at a hotel in Wales after playing a show, his agent said. He was 65.
Pitney was found dead in his hotel room in Cardiff, Wales. Police said the death did not appear suspicious.
"We don't have a cause of death at the moment but looks like it was a very peaceful passing," said Pitney's tour manager, James Kelly.
"He was found fully clothed, on his back, as if he had gone for a lie down. It looks as if there was no pain whatsoever."
He added: "Last night was generally one of the happiest and most exuberant performances we've seen out of him. He was absolutely on top of his game and was really happy with the show."
Born in Hartford, Conn., on Feb. 17, 1941, Pitney had his first success as a songwriter with "Rubber Ball," a Top 10 hit for Bobby Vee in 1961. Later that year, Ricky Nelson had a hit with Pitney's "Hello Mary Lou."
As a performer, Pitney had his first success that same year with "Love My Life Away."
But Burt Bacharach and Hal David provided the songs that put Pitney in the Top 10: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Only Love Can Break a Heart."
"Only Love Can Break a Heart" was Pitney's biggest U.S. hit, peaking at No. 2 on the charts in 1962. The No. 1 song at the time was The Crystals' "He's a Rebel," written by Pitney.
He had more than a dozen Top 40 hits and even contributed to an early Rolling Stones recording session.
Pitney waited until 1990 for his first British No. 1 he rerecorded "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" with Marc Almond.
Pitney also had some success as a country singer, pairing with George Jones to record "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night" and "Louisiana Man."
He recorded in Italian and Spanish, and twice took second place at the San Remo Song Festival in Italy. He also had a regional hit with "Nessuno Mi Puo' Giudicare."
Pitney was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
WHAT A NICE PARTY!
|We send our thanks to the nearly 150 people who attended our St. Patrick's Day Oldies Party in Glen Burnie, Maryland. We did all the big dances, played lots of great oldies, and enjoyed a nice buffet of food and beverage courtesy of LaFontaine Bleu Caterers. We hope to do it again sometime soon.
ST PADDY'S DANCE
|If you're in the Baltimore area, there are tickets remaining for tonight's Ultimate Oldies Radio Dance Party. We'll be playing the great songs you grew up with from 7:30 to 11:30 at the LaFontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie. Tickets are just $15.00 each and include beverages and food. To purchase them call 410-760-4115.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARTY
|Make plans now to join us for the Ultimate Oldies Radio St. Patrick's Dance on Friday March 17th. The event will be held at the LaFontaine Bleu on Ritchie Highway at Annapolis Road. The hours are 7:30-11:30 PM.
The cost is just $15.00, and includes lite fare with an Irish theme, soda, beer, and wine. Bobby O'Mathers will play continuous 50's and 60's oldies with the emphasis on dancing. Or if you just want to listen, we'll bring back some great memories.
We'll also have wheels to benefit God's Special Children, helping retarded youngsters, and 50/50 contests as well. For tickets, call the LaFontaine Bleu at 410-760-4115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
STREAM IS DOWN
|Becuase of the website's move to Seattle, Washington...Ultimate Oldies Radio's 'Winamp Stream' will be off the air until March 15, 2006. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please direct all inquiries to email@example.com.
ULTIMATE OLDIES ADDS REAL AUDIO TO WINDOWS MEDIA
|On Monday February 20th, Ultimate Oldies Radio added a new function to its program delivery. Previously, listeners could only hear the home page shows on Windows Media. Now, Ultimate Oldies broadcasts in Real Player too. This means no more configuring your computer from one to the other. The upgrade was accomplished through the combined efforts of webmaster Jimmy Williams and our webhoster, Andy Balto's Hyper Media Corporation. We're excited about this very important development. Thanks to those gentlemen for a job well done!
THE JACK GALE SHOW DEBUTS FEBRUARY 6TH ON ULTIMATE
|The Jack Gale Show is ready to roll! Starting Monday February 6th, 2006, visitors will be able to listen to new programs every week. The Jack Gale show may be accessed by on-demand audio via windows media player or catch it on our live 24/7 stream thru shoutcast.com.
Jack Gale's accomplishments in radio, record, and media are rather vast. We encourage you to visit his site, www.jackgaleradio.com. Be sure to tune in, tell all of your friends, and let Jack know that you love him. The award-winning Jack Gale Radio Program. Here for you at Ultimate Oldies Radio!
