Monday, February 21, 2011

Livin' the Dream: Vinyl Voyage goes Live!

Today, the Vinyl Voyage went live for a period of time, playing tracks from 1979-1982.  Those were the years of junior high for me.  Probably the worst years of my life; who ever liked junior high, anyway?  Even so, this period of time provided the foundation to my musical tastes and as my allowance increased, so did my record-buying.

For about an hour and a half today, I spun tracks from that period of time in my life.  Currently, many of these songs can now be heard on the Vinyl Voyage:

Cars---Gary Numan
Loverboy---Turn Me Loose
Billy Squier---My Kinda Lover
Stevie Nicks---Edge of Seventeen
Pat Benatar---Fire and Ice
Quarterflash---Harden My Heart
Shooting Star---Flesh and Blood
Pete Townshend---Let My Love Open the Door
John Cougar---Ain't Even Done With the Night
John Lennon---Watching the Wheels
Pretenders---Brass in Pocket
Sniff 'n' the Tears---Driver's Seat
Journey---Still They Ride

I had a little help at the controls from my two boys, Brennan and Quinn, who were home from school today for President's Day.

Many of these tracks are streaming now on the Vinyl Voyage on a regular basis.  Check us out.  We now have over 9 hours of music and are constantly adding more.  Click here to listen.  We have music going 24/7.

And, as usual, all of it on vinyl.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thank You Benny Mardones

This is Benny Mardones
I know nothing about Benny Mardones. Nothing. I don't know any albums. I don't know if he still makes music. I don't know if he ever was a member of a band. Until recently, I had no idea what he looks like. And I don't know any of his songs. Except, that is, for one.

That song is "Into the Night." It originally came out in 1980 but was rereleased in 1989. Both times it made the charts; one of the few times a single song had made the charts for the same recording. It happened with the Righteous Brothers and their song "Unchained Melody" and also Chubby Checkers made the charts twice with "The Twist." So this is quite a feat for Mr. Mardones.

I first heard "Into the Night" sometime in the early 80s. And the thing that I remember about hearing the song for the first time was that I thought it was Steve Perry. At that time, I was a huge Journey fan (and, frankly, still like the band an awful lot. Old Journey. Not the new Journey) and believed "Into the Night" was either a new Journey song I hadn't heard or solo Steve Perry. I quickly discovered that it was not a new new Steve Perry song; I would have to wait a couple of years for "Oh Sherrie." And it wasn't Journey.

It was some dude named Benny.

Nonetheless, I bought the 45. Played it for awhile and put it away. Occasionally, I hear the song on the radio and still think to myself, "Man, that guy sounds like Steve Perry." And then I feel sorry for Benny Mardones. I think I should probably know more about him.

I still have that 45. I dusted it off recently and placed it on the turntable after spending a ridiculously long time looking for one of those annoying 45 adapters. Through the crackle and the pops of the old 45, "Into the Night" reignited memories that only vinyl can. Sure, music has a tremendous ability to spark memories---but music played on its original source with the tactile experience of pulling the record from the sleeve and gently placing it on the turntable, perhaps wiping away the dust. Lifting the tone arm and setting it gently on the shiny rim of the jet black vinyl. Hearing the initial crackle and pop as the needle sets itself into the groove. That's a complete sensory experience that goes beyond the song. And it is a powerful memory reclaimer.

So there I was, a man in my 40s, sitting in my basement and feeling again like a 14 year old kid.  And that was cool.

Thank you Benny Mardones. Whoever you are.

This video features Benny Mardones and the song "Into the Night." Check out that tie. I had that tie in high school.

"Into the Night" is now streaming on The Vinyl Voyage from the original 45.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vinyl Oddity: Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space

Each month on the Vinyl Voyage, we highlight a rare and often strange oddity from the world of vinyl. This month, it is Leonard Nimoy's debut album (yes, he had more) from 1967, Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space.  Riding on the popularity of Star Trek at the time, the album features instrumentals, poetry and songs---all with a space theme.

There was even a single from the album released.  It contained the strange reading, "A Visit to a Sad Planet" with the "Theme from Star Trek" on the B side.

Excerpt:  "A Visit to a Sad Planet"
Excerpt:  "Theme from Star Trek"

There are some very sixties-type instrumentals, such as "Music to Watch Space Girls By" and a spaced-out version of "Mission Impossible."  Also, Leonard Nimoy takes his turn  singing with "Where is Love?" from the musical Oliver and a sad tune entitled "Lost in the Stars"

Leonard Nimoy had five releases from Dot records, the last of which was released in 1970 and includes a version of "Abraham, Martin and John."

Excerpt:  "Abraham, Martin and John"

Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space is the Vinyl Oddity for the month.  You can hear several tracks streaming on the station.  Plus, the album will be spotlighted during this month's episode of Adventures in Vinyl.

Listen to Adventures in Vinyl  on Saturday, 11 am (central) and Sunday, 4 pm (central).  Check out the schedule for other times.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Vinyl Voyage is now Live!

Listen to the Vinyl Voyage now.  Click on the widget below or visit our station page at