10 Aug 2014 No Comments
Hey there sweet family,
Long before I was with the band, I was with a radio station in Superior, WI. My after-school gig involved listening to new records and letting the station manager know which I thought were hits, and which were misses. I was also their go-fer, and overall cheerleader.
For my efforts I got to take home all the records I wanted (thankfully “Hoarders” wasn’t on TV yet), received free concert tickets, free admittance to dances, and frequent on air shout-outs, i.e., “Hi to Lana and her friends at Senior High School!” Heady times. And so much fun.
Especially fun was getting to know the guys behind the voices, most notably Keith London (real name Keith Linn). Keith treated me like family and took an interest in teaching me about amazing music that never appeared on the Top 40 – the Blues. He’d bring albums from his personal collection to the station, talking to me about them when he wasn’t on the air. Then he’d let me take the albums home to listen to and report back to him on.
Soon instead of only being hip to groups like the The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Easybeats I was steeped in Elmore James, Howlin Wolf, Jimmy Witherspoon, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, T-Bone Walker, Etta James, and many, many more. My nights were spent struggling to tune in stations in Chicago and Shreveport, LA (home of Stan’s Record Shop) on my transistor radio in search of the Blues. Radio was fun, and thanks to Keith London my musical taste was a solid blues/rock fusion well before I was introduced to the Allman Brothers Band.
Earlier this year I was thinking about Keith and Googled his name. I was stunned to find a quote attributed to him from an unknown year: Keith (Linn) says (9/11), “Radio had changed by 1984, so I gave it up and entered the real world; had to wear socks and everything; went into advertising and eventually became advertising manager for a company that owned over a hundred restaurants in six states. Never listen to the radio anymore, its not fun; the old days were the best of times for sure.”
Oh, Keith. 🙁
You should listen to radio again, to listener-supported WSHA 88.9 in Raleigh. WSHA broadcasts “The Blues, is the Blues, is the Blues” live, 4 hours straight, every Thursday and Friday night, and Sunday afternoon.
Friday is especially hoppin’ when “Stan the BBQ Bluesman” rolls up with a dump truck full of the Blues and throws the doors to the Juke Joint wide open from 8:00 PM – Midnight. Not that I’m copying what he says or anything. 😉 Stan turns folks on to classic blues and great new artists like Gary Clark Jr.,Trampled Underfoot, and Henrik Freischlader … for which we forgive him for not playing Samantha Fish … yet. 😉
And just like back in the day, WSHA invites listeners in and treats them like family. You would love it, Keith. We do, and next Friday Rowland and I will be in the Juke Joint with Stan suggesting songs to play and answering phones to help with a fundraiser.
Come on, listen live via www.wshawu.edu/WSHA/ . Call in a request … and listen for a shout out to you. 🙂 Discover that radio *is* still fun.
Take care and know that you are loved,