WILSON PICKETT DEAD
|RESTON, Va. - (AP) Wilson Pickett, the soul pioneer best known for the fiery hits "Mustang Sally" and "In The Midnight Hour," died of a heart attack Thursday, according to his management company. He was 64. Chris Tuthill of the management company Talent Source said Pickett had been suffering from health problems for the past year.
"He did his part. It was a great ride, a great trip, I loved him and I'm sure he was well-loved, and I just hope that he's given his props," Michael Wilson Pickett, the fourth of the singer's six children, told WRC-TV in Washington after his death. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pickett known as the "Wicked Pickett" became a star with his soulful hits in the 1960s. "In the Midnight Hour" made the top 25 on the Billboard pop charts in 1965 and "Mustang Sally" did the same the following year. Pickett was defined by his raspy voice and passionate delivery. But the Alabama-born picket got his start singing gospel music in church. After moving to Detroit as a teen, he joined the group the Falcons, which scored the hit "I Found a Love" with Pickett on lead vocals in 1962.
He went solo a year later, and would soon find his greatest success. In 1965, he linked with legendary soul producer Jerry Wexler at the equally legendary soul label Stax Records in Memphis, and recorded one of his greatest hits, "In the Midnight Hour," for Atlantic Records. A string of hits followed, including "634-5789," "Funky Broadway" and "Mustang Sally." His sensuous soul was in sharp contrast to the genteel soul songs of his Detroit counterparts at Motown Records. As Pickett entered a new decade, he had less success on the charts, but still had hits, including the song "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You." In later years, he had legal problems and battled substance abuse; in 1994 he served jail time on an assault charge. Besides his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, he was also given the Pioneer award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation two years later.
ST. PATRICK'S BALTIMORE OLDIES DANCE
|Ultimate Oldies Radio's Bob Mathers will host a St. Patrick's Day Oldies But Goodies dance in the Baltimore area! The date is Friday, March 17, 2006. The place is the fabulous LaFontaine Bleu ballroom on Ritchie Highway at Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The hours are 7:30 to 11:30. Doors open at 7. Tickets are just $15 per person, and INCLUDE beer, soda, and a a selection of lite fare expertly prepared by the LaFontaine Bleu staff. A cash bar will also be available. We'll have some fun giveaways and maybe a 50/50 drawing too. The LaFontaine Bleu is just south of Exit 3 at I-695, just east of I-97, and less than 10 minutes from BWI Airport. Plenty of free parking. We'll center the music in the 50's and early 60's, but we'll also have some of the more contemporary line dances as well. Tickets are available in advance by calling the LaFontaine Bleu at 410-760-4115, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
JACK GALE COMES TO ULTIMATE OLDIES RADIO
|(January 10, 2006) - Ultimate Oldies Radio is excited to announce the debut of 'The Jack Gale Award Winning Radio Program', coming soon to the website. Mr. Gale will bring all of his pals with him (Dawson Belles, Lowell Pressure, and The Man In The Third Row, to name a few) in their never ending quest to create mayhem, mirth, and maniacal doings on the radio. Jack Gale began his radio career just a few weeks ago in 1943, but has gotten real good real fast and we know you'll like what you hear. As an audio botanist, Jack has over the years planted his carcass and grown audiences at stations including WSCR Cleveland, WTMA Charleston, WITH Baltimore and WMEX Boston. Gale also got shanghaied by the dynamic Stan Kaplan and was spirited away to Charlotte, North Carolina where he had no choice but to develop 61 Big WAYS into one of the greatest radio stations in Top 40 history. There is so much more to Mr. Gale's impressive resume, but we have to quit now because AFTRA only pays up to a certain amount of words per press release. So be sure to listen for the debut of the Award Winning Jack Gale Radio Program, coming to an Ultimate Oldies Radio dot com near you, soon.
BO DIDDLEY's 77th birthday
|One of the founding fathers of rock & roll, BO DIDDLEY celebrates his 77th birthday on Friday December 30th 2005 and we encourage all his many fans around the world to sign the BO DIDDLEY-The Originator website Guestbook with their birthday greetings and messages.
As we always do at this time of the year, we are making special arrangements for BO DIDDLEY to view each and every one of your greetings. This is an opportunity for you to convey your appreciation and best wishes to one of the undisputed legends of rock & roll and a true original, on the occasion of his 77th birthday.
