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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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They say that the deaths of the famous people come in threes. The latest death would add credence to that notion. We just lost David Bowie and Glenn Fry and now comes the news of Paul Kantner. Considered by many to be the father of the so called “San Francisco Sound,” Kantner was the co-founder of the Jefferson Airplane. They were the first group to play in concert at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium that helped the rock scene in San Francisco become world famous , They went on to be the first to sign a major contract with a major record company and were the first break out of the Bay Area.
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Listen: David Bowie - Space Oddity Vinyl Cut The world fell in love with David Bowie in 1972 as a result of the “Ziggy Stardust” tour. The highlight of that tour was David’s appearance at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. The shows went beyond sensational. The concerts were captured on record in a double LP/CD simply called LIVE AT THE TOWER THEATER. For more on this visit my story in the archives on the Top Ten Most Memorable Concerts in Philadelphia. Long before David Bowie’s worldwide success he was a star in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia radio stations played his earlier records that didn’t sell elsewhere, but were very popular with the rock fans in this city. In fact I am sure that listeners to Philly radio thought that “Space Oddity” was a hit and would be shocked to know that record sales outside of the Quaker City Area were…
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Standing outside on that very cold November 24th morning has paid off big time. The WMGK listeners came through again for this year’s 14th Annual John DeBella Turkey Drop. Thanks to the generous outpouring of the listeners and our many sponsors, we were able to collect over 9,400 turkeys! Aside the birds, there was also a great deal of cash collected to buy turkeys. That means that not only on Thanksgiving, but for the upcoming holidays City Team will be able to feed many needy families right here in the Delaware Valley. John DeBella was stationed in Love Park where he broadcasted his morning show. He was joined by his crew of Jen, Rob, and Dave. The rest of WMGK air staff were collecting turkeys at various other locations. I was located at the Giant store in St. David’s. Before the sun even came up a guy in a truck…
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On November 20, 2015 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 Bob Pantano who has been in Philadelphia radio since 1971. His Saturday Night Dance Party has been running continuously since 1977 on WOGL. Among those honored was Pierre Robert from WMGK’s sister station WMMR who was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He has been on the air at the Greater Media station for 33 straight years. Joe Tarsia, Chief Engineer and the owner of the world famous Sigma Sound Studios, was a great selection. A real living legend, Joe used his studio to record the Gamble &…
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There was electricity in the air as you walked from the parking lot to the Susquehanna Bank Center on September 5, 2015. The fans were tailgating and getting ready to enjoy the night.They certainly were not disappointed. Work Release, the WMGK house band for the past year, played their last gig as the house band and was pumped to play before such a large crowd and were at their best.
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On July 16, 2015 the night was perfect for being at a semi-outdoor concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center.  With Low humidity and a cool summer breeze blowing, it was ideal weather for a concert.  Neil Young did not change the delightful atmosphere. The concert started with Neil, wearing his now signature hat, walking out on stage and sitting down at the piano. “After the Gold Rush” started a splendid acoustic set that included “Heart of Gold” , “Long May You Run”  (a Stills-Young Band song) , “Old Man” and it concluded with Neil on the pump organ doing “Mother Earth”. At that point Neil’s backup band called Promise of the Real came out to join him.  You might have anticipated that mellow portion of the concert was done.  Not so, Neil kept playing his acoustic guitar and the evening continued on a slow build.  The highlights were “Hold Back…
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A founding member and the only member to appear on every Yes album, Chris Squire died in Phoenix, Arizona on June 27, 2015. It was just in May of this year that Squire revealed the very sad news that he was recently diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia. The killer disease forced him to miss the band’s summer tour but hope was still held out for his recovery. This was the very first time in the band’s history that Yes performed without him.
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The Doobie Brothers, who have been together since 1970, will be appearing at WMGK’s Big Gig along with The Steve Miller Band to help us celebrate Labor Day at the Susquehanna Bank Center. After 45 years the band is still cooking and just received ASCAP’s Voice of Music Award this spring. ASCAP, who keeps track of royalties for writers, gives the award to those writers whose music gives spirit to generations with their music.   The Doobies join a prestigious list of other Voice of Music Award recipients including Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Smokey Robinson, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stevie Wonder and Neil Young. 
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Once again T. Morgan would like to thank everyone who recently participated in the May 17, 2015 Philadelphia Bar Association's 5K Run / Walk.  The race is held every year on the third Sunday in May and benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates.   This was the 36th Annual race and each year it draws a huge crowd.  T. has been the Grand Marshall for the race for the past six years.  
