Requiem For A Dormitory

This post may have limited appeal if you didn’t go to college with me. Consider yourself warned.

A couple of Saturdays ago I went to an alumni event at my undergraduate institution. Entitled “Farewell to Forrer,” it was a chance not only to see old friends and acquaintances but also to bid adieu to what had been the women’s dorm back in my day—it’ll be no more within the next several months, after they strip it down and perform various abatements. In its place will rise an expansive campus center.

Forrer Hall is/was a C-shaped building, with four stories of dorm rooms and a lower/basement level on two of its sides—the high-ceilinged front lobby eats up what would be one level of rooms on, well, the front. Several of the halls were traditionally occupied by members of the four sororities (each group also had a chapter room on the lower level). The campus cafeteria forms the fourth side of the square, and there’s a courtyard in the middle. It had opened in 1958 (which means my era came in the first half of its existence—yikes!).

Transy has done a lot of dorm-building over the last few years. One of the first pieces of that puzzle was to take down Clay-Davis, two men’s dorms that sat at right angles but shared a common lobby. I don’t remember there being a similar event held before their demolition (but who knows if I’m right?)—I would have enjoyed attending that immensely, particularly if I could have toured where the old WTLX studios had been one last time.

I had an overnight visit to Transy during my senior year of high school (my friend Frank also came along), somewhere around November 81. I’d guess my first trips through Forrer happened then, heading across the back circle from Davis to see the academic side, grabbing lunch in the cafeteria. The next time would have been move-in day the following September; I still remember my confusion when one of my new classmates told me that our mailboxes could be found over in “Foy-er” (at least that’s what I thought I heard through his Eastern Kentucky-ish accent).  “The foyer?” I responded.  We got it cleared up and I soon found Box 78 in Forrer’s back lobby.

It ordinarily takes me less than thirty minutes to get to Transy from where I live now. Festivities that evening started around 6:30pm, but I was delayed more than a little by a torrential shower on the way. James, Judy, and Suzanne were already on site. After we signed in, I went with James and Judy to take a gander at the now mostly-empty rooms on the first and second floors. Sometime since our graduation, they’d retrofitted them all with air conditioning (insert image here of old man complaining about how easy kids today have it). Judy found a couple of the rooms she’d lived in, though one was still being occupied by a student working on campus over the summer.  The event’s planning committee decorated a few rooms with memorabilia from each of the various decades of the dorm’s life. It was a game effort, but how can one possibly capture the feel of YOUR four years out of a ten-year span in a 12 by 12 space?

Suzanne eventually caught up with us—she’d eaten first—and we all soon headed back downstairs for the rest of us to get our dinner. How long had it been since I’d had a meal in that space? We sat in the “back” part of the cafeteria, a section I didn’t use all that much way back when (except for the spring of my freshman year when the front was closed, while construction of the current campus center was going on). The rest of our remaining time together was spent catching up and reminiscing, with an emphasis on the latter. At one point we walked across Broadway to the academic side of campus, to a courtyard where we sought out the bricks honoring my father and our friend Stacey.

It still surprises me on occasion how simply being in a place can transport one back in time. Several of my friends spent lots of time in the front lobby, so I was there plenty. In January 84, they opened a computer lab in one corner of the lowest level—much of the programming I did over my last five semesters happened there. Transy’s visitation policy in the 80s was maybe a little liberal for its day—curfew was 11pm during the week, 2am on the weekends—so I was upstairs in Forrer from time to time. All those spots, from so long ago, but yet…  For a short while that evening, it felt like I could have been a 20-year-old all over again.

But am I sad that Forrer is coming down? Not really. That time of my life is long gone. I didn’t live there. I’ve seen several (admittedly model) dorm rooms over the last year on college tours—the ones in Forrer are plenty dumpy now, relatively speaking. It’s fine for it to go.

Plus, the new building looks like it will be swell. It’s scheduled to open in about two years. It’s against the odds that Ben will wind up at Transy, but if he does, that’d be the fall of his sophomore year, which was the semester the Young Campus Center opened while I was there.

Well over two hundred alums, spouses, former faculty, and staff attended. I had a great time and appreciate the efforts of the organizers. It’s nice for those of us who live reasonably nearby to get opportunities like that to reconnect.