Please sign the Guestbook, located at http://members.tripod.com/~Originator_2/guestbook.html and show your support for The Originator - BO DIDDLEY.
Thank you very much.
David Blakey, Webmaster,
BO DIDDLEY-The Originator
A Celebration of his unique contribution to Popular Music.
1955 to 2005 - Celebrating 50 Years In Music!
DR. DON ROSE DIES
|(Courtesy of All Access.com) - March 30, 2005. Sad news to report out of SAN FRANCISCO with the passing of legendary KFRC-A morning man DR. DON ROSE. He died in his sleep last night due to complications from pneumonia.
From 1973 to late 1986, DR. DON ruled mornings at KFRC-A, later leaving to go into station ownership, and then working at KIOI. His early stops in radio also included mornings at WQXI-A/ATLANTA, and later he rose to national prominence as morning man at WFIL-A/PHILADELPHIA. Funeral arrangements are pending. KFRC is running an hourly memorial tribute celebrating DR. DON's life with some classic airchecks of his morning show. Ironically, DR. DON was on the air just last week with DEAN GOSS & CAMMY BLACKSTONE, and by chance he said, "May the LORD bless you on your way in and on the way out" -- DR. DON's words are being used at the end of each memorial tribute.
SANDRA DEE DEAD AT 63
|(Courtesy of AP) - Actress Sandra Dee, the blond beauty who attracted a large teen audience in the 1960s with films such as "Gidget" and "Tammy and the Doctor" and had a headlined marriage to pop singer Bobby Darin, died Sunday, February 20, 2005. She was 63. Dee died at 5:57 a.m. at the Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, said Cynthia Mead, nursing supervisor.
Mead said Dee's family requested that no other details be released. CNN reported that Dee had been undergoing treatment at the hospital for two weeks for complications of kidney disease and pneumonia.
At Universal Studio, Dee was cast mostly in teen movies such as "The Reluctant Debutante," "The Restless Years," "Tammy Tell Me True" and "Take Her She's Mine." Occasionally, she was able to do secondary roles in other films, such as "Imitation of Life," "A Portrait In Black" and "Romanoff and Juliet." After a one-month courtship, Dee married Bobby Darin in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1960. Dee & Darin had one son, Dodd, in 1964. They divorced one year later. Shortly thereafter, Miss Dee's movie contract ended and with the exception of occasional apperarances, maintained her privacy away of the spotlight for the rest of her days.
MAY OLDIES SHOW
|Tickets are now on sale for 'The Big Baltimore Oldies Dance Party'. The event will be held on Saturday May 14, 2005 at the Timonium Fairgrounds. The venue is just north of Baltimore, off exit 17 at I-83.
The theme for this dance is 'Baltimore Radio Of The 50's and 60's'. We'll honor either in person or in memory, the great Top 40 personalities from the Golden Years of Rock N' Roll in Baltimore.
The legendary Jack Edwards (a 'golden oldie' himself from WCAO, WCBM & WITH) will DJ the event and play all the great dance tunes of the 50's and 60's. We'll also have Tommy Vann & the Epics on hand to sing a few numbers. Vann had several regional hits in Baltimore from 1963-66, including his version of 'Too Young' which sold a few hundred thousand copies worldwide.
Tickets are $25.00 per person. Tables of ten are $250.00. Ticket includes beer, wine, soda, setups and free parking. Food will be available or you can bring your own.
You can mail a check to...
Baltimore Oldies Party
506 Brunswick Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21223
Or email us for more information at email@example.com.
|Dear Bob, thank you soo much. i found the song. it was wooly bully sam the sham.my face is like this rite now. thank you - carlos
Carlos, you're welcome. Glad we could help!
|Hi Bob.... I received the CDs yesterday. I just finished playing the "77 WABC...Bob Lewis". I listened to it from Bellevue, down I-405 to Federal Way, while be stuck in traffic. Man did he "tire" me out. I couldn't get over how he played a "77 WABC" jingle before each record. It was neat listening to it. I plan on playing one each day on my way back from the office. Thanks for your extra efforts.
Frank (a big Wolfman Jack fan)
Frank, we're glad you liked the CD's. Keep enjoying the memories and thanks for sharing.
|What year did the song "CHERRY" by Frankie Valle debut? Thanks. Sev
The song 'Sherry' by the Four Seasons debuted late in the summer of 1962 and quickly went to number 1. Frankie Valli and his cohorts soon proved the acomplishment was no 'flash-in-the-pan'. Their followup single, 'Big Girls Don't Cry', also went to number #1. The rest as they say, is history.
