Today’s show

A reminder that due to a scheduled power outage on the Carnegie Mellon University campus, today’s show is only on Tube City Online Radio. If y0u have a smart device such as an Amazon Echo, say “Play Tube City Online Radio,” or point your browser to

You can also find the station on TuneIn, Radio.Garden and other sites.

Today’s show is coming to you from Dayton Hamvention in Xenia, Ohio. It’s one of the largest conventions in the world for radio hobbyists, and we’ll be talking to people from Texas, Germany, Canada … and one guy from Greensburg, Pa. (No phone calls, though. We’re transcribed for release at this more convenient time.)

It’s all of Pittsburgh’s favorite oldies, plus news, sports and weather.

CQ cartoon, May 2023

CQ Amateur Radio Magazine, May 2023 issue

This week, I’ll be headed to Dayton, Ohio — actually, Xenia, a little bit to the southeast — for the annual Dayton Hamvention, billed as the world’s largest gathering of amateur radio operators, or “hams.”

(My show this Saturday will be produced and broadcast from Hamvention, and I’ll be talking to some people at the convention. However, this week’s show will only be on Tube City Online Radio, because WRCT will be off the air due to a scheduled power outage on the Carnegie Mellon University campus. Plan your Saturday afternoon accordingly, ha ha.)

A lot of people think that “amateur radio” is what I do on Saturdays, but “ham radio” is not broadcasting — it’s transmitting messages from point-to-point, or from one person (or group of people) to another.

In fact, there are special frequencies set aside for amateur radio, and a license is required to use them. People with an amateur radio license are specifically prohibited from using those frequencies for “broadcasting” to the general public. (There’s nothing to stop you from listening to those transmissions, of course, but the person sending messages on those frequencies is not supposed to be sending them primarily for amusement or entertainment.)

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Got a feelin’ the sun will be gone, the day will be long and blue

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk the sign of? Here are some cluttered items from an empty mind.

Today’s trivia question: I’ve recently heard three different instrumental versions of this song on the radio—on WZUM (1550/101.1) and Eric O’Brien’s “Smooth, Relaxing & Easy,” which airs Saturdays on WRCT and Tube City Online Radio, following my show.

If you’re a child of the 1970s or ’80s, you probably know the tune. But can you recognize it from the seldom-heard lyrics? Here they are:

Got a feelin’ it’s all over now
All over now, we’re through
And tomorrow I’ll be lonesome,
Remembering you.
Got a feelin’ the sun will be gone
The day will be long and blue
And tomorrow I’ll be cryin’
Remembering you.
There’s a faraway look in your eye
When you try to pretend to me,
That everything is the same as it used to be.
I see it’s all over now—
All over now, we’re through,
And tomorrow I’ll be startin’
Remembering you.

Do you recognize the tune? Answer at the end of this column.

Continue reading “Got a feelin’ the sun will be gone, the day will be long and blue”

He just drifted into town and stayed all alone

A couple of programming notes:

I’ll have an all-new show on Saturday (March 25) but I will be pre-recording it. If you have a request, “queue up early,” as Phil Musick used to say. You can leave a request on the studio hotline voicemail at 412-385-7450, email, or post it in the comments section here.

I’ll be at the Arsenal Bowl on Sunday night (March 26) for our monthly Sunday night oldies party, spinnin’ the hits that give you fits in the Burgh of Pitts, to quote Jack Bogut. Someday soon I’d like to start bringing some vinyl with me and playing 45s. I have a suitcase turntable and I need to get it working one of these days. For now, we use those new-fangled compact discs.

Did you see, by the way, that in 2022, vinyl records outsold compact discs for the first time since 1987? It’s true:

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If you want to stay just like you are, you know I think you really should

Beware The Ides of March! Although they released seven singles from 1969 to 1971, “Vehicle” was the group’s only record to make it into the top 10, let alone the top 50, making them a true one-hit wonder, though one of their members would go onto much bigger success, as we’ll soon see.

Formed by a group of kids from Berwyn, Ill. (all together now: BERWYN?), the band was originally called The Shondells Unlimited — named in honor of singer Troy Shondell, himself a one-hit wonder with the song “This Time” in 1961, and no relation to the later Tommy James-fronted group also known as the Shondells. Some of the members of Shondells Unlimited had known each other since Cub Scouts and elementary school, and two supposedly were born in the same hospital on the same day.

About the name: “Ides” merely means a “division,” as in the half-way point of a month. In ancient Rome, the Ides of March (generally on the 13th or 15th) was the first full moon of the year on the Roman calendar and the day was marked by religious observances and the public settling of debts to be paid. Notoriously, the emperor Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March in 44 B.C., setting off a two-year-long civil war.

