Tag Archive: disc jockey


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I am “cursed” with a “DJ Mind” by dint of my many years playing for people on the radio and doing events and parties in nightclubs. On the regular, I can hear music from Neil Diamond to The Intruders at any time of the day or night playing in my mind. Like this oldie by The Intruders that kept me up all night last night

What happened to the rest of that clip?

Am I insane or just musically challenged? lolol

Or this one by The Continental Four who I hung out with briefly at an old theater turned brief concert hall near Parsons Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York called ‘The Creep’

Or at any given moment in my life a cut from Niel Diamond will start playing in my ears! Like this!

What is a “Cracklin Rosie” anyway? lol

Yes, I know, it is form of lunacy, but it doesn’t hurt nobody and I bet if you like music you have experienced it too! (That Neil Diamond is a “heartthrob” isn’t he, lol!)

Or sometimes out of my somnolence, my brain will play David Ruffin of the Temptations brother, Jimmy’s one hit wonder – I know not why…

I am at work one day in a totally different sales field from music radio, when along comes this one by Carol King which I played during my days as a Top 40 disc jockey in the early 1980s

Again, dear reader and listener, I do not know why except that I have played so many tunes and listened to so much contemporary music since the 1960s until today, that my brain has become a kind of “jukebox”. And yet, many times, I would like to [as I know that you also might to] perform a “system restore”, change my mind and…start all over again…

I can be sitting at my desk at “the day job” and Tyrone will sing unto me; its a favorite melody!

And then there is this one spawned because I lived through the nightmare of a stalker female which reminds me of this one by Elvis

Just leave me alone

And you’d be lying to yourself if you, at some point, didn’t want to “turn back the hands of time” right?

And so, when you are inhaling a loving rainy spring, summer or autumn breeze, just remember that you are not all that unusual from the “Achilliad” and my natural “DJ” mind.

Maybe I just miss dee-jaying..

PICKHIT: This post could go on forever with song and will likely have sequels…Oh and that was the late Barry White on the phone, “Baby I’m Home…” ( :

Yikes!, I thought I was gone and then Dru Hill came to my jukebox mind.

Only a “PM” can quiet my mind from the endless endurance that peeps put into my mental jukebox tonight. This might be the beginning of a new category for my blog, so check back with me soon.

Even Everly Brothers encroach, eventually editing my sleep! OMG!

Therefore, the moral of this blog post is, when you get a “tune wedgie” that drives you “crazy”, the best way to dispel it is to just play it live by whatever means or media. “Ain’t it fun reminiscing”?

Oh, by-the-way, how did YOU get in? it’s member’s only tonight…

We miss you, Mr. Bobby “Blue” Bland. My Jukebox mind will always keep you real.

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I have been through the financial “mill” at the time of this post, having to make sure that my retro move at the age of sixty [60] is truly temporary and be able to repay the lady I want to marry for her help in 2010, while a fifteen-year younger, sick-in-the-head sibling seems hell-bent upon having me be stuck there, ensuring the failure of the remnants of our “family” while I try to help my octogenarian Mum, my fiancee` overseas and her elderly Mum! OMG! Heaven help me now, or end this madness!

I always push to leave every situation that I encounter better than when I found it. it is my “motto”.
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Therefore, I now offer for better or worse, the lessons that I have learned via sixty years on this rock, with the prayer that, if nothing else, they will entertain you to maintain your cool – which in these days and times without my soul-mate in the same postal code , is so very hard to do.
“Observe!”

