Raised on the Radio

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


3 Comments

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?”

music-is-a-world-within-fix-it


Leave a comment

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.
mix tape
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.


3 Comments

100 Ways Frank Zappa Influenced Who You Listen To Now

Frank-Zappa_in_glory

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

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…

View original post 67 more words


1 Comment

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!