Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Day K-Tel Marathon

What better way to celebrate the beginning of a New Year than to take a trip to years past with the magic of K-Tel.

We kick off a marathon of K-Tel starting with the 2013 premiere of Dynamic Sound at 11 am (central).

Then, back to back episodes of Adventures in Vinyl follows:

Right On, 1976
Rock 80, 1980
Fantastic, 1973
Music Machine, 1977
Pure Rock, 1981

Adventures in Vinyl---the only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation.

Ring in the New Year with K-Tel's "Dynamic Sound"

It wasn't a heavily promoted record compilation.  After all, K-Tel did not advertise the album on TV like other albums that they released in 1974.  However, Dynamic Sound is a solid album and one of the better preserved ones in my collection.

Like other K-Tel albums from the early 70s, Dynamic Sound boasts "22 Original Hits, Original Stars." The album clocks in at 57 minutes and, like all K-Tel albums of the day, is heavily edited.  Some of the songs are under the 2 minute mark; shorter than their radio edits.

But that's okay.  It's K-Tel after all.

This album features some of the biggest names of the time:  Bachman Turner Overdrive, Love Unlimited Orchestra, Helen Ready, Donny Osmond (and his sister, Marie) Tony Orlando and Dawn and many, many more.

The premiere of Dynamic Sound can be heard at the start of a New Year's Day marathon at 11 am (central) Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

Adventures in Vinyl, the only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation, can be heard at the following times:

Saturday, 12 pm (Central)
Sunday, 4 pm (Central)
Tuesday, 1 pm (Central)
Wednesday, 2 am (Central)
Thursday, 10 am (Central)

It's like a time machine---a K-Tel Time Machine.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas, from Vinyl Voyage Radio

Some of the albums you will hear on the
Vinyl Voyage Christmas.
It's been hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year.  And with all of this talk about the so-called "war on Christmas"----I don't see it.  If there is a war, Christmas has won. Radio stations began playing Christmas music just after Halloween.  In fact, Christmas beat the shit out of Thanksgiving this year with stores opening on Thanksgiving so that people can start even earlier their Christmas shopping.

Perhaps Linus was right, Christmas is too commercial.

It's not like when we were children, is it?  Perhaps it is because we are not children anymore.  But we can relive some of that through the power of music.

One thing I have discovered since starting Vinyl Voyage Radio a couple of years ago:  music is a time machine.  Nothing like hearing a song from the past to bring back a flood of feelings from a time long gone.

This year on Vinyl Voyage Radio, we are going to reignite the Christmas past.  Remember all of those holiday songs you grew up on?  Bing Crosby.  Elvis.  Julie Andrews.  Burl Ives.  We've got them all.

For the last few weeks, I have been recording all of my Christmas vinyl into the radio station's computer.  We have dozens of albums with all of the classic songs from your youth.

No, you won't hear Miriah Carey here.  Nor Wham either.  If there is one song I have grown to loathe is Wham's "Last Christmas."  They play it on the local 24/7 Christmas Lite at least once an hour.

But you will hear the Boston Pops led by Arthur Fiedler.  And the Harry Simeone Choir.  Tony Bennett.  Sinatra.  Percy Faith. And Ferrante and Teicher.

All played from glorious vinyl.

Christmas music will play continuously on Vinyl Voyage now through December 26.  So take a listen. Maybe you will hear something that will bring you back to a simpler time in your past.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Starflight is the Winner!

The winner of the other important election of November is the 1979 K-Tel classic, Starflight. This will be the featured album on Adventures in Vinyl in December.

So take a trip back to the last year of the 1970s---a time when Blondie was tearing up the airwaves with "Heart of Glass," Sigourney Weaver was battling a creature in space and a Chicago DJ was blowing up disco records in a ballpark.  Yep.  The 70s were just about over.

Even K-Tel noticed that things were changing. Before 1979, the label they slapped on their discs looked like this:

In 1979, it changed to this:

I am not sure where I got Starflight. I think I may have picked it up in a Goodwill store. It's not in great shape.  I spent a lot of time cleaning it and it sounds pretty good.  A couple of scratches, though. That's okay---it makes it more authentic.  The album is over 30 years old, after all.

Eclectic to it's core, Starflight offers up a variety of 70s hits.  It features some prominent disco in a time when disco was on the way out:  Peaches & Herb, Abba, Atlanta Rhythm Section.  Some 70s pop:  Elton John, Robert John, Suzi Quatro.  And some rock and roll as well:  Foreigner, Cheap Trick and Peter Frampton.

Here's the commercial:

So join us on this music time trip through the magic of K-Tel.  Adventures in Vinyl can be heard at the following times (all times Central)

Saturday, 12 pm
Sunday, 4 pm
Tuesday, 1 pm
Wednesday 2 am
Thursday, 10 am

Adventures inVinyl:  The only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation.  Only on Vinyl Voyage Radio.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This week: K-Tel's Power House from 1976

As we glide into the last week of November, we will be taking a trip back to 1976 with K-Tel's Power House on Adventures in Vinyl.  Silver Convention and Styx.  Hall and Oates and Seals and Crofts.  Roxy Music and Heart.  This is pure K-Tel eclecticism.

Adventures in Vinyl can be heard:

Saturday, 12 pm (central)
Sunday, 4 pm
Tuesday, 1 pm
Wednesday 2 am
Thursday, 10 am


Don't forget: Next month's K-Tel album will be determined by you.  Make sure you vote.  Voting closes on November 25.  Vote NOW!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck

About two weeks ago, the local radio station here in Chicago flipped to all Christmas music all the time.  Now, for me, that is way too early. I don't necessarily like Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  I happen to really like Thanksgiving and don't like the fact that Christmas is overshadowing this equally important holiday.  Plus, my wife's birthday falls around this time, so the Christmas encroachment is pretty nefarious.

I do like Christmas music, however.  But good Christmas music, not the kind played on the radio-station-that-shall-not-be named (For those of you who live in the Chicago area, you know what I am talking about.  This station literally sucks the life out of Christmas.)  How many times a day can a person hear Wham's "Last Christmas" before wanting to harm himself or others?

Some of my best memories of Christmas as a kid involves music.  Good music.

My parents had a rather large collection of Christmas albums.  They took those albums and made mix tapes---real mix tapes---on a reel-to-reel player.  It was an eclectic mix of music:  Percy Faith, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and many more.  To put it frankly:  it was Christmas music that did not suck.

For a generation of people, these songs came to represent Christmas.  To this day, whenever I hear "What Child is This?" by Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops Orchestra I can suddenly smell the burning of pine incense that my parents had from a little log cabin on the fireplace mantle.   Today, such memories have been overshadowed by "corporate Christmas;"  the kind that drones on for twenty-four hours a day on the station-that-shall-not-be-named.

