Raised on the Radio

Because growing up on 70s television didn't kill me. It just made me who I am today.

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Twisted Mix Tape – Forbidden Love

Twisted Mix-Tape? WHAT??!!! This is what. Me and music, we go hand in hand. I carry earbuds with me everywhere I go. I’m not anti-social (I’m only anti-work), I’m just anti-silence.

Well that’s a bold-faced lie, but when my choices are listening to the drivel playing at grocery, or a bunch of people yapping at Starbuckos, I choose music.

As I mentioned last week, (yes there was a last week and you can read about it here); I think in music. In my current position of soundtrack maker Music Director for Raised on the Radio, I finally get to live my dream. I can share my music musings with the world my readers.

Did you know? Albert Einstein and I, we are simpatico.

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
― Albert Einstein

And so, by the power invested in me by me, behold the Music Director of Break the Parenting Mold and Twisted Mix-Tape! Share your musical musings with me!

I invite you all to join in. Each week we (as in you and I, because I know you will feel an undeniable need to join us) will be creating a mix based on a different topic emotion.

My plan is to keep the list to 5 songs; as hard as that may be, just incase you’re a music geek like me, and want to prepare. I would love for you to share your choices in the comments, surprise me, enlighten me, shock me!

Next week’s topic will be Unlikely Lullabies (as in songs not meant to be lullabies, but can do the trick). However if the topic doesn’t move you, create your own! Link up in the comments, and I will happily place your link in the post! Join the party!

Forbidden Love

She’s a Beauty – The Best of The Tubes

Stacy’s Mom – Welcome Interstate Managers

 

Don’t Stand So Close to Me / Young Girl (Glee Cast Version) – Glee: The Music, The Complete Season One

Come a Little Bit Closer – The Best of Jay & The Americans

Love Story – Fearless

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Twisted Mix Tape

Welcome to Twisted Mix-Tape on Raised on the Radio. The new home for my most favorite weekly music bytes.

If you want to play along, please comment with your favorite songs!

This is what makes me tick. Me and music, we go hand in hand. I carry earbuds with me everywhere I go. My favorite thing to do is tune everyone out at grocery while I jam to Casino Royale (not the new one, yuck, the original soundtrack masterfully created by Burt Bacharach) you do not know what you are missing if you have never jammed to Casino Royale.

“Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” – Stevie Wonder

Well, I understand it. I think I understand music better than I understand people. “Soylent Green is People!” Sorry, my brain leaked. I am sure I am not alone.

When I am not thinking in Woody Allen, I am thinking in song. Frankly, I think my true lost calling was Soundtrack Maker Music Director for Films. For real, I’ll be driving down the street, and I think “If this was a movie this song would be playing right now.”

But guess what??? By the power invested in me by me, I can be Music Director of Raised on the Radio! Bam! And so I have created Twisted Mix-Tape.

Now, in the words of my boyfriend, John Cusack, disguised as Rob from High-Fidelity (a book and movie of which, I was not a great fan, too much “oh poor me”, yet full of great lines):

“Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”

I get it John Rob, I get it and I honor it. So from now, until the foreseeable future, you will find Twisted Mix-Tape here at Raised on the Radio.

I invite you all to join in. Each week we (as in you and I because I know you will feel an undeniable need to join me) will be creating a mix based on a different topic emotion.

My plan is to keep the list to 5 songs; as hard as that may be. Just incase you’re a music geek like me, and want to prepare. I would love for you to share your choices in the comments, surprise me, enlighten me, shock me! Next weeks topic will be Forbidden Love.

Because I am on a “John Cusack played a depressed but musically knowledgeable role in High Fidelity kick;” this week, I’d like to start off with a list called:

Why you have to play me like this?

Aimee Mann “That’s Just What You Are”

 

Rick Springfield “I’ve Done Everything For You”

 

The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Wait Until Tomorrow” (unfortunately Jimi Hendrix is no longer available on YouTube, but here is a pretty decent version by John Mayer)

 

Cake “Never There”

 

The Beatles “I’m So Tired” 

 

Here’s a freebie for those of you who have not ever heard this gem from Casino Royale, and if you’ve got nothing better to do; you’re in for a real treat.

 

Thank you for playing my mix. I would love to hear what you have to share. What songs make you wonder “who was dangling that dude on a string?”

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Memories of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40

When Tiffany sang “you put your arms around me and we tumble to the ground,” could I really have pictured a boy and girl tumbling down a hill—like, rolling down it log-style, maybe just before engaging in a potato-sack race?
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to imagine how I sang that song without once stopping to wonder what the boy and the girl did after they “tumbled to the ground.”

I had plenty of other moments of lyrical-content naiveté. I was in my 30s before the words to one of my favorite tunes from the era really hit me. Somehow, Cyndi Lauper’s references to men in tight pants–

But recently I’ve begun to realize there might be someone other than me to blame for the clueless way I interpreted the biggest songs of  my childhood.
Maybe one reason it never occurred to me that Suzanne Vega’s “Luka” was about child abuse was that the person who introduced it to me probably prefaced it with a fun fact about the number of light bulbs in Las “Vega”s.
My hunch has solidified in recent months, as I’ve turned on the car radio on Saturday mornings to be greeted by the most significant of all the voices from my 80s childhood. A local pop station, Mix 96, plays vintage Casey Kasem countdowns, as stations all over the country have been doing.
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Like many kids of that era, I collected songs by slavishly waiting next to my mini boom-box to hit “record” when Casey (or a local DJ) played my favorite song. But unlike most kids I knew, I had to rely on Casey (and radio in general) for my connection to the pop world. We lived on a farm, and out in the country, getting MTV was out of the question. (Though I doubt my parents would’ve sprung for cable if we could’ve received it. My dad forbid us from watching The Facts of Life because he believed the title was a reference to, you know, the “facts of life.”)
Racing up the stairs to my room after church and Sunday school to catch the Top 10 of Casey’s Top 40 was as much a ritual for me as church itself. As “the numbers got smaller and the hits got bigger,” I’d feel a little pang for any song that had “slipped a couple of notches,” as if the song itself had feelings, as if Whitney Huston or George Michael was sitting by a radio, too, hands clasped, desperate to see where he or she stood.
As the vintage countdowns have become a staple on weekend modern-day radio—and in the utterly surreal experience of re-hearing these childhood moments through adult ears—I’ve been astonished by the diversionary tactics Casey used to draw attention to anything but the actual content of the song. He must have known kids like me were clinging to our Walkmen, and wanted to protect us. (Or Westwood One told him to).
How else to explain the lead-ins I’ve heard when I’ve been relishing these re-broadcasts?
One weekend earlier this year I was driving across the state to visit my sister, and found myself chuckling, alone in my car, as Casey gave a teaser for Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It” before the commercial.
Here was one of the first and only popular female rap groups, not to mention one who sung openly about sex. But when the commercial was over? There was Casey: “And now we’re up to a tune that was saved by a deejay.” His spiel detailed how the song was actually the B-side to another song, which a deejay didn’t think was a hit.
Later, to introduce Paul Carrack’s “Don’t Shed a Tear”: no mention of Squeeze or anything about Carrack’s pre-80s success. Instead, “And now we’re up to a song about ‘lacrimation’. It’s not illegal. It means ‘shedding a tear.’”
Now, on Saturday mornings in the kitchen when I tap the I Heart Radio app and tune in to a countdown, I can’t help but focus on the whitewashed way the scripts were written.
Before “Infatuation” by the ever-horny Rod Stewart? A long-winded anecdote about Rod’s manager receiving a pile of Billboard magazines due to a mailing mix-up. On a recent weekend, when it was time for a big hit by Whitesnake, (otherwise known as the band whose video introduced Tawny Kitean to the world), Casey gave a lesson on—you got it—snakes.
I will probably always suffer a metaphorical forehead smack every time I think about Suzanne Vega and Tiffany.
But I should remind myself that when Casey introduced me to “She Bop,” he probably said, “And now we’re up to a song that inspired a New York City woman to choose the name for her cat, a cat named Bop.”

