Tag Archive: radio


There once was a radio station slot that was dull,
Too many youngsters were cursing on the air.
The FCC dug the Vandy college campus station null.
Until a community volunteer named Gull
Produced a show named for a bird of the Sea,
That went on to become one that lives
In the WRVU radio hall of fame in infamy.
“Seagulls Over Nashville” was his name.
Conservative and down-home religious was his bent,
When not rocking-out judiciously on the air.

Now on sea-video for the first time,
It is another of his claims to fame,
Since the institution sold its soul and license to NPR
Into shame and meetings about it notwithstanding,
Turning talent out with a boot to the ass;
Faustian caring not about youthful human creativity,
Nor forming terrestrial trusts into perpetuity.
The Gull often squawks, “Not Urgent”
So that we do not take it seriously.

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And now…I will unleash my over three decades as a radio broadcaster upon a review of a radio station that is the only one I currently like to listen to…, “Rooshkie Radio, WSNR”, Jersey City.

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The first time I ever heard of Russians, “Boris and Natasha” were cartooned Russian agent caricatures I used to watch on “Rocky, The Flying Squirrel” show as a boy. On the nightly news back then, Chet Hutley, David Brinkley or Walter Cronkite would talk about the “cold war threat” from them and quote the newspaper, “Pravda”. Simultaneously, the movie, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” premiered to my young consciousness and then, linguistically via the Cuban Missile Crisis during President Kennedy’s administration in the early 1960s, when then, First secretary of The Soviet Communist Party and Prime Minister, Nikita Khrushchev performed his shoe-pounding rant at the United Nations’ General Assembly.
Then came the dancers at club “NV” Nashville and my meeting my fiancee` Nina via our “Cafe Skype”.
All of which obviously begat these days when I listen daily in the car on my commute to work and my laptop to “Rooshkie Davidzon Radio”, WSNR 640. The AM radio station’s music has a wide variety and very cool, often hip playlist; the Russian talk is helpful to my learning the language of my fiancee` who lives in Ukraine, but is part of the Russian speaking population there (there are two linguistic factions in Ukraine). I bet the old communist establishment of the Soviet Union is turning in it’s grave at the sound of this American-style, non propagandist radio station’s format!
Listening to this station daily (and appreciating their radio elements) augments my Pimsleur Approach CD lessons learning that I began in April of 2012. They have a full spot (commercials) load and the many telephone numbers of the advertisers, spoken in Russian, has helped me learn to count from zero (“нулевой” or “nul”) to twenty (“двадцать” or “dvadtsat'”) in Russkiy!
Their production is entertaining; the image elements enlightening and even when the automation fucks-up, it doesn’t take away from this very American-style terrestrial “Rooshkie” radio station. They have a featured traffic reporter girl, Natalia Bystritskaya, who is bubbly, humorous and in a “good mood” always! u193

The all-important morning show is anchored by a man who I call “the Russian Frankie Crocker” because of the jazzy background music bed that he does his talk over, Vadim Yarmolinets. thumb100_u207
His laugh and self-deprecating way of handling caller and topics makes him easy to listen to even if you cannot translate or understand every word. I always get the “flavor” of what they are discussing!

Another notable listenable is Alexander Grant who, I determined a “sleuth” journalist personality without the benefit of understanding all of the words in Russian. It is awesome how with the power of just a few linguistics and a background in radio formatics I can decipher subject of their talk shows.
u28

I love their production, the spontaneity of how they handle callers and even when the automation burps. Their image liners and fill bumpers are really the creative “radio” that I learned to love when bitten by the bug back in 1972 at Adelphi University’s WALI/WBAU.
When not talking, WSNR is eclectic;(boring) especially after seven o’clock U.S. eastern time and on weekends. Weekdays, the live over-the-air broadcast ends at 7p.m. but can still pick up the stream of music online. Sundays they are over-the-air all day until seven p.m., including a sports talk show Sunday evenings. The music mix is eclectic where you’ll hear everything from traditional Slavic folk and acoustic tunes to Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Abba, Tina Turner and any electronica club jams that slip-in, (much less than when I first found this station, by-the-way) remind me of the hot Russian chicks I played for at club NV in Nashville, TN, circa 2004! I do not have to understand every single word in order to know what is going on due to my radio intuition and knowledge of the radio clock and vocal inflections! I notice a dearth of male American R&B or dance vocalist artist on WSNR’s musical playlist, however. How about some Sylvester from the disco days?!

My only advice to Mr. Gregory Devidzon, President of “Davidzon Radio” is do not sell-out to any U.S. radio corporations like Clear Channel! Please! пожалуйста!!
u93
If you do, you will lose your radio station’s unique identity, political posture and entertainment values. Take it from someone whose radio career was abruptly discontinued by the corporatization, deregulation and automation which hit us beginning back in the early 1990s.
This is their website url, http://www.davidzonradio.com/index.htm and you can also dial them up streaming on any number of sites like tunein.com/radio/
As one of my LinkedIN.com comrades, Yuri Neshitov put it regarding my Russian learning methods, “You are at better position with learning Russian because love is the best tescher, tutor and assistent in this job… you a lucky man!”