This year on Vinyl Voyage Radio, we are going to try and recapture the magic of Christmas past.  Consider this a "Retro Christmas."  Currently, I am recording all of my Christmas records into the computer so that you, too, can relive the years when Christmas music was good.  Last night, for example, I placed into the computer a vinyl copy of the classic 1958 Christmas album, The Little Drummer Boy by The Harry Simeone Chorale.  You'll hear that, plus much more.  The music will span the 1940s through the 1980s, with much of the emphasis on the 50s and 60s--the "Golden Age" of Christmas music.  Come on, when was the last time you heard a Ferrante and Teicher Christmas song?  Or Percy Faith?  Or Dinah Shore, Perry Como or Mantovani?

Next month, we will begin sneaking in some of this music here and there.  Then, starting December 23, we will go totally Christmas, playing for you Christmas music that does not suck.

This will continue through December 26.  The one thing I have always disliked about corporate radio is that the Christmas music stops promptly at 12 am on December 26.  I still like to hears some Christmas music the next day; I can't be cut off, cold turkey. I need some Christmas music at least for a day or two.

So, there it is:  the Vinyl Voyage Christmas plan.

Hope you like it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vote for the Next K-Tel Album!

I know:  we just finished up an election cycle and, if you're like me, very glad it is over.  No more awful commercials, robo-calls or arguments with friends and colleagues.

However, we have one more important vote to make.

December is coming quick and I am indecisive as ever.  Help me choose the next K-Tel album for Adventures in Vinyl.  The winning album will be featured on the show in December.

Here are your choices:

Super Bad is Back!  This album is from 1973 and features the Manhattans, Millie Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield.

Out of Sight  This 1975 release features carl Douglas, Elton John, Stealers Wheel, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Kool & the Gang.

Starflight  From 1979, this features a collection of disco and soft rock, including Robert John, Abba, David Naughton, Dr. Hook and Peter Frampton.

High Voltage  This is from 1981 and features Gino Vannelli, Kool & the Gang, Pat Benatar, Loverboy and the Police.

Blast Off  Another 80s classic, from 1982.  This features Genesis, .38 Special, Billy Idol, John Cougar and Joan Jett.

Vote below.  Voting will close on November 25!

This Week: Super Bad!

What better K-Tel album this Thanksgiving week than the 1974 K-Tel classic, Super-Bad?

We will stream Super Bad this week at the following times (all times CTS):

Saturday, November 17 12 pm
Sunday, November 18 4 pm
Tuesday, November 20 1 pm
Wednesday, November 21 2 am
Thursday, November 22 10 am

Next weekend, we will pull from our vaults for another classic episode.  Stay tuned for information of the December choice--you will get to vote on the album!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Music: Love and Streets

We here at the Vinyl Voyage love music.  Even music that is not on vinyl (but should be).  I recently wrote a review for Tom Flannery's new album, Love and Streets.  I've been a fan of Flannery's music for years.  And with each album he gets better.

Here is the review I posted on Amazon.  The album is also available in iTunes and Google Play.

It’s always a good day when Tom Flannery releases a new album. Earlier in 2012, he rocked it out with Teen Angst and the Green Flannel, his first venture into old school rock and roll. Now he returns to his roots with Love and Streets, a solo acoustic mediation about love, streets and much more. Ultimately, Flannery is a storyteller—the best of story tellers---and Love and Streets skillfully weaves narratives and emotions, producing an album that feels more like a novel than a collection of songs. And that is what Flannery has always done extremely well: by the time the final guitar sounds on the last track, we feel that we have been taken somewhere different and we have lived life through many eyes.

The album starts with “Love and Streets,” a song—you guessed it---about love and streets. But these aren’t your normal streets. These are streets where love is hard to find; where kids with “heroin eyes” roam among broken windows and “lies and cheats.” There is a certain realism to the song that speaks not only of despair, but of the possibilities of love among those streets as well. Under the surface of the grit and dirt, there is a hope. This is a theme that can often be found in Flannery’s work. It appears again in songs such as “Road Weary” and “Drunk Driving” as well. “Road Weary” is a personal favorite of mine and speaks to the long road of life where we spend much time toiling and working for others and want nothing more than to return home to our “easy chair.” The realization, though, that we have spent our life on the wrong road is palpable:

I'm road weary baby
simply bought and sold
spying from the rear-view
and scared of being old

“I Hate Getting Up in the Morning” appears five tracks later, but is a perfect companion to “Road Weary.” This song was actually included on an earlier album entitled Love in the Present Tense, released in 2007. But now, on this album, the two songs bridge an idea: after coming home from the road the cycle starts all over again as we have to get up and do it all over again:

oh I hate getting up in the morning
and putting on a shirt and tie
like a whore in church I feel besmirched
so lonesome I could cry

Throughout the album are songs that tell stories; specific stories about people and events. In “The Indianapolis,” the plight of the doomed ship, torpedoed in World War II is told through the eyes of an old veteran who still cannot “get further than the sand” but hears the cries of his comrades whenever he holds a seashell to his ear.

The next track tells the story of another incident of war, this time the massacre at My Lai, told through the perspective of another soldier. Pain, regret and the hope of forgiveness bubbles underneath the surface:

I remember the little children
and the women who held them tight
and the smoke rising from the village
that turned morning into night
my eyes just rolled back in my head
and with all that that implies
I too was KIA....
that morning in My Lai

There is a song about baseball and the hope of moving up to the big leagues (“The Show”); a song about boxing and the very real threat of dying in the ring for a small paycheck that would barely pay the rent (“The Fighter”). And, of course, there are songs about love, or something like it. “Suzie” is about distant, unrequited love—something we have all experienced at one time or another:

Your dark eyes give nothing away
I never know just what to say
to compete with all the other guys
with their fancy cars and desperate lies
I'll never need an alibi, Suzie

“Love is a Four Letter Word” ends the album, completing our journey through love and streets and everything in between. This song, like all of the songs in Flannery’s repertoire, demonstrates that nothing is as simple as it seems:

Love is an anchor that holds your place
and keeps you from drifting away
but the captain on the bridge
takes all the pain you give
because love is a four letter word

Love and Streets is an exceptional album from a master storyteller. Flannery here is at his best: plain spoken and real; intense and subtle. Life is a complex, sometimes unforgiving and painful journey that we are lucky to undertake. And Love and Streets captures that essence perfectly.

Vinyl Voyage is Back! Here's Why We Took a Break---

Thanks for your patience.  The Vinyl Voyage is back, streaming live from my basement studio.

Why did we take a little hiatus?  Well, the station runs from a computer that also serves as my video editing station.  I recently was working on a music video for the Civil Wars and needed the complete RAM arsenal of the computer to render this high definition video.

The video was created for a competition sponsored by  The winning video becomes the official video for the band.  The song is "20 Years," which is off Barton Hallow, the debut album from the Civil Wars.  I wanted to do something different, so I created a video that is part music video and part documentary.  The real star of the video is Jayne Bartlett Kerr, a woman who was born in the 19th century, but lives on through the faded images of a photo album she put together at the turn of the century.