Alison McGaughey was raised on the radio and remembers buying her first “album”–Wham!’s “Make it Big”–on cassette at a Woolworth’s in Keokuk, Iowa. Now a community college instructor and literacy-program coordinator, McGaughey writes about music, books, and Midwestern life at welcometoforgotonia.com. Her work has been published in Creative Nonfiction magazine, Midwestern Gothic, Hippocampus Magazine, and others, and has received awards from the Midwest Writing Center and Illinois Associated Press. Follow her on Twitter @Rural_Rose.

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Ever wish you were a concert promoter?

I know I wish it EVERY. DAY.

I usually write about music here, and everything else over at my other site. But today I wrote a book review for an amazing story over on JenKehl.com you HAVE to read it!

He even has an insider view on Sly and the Family Stone, I wish I read his perspective before I wrote my review on the boxed set.

The story of Pat DiCesare, Pittsburgh legend, and their first concert promoter. You don’t want to miss this story!

Hard Days, Hard Nights: Stories From Pittsburgh’s First Concert Promoter

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100 Ways Frank Zappa Influenced Who You Listen To Now

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You may not know who Frank Zappa is, chances are if you’re under 40 you don’t. Maybe you do, but are wondering why you should care about this total freak show who created vulgar über wacko performance art concerts before that was cool? Oh and now you want to know when I’m going to get to the point?

I can’t possibly tell you everything you should know about him. I can tell you this. Back in the olden days, I was creating a mix tape for my other blog and I was trying to narrow down some ideas on who I would include in a 70s mix.  Everyone came back to Frank Zappa. Little Feat – they met while playing with Frank Zappa. You know the song Smoke on The Water? Well it’s about an accident Frank Zappa had at a concert:

We all came out to Montreux,
On the Lake Geneva shoreline.
To make records with a mobile,
We didn’t have much time.
But Frank Zappa and the Mothers,
Were at the best place around,
But some stupid with a flair gun,
Burned the place to the ground.
Smoke on the water and fire in the sky.
Smoke on the water…

So Deep Purple was there, at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland, when some crazy Zappa fan shot off a flare gun that caused the whole Casino to burn down. And you didn’t even realize that without Frank Zappa you wouldn’t even be able to jam to Smoke on the Water.

Frank had a gift for identifying and attracting amazingly talented musicians. Did you know you might never have heard of Missing Persons, Talking Heads, King Crimson,The Doors, Berlin, Steely Dan if it wasn’t for Frank Zappa?

Maybe you’re more of an 80’s fan? Did you know it was one of his discoveries that wrote and produced this little number to win an Academy Award?

 

This band? No Frank Zappa – no Grand Funk Railroad

 

What’s that you said? Sting and Frank respected each other so much that Sting decided to join Frank on stage in Chicago and let them Zappaize Murder by Numbers?

 

Right, and some guy named John Lennon decided to hang out on stage with Frank and his band.

 

And you know Frank had some great advice, Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

 

And then there are the musicians who played in bands you know so well, or who supported the amazing vocalists of our time!

 

Arthur Barrow who played mostly bass and composed, played with The Doors, Joe Cocker (the 91/2 Weeks Soundtrack), Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Nina Hagen, Berlin (for which he won an Academy Award), Charlie Sexton, Oingo Boingo, The Motels.
He did the soundtracks for: Top Gun, Scarface, The Doors, The Breakfast Club, The Never Ending Story, Electric Dreams, Quicksilver D.C. Cab, Iron Eagle, and The Twilight Zone.

Max Bennett played Bass Guitar with Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez through the 1970s.[1] He also recorded with Charlie Mariano, Conte Candoli, Bob Cooper, Bill Holman, Stan Levey, Lou Levy, Coleman Hawkins and Jack MontroseThe Monkees and The Partridge FamilyJoe Sample, Larry Carlton and John Guerin.

Terry Bozzio percussionist extraordinaire played with Jeff Beck, Robbie Robertson, Dokken, Richard Marx, Duran Duran and The Knack, to name a few.

Michael Brecker saxophonist (won 15 Grammy Awards!) played with Todd Rundgren, Patti Austin, George Benson, Pat Methany, Art Garfukel, Frank Sinatra, Chick Corea, Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor, Dave Brubeck…. and more!

His brother Randy Brecker  – trumpet -Played with George Benson, Blood Sweat and Tears, Gato Barbieri, Lou Reed, and many jazz musicians you would recognize if you heard!

Don Brewer – Percussion – Founding member, and current member of Grand Funk Railroad, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

Eric Clapton. Did I say Eric Clapton?

Vinnie Colaiuta – drummer – Played with Joni Mitchell, Sting, Megadeath.

Chuck Domanico backed up Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Carmen McRae, Joni Mitchell, Taj Mahal, Diane Schuur, Natalie Cole, and the group Manhattan Transfer.

