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Classic rock fans gathered at the BB&T Pavilion, the outdoor venue in Camden, NJ on August 4, 2018 to see three legendary players that made up an interesting bill: Ann Wilson, Paul Rodgers and Jeff Beck. Any one of them could have been the headliner but for WMGK’s Big Gig on Saturday night, that honor went to Jeff Beck. Things started off at 6:30 pm with a bluesy set by singer Deborah Bonham, who will never escape being best known as the sister of Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham. Ann Wilson took the stage at 7:00, opening with The Who’s The Real Me, and closing with The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again. With a short set list of only 8 songs, it was surprising she chose two Who songs but with each one, she made it her own. Noticeably missing: any Led Zeppelin song that she’s known to do with…
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On November 26. 2019 all of us at WMGK got up very early for John DeBella’s annual turkey drop. John was at the Kimmel Center in center city, while the rest of us were station at 12 different Acme locations through the Delaware Valley. I was stationed at the Clifton Heights, PA store. Our mission was the same as all the other years. Collect as many turkeys and/ or cash as we can from listeners while standing out in front of the store doing are best to stay warm. The listeners warmed us up by opening their hearts and pocketbooks. Once again, this year the giving and generous spirit was out in full force. The final tally will not be known until the Monday after Thanksgiving because we are still encouraging people who couldn’t come up to donate online.
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On November 22, 2019, the 54th annual induction of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia took place at the Hilton Hotel on City Avenue in Philadelphia. It was a night of laughter and holding back the tears. I had the pleasure to be Co-MC for the predinner interviews and, as such, talked to several of the honorees prior to the induction. Of course, they were all excited for the night’s activities. It is very much like going to the Oscar or Emmy Awards. Those who I interviewed told me that they had friends and relatives attending that came from all over the country to witness their induction.
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On Monday evening November 18, 2019 a gentle giant signed off. My friend, Gene Arnold, may not be known by many of you who are reading this, but please read on. One of the very first on air people I met when I started at WIFI was Gene Arnold. He was already into Album Rock, so he was most encouraging. Gene went on to do much for the new music Rock community. Below I have a couple of links that can give you a better understanding of just how much he did in his career. He did it all. He was a performer, writer, producer and had one the very best voices in radio.
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I still remember the day that the first Leonard Cohen album came across my desk in 1967. There was already talk about him being Canada’s answer to Bob Dylan. That certainly didn’t help. Being compared to Dylan was almost a daily ritual in the press. Most didn’t come close to living up to the hype. The first cut on the album “Suzanne” soon put those thoughts in the background for me. While Cohen and Dylan both were hardly great singers and both were the best poets for a new generation, they was a stark difference between the two. A comparison was not only unnecessary, but kinda like apples and oranges. For me one thing that they did have in common was their voices certainly fit their music. No one could present their music better or with more feeling in their voices than the authors themselves.
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The “Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour” found its way to the Scottish Rite Cathedral on October 11, 2019. Rick was anything but grumpy. And the sold-out crowd loved every second of it. When I spoke to him (see Podcasts) he told me that his show was a combination of piano playing and silly stories. He was more than well equipped to do both. Many people do not know just how funny this man, who is very serious about his music, can be. Those who were in the audience last night who didn’t know prior to the show quickly found out. From the time Rick walked on stage (almost on time) he had the audience totally captivated with his unusual show.
