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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Flashback: PLAY ON! Power Pop Heroes


My friend Ken Sharp is well-known in pop circles, both as a performer and as the writer responsible for some essential books about KISS, John Lennon, David Bowie, Cheap Trick, The Raspberries, The Wrecking Crew, and King Elvis I. Ken has a book series called Play On! Power Pop Heroes, a multiple-volume set of first-person recollections chronicling the story of power pop, told by the people who created it (from The Who through The Ramones, Big Star, and The Knack, among many others). The fourth volume is available right now, and we recommend you buy yourself a copy here. This coming Sunday night, May 14th, we'll devote the first hour of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl to the music of the acts Ken interviewed for Volume 4, so you'll be hearing The dB's, The Producers, Tommy Keene, Let's Active, The Go-Go's, The Spongetones, The Bangles, The Three O'Clock, The Smithereens, Crowded House, Redd Kross, Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub, The Pursuit Of Happiness, Michael Penn, Parthenon Huxley, and The Hoodoo Gurus. Now that's a better'n decent hour of pure pop radio, and we hope you'll join us Sunday night at 9 pm Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org

Man, jumpin' on the ol' soapbox for Ken Sharp is fun and rewarding! We've done it for all of the previous Play On! artists, so we certainly can't miss this opportunity to continue that tradition. Here are the playlists from our previous Play On! spotlights. We'll add to this legacy Sunday, so ORDER THE DAMNED BOOK awready!

[All previous links to purchase are likely deader'n that guy who blew his mind out in a car. But Volume 3 is available from http://www.goodmusicguy.com/play-on-power-pop-heroes-volume-4/, and you can say hi to Ken at http://ken-sharp.com/]

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Play On! Power Pop Heroes (a TIRnRR Salute To Power Pop) [9/28/14]


For this week's extravaganza on This Is Rock 'n' Roll TRadio, we shilled a bit on behalf of a fab new book by our ol' pal Ken SharpPop Geek Heaven is currently accepting pre-orders for Ken's latest irresistible tome, Play On! Power Pop Heroes Volume 1, the first of an exhaustive three-part history of power pop, as told to Ken Sharp by the music-making power pop legends themselves.  The first volume alone is a whompin' stompin' 480 pages, covering acts from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Kinks through The Raspberries, Badfinger, and Big Star, with a whole lot more in between.  It seems an essential purchase for that elusive demographic of the TIRnRR Faithful, and I've already ordered my copy.  Worth noting:  PRE-ORDERS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED UNTIL OCTOBER 28th!  After that date, the book prints and ships, and NO more orders will be taken.  To avoid that hefty pop black market price, we recommend placing your order now, and we direct you to www.ken-sharp.com to found out more.  This one looks to be a keeper, and we're already jonesing for Volumes Two and Three.

All of the above seemed like a good excuse to put extra emphasis on power pop this week, so TIRnRR dutifully and joyfully rang up some frequent jangler miles with music from THE RASPBERRIES, BADFINGER, BIG STAR, THE SWEET, THE SPONGETONES, THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, THE BEATLES, THE FLASHCUBES, SHOES, SQUEEZE, THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES, THE BAY CITY ROLLERS, THE SMALL FACES, 20/20, THE KINKS, THE WHO, PEZBAND, THE FAST, EMITT RHODES, THE DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND, THE ROMANTICS, THE SEARCHERS, and TODD RUNDGREN.  We also found time for brand-new music from VEGAS WITH RANDOLPH, new music from JAMIE HOOVER, and new music from BRIAN LINDSAY, plus we finally caved in to long-standing listener requests to play "Heavy Music (Part 1)" by BOB SEGER & THE LAST HEARD.  If you think that you just never know with us, well, it's equally true that WE never know with us.

NEXT WEEK:  On October 5th, BRUCE GORDON--the incredible MR. ENCRYPTO hisself!--returns for the second installment of LET'S BE THE BEATLES!  And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.

