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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 NewsThe Syracuse New Times, Big Stir magazine, and AHOY Comics.  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.

Monday, April 9, 2018

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 918: A LOVE LETTER TO RADIO

Ever since I was a little kid in the '60s, music has always been everywhere around me. The songs people sang. The music in movies and on TV. The 45s on the jukebox at The Moose Club in Syracuse. My Aunt Anna's records. My parents' records. My siblings' records. My records. Let 'em all play. Turn it up, and sing along. Music was life. Life was music.

And music was on the radio.

In 1964, even a four-year-old kid knew that rock 'n' roll, pop music, radio itself--all of that--was synonymous with one group: The Beatles. From that point forward, rock 'n' roll radio remained my friend, introducing me to an endlessly enticing parade of irresistible pop music over a period of decades. I cannot even imagine trying to get through the '70s without Syracuse's WOLF-AM and WNDR-AM propping me up with the buoyant sounds of Badfinger, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Isley Brothers, KISS, Alice Cooper, Slade, The Raspberries, Freda Payne, and so much more. Free-form WOUR-FM in Utica played the likes of The Kinks, The Sex Pistols, The Rubinoos, Nick Lowe. College radio on WBSU-AM (and later -FM) in Brockport gave me Blondie and The Ramones. 95X in Syracuse. WCMF-FM in Rochester. 97 Rock in Buffalo, with its Sunday night alternative show Power Rock. The incredible WUWU-FM and WBNY-FM in Buffalo. The distant sound of CHUM-FM from Toronto. The early '80s Top 40 of Buffalo's 14 Rock, the only station I ever really listened to on my '69 Impala's AM radio. An unidentified Rochester or Finger Lakes area college station that played The Saints' "Big Hits (On The Underground)" while I was driving on the New York State Thruway in 1987. The adult alternative WOFM-FM that introduced me to Material Issue's fabulous "Kim The Waitress" while I was vacationing in Virginia Beach in 1994. Even the syndicated Little Steven's Underground Garage, once heard here on TK99, and now on The Rebel 105.9 (and still directly opposite TIRnRR, dagnabit). This doesn't even count oldies radio, or the weekly wonders of our friends at The Wax Museum with Ronnie Dark over on WVOA-FM, or all the other great programmers on our own Spark Syracuse.

I love radio. I always have. From when I was a little kid wondering if miniature versions of John, Paul, George, and Ringo lived inside my little radio, to when I was a teenager simultaneously learning about both oldies and punk rock via the benevolence of the airwaves, through these past couple of decades trying to create our own radio magic on TIRnRR, my affection for the AM and FM sounds that made me...well, that affection remains undiminished. This week's show is a thank-you note. More than that, it's a love letter to radio. Each of these songs is something that I first heard years ago, when a radio station introduced me to it. Three hours wasn't nearly enough to cover that. But there's always next week, and the next, and the next. This love lives on. AM or FM, I listen to both of them. This is my rock 'n' roll love letter to you. 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, Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse on The Spark WSPJ-LP 103.3 and 93.7, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/

Spark Syracuse is supported by listeners like you. Tax-deductible donations are welcome at http://sparksyracuse.org/support/

You can follow Carl's daily blog Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) at 

Our new compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin' pop, starring Pop Co-OpRay PaulCirce Link & Christian NesmithVegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie FlowersThe SlapbacksP. HuxIrene PeñaMichael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave MerrittThe RubinoosStepford KnivesThe Grip WeedsPopdudesRonnie DarkThe FlashcubesChris von SneidernThe Bottle Kids1.4.5.The SmithereensPaul Collins' BeatThe Hit SquadThe RulersThe Legal MattersMaura & the Bright LightsLisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here.


