Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff

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Mo' Music Monday: Shout! it's the modern craze!

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Good afternoon Ginchers,

It's Mo' Music Monday and on this very day in 1959 the Isley Brothers charted with the new modern craze ... SHOUT!  Who hasn't been to a wedding, dance, party or event with music that didn't dance to the song SHOUT?  A little bit softer now, a little softer now ... hey, ey, ey ey .... hey, ey, ey ey ... Shout, come on and ... Shout!  This phenom began in 1958 when the Isley Brothers closed their show at the Uptown Theater in Philly with a cover tune by Jackie Wilson called "Lonely Teardrops".  Lead singer Ronald Isley could see that his audience was standing and yelling with an un usual energy and decided to extend the end of the song by improvising with words of excitement like Shout ... you know you make me want to shout!  The response was so great that they ended their shows this way adding more energy and yell back screams.  It became such a signature that they decided to record it as a song.  The recording took place on July 29, 1959 produced by Hugo and Luigi and released on RCA Records shortly after that.  They used studio musicians and invited friends into the studio to get that live performance feel.  The song became a National hit and became a staple song for just about every live group that performed.  It was later re-released by Joey Dee and the Starlighters to become a hit once agin.  The dance craze extended across the Nation and world.  It was staple for famous clubbs like the Peppermint Lounge and later became one of the main scenes in the movie "Animal House" ... the famous Toga Party scene with Otis Day and the Knights ... oh yeah, "Otis My Man!"  When I Hear shout today I imediately think about John Belushi taking every one down to the floor with ... "A Little Bit Softer Now".  Shout was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the song at number 118 on it's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time!  If you are ever at an event or party that needs an energy injection ... just pop on "SHOUT" and watch the energy rise ... it's a modern craze ... no, it's a modern phenomenon!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Soul Sunday: Ben E. King, Drifter to stardom!

Posted on September 20, 2020 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

Welcome to Soul Sunday ... as you all know Sunday's are special to me and always have been since my days as a young man going to Sunday school, stopping at Aunt Kate's on the way home to have a morning breakfast of Kiska and eggs all the way through my adult life as a Husband and Father.  We try to carry out my wife's family tradition to this very day, the kids and grandkids join us for our Sunday, Italian dinner which always has pasta and sauce, meatballs, salad and Italian Bread but with a special side every week of Eggplant or Zucchini Parm, Veal Picatta with Bananna Peppers and Mushrooms, Chicken Milano, Stuffed hot peppers or Escarole and Beans.  It's a time to get together with your loved ones, talk about what is going on in their lives and appreciate the bonding of Family.  Then after we are finished and all cleaned up it's time for me to do my weekly "Heavenly Soul Show" on the radio which started out on WZUM, to WJAS to the Carolina Breeze and now my home on Jukinoldies.com.  Tonight I will be spotlighting an old friend who has a birthday this coming week ... the great Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson).  Ben was born in Henderson, North Carolina in late September, 1938.  He is known for his singing and song writing however, I see him also as a great man and all around good guy.  Ben started his career singing in church choirs and while in High School formed a DooWop group called the Four B's and they sometimes performed at the Apollo.  In 1958 he joined the Five Crowns and later that year was opening for the Drifters.  George Treadwell, Manager of the Drifters, was tired of the behavior of the group and fired them at the gig and hired the Five Crowns to be the new Drifters.  In 1959, Ben E. King recorded several Drifter classics as their new lead singer ... "There Goes My Baby", "Save The Last Dance For Me", "This Magic Moment and "I Count The Tears" ... this was known as the Ben E. King Era of the Drifters.  In 1960, Ben E. King broke away from the Drifters to start a solo career recording "Spanish Harlem" and his second solo single was co-written by Ben E. and Leiber & Stoller and has become a soul classic ... "Stand By Me!"  I had the pleasure of working with Ben E. King a few times and each time I got to know the man a little better.  He was a kind and soft spoken gentleman but when it came to music he was a take no prisoners performer.  I remember one conert we backed Ben and early in the afternoon he called for a sit down with me and the band to talk through his songs, laying them out in order and talking through how he wanted the show to flow ... a true professional.  A few years later we worked again with Ben E. King at the Montimurro's Supper Club and Ben asked me to join him on stage to sing a duet ,,, a moment I will always remember and cherrish.  Tonight I will be spotlighting Ben E. King on my radio show ... Johnny Angel's Heavenly Soul Show on jukinoldies.com ... live at 7:00 PM (EST) and the memories of working with the master will once again come alive.  The great Ben E. King ... from a Drifter to National Stardom ... what a man!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and GOD Bless!

