Classic Rock Bottom


Anyone who has ever listened to my show knows that I do not have any rules about what I am going to play.
Here's the inside scoop on how I work it- most times doing a Theme, the Opening or the Last Song comes to me, sometimes both.
After that, I think of every song I can on the topic and make a list.
Then the most important part- I play them!
And while one is playing, the song that should come next becomes apparent to me- it's either there beside me or I go get it.
That's how it's done- no playlist, nobody tells me what I can or can’t play.
And believe me, I am very aware of how lucky I am.
However, there was a brief time when that was an accepted way of doing Radio.
For example, we had two Commercial Free-Form Stations here in New York- WABC-FM/WPLJ and to a certain degree WCBS-FM when they started, before they became an Oldies Station after about 2 years.
At WABC-FM they fumbled also, their Free-Form format lasted less than 3 years, 1968-71.
But Scott Muni, bless him, fought the good fight at WNEW-FM from 1967, as Program Director and just because he was the way he was, keeping autonomy for himself and all the other DJ’s until 1981!!!
If you detect some lingering animosity and bitterness on my part, you are correct.
Now, I will go after those Sleazy Beancounters who changed all that.
In this Chapter, the highlight is an Epic Poem.
The centerpiece of not only this Episode but the whole Series!
If you have never heard it, you are in for a treat and will never forget it.
If you have heard it, it is like a fine brandy, taken out on special occasions and savored.
In any case, it captures what 1960’s radio was like better than I ever could.
It is just a BRILLIANT piece of work!
There’s Magic in the Radio, Enchantment in the Ether!
Come join me for a listen to how good the Radio was and still COULD be, if it would DARE!
Here are the links to go back to FM Rock Radio at its most shameful, and it continues largely to this day, at Mike Pell Rockollections:
At Podomatic:

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Comment by Mike Pell on November 11, 2013 at 5:50pm
There were only 4 things to be exact.
Actually you got the exact lyric for the opener- good ears, lol!
The second track was Rex Bob Lowenstein- and he plays Madonna after George Jones.
Sounds like something I'd do!
I had that one figured for the Golden Pell because I was sure you'd heard the other three, so it was pretty much by default!
It sure is always better late than never.
I thought you dropped me and skipped this one because you'd heard that long poem and didn't want to again, lol!
It sucks when the big boss is in town, actually just if he's in the same building as me!
Thanks for the listen and writing,
Comment by RJhog (Admin) on November 10, 2013 at 1:02pm

I enjoyed this show Mike, although there was only a few songs played.  

The opener was terrific.  I love the lyric about the men upstairs that want to see how much you will pay for what you used to get free.  Can't remember the exact lyric, but something like that.  

And that second track was just great.  I loved it lyrically the most, but overall a really cool song.  Can't remember the name as I listened on my iPhone while raking leaves earlier today.  Something about somebody Lowenstein or something like that.  But it was really great.  I can't remember who he said he played Madonna after, but that line and others like it just sounded great.

I remember the story also.  It was good.  And the Kinks were good.  I'll give the Golden Pell to the Lowenstein song.  Just terrific.

By the way, it took me this long to get to this show because the big boss was in town last week and totally messed up two of my music listening days at work.  And I was off Friday so I didn't get to it then either.  Always better late than never.

Comment by Mike Pell on November 6, 2013 at 1:22pm


Yes I played The Ballad Of The Sandman a year and a half ago, when Pete Fornatale died- I got it from Pete.

It is a fantastic story, but if you listen everything rhymes so it is truly a wonderful poem.

Except for when he says "You deal with all the crazies, and the drugged-out suicide calls, and the sponsors and the FCC have got you by the throat"- it should have been "got you by the balls".

But being a gentleman, he softened it.


Not an old show at all, those songs said what I wanted them to about precisely what happened.

And of the only 4 things in there, I don't think I played Rex Bob Lowenstein (another terrific story), when Pete died.

Thanks my man for the listen and writing, you are on the case,


Comment by Jon on November 6, 2013 at 12:43pm

I've heard that poem before. Don't know if you posted it or I heard it somewhere else. It is very interesting....FOR A POEM. Beauty is that you really don't notice it's a poem, it's a STORY....


Hey, is this an old show?

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