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Part Four in a series. For Part One click here. For Part Two click here. For Part Three click here.

Roy Wood Mustard

Roy Wood, often known as the Wizard, is an iconic music figure in England. Unfortunately, for some completely mystifying reason, his talents were never appreciated by the Rock fans in the United States.

During the late 60’s when so many British bands were enjoying huge success in the US, his band called The Move never caught on. This was true despite Roy’s leadership that guided The Move in scoring several songs on the UK charts.

The closest thing to hit that The Move had in the US was called “Do Ya”. The complete story of the song and the band was already posted on this website (story). While the song never got past the lower levels of the charts, it was enough to cause a split in the band. Roy, using most of the same Move members, started an off shoot that he called The Electric Light Orchestra.

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On November 26. 2019 all of us at WMGK got up very early for John DeBella’s annual turkey drop. John was at the Kimmel Center in center city, while the rest of us were station at 12 different Acme locations through the Delaware Valley. I was stationed at the Clifton Heights, PA store.

Our mission was the same as all the other years. Collect as many turkeys and/ or cash as we can from listeners while standing out in front of the store doing are best to stay warm. The listeners warmed us up by opening their hearts and pocketbooks.

Once again, this year the giving and generous spirit was out in full force. The final tally will not be known until the Monday after Thanksgiving because we are still encouraging people who couldn’t come up to donate online.

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On November 22, 2019, the 54th annual induction of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia took place at the Hilton Hotel on City Avenue in Philadelphia. It was a night of laughter and holding back the tears.

I had the pleasure to be Co-MC for the predinner interviews and, as such, talked to several of the honorees prior to the induction. Of course, they were all excited for the night’s activities. It is very much like going to the Oscar or Emmy Awards. Those who I interviewed told me that they had friends and relatives attending that came from all over the country to witness their induction.

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On Monday evening November 18, 2019 a gentle giant signed off. My friend, Gene Arnold, may not be known by many of you who are reading this, but please read on.

One of the very first on air people I met when I started at WIFI was Gene Arnold. He was already into Album Rock, so he was most encouraging.

Gene went on to do much for the new music Rock community. Below I have a couple of links that can give you a better understanding of just how much he did in his career. He did it all. He was a performer, writer, producer and had one the very best voices in radio.

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From the very beginning of the Rock era there has been a great deal of flair, outrageous behavior and gimmicks that have been a major factor in the presentation of the music. Some of it was by nature, but most of it by design. Some of it was original; much of it was copied.

At the outset it was the Elvis Presley wiggle that caused to him to be censored on TV. His act was mild compared to what followed. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins belted out his classic “I Put a Spell on You” while coming out of a coffin. Little Richard wore makeup while pounding the keys.

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The “Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour” found its way to the Scottish Rite Cathedral on October 11, 2019. Rick was anything but grumpy. And the sold-out crowd loved every second of it.

When I spoke to him (see Podcasts) he told me that his show was a combination of piano playing and silly stories. He was more than well equipped to do both.

Many people do not know just how funny this man, who is very serious about his music, can be. Those who were in the audience last night who didn’t know prior to the show quickly found out. From the time Rick walked on stage (almost on time) he had the audience totally captivated with his unusual show.

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The actual store address is 550 N Reading Rd. (272 highway) just outside the Lancaster county town of Ephrata, PA. At this unlikely address you will find a real gem. I hadn’t visited the store myself in several years and was absolutely amazed at how much the store has grown and improved since my last venture into the shop.

I had a long conversation with the store’s owner Andy Kamm, and he explained why. When I first talked with Andy, I expressed my surprise on how much larger the store was. He was able to explain why since he has been the sole store owner for over thirty years.

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We continue our search for record stores with Vinyl Revival Records. The name of this store tells only part of the story.

In a day and age when all the major record stores have closed due to lack of sales, why does someone decide to invest in opening a small local record store. Each store owner has a different story.

So why did Andrea DiFabio take on the task of trying to make a go of selling records at 35-37 N Lansdowne Avenue in Lansdowne, PA? Here’s what she had to say about the genesis of the idea.

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In his autobiography BORN TO RUN, Bruce Springsteen gives a highly personal account of his life that saw him rocket from his very humble beginnings in Freehold, New Jersey to one of the most popular of all time in music. This is truly an honest look at not only his music but his failings as a person.

This extremely well written account of Springsteen’s life compares favorably to his idol Bob Dylan’s autobiography. Unlike the disappointing and almost unreadable attempt by Steven Tyler in his autobiography that gets mired in his sexual and drug misadventures, this is a much more reveling look into what makes Bruce tick.

The Springsteen family was like so many others in Middle America. They suffered through many hardships and always seemed to be on the verge of losing everything, but that was pretty much par for the neighborhood. Somehow the family was able to find the money to the children to catholic schools. There the nuns gave Bruce the usual hard times that any aimless boys got from them.

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It’s no secret that Ten Years After exploded on the music scene international after their explosive performance at Woodstock 50 years ago. This year there has been a flurry of concerts with some of the artists who played performing on the same program marking the anniversary of the legendary concert. Ten Years After has done a few of them, but on August 21, 2019 they were the only attraction at the Sellersville Theater.

Their performance that night showed the crowd that gave them a standing ovation that they are not just another old band trying to cash in on the Woodstock anniversary. While there are those who will claim that Ten Years After will never be the same since the departure of the late Alvin Lee, they should at least listen to the new lineup before passing judgment.

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Some call Bob Dylan the greatest songwriter of all time. You certainly can argue that he is one of the best songwriters of the Rock era. No one has won more awards or been honored as much as Dylan. Is there an honor that hasn’t he hasn’t awarded at this point?

You certainly can’t dismiss the volume of music that Bob has written and released over his career. It is very easy to lose track of how many albums and singles he has released since the start of his debut in 1961. No other songwriter has had more other artists do covers of their songs.

With all that music it is easy to have overlooked some of his best singles. Dylan wrote and recorded so many great songs during the mid- sixties that he even admits are beyond his abilities to write today. Of course, he has reinvented himself so many times that his song writing has changed. These changes make it possible for him to have had such a successful career and sustain it over many decades.

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August 16th marks the anniversary of a very special event.  On that date in 1967 a new form of radio was born in Philadelphia.

In 1967 there was an explosion of new music.  It was the Summer of Love.  Much of it centered in San Francisco where flower power was born along with a whole host of new music acts the likes of that no one had ever seen before. In the clubs of the city by the bay you could see and hear The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Big Brother &The Holding Company and a host of other exciting new groups. 

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First entry in an upcoming series.

Do you like to sort through stacks of records? Do you get real joy out of finding a real gem in those stacks?

If you read my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey”, then you know that I spent countless hours in my local record stores. They were all Mom and Pop operations. You could strike up a conversation with the owners and often be taught about the music by them.

It was a true small business. I’m sure their profit margin wasn’t great, but they loved what they were doing. At the time I often thought that when I grew up I would open a record store or maybe a book shop.

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