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Back in the late 60’s when I was on the air at WDAS FM there were two rumors that kept popping up. The biggest one was that Paul McCartney was dead. The other was that Ginger Baker was dead. Fortunately, Paul is still alive after all these years, but unfortunately Ginger Baker died on October 6, 2019. After my first encounter with the dynamic redhead, I was convinced that Ginger Baker was too feisty to ever die! His battles with fellow member of Cream, Jack Bruce, were legendary. Now 2/3 of Cream are gone. In my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey” I gave a full account of the night that I was able to convince both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker to come to the WDAS FM studios for an interview. Eric was more than willing, but Ginger had to take a little more convincing. Perhaps the fact…
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It was the perfect night for a cookout and ZZ TOP and Cheap Trick did the cooking. Either band could have been the headliner, but apparently Cheap Trick lost the coin toss and went on first. Why not? The last time ZZ Top was at the BB&T Center just over a year ago as part of WMGK’s Heavy Hitters Concert, they opened for John Fogerty. Before either act took the stage there was an unannounced act. A young blues singer named Marquise Knox and his band played their brand of Blues/Rock. It was an interesting mixture of the old and the new. Later Marquise was invited to play with Cheap Trick. It is always good that established acts are so willing to help new ones. That is how the music gets carried on. I had a chance to talk with Marquise after his performance. He informed me that they have…
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Just as I was getting ready to write a review of last night’s Z Z Top and Cheap Trick concert, word came of the death of Ric Ocasek. This on the heals of Eddie Money’s death was a real double whammy. They say that these deaths come in threes. Let’s certainly hope not. We have lost enough talent already. It was a day not to forget. When the first Cars album came out there was the usual hype from their record company. The promo guy from Electra Records was certain that they had a huge hit on their hands. OK, that has been said of many groups before that never made an impact. After putting the debut Cars album on the turntable, you could tell from the very first few notes that this group was different. In an age of Progressive Rock getting more and more complex, the first cut…
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On a Friday the thirteenth that also featured the rare occurrence of a full moon on that date, it was announced that Eddie Money died of esophageal Cancer. Eddie probably would have seen some humor in that. The first time I met Eddie many years ago when he was first starting out, it was very evident that he found humor in most things. He was so upbeat. He laughed about how he also most became a New York City cop. His grandfather and brother were policemen in New York City. So, it really wasn’t a big surprise that under his real name of Eddie Mahoney, he went to the police academy. He told me that while he passed the course, he never actually was on the force. NYPD’s loss was our gain.
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As the name would indicate, August 24, 2019 was a night of some heavy hitting. Two of the biggest names in Rock music were part of the WMGK Heavy Hitters Concert. The Phillies should have as many hits. With the long list of hits from both acts, you could flip a coin to pick the headliner. The Doobies did go on first and they were both right on time and right on the mark. Like so many classic rock bands, the lineup has changed over the years, but the heart and soul of the band remains. Patrick Simmons, and Tom Johnston have been working together on and off since the early 70’s. John McFee has also become a solid fixture.
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Just before dawn on June 6, 2019 one of music’s most talented and colorful musicians, Malcom John Rebennack, died of a heart attack. His friends from the Crescent City knew him as Mac. The rest of the world knew him as Dr. John. Before it was fashionable to create an alter ego, Dr John became the night tripper. He wore the garb of the Creoles of New Orleans and spread his magic dust known as Gris-Gris. The character was loosely based on a real person named Dr John who was sort of Voodoo medicine man and healer. Dr. John was one of the best interviews that I ever did. He was funny and developed his own hip way of talking. In addition, he had a wealth of stories to tell and didn’t mind relating any and all of them. I could have listened to him for hours. It seemed like…
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Unlike last year’s Philadelphia Bar Association’s race that was held in a downpour, the sun was bright and the skies were clear. It appeared to have drawn a record group who seemed to be full of spirit for a very good cause. The race which benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates is held every year on the third Sunday in May. For the past several years T. Morgan has served as the Grand Marshall for the event. He was at the finish line helping with the prizes and posing for pictures. Below see the pictures of those who won prizes. Hopefully we got all the names right. Please let us know if there was a mistake and we will be happy to correct it. You can see pictures for the previous few years by going to the News & Events section. We hope this will encourage some of you…
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Hear T. Morgan talk about this event on a podcast by clicking here! At their monthly luncheon held on May 15, 2019 The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia at the Bala Golf Club, there was a tribute to one of Philadelphia’s most popular and successful stations since 1975. The highlight was a panel of present and past on air talent. Sadly, the event was scheduled to be televised, but owning to technical issues, it was not. Audio of the entire panel will be available in a couple weeks on the BP website. Those on the T. Morgan mailing list will receive a notice when it becomes available. The MC for the event was T. Morgan who is celebrating 28 years at WMGK this month. The panel consisted of current afternoon DJ Andre Gardner, Mike Bowe who did afternoons for many on the station, Harvey of Harvey in the morning, Sue Serio…
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Twenty one years ago a tradition of having a Rock ‘n’ Roll Lunch was started. The 2019 version took place on Wednesday March 20th at the Bala Golf Club. A large roster of acts had those attending the luncheon dancing and clapping their hands. Among the many that performed were: Danny & the Juniors, Rich Ritchie of The Rip chords, Kenny Jeremiah of The Soul Survivors. Rich Jordon of The Jordon Brothers, Eddie Collins music director for The Drifters, Billy Carlucci lead singer for Billy and The Essentials and the headliners Jimmy Clanton The grand finale was to have the entire cast of performers on the stage at the same time all singing together. The old time rockers showed they still had their stuff. “Rock and Roll is here to Stay” by Danny & The Juniors had everyone singing along. The sold out crowd further showed their appreciation with several…
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While John DeBella broadcasted live from 6-9am at the Kimmel Center, the WMGK DJs and staff were located at various Acmes through the Delaware Valley. The chilly air didn’t keep thousands of people from brining their turkey donations to the drop off points. T. Morgan was on duty at the Acme in Havertown, PA. Many kind and generous listeners came by to say hello and give us their donations. While each and every one of those donations is greatly appreciated no matter how small, when some people make a huge contribution they deserve special praise. For a couple of years now we have looked forward to a visit from Nan Lansinger of Pennsylvania Trust located in Radnor. There was some concern that since we no longer had a drop off point in Radnor that we would see them this year.