Check out the video below:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Basic Broadcast---Temporary

Good morning, Vinyl Voyagers!

Currently, we are running the station in "Basic" mode.  That means that the playlist is playing from the Live365 servers and not from the Vinyl Voyage studio (which is really a computer in my basement).  That means that you will hear commercials and less variety.

Don't worry, this is only temporary.

The station computer is being used for some heavy-duty video editing at the moment and can't also stream vinyl-ripped mp3s.  The station will come back in full-force in two weeks when the project that I am working on is done.   At that time, the station will go into full "Live" mode once again and with some new programming in store.  Be on the lookout for the return of the "Vinyl Brunch" and a new program entitled, "Soundtrack Spin."

We'll be adjusting our playlist on Live365 as well to provide more vinyl variety.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Technical Difficulties--October 26

Just realized that the radio station is no longer broadcasting in "Live"*mode.  Therefore, you will not be hearing "Funky Feel Good Fridays" today until the issue gets resolved---most likely later in the afternoon.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

* Live mode is when the station is playing off my computer in the studio (read: my basement).  The computer has stored about 1000 songs or so, all recorded from vinyl.  As a backup, Live365 has a shortened playlist and when the studio computer goes down, the Live365 playlist goes into effect.  That is what is playing now.  Why this happened, I am not sure.  I just discovered the problem at lunch.  So, when I get home, it will be fixed.  Hopefully.

Friday, October 5, 2012

K-Tel's "Radio Active"--Eclecticism at its Best

In 1982, K-Tel did it again with Radio Active.  This album demonstrates one of the more endearing things about K-Tel albums:  variety.  On this album we have powerhouses like the Who and the Police with the Commodores and Rick James.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  the whole concept of "shuffle" advocated by Apple with the introduction of the iPod in 2001was a concept pioneered by K-Tel decades earlier.

When Apple announced the iPod, one of the selling points was to have access to a variety of different music at your fingertips.  On October 23, 2001, Steve Jobs demonstrated the new iPod, featuring his own playlist and his ability to move between very different types of music.  The songs on Steve Jobs' playlist?  "Building a Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan, "Porcelain" by Moby,  "Sweet Sixteen" by Chuck Berry, "One Week" by Bare Naked Ladies and "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan.

Although you can't randomly shuffle an album, one of the iPod's primary functions is to deliver music, sometimes in a very eclectic way.  K-Tel was doing that throughout the 70s and 80s.  And one needs to look no farther than Radio Active to see this in practice.

Radio Active contains 14 songs from 1980-1981.  The artists include REO Speedwagon, the Police, Blondie, Devo, the Moody Blues, Genesis, Rick James, the Commodores, Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Rick Springfield, Carl Carlton and the Who.

Most of the album falls in the pop/rock genre.  On side two of Radio Active, however,  the very popular "No Reply at All" by Genesis is preceded by Rick James and his funky "Super Freak."   Funk meets pop rock.

Steve Jobs demonstrated this ability of the iPod in 2001.  He showed how you can move from the Beatles to Yo-Yo Ma.  The crowd oohed and aahed at this demonstration, apparently forgetting that you could get the same kind of eclecticism 20 years earlier by throwing a K-Tel album on the turntable.

Radio Active is a solid K-Tel album.  It had only 14 songs and marks a time when the company was less inclined to edited the songs in order to fit more music on an LP.  By the 80s, K-Tel was going more for quality rather than quantity, ditching its "20 Original Hits.  20 Original Songs." tagline.

This month on Adventures in Vinyl, take an eclectic trip back to 1982 through the magic of K-Tel.  Radio Active is the album of the month and we will play it in its entirety.

You can listen to Adventures in Vinyl:

  • 12 pm Saturday (all times Central)
  • 4 pm Sunday
  • 1 pm Tuesday
  • 2 am Wednesday
  • 10 am Thursday

Adventures in Vinyl is an exclusive production of Vinyl Voyage Radio and the only radio show dedicated to the glory of the K-Tel record compilation.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

K-Tel's "Right On" from 1976 (Better late than never)

This month on Adventures in Vinyl we are taking a trip back to 1976 for K-Tel's Right On, a great compilation that features a very 70s blonde, decked out in denim, giving the "thumbs up" on the cover.  That's always one of the great things about K-tel:  unadulterated 70s kitsch.  This album was advertised on TV and the woman on the album cover also appears in the commercial, uncomfortably dancing under an array of disco lights.  This could be the best K-Tel commercial ever:

This album features another eclectic collection of hits (and misses).  From Thin Lizzy to the Bay City Rollers, from Paul Anka to Heart, this album is a nice snapshot of popular music in the mid-1970s.  

So, take a nostalgic trip back to 1976 on Adventures in Vinyl.  The show can be heard at the following times (all times Central):

Sunday 4 pm
Tuesday 1 pm 
Wednesday 2 am
Thursday 10 am
Saturday 12 pm (note that this is a change in time.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Before K-Tel There Was Master Seal: the Politics of Race, Music and Originality

K-Tel was famous in the 70s and 80s for producing compilation albums with such memorable titles as Super BadRight On and Music Machine.  However, K-Tel was not the first to do this.  Before K-Tel, there was Master Seal.

Master Seal was one of several companies in the 1950s to produce budget compilation albums, sold mostly through dime stores, such as Woolworths.  8 Top Hits was the title often sold by Master Seal and often featured young people either dancing or singing on the album cover.  Unlike K-Tel, however, Master Seal did not sell compilation albums with original artists.  They re-recorded the music with a sound-alike band.  Although there was an effort to make the tracks sound like the originals, often the results were laughable.

I have an 8 Top Hits from 1957.  Where I got it, I am not sure.  It features several popular songs from the time, including the hit "Little Darlin'."   You know "Little Darlin'."  It was a hit by the Diamonds in 1957.

But the thing about music in this time period was that often the hits that made the Billboard top charts were not the original versions.  "Little Darlin'" was originally written and recorded by the Gladiolas, an Aftrican-American  Doo-Wop band out of South Carolina featuring vocalist Maurice Williams.  They recorded the original version of "Little Darlin'" in early 1957 on the Excello Records label.

Much like the country at the time, music was also segregated. There were black labels and white labels.  Record labels had a difficult time marketing "black music" to white audiences.  The solution:  have white artist cover the songs.  Elvis Presley was famous for this. "Hound Dog," for example, was originally performed by Big Mama Thorton.

So, in 1957, the Diamonds, a white band from Canada, covered "Little Darlin" and that version became a hit on the Billboard charts.

To capitalize on these hits, Master Seal and other budget compilation companies placed these songs on compilation albums.  But, to save money and to sell the albums as cheaply as possible, they licensed the rights to record the songs.  Thus, no-name bands would perform the songs as closely to the original hits as possible.

