Friday, November 13, 2015

RIP Andy White

Who was Andy White, you ask?

He was the studio drummer that George Martin forced the Beatles to use instead of Ringo on "Love Me Do".

Andy was 85 years old.

This Happened in Canada

It happened last year, but I missed it. Actually quite heartwarming. This was a Canadian crowd in Toronto, mind you...

Naked Wrigley

I don't have daughters, but I still know this is true...

Thanks to "EG" for this one...

McCartney Explains the Stories Behind Eight #1 Hits

I've heard most of these stories before, but they're still interesting. The only new one to me is the story of what happened when "Hey Jude" came out in London. Also, didn't realize there was a mystery about some of the lyrics. Apparently it's not all about Julian.

You can read the stories here.

Kevin Robinson

Sorry to read this news in Tom Taylor's NOW column about my old PD Kevin Robinson...

Charlie Quinn replaces Kevin Robinson as PD at Hubbard’s variety hits “106.5 the Arch” WARH in St. Louis. They’re both major-market pros of vast experience. Kevin tells NOW that “Historically, there are times that a great team needs a different voice, a different perspective, to grow. It was an honor to be the leader at 106-5 The Arch.” Hubbard market manager John Kijowski says “I’m appreciative of Kevin’s fine work over the past seven years and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

I worked with Kevin for nearly a decade and found him to be a fair and honest guy. Here's hoping he bounces back quickly.

What if Trump or Carson Actually Win?

According to this piece in the Washington Post, that's the question that is starting to panic the Republican donor base and the insiders in Washington. I love this anonymous quote...

“We’re potentially careening down this road of nominating somebody who frankly isn’t fit to be president in terms of the basic ability and temperament to do the job,” this strategist said. “It’s not just that it could be somebody Hillary could destroy electorally, but what if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?”

That's a fascinating quote, isn't it? That's a Republican saying, in so many words, that he fears a Republican presidency more than a Hillary presidency.

Of course, when it gets out to Trump and Carson supporters, they'll just take it as proof that they need to stick with their guy.

Germany Mourns the Hassel

David Hasselhoff has decided to change his name. For real. He dropped the Hassel and is now officially and legally known as David Hoff.

I have no idea why he did this, but I wonder if he is planning on fathering a son and naming him Jack.

David actually was extremly popular in Germany with the old name. Wonder how his German fans will react to this news. His American fans don't seem to care.

Hoff is from the Chicago area originally, by the way. He's a graduate of Lyons Township High School.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Amy Landecker

Yesterday the Tribune reported that Amy is dating West Wing's Bradley Whitford.

Then today, I saw this tweet...

So happy for her. She's on fire. Amy's good people.

Pat Colander Book Signing

Looking forward to this book signing for Pat Colander's book "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago." It will be held at the place Roger Ebert famously dubbed "The best bar in the world that I know about", the Olde Town Ale House. The Ale House also happens to play an important part of one of Pat's True Tales of Love and Death, the notorious Tylenol murders. Come on out and join us!

Sunday afternoon November 22nd, 219 W. North Avenue, at Noon. The Bears game will be on the TV, if you are still paying attention to them.

The Who's Best Post-Keith Moon Concert Ever

Rolling Stone has just declared the Who show on 11/12/1999 at Chicago's House of Blues as their best ever concert in the post-Keith Moon era.

I was there, and I agree. I'd rank it as one of the best shows I've ever seen. (I still can't believe Bridget agreed to let me pay $300 to see the show. I've never paid that much before or since)

Check out the article. It has the bootleg audio of the entire show. If you don't want to listen, you can still check out the full set list.

Should There Be More Consolidation in Radio?

That's a question that Radio Ink poses to Jeff Marcus, the Chairman of the board at Cumulus. You can read his response here if you like, but let me just answer the question for him and save a little time.

The answer is no. I will also accept the answer, "Duh. No." Or..."What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

If the individual money grab begins again, radio employees and listeners, you can put that stake right into the heart of the dying beast.

What on Earth is Going on at College Campuses?

I've been watching this mess at University of Missouri closely. I'm not going to delve into the racial aspect of this. To me, that's a pretty obvious open and shut case. The idiots who make racial (and deadly) threats cannot be defended...ever. That's not free speech, that's screaming fire in a crowded movie theater. That's illegal. They should be arrested and charged.

To me the distressing response is the immediate demand that other people (who didn't make any threats at all) be fired. That's a first reaction now. The University president? OK, I suppose he didn't act fast enough or take it seriously enough. But fired? The professors who stood their ground with protesting students--keeping away reporters? OK, they obviously missed the whole concept of the free press. But fired?

And the professor who told his class to stand up to bullies--Forced to resign? That's just wrong. Read this account of his saga in the Washington Post. Luckily that story has a happy ending.

I know one thing. I wouldn't want to be a college professor in this climate.

Colbert Gets Post Super Bowl Slot

This is a huge deal for Stephen Colbert. Normally the networks show a new primetime show that they are trying to hype, but this year that post Super Bowl slot goes to Colbert.