Not surprisingly, I took pictures that night.  Some of those and a few more short tales are over the flip:

Continue reading “Requiem For A Dormitory”

SotD: Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram, “Just Once”

My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came up from Florida this past Friday morning for for a long weekend visit. Amy and Jerry were here for her 35th high school reunion; Chance took the opportunity to come and teach us how to play some of his new favorite games. Their visit was too short, but it’s always good to see them. Learning about Above and Below and Mystic Vale was way fun, too!

From what I can see on Facebook, Amy joined about two dozen of her classmates at the Florence Elks Lodge on Saturday night—that’s darn close to half of them! I think it was a pretty low-key affair, but I know Sis had a good time catching up with some folks she hadn’t seen in quite a while.

Amy reminded me that the Walton-Verona Class of ’83 chose “Just Once,” from the fall of 81, as their class song.  If memory serves, “Make the Magic Last” was the theme those juniors picked for my senior prom. I imagine this aching ballad about two people who can’t seem to get out of each other’s way was the first time many of us heard James Ingram’s voice; for what it’s worth, it’s still the one of his I like best all these years later.

Whether you could make it this time or not, may the coming five years be kind to all of you in my sister’s class!

American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/30/86: Double, “The Captain of Her Heart”

Over the summer I took my bicycle in to the place I bought it for some long-needed TLC—it’s great to be able to ride around again! The weather here on Thursday and Friday was delightful, so I used it to get to and back from school both days (it’s only about 1.5 miles each way). Since I’m not driving Ben around anymore in the mornings, I plan on doing this at least semi-regularly going forward.

Being on the bike as things at the college crank back up brings to mind a memory from my first year of grad school. Sherman Hall, my dorm, had a couple of parking lots around it for its residents to use, but they weren’t all that big, and demand outstripped supply. I don’t remember if I lost a lottery or applied for a spot too late—all I know is that I wasn’t granted one when I arrived. Instead, I got a pass to park out in the lots surrounding the Assembly Hall, close to a mile away.  At least in part to deal with this, I took my bike with me to Champaign. It was plenty inconvenient having to pedal out to the car anytime I wanted to drive around town (or travel back to Kentucky, especially as the weather turned colder), but in some respects this was actually a good thing, as it forced me to learn more about my nearer surroundings, to look for things to get involved in on campus, and, I hope, to focus on my classes.

When I reflect on the few occasions I was driving around during those early weeks in my new surroundings, Double’s semi-jazzy “The Captain of Her Heart” springs to mind. I know it came on in the car as I was trying to navigate unfamiliar radio stations and terrain. Even though it was already up to #24 by the last weekend of August (it would get to #16), it’s strictly an ‘Illinois song’ to me—I have no recollection of hearing it in my final weeks at home. I like it pretty well; maybe I’m a tiny bit disappointed this Swiss duo never hit the US charts again.

As it happens, my future wife and I were living parallel lives at that very point in time. Martha had graduated from Hanover College two years earlier with degrees in math and German, spent much of the following year studying math history in Hamburg, and then took some time back at home to figure out the next step. That turned out to be—just like me—enrolling in a graduate math program, at the University of Louisville, just across the river from her hometown. We both received master’s degrees in the spring of 88.  I kept at it, but she was done with school; that summer she began teaching at Midway College (now University), just ten or so miles away from where I would land a little over four years later. It’d be about two-and-a-half additional years beyond that until our paths finally crossed, but one could make the case that fateful moment had its beginnings in August 86.

One week after this show originally played, I went to my first University of Illinois football game. I kinda think that my parents came up to attend it with me, but I don’t know for sure now from this distance. As you can see at the top—by sheer coincidence—the opponent was Louisville. It was the beginning of the second season of the Howard Schnellenberger era at UofL; they’d lured him back to his hometown in the hopes of reviving their moribund gridiron program, as he had at the University of Miami. While he didn’t bring them a national championship, he eventually succeeded in raising their profile and began a tradition of winning that’s generally lasted to this day (they weren’t anywhere near that on the day I saw them, however; even though the Illini would limp to a 4-7 record, they still pasted the Cards 23-0).

My time in parking purgatory only lasted through the end of the first semester; I found out when I returned in January that I’d graduated from the waitlist and had gotten a spot across the street from Sherman Hall. While it wasn’t a horrendous winter, I was plenty glad to reserve bike use for more pleasurable pursuits going forward.

