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This new release by 311 is one part anthem, one part feel good hit of the summer. It has quickly become our most requested song.

The chorus usually gets us singing along. Despite repeated requests that we don't.

Blame "To Much to Think".

Before the smartphone, the MP3 player, or the Walkman, a trusty Transistor Radio was your constant companion. Radios were everywhere - in your car, in most rooms of your home and many of us also had portables. Radio was our internet.

Radio provided life's soundtrack, whether off by myself building model cars or playing outdoors with my pals. Sometimes a Cubs game on WGN or the odd Ag Report, but mostly I tuned to my favorite Top 40 music stations! The Top 40 format is credited to Todd Storz, a broadcaster in the midwest who combed through Cashbox magazine to find the most played songs on jukeboxes around the country. He then played these same records on his station.

The type of music didn't matter. Rock and roll, country and western, movie or tv themes, soul, R & B - if it was on the top of it's respective chart, it played on Top 40 stations. This was the Golden Era of A.M. Radio. F.M. was still new, largely the province of religious and other pay-to-play broadcasters. 

Top 40 DJ's like John "Records" Landecker and "Superjock" Larry Lujack on WLS or WCFL rivaled TV and Movie stars in popularity. I'd fall asleep listening to Landecker and wake up hearing Fred Winston, with news delivered by Lyle Dean
 
Fun Fact: Fans of Bill Nye know about the nightly shift of the earth's ionosphere, permitting A.M. radio transmissions to "skip" around the globe for hundreds and hundreds of miles. After the sun would set, the 50,000-watt voice of WLS in Chicago could be heard through 38 states. Most importantly for me, this included Michigan.
 
Between 5th and 6th grade mom moved us from my home town of Chicago, then the second-largest city in the nation, to her hometown of Ironwood, Michigan, which was somewhat smaller. In this gobsmackingly-beautiful country I connected with my cousins and met new friends. Yet as sixth grade began and I was handed a fresh copy of the same math book I had finished the year before, I found myself yearning for the people, places and things I had left back in Illinois.
 
Humans often seek comfort in the familiar, so as the sun would sink I'd strain to to tune in to those Chicagoland radio signals. And every night the magic of radio would predictably unfold. At first faintly through the static, then finally booming though the speaker came Zeppelin and The Doors and Pink Floyd! Ads for Mr. Norm's Grand-Spaulding Dodge and Domenick's Grocery Stores. Even ads for the US 30 Drag Strip, where legendary Jan Gabriel first intoned those immortal words.. Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Dick Orkin's Chickenman and The Tooth Fairy serialized adventures were always a hoot, but the main attractions were the DJ's themselves. Beyond simply intoning the time and temp and back-selling the last set of songs, their bits grew beyond radio and became part of our larger pop culture - think Landecker's "Boogie Check" or Lujack's "Animal Stories"
 
Radio had the power to make me feel good at times when little else did. Radio built a sonic bridge to events and places far away, yet still very close to my heart. Radio kept me connected and in this way, Radio Saved My Life!
 
Like a salmon swimming upstream, I returned to my hometown right after graduating from high school. Once back in Chicago my favorite radio stations came through loud and clear any time of the day or night. Radio welcomed me back home and we've remained close pals ever since.
 
Working in radio, whether as an Account Executive or as a General Manager, I've worn many hats. Even wore a turban as Swami Raj, Certified Bait Psychic on the Lethal Breakfast Morning Program. CW Media, the advertising agency that hired me away from WQFM in Milwaukee specialized in radio, a tradition that continues at my own shop. Always looking for ways to invite radio to the party, I've even set up and programmed low power, FM Radio stations for use on-site at corporate events. 

Ask not what you can do for Radio, but what can Radio do for you!

 
The success my clients have with the campaigns that I produce somehow connects us back to my deep respect of and undying love for radio. Ever a Boy Scout who likes to help, if you need anything radio, from tips to turnkey service your are welcome to reach out.
 