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Tom Snyder on Robert Blake, 2003

I’ve made it no secret that I was a big fan of the late Tom Snyder, long-time talk show host. I enjoyed his radio and TV shows, as well as his early attempts at blogging at his website, Colortini. (The name was a homage to his recommendation, before the first commercial break on The Late, Late Show, to “fire up a colortini and watch the pictures as they fly through the air.”)

I wasn’t any particular fan of Robert Blake, who died this past Thursday. Blake was the star of In Cold Blood and the TV show Baretta, and he was a favorite talk-show guest for many hosts (including Snyder) in the 1970s.

After Blake’s TV career ended, he began a long, sad decline that more or less hit rock bottom in 2001 after his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was found dead in a parked car shortly after the two had dinner in a nearby restaurant. Blake was charged with the murder and his bodyguard was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Although Blake was found not guilty, a civil jury eventually held him liable for Bakley’s death and ordered him to pay $30 million. (The judgment was reduced to “only” $15 million on appeal.) Blake filed for bankruptcy and slipped into obscurity, emerging for an interview in 2012 with Piers Moron … er, Morgan … and another on ABC’s 20/20 in 2019.

Anyway. That’s the background. While spelunking in the Internet Archive today, I ran across this blog post by Tom Snyder, written in 2003—after Blake was charged with Bakley’s murder, but before the trial.

If Snyder hadn’t been a great broadcaster, he would have been a great writer:

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We used to carry on and drink and do the rock ‘n roll

Tuesday morning get-up and get-going music:

Even though it was the opening track on the “Nilsson Schmilsson” album, “Gotta Get Up” did nothing on the charts when it released as a single in 1971.

Instead, most DJs played the other side, which was Nilsson’s cover of the Badfinger song “Without You”; that song went to Number 1 on charts around the world, including for four weeks in the U.S.

It would take almost 50 years for the public to discover the song. In 2019, “Gotta Get Up” was featured in the Netflix series “Russian Doll,” and within a few days had been played almost a quarter of a million times on Spotify. Wikipedia also notes about 1,000 people paid to download the song.

I guess I’m enough of an old fart to wonder why people wouldn’t just pay the 99 cents or $1.29 to own the song and download it.

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Error exists between microphone and seat

Massive Music Weekend kicks off at 12 noon today (Feb. 24) on our flagship station, WRCT (88.3) FM, with half-hour sets from The Schizophonics and Les Negres Vertes, and continues through 9 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 26). That means regular programming will be disrupted on WRCT, including “Radio 9” on Saturday afternoon.

Remember when I asked listeners to suggest some bands or artists they would like me to feature during Massive Music Weekend? Sure you do! I wish I had remembered. I forgot to submit a list of bands to WRCT, so I will not be heard during MMW on WRCT. Oops.

I’ve been super-busy, but I’m always super-busy. I just forgot.

“Radio 9” will be on Tube City Online Radio from 12 to 3 p.m. Eastern time Saturday — and incidentally, for those of you who also listen to “The Saturday Light Brigade,” you can hear Larry and Rikki Berger and their crew from 6 a.m. to 12 noon every Saturday on Tube City Online Radio. Point your browser to, find Tube City Online Radio on, TuneIn, Streema or OnlineRadioBox, or just ask your smart device (Echo, Alexa, etc.) to play “Tube City Online Radio.”

(This week’s show will be a repeat from several years ago. After all, it’s new to you if you didn’t hear it the first time.)

It’s important to be regular

Because it’s important to be regular, we’ll have our regular show today from 12 to 3 p.m. on WRCT 88.3FM and Tube City Online Radio – McKeesport.

Don’t forget, we’ll be pre-empted on WRCT on Feb. 25 and we’ll be talking with Hugh Geyer of The Vogues on March 4. (I just got the CD and I want to spend a little bit more time editing before we air the interview.)


Coming up 3/4: Turn around and listen to the magic sound of The Vogues

Hugh Geyer of The Vogues, shown here with his wife, Maria, will be my guest Saturday, March 4, 2023 for the 1 o’clock hour.

We’ll be talking about the upcoming release of a CD that features digitally remastered versions of all of their original songs from the ’60s. We’ll also ask him about how the group was originally formed (you may have heard the origin story before, but it’s a good one) and what a “Vogue” was.

(For years we’ve been told they were named after the Vogue Terrace nightclub near McKeesport, but Hugh says he’s not sure that’s accurate.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Turn around and look at WRCT 88.3 FM, and at They’re the magic sound in your magic town.

You can buy the CD here: The Vogues at Co & Ce: The Complete Recordings