On this 8 Top Hits from 1957, "Little Darlin'" is performed by Don Raleigh and his Orchestra, featuring the vocals of Jimmy Perry and Les Young.

So what we have here is a great example of a postmodern palimpsest --a cover, of a cover of an original.  And the impetus of this was simply a desire not to offend the conventions of the time by marketing a black band to a white audience. 

But listening to all of these versions of "Little Darlin'" a truth remains:  the original is most always the best.

All versions of "Little Darlin'" can be heard on Vinyl Voyage Radio--where all music is played on glorious vinyl just as it was meant to be.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

K-Tel Goes Blaxploitation With "Super Bad"---this month on Adventures in Vinyl

The album cover has a gritty, urban look.  It resembles a graffitied wall with "Super Bad" apparently spray-painted across the cover.

Yes, this is K-Tel's foray into the realm of blaxploitation.

The songs are soul and funk classics---mainstream music, really.  Nothing unusual there.  However, the album is not necessarily only about the is about an image.  Released in 1973 at the hight of the popularity of blaxploitation cinema, K-Tel is clearly trying to capture a certain "image" about the music.  Gone is the shouting white announcer in the commercial and in his place is a deep-voiced African-American DJ who extolls the songs as "soul-sational."

This is a surprisingly good album.  And, unlike many K-Tel compilations that tend to focus more on the current hits of the day, this album has songs that span four years.  So what you have is a great sampling of music from the soul and funk genre of the early 70s.  There's James Brown, of course.  Pure soul.  Then there's some great funk in Isaac Hayes (the theme from Shaft.  You can't have an album called "Super Bad" without it) and Joe Tex.  There's also some great soul with the Staple Singers and The Main Ingredient.

In the end, you have an album that purports to be "super bad," but is really just a great compilation of funk and soul classics, packaged in a way that mirrors what hollywood was doing in regards to the blaxpoitation film.

Overall, this is more than a compilation album.  It is a concept album.

Super Bad is the featured album this month on Adventures in Vinyl---the only radio show dedicated to the K-Tel compilation album.  Catch Adventures in Vinyl at the following times (all times Central):

11:00 am Saturday
4:00 pm   Sunday
1:00 pm  Tuesday
2:00 am  Wednesday
10:00 am Thursday

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tom Flannery and the Shillelaghs: Rock and Roll with a Bit of Angst Thrown in For Good Measure

Tom Flannery and the Shillelagh's debut album, Teen Angst and the Green Flannel is not available on vinyl.

But it should be.

It has a pure rock and roll sound that is a throwback to another era; something you rarely hear on the radio today.  And it is a refreshing accompaniment to a hot summer.

I've known Tom now for a few years.  He was one of the composers for my two films, Facing Sudan and Crayons and Paper.  In fact, he provided the very moving song "Crayons and Paper" that accompanied images of war and death drawn by children in Sudan and Sri Lanka and is the centerpiece of both films.  Tom has always been the acoustic guy with a guitar.

Not any more.  Wanting to deliver a hard rocking sound now for years, Tom assembled a band and put together a stellar album of pure rock, full of angst, pain, and love (or something like it).  It is a guitar driven reflection on life from the point of view of what has always driven rock and roll:  youth.  Teen Angst and the Green Flannel is a rock album done right, meant to be played loud.

The album opens with the hard hitting "If I Only Knew" and truly captures the spirit of the entire album:

’cause being me ain’t easy 
like being you must be 
invisible in the hallways 
staring right through me 

I had the pleasure of creating a video for the song.  The images and the story are taken from the liner notes, written in the voice of an 18 year old kid named "Jimmy" who realizes that "maybe I'm in danger of not being a kid anymore.  It sucks feeling this way."  Check out the video below.

Like all great legendary songs of rock and roll, many of the tunes on this album are about girls, love and lust.  "She Ain't Mine (But She Should Be)" opens with a Benny Goodman-esque drum roll and powers through with screaming guitar and a classic rock beat.  Then there's "Now She's Gone" and "I Just Want Her Off My Mind,"  reflecting on feelings we all had growing up.  Listening to them made me wonder how I even made it out of my teen years, when every look, every gesture was misinterpreted and reinterpreted into something much more than it actual was.   "I Just Want Her Off My Mind" hits this home nicely, with Flannery's voice accentuated by solo guitar between stanzas and ending with a melancholic harmonica, reminiscent of vintage Dylan.  It's great hearing Flannery with more than just an acoustic guitar and he seems at home in the midst of distortion, power and beat.  Electricity flows freely through this album.

The album slows down twice, in the retrospective "Cincinnati" and "Maybe It's True."  "Cincinnati" is a stunner of a song, with a beautiful piano accompaniment and lyrics reflecting a love lost and an uncertainty about what lies ahead:

Wounds as raw as a name carved in stone 
When love comes tumblin’ down 
Before I get old there’s safes to be blown 
I’ll dive in the river and drown 

Overall, Teen Angst and the Green Flannel is a hard-hitting rock album that does not disappoint.  True to form, Flannery has crafted an album full of songs that not only reflect on life, but celebrate the essence of rock and roll .

"Once rock got into your head it stayed there," Flannery writes in the voice of Jimmy.  "And if you tried to run away it tracked your ass down and did it to you all over again. Rock that mattered I mean. The kind that made people wince. It’s still around if you look hard enough."

Indeed, it is.


Visit Tom Flannery and the Shillelaghs website.  There you can listen to the entire album online and, if so inclined, purchase a copy from the band.  You will not be disappointed.  The album is also available for download on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's 1984 on Adventures in Vinyl. Get Ready for "Sound System"

1984 was the year I got my driver's license.  It was also the year of the Macintosh computer. Night Court premiered on NBC and a gallon of gas cost $1.10. Michael Jackson was severely burned while filming a Pepsi commercial and his album Thriller was the best selling album for the second year in a row.

It was a stellar year for movies as well:  Ghostbusters, Amadeus, Gremlins, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom---just to name a few.  Entertainment Weekly recently argued that 1984 was the greatest year for films ever, even better than 1939.

It was also the year K-Tel released Sound System, which features songs from Huey Lewis and the News, Pat Benatar, the Police, the Kinks and Styx.

Take a trip with us to 1984 on Adventures in Vinyl.  Sound System is the featured album for July Plus, movie clips, trivia and music from 1984 as well.   

Adventures in Vinyl is the only radio show dedicated to the magic of the K-Tel record compilation.  It can be heard on Vinyl Voyage Radio (all times Central):

Saturday 11 am
Sunday 4 pm
Tuesday 1 pm
Wednesday 2 am
Thursday 10 am

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meadow, Laura Branigan and "Folk-Rock" of the early 1970s

When I was a kid, I had a 45 rpm record of the song "Cane and Able"  by some band named Meadow.  I knew nothing of the band or the song.  It was given to me by the lunchroom lady of my elementary school who also happened to hold a summer Bible camp in her garage every year.  I listened to the song several times and never forgot it.

