Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Check this site, the Infinite Dial, Edison Research's overview of radio, podcasts, satellite, anything for the ears...and a good review of the return of the oldies format.
Check it here.
With the Stones and the Who having had 24/7 coverage on satellite, it's surprising that only now, the Grateful Dead is getting one, since the band probably has the most stockpiled live material.
Sirius is doing a weeklong preview of the station starting Aug 1 and running through Aug 9, on Channel 17. The kickoff concert was recorded May 3, 1977 at New York City's Palladium theater, the old Academy of Music.
Rock on, dudes...
Monday, July 30, 2007
I learned about the death of KGO-AM (810) afternoon host Pete Wilson while on my annual bike trip across Iowa (www.ragbrai.org), something the Midwestern-born broadcaster and I talked about a lot.
I was broken up, as were the KGO broadcasters I spoke with on the phone and tens of thousands of listeners. KGO news called me at 6 a.m. last Monday to participate in the broadcast memorial, and I wished I was in the Bay Area for it.
Wilson was a stellar broadcaster, although, admittedly, when I first watched him on television I didn't think I liked him. I thought he seemed too opinionated for the anchor spot. And, when he began his radio talk show, I thought he seemed not opinionated enough for that format.
But, as with some great music, more listening brought on a deeper appreciation. Wilson walked a fine line, and was the only broadcaster I know who did both things: objective news at night and opinions by day. I know it caused him stress -- how could it not?
Any public figure gets his share of criticism and hate mail, and even the most thick-skinned feels some of it. I know it rattled Wilson and kept him scrutinizing both jobs constantly to make sure he didn't fall off the tightrope.
When I got to do a KGO talk show in April, it was Pete I chose as my mentor, and he spent an afternoon instructing me, not just in how to handle callers, but in how to choose topics.
His biggest tip: "Be honest. If you choose an opinion because you think it might inspire listeners to call, or placate them, they will see through you. If you don't know something, or don't have an opinion, tell them that too."
It was great advice, and it summed him up for me. He brought a Midwestern grace and down-home honesty to the Bay Area. No matter how long he had been in Marin, or how many Chardonnays he tasted, his feet were planted in fertile Midwest soil.
Pete and I regularly did a show called "The Best Music You Never Heard," and it was a labor of love for him and producer Sandra Firpo. Wilson genuinely liked to see aspiring musicians get a break, and was thrilled to provide them a forum.
You can hear some of it here, and see the rosters.
The pic on top, is Pete, Diana Degarmo and me, a sort of American Idol moment.
There are great tributes to Pete from listeners here.
Only back in the Bay Area now for a few hours, I am really going to feel the loss at 2 p.m., when I punch KGO's button and he's not there.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Make a copy of this letter and get a deal:::
(Your first Soup promo)::
On Saturday July 21, JJ's Blues welcomes you share the evening with
the bands Turnaround Blues (7pm) and Jawbone( 9pm) and to participate
in our first "Blue Saturday" promotion. Just wear a blue shirt and
bring a printout of this letter and you will receive $2 off the cover
charge of $12. In addition, if you're feeling creative, make a sign
displaying your interpretation of the Blues and we will be putting
them all together to create a great collage to be displayed in the
back room for the next month.
Our next door neighbors, the New York Pizza joint, "A Slice of New
York", will also be participating in our "Blue Saturday" promotions.
Show them your blue shirt and this letter to let them know you're here
for "Blue Saturday", and they will give you a plain pizza slice free
with a purchase of any other slice.
Be sure to tell your friends and family about this special promotion
to come out and see the bands Turnaround Blues and Jawbone. We're sure
you'll have a great time and we look forward to seeing all who can
I'm bicycling across Iowa as you read this, on the annual ride called Ragbrai . the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa
All the Presidential candidates should be there, as well as Lance and John Popper.
You can hear my daily reports from the ride on KGO-AM (810), at 4:10 California time. On the web, it's KGO.com.
Drop me a comment and let me know how it sounds.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
KFOX's (98.5) "Kihncert" did so well this year, that the San Jose radio station is adding a second show to its summer schedule, the Summer Sendoff.