THE RAMONES: Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? (Rhino, End Of The Century) [CHUM-FM, Toronto]
THE BEATLES: All My Loving (Capitol, Meet The Beatles) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
TEGAN & SARA: Walking With A Ghost (Sire, So Jealous) [Little Steven's Underground Garage, TK99 WTKW-FM, Syracuse]
THE JACKSON FIVE: I'll Be There (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
MATERIAL ISSUE: Kim The Waitress (Mercury, Freak City Soundtrack) [WOFM-FM, Chesapeake, VA]
GRANDMASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE: White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) (Rhino, single) [WBNY-FM, Buffalo]
THE KINKS: Juke Box Music (Velvel, Sleepwalker) [WOUR-FM, Utica]
BLONDIE: X-Offender (Chrysalis, Blondie) [WBSU-AM, Brockport]
THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR: I Fought The Law (Del-Fi, Never To Be Forgotten) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
R. DEAN TAYLOR: Indiana Wants Me (Rare Earth, single) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
THE O'JAYS: Love Train (Epic, Love Train) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
HUSKER DU: Eight Miles High (SST, single) [WBNY-FM, Buffalo]
TRACEY ULLMAN: They Don't Know (Rhino, The Best Of Tracey Ullman) [14 Rock WYSL-AM, Buffalo]
THE SEX PISTOLS: God Save The Queen (Virgin, Kiss This) [WOUR-FM, Utica]
RUFUS: Tell Me Something Good (Rhino, VA: Can You Dig It?) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE RUBINOOS: Wouldn't It Be Nice (Castle, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Rubinoos) [WOUR-FM, Utica]
THE RAMONES: I Wanna Be Sedated (Rhino, Road To Ruin) [WCMF-FM, Rochester)
SPANDAU BALLET: To Cut A Long Story Short (Parlophone, Gold) [WGRQ-FM, Buffalo]
WARREN ZEVON: Werewolves Of London (Rhino, Genius) [WBSU-AM, Brockport]
BADFINGER: Baby Blue (Apple, Straight Up) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE RASPBERRIES: Tonight (RPM, Power Pop Volume Two) [WOLF-AM]
JOHNNY NASH: I Can See Clearly Now (Rhino, VA: Can You Dig It?) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
KISS: Shout It Out Loud (Mercury, Destroyer) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Fight The Power, Pt. 1 [radio edit] (Epic, The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES: The Tears Of A Clown (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE DEAN BROTHERS: Sell My Misery (Pilgrim, As They Are) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
SHOES: Tomorrow Night (Black Vinyl, Best) [WCMF-FM, Rochester)
HARRY NILSSON: Daybreak (RCA, Son Of Schmilsson) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE ROMANTICS: When I Look In Your Eyes (Nemperor, The Romantics) [95X WAQX-FM, Syracuse]
LET'S ACTIVE: Blue Line (IRS, Cypress) [WBNY-FM, Buffalo]
THE 5TH DIMENSION: Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures) (Arista, The Ultimate 5th Dimension) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
THE SAINTS: Big Hits (On The Underground) (TVT, All Fools Day)[unidentified Rochester or Finger Lakes area college station]
ALICE COOPER: No More Mr. Nice Guy (Rhino, Mascara & Monsters) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
JUDY COLLINS: Both Sides Now (Rhino, The Very Best Of Judy Collins) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
SLADE: Gudbuy T' Jane (Polydor, Greatest Hits) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE FOUR TOPS: Are You Man Enough? (Geffen, Keepers Of The Castle) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE REDUCERS: Let's Go (Rave On, Redux) [WBNY-FM, Buffalo]
FREDA PAYNE: Band Of Gold (Rhino, VA: Can You Dig It?) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
THE HOLLIES: Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress (EMI, Distant Light) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: If Not For You (Universal, The Definitive Collection) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
COCKTAIL SLIPPERS: You Do Run (Wicked Cool. Saint Valentine's Day Massacre) (Little Steven's Underground Garage, TK99 WTKW-FM, Syracuse]
THE CASTAWAYS: Liar, Liar (Rhino, VA: Nuggets) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
TALK TALK: Talk Talk (EMI, VA: Living In Oblivion: The 80's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1) [WUWU-FM, East Aurora, NY]
THE ROLLING STONES: Get Off Of My Cloud (Abkco, December's Children [And Everybody's]) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
DIRTY LOOKS: Let Go (Stiff America, Dirty Looks) [97 Rock WGRQ-FM, Buffalo]
NICK LOWE: So It Goes (Yep Roc, Jesus Of Cool) [WOUR-FM, Utica]
THE GREG KIHN BAND: Roadrunner (Beserkley, With The Naked Eye) [95X WAQX-FM, Syracuse]
THE SPORTS: Who Listens To The Radio (Rhino, The Definitive Collection) [WBSU-FM, Brockport]
THE MONKEES: I'm A Believer (Rhino, 50) [WNDR-AM, Syracuse]
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Rock And Roll Love Letter (Arista, The Definitive Collection) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]
MFSB: TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) (Legacy, End Of Phase 1) [WOLF-AM, Syracuse]

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