Johnny 


Wa'sup Wednesday: The Movies ... what happened???

Posted on September 16, 2020 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

Time once again for Wa'sup Wednesday ... what happened to the movies???  Here I go trippin' back to the good old days again when watching a movie was fun, exciting, made you use some of your imagination... I'l expand on that a little later.  I was channel and movie searching recently and saw so many movies that I didn't even know existed.  Luckily you can click on them and they give you some infoabout the flick and some even have a preview.  After about an hour of this I realized it was easier to go through my DVD collection and pull out a movie that I loved watching and probably watched two dozen times ... ones I never tire of.  I try to watch the newer movies but there is too much nudity, sex, violence to the extent of nightmare material, drugs, hate, and they leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.  I can't watch a new movie with my grandkids in fear that I might have to explain too much ... or they would have to explain to me ... very uncomfortable!  Let me give an example of some movies that I could watch over and over again: The Wizard of Oz, High Noon, Picnic, PT109, Good Neighbor Sam, Blackboard Jungle. American Hotwax and the classic of all classics ... "WHITE CHRISTMAS!"  If the Wizard of Oz was made today Dorothy would be high on acid and would take a trip to a land that was ... far out man. Do you remember when the Wizard of Oz came on every year when we were growing up and it was like an event.  Mom made the popcorn, dad even bought the good root beer,  "Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer", you did your chores, took an early shower, put on your jammies and settled down for the flick ... all in front of the giant 12" black and white Philco TV.  Hell I didn't know the part where Dorthy landed in Oz was in color until I was married and bought our first color TV...far out man!   How about Blackboard Jungle if it were re-done today ... the rape scene would be the longest part of the flick, the school would have been shot up and the good guy killed off.  Good Neighbor Sam would definatley have a hot swinging scene with real nudity.  High Noon ... the sheriff would have taken a payoff, left town and the badguys woud have their way with his wife.  White Christmas ... nope I'm not even gonna go there ... they cannot ruin this movie for me .. no re-makes, no updating the content, no trashing a beautiful thing!  Instead, I'm just gonna watch it over, and over, and over, and over again.  Thank GOD for DVD players and discs... what will I do when mine breaks and can't get another one?  You thought you had me on this question didn't you ... I'll just pull out my super eight movie projector and show my old Laurel and Hardy and Bowery Boys films on the wall ... got'cha!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny 

Tune In Tuesday: 3WS Summer Oldies Concerts!

Posted on September 15, 2020 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

Are you ready to Tune in Tuesday?  Let's go back 30 years ... Three Rivers Stadium, Saturday morning til night ... the annual 3WS Summer Oldies Celebration!  So let me set the stage... about two weeks ago while at my Ginchy store and museum, a young man, I would guess in his late thirties came up to me and asked if I would do a selfie picture with him for his Mother.  As we stood there he explained that going through my museum was like a trip back in time.  He told me from the time he was a little kid and into his early teens he would go to Three Rivers Stadium to take part in the 3WS Summer Oldies Celebration with his Mom.  He said,  "I never missed one ... I stood on that field for hours looking up at that huge stage with all the people performing that we listened to on 3WS.  He said I met you at a meet and greet when I was nine and now here I am standing in your museum reliving those golden days!"  Can you believe that it was 30 years ago?  I remember those days like it was yesterday ... we had to be at the Stadium at 8:00 in the morning, sound checks began at around 9:00, then we would rehearse any of the acts that we were backing up.  That took us up to about 4:00, dinner for all the musicians and acts was about 5:00.  We then watched as the stadium filled up, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, people covered the entire field and all the seats from dugout to dugout.  There were festivities in the parking lots, all the 3WS jocks participated, contests, bands outside as people came in and music, music, music.  The celebration went on into the night and then ended with Zambelli Fireworks!  It was a common occurance to be in the holding area talking with our favorite performers, Frankie Valli, The Four Tops, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Lou Christie, the Marvelettes and James Brown ... just to name a few.  Since I was part of the morning Zoo, I did a double duty by interviewing many of the artists for the station.  We even sang some a cappella from time to time on top of the 3WS trailor as people scatttered for a spot on the filed.  The day was truly a celebration of music and people ... it was America at it's finest!  I would go back to those golden days in a minute to have that feeling of unity and happiness!  One thing I know for sure is ... these days will live on in my mind forever and a day!  Till tommorw, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny 


Mo' Music Monday: Big Yellow Taxi ... Til it's gone!

