Friday, August 22, 2014

Blast from Your Past - Book 1, Excerpt 1: DJ Ron Riley

Beginning with this article I'll periodically post excerpts from Book 1 (1954-1959) of the Blast from Your Past series. I'm hoping this will inspire me (more) to finish Book 2 and inspire you to read and relive the best days of Rock & Roll Radio. ~ Enjoy the moment ... again! LR 

Chapter 1 excerpt from Blast from Your Past! Book 1

Oh, my papa, to me he was so wonderful
Oh, my papa, to me he was so good
                “Oh, My Pa-Pa,” Eddie Fisher’s #1 hit, January 1954
Not quite Rockin’ & Rollin’ yet!

(Read this fast and loud!) I’m Rockin’ Rochelle coming to you from BFYP-FM (Blast from Your Past-Full Moon), broadcasting to the world from sunny Cal-i-forn-i-A!
We’re spreading music and mayhem throughout the land, with lively behind-the-mic tales of your favorite Rock & Roll Radio DJs from yesteryear!
Poodle skirts, saddle shoes, bobby sox and ducktail hair, hiphuggers and peace signswe’re ready to ROCK!
Let’s go trippin’ down mem’ry lane and check out those wild-n-crazy guys and gals who kissed your ears with Rock & Roll music for the souuulllll!
First up for your platter-spinning pleasure … a real Midwest Rock & Roll DJ treasure.

Best known at WLS/Chicago, Illinois

Ron Riley … or did you know him as “Ron ‘Ringo’ Riley”? How about “Smiley Riley”? With stints at WLS-Chicago, Milwaukee’s WOKY (pronounced “walky”), and even his own Bowling for Dollars TV show, Ron never wanted to be anything other than a deejay.
Come on-a My House,” Rosie Clooney crooned to the impressionable, adolescent teen. It was the early 1950s and Ron Riley headed to downtown Chicago often, eager to watch the guys in the fishbowl radio studios spin Rosie’s platters.
“I just knew that was what I wanted to do,” Riley said, reminiscing. A child of the ‘40s, “there wasn’t a lot … well, not really any, Rock & Roll music then, so I grew up appreciating all types of music – big band, mostly. When not selling insurance, dad’s greatest fun was playing sax and clarinet with local dance bands on weekends. There was always music in our house.”
Young Ron realized that even the disc jockeys didn’t know what to do with Rock & Roll. How do you introduce something so feisty and unpredictable to a radio world previously ruled by big bands, boozy ballads and smooth talkin’ gentleman announcers?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Casey Kasem's "Soul Train" No Quiet Ride

Care to comment? Leave your remarks below - what do you think of Casey's suspended burial?

Young DJ Casey at KEWB
San Francisco 02/24/1962
With a heavy heart, I post an update to Casey Kasem’s rise to Rock& Roll Heaven. His family simply will not allow him to take a peaceful journey on the “Soul Train.”

Recent reports raise the question of the whereabouts of his remains. Seriously?! The "Father" of American Top 40 spirited away on Father's Day (06/15/14). Let the poor man Rest In Peace, for cryin' out loud.

We cannot judge his wife without firsthand knowledge. However, she has apparently defied what his children claim are “his wishes” – and who can argue that none of us would want our bodies to linger in limbo.

While my personal belief is that the soul moves on when our Earthly bodies expire, few of us would deny it is simply unethical not to care for our "released" bodies in a humane way.

We can only hope that this ridiculous travesty will soon be remedied and Mr. Kasem can ultimately, truly, Rest In Peace.

You don't have to hurry | On a soul train ride | You don't have to worry | Let your troubles slide
(1968, Classics IV)

Rock On, Casey!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Casey Kasem – Peace, Love, and #1 on our American Top 40

This is not the article I had intended to post next. The Universe, however, has its own plans for us as we learned again recently, when it welcomed another American icon into its Rock & Roll Heaven.

Casey Kasem, 82, the "Father of American Top 40" found his peace last Sunday – Father’s Day, a fitting tribute for his ascent – finally escaping the spectacle of family squabbles that dogged his final year(s) on Earth. 

Casey’s “guy next door” voice served him well from his start in Armed Forces Radio Network in 1950s’ Korea, to finish, as co-creator of the perpetual American Top 40 — which has endured for decades and leaves a fitting legacy for the man behind the microphone.

There was a lot of living in between. Let's celebrate Mr. Kasem's accomplishments, dedication, and contributions to Rock & Roll music!

In the mid-1950s that blasphemous, new-fangled boob-tube was taking the world by storm. Radio simply did not know what to do next.

A vital part of the early Pop and Rock music scene, Casey and other DJs of the era helped shape the genre, as a wave of technology enveloped our world.

Television threatened to drown radio in its salty wake. But Rock & Roll rescued radio

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Feeling the Beat – Is it Getting Fainter?

Classic, Oldies Rock & Roll take hits as stations disappear from your radio dial and we lose key pioneer artists. (Rushed? Skip the diatribe to scroll below for lists of terrestrial and Internet Oldies and Classic Rock radio!)

I vividly remember when The Beatles essentially took over the Earth without firing a shot. Do you? We chanted, “Long live Rock & Roll!” and “It’s gotta be Rock & Roll music if ya wanna dance with me!”! 1964 was pure magic in music.

Well, it may not die, but it’s definitely headed for an old folks’ home …

In the early Sixties one or two radio stations persisted in a Big Band format to placate the “old folks.”  I listened to my dance instructor mother, Florence, lament the loss of variety to enjoy strains of Swing and Strings.

We teens cared not. The powerhouse stations picked up on the popular wave of Rock & Roll and the world would never be the same.

Our once youthful exuberance and lack of fear is no match for Father Time, though. Rock & Roll, however mighty, is apparently not invincible.

At the time, my offhand attitude about the trend irritated and frustrated my mother. “Really, mom, no one listens to that anymore!” No one – meaning no one my age.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Web Home - Throwin' a Party!

Hello! Thank you for visiting We have a new home which is always exciting. It's party time at Blast from Your Past! (Isn't it always? Heehee.)

However, it also takes time to settle in ... sigh ... please bear with me as I establish our fresh new site on a different system and hopefully make it better than ever!

The following information also pertains to:


No, you are not in the wrong place. Yes, things, they are a-changin’. One thing that is constant, is change, right?

And EVERYTHING is ch-ch-ch-changing for me this year, including the moving and upgrading of my websites.

I am undertaking a monumental job – rebuilding ALL of my websites – at the same time. Call me crazy (and many do), but when my last webhost company’s servers crashed for five days, I had to take matters into my own non-techie hands. 

If you were looking for something specific, want to check my schedule for an appearance, or excited to chat about early Rock & Roll Radio DJs, feel free to contact me via email or phone (in California), 858-292-5288. (And note - the email address is not yet re-set for In the meantime, use the address linked here.)

Otherwise, look for this site to be rebuilt (new, fun, fresh!) asap. Have suggestions? Tell me! I hope you’ll return and enjoy our achievements in change.

Rock On!