1. Patience is a virtue because it is so difficult to consistently sustain. However, the payoff is worth it because most often, when we get what we are waiting for, it comes like a torrential rain following a drought.
2. There comes a point when I have to push the envelope to get the results I need.
3. I never liked banks and adulthood validates this thus far; they are greedy and try to get something for nothing every chance they get.
4. Driver’s licenses are much too easy to obtain (skill wise and especially with all of the distractions in the cockpit installed by automakers these days)
5. When given the chance these days, most people will cheat the laws or be lazy.
6. When It rains, most lose the ability to drive their vehicles safely.
7. To take my time; allow enough time so I do not have to rush to work or an appointment – or for love to happen.
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8. Watching TV is a waste of time
9. Not to watch the “news” so as not to have high blood pressure regarding the drama of the world that I cannot control.
10. Not to watch this era’s rich millionaire athletes in shorts run up and down basketball courts while I am struggling to make ends meet! (none of them would lend me a helping hand, anyway) I do not “identify” with their values (or lack thereof).
11. To be concerned, but not to worry.
12. That there are some people that I will never reach – even those technically “related” to me – never, just move on, because “family” will disappoint more than any stranger because I have (false) high expectations thinking that they “know” me…
13. Man is his own worst enemy (our brain).
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14. Technology ended common sense (the sixth one)
15. To listen to the hopeful, quieter voice in my head more than the louder, frustrated voice on the other shoulder.
16. To take my time, do not always be in a rush because you will usually get there at the same time anyway
17. The degree that I value more than my high school or college diploma is the one I earned at the “Cool School” whose classes were held on the mean streets of New York City, circa 1960 – 1989.
18. “Don’t believe the HYPE!” (an old lyric that still applies, y’all)

19. No matter when I want something, if I just put things in-place to happen, they will evolve to fruition when they are supposed to…unless my traitorous, fifteen-year younger lesbo sibling gets wind of it, to block it, for some unbeknownst reason, that it will never reveal (demonic spirit we surmise…).

20. To embrace the positives that people bestow upon me and try to earn money with them for Inna and me! cafe 2013

20-A. That being back in New York City briefly, has reinforced that it is not the “great” city that it was prior to “9/11’ but now an Orwellian police state, still running scared and recently managed by a Nanny Mayor who greedily over-regulated the adults who inhabit it.
21. I really believe “everything in its own time” is true.
22. That life is like cycling the hills of Nashville: we work hard, pumping-up the steep hills in order to enjoy the pay-off which is the coast down super-fast on the other side of it.
23. It is true that many dogs resemble their owners!
24. To pick my “spots” in life like a basketball player (I once was pretty good at it); there are times to be aggressive; times to give the “head-fake”; times to show patience…
25. That there are more idiots and morons in the world than ever in our past “Ossie & Harriot” youthful days! Not that I am perfect, mind you, but come ON guys, enough dumbing-down of America (and stop letting every other country’s criminals come over here just because you want more people to pay taxes!)

25A. I am not an “African-American”. I am a Black American (with a little native-American Cherokee mixed-in), the proud descendant of the slaves who were brought here from Afrika, against their will. I’ve never been to Africa, nor do I have the desire to go there (allergies), unless Nina can convince me it is a romantic trip to take, and even then we will have to meditate upon it, lol! “African Americans” are those imports since the 1980s who “look” like us, but who have much more disdain for the Brothas from the USA, and more money to spend with the traditional American establishment!
26. Things DO happen in “threes”. For-example, get one “cut” on your hand or other body part, two more are sure to follow very soon! Or, famous deaths – they always happen in “threes” (three in-a-row)!

I hope that you have comments on a similar vibe in your own cosmic existence which you can espouse here…

It’s about TIME!! I scarcely want to believe it; this is a time I want to SEE a dead body on the video that looks like this demon. Not liking to cheer death of any person, but with what he has spewed, this dude  had it coming and we were never going to see a “jury trial”  Guantanamo Bay-style. In Pakistan, eh?  I knew he was ther all the time!!  I remember being on the radio here, having just moved six months prior.  Nobody felt my emotions like I felt the hurt at my beloved twin towers of the World Trade Center (I like architecture, ok?) being violated and imploding to the ground here  like I did.  I was angry at the locals for that; the new people I worked for said tom me, “Oh, It’s just a building…”  Oh yes they DID.

I didn’t even want to do my radio show that night because I wanted to be back home and share the trauma.  Maybe it is good I didn’t breath that air, given my genetic lung makeup, but I wanted to stand with my friends in Manhattan and the boroughs of New York City.  I couldn’t bow-out in the face of such uncaring callousness from my new boss, but I did a trimmed-down show…”The Pajama Bar” was “closed” and I tried to even open-up the phones for callers.  I got some real empathetic ones from a few here in what was then my new southeastern city, not as many as I desired, but it worked long enough for me to fulfill my performance committment and get back to my cribola.

