When I was 7 years old, I listened to the 1969 NY Mets’ pennant run on my school bus ride home. Our bus driver had the game broadcasts tuned in on a transistor radio at the front of the bus (oh, how I miss DAY baseball games!), and I would run from the bus into my house to watch the ends of games on the family TV (B&W, of course). The Miracle Mets, of course, went on to win the World Series that year, and this boy was hooked.
When I got to Boston, my friends & I tried to go to the first & last games of the season at Fenway (plus many more in between). I probably did that for close to 10 years. For a while (10 years or so) I had a weekend/day game season ticket package at Fenway and went to many, many games, including opening day games every year.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that Opening Day is a pretty big holiday for me. And this year, I got to do a radio show that day. Of course, I played baseball songs, how could I resist? Some listeners expressed surprise that I had 2 hours of baseball songs in my collection. I have to admit that I have much, much more, so keep an ear out for next season!
This was the beginning of a 2-show/5-hour slot, with DJ Tony Scungilli of “The Squid Jigger’s Blend” show joining me part way through this show after which we co-hosted Jim Mulligan’s “Mullgan’s Stew” show.
This show starts with a Gospel brunch, proceeds into a set of Soul/Funk Love songs, and later a Keith Emerson Remembrance and the return of “Fun With Fred’s Phone”. I believe it was the first FWFP of 2016 – oh, how I missed that feature!
March 2016 marks my return to the timeslot where it all started – alternate Sunday afternoons. Originally I started off doing this as a sub for Jay Harrington on his show Sitting In, then I got my own slot on alternate Monday evenings, but I always longed for a return to Sunday afternoons so I could continue on with the Gospel Brunch feature.
This was my first show back, and after the Gospel Brunch Hour at the top of the show I decided to honor International Women’s Day 2016 (March 8, 2016) with an hour plus of female-fronted funk.
I was given the opportunity to sit in for Jim Mulligan’s show “Mulligan Stew” the other day. Jim plays a great mix of blues and R&B with lots of New Orleans music. I expanded on that a bit to play a “Gospel Snack” (the show ran 4pm to 6pm, so I thought it a bit late for a full “Gospel Brunch”) and some vocal R&B/doo wop. I hope I got close to the essence of Jim’s show. I sure had a good time playing these songs for you.
It was fun going back to the timeslot I started in way way back a whole 7 months earlier at the end of 2015. I got to do a final Gospel Brunch for the year and it gave me a chance to look back on some of the great music that came out in 2015. So much that I ended up playing a total of 6 hours of 2015 music over 3 shows and still missed several releases that I really should have included. How in the hell did I miss James McMurtry’s “Complicated Game” and Joe Ely’s “Panhandle Rambler”? Well, however it happened, it happened – too late to do anything about it now other than say “check ’em out”.
This is the one that started it all – the very first episode of The Omnipop Omnibus. It’s rough, folks, really rough, but I made it through the show without crying or even thinking about quitting, so really – WIN!
I remember being in the weeds early in the 2nd hour – I realized that if I was going to play songs that are only 2 minutes long, I really need to plan things out or at least have a rough idea of what I want to play. I’ll admit it, the first hour of longer Gospel songs got me kinda cocky, but oh, those 2 minute doo-wop/R&B songs … yowza! At some point I literally tossed a CD into one of the players, spun the track selection knob, and hit play. After that, I grabbed a couple of longer songs (NRBQ’s “Flat Foot Flewzy” and Frank Zappa’s “RDNZL”), got by breath & bearings back, and had at least a slightly more relaxed time for the rest of the show.
Like I said earlier, I made it to the end relatively unscathed. And I knew I wanted to do it again and again.