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Soul Sunday: Green Stuff ... Archie Bell and Melvin Steals

Posted on August 30, 2020 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Good Mornin' Ginchers,

Today is Soul Sunday ... you know what that means, I'm getting ready for my weekly radio show on jukinoldies.com, my Heavenly Soul Show.  The theme tonight is "GREEN STUFF ... Archie Bell and Melvin Steals."  You may think that the theme is about money from that short intro however, it is not ... it's about Archie Bell and the Drells and our old friend Melvin Steals (singer and Superb song writer).  It all started last week while having fun at my house with the Ya Jagoff Porch Party hosted by John Chamberlain and Rachael Rennebeck.  The guests were my old friends Jimmie Ross and Benny Faiella of the Jaggerz.  After the podcast we went down in my studio and started to remenisce and Melvin Steals name came up.  Melvin wrote so many great soul songs i.e.; "Gotta Find My Way Back Home" and "Together Forever" for the Jaggerz, "Could it be I'm Falling in Love " for the Spinners and the list goes on and on.  Melvin wrote for Archie Bell and the Drells also, two great soul sounds , "Go For What You Know" and "Green Power", which will be in my spotlight on the show tonight at 7:00 PM (EST).  Archie Bell is celebrating a birthday this coming week and will be spotlighted tonight on my show.  Archie is best known for his hit records "Tighten Up" And "Gonna Be A Showdown" but he had so many great soul records and ballads.  He was born in Henderson, Texas and formed his first group while still in High School back in 1956.  In 1966 he formed the Drells with James Wise, Billy Parnell and Billy Butler and signed with Ovide Records in 1967.  Tighten Up came from a conversation that Archie and Billy Butler had when Butler tried to cheer Billy up after recieving his draft notice.  Billy tried to cheer Archie up by demostrating a dance called the Tighten Up.  Billy then put together the song and it hit the charts following Archie's induction into the Army.  In 1969 Archie Bell and the Drells recorded their first album with Gamble and Huff, the same label that the Jaggerz recorded on.  Do you get the tie in here?  Melvin Steals wrote for Archie Bell and the Drells and the Jaggerz during their time with the Gamble & Huff's Label and the birth of the Philadelphia Sound (even though the Jaggerz, Archie and Melvin were not from Philadelphia).  Green Stuff (the Song) ... Archie Bell and Melvin Steals ... I just love the history!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


No School Saturday: Ginchy Comedy ... Saturday Night!

Posted on August 29, 2020 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

It's another No School Saturday ... are you ready for some laughs?  Well then get on down to Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff Saturday Night for some Ginchy Comedy, by some funny comedians!  Tonight is the third Comedy Show brought to us by Rohrich Automotive and Ya Jagoff Podcasts.  It has been some hard times for musicians, comedians and entertainers during this Covid-19 Quarantine but our friends at YaJagoff and Rohrich Automotive Group have provided a unique venue to get some work for the struggling artists.  Here is the scenario:  6:00 people begin to gather, practicing safe social distancing, in the Parking Lot at my Ginchy Stuff.  There is a truck provided by Rohrich Automotive Group that works as the stage, a small sound system and a bunch of hilarious comedians.  The show starts at 7:00 PM and it only costs $10.00, all proceeds go to the comedians.  It is simple, it's like the old days of going to a concert in the park.  It's a BYOE (Everything: Folding Chair, Cooler, Friends).  Over the past three weeks we have had some really great and experienced comedians from the Improv, comedy clubs and even New York ... the likes of: Collin Chamberlin, Ray Zawodni, Seneca Stone, Marcus Cox, Samantha Bentley, Mike Zydel and Joey Welsh.  This week has four more great comedians: Leslie Carala, Aarik Nesby, Kayleigh Dumas and Aaron Kleiber.  Tickets can be purchased online at yajagoff.com/store.  There are only a few tickets left so go on line soon ... again that's, YaJagoff.com/store.  Don't be left out, come early and get ready to relieve some stress ... just laugh!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Feature Friday: Remembering Bill Paxton