TIRnRR # 744:  9/28/14

THE RAMONES:  "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
--
THE RASPBERRIES:  "Play On" (RPM, Power Pop Volume Two)
FLEETWOOD MAC:  "Blue Letter" (Reprise, Fleetwood Mac)
THE WONDERS:  "That Thing You Do!" (Play-Tone, VA:  That Thing You Do!  OST)
THE UNDERTONES:  "Thrill Me" (Sanctuary, Get What You Need)
BADFINGER:  "Baby Blue" (Apple, Straight Up)
BIG STAR:  "September Gurls" (Big Beat, VA:  Thank You, Friends)
--
VEGAS WITH RANDOLPH:  "The Girl Holding Out For Me" (single)
LOS SHAKERS:  "Demasiado Tarde [Too Late]" (EMI, Shakers For You)
THE SWEET:  "Fox On The Run" (Capitol, The Best Of Sweet)
WINGS:  "I've Had Enough" (Capitol, London Town)
THE SPONGETONES:  "Talking Around It" (Loaded Goat, Scrambled Eggs)
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  "The Laws Have Changed" (Matador, Electric Version)
--
THE BEATLES:  "Please Please Me" (Apple, 1962-1966)
LINDA RONSTADT:  "When Will I Be Loved" (Asylum, Greatest Hits)
THE FLASHCUBES:  "Do Anything You Wanna Do" (Northside, Brilliant)
OSCAR:  "Good Lovin' Woman" (Finder's Keepers, VA:  Man Chest Hair)
SHOES:  "Tomorrow Night" (Bomp!, VA:  The Roots Of Powerpop!)
THE BEATLES:  "Nowhere Man" (Apple, Rubber Soul)
--
JAMIE HOOVER:  "There's A Place" (Loaded Goat, Jamie Two-Ever)
EYTAN MIRSKY:  "Don't Bother Me" (Jealousy, VA:  He Was Fab)
THE ALPHA BETA GIRLS:  "It's Beginning To Show/We Wanna Marry A Beatle" (from the film THE GIRLS ON THE BEACH)
SQUEEZE:  "Cool For Cats" (A & M, Singles--45's & Under)
THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES:  "I Can't Hide" (Rhino, At Full Speed)
XTC:  "Runaways" (Virgin, English Settlement)
--
BRIAN LINDSAY:  "Heart And Soul" (GFI Music, The Monkey, The Conga & The Boogaloo)
WRECKLESS ERIC:  "It's A Sick Sick World" (Fire, Le Beat Group Electrique)
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS:  "Yesterday's Hero" (Arista, The Definitive Collection)
THE SMALL FACES:  "(Tell Me) Have You Seen Me" (Varese Sarabande, There Are But Four Small Faces)
20/20:  "Nuclear Boy" (Real Gone Music, 20/20-Look Out!)
THE YARDBIRDS:  "He's Always There" (Airline, Roger The Engineer)
--
THE KINKS:  "All Day And All Of The Night" (Essential, Kinks)
THE WHO:  "My Generation" (MCA, My Generation)
THE PENETRATORS:  "Teenage Lifestyle" (Swami, Basement Anthology 1976-84)
GINO WITH JOHNNY GREEK:  "Hand Clappin' Time" (Ace, VA:  The Best Of Golden Crest)
PEZBAND:  "Come On Madeline" (Passport, Laughing In The Dark)
RONNIE LANE & SLIM CHANCE:  "Ooh La La" (Universal, Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance)
--
THE FAST:  "Kids Just Wanna Dance '77" (Bullseye, The Best Of The Fast:  1976-1984)
R.E.M.:  "Pretty Persuasion" (IRS, And I Feel Fine)
EMITT RHODES:  "Fresh As A Daisy" (Varese Sarabande, Listen, Listen)
KIM WESTON:  "Take M In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)" (Motown, VA:  Hitsville USA)
THE DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND:  "You Were So Warm" (Shelter, Sincerely)
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE:  "Somebody To Love [mono single version]" (RCA, Surrealistic Pillow)
--
BOB SEGER & THE LAST HEARD:  "Heavy Music (Part 1)" (Cameo-Parkway, single)
THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR:  "Vanishing Girl" (Rhino, VA:  Children Of Nuggets)
THE ROMANTICS:  "When I Look In Your Eyes" (Nemperor, The Romantics)
THE VAPORS:  "Turning Japanese" (One Way, Anthology)
THE SEARCHERS:  "Hearts In Her Eyes" (Raven, The Sire Sessions 1979-80)
TODD RUNDGREN:  "Couldn't I Just Tell You" (Rhino, Something/Anything?)
THE RASPBERRIES:  "I Wanna Be With You" (RPM, Power Pop Volume One)
THE BEATLES:  "Revolution [promo film version]" (unreleased)
DEL PAXTON:  "Time To Blow" (Play-Tone, VA:  That Thing You Do!  OST)


Play On! Power Pop Heroes Volumes 1 and 2 [2/22/15]

This week's This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio was devoted in its entirety to author 'n' singer KEN SHARP and the first two books in his three-volume history of power pop, PLAY ON!  POWER POP HEROESVolume One was terrific!  Volume Two looks like it's also gonna be terrific!  Wanna know a big difference between Volumes One and Two?  You can still buy a copy of Volume Two.

