Tag Archive: Chief Rocker Frankie Crocker


17-starbucks-race-together-2.w529.h529.2xRecently, Starbucks unsuccessfully launched this “unity” campaign.  They just slapped a slogan on their coffee cups without a lead-up promotion and there should have been a brown hand under this cup (at least, or several shades) – in my opinion – that is why it failed.  Today’s media must be captained by fools who did not do their homework visa v ethnic relations in the United States over the past century-plus.  It is why, even though I held-back, I am compelled to post this… Back in 2008, I met my first Slavic woman girlfriend, who convinced me that watching television was largely a waste of valuable time – especially the “news” and sports. I bought into her mentality and ended up spending much more quality time with her, much to my delight and relaxation – and she liked it also.  Unfortunately, she had two young sons via two different men; widely separated in age to raise and that, along with her, cranky insecurities, and  suffering from panic attacks (something I had never heard of at the time) which caused her to take many undesclosed -to-me pills, soon put the kibosh on our relationship (her decision) after nary a bit over one year. I digress only to say, she had a POINT about watching the ratings-game known as the “news”; truly I’d wasted too many hours watching millionaire athletes do their thing at the expense of me pursuing my goals and dreams. Her cautions have stayed with me! Unfortunately, the general populace of the USA did not receive the same memo, and it speaks directly to the overkill that today’s news directors now give to stories of a racially dividing bent, which capitalize (for ratings, IMO) on reigniting the recently-dowsed embers of racial hate in continental USA.  Having daily hosts on the airwaves such as Bill O’Reilly, Al Sharpton, and of course the legendary, Rush Limbaugh does not help matters of cultural ethnic manners and build unity either.  They only propagate hate instead of educate good news!  Why do there have to be “Red” and “Blue” states on the Election Day maps – or even the Weather Channel maps?  ‘Still fighting the Civil War, eh?  Very tragic. As for today’s children, not raised by two parents, who imitate the “news”: Do not cover and promote young chicks wanting to “join Isis”!  By doing so, you are helping Isis recruit! Don’t you News Directors understand and see this? Witness how terrestrial radio of today plays new, “cover” versions of past classic hits without the announcers back-selling the origins of the songs in-order to educate within the entertainment as people like the late Frankie Crocker, Vaughn Harper and those of us privileged to perform along side them did.  Who wrote and performed it first? Under what circumstances?  News and music media should return to making the “tease” incite these successive generations to want to learn their history of our collective past! tumblr_njzfc95MRe1r83d7lo1_1280 Rap/Hip-Hop music also must clean its act up (if it can without losing the very identity it has embraced in recent decades since 1999) and de-emphasize weapon violence in their lyrics and performances. They reinforce negative male stereotypes that we once had quashed! The whole Third World is here in many cities of the USA now. They only look the same as we Black Americans of the civil rights days of the 1960s and 1970s skin-deep. These are different “Blacks” – they are “Afro-Caribbean-Americans” who look a wee bit like black Americans – but I can tell the difference without them saying a word.  Islanders have more Neanderthal, simian cheek-boneed features and lips. They also do not have the same playbook nor history as we Black Americans who are descendants of American slavery and they look down/talk disparagingly about us!  Imagine that!? I heard an African guy on his phone, sitting only a foot away from me at my bank do this very recently! They shunned our history and take advantage of the gains, pain and achievements we endured only to arrive in the wake of our victories to miscegenate among us and further confuse the European Caucasian base that the United States Of America was founded upon. The generation of “lookalike” black people who came to the USA beginning in the 1980s are so late to the party and were labeled as  “African Americans” via the Clinton Presidency and the silly advent of “political correctness”  that we Black American men, who did the heavy lifting of the movement which ultimately resulted in the success of “we Shall over come”, decades ago of, but nobody apparently passed the memo on to them, and these crop of coconuts, IMO. The feminists and queers also have ridden upon our coattails, as if the perceived discrimination is similar – not. It is also time to end this enabling of children who can run to a social services agency or the cops after they get a needed parental disciplined spanking!  This action was unheard of during my generation or the many prior generations. We could not go running to some outside of the family “agency” and say, “Oh my Daddy spanked me! Please put them in jail!”  Bullshit. Everything was kept in-house – and we should return the same power to the parents asap!  A spanking or two growing is not “abuse”!  We are all born as  little animals that need training – some tough physically judicial parental love, that is – in our formative years. I use former NBA Hall Of Famer, Charles Barkley’s video on part of this topic because it is in-line with the fact that most of my generation’s parents migrated from “the south” (southern USA states where slavery emanated from). Finally, these discipleship ideas also apply the offspring American Caucasian clans in the USA, who have embraced the “thug” lifestyle. “Ya heard??”