July's $10 a ticket Kihncert, featuring Foghat, Kihn, and a bunch of cover and tribute bands, got off the event's fastest ticket sales this year, according to morning show producer Chris Jackson.
Tickets for this new show set for Sept. 22 at Shoreline Amphitheatre range from $20 to $49.50. They go on sale July 22, with a presale July 20, for which you will need a password. Check the site www.kfox.com for details.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
In a club that was only half full for a great West Coast blues band, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, one had to wonder about the future of the blues.
Moe's Alley owner Bill Welsh thinks touring blues is a dying art form, and has scaled back the music at was once an all-blues venue (It used to be Moe's Alley BLUES Club). He's doing better these days with reggae, roots rock, world music and jam bands.
That was obvious when Rod Piazza, his wife Honey, and guitarist Henry Carvajal tore down the house Friday, and the house was way too sparse.
Check some video.
Piazza, who studied with and later played with George "Harmonica" Smith, has pushed his music into jazz territory, backed richly by wife Honey on keys, who keeps getting better and better, and maybe the most under-known guitarist out there today, Henry Carvajal.
So the question is: what happens now that the first generation of great African American bluesmen is almost gone. Will people pay to see the mostly white players who have stepped into their shoes?
Is this the end of the form, or will generations ahead eventually appreciate the likes of Piazza, Mark Hummel, Shane Dwight, Jason Ricci, Gary Smith, John Garcia and any number of third-generation players.
The midmorning show replacement for KPIG-FM (107.5) program director and DJ Laura Ellen Hopper (pictured left), who died Memorial Day, will be her daughter, who goes by the radio name, Ellie Mae.
She's been filling in, and missed her Tuesday show when her car broke down, but officially begins the role of midmorning maestro Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, a memorial live music show for Laura Ellen is set for Sept. 15 at the Rio Theatre with Todd Snider, acoustic solo and electric with a band.
Tickets are available at www.SnazzyProductions.com
Monday, July 16, 2007
It's a site started by one of my former students at DeAnza College....and to think, I almost failed the guy for his spelling!!..
Thanks Soheil....this made my day on my second week of unemployment....making some progress on getting a radio column back into newsprint....will let you all know very soon...
You gotta get that spellcheck fixed, bud....so I can hire you to string for my site.
Friday, July 13, 2007
(Holding this space for a pic of jay...)
What fun Steve DiNardo is having building a station with the call letters and heritage of a classic.
And did you see the stories, that oldies are even back in New York, where CBS killed off Max or Jack or whichever alias they were using for watered-down eighties and nineties hits, and returned oldies to its biggest market?
(check the google radio news feature to the right on this blog for that story)...
Meanwhile, here's the deal on DJ Jay in a Press Release::
Jay Coffey takes the KFRC stage in afternoon drive starting 7/23/07 @ 3
We're very excited to announce the addition of Jay Coffey to the KFRC
air staff effective Monday, July 23rd. A second generation San
Franciscan, Jay was born in "The City" and raised in Palo Alto. Jay
graduated from Cubberly high school and attended DeAnza Junior College
in Cupertino. Jay's fascination with music began when he first heard
Elvis sing "Don't Be Cruel"; it became a major interest with The Beach
Boys' "Surfin' USA'. This growing interest became his life's passion
when he first saw The Beatles in "A Hard Days Night".
In 1965 Jay took his passion one step further when he began playing bass
guitar in Bay Area bands. In early 1973 Jay discovered radio. Not just
any radio- he discovered KFRC! KFRC had great air personalities... and
the presentation was absolute perfection. KFRC would not only be the
standard by which Jay would judge other radio stations, it would be the
model he would use to build his career.