American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/25/73: Maureen McGovern, “The Morning After”

The Poseidon Adventure hit theaters in late 72 and did well at the box office. About two years later, its debut on network television was also a pretty big hit.  I definitely recall seeing it advertised quite a bit whenever it was about to appear on TV, and Amy and I were both really interested in watching. I can’t imagine we had that wish fulfilled when I was 10 years old, so it must be the case that my parents relented when it was rebroadcast later in the 70s (very likely after The Nancy Drew Mysteries started airing in early 77, as I feel certain I recognized Pamela Sue Martin—plus, I’m thinking I knew Roddy McDowall’s name from his voice work in an animated presentation of Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi?—no, probably not from Planet of the Apes).

We’d seen a number of movies in theaters by this time, but they had mostly been Disney-type stuff. If this wasn’t THE first, it had to be among the very first of this kind of film I saw. It made quite an impression.  The guy dropping into the ceiling light after the boat capsized, the Christmas tree falling over when too many people try to climb it to safety, Shelley Winters’s heart attack, Stella Stevens’s fall, Ernest Borgnine’s tough-guy whining, the sense of claustrophobia, Gene Hackman leaping to turn off the erupting steam valve, the happy ending for the six survivors—there are so many scenes and feelings that leap back to mind forty years later.

I had to have heard “The Morning After” well before I was aware of its connection to the film. Like “I’m Easy” three years later, it became a hit mainly because it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.  Unlike Keith Carradine, however, Maureen McGovern took her song all the way to the top.  It’s on the way back down in this show, stopping off at #5.

I don’t think I ever saw The Poseidon Adventure all the way through a second time, but I had quite the visceral reaction to seeing the clips in the video below. Some things just do stay with you a mighty long time.


8/8/81 and 8/21/76 Charts

The 81 charts are among the cleanest-looking in my collection.

I didn’t much care for quite a few of the biggest hits that summer–“Endless Love,” “The One That You Love,” but especially “Hearts” and extra-especially “I Don’t Need You.” On the other hand, I was a fan of several songs that didn’t sniff the top 10:


“Gemini Dream” was in its third week of four at #1. Future chart-toppers included the Oak Ridge Boys (not too sure I’m proud of that one now), Foreigner, and Pat Benatar. Phil Collins got to #2, the Tubes reached #5, the Carpenters #6, and Greg Kihn #7 (that last one should have gotten higher). I love the Rosanne Cash song too.

I was getting my act together more in 76, too, except apparently I couldn’t get my numbers straight on the back side. The following week was one of those rare one-debut song shows: Red Sovine’s infamous “Teddy Bear” spent just one week on, at #40 (that show is one of the few times that Casey told a story about the first song on the show–I suspect he figured it might drop off the following week).

Here’s a bit more about my personal chart from 81. Sitting at #34 is what I suspect is close to a total obscurity now: “Mainstreet USA,” by Union.  There was one Top 40 station in Cincinnati that gave it a fair amount of airplay that summer, but it didn’t chart at all nationally.  I should have recognized the voice (that had to be why it was getting any play at all), but it didn’t register in the slightest. Many years later, I learned that Union was Randy Bachman’s followup to his work with Ironhorse. The group even included a reunion with Fred Turner. Three weeks later, this song reached #25 for me.

SotD: Of Monsters and Men, “Little Talks”

There were two other children, both girls, born on our cul-de-sac in 2000, but they came along early enough in the year so that they started school a year before Ben. That means that this very week, they’re starting their first year of college. Our families got together a couple of weeks ago for a cookout/s’mores-over-the-firepit event, before everyone got too busy with getting ready to pack, etc. (I unfortunately had been out of town and was en route home while it occurred, so I missed it.)

Over the years, it just happened that Ben became better friends with one of the two, who lived next door.  One of their points of connection was riding together in the morning to school over the past six years. The practice did evolve over time. It started with her mother and me taking turns; as they grew older and schedules got more complicated, it became a bit more off-and-on. Last fall, though, they both needed to go in for an early class, and I was taking them every day. Suddenly in November, the changes started: first Ben got his license, so he could drive the two of them, and toward the very end of the school year, she became able to go by herself. Even though transporting one or both was occasionally a bit of a hassle across the years, I immediately missed those moments as soon as they ended.

For years, I’ve not listened to that much contemporary pop music; I tend to subject Ben to my tastes from the past when we’re in the car, and he actually seems to prefer it. Our neighbors have taken a different path on this front. Every so often–it might be out shopping, or in a restaurant–a tune will start up and Ben will say, “That’s a song that played on the radio when (next-door neighbor mom) would drive me and (next-door neighbor girl) to school.”  Much of the time it’s something he pretty well detests–think “We Are Never Getting Back Together”–but not always. I believe “Little Talks” came to my attention via Pandora, and when it comes on, Ben says, “Yeah, I heard that with them, and it’s not too bad.”

