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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


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



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