I Wanna Testify..

Once upon a time, radio was a participation sport. Call Keener and there was a good chance you might become part of the show.

And that’s how it was this week in 1967 when the Parliaments “I Wanna Testify” was climbing the charts. Scott Regen was at the height of his Keener fame, with a monster audience joining in the fun. He invited listeners to call in and “testify” what their boyfriend / girlfriend’s love had done for them. And boy, did they.

Here’s an aircheck that includes a whole bunch of Detroiters Testifiers. Were you one of them?

Jul 28th, 2015 | Filed under Keener

Paul, George And Ringo Over The Blue Moon

Paul George RingoBy Bob Berry

One of our good friends of Keener13.com, Jeff Smith, found this video on Facebook this morning, and it’s fantastic.

Paul, George and Ringo Starr jamming on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass classic (and Elvis’ first hit), “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” at George’s studio at his Friar Park mansion in Henley-on-Thames, England on June 23, 1994.

It’s so interesting to watch Paul messing with a chord, then George getting the right one. The two of them working out a harmony. And Ringo jumping in with a basic beat, plus giving a nod at the end, before they finish the song with a flourish.

When people wonder why we find The Beatles so fascinating, here’s another of the million reasons why!

 

Jul 28th, 2015 | Filed under Beatles, Bob Berry, Keener

The Muppets Go Reality-Based

muppetsBy Bob Berry

The Muppets. Kermie, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear. Fun for us Keener Kids, but very much fun for our own children-and dare I say grandchildren?

There was The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan. And perhaps their most truly loved project, The Muppet Show.

And on September 22, the ABC Television Network is bringing them back, in a reality-based series! According to Kermit, in a Rolling Stone Magazine story ,”The show’s gonna be all about our personal lives – behind the scenes, at home, our relationships. Sort of an adult Muppet Show…“.

Here’s the trailer, watch for a great gag with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker about 1 minute into the clip!

Jul 28th, 2015 | Filed under Bob Berry, Keener

Happy Birthday Bugs!

BugsBunnyBy Bob Berry

Bugs Bunny, that “wascally wabbit” is 75 today.

And isn’t it nice to know that Looney Tunes” Number One star, who entertained us on countless Saturday (or Sunday) mornings, doesn’t act his age either?

Countless, by the way, including various. mornings in our formative and beyond years, in the aftermath of “should have known better/got moving earlier/what were we thinking” OR “Hey, Bugs was on” moments.

Created by the great Warner Brothers cartoon department, Bugs made his “major league” debut on July 27, 1940. “A Wild Hare” was the first film to feature Bugs and Elmer Fudd was hunter and hunted, and the first with Mel Blanc providing Bugs’ voice and the signature line “What’s Up, Doc”. It was nominated, but did not win an Oscar for Best Cartoon Short Subject.

What was up with that, Doc?

Jul 27th, 2015 | Filed under Bob Berry, Keener

The Power Of American Bandstand

band-stand By Bob Berry

This week is the anniversary of Paul Revere and The Raiders”  “Indian Reservation” hitting Number One on the Keener Guide and the Billboard Magazine Hot 100. It’s also reminder of one of the great lessons of my radio career:

NEVER underestimate the power of American Bandstand!

Spring 1971, I was working at WIBM, a small AM station in Jackson, Michigan. It’s a Saturday, and I’m hanging around my apartment, waiting to do my show. American Bandstand is on the TV, and Dick Clark intro’s a new song by Paul Revere and the Raiders, “Indian Reservation”.

I watch and listen, think “that’s got a chance”, and make a mental note to check into putting in rotation next week. Headed into the station, got on the air, and got call after call for “that new Raiders record”, or the “song about the Indians”. Needless to say, we did not wait for Monday to start playing the song!

By the way. “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” was written by John D. Loudermilk, who wrote the 1964 Keener Classics “Thou Shalt Not Steal” by Dick and Dee Dee, and “Tobacco Road” by the Nashville Teens. Mr. Loudermilk also wrote one of the greatest slow dance/spotlight dance songs of all time, 1967’s “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” by the Casinos.

Jul 25th, 2015 | Filed under Bob Berry, Keener

Marvin Gaye’s Early Hits Still Hit Home Runs

Marvin-Gaye.By Bob Berry

I had about an hour drive on I-75 last night, and after selecting a CD for the ride (and playing it at a far too loud volume), came to this conclusion:

It had been too doggone long, since I had played or heard, Marvin Gaye’s “doggone” song, and the other early 60’s classics. Hits like “Stubborn Kind of Fellow”, “Pride and Joy”, “Hitchhike”, “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “You’re A Wonderful One”, Marvin’s first hit duet, “It Takes Two”, with the great Kim Weston, and, yes, the Smokey Robinson written and produced “I’ll Be Doggone”.