So in memory of those trips to the middle and high schools with the now-young-woman formerly next-door, a toast: may you become the best nurse in Kentucky (or wherever you ultimately land).

American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/17/85: Aretha Franklin, “Freeway of Love”

In the winter of my junior year in high school, Donald Fagen’s character, in the midst of trying to get high with and seduce someone much younger, made a lament about Those Young People Today: “‘Hey Nineteen, that’s ‘Retha Franklin.’ / She don’t remember the Queen of Soul.” I kinda get where this comes from, as Franklin hadn’t hit the Top 10 in over six years by the end of 80 (and it had been more than four years without a pop Top 40 hit). On the other hand, there was a serious flaw with the timing: she’d jumped back on the scene with a juicy cameo that summer in The Blues Brothers, giving a blistering performance of “Think.” Regardless, this almost seventeen-year-old was certainly aware of Aretha, and besides, within five years, anyone born in 61 would have all the reason in the world to know about her.

“Freeway of Love” (#5, headed toward #3) wasn’t one of my particular favorites in that summer of 85, but I grant you it’s a quality jam, perfect for its time of year. It breathed new life into Franklin’s career, maybe even made her somewhat hip again. As for me, I’m pretty sure I like “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” best among the songs on which she appeared during the last half of the 80s.

I saw Ms. Franklin in concert while I was at Illinois.  It was in the Assembly Hall, likely either in 90 or 91—I believe that Toby, Greg, and Katie also went.  I doubt I fully appreciated the opportunity, though I didn’t hesitate a bit in agreeing to go.  I believe our seats were pretty decent, fairly center-stage. My recollection is that she came across as a bit of a diva, and even if I don’t remember many particulars now, I’m quite grateful to have gone. She was just in her late 40s then, though somehow I imagined her being older; one can be pretty ignorant at ages beyond 19.

American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/21/76: Aretha Franklin, “Something He Can Feel”

I’m not remotely qualified to write any sort of critique of the life or music of Aretha Franklin, but I can try to describe a couple of points in time where her songs came into my life.

On Sunday, 7/25/76, the family took an afternoon drive down along US 42, southwest toward Louisville; maybe it had started with a visit to my Aunt Birdie in Warsaw? I’m thinking at least in part we kinda noodled along the Ohio River, through Carrollton, maybe getting as far as Milton before turning home. I don’t know there was any particular purpose, just a day out together. We were out well past 6pm, the starting time for AT40 on WSAI, but the car radio would have been tuned there anyway. It was a relatively slow week on the charts after an explosive set of six new songs had arrived the previous show (the highest debuts then were “You Should Be Dancing” at #25, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart at #23, and “Let ‘Em In” at #22)—this go-round there were just two new songs that would peak only at #36 and #38. But the tune from the show I most distinctly remember hearing that evening in the car was sitting at #31: “Something He Can Feel,” by Aretha Franklin.

I’m not sure I heard “Something” back then except via Casey, but I liked it rather well (and it was cool that En Vogue gave it the cover treatment in 92).  It would soon peak at #28, and fell from there to #45 on 8/21. So yes, it wasn’t played on this week’s presentation, but hey, I’ve broken the ‘rules’ and written about a song not on the featured show before. Franklin’s passing on Thursday is more than enough reason to do so again (plus, the powers-that-be at Premiere are offering it as an extra that can be played at the end of the first hour if affiliates so choose).

My charting years were almost identical to the longest gap in Top 40 appearances during her primary commercial period (between 67 and 87). There were the five weeks “Something He Can Feel” spent there in July and August 76, shortly after I started; it would be September 82 before she hit again, with “Jump to It.” That was just in time for the final four weeks I wrote down what Casey played.

I spent a fair amount of time on Thursday reading about Franklin’s life and legacy. Some of her music has been swirling around me pretty much since I’ve been able to make some sense of my surroundings, though I must confess to never having dug that deeply into her body of work. I’ve listened to as much of it as I ever had this past week, and I hope that this penance for a past sin will continue.

The two performances that got to me most on Thursday were both renditions of “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.” The first came via a friend’s Twitter feed, about the time Aretha appeared on Murphy Brown in 91.  The other was from just three years ago, when she surprised Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors. Both moments were by turns sweet and spectacular, and they do want me seek out more.