CAN YOU HELP ME?
|Dear BOB, hello I'm trying to look for a song.... i think mule bule...i think if it isn't too much trouble can you please send me the real title of the song and the name of the artist. I'd greatly appreciate it. thank you. Carlos Mendoza - San Francisco.
Thanks Carlos. Can anyone help him? Appreciate it. Bob
BALTIMORE OLDIES DANCE COMING IN MAY, 2005
|Tickets are now on sale for the Big Baltimore Oldies Dance & Show. The event will be held on Saturday May 14, 2005 from 7 til Midnight at the Timonium Fairgrounds. The show is produced by Bob Mathers. In September of 2003, Bob and Anne Tempera created and produced 'The Buddy Deane Tribute', which paid homage to Baltimore's legendary TV & Radio Rock and Roll DJ. Approximately 1300 attended that event.
The Big Baltimore Oldies Dance & Show will honor legendary Top 40 radio stations in Baltimore from the 50's and 60's. Special 'flashbacks', 'audio clips' of great DJ's, and even some in-person surprises are planned in conjunction with the theme.
Each one attending will have a chance to dance the night away to the best music of the 50's and 60's. There will be contests, prizes, vendors, and a whole lot more.
Tickets are just $25.00 each, and include beer, wine, soda and setups. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own food, or food will be available for purchase.
For those who want to bring a group, tables of 10 are available. All orders received for tables before November 30, 2004 are just $225.00 (a savings of $25.00). After December 1, the cost per table is $250.00.
Any remaining tickets on the night of the show will be priced at $30.00 each.
For those interested in attending from out of town, ask us about special room/ticket packages for the weekend of May 13-14. 2005.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-566-7977 for the special Oldies Dance Hotline. Or send a check along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to
Baltimore Oldies Dance
506 Brunswick Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21223.
Based on early interest, it is quite possible that we'll have a sellout so get your tickets soon.
CORKY WARREN HOSTS NEW SHOW ON VINELAND NJ'S 92.1
|Corky Warren, host of "Corky's Time Machine", heard every Saturday night on Oldies 92.1 WVLT in Vineland, New Jersey, is launching an exciting new show on the same station next month. Warren will team up with original 'Danny & the Juniors' members Joe Terry & Frank Maffei to host a feature entitled (appropriately enough) "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay". The program will debut on October 11. WVLT, or 'Cruisin' 92.1', serves both the Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey markets on the eastern seaboard of the USA. For more information, contact Corky at email@example.com.
STREAMING IS BACK
|Ultimate Oldies Radio resumed streaming audio in real time effective 8:30 PM on Friday September 17, 2004. Our webmasters at Hypermedia provided us with upgraded equipment to deliver a more consistent, more reliable connection. We would like all who tune in to give us your feedback, pro and con. Thanks very much. You can email your observations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GROUP NOMINATES DEANE FOR ROCK HALL OF FAME
|Buddy Deane was one of the more influential DJ's of Rock's early years. A contingent of his fans is spearheading a drive to enshrine him in the National Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Frank Lidinsky of Baltimore, Maryland has for more than a year worked with a committee of contributors in an effort to garner enough signatures to nominate the late Mr. Deane to the Hall. Lidinsky's associate James 'Madison James' Dewald will present the nominating package with more than a thousand signatures to officials of the Hall this Friday in New York City. Supporters of the move include Producer John Waters, who modeled his movie (and later Broadway play) 'Hairspray' after Deane's long-running TV dance show seen in Baltimore from 1957-1964. For more details on how you can aid this effort, please visit Mr. Lidinsky at his website, www.mrllaw.com.
RYDELL ORIGINALS TO BE RELEASED
|Plans are in the works to reissue all of the Bobby Rydell hits from his days on the Cameo label. The Philadelphia recording artist's early releases have only been available via bootleg or imports since they were taken off the market in the 1970's by music mogul Allen B. Klein. Klein bought the entire Cameo/Parkway masters around that time and then ceased reissues of the masters. The move was long sought by Rydell himself, who for years has received a steady barrage of letters from fans asking where they could buy his records. For more details, go to his website at www.bobbyrydell.com.
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