Jay landed his first radio job in October 1973 working weekends at KFIV
in Modesto. He would make the drive from Palo Alto to Modesto sometimes
5 times a week with KFRC keeping him company for the 2 hour drive each
way. After 6 months, Jay was hired to do afternoons at KOBO in Yuba City
and 3 months later he moved to KKIQ in Livermore where he would spend
the next 2 years in the afternoon slot working hard to perfect his style
modeled after such KFRC legends as Bobby Ocean, John Mac Flanagan,
"Marvelous" Mark McKay and "The Duke" Dave Sholin. Jay's dream was
always to work at The Big 610, however after leaving Livermore for a
short stint at KMBY in Monterey, Jay was hired to work at Bill Drake's
K100 in Los Angeles. After making it to the number one spot and 8 years
in afternoons, Jay moved over KFRC's sister station in L.A. 93 KHJ.
After only 4 months, Jay was transferred to KHJ's sister station K-EARTH
101 where he would spend the next 20 years working on one of the most
successful Oldies stations in America. In 2002 Jay became program
director of K-EARTH 101 and was nominated program director of the year
Jay Coffey's dream has always been to come home....to KFRC! Please join
us in welcoming him to 106.9 Classic Hits- KFRC.
The best thing about my old job at the San Jose Mercury News, now owned by the Mediocre News Conglomerate, of Denver, was the letters and Emails from people who cared.
They came from all over the globe, thanks to the Internet, and I felt connected to this vast audience of people who loved music and radio as much as I do. Here are a few that have come into this fledgling blog::
I will look forward to your blog.
I can now cancel my sub to the Merc as your work was the main reason I maintained it.
Ron Fell San Francisco
a quick note to hear you on greg kihn's show yesterday.
i'm a long-time merc reader of yours and was sorry to
heard about your release from the merc when you were
on greg's show. i have to say that i was disgusted to hear
that after your long run with them that your termination
pay was only 2 weeks - that's about as low as i've ever
heard of here in the valley.
i've bookmarked your blog and look forward to continuing
to follow your work. in the meantime, do your best to these
things often bring new opportunities if / when we're able to
best regards, hal
My son and I heard you on the radio yesterday with Greg K. We were
going to the Fan fest. I was upset that the Merc killed the
Perspective section. Very upset. And now you are not there. I have
been reading your work for years. At the Fan Fest I signed up for the
Chronicle and later told my wife to cancel the Merc. Enough is
enough. I found your blog but not the Radio soup. Are they the same?
I am interested in advertising on your website. I have something your
readers can use. The only digital camera workshop you will ever
good luck to you and damn the torpedoes!
Tom Upton Photosaurus Rex Phototrainer.com
Sorry about the job. The merc is also becoming irrelevant.
Subject: San Jose Mercury News: Kava: Fond farewell for KPIG program director
I enjoyed this article. I read your articles regularly. I would love to see more coverage of independent radio. I spend most of my time on the right side of the dial, listening to college and community stations. It would be great to see you feature some of the interesting DJ's and programming found there.
Thanks all...much more to come...
Tonight: Rod Piazza at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I don't know what was more surprising: that Stephen Stills sold out the Catalyst on a week night and packed it shoulder to shoulder with almost 1,000 people, or that he looked, sang and played really well.
And, even more surprising, the guy who has had some history of being pugnacious and obnoxious, or just a bit rude over the course of his 61 years, was endearing and charming.
He played two sets in a 7:45 p.m. show, running through the hits and skewing them enough to keep them interesting. It's the same formula his band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young used at their best, but the past two times out, seemed more than a little tired.
Maybe not having the structure of the other three voices gave him more freedom to rock out and have fun, because that's what he did.
The crowd pretty much picked up where CN$Y would have been, singing along with familiar refrains on "Woodstock, " "Suite:Judy Blue Eyes," "Southern Cross" and "Isn't it About Time?"
Stills told a story about being interviewed by a writer on this tour who asked how he could do those songs without the harmonies.
"They weren't written with the harmonies," he said. "It's not a chicken and egg thing."
He called himself white trash, because he said, he has a kid only six months older than his grandchild."
And, while his voice strained at times, it was mostly good, and better than it has sounded in years.
