Tag Archive: Sleep


Attention: This is my 300th blog post here since November, 2009 and this month I mark the milestone: ten-years of blogging!!

Always a kind of counter-culture kind of a guy walking and dancing to the beat of a different drum, working the overnight shift playing music on the radio came easy for me. It was also encouraged by my mentors as a way not to become stereotyped as ‘just another black radio jock’ and allowed me to play mainstream, Top 40 music. The catch was, the powers that be usually only let the ‘black guy’ pull the overnight shift. I was okay with it.

I’m one of the kids of the 1960s who listened to his first transistor AM radio – a Zenith – under the pillow in his room when I was supposed to be asleep, parents in their room, not too far away, with my dad trying to put me down by calling me “an owl” whenever they caught me. I like “owl”; he was giving me a compliment. Why do everything like everybody else? I grew to never wanting to be part of the “Rat Race” of drones on the same rush hour, every morning and the same rush hour in the evening, day after day. Nyet! Nope. Going to work at 11PM, though sometimes hard, back when I was addicted to television, was always more fun once I got there, and the morning payoff of going home to chill with a beverage, maybe a female fan from my show or just to sleep while the world was awakening again was just really chill!

Little did I know, that the graveyard shift was resetting my body clock forever.

Or maybe I was born with that overtime set to my circadian rhythm’s DNA and the fate of career choices visa v the compliments I received on how my voice sounded over the air, extracted that natural inclination?

I surely adapted to it easily and it was fun, except when the day-timers at the job scheduled staff meetings back at the station in the middle of what was my “night” – sometimes as early as 11 AM – those would take me literally a couple of days or nights to recover from, and became sources of contention when I asked for a little consideration from the diurnal management.
I was fully committed to the day-coffin, learning to use heavy curtains with linings that would turn my day room to night until my alarm clock awakened me to watch the hottest soap opera of that era, General Hospital” with Luke and Laura at 3pm.

Recently, I began reflecting upon the radio stations boards which I learned to jock during the third shift throughout my two score on the air, at a point when I learned about the sale or demise of the name brand that I saw all the time but took for-granted, Gates.

Not sure if this one from my first commercial station, WFLB AM, is a Gates. Maybe your keen, expert eye can spot the characteristics.

Most of them had the Gates insignia on them until I graduated to stations in the mid-1980s that had sliding faders instead of round knobs we called pots.

The next one my research recognizes is the one I bounced with on WBSS FM, “BOSS 97”, Atlantic City, New Jersey fifteen years after ‘FLB. It is the Gates Executive 2.

Meanwhile, I learned that there is a whole world of fellow graveyard shifters who shared my unique pain mixed with laughter. Its almost cult-like…I developed “honored groups of the nyte” to acknowledge and play requests for such as hospital worker, cooks, street sweepers, bakers, bartenders, toll collectors, night watchmen, security guards,law enforcement types, like the detective who used to call into my show and ultimately invited me for a couple of boilermakers at this basic bar, at the unheard of hour of six A.M.! He became like a bodyguard for me up there in Worcester.
Next is a board that reminds me of the one I worked at New York City’s 1600, WWRL AM:

My unofficial research gleans that working the midnight shift may have altered when my body naturally produces melatonin! “Peak levels of melatonin are produced before 3 a.m., when it sharply decreases before natural daylight returns. (Higher levels of melatonin have been measured in the fall and winter when the days are shorter, thus the reason you may be sleepier in the winter months.)”  Wow, that might explain why I still can stay up with the best of ’em!
Even as I write this post #300, most of them are edited during the wee hours of the early morning – after midnight (an Eric Clapton song, btw).

Pickhit: On this “Blog Post #300” and upon our 10 Year Anniversary with WordPress, I was pondering what I would post so momentously. Originally pitched as a source of income in 2009 by an acquaintance, nothing of the sort has materialized – milestone not achieved.
I guess I came to keep doing this as writing practice, an outlet for free expression and a way to display my contemporary music knowledge via the amazing YouTube video attachments which accentuate my opinions and reviews.

***Thank you dear reader, who have happened by to peek and read my public “diary”. The private one? I will save for you, who I shall leave behind in the physical realm, someday. This is a milestone.
Peace.

“Whoa, Nellie!” Now here is a ‘TUNE WEDGIE’ that you can help me figure out:
Why does this tune play in my “DJ Mind” even while I am in non-REM sleep or while making my breakfast before going to weekday work? Maybe it is because I am a Baby Boomer and product of being raised in New York City with some of the greatest and legendary terrestrial radio stations of all times?…
Whatever…This song by the Everly Brothers is one of the first hits I ever heard when I discovered radio in the early 1960s.
They were country-influenced rock and roll performers, best known for their steel-string guitar playing harmony sound. Their hottest streak of chart success was between 1957 and 1961, but radio stations played them as “recurrents” well into the 1970s! Even today I can hear, in my musical mind, the likes of DJ Dan Ingram back-announcing “Cathy’s Clown” or any number of the Everly Brother hits with a clever double-entendre. Back then, if you had to classify their music, they called it “Middle-Of-The-Road” or “MOR“.
“Cathy’s Clown” was track #14 on the Everly Brothers album with a bullet!
I always liked their kind-of competitive interplay when they sang; unsure whether they really were “brothers” or even if they liked each other (standing so close to each-other like that) when I saw them on shows like “The Ed Sullivan Show” or “Shindig”!
Come on now, and sing along!

Don’t want your love any more
Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure
I die each time I hear this sound
Here he comes, that’s Cathy’s clown

I’ve got to stand tall, you know a man can’t crawl
For when he knows you’re telling lies
And he lets them pass him by
He’s not a man at all

Don’t want your love any more
Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure
I die each time I hear this sound
Here he comes, that’s Cathy’s clown

When you see me shed a tear
And you know that it’s sincere
Don’t you think it’s kind of sad, that you’re treating me so bad?
Or don’t you even care?

Don’t want your love any more
Don’t want your kisses , that’s for sure
I die each time I hear this sound
Here he comes, that’s Cathy’s clown
That’s Cathy’s clown, that’s Cathy’s clown

Well, that’s a wrap for this “Wedgie” and please pray with me now that this tune will not intrude on this night’s sleep. Comments welcome and I will reply when I awaken from my “Dream, Dream, Dreams. Bye-Bye, Love!”

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