Posted on September 14, 2020 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

It's Mo' Music Monday ... and, I'm Back ... Big Yellow Taxi ... Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got til it's gone?  A week ago I stopped writing my blogs because I thought it was a waste of time and nobody really read it anyway.  Boy, was I wrong ... I came to find out that a lot of friends looked forward to remeniscing about the good old days.  Hearing Join Mitchell's song "Big Yellow Taxi" sure did help!  The lyrics just took me somewhere that I haven't been for a while ... try these on "they paved paradise to put up a parking lot", they took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see them".  Well then I thought about my Ginchy Stuff and music museum and thought about all the joy it brings people who walk through and see things that were so inportant to us in our lives, music that was the sound track of every stage of our lives and faces we will never see again.  It was then that all this hit me ... we need to hold on to the things that made us happy!  Think about it: Drive-Ins, Soda Fountains, Roller skating rinks, Danceland, real TV shows, dances, transistor radios, Porky Chedwick  ... are you smiling when you read this ... I am just writing about it.  We may never see a rock concert again ... imagine that.  "Hey Farmer, Farmer, put away the DDT now ... give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees Please!"   I find myself feeding the birds and bunnies in my yard and giving apples to the baby deer and realizing that they have every right to run free and seeing them every night brings me pleasure.  What happens when we get so modernized that we don't see wild animals anymore.  Maybe it's my age or the fact that I lived a beautiful and happy life, I saw so much in my almost 70 years ... but, so many of the things I loved and enjoyed are disappearing ... call it progress if you will, I call it removing history.  Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got til it's gone .... I don't know about you, but I'm holding on to those treasures. If you care to join me, stop down my Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff and Music Museum ... it may do you some good to smile once again ... it sure helps me!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny 

Feature Friday: President Barney Ales ... Motown Records

Posted on September 4, 2020 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

It's Feature Friday ... President Barny Ales, Motown Records ... Gordy's ace in the hole.  So the turbulent 1960's produced some of the greatest music in the history of music, how did this happen.  It was a time of social unrest, protests, civil rights, and a black owned record company decides to produce a mostly black stable of musicians and entertainers to America and call it the "Sounds of Young America" and make it part of the Pop Music Culture!  The man was Berry Gordy of Motown records ... is he insane?  Nope, just brilliant, creative, and a man looking for the American dream.  He was also a man that understood unity, talent and co-existance in a world that was troubled, enter Barney Ales.  Who you may say?  Barney Ales was born Baldassare Ales in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Sicilian born Sivestro Ales.  He attended Thomas Cooley High School and worked on a Dodge assembly line after graduating.  In the 1950's he took on his first music related job as a sales and promotion man for Capitol Records.  He developed contacts in the record stores and radio stations and moved over to Warner Bros. Records in 1959 as Detroit's branchmanager.  In 1960 Ales met Gordy and was hired as national sales and promotion manager for Gordy's new record company, Motown Records.  Barney built a team of diverse warriors to promote Motown Records and ensure the distribution across the national as well as international markets.  Motown was a music company and not an R&B company, it wasn't a soul company but rather the same as Capitol or Warner Bros. records devoted to making quality music.  Barney also was a song writer but known more for his marketing and promotion skills.  How about that ... a diverse group of people devoted to making quality music, working together to bring harmony to all in the country ...thus, "Sounds of Young America!"  I met Barney Ales when I took a trip to Detroit to visit a friend going to art school (Shaun).  We were invited to a Motown event at the Roostertail where friends of mine (The Contours) were performing and a lot of Motown people were in attendance.  I was in awe of Barney Ales ... he had a powerful, leadership personality that just brought people together.  As you can imagine, I was like a sponge taking in every word from the man.  Over the years Barney climbed the Motwon ladder and eventually became the President of Motwon Records.  As you all know from listening to my radio show on Sunday nights (Johnny Angel's Heavenly Soul Show on jukinoldies.com) I love the sounds of Young America and the success that Berry Gordy earned.  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Throw Back Thursday: A Real Soda Fountain!?

