A little housekeeping today, clearing out some stuff that’s threatening to pile up:
—The Mrs. and I extend thanks to everyone for your words and wishes following the death of our cat, Sophie, earlier this month. This little community of like-minded geeks is full of good people, and your kindness has made a difference.
—You may have noticed a new member of the community, a commenter by the name of spinetingler, who discovered this blog recently and who is apparently reading the whole thing a little bit at a time. (I salute your endurance, sir.) He’s got his own blog called audio archives, which I encourage you to check out.
—Now and then, we have discussed the people who call radio stations and what they say. Last week, consultant Fred Jacobs collected some of his readers’ favorite request line calls. Some are hilarious, all are entirely believable.
—A couple of years ago we discovered Ruth Copeland, whose single “The Music Box” got some airplay in the the fall of 1969. At that time, I found a compilation album of her work on Invictus, the label founded by the Holland/Dozier/Holland team after leaving Motown, and it’s mighty odd stuff. She makes some creative choices that can only be described as bizarre (on “The Music Box,” she weeps uncontrollably for the last 45 seconds), and I have come close to deleting the weirdest tracks. However: the other day, “No Commitment” popped up on shuffle, and it turned out to be great. So I went looking for a bit more information on Copeland. My search yielded this fine blog post, which nicely pulls together the scattered biographical information available about her, and about her unusual connections within the music biz. It includes a wealth of tracks to explore, including “The Music Box” and “No Commitment.”
—The bootleg site ROIO has been on fire lately with memories of the days when every rock radio station had a concert show every week. There’s a Rod Stewart show recorded for the Kingbiscuit Flower Hour in 1977, and late-70s shows by the Moody Blues and Foreigner recorded for Supergroups in Concert. Also on the site recently: a 1975 Queen concert and early versions of the Talking Heads albums Fear of Music and More Songs About Buildings and Food.
—Also on fire: our friend Larry Grogan, who’s conducting his annual pledge drive to keep Funky16Corners alive and kickin’. He’s posted several custom funk mixes, one of his own and several from other mixmasters, in the hope that readers and listeners will leave some coins behind for the favor. I strongly recommend you do so, because if you do, you will receive one of Larry’s handsome “Keep Calm and Stay Funky” stickers, one of which now adorns the lid of the laptop on which I write.
—And now, a self-promotional announcement: I am contributing to Popdose again after a hiatus of a couple of years. World’s Worst Songs appears on Tuesday evenings and The #1 Albums on Thursday evenings. Funny thing about World’s Worst: I wrote it for quite a while over at the defunct WNEW.com and it got hardly no response at all, but over at Popdose it frequently touches a nerve—and that’s a lot more fun than shouting into the void. I am considering whether to bring back favorite punching bags “Taxi” and “Same Old Lang Syne,” just to hear the screeching.
Coming in the next installment at this blog: a forgotten icon of the 1970s inspires a forgotten song. If I don’t forget to post it.