Stills has been plugging a new disc of old demo tapes that were found in the garbage by a fan who spent 20 years trying to reach Stills and give it to him. The disc, "Just Roll Tape," brings you back to 1968, when Stills was a friend of Jimi Hendrix's, and the two jammed. (Jimi isn't on it, though)
The first set was acoustic, and turned electric toward the end of "Judy Blue Eyes," when he was joined by drummer Joe Vitale, bassist Kevin McCormick and Todd Caldwell on keyboards.
Highlights of the electric second set included "Love the One You're With" as a shuffle and "For What It's Worth," as an almost unrecognizable bluesy rocker.
This one was worth a lot more than I expected.
Take a look at the google news story on the right>>>>Emmis Comunications posted a $1.9 million loss in the first quarter, compared to a $6.5 million profit last year.
The Indiana company, which owns 21 FMs and 2 AMs, said revenues have shrunk 3 percent to $87.3 million and blamed the losses on weakness in its major New York and Los Angeles stations.
Writes the Hollywood Reporter: "While radio revenue, which accounts for the bulk of the company's sales, fell 5.5% overall, publishing revenue rose 6%. Emmis owns several magazines, including Los Angeles Magazine, Texas Monthly and Country Sampler."
Emmis owns a smooth jazz station in NY and hip-hop and pop in LA. It owns the great KPIG-like KGSR-FM in Austin and two rockers in Chicago, incuding one that dumped Mancow Muller.
You almost have to chalk these up to two things: Google taking over the advertising landscape and the FCC making DJs so scared to say anything they are losing listeners. Add in the fact that radio has been so unimaginative in its programming that people aren't tuning in as much.
A suggestion? Try some of that KGSR programming in other cities, instead of the same old drivel.
PHOTO: rick dees, LA host.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Great Auction and Benefit at the Berkeley KRE Radio Site, the Place George Lucas Filmed Wolfman Jack for American Graffiti
Let me steer you to a post at BA Broadcast by radio aficionado David Ferrell Jackson, of www.bayarearadio.org, announcing this great gathering for radio freaks...
Check out the site for some amazing vintage auction items. Stay away from the AR-2 speakers..I want them....
We're only two weeks away from "Live! At KRE." You may have driven
past KRE thousands of times over the years, but never had the
opportunity to stop by for a visit -- so here's your chance. If you
go, come by the radio museum table and say "Boy howdy."
Here's the gory details:
WHERE: The Historic KRE Radio Station Building, 601 Ashby Ave.,
WHEN: Saturday, July 21, 2007, from 10 AM - 2 PM. (Gates open at 9:30
ADMISSION: $5 (Children under 12: free)
GET A MAP HERE.
The California Historical Radio Society is proud to present its annual
open house with a celebration of local radio history on the grounds of
the famous KRE Radio Station Building, located under the huge radio
tower on Ashby Avenue near Highway 80 in Berkeley.
The KRE building, which stood as an abandoned eyesore for many years,
has been lovingly restored by the volunteer members of CHRS and
converted into a world-class museum of radio and television, including
vintage broadcast and production studios, displays of classic radios
and television sets, a research library, a working ham radio shack
(W6CF), electronic theory school and repair shop, plus a museum store
and archival audio transfer and restoration service.
The open house will include tours of the facility, live music, and
performances by the Bay Area's own Broadcast Legends, as well as an
auction of rare and unusual radios to help raise funds for CHRS'
continuing effort to preserve the rich history of broadcasting in the
Popular Bay Area radio personality Carter B. Smith will once again be
on hand to host the festivities.
The historic KRE radio station building is one of the first structures
built specifically for broadcasting in the Bay Area, and has been
transmitting for seventy years from this location; it currently houses
the transmitters for stations KVTO/1400 and KEAR/610 (formerly KFRC).
In the early 1970s, George Lucas used this location to film the
Wolfman Jack and Richard Dreyfuss scenes in his film, "American
Graffiti." CHRS is believed to be one of the only vintage radio
societies to have an historical AM radio station building as its
The building will also serve as home to the Bay Area Radio Hall of
Fame, with a "wall of honor" to celebrate the great men and women that
have entertained local listeners on our airwaves for nearly a century.
More details, directions and photos of some of the items up for
auction are at http://www.californiahistoricalradio.com/photos72.html
Be there. Aloha.
