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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Steely Dan band" Easier said than done since Becker was so much a part of the unit. The only real stables in the band were Donald and Walter. The rest of the band were a series of musicians that came and went.
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 website so you can see their videos and judge for yourself: http://kategory5band.com/.
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. This is a factor in understanding his reference to running while on stage.
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 basically shy his personality completely changed once he was on stage. What you saw and heard was a man that became completely transformed by his playing and singing the music with uncommon passion.
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!