Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blast from Your Past, Book 1 – Excerpt 4: Your New Year’s Toast!

Black-and-White ... newspaper or news? Both, of course. And isn't it interesting that we find ourselves back in the race issue after fifty years of protests and politics ... but taking it back even another ten years, we find one of the ways all cultures connect ... music. Rock on in Excerpt #4 from Blast from Your Past, Book 1. 

In addition to three published excerpts from BFYP-Book 1, 1954-1959, see new #4 below! 

Blastfrom Your Past-Book 1 Excerpt #3 
Blast from Your Past-Book 1 Excerpt #2 
Blast from Your Past-Book 1 Excerpt #1

A retro look back through a medley of news and music notes for 1955 ... 60 years down Memory Lane, from 2015. I think you’ll find some surprising similarities between then and now. Enjoy the moments … again!(TM)

1955 & the Music of Our Times | BFYP Excerpt #4, Snippet #1:
“Before Black artists made their own names in Rock & Roll music, their 'tell it like it is' bouncy tunes were pasteurized and milkified by White performers, for the White audiences.
Pat Boone covered Fats Domino’s 'Ain’t That a Shame' in 1955; and they both charted with it. Good thing Pat didn’t get his way on a title revision to 'Isn’t That a Shame' – it simply doesn’t have the same flow.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blast from Your Past, Book 1 - Excerpt 3: Radio Rocks Jay & the Americans

Sandy Deanne w/Jay & the Americans – Excerpt #3 from Book 1, Blast from Your Past! Rock & Roll Radio DJs: the First Five Years 1954-1959

Your Rockin’ Rochelle at BFYP-FM is stroking the clock for timely tunes. I’m tickin’ down the decade’s end with a tuneful tale from the other side of the microphone. Listen up, m’friends!
Mixing business with pleasure can be nice, but heed my advice, keep your cool, don’t be a fool, “Is That Too Much to Ask?”

Sandy Deanne
of Jay & the Americans
with bandmates Howie Kane and John Reineke (Jay #3)

BFYP trivia alert! Do you know that before Jay & the Americans, original member, Sandy Deanne, first wrote and released songs as founding member with the Harborlites in the late 1950s? And it was a friendly radio disk jockey who helped the teen trio hit the airwaves in New York City.
“Cousin Brucie and I were dating sisters,” said songwriter Sandy, in his palpable New York inflection. “I knew he was a DJ and he knew I had a band.” But until their record “Is That Too Much to Ask” was released in 1959, conversations were a fleeting “hi” in chance meetings at the sisters’ home.
“When the record came out,” Sandy continued, “Cousin Brucie stepped up to the plate. He really liked it, I guess, ‘cause he played it a lot. It was a turntable hit for us and got us started.”

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It’s Wolfman Jack month!

Well, it’s really ROCK-tober … okay, if you’re not into cutesy month designations, you can’t deny it IS October … the month when leaves loosen and cascade softly from their tree limbs, creating a stark bareness at month’s end, perfect for spooky Halloween.
Of course, at BFYP we’re excited because October truly was Wolfman Jack’s favorite time of the year. He howled his way through numerous Halloween events and loved every second of them. As The Guess Who urged us (1974), “Clap for the Wolfman!”

Little known Wolfman Jack facts:
On the path to his radio career, Robert Weston Smith devised the Wolfman persona while chasing his nephews around the house at bedtime (much to the chagrin of his sister and her husband).
Before there was Wolfman Jack, “Bob” sold Collier’s Encyclopedias and Fuller Brushes door-to-door! Did your family living in Alexandria, Virginia, buy from him in the late 1950s?

Bob kept Wolfman Jack’s appearance under wraps through his early days, after a run-in with the Ku Klux Klan about his integrated dance club, in Shreveport, Louisiana, early 1960s.

Wolfwoman, Lou, created Wolfman Jack’s original look, but they hired a Hollywood makeup guy to polish it for his first California gig as Wolfman, appearing with Little Richard in Santa Ana (late 1960s). “Getting out of the radio booth and onto a stage was a big leap. It was fantastic fun, but it also scared the hell out of me. That’s why I needed all my makeup, disguise, and outlandish trappings.” (Have Mercy! [1995]) 

Halloween is like Bob Smith bouncing around as Wolfman Jack. We get the opportunity to have loads of fun, without the pressure of being ourselves – if only for a day.

Be Safe ~ Have Fun ~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
(from your Wicked Witch of the West!)

Coming soon – Blast from Your Past, Book 2 in the series, with lots of great Wolfman Jack tales! While you wait, check out Book 1, Rock& Roll Radio DJs: the First Five Years 1954-1959, at Amazon. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kevin Metheny “On the Air” Above … RIP

It’s always a great loss when one of our pioneering radio greats leaves us for Heavenly airwaves. 

At BFYP, by the very nature of its vintage roots, we often report loss due to age that claims one of our once-best and brightest in the radio industry.

With heavy heart, today we offer our condolences to BFYP DJ/PD, Terrell Metheny, for the loss of his son, Kevin Metheny, who went on the air in Heaven, Friday, October 3, 2014.

Kevin Metheny (60) followed in his dad’s industry footsteps to become a highly respected programmer, focusing on talk radio. Obviously, Terrell taught him well, and is immensely proud.

“He was first on the radio at six weeks old,” Terrell commented in a 2009 interview for the BFYP book. “Sitting in the back of the studio, he let out a yell while the mic was open.” The radio bug bit young Kevin when Terrell “put him on the radio in a commercial when he was about three.”

Kevin’s forty-four year radio career began in high school and included stints with the biggies like KJR/Seattle, WGH/Chicago, WNBC/New York on the Howard Stern Show, and most recently, as Operations Manager of Cumulus News-Talk KGO & KSFO/San Francisco. “He jumped over me real fast,” said Terrell.

Please join me in heartfelt prayers for Terrell and his family as Kevin leaves terrestrial radio to sign on in broadcasting’s heavenly realm.