Not that the song was particularly good.  But it did have an interesting hook:  "Throw away your cane and you are able."

Over the years I lost track of the record, but never forgot the song.  It stuck with me for almost forty years.  I could hum the song and sing much of the lyrics.  I went searching for it and found the full album on Ebay, of course.  So I bought it and became reintroduced to a band that was such a part of my childhood without me even realizing it at the time.

The album is called The Friend Ship and its cover is adorned with four hippies, locked hand in hand, floating above the ground.  Pretty typical of the time. Turning the album over I was surprised to know one of the band members:  Laura Branigan. That's right, the same Laura Branigan who would "call" Gloria about 10 years later.  She was only 15 years old when The Friend Ship was recorded. But she had such a beautiful voice, as can be heard on several tracks--most notably in a song called "Artist," written by founding member Chris Van Cleave:

My sleep is sound
I lay me down upon the ground
In my mind while the time is still kind
Now here is room for things to bloom
Above the sky for me to fly

This is a concept album that explores the journey through life, from beginning to end.  I still knew all of the words to "Cane and Able," surprisingly.  One thing I realized listening to the song, is that it helped me throughout my life remember the Lord's Prayer.  Yes, the Lord's Prayer is in the song.   This was pretty typical of a trend in the late 60s and early 70s of merging spirituality to popular music.  Songs such as "Spirit in the Sky" and "Jesus is Just Alright" were very popular.   Let's not forget Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, as well. Plus, some nun from Australia released a rock version of "The Lord's Prayer" that made it to the number two spot of the Billboard charts in 1973.  Meadow was very much a part of this movement in music.

The Friend Ship is a surprisingly good album, even with the somewhat cornball hook of "Cane and Able."   Well-worth a listen.  Check out the video podcast below for two songs from album.

Chris Van Cleave is the sole remaining member of Meadow.  He has been pretty prolific over the years, having written some 600 songs of various genres.  On his website he has a detailed history of Meadow and is well worth a read.

As for The Friend Ship, it isn't available on cd---but you can download the entire album on iTunes, EMusic or Google Play. 

You can hear several songs from the album  (plus some later Laura Branigan, too) on Vinyl Voyage Radio, where all music is played in glorious vinyl, just as it was meant to be.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Get Ready for Spotlight! Next on Adventures in Vinyl

This month on Adventures in Vinyl we are taking a trip back to the year 1979 with the K-Tel compilation Spotlight.

Actually, it is more accurate to say 1978, as all of the songs on this album were released in 1978 (except for the two that were released a year earlier).  This album is slightly different from other K-Tel albums released at the time and marks a change in the way K-Tel created their albums.  Of course, K-Tel is known for crunching as many songs as possible on an album---usually 20 songs per compilation ("20 Original Hits, Original Stars!").  This album has only 16, which means there is not as much crunching of music. In fact, in the 80s, K-Tel will release several more albums following this format.

Spotlight is a solid album that, unlike other K-Tel albums released that year, was not advertised on TV. The album contains songs from Andy Gibb, Crystal Gayle, A Taste of Honey, the Commodores, Kenny Rogers....and many more!

Join us on Adventures in Vinyl this month.  We'll play the album all the way through, with movie and trivia as well.  Adventures in Vinyl can be heard at the following times, only on Vinyl Voyage radio (all times Central).

Saturday 11 am
Sunday 4 pm
Tuesday 1 pm
Wednesday 2 am
Thursday 10 am

Saturday, May 19, 2012

K-Tel's Finest: Rock 80 This Week

My favorite K-Tel album by far is Rock 80. This is Retro Repeat month on Adventures in Vinyl and this week we will be rebroadcasting the Rock 80 episode. The episode airs Saturday, May 19 at 11 am (ct), Sunday May 20 at 4 pm (ct) and then at 1 pm May 22, 2 am May 23 and 10 am May 24. Here is the original post describing the album:

Prior to 1980, my musical tastes generally sucked.  Oh, I listened to the standard hits on the radio, but had no coherent musical wants or likes---outside, that is, of what was always played in my house:  John Denver, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John and Barry Manilow.  Yes, I admit it, I could sing along to several Manilow tunes.  Remember, I didn't have any older brothers or sisters to show me the way (Think: Almost Famous). But then, in 1980, everything changed.  I discovered good music.

And I can thank K-Tel for that.

For Christmas in 1980, I received a cassette from my parents.  It was K-Tel's Rock 80.  And this album introduced me for the first time to what would become some of my favorite bands:  Cheap Trick, the Ramones, the Pretenders.  I started listening more to rock radio.  I would sit sometimes for hours, waiting patiently for a single song to add to my collection of mix tapes. 

This is a classic K-Tel album.  It only had fourteen songs, unlike the other K-Tel albums in my collection.  Most of the K-Tel albums had over 20 songs, the result of sometimes very bad edits and song crunching.  Not this one; this one has the full radio versions of the songs.

This album features the Pretenders, Cheap Trick, the Ramones, Joe Jackson, Blondie, Nick Lowe, the Knack and many more.  Here's the commercial:

Unfortunately, this cassette no longer works.  Thank God for Ebay.  A couple of years ago, I was able to purchase a nice copy on vinyl.  And that Rock 80 album is the featured selection on this month's edition of Adventures in Vinyl.  We will play the album in its entirety.  Plus, music and movie trivia from 1980 as well.

Adventures in Vinyl is the only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation.  It can be heard on the Vinyl Voyage radio channel Saturdays at 11 am (CT) and Sundays at 4 pm (CT).  So join us for this nostalgic rip back to 1980.   Remember, if you can't hear it at those times, no worries:  just let us know when you would like to hear it and we'll play it for you at that time.  How's that for a personal playlist?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Retro Repeat Month on Vinyl Voyage

Happy May.  It is Retro Repeat Month on Vinyl Voyage Radio.  Each week will feature a different K-Tel Album on Adventures in Vinyl.

May   1 - May 10    Believe in Music, 1972
May 12 - May 17    Block Buster, 1976
May 19 - May 24    Rock 80, 1980
May 26 - May 31    Music Machine, 1977

Adventures in Vinyl Can be heard on Vinyl Voyage Radio (all times Central):

Saturday, 11 am
Sunday, 4 pm
Tuesday, 1 pm
Wednesday, 2 am
Thursday, 10 am

 Join us on Memorial Day for the 2012 K-Tel Marathon.  We will feature every K-Tel album that has appeared on Adventures in Vinyl in chronological order starting at 6 am (Central).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Greg Kihn, Twitter and the Nature of the Music Industry

Greg Kihn is following me on Twitter.

Yes, that Greg Kihn.   And at this moment, certain melodies are crackling through your head.  Mine, too.  "Our love's in jeopardy.  Baby."  And how about this one:  "They don't write 'em like that anymore."