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On November 16, 2018 twenty-one new members were inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame before a sold out crowd at the Hilton Ballroom on City Avenue in Philadelphia. Vernon Odom was also honored as the “Person of the Year”. For full details click here. I was delighted to have some friends join me in receiving this prestigious honor (see story here). Leigh Richards and I work together at WMGK. She was also kind enough to write a comment on the back of my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey” Leigh also does work for KYW and prior to that was at WXTU for twenty-five years. She also served as a WFIL “Boss Jock”. Steve Ross and I worked together at WIBG. Steve and Leigh not only graduated together from Northeast High in Philadelphia, but went in the same limo to the prom together as…
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On Wednesday October 17, 2018 The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia held a luncheon at the Bala Golf Club. A panel of current and former WMMR broadcasters related their experiences with the radio station that is celebrating 50 years of continuous rockin’.   The panel included: Michael Tearson long time night jock at the station who was there almost at the beginning and was instrumental in established many rock stars.T. Morgan was both on the air in drive time and served as program director during the 70’s.  Currently heard on WMGKJohn DeBella who took the station to even greater heights by establishing the extremely popular Morning Zoo in the 80’s. John is now WMGK’s morning man.Ray Koob was part of the staff during the 80’s and spent several years as WMGK’s nigh jock. Erin Riley an award winning music director.  She was selected by Billboard Magazine as the best music director…
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On September 27, 2018 the wife of Marty Balin announced that her husband had died. No cause was listed on her message that was posted on the Marty Balin website. In many ways the founder of The Jefferson Airplane was not the typical rock star. While he was born in Cincinnati, he spent most of his life in San Francisco after his father moved the family there to take a job. Very early on he showed exceptional talents for painting (good enough to earn him a scholarship), dancing and acting. He did both Shakespeare and musicals. In what would seem to a real paradox, Marty also joined a gang of toughs in his neighborhood. Since that was so out of character, perhaps he joined simply because he didn’t want to labeled as a sissy artist.
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The Doors were not the only LA based band to have a big hit in 1967. There was a group called The Strawberry Alarm Clock that scored a number one hit called “Incense and Peppermints”. It was the perfect combination of the new so called psychedelic sound with a hook that was very pop. The single went gold and they even had a long forgotten follow up hit in 1968 called “Tomorrow” that made it to number 23 on the Billboard charts. Here in Philadelphia the rock club called The Trauma scored a major booking by getting The Strawberry Alarm Clock to play their small club. There was a long line at the club to see the band and many had to be turned away. I thought I was one of the lucky ones to get in until I saw the concert. From the opening notes, it was clear that…
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The news was hardly a real shock since days before Aretha Franklin died her family announced that she was gravely ill and in hospice care, Still, it was hard to believe that one of the most powerful voices of all time is now gone. Her legacy, however, will live on forever. Despite her obvious talents, Aretha was not an immediate success. The legendary producer John Hammond discovered her and signed her to Columbia Records. While Hammond, one of the best ever at spotting talent, didn’t make a mistake signing Ms. Franklin, Columbia Records dropped the ball. At the time the label was still living in the past and was living in denial that Rock & Roll and R & B were just a passing thing. As a result they tried to change the entire spirit of Aretha’s’ act and made her more like the so called torch singers. It didn’t…
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The title of Buddy Guy’s latest album, THE BLUES IS ALIVE AND WELL, has more than a ring of truth to it. A lyric in the title song “as long as I’m around, the Blues is still alive and well” may even sound arrogant to some casual music fans, but those who really know the Blues know exactly what he means. Buddy Guy is the last great Chicago Blues man standing. Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, Little Walter, and Sonny Boy Williams are all long gone. He is the man who is carrying the torch for the genre and carrying it well. The new album is available in CD, vinyl (including a special blue vinyl set that includes an MP3 code) and as a download. It’s all good.