boris_and_natasha_by_rongs1234-d4ydjfu

Pickhitt: I give WSNR Four stars **** out of a possible five for live radio content in this day and time as a former radio personality. This is likely a brokerd deal with WSNR.
One thing I recommend is that they add a PLAYLIST or “now playing” to their website so that we what tunes we are listening to after talk hours on line and so we can support the artists whose music they play! As a former radio junkie, I love that I cannot understand all of the bad news of the day and commercials! Otherwise they would be just another cookie-cutter station I would not listen to as a professional. lol I dig their hourly station ID production and choice of filler music also! Advice: Use the “cough switch/button more! I hear too much coughing over the air! WTF? It is needlessly rude and unprofessional.
I pay particular attention to understanding the words that I can make-out when I hear the word “Ukraine” mentioned during their hour or half-hour news updates these days, knowing that my fiancee`, Nina, is in Kiev and political turmoil is spreading via a corrupt Russian-puppet regime “President” who should resign…. topimg1

**SURESHOTT: Update: October, 2014, Davidzon Radio’s stream on the popular TuneIn.com no longer works. I contacted TuneIN and they verify it does not work for ANYbody anymore. Mysterious? I bet the Kremlin would “deny any wrongdoing”…

Deeper than the idea that Obama will ever be thus until he learns not to listen to the “stuffed-suits” advising him all the time, think for himself, occasionally representing the Black American Man and talk about the poor people of all colors for a change, “You’re INSIDE the Pajama Bar…” will remain the GOLD-standard of music journalism :- j

Actually this show is the last we performed on WRVU FM before Vanderbilt University sadly went down the path towards selling their station’s radio license to the hideous local “NPR”.  It began with this last trip,  by axing most of us “community volunteers”, aka ‘older adults’.  I was okay with it, too much drama was happening for no reason at a great facility now gone to waste like so many things I grew into appreciating.  Would death be so reminisce?

Succinct, live-at-the-time music mixing on-the radio from ‘009. I was just trying to stay true to the advice of my friend, the late  Chuck Leonard, who always said, “‘…just stay on the mic…”  as advice to keep in myself on the air.  But government deregulation and technology made his advice moot – and it sux.

  We always count upon your comments and suggestions at I.M.I.J. Produckshunz.  ThanX & Cheers.

Very Interesting when viewed against the backdrop of our documentary film-short funding project, “Cafe` Skype”….

Amanda Howie and her fiance, Matt, wed via Skype. Matt, a soldier overseas, image, last name and location is confidential due to security reasons.

Still, there ‘ Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing, Baby’ and how are they going to “consummate” their marriage? Our “Cafe` Skype” film funding project has potential videographers, camera shooters, narrators (female and male), actors and other crew lining-up to produce this from our Craig’s List advert in June of 2011! Yes, Mon!  One of the reasons I love Nina so much is that she has great ideas, of which this is only one, that I try to groom to able to fly successfully – but only in my spare time. For us to get together, I am working tirelessly for paychecks and campaigning otherwise. Consistent effort over time = success in any endeavor.

Here is another Skype wedding WITH the vows!

We hope you like it “inside” the Pajama Bar…THEE “theater of the mind” radio show left on Earth.  This show is from this time two years ago.  Who knows if we will ever open the “doors” again atop the broadcast tower, DJ booth suspended over the multi-colored dance floor and lowering the “tip bucket” from time to time to take care of the staff and the DJ… but the book will be released very soon.

This show is from February, 2008.  Listen & enjoy.

Greetings! I posted a new episode to my podcast, Pajama Bar.

Please click the link below to view it.
http://pajamabar.podomatic.com/entry/2011-02-16T16_50_22-08_00

See you, “inside” The Pajama Bar”

       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?



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

These are a couple of the funniest and truly should-be-applied comments to a airline terrorist situation that I have ever read! LOL  New York Daily News for December 25, 2009:
breadpainter

5:12 PM
Dec 25, 2009fly the plane back up into the sky open the door and throw this idiot out of the plane…..i WILL most certainly bet that once all the other lunatics see what the punnishment is for their actions on board they will think twice.Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=82586#ixzz0amICdWCt

and this one:

gotacomment
5:39 PM
Dec 25, 2009

Whether he’s an al Qaeda sympathizer or a plain loony, I agree with breadpainter. This yutzso is too stupid to live and anyway that kind of response is all the camel drivers understand

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=82586#ixzz0amIZS5BY

Ya see, I agree with these people that until you make a statement example of one of  these truly mean and misguided, cowardly individuals they will continue to attempt this kind of spit.  I bet after we threw his butt outta the plane, we truly peaceful travelers wouldn’t have to be subjected to privacy-violating searches at the airport. LOL

pickhitt: George Michael (of “The Sports Machine” fame on NBC) dies at age seventy on Christmas Eve, and although most of you probably know him as the sports highlight guy even before the ESPN monopoly, I remember him as the guy who had a tough act to follow when, during I guess one of Musicradio WABC AM’s staff shakeups around 1970, he had to replace “Cousin” Brucie in his time slot and we native New Yorker teenagers were not exactly into him with open arms.  To me he had an attention-gettting sound that he developed as a disc jockey and served him well.  It is another sad commentary that there are no chances for a young disc jockey on terrestrial radio to grow into a George Michael anymore these days because of the mistaken deregulation of the industry that began in the late 1980s.  “This is Geeorrrrrge Mich-aelllll” he would say.  RIP

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