The biggest bonus to getting the chance to listen to American Top 40 shows from the first half of the 70s is discovering songs I’d missed out on—this particularly applies to any number of fabulous R&B tunes.  I was already familiar with “Until You Come Back to Me” and “Day Dreaming,” but I’m grateful that brilliant Franklin 70s pieces like her cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Rock Steady,” and “I’m in Love” are now part of my musical firmament.

Tomorrow, a little bit about the late great Queen of Soul in the 80s and slightly beyond.

Time To Play B-Sides: Boston, “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”

My mention of “Burnin’ for You” in Sunday’s post reminded me that several weeks ago I’d picked out one of its lines for the title of my occasional series on flip sides from the late 70s that I came to enjoy.  Today, it’s the B to Boston’s “Long Time” in the spotlight.

During the long, cold winter of 77 I’d gained familiarity with and admiration for “Smokin’” after I had purchased “More Than a Feeling” in late 76. Thus, there was no hesitation in giving “Let Me Take You Home Tonight” a listen after ponying up the cash for “Long Time.”  I wasn’t disappointed (and in knowing what I know about Boston now, how could I have been?).

Sometime that spring the junior high students at Walton-Verona were given the opportunity to hold a dance in the “old gym” (a newer facility having been built about four years earlier–I wonder how many years passed before they stopped calling where basketball games were now being played the “new gym”). It was to be DJ-ed in-house, so you can well imagine who might have been anxious to sign up for a shift. That evening, I lugged a number of my 45s over to the stage of the old gym, primed to give my classmates a chance to boogie down.

I managed to be hovering around the stereo at the end of the festivities–I guess I’d drawn the last shift? Wanna take a guess as to the final song of the night?  I’m certain that, as a 13-year-old, I wasn’t thinking through (or likely even fully aware of) the meaning of the lyrics.

Turn Up The Radio

One thing Kevin, the manager at WTLX, secured decently early in his tenure was a cassette deck for the station. Of course we used it to play songs over the air, but I leveraged it to record mix tapes several times, especially over my final twelve months at Transy.  I think there was just one time I actually used it to record myself on the air.

I’m reasonably certain that this happened in January or February 85. I don’t have the tape; I recorded it for and mailed it to my cousin in Massachusetts. I did make (and keep) notes, though!

We scheduled two-hour shifts at TLX. My title was programming director but really, that only meant I recruited DJs and made the schedule each semester based on their availability—what got played was entirely up to the individual.  My weekly show was invariably a mix of pop hits and cuts from my album collection. I’d say that what you see below is representative of Harris On The Air.  Just to show you how set-in-my-ways I am/was, four of the songs have already made an appearance in some fashion here on ye olde blog!

Let’s fire this thing up.

Side 1

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Here Comes My Girl”
Damn the Torpedoes was from my stash. No disrespect intended to Petty’s earlier stuff, but this album has his best singles (yes, “American Girl” is definitely in the conversation). This isn’t up there with “Don’t Do Me Like That” or “Refugee,” but it’s awfully good.

Paul McCartney, “No More Lonely Nights”
This was on the Top 40 until mid-January, so it was maybe barely recurrent at the time of taping. Hate to say it, but it’s the last single from Sir Paul that I actively enjoyed.

Journey, “Send Her My Love”
One from the TLX 45s collection. While this wasn’t a huge favorite with me, you can sub in ‘Journey’ for ‘Sir Paul’ in the second sentence of the previous entry and get something akin to another true statement (“Girl Can’t Help It” isn’t bad, but it’s actually difficult to regret not liking any number of Journey songs).

U2, “Two Hearts Beat as One”
War had been on my turntable repeatedly for about a year at this point. I’m pretty certain I played songs from it, as well as the recently-released The Unforgettable Fire, on my shows with alarming frequency.

Beatles, “I Saw Her Standing There”
On this particular week I featured an “Oldie of the Hour,” at roughly 20 minutes past. I don’t think I kept that practice going for terribly long, however.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was #1 the week I was born. It and its B-side were #4 and #3, respectively, on my father’s all-time favorite rock and roll songs list. I agree with him as to which is the better cut.

Guess I’d never realized before I had McCartney singing twice in a four-song span…

Christine McVie, “Got a Hold on Me”
I always thought this was an intelligent and tasteful pop song. It’s no “You Make Lovin’ Fun,” but it should get more love these days than it does.

Motels, “Only the Lonely”
A big favorite from the summer of 82.  I like “Remember the Nights” quite a bit, but not as much as I do this. I’ll bet I plucked it off of my copy of K-Tel’s Starlite to play.