It must be because I post a lot on Twitter about music.  And, of course, here on Vinyl Voyage we have a day dedicated to the 80s and the Greg Kihn Band appears several times.  But still, seeing that name there in the notification got me a little nostalgic.  Remember the "Jeopardy" video?  I distinctly remember seeing it for the first time.  I turned fifteen in 1983 and it freaked me out a little.  The wedding.  The bride turns into a skeleton.  The guests turn into zombies.  And then a creature from hell breaks through the floor and Greg Kihn kills it with some guitar-shaped piece of wood.

Now that's a video.

I checked out a little about Greg Kihn.  That's the thing I have enjoyed most since starting Vinyl Voyage Radio over a year ago:  getting reacquainted with music and artists.  When Greg Kihn hit it big in 1983 with "Jeopardy," he had already been making music for several years.  In fact, Kihnspiracy, his 1983 album which spawned that hit, was his 9th album.  And he has released at least seven albums since then, the most recent being a box set anthology entitled Kihnplete

Today, Greg Kihn is a popular DJ on a classic rock station in San Jose.  He still plays music; his Kihncerts have been popular for the last 11 years.  This year he'll be playing with Steve Miller and Pat Benatar.  Too bad this lineup isn't coming to the Chicago area.  I'd be there in a heartbeat.

In addition to the DJ gig and his music, Greg Kihn has also written several novels.  Most in the horror genre with a little music mixed in.  Probably something to do with that "Jeopardy" video, I imagine.

But all of this highlights the fickle nature of the record industry.   Upon revisiting Kihnspiracy and other releases, it is clear that "Jeopardy" and "The Breakup Song"---two of his biggest hits---are not his best.  They are good songs, to be sure (As a matter of fact, I just heard "The Breakup Song" the other day on the radio and found myself singing along on the drive to work. It also appears in the movie Let Me In).  But there are others--others that never got into rotation on FM radio.  Not being a musician myself, I can only imagine that this is probably the most frustrating thing about being a musician, especially in today's climate where digital downloads of hit singles are what the industry pushes, not whole albums or songs that some guy in a suit thinks can't make it into the pop-dominated airwaves. And that's a shame. Talent does not automatically bring success. 

For example, the Greg Kihn Band released Rockihnroll in 1981.  That is the album with "The Breakup Song."  But there are other songs on that album that never got the airplay they deserved, most notably "I Can't Stop Hurting Myself."


"Jeopardy" made it to the #2 spot in 1983. "The Breakup Song" reached up to #15 in 1981.  But "I Can't Stop Hurting Myself" never made an impact on the charts.  Yet, that song is the better of the three, in my opinion.  It seems to me that some of the best songs written never chart.  I recently explored that in a video podcast of Frampton's "Lines on My Face," perhaps one of his best songs ever.  Yet, it too, never charted.  Journey's quintessential 1981 release Escape produced several hit songs, but the best, such as "Still They Ride" and "Escape" never made it. Instead, we were subjected ad nauseam to "Open Arms."  A good song, to be sure, but that distinction is relative when compared to the other tunes on the album.  And you can't summarize Todd Rundgren's entire career with his only top-ten hit song, "Hello It's Me."

The same can be said for Greg Kihn, and "I Can't Stop Hurting Myself" is a testament to that.

The Greg Kihn Band is all over YouTube.  Check them out.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised; especially if your only exposure to the band was through "Jeopardy" or "The Breakup Song."

More information about Greg Kihn can be found at his website.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Frampton Comes Alive! Vinyl Voyage Video Podcast

A few weeks ago, my friend Tom Flannery posted an article about Peter Frampton on his blog.  He unabashedly proclaimed that "Frampton kicks ass" and that the "young punks can learn a thing or two from the bald guy."

"I used to stand in front of my mirror," Tom writes, "tennis racket as a guitar, and sing along to 'Lines On My Face'. I was 17."

That post got me a little nostalgic for Frampton.

A few years ago, I checked out Frampton Comes Alive! from the library and burned it onto my computer.  I'm not even sure I listened to the album then; I just thought it was something I should have.  However, I now wanted to listen to Frampton as it was intended to be: on vinyl and loud.  So, I found a copy at a local record store.  I listened to the whole thing, something I don't think I have done for decades.  Yes, decades.

And, I must say, listening to the album again as a 43 year old, I am impressed that Tom Flannery stood in front of a mirror and sang along to "Lines on My Face" when he was seventeen.  Before reading Tom's post, I couldn't even place the song.  But now as I guy in my forties that song has a certain resonance that would have been lost on me in my teens.  And what's amazing is that Frampton wrote that song when he was just twenty-three.

Lines on my face,while I laugh lest I cry
Speed city dirt and gritty waving me goodbye
So many people,my family of friends
Trying so hard to make me smile until this heartache mends

That is my favorite song on the album.  But, that is speaking as a 43 year old.  As a kid, that was the song you had to get through in order to get to "Do You Feel Like We Do?"

The album holds up well.  Surprisingly well.  Although Frampton may have lost some rock and roll cred by the late 70s, this guy could rock. 

Thanks, Tom, for sparking an interest once again in a classic album.  Frampton Comes Alive! and "Lines On My Face" are featured on this Vinyl Voyage video podcast:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gypsys, Tramps and ...White Trash?

This month's Adventures in Vinyl features K-Tel's classic 1972 compilation, Believe in Music.  This album has some iconic 70s tunes, including my favorite Cher song, "Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves."  That song was the first single from her 1971 album, originally entitled Cher.  However, the song was so popular, the album was renamed and re-released as Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves.  I remember this vividly.  My parents had a reel-to-reel player and recorded their albums to tape.  Music was always playing in our house.  And Cher (along with Sonny, too) was in constant rotation.

This song was written by Bob Stone and was originally titled, "Gypsys, Tramps and White Trash."  Someone with a better ear for music suggested he change the title.  And he did. 

In 1971, Cher performed the song on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour

You can hear this song and many others this month on Adventures in Vinyl.  The episode can be heard at 11 am (ct) Saturdays and 4 pm (ct) on Sunday.  It can also be heard throughout the week.  Check the schedule here.

Adventures in Vinyl:  The only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Next on the Turntable: Believe in Music from 1972

On this month's Adventure's in Vinyl, we are going to the early years of K-Tel.  In fact, this is the oldest K-tel album I have.  It is Believe in Music and it came out 40 years ago, which is obvious from the garish cover void of any sense of the songs contained on the vinyl.  But that's okay, in 1972 K-Tel was still developing it's iconic look.