Steve Vai who was a crucial member of David Lee Roth,Whitesnake, and Meat Loaf

Aynsley Dunbar on drums founding member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, played with David Bowie, Lou Reed, Nils Lofgren, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Jefferson Starship, and Whitesnake.

Tom Malone was the trombone player for The Blues Brothers.

Jean Luc-Ponty Violin, if you don’t know him you need to.

I’m getting tired!

And who couldn’t wait to be a part of Frank Zappa’s next project?

Terry Gilliam – Yes of Monty Python

John Lennon – guessing you know who that is and his wife Yoko.

Linda Ronstadt

Sting

Tina Turner

 

am I done yet? There is just…..so…..much…..

Give Frank a try, he left an amazing legacy behind. He was crazy, wild, amazingly talented, free thinking, and innovative. Everyone wanted to know him, the musicians of his time wanted to play with him, and he was just as happy to have everyone around.

In my darkest days, Frank can lift my spirits…

Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?

 

Montana (If you ever hear me say I’m going to be a Dental Floss Tycoon, now you’ll know why)

 

Oh right! And I love this one too! Cosmik Debris (I chose the studio version, his live stuff is fantastic and a must see, but if you want to hear the amazing musicians and production, well we go to the studio folks)

 

I know, I can’t count. How about you? Do you have a favorite Frank Zappa song or story? Or maybe an origin story about another band? I’d love to hear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Led Zeppelin Loses First Round in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Lawsuit

This just blows me away. Having listened to the song I can say conclusively Zeppelin did them wrong. However not so thrilled that the family came forward after the song writer passed. You decide.

TIME

For decades, Led Zeppelin has faced claims that they plagiarized their iconic 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven” from the rock band Spirit. Now it looks like Zeppelin is headed for a difficult legal battle.

Back in May, family members of Spirit frontman Randy Craig Wolfe (a.k.a Randy California) filed the suit against Zeppelin, seeking monetary damages and a writing credit for the now-deceased Wolfe, NBC Philadelphia reports. Wolfe’s family claims that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page ripped off the chords for “Stairway to Heaven” from Spirit’s 1968 tune “Taurus.” (The two bands at one point toured together and had thus become familiar with each other’s music.)

Now, Zeppelin and their music companies have requested that the case be dismissed, as the “individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at…

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Old School Disco New Year’s Eve Playlist – Boogie Fever!

 

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I’m the 70’s pop culture junkie and frankly, New Year’s Eve isn’t New Year’s Eve without disco. And I don’t mean some new fangled discotheque music. What the heck is a discotheque anyway? Or is it Disco Teka? Whatever it is, that’s not what I’m talking about it. What I’m talking about here is Shaking Your Groove Thang, you know – get down tonight?

Don’t bother trying to deny it. There ain’t no way to stop it, the music starts…maybe a little Commodores? Your head starts bobbing, maybe your shoulders start moving to the rhythm. That’s all right, you don’t have to get out on the dance floor, but your hips are having a party while you’re not even paying attention.

It’s a New Year’s Eve Disco Playlist, because you all know you want one. Turn that party ON people! Nobody’s body doesn’t want to move to the groove, I promise you. But pop in some Sarah Machlaclan for New Year’s and I can bet you everyone’s going home early.

 

Old School Disco Music For New Year’s Eve

Did you know if you click on the bottom YouTube Playlist you can just click play all and have a party right from your computer?

Best of My Love – The Emotions

Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder

Boogie Fever – The Sylvers

Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players

Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) – Michael Jackson

Boogie Wonderland – Earth Wind and Fire

Let it Whip – The Dazz Band

Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel – Tavares

Fantasy – Earth Wind and Fire

Knock on Wood – Amii Stewart

Disco Inferno – The Trammps

Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Le Freak – Chic

(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty – KC & The Sunshine Band

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

That’s the Way (I Like It) – KC & The Sunshine Band

We Are Family – Sister Sledge

Give Me The Night – George Benson

Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Jungle Boogie – Kool and The Gang

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A Swinging Jazz Christmas Playlist

 

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The table is set, the lights are turned down just the right amount to make the room sparkle and the cheesy Christmas decorations are hidden in another room – leaving only the very tasteful decorations you share with company.

Now shove the kids in another room with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and enjoy one night as an adult.

Hit shuffle on your Christmas Party Playlist and in the words of my favorite Jazz DJ Larry Smith “Sit back, relax, and let’s swing together.”

 

A Swinging Jazz Christmas Playlist

The top links go straight to YouTube (at the bottom is the complete YouTube playlist)

The starred links* go to  iTunes so you can download your own

 

Merry Christmas Baby – Kenny Burrell and Richard Evans
*Merry Christmas Baby – Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bill Evans
*Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas

We Three Kings – Ralph Sutton, Jim Galloway, Milt Hilton and Gus Johnson*
*We Three Kings – Christmas Jazz Greats (Extended Version)

White Christmas – Oscar Peterson
*White Christmas – An Oscar Peterson Christmas

Silent Night – Ellis Marsalis
*Silent Night (feat. Bill Huntington & Jason Marsalis) – A New Orleans Christmas Carol (Gold Edition)

What Are You Doing New Years Eve? – Ramsey Lewis
*What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? – Sound of Christmas

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – The Four Freshman*
*I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Snowfall

The Christmas Waltz – Beegie Adair
*The Christmas Waltz – Jazz Piano Christmas

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman – Butch Thompson*
*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Yulestride

Oh Good Grief – Wynton and Ellis Marsalis
*Oh, Good Grief! – Joe Cool’s Blues

Christmas is Coming – David Benoit*
*Christmas Is Coming – 40 Years – A Charlie Brown Christmas

O Christmas Tree – Russell Malone
*O Christmas Tree – Martha Stewart Living Music: Jazz for the Holidays

Christmas Time is Here – Vince Guaraldi
*Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental) – A Charlie Brown Christmas (Expanded Edition)

We Three Kings of Orient Are – Oliver Jones
*We Three Kings of Orient Are – A Celebration in Time

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Oliver Jones

Jingle Bells – Jimmy Smith
*Jingle Bells – Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas

The Christmas Song – Peter White
*The Christmas Song – Songs of the Season

 

Or listen to most of the list here by clicking play!

Thanks for listening!

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Cozy Up With Your Classic Christmas Standards Playlist!

christmas classic songs playlist

 

Every year you think you want it – something new. You are so sure that you start messing with your iPod, maybe playing with your Pandora or buying a few of those “Target special purchase” CD’s.