Foreigner, “Reaction to Action”
I’d gotten Agent Provocateur over Christmas break and was on a bit of a kick with this song for a while. It was eventually released as the third single but made it only to #54. I haven’t heard it in forever, and that’s okay.

Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”
Remain in Light was in my collection by this point. This is a fabulous song but I’d give myself bonus points if I’d played “Crosseyed and Painless” or “Born Under Punches” here instead.

Moody Blues, “The Voice”
I bought Long Distance Voyager sometime close to the beginning of my senior year in high school, and probably played it as much as anything that year. I loved “Gemini Dream,” but this one has a very special place in my pantheon of 80s tunes.

Bram Tchaikovsky, “Girl of My Dreams”
Strange Man, Changed Man came to me from a cutout bin at the mall; clearly that had happened by this point. I wrote a little about this tune almost a year ago. It’s one that’s been regularly hanging out on the periphery of my consciousness since August 79.

I have no recollection how smoothly the transition from Side 1 to Side 2 went in the studio, but it’s time for us to flip the tape over.

Side 2

Styx, “Mr. Roboto”
Don’t hate on me. I’d still listen to this.

Huey Lewis and the News, “The Heart of Rock & Roll”
I’ll admit it—I think Sports is a pretty good album. I like it less now than I did back in the mid-80s, but it’s mighty fine for what it is, a bar band displaying some chops and having a good time doing it.

Bryan Adams, “Run to You”
I don’t know if anyone had an idea of how successful Reckless would turn out to be when I was making this tape. “Run to You” was one of my favorite songs at the time, and it still completely rocks.

Klaatu, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft”
I wonder how much my song selection that day was influenced by the knowledge I was sending the recording on to someone else.  I may have played this one specifically to share, as Klaatu’s debut LP had made it into my hands not too long before. This also wound up as the first song on the second mix tape I made for myself at the end of May.

REO Speedwagon, “Thru the Window”
Wheels Are Turnin’ was another Christmas break purchase. I hadn’t heard this song in a long time before getting ready to write this up. It’s fine enough but it would’ve been a better tape had I played “I Do’ Wanna Know” instead.

Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
I won Queen’s Greatest Hits while I was in high school, I believe at a dance during my senior year that was being DJ’ed by a local radio station. Because I listened to it plenty the first couple of years I had it, I’m always expecting the jangle of the intro to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” to play right after that final sound of the gong.  In 85 I’m guessing this song didn’t have quite the cachet it did post-Wayne’s World.

Marshall Crenshaw, “Someday, Someway”
If you’ve learned anything about my musical tastes in following this blog, it’s that Marshall Crenshaw is one of my all-time favorite acts.

Turtles, “Happy Together”
The second hour’s Oldie. I think this came from a 60s compilation album I’d borrowed from my father. Dynamite song; “Elenore” is just about as groovy.

Al Stewart, “If It Doesn’t Come Naturally, Leave It”
Year of the Cat and Time Passages were regularly sampled on my shows. This week it was the closing song from side 1 of Cat, one of his more up-tempo pieces.  Impossible to go wrong with any cut from either.

Honeydrippers, “Rockin’ at Midnight”
I wouldn’t be surprised if the station had bought Volume One, as this single would have only been on the cusp of the Top 40. It’d been getting airplay on the local AOR station for quite a while, so I was already pretty familiar with it.

And there it ends. Longer songs on the second side meant one fewer track. It didn’t occur to me to write down what I played over my final 30 minutes that afternoon, but you can bet that it rocked and you would no doubt have approved of all the selections. There are surprisingly few female voices present, but I was a few years away from really moving that way. Feel free to critique my sequencing as you see fit.

I’d love to get hold of the tape, even though I know I’d cringe listening to my on-air patter. Doubt my cousin still has it, but perhaps I should ask.

Oh, and sorry if the title of the post led you to think you’d be getting Autograph somewhere along the way (I expect I would have known about them at this point)…

As a bonus, here’s a copy of an article I wrote about the station for the school newspaper in October 85.


That’s Kevin, the manager. Being carrier-current meant you had to be within about 100 feet of one of the dorms to pick up a signal.  Having a half-dozen listeners was probably a good day!

Oh, and can anyone ID the poster on the left edge of the picture, visible through the studio window? The one on the right is for Amy Grant’s Unguarded. My long-lasting thanks to anyone who can help!

I think it’s a good day to listen to the Turtles.