Posted on September 4, 2020 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Good afternoon Ginchers,

Time for a much needed Throw Back Thursday!  Today if I would say Soda Fountain to a young person they think about every fast food restaurant on the planet, just put your cup under the spout press back on the release hickey and wha-la ... a carbonated soft drink.  If you say how about a milk shake to a young person today, same thing ... fastfood restaurant and a cup of processed soft serve Ice Cream that you have to eat with a spoon, I don't know why they give you a straw, you can not get anything out of it till it starts to melt!  If you grew up in the dinosaur age like me, we went to the pharmacy, drug store, candy store, woolworth's 5 & 10 or Isaly's and we sat behind a counter on a spinning stool and we watched the soda jerk (a human that made the drink) put two scoops of icecream in a metal container and cover it with milk.  He/she asked how thick you wanted it and they placed it on this contraption with a spinning propeller that turned the mixture into a thing that we called a Milk Shake ... and you could drink it with a straw ... and you had a long spoon to get the remaining Ice cream ... and they poured it in a milk shake glass ... and they placed the metal container next to you to get even more when the froth melted down ... ahhh a real milk shake ... ahhh a real soda fountain.  This crazy place also served Ice Cream Sodas, Phosphates, Lime Ricky's ...  real stuff not fabricated easy to open and pour pretend products.  Now their are a few throw back, nostalgia places that try to replicate the old fashioned soda counters and drinks, they even have new, modern devises that look like the old furnishings to try to take you back to the good old days.  But I am looking for that real McCoy, the kind I used to go to on the Northside during my youth like, Glassbrenner's Pharmacy, Stotler's Pharmacy, Bard's, Woolworth's 5 & 10 and a real person working behind the counter that knew how to make things and a menu of goodies that would take a few minutes just to scan.  That's why I have an old Milk Shake spinner in my kitchen.  That's how I make real Milk Shakes for my Grandkids and me!  A Real Soda Fountain ... please take me back!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ,,, and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Wa'sup Wednesday: When Radio was real Readio ... WJAS

Posted on September 2, 2020 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Morning' Ginchers,

Sooo Wa'sup Wednesday?  When Radio was real Radio ... WJAS.  WJAS is now Talk Radio however it was one of the staple radio stations in Pittsburgh at one time, it was one of the original five AM stations in Pittsburgh and signed on the air in 1922.  Over the years the station went through many changes and even name changes like WAMP briefly in the 1950's, WKPQ and WKTQ (13Q) in the 1970's but eventually went back to WJAS.  I want to talk about WJAS during my stay at the station.  I had a show called Johnny Angel's Heavenly Soul Show, which is still going strong today on internet radio, jukinoldies.com, and still on Sunday nights.  The radio personality during my stay was two Pittsburgh greats and broadcasting legends, Jack Bogut and Chilly Billy Cardile.  Chris Shovlin did the sports, Carol Finelli did the traffic and weather, John Tesh had a show and I had a show.  It ran like a well oiled machine and played music for the contemporary adult listening audience.  I loved working at WJAS because it had personality, the stories and wizdom of Jack Bogut, the classic tongue in check approach of Bill Cardile and his fun back and forth with Carol.  Chris Shovlin did sports but also called the Pitt Panthers Women's Basketball and Duquesne Dukes sports.  When I came in on Sunday nights it was only me and one engineer for the evening.  It was a great Radio Console with superb accousics, it had that good old Radio feel.  I would get lost in my own little radio world and looked forward to my regular Sunday night callers ... my favorite was my weekly call from DJ LEGEND PORKY CHEDWICK.  Porky's wife Jeanie would call me and say, the bossman wants to talk with you.  Porky would get on and say ... "Hey Cool One, I'm wrapped up tight in my PJ's and Jeanie made me some hot chocolate so play me a good one!" It usually was "Mama Stole the Chicken" by Billy Bland, the Dadio of the radio loved that one.  The station had class, it had personality and had it's loyal listeners.  Unfotunately, all good things must end and the staion changed it's format to talk radio ... nuttin wrong with talk radio but I didn't want to see the classic old culture station change.  My sunday night show originally had Terry Lee as the Sunday night jock and then Doug Hoerth and then me ... Oldies, Rock n' Roll, DooWop and Soul ... all were staples of the Pittsburgh Music culture.  When I left the station I went to Internet radio on the Carolina Breeze and then to jukinoldies, which is a through back to the good old days of personality radio.  I truly believe that we need more personalities in radio and someone that talks with you as if you were in the same room, someone who paints a vivid picture in your mind without you seeing it ... when radio was real radio ... WJAS!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can  ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Tune in Tuesday: Still hope for TV ... The Beav!