But then you realize; it just doesn’t matter. Some songs were done right that one time. You can listen to Martina McBride singing The Christmas Song, but you know it should have been Nat King Cole. Or how about Brad Paisley doing Winter Wonderland, no… not that, that should be Ella.

No matter what your confused, Christmas muddled brain is saying to you, some Christmas songs are meant to be heard this one way, they are classics for a reason. We get all warm and fuzzy remembering them from our childhood being sung just the way we want to hear them today.

 

A Holly Jolly Christmas – The Best Christmas Playlist Ever – The Versions You Remember

The first link takes you to YouTube or you can pop down to the bottom to click and hear the whole playlist. As always *the second link will take you to iTunes so you can own these songs yourself.

Silver Bells – Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald 
*Silver Bells – Silver Bells: Christmas Classics

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
*It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – The Andy Williams Christmas Album

Here Comes Santa Claus – Gene Autry
*Here Comes Santa Claus – Gene Autry

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
*A Holly Jolly Christmas – Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
*The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) – The Christmas Song

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Ella Fitzgerald
*Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas – Perry Como and The Fontaine Sisters
*It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Greatest Christmas Songs (Remastered)

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Dean Martin
*I’ll Be Home for Christmas – The Dean Martin Christmas Album

The First Noel – Frank Sinatra
*The First Noël – A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra

Carol of the Bells – The Robert Shaw Choir
*Carol of the Bells – A Festival of Carols

We Need A Little Christmas – Percy Faith
*We Need a Little Christmas – A Very Percy Faith Christmas: The Christmas Song, Little Drummer Boy, And More Holiday Favorites

The Christmas Waltz – Frank Sinatra
*The Christmas Waltz – Christmas With Sinatra and Friends

Caroling, Caroling – Nat King Cole
*Caroling, Caroling – The Christmas Song

Happy Holidays! – Andy Williams
*Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season – The Andy Williams Christmas Album

Home For the Holidays – The Carpenters
*(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays – Christmas Portrait (The Special Edition)

Winter Wonderland – Ella Fitzgerald
*Winter Wonderland – Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

 

Here are all of the songs on a YouTube playlist. And don’t forget to subscribe up there to get all of our latest posts! No spam EVER!

 

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Martini Lounge Christmas Playlist

christmas balls with snow, isolated on white background

‘Tis the season. Whether you partake or not, you can’t help but tap your toes to this special brand of Christmas music. So pull up a chair, grab a martini and enjoy yourself at the Raised on the Radio Christmas Lounge.

A Martini Lounge Christmas

YouTube on the top, bottom links go straight to *iTunes for your permanent enjoyment.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus/Jingle Bells Bossa Nova – Ultra-Lounge – Christmas Cocktails, Pt. 1

We Wanna See Santa Do the Mambo – Santa’s Vintage Xmas & Holiday Playlist

‘Zat You, Santa Claus? – Yule Be Miserable

Winter Wonderland (2006 – Remaster) – Christmas With Peggy Lee

Jingle All the Way – Merry Christmas from Lena Horne – EP

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo – Christmas Eve (Jazz Christmas)

Jingle Bells Mambo – The Ultimate Mambo Collection

The Christmas Waltz (Remastered) – Merry Christmas, Baby – Romance and Reindeer from Capitol

Cha-Cha All the Way – Ultra-Lounge – Christmas Cocktails, Pt. 1

Holiday on Skis – Al Caiola
Holiday On Skis – Swinging Christmas, Vol. 3

Christmas Trumpets/We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas – Ultra-Lounge – Christmas Cocktails, Pt. 1

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town / White Christmas – Christmas Jazz & Blues

Jingle Bells – Esquivel – to me this is the definitive. I cannot find this on iTunes, because it is out of print, but I know the album is available on amazon, if you have adblock off you should be able to see this link. Esquivel! Merry Xmas From the Space-Age Bachelor Pad

 

In my search for the perfect Martini Lounge Christmas Playlist for our listeners I happened upon an artist I thought was pretty cool, his name is Geoffrey Leigh Tozer. He’s not ultra-famous, but he’s pretty darn good. His Christmas tunes are not on YouTube so this iTunes link will have to do. Also feel free to check him out over at his website Swanktown. He’s a story-teller and a music maker, if you like, won’t you buy it on iTunes? He’s just a guy, sharing his awesome music with us. Here’s a taste:

*update! I contacted Geoffrey and look what he made just for us! A YouTube video of Deck Martinis With Green Olives!

Deck Martinis With Green Olives – A Very Swank Christmas!

And here’s the whole playlist on YouTube so you can just sit back and sip!

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Inspirational Christmas Music Playlist

 

inspirational christmas music

He’s the reason for the season, so the saying goes. We celebrate but once a year (for 4o days or so) and as you go through your days, beginning at Thanksgiving, you hear every type of Christmas music from every speaker you pass. Here is are the Carols before the songs, these were meant to inspire and create a true Christmas spirit of love for each other and giving. And so I bring you a list of inspirational Christmas music for your Christmas Playlist.

 

Inspirational Christmas Music by Some of Your Favorites and Some New Artists Too!

As always the first link will take you to YouTube, the second link will take you to *iTunes so you can add these great songs to your own playlist!

 

 

The First Noel – Ella Fitzgerald – A Swinging Carol as only Ella could sing.
*The First Noel – Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas (Remastered)

Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte – A song I have only heard by Harry and his unique sound is the only one for this song.
*Mary’s Boy Child (Remastered) – Single – Harry Belafonte

Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Neil Diamond – Add a few gospel singers and you’ve never heard this carol done quite like this!
*Hark the Herald Angels Sing – The Christmas Album

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Kelly Clarkson – Her gorgeous voice is perfect for this song.