Back to Starbucks, as I commented on a piece about the attempted campaign on LinkedIn.com, I would have built advance promotion and publicity about this idea long before slapping “Race Together” on the coffee cups and in a different manor using more medias, for one thing…In the USA we are still the victim of the negative messages about race that our own news Directors, channels and parts of the music entertainment industry reinforce and advertise (for ratings, IMO) ad-nausea. This must change for us to catch-up to the rest of the world.” As my acquaintance from Belarus would say, “C’MON, People!” ~~  your comments, solutions and suggestions are welcomed, as alwaze here.

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                                                                  Whether you are a regular or infrequent visitor to my blog, undoubtedly you have heard me refer to Frankie Crocker as my inspiration for wanting to become a high-paid celebrity professional radio personality. I haven’t looked, but I bet in each of “My Vinyls” I mention him; he hipped me to so much music via the radio and he taught me in a vicarious way how not to take any shit from people while doing my show. I remember him once giving me the advice, take full control of your show whenever you ares” on, no-matter what or who (but he put it another way as described in my book). Frankie was very quotable and had a lot of “sayings” – many direct and controversial. In my first radio memoir book,
https://www.createspace.com/3563928
(which you can see the front cover of to the right), I write about Mr. Crocker and how he influenced so many of us during his times. The way I got “past” his gatekeepers like Denise Colon and Champaine of WBLS FM, New York, was to wait patiently in the lobby on many an afternoon, while superstar celebrities whisked-in ahead of me. I knew that one day I would get my turn – and I did some other “things” to get his attention along the way which I describe. 

~ Pickhitt:

I’d  be remiss if I didn’t credit my loving and full-of-good-ideas fiancee`, Nina, who thought of this book promotional post!

Cheers, Babychka!

“If Frankie Crocker’s not on your radio, your radio’s not really ON…”  😀  ~~ Jimi

       I don’t want to wait until one of the members of this group dies or something similar to do this one. 

 I have avoided most R&B music ever since having a traumatic termination experience at the last R&B radio outlet I diligently performed on, and tirelessly worked for getting exceptional “ratings”, when I was literally “fired” as the individual who hired me, (the GM) used a load gun in-hand while he dismissed me. Seemy book, “He’s In A Meeting…” for how it played-out thereafter. However, today I shot a promotional video, where I had creative control, and in one of “those” moments, it came to me that this particular O’Jays song was the perfect background theme song.  “As luck would have it”, I have now pulled my whole O’Jays catalog from me library to me desk, Mon.  Let us see what we have here….

Hailing from Canton, Ohio, I believe and named after one of my favorite and much-missed radio disc jockey inspirations, the late Eddie O’Jay, these cats have been part of the fabric of my life since their first big album dropped in 1972 as I was a freshman in college.  I first listened to Eddie O’Jay on Newark, New Jersey’s WNJR AM where he scatted such cool gibberish as “So cool, docaroo; eh-tu, me and you, sabee-doo!” LOL as part of his daily sign-off the air.  For a long time I didn’t connect the group with the radio personality – “Duh??”  Just like I didn’t know they were originally a quartet that included Bobby Isles – my parents tried to keep my from what they described as the “gut-bucket music” R&B table; what can I say except, that I broke free in college, rapido-style, in order to catch-up.

Last I paid serious attention, The O’Jays are/were Eddie Lavert, William Powell and Walter Williams.  They came to hit status due to the writing prowess of Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble in the early 1970s and to me, their signature is the almost rough and churchy- energetic vamping of lead singer, Mr. Lavert.  He is the male standard for “bringing a song home”!  He knows how to put the “beg” on the woman in-song,  is smooth and soft; or “nice and rough” as Tina Turner once described their “Rolling On The River”.  Moreover, do not get it twisted, all three of the O’Jays can carry the lead.

  My oldest O’Jays vinyl is “Backstabbers” which featured the classics ‘Love Train”, “Sunshine”, “Time To Get Down”, and of course the title track that became a euphemism for me and my college mates back then when it became known that another man was after “your’ girl – he then dubbed was a “Backstabber (what they do!)”.