This album has my favorite Cher song:  "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves." It also has the 70s favorite, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)."  This, of course, is one of the greatest one-hit wonders of all time.  Although Looking Glass released two albums, nothing would not come close to the success of that song.  I recently came across a picture of the band.  Not what I expected:

The album also has a song by Rick Springfield.  Yes, that Rick Springfield.  The one who sang about "Jessie's Girl" in the 80s.  The song on this album is "Speak to the Sky," off of his debut album, Beginnings

Believe in Music was released in late 1972 and contains hits by Rod Stewart, the O'Jays, Five Man Electrical Band and Eric Clapton.  And get this:  Donny Osmond is on the album twice.  Double the Donny.  Here is the commercial:

Adventures in Vinyl is the only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation  The show can be heard on Vinyl Voyage radio on Saturday mornings, 11 am (central) and Sunday afternoons at 4 pm.  It also streams several times during the week.  Click here for the complete schedule.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vinyl Voyage Video Podcast #2--Minnie Riperton

In this video podcast, I discuss my recent record purchases, which includes Minnie Riperton's 1974 classic album, Perfect Angel.  I tried uploading this to Youtube, but the Warner Music Group content police tagged it as a copyright violation and made it unavailable for viewing in the United States.  Ooops. Facebook isn't so particular, apparently.

Friday, March 2, 2012

K-Tel's "Pure Power" This Month on Adventures in Vinyl

This month on Adventures in Vinyl we are heading back to the 70s with a great compilation called Pure Power. This is K-Tel at its finest with a very eclectic mix of tunes.  Although it was released in 1977, most of the songs are from 1976, so I suspect it was released early in the year.  

On this album you can find "Dream Weaver" and Diana Ross' "Theme from Mahogany."   There's also ELO, The Doobie Brothers, Kiss and....Paul Anka... Alice Cooper and Hall & Oates, to name a few.  This is a great example of what I like most about K-Tel:  the hodge-podge of songs that are next to each other on a single compilation.  I have said it before and I will say it again:  K-Tel pioneered the concept of "shuffle" decades before the invention of the iPod.

Here's the commercial that appeared on American tv in 1977 advertising Pure Power.

Adventures in Vinyl can be heard on Vinyl Voyage Radio on Saturday mornings at 11 am (ct) and Sundays at 4pm (ct). During the week, you can catch the show at 1 pm Tuesday, 2 am Wednesday and 10 am on Thursday.

Also, if you would like to hear Adventures in Vinyl but can't catch it when it streams, simply send us an email and we'll play it when you want. How's that for service?

Adventures in Vinyl: the only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation.

Monday, February 20, 2012

(re)Introducing the Monroes

"What Do All the People Know" may be one of the best songs to come out of the early 80s synth-pop scene. Recorded by the Monroes on their self-titled debut in 1982, it seemed that the band was destined for greatness. Problems with the record label would change all of this and their one album remains their total discography.

I recently purchased a copy of this album on Ebay. All songs are now loaded up and streaming on Vinyl Voyage Radio. Take a look (and listen) to the video below of "What Do All the People Know," played for you on glorious vinyl, just as music should be.

Here is a video of The Monroes performing the song live on the Merv Griffin Show in 1982.

It's "Manic Monday" on the Vinyl Voyage

It's Manic Monday on the Vinyl Voyage again.  Nothing but 80s music all day long.  Plus, newsclips, movie trailers and tv promos from that decade.  Take a trip back in time on Vinyl Voyage radio.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Funky, Feel Good Fridays..All 70s, All Day Long. Every Friday.

Start off the week with 80s music on "Manic Mondays."  End it now with 70s.  Starting tomorrow, every Friday will be devoted to the music of the 70s on a new feature:  "Funky, Feel Good Fridays."  The music will span the entire decade, plus take a trip back in time through news breaks, tv commercials and movie clips--all from the 1970s.

Funky, Feel Good Fridays---every Friday---only on Vinyl Voyage Radio.  Where all music is played on glorious vinyl.  Just as it was. And just as it should be.

Catch you on the flip side.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Karin Bergquist, Over the Rhine and the Power of Authenticity

Adele was amazing at the Grammys the other night. What is so great about Adele is that beautiful, powerful voice.  Did you notice that she was really the only performer without a set?  The Foo Fighters had a garage.  Taylor Swift had a porch.  There was fire and trapeze antics with other performers.  But not Adele.  She didn't need any stage dressing.

For modern music, the performance is sometimes more important than the substance.  Therefore, the modern airwaves are clogged with music that is performed by not so talented singers who cover up their flaws with Autotune, bizarre outfits and swarms of dancers and energetic choreography.  On stage, many hide behind lights, fire and scantily clad dancers.  Madonna had her cheerleaders, for example.  And what better way to hide a flaw than with a "wardrobe malfunction?"

A few weeks ago, we lost a legend.  Etta James was one of the rare singers who really knew how to sing, how to carry a lyric to its emotional potential.  As a videographer, I used to film a lot of weddings.  And through it all, I never grew tired of hearing "At Last."  There was something magical about the way she sang.  Same for Nina Simone.  Dinah Washington as well.  The first time I heard Dinah Washington's "This Bitter Earth," it almost moved me to tears.  It's one of the reasons why I love Mavis Staples. 

Not too many vocalists have that ability.  In terms of modern pop music, Adele definitely fits that bill.

And so does Karin Bergquist.

Karin Bergquist and her husband, Linford Detweiler, make up the core of the band Over the Rhine.  They have been performing for over twenty years.  And over the years, Bergquist has grown not only as a musician and songwriter, but also a singer.  Like Dinah Washington, Etta James and Nina Simone, she has the ability to pack an emotional punch into every lyric delivered.  She ranks up there with the best.

I have written about Over the Rhine before on another blog.  A song that appeared on their second album helped inspire a novel I am currently writing.  I have seen them a couple of times here in Chicago, most recently last December at the Old Town School of Folk Music.  I hope to make an Over the Rhine concert a yearly tradition.

There is something magical about the way Bergquist sings.  Hands down, she could run vocal circles around everyone who performed at the Grammys the other night.

Even Adele.

The Long Surrender is the band's most recent album, released last year.   Produced by Joe Henry, the album contains the band's best work to date.  Always heartfelt and often bittersweet, Karin and Linford weave a lyrical and musical tapestry that transcends everyday life and speaks to the soul.  They have a certain authenticity in their music and lyrics.  The emotions are real---and that's what distinguishes a band like Over the Rhine from just about anything played on the radio today.  Or performed at the Grammys, for that matter.

Recently, Karin and Linford celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary and performed a Valentine's Day show for a radio station in Cincinnati.  One of the songs performed was "Infamous Love Song," a song written by Linford documenting the couple's story.   This song, more than any other performed by the band over their twenty years or so, truly highlights Karin's vocal talent.    Close your eyes while listening to the song and you will be transported to a smokey bar, a stiff drink resting on a scarred table while a singer, clutching a microphone, pours her heart and soul into a song that, for that one moment, is the most important thing happening in the room.  This is a classic torch song and could have been the signature song of any in the previous generation of singers mentioned above.  However, this is Karin's song.  She embodies it in such a way that the song and her are one.  If you liked Adele's performance of "Rolling in the Deep," then you'll love "Infamous Love Song" even more.  Adele may have a beautiful and powerful voice.  She may be a stunning performer.  However, she is only 23 and lacks the experience of living.  Karin and Linford channel their lives, with all of the beauty and scars, into their music. 