Oh Holy Night – Celtic Woman – These woman are amazing, the pure emotion in this song is worth listening for.
*O Holy Night – A Christmas Celebration

Carol of the Bells – The Carpenters  – A rare instrumental by the Carpenters, although there are lyrics to this song, the instrumental is always the favorite.
*Carol of the Bells – Christmas Portrait (The Special Edition)

Away in a Manger – Casting Crowns – A contemporary band does an amazing version with this delicate song.
*Away In a Manger – Peace On Earth

Do You Hear What I Hear – Bing Crosby – A classic inspirational christmas music list must always include Bing Crosby.
*Do You Hear What I Hear? (1999 Digital Remaster) – Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics

What Child is This? – Andre Bocelli and Mary J Blige  – This unexpected pairing, makes for one of the most beautiful carols I have heard.
*What Child Is This (with Mary J. Blige) – My Christmas

Silent Night – Mariah Carey – Her voice is so perfect for this song, she doesn’t try to change it and sings it as it should be sung.
*Silent Night – Merry Christmas

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/ Joy to the World – The Brothers Cazimero – This Hawaiian band does the most amazing version of these songs, if nothing else, you must hear this.
*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Joy to the World – Cazimero Christmas Favorites

Angels We Have Heard on High – Josh Groban with Brian McKnight – Josh and Brian have the perfect voices to do justice to this classic carol.
*Angels We Have Heard On High (with Brian McKnight) – Noël

O Little Town of Bethlehem – Nat King Cole – The quintessential holiday voice, he must be on every Christmas Playlist!
*O Little Town of Bethlehem – The Christmas Song

The Little Drummer Boy – Go Fish – I found this band by accident and am so glad I did, an amazing a capella version of this song!
*The Little Drummer Boy – Christmas With a Capital C (Snow: The Deluxe Edition)

 

This is one of my favorites, it’s on the list, but if this is the only one you listen to, it will be well worth it!

If you enjoyed this playlist, check out my other playlists. Holiday playlists are a lot of fun, and I have fun making them! If you don’t want to miss one make sure you tell me by signing up for my email list, I will only email you new posts, no spam ever! Promise!

Have a Merry Christmas!

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A Thanksgiving Playlist

Thanksgiving Playlist

The table is set, the lights are turned down just enough to make the room sparkle and the cheesy Christmas decorations are hidden in another room – leaving only the very tasteful decorations you share with company.

Occupy the kids with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and enjoy one night as an adult.

Hit shuffle on your Thanksgiving Playlist and in the words of my favorite Jazz DJ Larry Smith “Sit back, relax, and let’s swing together.”

Go take a listen over at my site, JenKehl.com

or check out my YouTube playlist


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Baby Boomers Music

babyboomer

Baby Boomers are egotistical asses, especially when it comes to music!

 

I should know.  I’m a Baby Boomer.

 

You have to remember, most Baby Boomers have followed music from its early days.  Say, a Baby Boomer, born in 1954, will remember songs from the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, The Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly, to name just a few.  This was the foundation of Rock & Roll.  This is also our foundation from which we build.

 

We’ve been through the challenges of life throughout history. First, just listening to Rock in the early years put us in dangerous territory with the church. Supposedly, music that made you shake your hips and jump around was “Devil Music”. Yeah, you should have been there convincing your parents it wasn’t.

 

Jerry Lee Lewis (Whole Lotta Shakin’)

 

The Beatles also made it easy for us. Why? Because immediately, guys wanted to start wearing their hair long. The Hell with the “Burr” and “Flat-Top” haircuts, we wanted it to grow and grow long. You should have been there telling that to your high school basketball coach. Talk about setting yourself up for running gut drills after regular practice for the rest of the week. Why? Because we were going against the norm of the day. We were showing the adults that we didn’t have to follow the same rules they had. Times were changing and we were, too. Long hair showed what side we were on.

 

The Cowsills (Hair)

 

We were also there for the Civil Rights movement. We fought for all to be treated the same and have the same opportunities regardless of race or sex. Talk about putting yourself in the firing line! When I talk about protesting and marching in the late 60’s in Indiana, people say, “Well, that wasn’t much. The South was where the violence was at.” Then I kindly remind them that the national headquarters of the KKK was in Indiana. Yeah, the Midwest had its share of screwed up attitudes, too. It just wasn’t picked up by the news agencies as much.

 

Temptations (Ball of Confusion)

 

The Vietnam War hit everyone. However, it was the first war where the average age of a combat soldier was only 19 years old. Kids were being sent to kill an enemy under the guise of Communism needs to be stopped. It didn’t take long for us to see that it wasn’t communism as our primary enemy, but the politicians that were using the war to create a profitable economy for their constituents that owned war machine factories. Protest after protest, kids leaving the United States and living abroad, and the rich filling the pockets of Congressmen to keep their kids from going to an early death were facts of life for the youth of the day.

 

Country Joe & The Fish (I Think I’m Fixin To Die Rag)

 

As we expanded our attitudes, we sought means to expand our minds. Marijuana, although scorned for years by the white population as a drug that destroys all will to succeed, became a drug of choice, and one that got many a person years in jail. LSD (acid, Mr. Love Saves, etc.) joined the field as a leader in allowing one to see beyond. Different strengths and compounds had varying effects on those who indulged. Most of the time, we simply enjoyed the trip. Of course, various pharmaceuticals also become common as downers and speed helped us through the madness, or maybe, even added to the madness.

 

Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit)

 

Finally, ignoring our parents uptight feelings about sex, we made it happen. Free Sex meant that if you found someone you cared about, and they found you cool, too, there was no reason why you had to be married to get together and experience the beauty. Our parents knew this, but hid it because of the morality of the times. Oh, they had “affairs”, but they didn’t want everyone to know. Sex was a “dirty” topic that parents often only brought up too late. You learned about it from your friend’s fathers Playboy collection when they weren’t home. We wanted love, and sex was a part of that.

 

Mercy (Love Can Make You Happy)

 

Yeah, we were fighters. No matter what we wanted, it seemed society was against it in one way or another. But, we didn’t give up. We fought each battle and moved forward. Music was our partner. Regardless of the battle, it seemed as though there was a song that fit the time. We were unified, pacified, and verified by the music we listened to and believed in.

 

And now, we’re just like our parents were.

 

But, we’re still assholes with attitude!

Steppenwolf (Born To Be Wild)

 

About the Author:

Having grown up during the 50′s & 60′s, Rich was a personal witness to the confusion of the times. His love of music drew him into the conflicts of the day as he protested many of the atrocities in civil rights and an overseas war. Ironically, military service, during the final days of the Vietnam Conflict, ended a music career in a successful band. However, his love of music held true as he later chose a career as a radio announcer over law school. Here, along with being able to play the music he cherished, he interviewed many top music acts. This allowed him to gain much knowledge of the recording industry and the psyche of music artists in rock, jazz and R&B. Later, his love of performing transformed him into a career in stand-up comedy. Twenty years later, his love for music continues. Quote: “Being born in 1954, Rock ‘N Roll and I have grown up together. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!”

Keep up with him at That’s Life…Sometimes!

