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 a new album coming out in 2020. He is lucky to even be alive or be able to perform. Last year he was stabbed in the neck after a performance in his home base of St. Louis. He is actually from Bowling Green, MO, an hour and a half from St. Louis. More information is available on his website http://www.Marquiseknoxblues.com.
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 “Good Times Roll” was unique. So, what else does the group have to offer?
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.
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.
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 there was no one that he didn’t play with or know personally.
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 to take part next year.
The only sad part of the day was that it was the last time that the man who started the event 40 years ago, is stepping down as the race director. Manny Pokotilow has worked very hard to make this annual race a huge success. It will be very hard to fill his shoes. We all want to thank him for his service over those forty years.
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 former night jock, and Bob Craig former program director.
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 standing ovations.
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.
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 part of a triple date. While Leigh and Steve were not dates on that night, they did go with their friends in an unusual fashion. The trio of couples were able to borrow a limo from a friend’s funeral home that served as their transportation for the big night.
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 WMGK
John 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 in the US.
Preston and Steve have been the highly rated morning team at WMMR for many years.
You can see the entire panel presentation by going to the Broadcast Pioneers website. Below are some photos that were taken at the event.
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.
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 this band did not have their act together. I kept wondering how they ever even got a record contract. It was very evident that the producer did an excellent job in getting their hit single to sound as good as it did.