Monday, October 29, 2007

This past Saturday, I went to a concert where Sugar Ray was the featured performer for a "100 Day Countdown to the Super Bowl." I thought Mark McGrath and the boys were pretty good. They did lots of different sampling.

The highlight of the experience was a gathering of Hall of Fame football stars who gave out free autographs. There was Larry Wilson, Tony Dorsett, Seth Joyner, Earl Edwards (who I played golf with about 12 years ago), and the one man who I stood an hour in line to speak with and sign my Super Bowl hat. Elected to the HOF in 1982, from the Los Angeles Rams, one-fourth of the famed "Fearsome Foursome", #74, Merlin Olsen.

I had time to ask Mr. Olsen (yes, that's how I addressed him) one question and since broadcasting has always been in my blood, I wanted to know, "Why did you leave the broadcast booth?" His answer, "I got tired of living out of a suitcase." Not the greatest question in the world, but it was something I wanted to know and never read about, considering he left at the height of his broadcasting career.

Olsen, along with his NBC play-by-play partner Dick Enberg, formed the best team to broadcast NFL football in the 1980s. His soft-spoken, insightful comments are in stark contrast to John Madden and other analysts of today.

I also mentioned how I had a Rams-logo shower rug for 40 years that I recently was forced to permanently retire. Olsen seemed slightly amused. Before I left the area, he reached across the table and we shook hands again, the same as we had when I first approached his table.

This was a day I will long remember with great fondness. I met one of my sports heroes and he was every bit as nice as I could have hoped.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm not big on causes, most are self-serving. In today's email, I found this important announcement I had to share with you from the SaveNetRadio campaign. It's been slightly altered to apply to everyone who cares about Internet radio.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee will meet to hold a hearing on the future of radio in the United States. Representatives from broadcast radio, music industry, and Internet radio will testify before the committee about the current state of the radio industry and how royalty fees and other issues, like competition and innovation, affect the future of the industry. This is an unprecedented opportunity for Internet radio to explain its value to Congress, and we need your help to make sure they are listening.

Please take a moment to call and ask each Senator to attend this important hearing. The Internet Radio Equality Act is still pending in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This hearing will give members an opportunity to learn more about this legislation.

Here is a list of the members and their direct lines of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI) (202) 224-3934
John D. Rockefeller, IV (WV) (202) 224-6472
John F. Kerry (MA) (202) 224-2742
Byron L. Dorgan (ND) (202) 224-2551
Barbara Boxer (CA) (202) 224-3553
Bill Nelson (FL) (202) 224-5274
Maria Cantwell (WA) (202) 224-3441
Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ) (202) 224-3224
Mark Pryor (AR) (202) 224-2353
Thomas Carper (DE) (202) 224-2441
Claire McCaskill (MO) (202) 224-6154
Amy Klobuchar (MN) (202) 224-3244

Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (AK) (202) 224-3004
John McCain (AZ) (202) 224-2235
Trent Lott (MS) (202) 224-6253
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) (202) 224-5922
Olympia J. Snowe (ME) (202) 224-5344
Gordon H. Smith (OR) (202) 224-3753
John Ensign (NV) (202) 224-6244
John E. Sununu (NH) (202) 224-2841
Jim DeMint (SC) (202) 224-6121
David Vitter (LA) (202) 224-4623
John Thune (SD) (202) 224-2321

When calling, give the following information:

* I am an avid Internet radio listener calling to ask that as a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the Senator attend Wednesday's hearing on the future of radio.

* Internet radio has been a revolutionary force in the music industry since its creation and now empowers artist, consumers, and music lovers of every kind. The Copyright Royalty Board's unprecedented and ill informed decision to increase royalty fees for Webcasters by more than 300% has threatened to bankrupt this important industry and we need the Senator's help.

* The real future of radio for music lovers, artists, and the music industry as a whole is online. To save this industry and allow it to prosper, there must be parity and equality between webcasters, satellite radio, and broadcast radio. Today, Internet radio pays a recording royalty fee more than twice that of satellite radio, and terrestrial radio pays none at all. To fix this unfair and inexplicable inequality, please co-sponsor The Internet Radio Equality Act, S. 1353, which is pending in the Senate.

Please make the calls and ask each Senator to attend this important hearing. Thank you once again for your support of the SaveNetRadio campaign. This issue could not have gotten the attention it has without your support and cannot move any further without your continued efforts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why did I move to The Valley of the Sun? Give us a kiss...

BTW, football and partying ramp up to the next level when ASU travels to Madison to play the Badgers in 2010. In 2012, the Badgers return the favor and make the trip to the Grand Canyon State to face the Sun Devils.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My son, Danny, turns 26 on Monday and I know he thinks I only listen to tunes from artists like Elton John, Billy Joel, and Ted Nugent. Well, I must admit, my preference is '70s and '80s rock, but I get into Country, Jazz, and even Hip-Hop/Rap.

My latest set is just for him from the Ol' Man. Happy Birthday Danny!

(Holla at you later Eric (Bears fan), Becky (dug your tats), and all of Danny's friends I hung with in Madtown last weekend. We'll party again real soon.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday turned out to be John Records Landecker's last show on True Oldies WZZN in Chicago. Without a new contract in place, Records was relieved of his duties, his bio removed from the station website, and Scott Shannon replaced him on Thursday and, presumably, Friday.

This is truly a classless move by the Citadel suits in New York. I've got two words for you, "BITE OFF!"

Watch out Scott Mackay and Dick Biondi, you will be next.

Is the end near for Records at True Oldies in Chicago? You'll know when I know. His contract with Citadel expires after Friday's show.

Just what we need, more New York-based Scott Shannon on that station. As it is, he voice-tracks nearly every shift and weekends, too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Headphones off to Larry Lujack who will be inducted in April 2008 into the National Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.

This is Uncle Lar's third major honor in recent years, following his induction in the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Illinois Broadcasters Association's Hall of Fame in 2002.

After being informed of his pending induction, Lujack had these comments for Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times, "As this will be my third and probably last Hall of Fame induction, I've decided, in my acceptance speech, to dump the phony gracious and fake humility bit and just be truthful for a change. I was, still am and always will be incredibly good, and frankly, I'm more than a little disappointed that it took the NAB this long to recognize that fact! Further, I am deserving of this honor because I've always subscribed to the NAB Code of Responsible Broadcasting. I have no idea what it's about -- but I've always subscribed."

This is the wit and wisdom that made Uncle Lar...Superjock!

I may have to beg, borrow or steal a ticket to the NAB Show in Las Vegas for this blowout.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Good to see our friend, Jeff, from AM, Then FM make a triumphant return to blogging about our beloved Green Bay Packers. We missed that part of you, man!

Visit Out of Bounds and experience all that is Green and Gold.

(Special thanks to Scott at South End Zone for the heads up.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

With the start of the playoffs in baseball and the Cubs actually getting a chance to play in October, I thought it would be fun to listen to some of the songs that made it to the Chicago Top 40 Charts in the 1980s.

Most of these tunes were on the charts longer than The Lovable Losers will last in this year's post-season extravaganza. DBacks in four, clinching in The Friendly Confines on the same day the Pack bludgeons Da Bears and a day after the Badgers destroy the Fighting Illini in Champagne.