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 & Huff Sound of Philadelphia, Hall & Oates, Stevie Wonder, BB King, Steely Dan, The Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, David Bowie, Robert Palmer and an album that I produced by Thunder & Roses called KING OF THE BLACK SUNRISE.
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.
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 the Tears”, Harvest Moon”, “Words” and he even dipped back to the Buffalo Springfield song “Flying on the Ground is Wrong”.
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.
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.
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.
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 music, I was very interested to hear his background.
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.
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 Cherry Hill below.
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 from the veterans to the hungry. Though his untiring efforts, thousands of local people have been helped. This year’s turkey drop is just one example. Once again 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of turkeys were donated by DeBella’s listeners.
John was joined on stage at the dinner with the rest of this year’s deserving inductees and gave a rousing acceptance speech. He now joins an amazing array of very talented radio and TV people.
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!
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.
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.