Posted on August 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

It's time once again for Feature Friday ... remembering Bill Paxton!  He was a great actor, director and musician and appeared in many movies that I loved watching as far back as 1985 when he appeared in Wierd Science and through the years until his untimely death in 2017.  I especially loved his roles as Randal McCoy in the TV mini series "The Hatfields and McCoys" and as Morgan Earp in "Tombstone.   He made so many great appearances as an actor in film, he played the punk in the Terminator, the bartender in Streets of Fire, Private Hudson in Aliens and so many more great films over the years like, Twister, Titanic, Apollo 132, Navy Seals and one of my favorites Gerald Gates in Next of Kin with Patrick Swayze.  He made his characters so real and serious ... always convincing.  Bill directed the feature films "Frality"  and "The Greatest Game Ever Played".  One of the crazy things Bill did as a director was in 1980 when he directed a music video for Barnes & Barnes which aired on Saturday Night Live ... "Fish Heads".  As a musician, Bill Paxton formed a new wave band in 1982 called "Martini Ranch" and released an album in 1988 on Sire Records called "Holy Cow".  I met Bill Paxton at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he was a guest.  I had my dear friend and mentor, Porky Chedwick, with me.  I was introduced to Bill at a reception party and spent some time talking music and some of his roles in movies.  The man loved music and was eager to meet Porky ... I had a picture taken of him with Porky that made my day.  I will always remember ... Bill Paxton.  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Throw Back Thursday: Bring Back the Drive-in!

Posted on August 27, 2020 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello Ginchers,

Time for Throw Back Thursday ... and, let's Bring Back the Drive-Ins!!!  As we try to survive this crazy so called pandemic, I realize more and more how much I miss the simpler things in life that are either gone or disappearing.  Here are a few: going for a drive, walks in the park, the soda fountain, real Milk shakes, old school amusement parks, real pinball machines, penny candy, softball games, movies that make you use your imagination ... DRIVE-INS!!!  I have noticed that some people still have their imagination and still have a passion and love for things that are disappearing or gone.  A friend just invited me to a back yard party that spotlighted pizza, lemonaide, lawn chairs and an inflatable screen to show old 1950's Monster movies.  A  Mom that had an indoor drive in birthday party that practiced social distancing by having a screen, a projector and individual cardboard cars six feet apart for the kids.  They painted their own license plate name and attached it to their cardboard car...pizza and kool-aid delivered to their cars.  Why not just bring back the Drive-In theater?  It was convenient, it was comfortable it was cost effective even without bringing extra people in the trunk!  Think of this beautiful concept ... it even works during a pandemic ... go ahead and close the irresistable concession stand, you can still bring your own food and beverage in a cooler.  Take the pickup truck and park backwards and lay in the bed with pillows and air matress.  Take a lawn chair or two and still practice social distancing (I can''t believe that I'm already trained so well that I keep referring to social distancing!)  There is still something about the excitement of going to the drive in ... open air ... old movies ... the smell of popcorn  ... even in the winter, in fact I still have a plug in, drive-in, car heater!  Just looking at old Drive-in photos make me yearn for the good old days ... BRING BACK THE DRIVE-IN!!!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD BLESS!

Johnny


Wa'sup Wednesday: Toga! Toga! Toga!

Posted on August 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (1)

G'day Ginchers,

Once again it's Wa'sup Wednesday and ... Toga! Toga! Toga!  Most young people think that Toga parties began with the Movie Animal House however; they actually started way before the movie and the movie just re-energized the party.  The toga party was hip way back in the Greek/Roman empire days with wine, feasts, music and sexual overtones ... well it didn't change much in the 60's and at the college fraternity parties.  I remember playing at a Pitt Winter fraternity bash in Mt. Chateau in West Virginia when we were young and had the band the Cordells.  There was live music by us, togas and half clad college people everywhere, beer and wine and a feast ... mostly pizza.  The gala lasted the entire week-end and was non stop party.  Oh the memories ... but let's jump forward about 25 years and we, Johnny Angel and the Halos were playing on a cruise ship and the cruise director asked if we would do one of our main showroom shows in togas to promote a wild toga party that night.  As shy as we all were and still are, we pushed ourselves to come out of our shells and play the show in Togas (tongue in cheek).  It was a hoot ... and it was crazy to look out into the audience and see so many people wearing togas!  The movie Animal house re-created the Toga party theme and it once again went wild on college campuses. Want to have some fun during this quarantine time?  Invite a few people over to the house, send invitations on a scroll, togas are manditory, play music from the late 50's and early 60's (party songs), move most of the furniture and things of value ... add some wine and beer.  If the party is slow getting started ... play the song by the Isley Brothers "SHOUT" ... real loud and Toga! Toga! Toga!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Tune in Tuesday: WZUM ... 1590 top of the dial!