Remarkable songs, sometimes over-looked in the rightful appreciation of  “What’s Going On” and on through to  “Sexual Healing”. But take another listen to the early Marvin Gaye “songbook”. From his use of his three-octave range, through the evolution of The Funk Brothers, to working with Motown’s writer/producers Mickey Stevenson, Holland-Dozier-Holland and Smokey; the results that came out of the”Snakepit”, were fabulous!

Conclusion?  ANY Marvin is great Marvin. And maybe better, live. Check out Marvin’s medley on 1964’s “The T.A.M.I. Show”, with Darlene Love and The Blossoms and the “Wrecking Crew” house band.

Jul 24th, 2015 | Filed under Bob Berry, Keener

When Comics Were King

The 40th Anniversary Issue of Action Comics - June, 1978

The 40th Anniversary Issue of Action Comics – June, 1978

Were you DC or Marvel? Archie or Dick Tracy? Or were you really considered off the deep end as a fan of Mad Magazine?

Comic bo0ks were as much a part of growing up as were the DJs we loved. Saving up enough to head to our favorite comic store for the latest issue may have paralleled picking up the then current WKNR Music Guide.

Veronica, Archie & BettyWith news that Archie Comics cartoonist, Tom Moore passed away, another wave of nostalgia came over us. We’re told that the Keener Generation lived in what is now being called “The Silver Age” of American comics. For some of us, tastes evolved away from super heroes and in the direction of crime, romance and horror. By the 70s, underground comics were in full bloom, with artists like R. Crumb creating concert posters and even the logo for the famed Detroit music magazine, Creem. Crumb is still remembered for his Fritz the Cat series, which appeared in several magazines between 1965 and 1972.

And who can forget the Sunday funnies? With to significant newspapers in Detroit, how many times did you find yourself buying both on Sunday, just for the funny papers?

Dick Tracky

Jul 22nd, 2015 | Filed under Keener

RIP, Wayne Carson & Ann Arbor’s “The Letter” Connection

by Bob Berry

Wayne CarsonYou probably have read about the passing of songwriter Wayne Carson, who died Monday at the age of 72. Mr. Carson’s songs, included two that proved the old adage “never sell your copyright”.  One of them, co-written with Mark James and Johnny Christopher, was   “Always On My Mind”; a hit for Elvis and for Willie Nelson, and the CMA Song of the Year in both 1982 and 1983.

 

The-Arbors-I-Cant-Quit-Her-The-Letter-Album-CoverThe other title, “The Letter”, had a Keener connection you may have forgotten. Originally a million-selling #1 smash for The Boxtops in 1967 and a the Top Ten song in 1971 by Joe Cocker;  Keener fans will recall a local group, Ann Arbor’s, The Arbors, who received lots of airplay with their version of “The Letter”, a flip side of another cover, Blood, Sweat and Tears’ “I Can’t Quit Her”.

Here’s a triple play of three distinct versions of one of the great songs in rock and roll, beginning with the amazing harmonies of brothers Fred and Ed Ferran and Scott and Tom Herrick. The Arbors are back on Keener!


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Jul 22nd, 2015 | Filed under Keener

The Queen Reigns In Syracuse

By Bob Berry

arethaAretha Franklin has proved once again why she is The Queen of Soul.

Check out this short video from Saturday (7/18) night, when ‘Re brought the crowd to it’s feet-and the house down at the Syracuse Jazz Festival. Included in the 90 minute set, was every one of her six breakout Keener classics from 1967, “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Do Right Woman Do Right Man”, “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain Of Fools”, and in this video “Baby I Love You”.

Long Live The Queen!

 

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Jul 20th, 2015 | Filed under Bob Berry, Keener

Sunday Songs

By Bob Berry

Detroit Sunrise

Sunday. A favorite day of the week. Usually lazy and slow with an extra cup of coffee. Sometimes with a ridiculous breakfast. Unless, of course, there’s a golf game involved, in which case I’m out the door.

And sadly, over par.

Under any circumstances, there’s one constant: Great tunes. Sometimes, it’s jazz, blues or symphony pops. Or, how about three Keener favorites, beginning with The Rascals’ slow dance/make romance classic!

Here’s a remarkable live performance from Spanky and Our Gang. Her voice goes away, but they finish strong!

And last, but not least, The Monkees, with Mickey on lead vocal of a classic Carole King/Gerry Goffin tune.

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Jul 18th, 2015 | Filed under Bob Berry, Keener