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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 radio memorabilia since the early 60’s. I tried to listen to him every day until I myself was on at the same time.

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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 small Detroit label. It sold 50,000 on a local level and caught the attention Cameo-Parkway Records of the Philly based label that was real hot at the time. That led to a couple of very minor hits.

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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 “The Time has Come Today”. The club itself was one large open space with boxes up against the wall (see photo below) that looked more like stand up coffins than any seating arrangement heretofore ever seen. The idea was to stand in the box and lean back to view the concert. Some of the original boxes are still on display in the new version of the Electric Factory.

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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 improves all facets of the human existence.

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 the marketplace.

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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, woman who left abusive relationship – and bring some light into their life around the holidays. These folks HAVE TO CHOOSE – food or heat my house, food or pay my electric bill – and we are giving them at least 1 special day in which they can sit down with family/friends and enjoy a meal that they couldn’t ordinarily afford.

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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 band somewhat stable. Especially in their early years Malcolm took a back seat to the attempts by others to be outrageous. They wore gorilla suits, school boy clothing and even Zorro outfits.

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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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