Neil Young's wife, Pegi. was a musical guest when I was filling in for "Sleepy" John Sandidge on KPIG-FM's (107.5/1510) great live music show "Please Stand By" last week (10 a.m to 12:30 Sundays).
I wore a Bridge School Benefit T-shirt from 2001, ("Freedom of Speech" show with Crazy Horse, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Tracy Chapman, Billy Idol, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, and Jill Sobule) in honor of her appearance, and we started talking about the shows.
"How long will you keep doing them?" I asked. "Forever?"
"We're looking at 25," she said. "We think that's a good number. They are a lot of work, as Elliot here will tell you."
That was Elliot Roberts, who accompanied Young and her husband's band from the "Prairie Wind" disc, including pedal steel player Ben Keith, on their van tour of Northern California. Young's LA slick representative doesn't usually tell you much.
Math challenged as I am, I can figure that this year (Oct 27, 28) is the 21st show, so that gives us five more years of great acoustic benefits.
Get a list of all the Bridge shows here.
I have to admit, I was hoping Neil would show for this noon radio appearance. I first came to California in 1977 to see him play with the Ducks at the Catalyst. This Santa Cruz bar band (with Jeff Blackburn, Bob Mosely and Johnny Craviotta) played Fridays and Neil was the "secret" guest, working on his chops as a lead guitarist.
Fans would have to say a password to get in (a quack, if I remember right) and fans are still awaiting a release of material from that summer. Sadly, Young left town after someone broke into his house and stole his guitars.
On a side note: Sleepy John's show always has great talents, and one of the standouts that day was Michael Foley, a fantastic singer/songwriter, who sounds like a mix of Stephen Stills and Tom Petty. I don't know how he's slipped under my radar for so long. Check out his cd "Fear and Forgiveness" here.
Interestingly, the album was inspired by his son, hip-hop producer Emmet Foley, who played his father's demos at gigs where he was a sound engineer.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Stone's four songs in a new park outside San Jose's H-P Pavilion brought to mind the recent tours of another Kentucky fried rock star, Brian Wilson, a drug survivor who never seems entirely there anymore.
After sets by members of Malo, the Average White Band and Masada, at this "Back in the Day Festival," Stone trudged out in a white hooded ensemble, with large wrap-around sunglasses, looking like something from the mines in "Star Wars."
He showed up toward the end of a truncated set of Stone classics by the Family Stone band led by his sister Vet on vocals, Lisa Stone also singing and Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. The group was two hours late because other acts ran long, and then the show had to stop before a 9 p.m. curfew.
"The reason I got to leave here now is because of the cops, OK?" Sly said, after a churning, lyrics-forgotten, "I Want to Take You Higher," which ended the night. Earlier Vet apologized to the audience for the 45-minute set, saying "For once it's not our fault."
This is the first show in what has been promised to be a tour that will swing through Europe. Tickets were only $15 for general admission.
With a voice that rang true and familiar at times, slippery and forgetful at others, Stone, 64, chimed in on "Sing a Simple Song," off 1969's "Stand!" He wandered the stage and occasionally sat behind his keyboard for some erratic psychedelic licks.
His take on 1973's "If You Want Me to Stay'' was a fine piece of nostalgia, although it was marred by feedback problems as a shaky Sly held the microphone and walked around hunched over. The song, though, like much of the band's work, has held up perfectly over time, losing none of its freshness.
"Thank you for loving the icon,'' shouted singer Skyler Jett as Stone left the stage. "He's back."
Stone, a former pioneering San Francisco rock radio DJ whose performance almost stole the show at the original Woodstock in 1969, has lost the fire of the early days after years of drug abuse. With a blond Mohawk, he made a brief appearance at the Grammys earlier this year, mysteriously walking offstage before his song was done.
The new venue outside the Arena ran fine, fitting a crowd that ranged from 2000-3,000 comfortably. Other promoters were there taking pictures and checking site lines, with an eye to future concerts. This was promoter Franco Herrero's first event here and was followed by a day of Christian music Sunday.