Beleza Tropical David Byrne


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If You Haven’t Heard it, May I Suggest Beleza Tropical

In the early 1990s, I was not listening to a lot of mainstream music. I had become closely acquainted with world music and bands off the beaten path. Bands and artists like: They Might Be Giants, Poi Dog Pondering and Adrian Belew.

Beleza Tropical David ByrneAn album I became enthralled with in 1990 has stood the test of time and is now on my Top Ten Albums of All Time list: Beleza Tropical.

Beliza Tropical is a compilation of Brazilian music produced by David Byrne, of Talking Heads, for the edification of the general American music listening public.

David Byrne knew something that a lot of jazz lovers knew, and that was – the music of Brazil is like no other and must be shared with the world.

This album never made main stream. But it made it into my CD player, and rekindled something I thought was lost and forgotten. It had been so many years since my father had played his reel to reel loaded with amazing bossa nova and samba. After he died, it was almost forgotten. Almost. All I had to do was hear the opening notes of Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma) – by Jorge Ben and it was like a laser beam opened a part of my brain that had been closed for 10 years. The sun was shining on my face; I had come home.

I don’t want to overload your brain by presenting you with every song. Here are some of my favorites:

Sonho Meu by Gal Costa and Maria Bethania – If you are only going to listen to one. Listen to this one.

Andar Com Fe’ By Gilberto Gil – This man is a genius.  If you don’t know him, or you do and you like him, go here and see this.

Queixa by Caetano Veloso

Caramba!… Galileu da Galileia by Jorge Ben

Thanks to Brazil Classics vol. 1: Beleza Tropical, my thirst for Brazilian music became unquenchable. More Bossa Nova and Samba comprise the songs in my music collection than any other genre.  At any given time you might walk into my house/office/car and hear the Brazilian Music Pandora station playing or my latest mix of the same on my iPod. Listening to that album back in 1990 completely changed the way I looked at music. I had always been a fan of the “musician” but it opened me up to so many more genres and truly helped develop my appreciation for true musicians dedicated to their instrument and their craft.

Sadly Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical – Various Artists is out of print as a CD, you can get the import for 25 buckos, or you can click thru that link and get to iTunes to download it.

Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical

Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical – Various Artists


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Every UK Number One Song: Here In My Heart…

I met Steve while running the longest meme in blogging history (okay I may be exaggerating) Twisted MixTape. I always loved his contributions, his take from across the pond was a fresh change. I pride myself in being aware of a wide range of music, but until Steve, had no idea there was so much more out there.
When Steve suggested that we join forces so his series “Every UK Number One Song” might reach a wider audience I was thrilled.
So here you have:

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Gordon Lightfoot

 

I’ve been listening to Gordon Lightfoot for 44 of my 44 years. It’s a gimme, isn’t it? If you were alive in the 70’s, you listened to Gordo.

That doesn’t mean I knew the ins and outs of the man. Actually…..I heard from a reliable source that his life took some serious wrong turns, and there may have been some unfortunate drinking involved. It was the 70’s, why am I surprised?

For most of us, it’s easy to brush Gordon Lightfoot off as some musician with a ton of songs on the Easy Listening radio station. Oh wait, I like that station. Okay, some guy who makes the easy listening station easier to listen to.

How many times have you heard Sundown, or If You Could Read My Mind on Lite FM?  I admit to being stuck in the land of 70’s pop music. Heck, I’m a child of 70’s radio, and frankly, feel lucky to have been so.

I often credit Gordon Lightfoot with my inspiration to be a writer.

Just like a paperback novel. The kind that drugstores sell.
-If You Could Read My Mind

But if you leave your knowledge of Gordon Lightfoot there. You would be missing so much. I was missing it too. It took my 8yo’s obsession with The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and then later The Canadian Railway Trilogy, for me to see it.

I Bet You Didn’t Know

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Gordon Lightfoot has a lot to be flattered about. In 1964 he wrote “The Early Morning Rain”, and because he was a nobody, he wasn’t even the first to record it. A couple of friends who “discovered” him offered to record his song on their album. It was a good move. For both of them.

He did record the song in 1966… and after that 74 other bands and artists recorded it too. Not the least of which were Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, The Grateful Dead, George Hamilton IV (who took it to #9 on the country charts), Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Peter Paul and Mary (the most well-known pop version).

At 13-years-old Gordon Lightfoot was already making a name for himself, he loved to sing and his parents encouraged him to do so. Between the ages of 13-17 he won multiple awards for singing. That recognition helped him find his path so he attended West Lake College of Music in Los Angeles. This decision would prove to be invaluable to him.

The 60’s started a fire in Gordon, by 1964 he had already written 75 songs. However, he felt none of them really had a “sound” he could call his own. And then – he met Bob Dylan. Through Dylan, and many friends that came along with that sound, he found his sound and that sound would take him all over the world.

Bob Dylan had something to say about Gordon Lightfoot as well. In an article written when Dylan inducted Gordon Lightfoot into the Canadian hall of fame he said, “He (Lightfoot) became a mentor (of Dylan’s) for a long time. I think he probably still is to this day.” Obviously the feeling was mutual. And from an article in The Huffington Post:

BF: Who are some of your favorite songwriters?

BD: Buffett I guess. Lightfoot. Warren Zevon. Randy. John Prine. Guy Clark. Those kinds of writers.

BF: You and Lightfoot go way back.

BD: Oh yeah. Gordo’s been around as long as me.

BF: What are your favorite songs of his?

BD: “Shadows,” “Sundown,” “If You Could Read My Mind.” I can’t think of any I don’t like.

Bob Dylan often covered the song “Shadows” when playing live.

As I sat down to write this, I began listening to some Gordon Lightfoot songs I have very little memory of hearing, it could be I never heard them. I was inspired to track them down when I happened upon a list of all of his songs that have been covered by other artists. This one piqued my interest – after all it was covered by Eric Clapton. I found Clapton’s version of it on YouTube, and frankly, I wasn’t impressed. But that irked me, there had to be a reason that Eric Clapton would want to play that song. Right? There was. The problem is, you cannot improve upon perfection.

The 1970’s would be when Gordon Lightfoot would truly see fame. Finally being recognized by listeners outside of the folk music scene, yet continuing to create using his own unique sound, his songs began to top the charts. Being a child of the 70’s, it was only natural that my experience with Gordon Lightfoot would be: If You Could Read My Mind, Sundown and of course The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. But being a lover of music, that is never enough. When a songwriter sings and plays with so much raw emotion I naturally want to know, what more?