Posted on September 1, 2020 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Good Afternoon Ginchers,

It's Tune in Tuesday ... still hope for TV ... The Beav!  It's a miracle, it's the biggest find of the year ... what is it you ask?  Well, as the boredom set in watching the same political TV, Gloom and Doom TV, mordern day anything goes TV, I did some serching last night and found out that I had Hi-Def Filter on my TV's ... when I changed it to ALL TV ... it was like my house landed in OZ, the door opened and there was a colorful world of fun, beauty, old school entertainment ... there are channels called ME TV, COZI TV, Antena TV ... a plethora of good old, all ages acceptable TV!!!  I now get to watch, real TV again ... "Leave It To Beaver", "The Rifleman", "Green Acres", "i Dream Of Jeanie", "Highway Patrol", "The Honeymooners"  and the list goes on ... and most of it is in beautiful black and white ... ahhhh comfort zone once again.  No need to get up and turn my rabbit ears or put tin foil on them to pick up my favorite programs ... it's cable, it's clear, it's, it's ... it's BEAUTIFUL!   I watched several episodes of Leave It To Beaver ... The Beav and Wally, and who could forget Eddie Haskell?  Many of my older friends tell me Eddie Haskell reminded them of me ... nice to my elders but a hood on the street.  Jerry Mathers, the boy genious back on the air, wholesome, friend to all!  Jerry was born in Sioux City, Iowa in 1948.  After playing the role of the Beav from 1957 trhru 1963, he started a band called Beaver and the Trappers.  In 1962 Jerry recorded two songs for a 45rpm record called "Don't 'cha Cry" and "Wind Up Toy".  He was a child star who later joined the Air Force Reserve serving his country and became a Sergeant.  Hell, they even had a game out in the early days of the Beav.  I met the Beav (Jerry Mathers) while part of the morning Zoo on 3WS radio.  He was fun to work with on the radio but the best part of the day was talking to him about the good old days of Leave it to Beaver.  Today is a new day for me ... instead of watching DREAD TV everynight and those senseless commercials that run every 10 minutes about things that kids shouldn't be watching, I can now go back to the days of the "Flintstones", "Wagon Train", "Johnny Carson", "The Carol Burnett Show"  and I'm sure many more great programs through the week ... I mean it's only been two days for me so far.  I'm going to Gyant Igle and buy a whole bunch of popcorn!  There is still hope for TV ... the Beav!  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny


Mo Music Monday: Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye ... Gene Hughes

Posted on August 31, 2020 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Mornin' Ginchers,

Today is Mo Music Monday and a trip down memory lane ... who doesn't remember dancing to the classic ballad "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye?"  What do you think of when you here that record?  The Casinos?  The High School Dance?"  "Maybe being with your main squeeze in your old Chevy?" ... I think about Gene Hughes, lead singer of the Casinos and great guy!  Let's chat about Gene for a minute before I tell you my association with him.  Gene Hughes was the lead singer of the group "the Casinos", a nine piece DooWop group from Cincinnat, Ohio.  They were a one hit wonder but should have had many more.  They signed with Fraternity Records and hit the charts with a million seller ... "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye".  Gene started singing in church as a kid and fell in love with the DooWop sound of the 50's.  He began his band called Gene Hughes and the Casinos.  After the success of their record, Gene became a Country Music Promoter at MCA, Plydor/A&M records in Nashville.  He started his own independent promotion company working with the major labels; RCA, MCA, Columbia, Warner Bros. and Capitol.  In 1974 he joined MCA Records as Vice President of promotions.  Gene also managed Gary Lewis and the Playboys.  During his stint in Country music, he helped make hits for so many of the great Country performers like: Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Conway Twitty, the Judds, George Strait and Alabama.  I had the pleasure of meeting Gene while working for the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  One evening we had a dinner at TARA outside of Sharon, PA with a bunch of friends in the industry ... Tony Butala of the Lettermen, Chuck Blasko of the Vogues, Herb Reed of the Platters, Pat Benti and Bubba and I.  It was a fun night of singing, remeniscing and getting to know the person behind the music fame.  Gene Hughes was a man of great music wisdom, kind and outgoing unlike a lot of music business greats.  Gene had a personality that made you think you were friends forever, he had a calming and relaxing affect on me and knew the music business inside out.  So now when I here the song "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" ... I remember the great Gene Hughes.  Till tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, help a neighbor when you can ... and, GOD Bless!

Johnny



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