I wrote a poem about those Bin Laden led attacks that I read on the air a few days later.  I cannot find them right now, but the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, which I called for on the radio, will make me try to find them again and post them within this blog.  I remember that I called the Muhammad Atta gang the worst “faggots and cowards”, and a few more choice analogous words, and that I got phone calls about the poems after I read them live. Why didn’t they just step-up and fight us face-to-face?  It was a throw-back to my spontaneous college radio days when, filled with venom and hate for those who held us back because of our skin color, I would launch into poetic tirades in-between the music.  I remember bringing in all of my old anti-war protest jams from thirty years prior in the days to follow, like this one:

 The attacks of September 11, 2001 were a similar affront to the moral cohesiveness of our society at that juncture.  Since then, we have disintegrated into less than all that we can be since those Bin Laden-led attacks, keeping our collective heads in the sand, three monkeys-style, when we hear home-grown hate on the FCC-regulated airwaves.  I hope that now, as we stay vigilant for reprisals (his lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahri is still lurking someplace), that this American society and all the people on this planet Earth can renew its committment to fairness, justice, respect and peaceful coexistence for us all.  Maybe our gasoline prices will drop for a bit now,

And… hopefully we can, as Freda Payne sang, “Bring The Boys HOME”Geez...   

Peace.

OH! P.S. BIGG UPPS to Kooool Ronnie Beee of Atlantic City, NJ for the late Sunday night “SCOOP”!  1 Love.

[you have a standing invitation to COMMENT on this or any of my posts. Thank You.]

       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?



I am over trying to just trap pussycats or chase the bunnies like my mates and I did after graduating from the University decades ago, I just want to be invited to “the mansion” as a veteran disc jockey with all the music needed to make some serious chedda by rocking the House of Hefner! 

 Shoot I am now realizing, that was back in the late 1970s, when the Playboy Club was on 59th Street in Manhattan, near Central Park,  or Lexington Avenues in the mid-fifties, and we had our post-fraternity meetings, pretend-to-catch- the-fox liasons there.  Cliche` to-be-sure, how time flies!  We got Playboy “keys”; I just came across mine the other day.  It is not a real “key” but a plastic credit card lookalike.  I was always disappointed by that – I wanted a real KEY to unlock a keyhole! Maybe with a bunny on it, but a metal KEY!  I think Playboy dropped the ball on that promotion.

We would have meetings and many of us, in retrospect, did not know WHAT to do with these ultra-fine chicks with cotton tails, even though the conversational bravado said otherwise.  LOL    It was young man fun in the heart of the world!  I still have my long, tall Playboy beer mug, even! 

Once I went to one of the Playboy resorts located in “Great Gourge” ;  A place in the hilly terrain of north New Jersey, where  skiing was fashionable in the winter months.  You could look out of the restaurant  and see skiers coming down the lighted trail as you wined and dined your date!  I thought myself a baad man like “Shaft” when I drove up there with my then, college girlfriend, having secured “comps” for most of the weekend because I was a DJ on the radio station and “reviewing” the place for an on-air. “Little” (not on my part) did I know, that I would not be able to get “it” in nor interview Carol Martin who was at the time a first-ever WCBS -TV New York City Black woman reporter who was coincidentally hanging-out there during the same weekend, playing tennis.  I wanted to hit some balls with her, but was too loyal to my “date” – getting nothing.

Mr. Hefner, et al, if you want to rock a party with a mature gentleman, consider this my advert  to you and my plea to be able to rock your big house succinctly and fulfill this past re-destiny.

If you or any of your associates are reading this, Mr Hefner, this music is my main style to get your rabbits a-rockin’ and not a-dyin’ breed.

That is the question kids will be asking their elders soon if they aren’t already.  Terrestrial commercial radio as we once knew it IS dead. The mean-spirited “no fun bunch” has taken over. Corporations are to blame, and the Congress that deregulated radio about twenty years ago a la what Reagan did to the Air Traffic Controllers union in 1980 is also. I used to dream of being a successful music radio Program Director in a big city when I landed my first on-air gig back in 1978.  Now I know that dream will never be realized after almost forty years in the business – now mostly relegated to “part-time” status, I’m sad to say.