Let's talk about radio. Could lead to us both enjoying our best day at work, ever.

Many reasons to celebrate today. It's Earth Day. It's 4/20. And the Open Source Blueprint for Success has been posted on our sister site, leeper.info. Most kids with just a high school education don't end up managing a 100,000 watt FM station in a top ten tourist destination, but this one did and he's sharing the things that have worded for him on his long strange trip.

We dig the metaphor of being able to broadcast through time, and know his love of music has helped inspire him throughout his journey so far. This track from Triumph (the other notable power trio from Canada) has been in heavy rotation personally since it's release in 1981.

Make a difference! Stand for something! And always Fight the Good Fight!

"Gonna do just what I please. Gonna wear no socks and shoes. With nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos."

Thanks to Steely Dan. Enjoy having that image in your head today, at least until ther is newsreel footage of Violence in the Checkout Lane.

Film at eleven.

The pirate flag at our studios flies at half mast today with the passing of Greg Lake from cancer, at age 69. From the prog rock crucible of King Crimson, Lake went on to produce his own supergroup, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Lake's deft touch on the keys, any keys - Moog Synthesizer, Hammond B3, or a grand piano - entertained and inspired generations of fans and fellow musicians.

With the audio not doing them justice, this video from the 1974 California Jam shows the man in his prime - holding forth between the obscenly large stacks of key boards he used to spearhead the progressive rock movement. We trust that our pal Mark Krueger will pay fitting tribute soon on his Planet Prog radio program. 

Just how far did Lake push the envelope? Their three minute arrangement of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man went to number two in the UK. For proper immersion into Progressive Rock, here's their full 8:56 treatment of the tune from 1977. 

You voted. We counted.

Please join us now as we overcome inertia for the next 3:17 and 'Move' with Saint Motel, won't you?


Thanks to all who voted! The request lines are now open.

Will Fox on the Run by British Glam Rockers Sweet be on the Awesome Mix Tape Volume 2? Director James Gunn isn't saying, but you hear a bit of it in the new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Already over the fat man in the red suit, I can't wait until May when we get to meet Baby Groot!

And, since I had to hear the whole damn song just to rid myself of the earworm received from the trailer, here's a link to the original promo for the band, way back in 1975! bit.ly/wrog_info_youtube Enjoy!

Songs that inspire. We keep these in heavy rotation and offer them here to inspire your goal setting. 

Open the playlist, crank a track up to eleven, and in the space of that song, think as big as you can.

Create, commit to and act upon your goals.

Play.

Iggy Pop - Lust For Life

With hypnotizing lyrics inspired by William Burroughs and notorious, self-destructive performances by Iggy Pop, you may not have noticed that the music here was written by a young David Bowie. On a ukulele, no less. 

Somewhere over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Don't recall a ukulele being used in the version from the movie The Wizard of Oz, but Iz sure rocks one here. Back in the 70s, "they did, they did rock us" in Chicago with their News of the World Tour

Queen - We Are The Champions

Shocked to learn that Brian May did not use ukulele in that solo. Who knew?

Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster

Now, with those logical instructions fed into your subconscious mind, let's add some inspiring ear candy for enhanced visualization. Do you think Daft Punk dreams of electric ukulele?

Beck - Wow

Free Tips on Goal Setting!

Might Mr. Hansen's own daughter deliver that beautiful, last line there? Perhaps Santa will bring her a ukulele for Christmas.

Swedish House Mafia - Save the World

No mention of a ukulele here, but a chance to testify about our faith in dog.

Monty Python - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Laugh along as the Savior of Man gets humorously crucified in The Life of Brian. Funniest of the Fab Four, George Harrison funded this film. He was also notorious for giving ukeleles as gifts and then teaching his pals how to play.

 

The New Year will be here before you know it. Be prepared. Keep your ukelele tuned!

The request lines are now open: share an inspirational tune or two with us via comment below! 

 

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