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While driving my car today I heard the news. Dan Ingram has died at the age of 83. All I could do was say “Oh no!” out loud. Since I was alone at the time, no one heard me. Such was not the case with this legendary top forty DJ. Millions of people tuned into WABC in New York every day to hear Dan Ingram. He was on the air there for some 22 years. He stayed on the air in the big apple until he retired in 2003. As I continued to drive my mind was filled with memories of listening to Ingram. Most of the time he did afternoon drive time. I was a faithful listener for many years and as a kid joined his club and got my Kemosabe Kard (see the actual kard - front & back - within this story). This card has been in…
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On June 24, 2018 WMGK presented a concert at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion with co liners ZZ Top and John Fogerty. With both acts being in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, it was a toss-up as to who should go on first. After all, they both are “Heavy Hitters”. On this evening it was ZZ Top that took the stage first. They had plenty of material to draw from. Their 1983 album ELIMINATOR alone sold a total of 25 million copies. It stands out among the eleven gold, seven platinum and three multi-platinum albums the group has earned. Those of us in Philadelphia who were very much a part of those years when radio was playing the music that has become classic Rock, can take pride in the fact that we helped launch a number of legendary acts. But we were late to the table with ZZ Top. 
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At first glance this may seem to be a very odd title for not only a book, but a tour. Once you read the new Phil Collins memoir it becomes very clear why he chose it as the title of his autobiography. During the course of the book you get a very personal self evaluation. Throughout you will find a refreshing dose of the Phil Collins humor. He is very open about his feelings from talking about the other musicians in Genesis, his failed marriages, his battle with health issues, and his bouts with drugs and alcohol. He did literally almost die on more than one occasion. “There have been lots of highs and more than a few lows,” claims Collings about the book, “I’m being completely honest about all of them, embarrassingly so in some cases”.
Not even a heavy down pour of rain just as the 39th annual Race for the kids was about to start could dampen the spirits of the over 1,500 runners that lined up in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park. It was nothing but cheers and hollering as the gun went off starting yet another very successful Philly Bar race. The serious runners were off in a flash, but most that participated were just out for a fun run. It was all for a very good cause. The money collected will benefit the Center for Child Advocates. This non-profit organization was created to change the story for the many abused and neglected children in the area. Once again this year T. Morgan was the Grand Marshal for the race. He handed out the prizes for the various age groups. See pictures taken of the event below.
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When rock fans mention the names of Rock’s superstars, they rarely include Bob Seger. They most certainly should. Bob was born in the motor city of Detroit during more prosperous times. Like so many of that time period, his father Stewart worked for Ford Motor Company. Stewart was also an amateur musician and played several instruments exposing his son to lots of music at a very age. In 1961 while still in high school Bob became a member of a band called The Decibels. The band broke up despite the Seger penned song “The Lonely one” being recorded and being aired on a local radio station (it was the first of many songs written by Seger that would be played on the radio).After playing with a few local bands and making close music friends like Glenn Fry, Bob wrote a song called “East Side Story” that was recorded for a…
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In a sold out dinner / ceremony that was held on November 17, 2017, longtime Philadelphia radio personality was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame. He was cited for not only his contribution as a on air personality, but for his programming skills that stood out during his over fifty years of being associated with both radio and records. T. Morgan would like to thank all those on the selection committee for selecting him for this very high honor. He would also like to thank all of his friends and family who were there to witness his induction. It made the night even more special to have all of you there. If you would like to see the presentation, click on the link below. It will take you directly to the intro and acceptance speech. Please note that T. Morgan’s running up to the stage was edited out.…
