Farewell, Jon Stewart

This week marks Jon Stewart’s final week on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”  He’s had a long run on the channel, when you think about it.  Before it was called Comedy Central, before it merged with HA! (does anyone remember that channel?) there was The Comedy Channel.  Here, you can see (a much younger) Jon Stewart making an appearance (as the character Maximilian) on “The Sweet Life” with Rachel Sweet.

Rachel is no stranger to television, either.  She’s produced and written several series, including the recently completed “Hot in Cleveland” (and soon to be working on “2 Broke Girls”).

“The Sweet Life” with Rachel Sweet f/ Jon Stewart

Don Imus is 75

Don Imus is 75 years old.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Don Imus was born on July 23, 1940.  Happy birthday, Don, aka Mr. Imus, aka I-man.

In my lifetime, Don Imus has always been on the radio.  He was the wacky morning man on WNBC.  He feuded with newcomer Howard Stern in 1980s.  He survived the format change to all-sports radio on WFAN.  He was fired for making inappropriate comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.  He was hired at WABC.  He’s still there, and he hasn’t retired… yet.

A New Hope (not Star Wars)

So, here’s a bit of a surprise, at least for me, anyway.  Yesterday, I discovered that 96.9 FM was no longer carrying Star 107.  My ears kind of perked up, because they were playing “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac, which was originally the B-Side of “Go Your Own Way.”  Very unusual for this song to get airplay, and certainly makes no mention of anything religious.

As it turns out, WLIX has taken over 96.9, while Hope Radio has been… um… resurrected on 107.1 along with the simulcasts on 94.9, 96.5, and 104.5101.5 in Plainview now carries Radio Cantico Nuevo, also heard on WNYG.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with Star Wars: A New Hope, which you probably figured out already.

As I was updating the Long Island Radio Dial with this new information, I found quite a number wrong links, which I have since corrected.

For the Fanilows

Today is Barry Manilow’s birthday.  Back in the 1970s, his songs were all over the radio.  Nowadays, you’re likely to hear him on stations like WLIX.  I can’t think of a more fitting way to honor this occasion than to share this song by a man who sang about streaking in the 1970s.

Ray Stevens – “I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow”

To “B” or not to “B”

If this is the question, the answer is not to “B” for 103.1 FM, as they turned into Max FM last Friday:
Connoisseur Media Classic Hits “B103” WBZO Bay Shore, NY rebranded this morning as “103.1 Max-FM“.
Keeping its previous positioning as “Classic Hits Of The 70s, 80s And More”, WBZO is adding two hours of commercial-free music at 9:00am daily. The station will completely revamp its airstaff with Jim Douglas, most recently in mornings at CBS’ “Fresh 102.7” WWFS New York joining Kelly Dyson in mornings. Cluster OM Patrick Shea will take middays. Ralph Tortora, most recently hosting weekends at iHeartMedia’s “Q104.3” WAXQ New York fills the afternoon slot and takes on Program Director duties. Tortora previously spent many years working on Long Island at 102.3 WBAB and 103.9 WRCN.

This rebranding is something they should have done back when they shifted WBZO into the 70’s and 80’s.  They’ve alienated the older listeners by dropping the 50’s and 60’s eras.  It will be an uphill climb to capture newer listeners now.  WBAB is the classic rock juggernaut around these parts, so lotsa luck trying to grabbing listeners who have made 102.3 a decades-old habit.

Douglas Adams’ Last TV Interview

While cleaning out my links in Instapaper, I came across this interview with Douglas Adams in 2001.  Not sure what book he was promoting at the time, but if you stick around for the full recording you’ll hear him talk about his days in radio.  Back when he was in radio, it was an inexpensive medium and one where people took chances.  Things are a bit different now, aren’t they?

Casey Kasem: Gateway to Discovery

Before we get any deeper into 2015, there’s one item from 2014 I’d like to address: Casey Kasem.

Casey died in June 2014.  His funeral, and many tributes to him, followed soon afterward, but his body was not buried until December 2014 in Norway.  In all that time, Casey’s family argued how he should be treated, both before and after his death.  The arguments continued over his final resting place, and after the burial there are still many unresolved issues.  It’s certainly been a tumultuous end to one of radio’s premiere icons.

For me, Casey was a gateway to discovery, of both music and radio.  As a youth in the early 1980s, the only media I was able to consume easily were print, radio, and television.  Billboard magazine was not easy to get a hold of, as the subscription price was pretty high (I think it still is), so listening to American Top 40 was the next best thing.  Casey’s stories and trivia were what I looked forward to most.  I soon discovered that most of the songs I liked were most often at the beginning of the show (the lower/less popular end of the chart) rather than at the end.  The show was on WNBC-AM radio at the time, which led me to the likes of Don Imus and Howard Stern.  Shortly thereafter, Casey moved to WPLJ-FM, which opened up another avenue of discovery.  I then shifted to the new music of WLIR and the rock icons of WNEW-FM.  Then there were the laid back interviews of Rockline, and the crazy antics of Dr. Demento.

I’m still discovering new music now, but in a manner that’s similar to the way Chrissie Hynde describes it in this Q&A:

Are there other bands you’re listening to that you’re excited about? I listen to the radio, and I hear things. But it’s not like when I was 16, and I would call my friends and say, “You’ve got to hear this record I just got!” There isn’t a unified scene anymore. Everything I loved about music, it seems like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has destroyed.

While it’s true that times have changed, and the quest for discovery is different from I was young, the quest is still there.  Thank you, Casey, for helping me get started on my quest.

I write things down, and you sometimes read them.


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