Thanks to the promotion people I remember at CBS Records (the “black rock building”  like Jackie Thomas, Elaine Valentine and T.C.  Tompkins, I own about seventeen O’Jays vinyls.  Of course, growing up in music within the sound of Frankie Crocker’s “total Black Experience In Sound, ” WBLS FM radio station did not hurt my O’Jay education nor catalog.  I remember him “running” the hit “For The Love Of Money” over and over again! This was an era prior to “remixed versions” that are just part of the music machine fabric nowadays. My second oldest  is “The O”Jays in Philadelphia” which includes “‘One Night Affair”, which was my first 45rpm by them from the local record shop on Neptune Records.

Then there is the classic (another one!) “Ship Ahoy”, where in addition to “Money”, I always dug “Put Your Hands Together”, “People Keep Telling Me” and “Now That We Found Love” which the reggae group Third World made a smash out of too!  Next is “The O’Jays Live In London” which, when released, was kind of a first.  A reverse Beatles moment when an American “soul” group went across the “pond” and “wowed” the Brits! (I couldn’t find any video for that appearance, sadly)

Next are my vinyls: “Family Reunion”, featuring the love classic “You and Me” as well as the sometimes over-played, IMHO, title track, the cool “Living For The Weekend”,  McFadden and Whitehead-written “She’s Only A Woman”, and a little ditty called “I Love Music” which became a disco classic upon remixes by the likes of yours truly and other selectors of the day.  Positioning that track last on that album was genius!  Next I have the “Survival” album featuring “Give The People What They Want” and my personal fave, “How Time Flies”; next 1976’s “Message In The Music” featuring the ultimate dance floor-filler classic of it’s time, “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)” – I still have the 12″ versions separate from the rest, LOL. You just heard it here (and I dedicate it to my Ukrainian, Nina, by-the-way).

Following that platinum success the guys were ‘Travelin’ At The Speed Of Thought” (an interlude in their discography) until they discovered they were “So Full Of Love” which included their first real “crossover” sure shot into the mainstream of Pop music, “She Used Ta Be My Girl”.  I can name THAT tune in the first several guitar riff notes and it always reminds me of my first commercial radio riff on WFLB AM in 1978.  “Identify Yourself” took the stage on Philadelphia International/Mighty Three Music in 1979 where “Forever Mine’ was the star song.  In 1982 my collection features the non-descriptive “My Favorite Person” album, which was only saved by the title song and the  Womack connection on the first song, “I Just Want To Satisfy You” which played big in New York City radio because of Crocker and Sonny Taylor.  Play it again, “Sam”!  A rare dud for the group was the  vinyl, “When Will I See You Again”, and I knew that they should take a powder for a while after it.     Sure enough, the came back in 1984 and 1984 with “Love and More” and did  a little bit better on “Love Fever”, but still not up to their previous standards until the album that inspired this post, 1987’s “Let Me Touch You”.  This effort showcases all the styles, spectrums and signatures of  The O’Jays as exemplified by a Latin-funky “True Love Never Dies” on one  song and then a heartfelt “Still Missing” on the next.



So which one is my  favorite album or cut?  Well, there are way too many to mention!  I love “Darlin’ Baby” the same way I dig “Lovin’ You”  or “When The  World Is At Peace”.  I am sure , and at least HOPE that they are still making music and albums/CDs.  I am not in the “loop” anymore with their labels like it was easy “back in the day” to keep up, and I want to cry about it. 

 Not the “Old Jays” as I recently heard some young homies disrespectfully refer to them, but still the O’JOINTS!   Ya know, “True love” really “never dies”. We Love you Eddie Lavert! 

So what are your favorite O’Jays songs or concert moments?  Or had you ever even heard of them until you read this?



One of the “baaddest” slow jams I ever heard Frankie Crocker introduce on WBLS-FM radio through the years of the “hey-day” of Urban radio whe the mix was superb and the tempos changed succinctly. This is a late-spring (or whenever you play it for your betrothed) “Valentine” song.

“Tonight’s the night we will share, turn off the lights come close to me,Tell me I’m all,  you’ll ever need…”
Major Props to Kieth Washington – whatever happened to him? Maybe all of those women at the end of this video kidnapped him and made him their slave “and he was never heard from again…” ? lol
Comment and tell me.

’nuff Said.

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