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On February 2, 1968 a converted tire warehouse ushered in a new era of concert entertainment. Under the marquee of The Electric Factory the doors opened for those who were aware of a new direction being taken in Rock & Roll music. It was just a few months earlier that the music was being played on commercial radio for first time when I launched a new format playing exciting and talented new groups like The Jefferson Airplane, The Mothers of Invention, Cream, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Country Joe & The Fish, etc. Soon all these acts were performing at this new venue. On that first night those of us who attended found a whole new “Psychedelic” environment in which to enjoy “our music”. The headline act that first night was The Chamber Brothers who did a lengthy version (as if the LP version wasn’t long enough) of…
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Several years back I started reading stories about schools dropping their music programs. Cut backs was the reason given for removing what I considered a vital part of education. At the time I was so taken back by the news that I wrote a screenplay for what I thought would make a good made for TV movie. The storyline was simple. What this world would be like if we lived in a world without music being taught. One answer would be that young minds would find a way to learn music anyway. Some of the very best musicians learned without the benefit of teachers. They are the exception. If music is not taught in the schools then a very important learning tool is lost to many who will never grow up to make a living playing music. It has been proven that music improves not only your reasoning ability, it…
On January 17, 2018 the January lunch and panel discussion of Delco Press club was held at the Springhaven Country Club. In Wallingford, PA. The panel answered questions from the moderators (Andrea DiFabio and Lorraine Ranalli) and the audience. Both provided very thoughtful questions and got some very informative answers. The panel considered of several prominent people from radio. The topic of the day was centered on the future of radio. Those on the panel included: Sara Lomax-Reese is the president and CEO of WURD Radio in Philadelphia. She is credited with transforming WURD from a struggling legacy talk radio station into a multi-media success. Most recently they have expanded to simulcasting on 900 AM and 96.1 FM. She spoke brilliantly about the struggles of the station and what they are doing survive in the market place. Her leadership has made the stations and their magazine outlet very viable in…
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It was another chilly day on November 21 from 6-9 AM as the staff of WMGK tried to keep warm. It was the day of the Debella turkey drop that was held at 10 different locations with WMGK staffers doing the collecting. This is the 16th year that we are doing this event. It’s the largest 1 day food collection in the Philadelphia area. We accepted turkeys and monetary donations and the response warmed us all up. It meant a great deal to all of us that we could help. All donations go to a great local organization called City Team Philadelphia. City Team ensures that the thousands of people that have signed up for assistance with them will receive a holiday meal as a result of our event. It’s really an amazing feeling to be able to provide someone that is struggling – working poor, person injured on job,…
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The real, but quiet, leader of AC/DC died on November 18, 2017. When AC/DC was first formed by the Scottish born, but Australian reared brothers Angus and Malcolm, many eye brows were immediately raised. There was talk of devil worship, promotion of an evil lifestyle or at the very least condonation of their bad behavior. Many radio stations wouldn’t even play their music.  The band, who got the idea for the name of the band when they saw the plate on the back of their sister’s sewing machine, had to deal with internal problems as well. Still, they not only overcame all adversity, but went on the sell millions of records in a forty year span. Many agree that it was Malcolm who was the spark that ignited the band. Not only did he write or co-write most of their best songs, but had the right temperament to keep the…
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When Rock ‘n’ Roll was still in its musical crib, he was one of the pioneers that helped the genre spread from a passing fad to the most popular music in history. “Fats” Domino was one of the major factors in the transition. He was a force in his home town of New Orleans. Not an easy thing to do in a city where there were so many who made huge contributions. His musical career started at a very early age. He was an accomplished piano player by age 10. At a time when the kind of music he played was lumped in with what was called “Race Music”, Domino recorded many gems with his unique style of “boogie” piano. In the 1949, long before Rock ‘n’ Roll even had a name, he recorded what many consider to be the genesis of a new beat.
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After much confusion and speculation, it was sadly announced that indeed Tom Petty suffered a massive heart attack and died after being rushed from his Malibu home to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital. The confusion came after CBS had announced that Petty died and quoted the source as the LAPD. When asked, the LAPD said that they couldn’t confirm the death. No matter, Tom Petty is gone leaving behind legends of stunned fans. Ironically, the 40th anniversary tour had recently ended on September 25 in Los Angeles. Tom himself saying that this would be the last tour. This is certainly not the way we expected it to end.