Posted on August 25, 2020 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Mornin' Ginchers,

Time for Tune in Tuesday ... WZUM ... 1590 top of the dial!  I remember that like it was yesterday in fact I still have some blurps from my show from 2000 on WZUM.  Pittsburgh has had many great radio stations and shows over the years.  I was able to be part of several over my years of radio and the love of radio.  I  was part of the morning Zoo on 3WS (which is another blog for another day),  I had a Sunday night oldies show on WJAS and for a a brief time part of the Nostalgia Radio 2000 on WZUM with Mad Mike Metro and various DJ friends.  Just to give a little history about WZUM ... from 1964 until about 1967 WZUM was pretty much a top 40 station leaning more towards R&B and Soul music.  During the 1970's it became more of a freeform station changing it's call letters to WPLW and broadcast Polkas, which made sense since Jimmy Pol was one of the owners at the time.  It went through many changes over the years playing everything from Pop to Gospel to religious programming until 1998 when Mike Horvath purchased the station and brought it back to the original call letters of WZUM.  Our old friend and Pittsburgh Oldies legend started programming Oldies for the station calling it Nostalgia radio 2000.  It was during this period that Mike asked me to do my Johnny Angel Heavenly Soul Show.  The station transmited from the DiPietro's Pizza building on the boulivard (Rt. 19 S).  It was a throw back to the early 60's days playing favorites from that time period ... it even had the old station ID carts that we all remembered from the 60's soul show days and the prime years of Mad Mike Metro.  It truly was Nostalgia Radio 2000 and brought back memories of the old days of WZUM like the "WZUM Tiger Action Survey" and the "WZUM Zany the Zumy Robot/Computer at Large" and the "WZUM Best in R&B Pittsburgh Radio Campaign".  When I remenisce about growing up in da 'Burgh, I definatley remember tuning into WZUM ... 1590 at the top of the dial!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Mo' Music Monday: Two Kinds of People ... Ernest Wright

Posted on August 24, 2020 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Good afternoon Ginchers,

Are you ready for Mo' Music Monday?  Today is the birthday of a friend who happens to be an Imperial ... Ernest Wright was born August 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York, he began his music career as a "Chester" and soon became one of the driving forces behind the Imperials.  Last night on my radio show (Johnny Angel's Heavenly Soul Show on jukinoldies.com) we celebrated Ernest and his career as a member of Little Anthony & the Imperials.  So, with that said, I', gonna recap some of the cool stuff about Ernest.  back in the early 50's, four young men would get together on a street corner in Brooklyn and sing a cappella (DooWop style), their names were Clarence Collins, Sammy Strain, Anthony Gourdine and Ernest Wright.  From that make up, Clarence decided they should make a group and called themselves the Chesters with Anthony, Clarence and Ernest.  They briefly recorded for Apollo records.  In 1958, they changed their name to the Imperials and signed with End Records recording their first record "Tears On My Pillow" and it was an instant hit and awarded a gold record.  The "B" side "Two People In the World" also became a hit and was written by Ernest Wright.  The song "Two People In The World" has become a DooWop Classic and sung by just about every DooWop group I know.  As we all know, the group went on to stardom appearing on all the great TV shows, Casinos, concert venues and eventually was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.  Their style was amazing, they could sing show tunes, DooWop, Rock n' Roll, Rhythm n' Blues, Pop ... you name it.  Their harmonies were impecable and always looked like a million dollars.  Over the years I've had the honors of working with Ernest, Anthony, Clarence and Sammy many times but one of my favorite nights with the Imperials was at Montemurro's Supper Club.  Up close and personal ... from rehearsal to back stage interaction and conversation to the actual show ... one of my most favorable experiences as a musician.  My dear old friend Jimmy Beaumont came to the show and added even more pleasure to the back stage commradery.  Imagine talking music with Little Anthony and the Imperials, Jimmy Beamont of the Skyliners and our band of crazies... the conversation of the night should be in a book!  And to think , it all started with Two People in the World ... thanks Ernest Wright!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Soul Sunday: I'll Never Forget You ... Walter Williams

Posted on August 23, 2020 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Goooood Mornin' Ginchers,

Today is Soul Sunday and I'm gonna chat about the fabulous O'Jays as we celebrate one of it's founding members who has a birthday this coming week ... "I'll Never Forget You ... Walter Williams!"  The O'Jays have been providing us with soulful music since 1958 when they formed as a group called the Mascots at Canton McKinley High School in Ohio. They changed their name to the Triumphs and recorded a record called "Miracles" which was a hit in the Cleveland area.  In 1963 they took the name O'Jays as a tribute to a Cleveland Radio Disc Jockey, Eddie O'Jay, and recorded "Lonely Drifter" their first charted record.  The group originally had 5 members, Walter Williams, Eddie Levert, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles but soon became a trio with Isles and Massey leaving the band.  The O'Jays had so many hits as a 60's Soul group the likes of "Lipstick Traces", "Stand In For Love", "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow" and "Look Over Your Shoulder" and then crushed the charts in the 70's with soul classics like "Put Your Hands Together", "I Love Music", "Back Stabbers", "For The Love Of Money", "Love Train" and "Used To Be My Girl" with the addition of Sammy Strain (Little Anthony & the Imperials).  I remember meeting Eddie Levert at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and talking about the early days of the group, especially when they played the Cleveland and Lake Erie club venues.  Eddie told me about the days of singing on the corner with Walter and William and how they were looking for that special sound.  Well as you all know, they found that sound and that sound is a staple in Soul Music.  Tonight on my radio show, Johnny Angel's Heavenly Soul Show, on jukinoldies.com, I will be spotlighting the early sounds of the O'Jays and celebrating Walter Williams birthday ... just like the song goes ... "I'll Never Forget You!"  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