Yep!  Volume One is completely, utterly, redundantly-absolutely SOLD OUT.  If you're one of the lucky many who grabbed one in time, then you're clearly a person of taste and distinction.  You smell nice, too.  And you want a copy of Volume Two, which is available for preorder, RIGHT NOW, but for a limited time.  This convenient link http://www.ken-sharp.com/power-pop-v2/index.html tells you all about it, and sets you on the path to over 760 pages of career retrospective chats with THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES, CHEAP TRICK, THE BAY CITY ROLLERS, PIPER, THE A'S, RICK SPRINGFIELD, PEZBAND, THE RAMONES, ARTFUL DODGER, THE TOMS, BLUE ASH, SWEET, THE RUBINOOS, XTC, THE FLASHCUBES, STORIES, SHOES, UTOPIA, SQUEEZE, THE HUDSON BROTHERS, DWIGHT TWILLEY, THE BABYS, and THE RECORDS.  As a bonus, the publisher is throwing in more than 90 free downloads from these featured artists, including many rare or unreleased tracks.  Resistance isn't futile; it's DUMB!  Great value, limited time, and you're welcome.

So what does all this have to do with TIRnRR?  Not much (though the Ramones chapter does include material from Carl's 1994 interviews with Joey and Johnny Ramone).  But we're big fans, and we wanted to celebrate by filling this week's playlist exclusively with acts featured in the first two volumes of Play On!  We added a few tracks by Ken hisself, and we exulted in the power of pop. 

(One sad note:  this spotlight on Ken Sharp's Play On! was planned in advance, but we would have been remiss if we didn't pause first to pay tribute to the late, great Lesley Gore before proceeding.  Lesley was one of my favorite singers when I was seven, and I have never stopped loving her.  Lesley Gore will be our Featured Artist on next week's TIRnRR.) 

Listen to the show.  Buy the book.  This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org