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On September 20, 2017 a new and revamped Ten Years After came to absolutely shake up the Sellersville Theater. Before the night was done everyone in the building were on their feet or dancing in the aisles. Prior to and after the show longtime friend (50 years now) Ric Lee and I caught up. It has been over three years (last time TYA performed here) since were able to eat dinner together and talk about things. He told me all about the new line up in the band and how happy he is with them. You could hear in the conversation and in his performance on stage that new life has been breathed into Ric and the group.
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While there was a sign of trouble when Walter Becker didn’t make the Steely Dan tours in July, most expected him to return after he recovered from an undisclosed illness. Apparently that illness was the cause of his death  Details of the illness are as vague as Walter was quiet. In my first interview with Steely Dan at the time of their first sensational debut LP CAN’T BUY A THRILL, Donald Fagan did most of the talking. Before you think that Becker was just along for the ride, you have to check out how much his writing contributed to the success of the band. I can only imagine how hard it will be for Donald to continue without his almost lifelong friend. As part of his moving tribute to his friend Fagan said, "I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the…
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A little bit of rain couldn’t dampen the spirited crowd that assembled for WMGK’s 2017 Big Gig. They came for a great night of music and Kategory 5, Joan Jett and Boston did not disappoint the jammed BB & T Pavilion. I warned those who arrived late on the air that they would be missing a great opening act in Kategory 5. They were the WMGK house band for the past year and did us proud. Kat Pigliacamp and the rest of the group did another stellar performance as they readied the audience for the headliners. While the entire group plays very well, I was especially impressed by the bass guitar work of Kyle Frederick. OK- they are a cover band, but one gets the impression that if given a chance they would do some outstanding original material. Their performance of the classics were flawless. Here’s a link to their…
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Given the recent health issues, it was not a shock to hear that Gregg Allman died on Saturday May 27th. It was, however, very sad news. There had rumors of him being so ill that he had been admitted to a hospice. The family denied the rumor and only said that he died peacefully at his home in Savanah, Georgia. It was as recent as the end of 2014 that it was announced that The Allman Brothers Band had officially disbanded forever. Many held out hope that they would make yet another comeback as they had before, but this time it was really the end. The first impression one got when meeting Gregg Allman for the first time was just how quiet and laid back he was. In my encounter with him back stage at the WYSP be-in, he barely spoke above a whisper. Like so many performers who are…
T. Morgan was once again the Grand Marshal for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 38th Annual 5K Run/Walk held on May 21st, 2017. Thanks to the thousands of people who attended this year's event at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. Your participation helped many abused children find more stable lives. Pictures from this year's event are now posted below! For pictures of previous runs click here. http://www.tmorganonline.com/index.php/news-events Thanks again to everyone who helped make this year's run a wonderful success!
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When The Bob Dylan CD SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT was released in 2015 a review was posted on this website. It got a lot of attention and positive feedback from those who visited this site. Since then two more Bob Dylan cover albums of nothing but American standards have been released and readers are wondering why there hasn’t been a review of either of them. The fact is that there wasn’t any plans to write a review until there was a demand to do one. It must be said upfront that this reviewer is a huge Bob Dylan fan. He is viewed as one as one of the all-time greats in any music history. Is there any award that hasn’t been bestowed on Dylan at this point? Some may feel that these strong feelings about an artist may cloud one’s judgement. This is not the case.
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Has there ever been a band that created more excitement and joy on stage than The J. Geils Band? Now we have lost the name sake of the band. When the band was first created by J. Geils in 1967 they were determined to take blues and R & B to a new level. All the members grew up listening and loving the music that they ended up playing with a passion that brought those songs to a newer heights. These guys knew how to boogie. It was a while before that Boston boogie sound was embraced by the rest of the world. They spread beyond being a regular act at the famous rock club in Boston known as the Boston Tea Party when a talent scout from Atlantic Records saw them play there and signed the group.