Exploring Gordon Lightfoot was something I did many years ago, to connect with my father, who was very influenced by folk music. And now again I am finding it as a way to connect with my son, to expand his knowledge of music, as I capitalize on his fascination with The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald*. Every minute is a learning moment with music. With Gordon, it could be a lifetime.

I will not leave you without Sundown:

Some trivia:

Aside from his success in writing, singing and performing his own songs, Lightfoot has found fortune in having his songs recorded and performed by other great artists including:  Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Judy Collins, Johnny Mathis, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Sarah McLachlan, Barbra Streisand, Peter Paul & Mary, Harry Belafonte, Jane’s Addiction, Richie Havens, Glen Campbell, Toby Keith, George Hamilton IV and Eric Clapton.

In June of 2012 Lightfoot’s legacy was further enhanced when he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.  Lightfoot was honored for his role in defining the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and ’70s.  There are fewer than 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Songwriters Hall of Fame including Barry Mann, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Garth Brooks, Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen.

* Shameless plug alert. This is a YouTube video of my son singing every single word of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald 3 years ago. He still sings that song almost everyday.

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Blood Sweat and Tears

How will you be remembered? Will you be the guy who fought for a cause? Or will you be a guy who had an amazing idea for a band, a band that would turn into a pop sensation?!

What if you don’t want your band to be a pop sensation? You dig your heals in the sand. Will it become one anyway?

It’s happened before, it will happen again, just ask the founding members of Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Blood, Sweat & Tears began as a jazz-fusion-rock band that incorporated horns with a rock n’ roll sound. They were it. New York loved them. But as important as the sound was, they put a lot of effort into the message they were sending. War was bad, the man was bad, they were making a statement. They made that statement so well and their music was so new and exciting that they were one of many amazing musicians picked to headline at Woodstock. Blood Sweat & Tears were part of a movement of musicians that would inspire a generation to Fight the Man! For a little while.

However, only one year in, the band had split with its “leader” Al Kooper. Al was the backbone of their “underground” connection – which in retrospect would turn out to be so much more than an underground. It was his finger on the pulse of the counter-culture. Without him, the beat lived on, but the fever of the cause was gone. So although their appearance at Woodstock was already without Kooper, their ties with the counter-culture phenomena that drove their fans, were now tenuous.

This reformation of sorts began what would be the band’s own spinning wheel. Arguments about the path their band should take, questionable personal choices and the desire to try new things would be the start of more personnel changes than I could list. Arguably the most important, was the selection of a new Lead Singer, David Clayton-Thomas. Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz, two of the original members, found Clayton-Thomas thanks to their good friend Judy Collins who had heard him sing in a small bar in New York. Lucky for them she did, because Clayton-Thomas would become the “voice” of Blood, Sweat & Tears to those of us being raised on the radio of the 70’s.

In late 1968, with David Clayton-Thomas as the frontman, they released their second album. The self-titled Earth, Wind & Fire would go multi-platinum with a performance very different from their first album, but the people loved it. The album won the Grammy for Album of the Year, beating out The Beatles Abbey Road.

 

blood sweat & tears second album

This album included the songs that I, and many, remember as part of the Soundtrack of our personal Seventies. Spinning Wheel, You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, And When I Die, Hi-De-Ho, and Lucretia MacEvil (which was the worst chart performer of that album, never breaking #29. No other BS&T would ever do better.)

As 1969 became part of the past, BS&T apparently made a critical error in judgement; in exchange for an expedited visa for Clayton-Thomas, who was a Canadian citizen, they agreed to play as part of a U.S. State Department sponsored tour of Eastern Europe in May/June 1970. At this volatile time in our history any voluntary association with the government was highly unpopular and the band definitely felt the repercussions of that decision. Obviously they could not disclose the reason they agreed to play.

I would say this was the beginning of the end for them, because after that tour they did not have another highly successful album or single. But as anyone who has grown up in the 70’s and 80’s knows, Blood Sweat & Tears is part of our favorite music memories and our most listened to mixes. Bobby Colomby knew that the same music that won multiple Grammy’s became part of our culture. Not the counter-culture they had thought, but a much bigger culture of the infectious music that would tie us together. Bobby somewhat prophetically understood that BS&T’s fans would not let their music die, it was just too good. And so, he basically created a Blood, Sweat & Tears franchise. Much like the bands of Duke Ellington and Glen Miller, long after those amazing men were gone, their names lived on through Big Bands playing their hits, their styles as The Glen Miller Band and The Duke Ellington Band. He said on the official Blood Sweat and Tears website “The obligation of a band is to be entertaining, and be mindful that the audience is there to hear your hits. And for many years, the Blood, Sweat & Tears brand has provided enjoyable evenings. We were trying to make sure that people walked out of our concerts feeling they’d just heard a great show. And the feedback we’ve gotten confirmed that’s been the case.”

A little part of me wants to shiver when I hear a band being referred to as a Brand or a Franchise, another part of me says, bring it on, I’ll buy the tickets! A chance to hear a band composed of some of the best musicians in the business, play some of my favorite songs? Bobby Colmby was prophetic alright.

WHAT (1)

 

 

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I Love Chicago, I’m Old, and The Best Night of Funky R&B Ever.

Age does funny things to you.

The one I think we are least likely to understand when we are young is the resistance to change.

Of course I know this to be true because I am a child of sitcoms. And each sitcom has at least one episode about the adults not “getting it.” Whatever “it” may be.

So while I am not happy that the world is moving so fast, and technology has caused us to lose an important part of our humanness by making communication impersonal and brisk. I am also increasingly disturbed by the lack of creativity found in popular movies and film.

While the former is a perfect illustration of my statement. The latter, I actually think, is a statement of truth.

So in my desire to not subject myself to constant disappointment, I spend much of my time listening to hand-picked music from generations past.

Which brings me to my point.

I love Chicago.

No, I don’t have ADD.

Two weeks ago we went out for my Brother-in-law’s birthday. He loves the city.

I loved the city in my 20’s. Now I’m old.

But for him, I would happily go into the city. Also, his new-found fame as Chicago’s premier roof-top designer has opened doors to some of the hottest restaurants – the kind with month-long waiting lists. Who was I to say no to a dinner with all the shi-shis?

Dinner was……interesting. The menu may have been written in Latin. The food? Let’s just say it was a little to “creative” for me.