TIRnRR # 765:  Ken Sharp, and PLAY ON!  POWER POP HEROES  2/22/15

LESLEY GORE:  "California Nights" (Mercury, It's My Party)
--
THE WHO:  "The Kids Are Alright" (MCA, My Generation)
THE BEATLES:  "Please Please Me" (Apple, 1962-1966)
THE BEACH BOYS:  "Fun, Fun, Fun" (Capitol, Surfer Girl Shut Down Volume 2)
THE SMALL FACES:  "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me" (Snapper, The Definitive Collection)
KEN SHARP:  "For The First Time" (M & M, 1301 Highland Avenue)
TODD RUNDGREN:  "Couldn't I Just Tell You" (Rhino, Something/Anything?)
--
KEN SHARP:  "Melody Hill" (Jetfighter, Sonic Crayons)
THE NAZZ:  "Forget All About It" (Rhino, Nazz Nazz)
THE BEE GEES:  "Kitty Can" (Polydor, Idea)
XTC:  "Respectable Street" (Virgin, Upsy Daisy Assortment)
THE SWEET:  "Fox On The Run" (Capitol, The Best Of Sweet)
CHEAP TRICK:  "Surrender" (Epic, The Essential Cheap Trick)
--
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS:  "Who'll Be My Keeper" (7T's, Elevator)
RICK SPRINGFIELD:  "I've Done Everything For You" (Sony, Playlist)
SHOES:  "Tomorrow Night" (Bomp!, VA:  The Roots Of Powerpop)
THE LEFT BANKE:  "Pretty Ballerina" (Mercury, There's Gonna Be A Storm)
KEN SHARP:  "Room For Two" (Not Lame, Happy Accidents)
THE BYRDS:  "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" (Columbia, Mr. Tambourine Man)
--
THE FLASHCUBES:  "No Promise" (Northside, Bright Lights)
THE RECORDS:  "Teenarama" (Virgin, Smashes, Crashes & Near-Misses)
THE MOVE:  "Fire Brigade" (Westside, Movements)
THE ZOMBIES:  "She's Not There" (Big Beat, Zombie Heaven)
KEN SHARP:  "Break Down The Walls" (Big Deal, VA:  Yellow Pills Volume 1)
THE RUBINOOS:  "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (Castle, Anthology)
--
THE RAMONES:  "Swallow My Pride" (Rhino, Leave Home)
THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES:  "Shake Some Action" (Rhino, At Full Speed)
THE A'S:  "Words" (Arista, The A's)
THE KNICKERBOCKERS:  "Lies" (Rhino, VA:  Nuggets)
THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA:  "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" (Epic, The Essential ELO)
UTOPIA:  "I Just Wanna Touch You" (Rhino, Deface The Music)
--
THE KINKS:  "All Day And All Of The Night" (Essential, Kinks)
THE DAVE CLARK FIVE:  "Glad All Over" (Hollywood, The History Of The Dave Clark Five)
PEZBAND:  "Love Goes Underground" (Passport, Laughing In The Dark)
SQUEEZE:  "Vicky Verky" (A & M, The Squeeze Story)
THE TURTLES:  "Love In The City" (Sundazed, Turtle Soup)
EMITT RHODES:  "Fresh As A Daisy" (Varese Sarabande, Listen, Listen)
--
STORIES:  "Please, Please" (Kama Sutra, About Us)
THE DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND:  "Looking For The Magic" (Shelter, Twilley Don't Mind)
THE HUDSON BROTHERS:  "If You Really Need Me" (Varese Sarabande, So You Are A Star)
THE RASPBERRIES:  "I Wanna Be With You" (RPM, Power Pop Volume One)
THE BABYS:  "Turn And Walk Away" (Chrysalis, Anthology)
RINGO STARR:  "It Don't Come Easy" (Rhino, Ringo)
PIPER:  "Who's Your Boyfriend?  (I Got A Feelin')" (American Beat, Piper/Can't Wait)
THE HOLLIES:  "Look Through Any Window" (EMI, Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years)
THE IDLE RACE:  "Impostors Of Life's Magazine" (EMI, Back To The Story)
ARTFUL DODGER:  "Follow Me" (Pendulum, Artful Dodger)
THE TOMS:  "Let's Be Friends Again" (Not Lame, The Toms)
BLUE ASH:  "Abracadabra (Have You Seen Her?)" (Collectors' Choice Music, No More, No Less)
BADFINGER:  "Baby Blue" (Apple, Straight Up)
BIG STAR:  "September Gurls" (Ardent, # 1 Record/Radio City)
THE BEATLES:  "I Feel Fine [Take 6]" (unreleased)

Play On! Power Pop Heroes Volume 3 [9/26/15]

This week's extravaganza on This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl commenced with a one-hour salute to Play On! Power Pop Heroes Volume 3, the great new book from Pop Fan # 1 Ken Sharp. For this latest essential volume, Ken has interviewed The Knack, The Romantics, Rockpile, 20/20, The Beat, The PlimsoulsMarshall Crenshaw, The Runaways, 4 Out Of 5 Doctors, The Greg Kihn Band, Off Broadway USA, Nick Gilder, New England, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters
The Pinkees, and The Paley Brothers, so we played 'em all in our first hour (along with bonus tracks by The Nerves and Ken Sharp hisself).

Play On! Volume 3 is still available for pre-order, but not for much longer. The first two volumes are completely sold out, so fer Beatles' sake, don't miss this one! If you order before Wednesday, September 30th, you even score roughly a zillion bonus audio tracks as free downloads, including a download of our own first irresistible compilation album, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 1. Go! Radio's job is to sell books!