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While there can be endless arguments about who was the starting point of Rock ‘n’ Roll music, there’s no doubt in the minds of music historians that Chuck Berry has more than earned the title of granddaddy of the genre. Regardless of who was first, no one has been more of an influence on those who followed him than Chuck Berry. Everything is influenced by something that preceded it and this giant of rock music is no different. The early real rock ‘n’ Roll was mainly a blend of two truly unique American forms of music. One was the music that had its birth in the fields of the south as work songs that became the basis for Blues. The other an off shoot of folk and reels dance music that was brought over by the settlers from UK who arrived in the south and became Hillbilly or Country music.…
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James Cotton, who was given the nickname of “Superharp” because of his virtuosity on the harmonica, died of Pneumonia on March 16, 2017 in his adopted home of Austin, Texas. He was 81 years old. With his passing we have lost one of the last direct links to the golden age of Chicago Blues. Mr. Cotton was also a link to music further back. When he was a child he learned how to make sounds on the harmonica that sounded like the sounds he heard around him. Sometimes he sounded like a train whistle or a chicken. Other times he tried to sound like the field hollers he learn from his parents and the other sharecroppers working the land on a plantation in Mississippi. His father was also a preacher, so he tried to copy the harmonies of the gospel singers.
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Another sad note on the music front. Richie Ingui, who founded the Philadelphia group The Soul Survivors with his brother Charlie and Kenny Jeremiah, died on Friday, January 13, 2017. How ironic that he died on the unlucky day of Friday the 13th. He and his brother Charlie deserved better luck in the music business. They had much more talent than given credit for over the years. The brothers started out as The Dedications and released a number of tracks between 1962 and 1964 before changing their name to the Soul Survivors. Legend has it that the name came from the fact that the group had a bad accident on the New Jersey Pike on their way to a gig. After seeing the damage, they were sitting around a table at dinner when someone commented “How did we survive?” The Soul part came from the fact that the young group…
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The voice of Emerson, Lake & Palmer has joined his band mate Keith who died just nine months prior. The sad announcement that Greg Lake had succumbed to Cancer was made from London on December 7th. Very often the contribution that Greg made to music has been overlooked. He was a major figure in the movement that became labeled Progressive Rock. It all started when his mother bought him a guitar at age 12. Within a year he wrote a song that was later recorded by ELP called “Lucky Man”. While taking guitar lessons he developed a friendship with another student, Robert Fripp. When Robert started a new band called King Crimson, he asked Greg to switch from guitar to bass so he could join the band. Greg agreed to not only play bass, but to sing.
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Upon hearing of the death of Mose Allison at the age of 89 my first thought was that we have lost one of the most original talents ever in music. One major reason that Mose wasn’t a huge success during his long and very productive life was he was very hard to put in any one category. Record stores and radio stations love to be able to pigeon hole artists and you couldn’t do that with Allison. Many Jazz lovers felt he was more Blues than Jazz, while Blues lovers felt he was more Jazz than Blues. Hence he was never fully embraced by either camp. Rock stars loved his music for its off center music and clever lyrics. You can’t help but love lines like “My mind is on vacation, but my mouth is working overtime.” His songs have been recorded by many, among them, The Who, Van Morrison,…
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It was probably the coldest morning we ever had for the John DeBella Turkey Drop, but we were all warmed by the tremendous donations by our listeners. The WMGK DJs were located in various Giant locations throughout the Philadelphia area and John maintained the operation headquarters in front of the Kimmel Center on Broad Street. At my location in St. David’s we collected over $3,000 and several baskets of turkeys. The final tally is still being done as of this writing since we will continue the drive until the end of the Thanksgiving Weekend. We will update you when have the final numbers. While we thank all of you for coming by and making this holiday season better for so many people that CITY TEAM helps feed and clothes each year, there were two that I should single out.
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On November 18, 2016 the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia had their Annual Hall of Fame and Person of the Year Awards Dinner. It was held at the Hilton Hotel on City Avenue in Philadelphia. There was a record sold out crowd in attendance to honor those who were selected for the Hall of Fame. This year the Person of the Year was long time Philly DJ Jerry Blavat. A video of the entire ceremony can be seen on the Broadcast Pioneers website or by clicking onto the icon located on the front page of our website. Here is the entire list of 2016 Honorees and some exclusive photos from this year's event taken by Michael Muderick.