Recently, one of my favorite FCC Commissioners Michael Copps commented, “a tsunami of media consolidation fueled by the same hyper-speculation that was fueling so many bubbles in so many other industries [where] Stations were gobbled up en masse and totally unrealistic expectations were visited upon both them and even upon the ones who managed to stay unconsolidated.” And furthermore he said at the workshop, “the FCC had fallen “fell under the spell of an ideological deregulatory mind-set that fueled the evisceration or outright elimination of just about every public interest obligation or public interest guideline we had.” Not to mention planned careers like mine.  You can read the Commissioner’s complete remarks at  FCC.gov.

I had a job interview with a Program Director a few weeks ago.  I guess he is close to my age but younger because we both reminisced about the days of editing audio using celluloid tape and a razor blade on those big ten-inch reel-to-reel tape recorders.  When I left I wondered how he got his job? Not that he isn’t qualified or anything like that, but I’ve almost forty years in “da bizness”, and can’t even get a sniff to fulfill my career dream?  I must have missed something along the way.  All of this began to change around seventeen years ago – about the time the computer became commonplace.  The bean counters came  in over we who had gone to school for/trained in broadcasting. Suddenly we had too many desk jockeys and not enough true disc jockeys.  I remember when I always had an eye to the “trades” Help Wanted sections for that next desired location, air shift or a music director gig.  I could send a tape, CD  and resume and get hired – seeing America the raido way; stations would even help you move !  Not no more – I’m stuck at the scene of my last relocation eight years ago.  No more “Radio Ga Ga” ( a song long before Lady Ga Ga burst onto the scene, by the way).

The result is the current vast, cold and cookie-cutter non-creative radio wasteland that discourages a disc jockey’s individualism, and where every genre’s playlist is a replica of the “competing” station over at the next corporation.

Of course another big competitor for radio ears are the I-Pods, Podcasts and other virtual media which I can only wish were never invented pertaining to the number of traditional radio employment opportunities; a no-win situation.  Here is a link to a friend and former co-worker speaking upon her being let go fromWBLS FM where she helped me get my audition tape to then Program Director, Frankie Crocker:

2008-12-01_on_the_radio_it_wasnt_the_best_year_for_.html

Upon my recent prevailing against another unjust firing (when will I ever learn to get out of “radio”) a mentor wrote to me, “”Congrats!  I’m glad you won and yours is a victory for everyone who has been made a victim by companies such as Citadel.  I hope you get a generous settlement and I’m glad you didn’t let them get away with it.”

“The radio jobs that [we] yearned for thirty years ago aren’t coming back,” a Program Director friend of mine commented to me last week.  He has been one of the fortunate few to have been in his chair for about twenty years!  My suggestion has long been to bring back the requirement that broadcasters (yes,even DJs) have to pass the minimum Third Class FCC license test.  There are three classes of FCC licenses.  You would have a better quality of true communicators, and it would weed-out much of the “junk” we currently have over the terrestrial airwaves.  I bet people like Rush Limbaugh couldn’t pass the test for one on the first try! LOL

Two of  of these major “evil empires” of radio are Clear Channel (the former AM/FM radio and the greediest) and  Citadel Broadcasting.  Everytime I read a headline like this week’s “Clear Channel Revenue Slips 6% In Q4 ’09” I am happy. I hope one day they disintergrate.  Citadel has recently filed bankruptcy, so logically they should not be appealing any worker’s mysterious, curious and cost-cutting dismissals these days – except that they too live in the illogical world of the bottom financial line which dictates that they shouldn’t pay a worker who is partially unemployed and pay into his/her unemployment benefits; yet they would rather dismiss that type of employee rather than create a position where he or she could earn more and get out from under the Unemployment safety net. I was a victim of such a bean counter lady recently.  There is no respect for longevity anymore and no willingness to “work with” employees for mutual benefits.  My uncle, who just passed away at ninety-two years old was a Jazz fan – he loved WBGO and NPR’s programs – always said, “The larger the company, the more stupid rules.”  ‘Nuff said.

We used to lightheartedly say about our being in radio that we were “bitten by the bug” because we had the fever to play music, cut-up, entertain, inform and communicate the truths about our times.  That bug led to a fever that is hard to cure, and if you can break it, the residue tastes like that of losing a long-time lover or breaking a drug habit.

pickhitt: an optimistic perspective on the future of traditional radio DJs (at least in the UK) is here:

traditional-djs-survive-internet-radio-revolution?CMP=twt_gu

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