One of these things is not like the other

(H/T: A listener)
“Still to come: Earthquake claims San Diego, four million die in Turkey, and Arlene visits an art museum” —Chevy Chase, “Weekend Update”

It’s been a somber week here, but we’ll have all of Pittsburgh’s favorite oldies on the radio today, along with most of our usual silliness on the radio, including some instructions about football for those of you getting ready for the Big Game.

12 to 3 p.m. on WRCT 88.3 FM in Pittsburgh and Tube City Online Radio in McKeesport. Requests? 412-385-7450 or leave a comment here.

It’s massive, it’s music, it’s a weekend … what’s it called?


Each spring, our flagship station, WRCT 88.3 FM, holds an event called “Massive Music Weekend,” where DJs spotlight a certain artist or group for a half-hour at a time. It sometimes results in trainwreck segues, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Last year, I did half-hour sets of Bill Haley and Little Richard. You were up at 5 a.m. Sunday morning to hear those, right?

(It also means “Radio 9” will be pre-empted on Saturday, Feb. 25, and will air only on Tube City Online Radio. Plan your day accordingly.)

Anyway, this year, “MMW” is the weekend of Feb. 24-26. I don’t participate every year, but I’m planning this year. On social media, I asked listeners to throw out suggestions for bands and artists they’d like me to feature.

Here are the suggestions I’ve received so far. Feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments:

Continue reading “It’s massive, it’s music, it’s a weekend … what’s it called?”

You must be joshing

Mysterious note

josh /dʒɒʃ/ (v.): (1.) To tease someone in a playful way. “You must be joshing me.” (2.) To make or exchange good-natured jokes. (n.): (1.) Primarily North American. “He loved to josh and joke.

I found this note on the studio door today. Who’s “Mr. Josh”? And why did it take a year for the note to show up? (It’s dated 2022.)

All these mysteries will be explored, along with Pittsburgh’s favorite oldies, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. today (Jan. 28) on Pittsburgh’s very independent WRCT-FM (88.3), owned and operated by the students of Carnegie Mellon University, and McKeesport’s very Internet-only Tube City Online Radio, available on Streema, TuneIn, RadioGarden, Alexa, Siri and Echo, or at the website.

Requests: 412-385-7450 or send me a message on Facebook, Mastodon or Post.


In 1965, the Tradewinds asked the musical question, what do you do when your woodie is outside covered in snow? Because I think we all know how painful that could be!

Keep your woodie inside today and listen to the best darn #oldies show in Pittsburgh. 12 noon to 3 on WRCT 88.3FM and

Requests: 412-385-7450 or @ me here

Someone painted ‘April Fool’ in big black letters on a ‘Dead End’ sign

“Dead End” by Drew Maust via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons BY NC 2.0

I was reading a story in The New Yorker about the pending threat of a strike against United Parcel Service by their Teamsters drivers, and this paragraph brought me up short:

Twenty-six years ago, the sort of friendly rapport that he and many UPS drivers have with their customers helped fuel public support for UPS’s workers when they went on strike with their union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

I thought, well, wait a minute, that can’t be right. I covered the last UPS strike, and it couldn’t have been 26 years ago. I was working at the McKeesport Daily News and photographer Wade Massie and I went out to take photos of scab drivers crossing a picket line in Pitcairn.

Continue reading “Someone painted ‘April Fool’ in big black letters on a ‘Dead End’ sign”

Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

If you heard Saturday’s show (repeated Sunday afternoon) you heard a bunch of soundbites from Bert and Ernie of “Sesame Street.” (As opposed to Bert and Ernie of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”)

I don’t mean to disillusion you, but they weren’t in the studio with me — the magic of radio! theater of the mind! — and they also weren’t exclusive to me. Not hardly. They were part of a video series that Elle Magazine has created called “Song Association,” in which celebrities are given a vocabulary word, and then have 10 seconds to think of a song that includes the word.

You can view Bert and Ernie’s entire appearance on YouTube (it’s actually a load of fun — they also sang “If I Had $1,000,000” by Barenaked Ladies, as well as “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman) and check out the other celebrity videos at the hashtag #SongAssociation. Billie Eilish, Adam Lambert, Olivia Rodrigo and Meghan Trainor have all participated in the long-running series.

Continue reading “Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?”

Jay Thurber’s Lo-Fi Christmas Eve

My wife has often mentioned that one of the things she liked best about Christmas growing up was “scratchy Christmas carols on AM radio.” So, this Saturday from 12 to 3 p.m. on WRCT-FM (88.3) and Tube City Online Radio, the two of us are going to re-create the sound of scratchy Christmas carols on AM. It’s Jay Thurber’s Lo-Fi Christmas Eve! Join us!

Pittsburgh Symphony ticket winners

Thank you to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for giving WRCT two pairs of tickets to see Randy Newman with the PSO on July 30.

Winner of the first pair of tickets, given away on “Radio 9” on Saturday, July 18, was Yolanda from Mt. Washington.

Winner of the second pair of tickets, given away by Kenny Joe on “Pinckney Hall” on Friday, July 24, was Scott from Highland Park.

Thanks for listening to WRCT!