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The last time I saw Leon Russell he was the opening act for Bob Dylan. Dylan, like so many of the musicians of this classic rock period, had enormous respect for the man with the long silver hair. Leon had fallen out of the public eye and Bob wanted to give him some a spotlight as a thank you for all he has done. He wasn’t the only one who remembered Leon. Elton John considered Russell to be an influence on him and wanted reward him by doing an album together called THE UNION that gain much praised from the critics. It was another chance to do a comeback tour. His reputation as a songwriter earned Leon a place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He also was honored with an Award for Music Excellence from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Some of his most noted…
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Alice Cooper is running for President. He declared his candidacy at his big news conference on July 26. Some would argue that we couldn't do much worse with the present slate of candidates. His main slogan is “Make America Sick Again”. Others include “A Troubled Man for Troubled Times”, “The Whole World has Gone Crazy – Vote for Alice.” Of course Alice running for president really isn’t new. He has run in every election since 1972. This time is a little different since many think the race for president is a horror show anyway so Alice fits right in. Alice was born Vincent Collier Furnier in Detroit, Michigan to very religious parents. Both his father and grandfather were preachers. Vincent was also active in the church at ages 11-12. His family moved to Arizona because of health issues when the future rock star was in elementary school.
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The WMGK Brew Blast was again sold out and despite the heat the crowd enjoyed a great day of music by The Kategory 5 and lots of brews. This annual event took place on the historic Battleship New Jersey in Camden, NJ. Kategory 5 was the winner of the WMGK "Battle of the Bands" and won the right to be the house band for one year.  Their performance today left no doubt that they not only were the best band this year, but one of the very best bands ever in the yearly search to find the best band. Their name is clever as well with the lead singer named Kat.   Check out these photos provided by Kathy Wagner of WMGK.
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When Bob Dylan comes to your town, it is like a pilgrimage. It almost doesn’t matter if the show is great or the music is to your liking, you must see the man perform. His contribution to music goes far beyond anything that I could try and relate to you in this article. You go almost like paying homage to the living legend. And the fans came out. They were a very mixed crowd. Many families with younger kids, older fans and even some fans in their teens and twenties who may have never seen Dylan perform. Mavis Staples is the current opening act on the Bob Dylan “Never Ending Tour”. She gave a very lively performance. At age 77 she is the sole remainder of the legacy that her father started with The Staple Singers almost seventy years ago. Her blues and gospel set kept the audience well entertained.…
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The night of WMGK’s Big Gig had finally arrived. Would the acts live up to the high expectations? Joe Walsh had been heralded as one of the most entertaining and talented performers in all of Rock and Paul Rodgers the best lead singer by even his peers. The acts came and conquered any doubt. The crowd had come with some sadness with the news of the shootings in Orlando very fresh on their minds. After they worked through a very efficient, but relatively quick security entrance, the concert goers were ready for a great night. They were treated to two sets which were truly uplifting in their own way.
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One of the most interesting and exciting people I have ever had the pleasure to meet in my life has died. He started his legendary career as the “Louisville Lip” Cassius Clay and ended up the most well-known person on this planet, Muhammad Ali. He was not only an athlete, but also a rebel who was willing to sacrifice his life for his beliefs including spending some of his most productive years in jail rather than fight in an "unjust war."  
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Thanks to everyone who came out to this year's event!   We are still trying to get our hands on some more photos!  If we do, they will be posted here!  Thanks.
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There was very little doubt among his peers that Keith Emerson was one of the very best on the keyboards in all of Rock history. He was classically trained and he mixed in his love the classics as well as Jazz in all his style of Rock music. The first of his bands to make headway in England was a group called The Nice. They were one of, if not the first of all the Rock bands to mix Classical, Jazz and Rock. Keith was very much influenced by an album that was very popular called SWITCHED-ON BACK. That led him to experiment with the electric Moog synthesizer. Along with his powerful Organ and piano, he created a sound that had never been heard before in Rock. Perhaps the sound was too unique because The Nice only had limited success here in the US.
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The very first of the T. Morgan talks / book signing events took place on January 20th at Main Point Books. The award winning book store (voted the best on the Mainline in 2014) is located at 1041 West Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA and is just about a block from where the old legendary Main Point Club was located that was the launching pad for so many performers. That made it the perfect setting for the first of these events. Those who attended heard T. Morgan will talk about his book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey” and answer questions. The book is now available at the store as well as the website. This was the first of a series of talks that are in the planning stages for varies locations in both PA and NJ Keep coming back to the website for all the details when these appearances are…
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Still stunned by the death of icon David Bowie, today we got the news of the passing of another star Glenn Fry. After suffering and battling through several health issues, the leader of The Eagles lost his life. Eagle drummer Don Henley was the first to admit that Glenn was the real leader of The Eagles. In a statement released through Glenn Fry’s website Don said in part the following: “He was like a brother to me. The bond we forged a bond 45 years ago was never broken. We built something that lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan.”
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