This love’s the affirmation
Of everything good
The oxygen coursing
Through the blood
The feel of being understood
The belief that, Oh Yes,
Somehow we could

Here is an intoxicating performance of "Infamous Love Song" recorded for their Valentine's Day show for WVXU, Cincinnati:

Karin and Linford couldn't have performed this song 20 years ago.   And that's the thing about art and life.  A true artist grows and matures.  And this is the story of Over the Rhine.  Each album they produce gets better.  Deeper.  More authentic.

Imagine where Adele could be in 20 years.

Perhaps she should listen to Over the Rhine, too.


If you haven't heard Over the Rhine before, do yourself a favor and go to their website.  Currently, they have the entire Long Surrender streaming on their online record player.   I have a couple of their albums on vinyl so you can hear several songs here on the Vinyl Voyage.

Most importantly, if you get a chance to see them live, do it.  You will not be disappointed.

In May, they will be performing an acoustic show at SPACE in Evanston, Illinois.  Check out their current concert schedule.

("Infamous Love Song" Linford Detweiler © 2010 Ariose Music/Scampering Songs Publishing (ASCAP) (ADM. by EMI CMG Publishing)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's Manic Monday!

We are ready.  The leg warmers are on.  The hair is big and we're ready for some great 80s music. 

Not only we will feature 80s music from 6 am to 6 pm (ct), we will also have news breaks, tv promos, movie trailers and movie clips---all from the 80s.  So take a a nostalgic trip back to the 80s on Vinyl Voyage Radio--where all music is played on glorious vinyl, just as it was and just as it should be.

Hopefully, we won't have any technical difficulties today (unlike last week) tune in.

Thanks, Vinyl Voyagers!

Daily Listening Hours
February, so far, has been a good month for Vinyl Voyage Radio.  And it's thanks to those of you who have tuned in.  Over the last 30 days, we have now clocked over 200 hours of listening time.  That's the first time we have gone to 200 hours in any given 30 day period over the last year.  And on February 8th, there was over 24 hours of listening clocked!

And February is shaping up to be a good month.  The total listening hours for just February is over 112 hours.  In January, it was 162 hours, so we are set to go beyond that this month.

Plus, only half of our listeners are coming from the United States.  We have many listeners in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Sweden as well.

Thank you for listening.

If you like Vinyl Voyage radio, please use the rating form our Live365 page.  Like us on Facebook as well.

And...continue to live your life at 33 rpm.

Don't forget..Manic Mondays tomorrow.  Nothing but 80s music.  Gnarly.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New K-Tel album. Thanks Ebay.

It's been a couple of trying days here at Vinyl Voyage.  We had to abort our first "Manic Monday" due to technical issues.  And then today the internet went down for a couple of hours.

However, I did receive a package in the mail.  I often scan the listings on Ebay for K-Tel albums.  Last week, I came across one that I didn't have and bought it for a couple of bucks.  It's in pretty good shape.  The album is from 1976 and is called "Pure Power."

How can you go wrong with an album that features "Dream Weaver?"  Or disco band The Sylvers along side with Alice Cooper?  Heart and Diana Ross?  That's the magic of K-Tel. It doesn't have to make sense.

This album will soon be featured on Adventures in Vinyl.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ooops. Technical difficulties. No Manic Monday.

Technology is great when it works.  When it doesn't, we lose out on 80s music.  My computer crashed today and therefore Manic Mondays will be on hold until next week.  In the meantime, music is still streaming on Vinyl Voyage radio, with an eclectic selection of music spanning from the last 40 years or so---all played on glorious vinyl.

You may be wondering how music can be playing if the computer crashed.  Here is how the radio station works.  The internet stream is provided by Live365.  I can use their stream by hooking it to my computer at home.  The files are stored on my computer and the station is run through an automated software system called SAM Broadcaster.  I can set rotation rules and playlists and everything is done automatically.  When I am at home and want to play "DJ," I can also do everything manually.

In addition, I have hundreds of files stored on the server at Live365.  If something happens to the live stream (like today), the other playlist goes into effect.  And that is what happened.  My computer must have crashed or something and was no longer delivering a stream---so Live365 took over.

This is a good backup system.  The music keeps going, regardless of what happens in my basement.

Don't worry, there is still plenty of 80s music in the lineup.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Introducing "Manic Mondays"--All 80s Music, All Day

My formative years were spent deep in the 80s.  Consequently, much of my record collection dates from that time.  The Cure. Madonna. U2.  Bruce Springsteen.  The Police.  Corey Hart.  Duran Duran.  INXS. 

I can go on.  And on.

So why not devote a day to that part of my collection?

Every Monday, Vinyl Voyage Radio will go all 80s, all day long.  We call it "Manic Mondays."  And if you can sing that song, you know you want take a trip back to the "Me Decade." Throughout the day, we will have news clips, movie clips and other 80s related fun.

Plus, of course, an eclectic mix of 80s music.  All played on glorious vinyl.  Just as it was. And just as it should be.

Only on Vinyl Voyage Radio.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Get ready for K-Tel's "Pure Rock"

You have voted and it's official:  K-Tel's Pure Rock is next on this month's Adventures in Vinyl.

Pure Rock was released with little fanfare in 1981.  This is an interesting album and very different from K-Tel's earlier compilations.  Unlike other K-Tel albums, there are no tv or radio commercials associated with this record.  One of the hallmarks of K-Tel in the 70s was was their ubiquitous presence on tv.  In addition, the album is not overly edited.  There are only 14 songs on the album as opposed to the usual 20 or so on most K-Tel albums in the 1970s.  This was a change that K-Tel began implementing in the 1980s--less songs, but higher quality.

And finally, this album has very little to do with 1981.  The more popular K-Tel albums capitalized on hit songs ("20 Original Hits! 20 Original songs!") and contained songs from the year in which the album was released.  On Pure Rock, only one song dates from 1981---Pat Benatar, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."  That song reached to #46 on the Billboard Year End Hot 100. 

Other than that, most of the other songs span the previous decade.  The oldest song is "Long Train Runnin'" by the Doobie Brothers, released in 1973.  That song made it to #41 on the year end chart for that year. Then there's Boston.  Styx.  Foghat. ZZTop.  Eddie Money.  Journey.  The Steve Miller Band...and many, many more.

So join us for Adventures in Vinyl in the month of February for Pure Rock.  Adventures in Vinyl, the only radio show dedicated to the lost art of the K-Tel record compilation, can be heard at the following times:

Saturday, 11 am (Central)  
Sunday, 4 pm (Central)
Tuesday, 1 pm (Central)
Wednesday, 2 am (Central)
Thursday, 10 am (Central)