After a first hour like that, we coulda caved. We coulda folded. We coulda walked. But NO! Not US! We're TALLER than that! Evidence appears below, so remember: when we claim this is The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet...well, yeah, we're deluded. But we're also RIGHT. This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org

TIRnRR # 794: 9/26/15

THE RAMONES: "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
--
KEN SHARP: "Melody Hill" (Jet Fighter, Sonic Crayons)
THE KNACK: "Good Girls Don't" (Rhino, Get The Knack)
THE RUNAWAYS: "School Days" (Hip-O, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE PALEY BROTHERS: "Ecstasy" (Real Gone Music, The Complete Recordings)
THE GREG KIHN BAND: "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" (Rhino, Kihnsolidation)
ROBIN LANE & THE CHARTBUSTERS: "Many Years Ago" (Collectors' Choice Music, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters)
--
ROCKPILE: "Teacher, Teacher" (Columbia, Seconds Of Pleasure)
THE PINKEES: "Say What You're Thinking" (Creole, Pinkees)
OFF BROADWAY USA: "Stay In Time" (Atlantic, On)
NEW ENGLAND: "P.U.N.K. (Puny, Undernourished Kid)" (Infinity, New England)
THE BEAT: "Rock And Roll Girl" (Wagon Wheel, The Beat)
THE PLIMSOULS: "A Million Miles Away" (Geffen, Everywhere At Once)
--
THE NERVES: "Hanging On The Telephone" (Alive, One Way Ticket)
4 OUT OF 5 DOCTORS: "Opus 10" (CBS, 4 Out Of 5 Doctors)
20/20: "Yellow Pills" (Real Gone Music, 20/20-Lookout!)
NICK GILDER: "Got To Get Away" (Chrysalis, City Nights)
MARSHALL CRENSHAW: "Cynical Girl" (Rhino, Marshall Crenshaw)
THE ROMANTICS: "What I Like About You" (Nemperor, The Romantics)
--
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS: "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?" (Rykodisc, Armed Forces)
THE KINKS: "Better Things" (Velvel, Give The People What They Want)
SQUEEZE: "Another Nail In My Heart" (A & M, The Squeeze Story)
TELEVISION: "See No Evil" (ROIR, The Blow-Up)
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS: "Radio, Radio" (Rykodisc, This Year's Model)
THE ONLY ONES: "Another Girl, Another Planet" (Epic, Special View)
--
CHRISSIE HYNDE: "Adding The Blue" (Caroline, Stockholm)
THE TURNBACK: "Revolution Girl" (n/a, Are We There Yet?)
THE PRETENDERS: "Talk Of The Town" (Sire, The Singles)
MAURA KENNEDY: "Coyotes" (Varese Sarabande, Villanelle)
THE SMALL FACES: "Donkey Rides, A Penny A Glass" (Charly, Greatest Hits)
EDWARD ROGERS: "Sweet Fashion" (Zip, Kaye)
--
SPLIT ENZ: "Six Months In A Leaky Boat" (A & M, History Never Repeats)
MOTT THE HOOPLE: "Thunderbuck Ram" (Angel Air, All The Way From Stockholm To Philadelphia)
WUSSY: "Rainbows & Butterflies" (Shake It, Attica!)
CHRIS BELL: "You And Your Sister" (Rykodisc, I Am The Cosmos)
WRECKLESS ERIC: "The Whole Wide World" (Stiff, Wreckless Eric)
THE CRICKLE: "Place In My Heart" (ROIR, VA: Garage Sale)
--
THE RAMONES: "Rockaway Beach" (Rhino, Rocket To Russia)
THE MODERN LOVERS: "Road Runner" (Beserkley, The Modern Lovers)
ABBA: "Does Your Mother Know" (Polydor, Gold)
BLONDIE: "Dreaming" (Chrysalis, The Platinum Collection)
THE SWEET: "Fox On The Run" (Capitol, The Best Of Sweet)
NICK LOWE: "Cruel To Be Kind" (Yep Roc, Quiet Please...)
THE WONDERS: "That Thing You Do!" (Play-Tone, VA: That Thing You Do! OST)
THE BEATLES: "Please Please Me" (Apple, 1962-1966)
BADFINGER: "Baby Blue" (Apple, Straight Up)
THE BYRDS: "The Bells Of Rhymney" (Columbia, Mr. Tambourine Man)
THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES: "First Plane Home" (Rhino, At Full Speed)
DAVID BOWIE: "Hang On To Yourself" (Virgin, Bowie At The Beeb)
LISA MYCHOLS: "Better Than Nothing" (Vandalay, Above, Beyond & In Between)
THE LA'S: "There She Goes" (Rhino, VA: Children Of Nuggets)
THE ASTRONAUTS: "Baja" (Ace, VA: The Birth Of Surf)