Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting Back

Just sitting around on a cold snowy New Years Eve reflecting on how in a past few years it can all happen. I mean sitting around and pushing buttons on a machine and suddenly everyone in the entire universe can know your every thought and deed. ..but it’s still weird. I’m 45 years old as of this writing and can name off just about every rock n roll record hit of the 1950s..what label it was on. what was son the flip side. .and even in some instances, the label number.

It seems odd but a pleasant surprise that after posting my blog and pod cast. One of my internet buddies Jeff Mazdra has signed on the follow this blog. He calls me THE CHIEF because I’m from Cleveland and it’s a tribute to The Cleveland Indians--Chief Wahoo. Anyway Jeff gave me an idea --to try to give my side of the story and to acknowledge those past and present who have been a major influence upon my chosen field of music.

I’ve always been into 50s rock n roll. My Mom had her 45s, my cousins had their 45s, but it was not only rock n roll but also country, gospel, bluegrass, blues, and folk music. I had bought 45s weekly, paying as much as 1.00 for an oldoe 45 when I couldn’t find anything I wanted in the pop section, which was increasingly moving towards Heavy Metal and Disco. Thee was one country station that mixed in rock n roll oldies every so often. And another that actually played oldies---then one day in early 1976 I was fiddling around my little radio on a Saturday morning. I decided to check out what was at the bottom of the FM dial. I discovred this little radio station out of Kent Ohio, WKSU [Yes the same Kent that had the terrible shootings in 1970]. This DJ by the name of Tony Keras was playing these oldies but they were different. He wa salso playing the roots of rock n roll. I started hearing artists like Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Wynonie Harris, Amos Milburn and groups such as The Ravens, The Robins, The Cardinals and The Swallows. I found out that Rock n roll derived from Rhythm and Blues and that records by black musicians were often “covered” by white singers such as Patti Page, Georgia Gibbs and Pat Boone. I started seeking out R & B records at flea markets and garage sales…and then the next year it happened…….. I heard a record on the show that sounded al lot like Elvis, but it wasn’t --it was by a guy named Johnny Carroll…I had discovered Rockabilly--of course I wa sfamiliar with the big names and with SUN records but now I wa sgoing into secondhand and small collector stores and finding Lps of ROCKABILLY.. and on import labels such as CHARLY, ACE, and BEAR FAMILY.

However, I began seeking out other DJ’s and radio programs on college radio. One was a gentlemen who is no longer with us, B.R. Anthony Ditullio. He was a huge doo wop fan and introduced me to many fine groups--including white Italian groups [Capris, Elegants, Vito and the Salutations etc..]
Two other DJ friends of mine are no longer with us. My buddy Krazy Greg Milewski tragically ended his own life at the tender age of 27 in 1994. He was younger than me but a great student of doo wop and rockabilly. This year my good friend Chris Quinn died after a long battle with weight and heart issues. He DJ’ed at WMJI Magic 105 FM in Cleveland and provided me with many CD’s and promos and let me assist him on the air.

In the past few years there are those still living that have provided me with lots of information and records/trades. All my internet friends--I wish you a safe happy 2009!!!!!!!!


Jeff Mazdra said...

Gonna shout right back at ya, Chief!

It is incredable how the Internet has helped all of us expand our horizons when it comes to this great music from the 50's and 60's.

And who knows, 2009 just might be the year of the Indians.

Rockin' Ed said...

..year of the Indians??? ..and monkeys will fly out of my nose!!!