But the atmosphere? Well…that was something else. This place is the see and be seen spot of Chicago, and let me tell you – the people watching was spectacular.

But frankly, when dinner was done, I figured we were going home because, did I mention I was old?

But my brother-in-law had other ideas.

“You know we are right around the corner from The Back Room.” He looked right at me.

He knew back in the day, hanging out at a jazz club was just my thing. He was goading me.

But we were old, and we had finished our shi-shi dinner at 8pm and The Back Room didn’t open until 9.

I shook my head and said, “The babysitter wasn’t expecting us to be out too late.”

Of course my brother-in-law scoffed, I knew I was being lame – I had no choice but to cave.

I got on my phone and saw that Avain Hightower and Full Circle were playing. Well Avain Hightower was the original keyboardist for The Chi-lites and had played with everyone in my R&B Hall of Fame. My excitement was piqued.

We were the first ones there. Because we’re old.

But that was perfect because we didn’t have reservations, which meant first come first serve. And we were first come, so we got awesome seats.

The Back Room is considered a Showcase Lounge, it is small. Really small. There isn’t a bad seat in the house because the house capacity is 150 if it’s 200. The waitresses were friendly, the crowd was happy, and the show started on time. 3 for 3.

Was I in for the time of my middle-aged life! Avain Hightower is just as much the high-energy showman as he was over 25 years ago. The band was HOT. They jumped right in and didn’t stop for over an hour.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m watching good live music I can’t stop smiling. They played everything from P-Funk to Michael Jackson to Pharell and back again. And they did every single song justice. I could not stop moving and I gotta tell you that by the time the first set was over my face hurt, my voice was going, and I was ready for more.

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When they took a break we had the chance to hang with the drummer for a short few. My brother-in-law had bought him a drink at the bar, and he wanted to come over and meet us. I have never met a happier, more humble drummer. I have often used the term “drummer’s complex” you know, being in the back all the time doesn’t always work for a star. Nope, not this guy. He was as genuine as they come, couldn’t believe we thought he was great.

Our original plan was to leave after the first set, but we couldn’t. Babysitter be damned.

I did my best to keep track of the set-list so I could recreate it in the form of a playlist on my iTunes. I will share it with you, so you can enjoy the eclectic mix of music that made up this unexpectedly electrifying evening.

Let’s Groove

Brick House

Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough

Flash Light

Happy

Spanish Harlem

Got to Give it Up

Groove Me

Proud Mary

Blurred Lines

Calypso Frelimo

 

And believe it or not, it was 100 times better than even that.

Go to this link to see a live clip of them from the local TV station the day before I saw them.

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve been here, so I thought I might remind myself what Raised on the Radio is to me.

Hello Friends,

Many moons ago I had an idea. This idea was based on the fact, the assumption, that there were more people like me – as far as music tastes go – than the growth of mediocre pop music would suggest. My idea was to create a space that celebrated the music of my past, our past. 

For me, the music of my past was the music of the late 60’s through the mid-80’s. Admittedly much of what was good in music began to die in the early 80’s, some might argue the late 70’s, but we can debate that later. The music of my past also includes pop music, because pop music of the 60’s and 70’s was good. Music was good. Work went into it, blood, sweat, talent and knowledge went into making original music. You had to work much harder to be a star. Sure you can look backwards and find a decent amount of cheese. But let’s be frank, back then it was innovative.

What I have realized in all of these moons, but not been able to formulate into a coherent sentence, is that Raised on the Radio isn’t only about music. It’s about a time. A monumental time. An iconic time. Those decades of innocence and decadence. Yes – delicately intertwined memories of Brady Bunch and Hugh Heffner, Romper Room and Suzanne Somers, The Sound of Music and A Clockwork Orange.

It wasn’t either…or, each was a part of our collective unconscious. Pigtails did not discriminate, you could be a 6-year-old school-girl or a 19-year-old sex kitten. It was all good, and there was no shame.

I admit it. I yearn for those years. For the nights we spent running through the street playing kick the can; while some kids battery-powered transistor radio sat skewed in the grass on the curb blaring Dream Weaver or You Should Be Dancing on the one FM station that played good music.

I miss hanging out in friend’s basements, talking, laughing, plotting, listening to the radio and just waiting to hear your favorite song. Even being so bold as to phone in a dedication every once in a while and actually hearing your own!

Walking up town to the Record Store. Yes kiddies, if you’ve never been to an honest to goodness Record Store, that was the place to be. To see and be seen. Flipping through the rows and rows of albums, checking for the one Bay City Rollers album you didn’t have; checking any new customers out of the corner of your eye every time the opening door caused the bell to ring. Swooning over Peter Frampton posters and not giving a flip that he was an amazing guitar player too. (you guys know you did it)

That time will never be again. That peace, contentment that the world was only as big as we could see. There was a feeling of safety then, the world was digestible, reliable, you had the 5 o’clock news and the Newspaper to feed you information, and that felt right.

The overwhelming reach of media now only makes me long for those days more. To wish that our unfortunate chillins (that’s 70s slang for children) could experience it too.

Raised on the Radio started as a place to share our love of music from a time when your only choices were listening to the radio or heading to a Record Store to buy the album.But I realize now, it is so much more.

Raised on the Radio is about an era gone by, nostalgia, comfort, something that if you lived it – you long for – a place to remember it all. We knew what patience was. We waited through 5 mediocre songs on an album to get to our favorite, rather than picking up the needle and trying to drop it on just the right place. To us, fast forward was holding a button down on a cassette deck and taking an educated guess that when you lifted your finger you would be at the song you wanted, you were often wrong.

Station Wagons, The Mandrell Sisters, Hee-Haw, The Dean Martin Show, Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, The 10,000 Pyramid (because 10,00 dollars was A LOT of money!), Password

We were the first generation to be completely raised on television, and it didn’t kill us.

Raised on the Radio is a site about me.* I am inextricably intertwined with the pop culture of the 70s. Like it or not, I would sooner watch Three’s Company or Hogan’s Heroes than Game of Thrones or Modern Family any day of the week. In fact I do.

Everything I think or do is subconsciously compared to The Dukes of Hazzard or Charlies Angels. What comes out is my own version of reverse homogenization.

Come take this ride to me. Welcome to the New, Improved, Raised on the Radio.

*I’m not selfish, Raised on the Radio is also for you. Maybe you want to share your story or stories, I welcome that. I get that your own turf might not be the right place for you to share your inner Paul Stanley or Donny Osmond.

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