Monday, July 30, 2007

For one of my favorite talk show hosts, there will be no more better tomorrows. Milwaukee native and Marquette University attendee Tom Snyder, host of NBC's "Tomorrow with Tom Snyder" and "The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder" on CBS, died Sunday after a battle with leukemia.

Some of the highlights of Tom's career included John Lennon's final televised interview, "Weird Al" Yankovic's first TV appearance, and, my personal favorite, a 1980 appearance by The Plasmatics lead singer Wendy O. Williams, who blew up a TV in the studio and disrupted a live broadcast of NBC Nightly News two floors above. I videotaped the Wendy O. incident and spoke with Tom about it during his ABC Radio show. Thanks to a person who shall remain nameless, that videotape was erased.

Two years ago, Tom closed his website,, but it is not forgotten. He was very gracious about answering e-mails and I appreciated his responses. I wish I would have printed and saved them.

Here's to you, Tom. "Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another voice out of the past resurfaces at WLS. Turi Ryder will be filling in this Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. (7 to 9 a.m. Arizona time) on WLS. Turi was a talk show host on 'LS-FM and a jock on The Big 89 about 20 years ago.

Currently, Turi has a home studio somewhere near Seattle where she does fill-in on talk stations around the country. Her company is called Shebops Productions.

Give someone an ISDN line and they're in radio. I want one, too! Maybe I can resurrect "The Sunrise Guys" from my home studio.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This latest podcast is filled with some of my favorite tunes from a couple of decades ago. Can it really be that many years have passed since some of these songs were on the charts? Oh well, rock on!

(Notice the reverb on this cast. I downloaded a new program to give me that 'LS sound. Now that I have the technology, it's conceivable Commodore Spencer might be making a guest appearance.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Boots Randolph, whose spirited saxophone and biggest solo hit "Yakety Sax" made him one of Nashville's top musicians, passed away Tuesday at the age of 80. Randolph suffered a cerebral hemorrhage June 25 and had been hospitalized in a coma.

Randolph played regularly in Nashville nightclubs for 30 years, becoming a tourist draw for the city much like Wayne Newton in Las Vegas and Al Hirt and Pete Fountain in New Orleans. He recorded more than 40 albums and spent 15 years touring with the Festival of Music, teaming with fellow instrumentalists Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer.

As a session musician, Randolph played on Elvis Presley's "Return To Sender", Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman", Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and "I'm Sorry", REO Speedwagon's "Little Queenie", Al Hirt's "Java" and other songs including ones by Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash.

Every time I hear "Yakety Sax," I think of "The Benny Hill Show." Hill used Randolph's signature tune as the theme to his show and throughout the show in place of dialogue. As the English would say, "Ripping good stuff!"

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The 4th of July is a holiday that holds special memories for me. Two of my most vivd recollections are watching fireworks as a young boy at Lowell School in Waukesha and lighting sparklers with my dad on the front porch of our home.

In honor of that special time in my life, here's an Independence Day Spectacular filled with some of my favorite tunes.