No School Saturday: Poor Man's Paradise ... Presque Isle!

Posted on August 22, 2020 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

It's No School Saturday once again and I'm going back a few years, taking a trip to Lake Erie ... Poor Man's Paradise ... Presque Ilse!  Growing up in Piitsburgh during the 50's and 60's was an amazing time, I was introduced to the greatest music ever, learned important values about life and fell in love with the girl I would spend the rest of my life with.  Summertime was great, I played gigs almost every night and especially on week-ends and sometimes we would travel to exotic places like Geneva on the Lake, Conneaut Lake Park and Presque Isle in Erie.  Well, my future bride's family took a family vacation every year to camp at Presque Isle.  Since I/we were playing in Erie that same week-end, my friend Greg and I decided to go to Presque Isle during the week and maybe I would stumble upon my main squeeze.  I rented one of those hunting/fishing cabins close to the camp sites and Greg and I took a walk ... it was such a coinsidence that we came upon my future wife's family camping spot ... it was true Karma!  I would show up at her camp site every morning and they invited us to stay for breakfast, so I kind of hung around until her Father thought that we were getting a bit too serious ... so he very tactfully suggested that I should check out some of the other areas of Lake Erie.  Lake Erie and Preque Isle at the time was a popular vacation spot for the middle income population, there was an amusement park close by, great fishing, camp sites on the water, a beautiful beach area with swimming and a true paradise right here in good old Pennsylvania.  We played all the hot spots, Rainbow Gardens, the Breakers Club, the Hullabaloo Club and the Pier so I was very familiar with the area.  Since Lake Erie was only about a three hour drive at the time (much quicker now with the completion of route 79) it was convenient and affordable to make the trip in the summertime ... after all it had everything I was looking for , it was a Poor Man's Paradise ... Presque Isle!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnn


Feature Friday: The Angels :Listened In ... Mr. Maestro!

Posted on August 21, 2020 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Good Morning Ginchers,

Today is Feature Friday ... from the Crests to the Brooklyn Bridge, here is Mr. Maestro!  How many artists do you know started in the streets as a singer and made it to the top two times, with two different groups?  I don't recall many, but that is the story of Johnny Maestro.  Johnny and his group the Crests were discovered singing in the subway in New York City by the wife of Orchestra leader Al Browne who connected the group with Joyce records in 1956.  They recorded the records "My Juanita" and "Sweetest One" both great records but neither one was a hit for them.  In 1958 after switching to the Coed Record Label they landed the classic "16 Candles" and then "step By Step", "Trouble In Paradise", "Six Nights A Week", "The Angels Listened In" to name a few.  They were hits on the Dick Clark American Bandstand, they toured the country in Rock N' Roll Shows.  In the early 60's Johnny broke out on his own and recorded a few records for Cameo Parkway, one of which had the Tymes backing him.  In 1965 Johnny joined the Del Satins (one of Dions backup groups) as their lead singer and merged with a group called the Rhythm Method and soon became the "Brooklyn Bridge" producing their first big hit in 1969 "The Worst That Could Happen".  The group got it's name by a comment that was made saying"it would be easier to sell the Brooklyn Bridge than book an 11 piece act" ... Whala  "the Brooklyn Bridge.  I don't want to get into music politics but how could a man with so many hit records, several times in his career with two seperate bands not be considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I know there was a petition going around but I think it fell on deaf ears.  If the Hall of fame is supposed to be about the history of rock and roll music, how is it that Mr. Maestro was not considered all these years?  I remember meeting Johnny Maestro ... his voice was incredible and he was a humble man, sort of on the quiet side ... alot like my friend Jimmy Beaumont (another great that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!).  Johnny Maestro was great singing solo, in a DooWop group, with a full Orchestra, an 11 piece band or a cappella he was a singing machine.  I guess the day they were singing in the New York Subway, that the Angels Listened in ... Mr. Maestro!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny



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