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Sometime in November of 2014 word got out that there would be a new Bob Dylan album coming out shortly in early 2015.  A new album from Bob Dylan will always peak my interest. That interest was somewhat diminished when it was also revealed this new album would not be one of original material, but of all things old Frank Sinatra remakes.  An album of nothing but Frank Sinatra covers?  Really?  Didn’t Dylan already do a covers album with SELF PORTRAIT that most critics still call it his worse LP?  And then there was the Christmas album. That seemed somehow out of character, but then the man who changed rock music forever has always been full of surprises. 
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An amazing outpouring! A new record was set when 10,685 turkeys were donated to Cityteam Philadelphia in this year’s 13th Annual John DeBella Turkey Drop. On November 25, 2014 John DeBella was stationed in Love Park where he broadcasted his morning show. He was joined by his crew of Jen, Rob, Dave and Turtle. The rest of WMGK air staff were collecting turkeys at various other locations. I was located at the Classic Jaguar dealer in Cherry Hill, NJ. Even in the dark listeners came out to donate. It was a real pleasure meeting all of you, but I’d like to single out Steven Shivick of Cherry Hill, John Faford and Ed Marcinkevich of Mt. Laurel, NJ who were particularly generous with their donations. You can click here to see pictures from all the locations on the WMGK website, but I have posted some of the pictures we took in…
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On November 21, 2014 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. This year one of those inducted into the hall of fame was WMGK’s own morning man, John DeBella. Many of the WMGK staff were there to support and cheer him on. This is an enormous honor for John who has been the Philadelphia radio market for many successful years at WMMR and WYSP prior to joining the WMGK air staff. It was an honor that was more than due. While many just know John DeBella as the man who gets them up every morning with a wide variety of humor, music and general craziness, John is much more than a voice on the radio. Those who know him well, know that he is very active in the Philadelphia community helping people…
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The Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers "The Beatles & Their Influence" lunch was a huge success!  There wasn’t an empty seat in the Bala Country Club.  The crowd was treated to a host of stories about The Beatles as told by Bob Charger, Frank X Feller, Charlie Gracie, T. Morgan, Bill Wright, Michael Tearson and others. For those of you who missed this nostalgic trip back to the beginning of Beatle Mania... we have uploaded some photos and videos... check them out! 
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Longtime friend and fellow music junkie, Denny Somach, has a new book out that is an absolute must for any Led Zeppelin fan.  GET THE LED OUT is now available In both hardback and paperback form. Denny, who not only is a former WYSP DJ, but a writer and producer of some of the best syndicated and network programming. In GET THE LED OUT Denny has put together the ultimate Led Zeppelin book.  Not only are there numerous beautiful  illustrations and a very complete day by day time line of the group, but lots of behind the scenes stories. 
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This performer, producer, songwriter , manager and disc  jockey is one of the most mysterious and strangest of all the rock and roll characters.  You can start with his place of birth. It has been written that he was born in Manila, The Philippines, Red Bank, NJ and Los Angeles.  The latter being the most likely correct place of birth. Then there is his age. Kim died January 15, 2015.  His birthday is either July 21, 1942 or July 21, 1939.  
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On July 16, 2014 one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived was silenced.  The 70 year old Johnny Winter was on tour when he was discovered dead in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland.  At the end of this tour Johnny was scheduled to re-join his brother Edgar for a tour of the US.  That tour was scheduled to touch down at the Keswick Theater in August.  
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Debbi Calton celebrated twenty years as the mid day air personality at WMGK on Wednesday July 16 2014.  See Debbi's reaction as staff members surprise her on the air.  I have worked with Debbi for all of those years and before that we worked together at WYSP back in the 80s.  The question that I get most often is "what is Debbi really like?"  The answer I give is what you hear is what you get.  There is no pretense with Debbi.  She has a passion for her listeners, the music and her job. She works hard at her craft and it shows. So please enjoy these exclusive videos of Debbi's 20th anniversary celebration at WMGK and the AWESOME PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR cake!!!
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T. Morgan would like to thank everyone who recently participated in the May 18, 2014 Philadelphia Bar Association's 5K Run / Walk.  The race is held every year on the third Sunday in May and benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates.   This was the 35th Annual race and each year it draws a huge crowd.  T. has been the Grand Marshall for the race for the past five years.   Here are some photos of the race and T. Morgan with all the age group winners.
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If you visit the B B King website you will see the simple headline “The Thrill is Gone”.  The death of the great Blues legend B B King was hardly to big surprise.  Aside from the fact that he was almost 90 years old, he was in very poor health. In fact he had been in hospice care for some time. Even though he knew he was on his way out Riley (his real first name) continued to thank fans for their well wishes and prayers. He was that kind of man. When I first met B B he had already been singing and playing the blues professionally for over 20 years and yet was still not a household name.  In my in my interview with him on WDAS-FM he gave me an absolutely stunning account of his life to that point. Since I only knew him by his early…
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