San Jose fans were thrilled to see Sly, although some were angry that he didn't come out at the beginning of the set.
When singer Jett yelled, "San Jose, are you in the house?" one fan yelled back, "We are, but where the fuck is Sly?"
For others, it was the end of a long, long wait.
"I'll believe it when I see it," said Gene Powell, 57, a math and science teacher at Sylvandale Middle School. "I saw Sly do four songs in Sacramento in 1972. Then, I went to see him three other times and he never showed up. I'm most definitely excited to see him now."
Friday, July 6, 2007
He was a star in the days when radio was the biggest thing going, and then, a star to a more select group of people in the therapy community he founded called the Human Awareness Institute.
It should have been a front page story. He was the radio announcer for the Lone Ranger, the one who did that great introduction that ended with a "Hi-ho silver, away." If you want to hear him yourself, click here: www.originaloldradio.com/lone_ranger.html
You really have to hear that to appreciate the man who started as a big name in the early days of radio, and came to San Francisco to found an unconventional therapy group that has inspired thousands of people over the years.
He also had the first sex therapy radio show late nights on KGO-AM in the 1960s.
Here is the obit written about him on the Harbin Hot Springs website, where he conducted workshops for an organization he founded called the Human Awareness Institute.
Popular workshop leader and founder of the Human Awareness Institute has died
Dr. Stan Dale, founder of the Human Awareness Institute and longtime national radio personality, passed away peacefully June 8, 2007. Proceeded in death by beloved wife, Helen. Survived by loving wife, Janet. Father of six children and 10 grandchildren. Founding the Love, Intimacy & Sexuality workshops in 1968, Stan's teachings, workshops and citizen diplomacy missions, have profoundly touched hundreds and thousands of people globally. Recipient of seven lifetime achievement awards including the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian of the Year award. Author of "Fantasies Can Set You Free," "My Child Myself" and contributor to numerous publications. Stan's life has been dedicated to the fundamental beliefs of "unconditional love" and "creating a world where everyone wins." In support of his life's work, memorial donations may be sent to: the Human Awareness Institute, 700 Widgeon St., Foster City, CA 94404, www.hai.org.
Here are more apprciations of Dale::http://blogher.org/node/21179
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
So, rock radio KFRC got out of the gate this week with a big new morning show hosted by Dave "Your Duke" Sholin.
And now, the station announces the return of another oldie but goodie (and I mean that in the best sense possible), Celeste Perry, who will do midmornings (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).She'll start next week. She just sent in a pic, and she defies the old hack you hear about faces made for radio. She could be on TV.
Here's her backround:
Celeste Perry began her radio career in her hometown of Honolulu Hawaii while a student at the University of Hawaii. She worked for the legendary Ron Jacobs at KQMQ and sister station KKUA. In 1982 with aircheck in hand she came to the City by the Bay and landed her first major market gig at KSFO. From weekends to nights, afternoons and finally middays Celeste remained at 560KSFO and 93.3 KYA through 1995 when the KYA call letters were retired and 93.3 emerged as KYCY Young Country. She played George Strait records for 5 years and in 1999 hung up her headphones and became a full time stay at home Mom. Although fulfilled by her many hours of carpooling, snack bar duty and volunteer work, Celeste took a part time job at KKSF in 2005.
"We're thrilled to add Celeste' s name to the roster of talent at the new 106.9 KFRC,'' says program director Tim Jordan. "Celeste brings her irreverent sense of humor, quick wit and passion for music to her new position. "She's relatable, well-informed and very funny. Celeste's warmth is always apparent and she really connects with listeners.''
You can no longer get radio news from a boring grey newspaper.
Now, you have to get the scoop from Kava's radio soup.
Glad you found it. This will be a place to read news, opinions and comments from radio listeners and station staffs, all unfiltered through the dull, lifeless and characterless editors that made you stop reading newspapers in the first place.
We'll keep it lively, honest and tight.
For those who don't know me, maybe you remember this ad, taken out by the former WILD 94.9 Doghouse show, in the Mercury News. Thanks, guys.