I'll have to check it out after the big Bears Super Bowl victory. (Rimshot)

I've been watching Colbert semi-regularly lately and he's finding his groove. The band is great, his second segment (at the desk) is always top notch, and he's probably the best interviewer on Late Night. The monologue is still pretty weak, but let's not forget that Letterman never did a good monologue in 30 years of Late Night.

The Official Start of X-mas Season

For me, Christmas season does NOT begin with Black Friday. It begins the first day that WLIT goes all Christmas music.

That's today, folks. At 4:35pm.

Happy holidays.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New PD at WSHE

Robert Feder has the details about the new program director hired by WSHE (100.3 FM) in Chicago.

I have two questions about this hire.

#1: Why wouldn't WSHE, a station that explicitly targets women, hire a woman?

#2: He goes by Cat Thomas, although his real name is Bill Drake. That's kind of a fascinating aside as far as I'm concerned. One of the most famous program directors in radio history was named Bill Drake. Any relation?

Why is November 11 Veterans Day?

The date of this holiday goes back to the end of World War I. In 1918 the hostilities ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

President Wilson declared it Armistice Day the following year, and it later became Veterans Day after subsequent wars.

I found this video on YouTube with the following description..."This is the oldest known radio aircheck or linecheck of an American president. The recording was made by Washington DC electronics engineer Frank L. Capps, using a homemade electrical recording system, two years before the first electrically recorded commercial disk was released by Victor. The original disk is believed lost, but a copy is in the FDR presidential library. The newsreel footage comes from Both are in the public domain. Listen carefully and you will hear the former president knock the microphone. Mr. Wilson made this address over an ad hoc radio network and was heard by thousands of early radio listeners."

Beware the Hatchet

From Tom Taylor's NOW column, this ominous note for radio folks...

One NOW reader says “I’ve been told by several people in my [top-25] market that the programmers at iHeart are going through multiple ‘deep dives’ on all talent. There’s an emphasis on the big-name talent making the big bucks, to see if they’re following through on corporate mandates and the programming ‘suggestions’ they’ve been given.” The truth is, every company is examining year-end cost savings, not just iHeart.

Have I mentioned lately that I don't miss the business?

Cubs Moving to the Score

It's official. The Cubs are going to air on the Score next year.

Lets see if they manage to scale back some of their Cubs-bashing. The majority of the hosts on that radio station are not fans. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Green White

Meeting with the book interior designer to discuss the final touches on the Green White history book, which will be out in early December. There's a mockup of the cover below. What is the book about?

In 1956 a few German-speaking immigrants founded a soccer club on the north side of Chicago. They called it S.C. Grün Weiss. This humble group of eighteen young men had no way of knowing that the club would eventually serve thousands of members, field hundreds of teams, win scores of division, city and state titles, send numerous players into the professional ranks, and enshrine more than a dozen members into the Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame. This book tells the tale of that proud 60-year journey, and features more than 170 classic photographs of the Green White family throughout the years.

The authors (Todd Schneider and I) are donating the proceeds from Grün Weiss Vor! 60 Years of Green White Soccer to the club, a not-for-profit organization currently serving the soccer community in the Mt. Prospect area.

WGN Novella Parody

I understand they also do news at WGN-TV, but this is a very funny parody of the Spanish-language soap operas. Congrats to the gang over there...

RIP Allen Toussaint

One of the all-time greats has passed away. The city of New Orleans was deep in his heart, and it came out so beautifully in his music...

Monday, November 09, 2015

Weirdest Song Ever

How weird is this song? Let me just describe it for you. It features John Malkovich reading Plato over a musical soundtrack created by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon.

I'd compare it to fingernails on a chalkboard. Or being stabbed in the ear.

Oh, and it's over seven minutes long.

Listen to it here.

Trump on SNL

Here's the monologue. Not very funny, let's face it. The whole show fell flat. Although, I'm guessing Larry David really enjoyed the chance to call Trump a racist to his face.

Stuttering John

Remember former Howard Stern show member Stuttering John Melendez? After he left Howard, he worked with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. Now he's back into radio. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

The Stephanie Miller Show adds former Jay Leno “Tonight Show” announcer and longtime Howard Stern cast member John Melendez as executive producer and co-host of Miller’s Westwood-syndicated daily show. That comes as current exec producer Chris Lavoie leaves the show for new horizons. Also joining Miller’s crew as a co-host is impressionist and funny-guy Jim Ward.

The Stephanie Miller show airs locally in Chicago on WCPT.

Alex Quigley

The former WGN/Q-101 man has a new radio home. From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

Chicago radio pro Alex Quigley took to Facebook to announce he's the new PD/midday talent at Matrix Broadcasting's suburban Chicago Classic Hits outlet WFXF (103.9 the Fox). His first day in the building is today. Quigley was most OM of Tribune Talk WGN/Chicago until December of 2014. He previously did two tours of duty across the street at the former Emmis Alternative WKQX (Q101), with a PD stint at the former KRFR/Bakersfield sandwiched in between. "It'll be great to get back on-air five days a week, and it'll be fun growing The Fox's footprint throughout Chicagoland," Quigley said. "We've already got two great talents -- Brian Sherman and Pat Capone -- in morning and afternoon drive, so I'll have to keep my A-game going from 10am-3pm."