History Lesson: Name a Famous DJ
April 27, 1990: Axl Rose marries Erin Everly, daughter of Everly Brother Don. Rose, who was already bidding to become one of the kings of rock and roll excess, added to his resume for the gig when the marriage imploded after 27 days.
April 27, 1976: David Bowie is detained aboard a train on the Russian-Polish border while customs official confiscate Nazi memorabilia. Feeling compelled to explain himself, Bowie says that in his opinion, Britain could benefit from having fascist leadership, and that he wouldn't mind having the job himself one day. Which explains why his next couple of albums sounded like collaborations with the guy from Sprockets.
April 27, 1959: "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" by the Virtues reaches Number 5 on the Hot 100. I mention this only because during my first semester in the dorms at college, my equally iconoclastic roommate and I used to respond to the loud stereos of our neighbors by cranking our own stereo, but with the most unusual or obnoxious music we could find. "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" was a frequent choice.
Birthdays Today: Sheena Easton is 46. Like Olivia Newton-John in the '70s, Easton started off singing innocent little songs, like "Morning Train," only to transform into a hottie all at once, which happened with 1984's "Strut." Casey Kasem is 73--and if you've heard him lately, he sounds like it. It says something about the current state of American radio, I think, that if you say to somebody, "Name a famous disc jockey," the two people they are most likely to come up with, Kasem and Dick Clark, are both on the other side of 70.
Number One Songs on This Date:
1992: "Bohemian Rhapsody"/Queen. It rose only to Number 9 on its original chart run in 1976 (and lost to "Afternoon Delight" for the Best Vocal Arrangement Grammy), but its inclusion in the movie Wayne's World, the seemingly endless anthologizing of Queen's music (just how many greatest hits albums do they have, anyhow?), and the relatively recent death of Freddie Mercury combined to make it an anthem for a second generation.
1989: "Like a Prayer"/Madonna. The controversial video became an even more controversial Pepsi commercial that only played once--and both Pepsi and Madonna smiled all the way to the bank.
1981: "Kiss on My List"/Hall and Oates. Having been bounced off the management staff of my college radio station a couple of months earlier (because I was a complete asshole), I made it my mission to rebel against the station's current management, especially against the music director, whose taste was atrocious. One of my favorite things to do was to play "Kiss on My List" even though we were ostensibly running an AOR format. Clearly, I wasn't very good at rebellion.
1963: "I Will Follow Him"/Little Peggy March. If you remember this at all, it's probably because Saturday Night Live used it in a memorable parody of the movie Chinatown featuring John Belushi and Madeline Kahn.
1953: "The Doggie in the Window"/Patti Page. Another one of those songs that's not just floating around in your head, it's imprinted in your DNA: "How much is that doggie in the window?"
Editor's Note: The history feature has been absent from this blog for the last several weeks, mostly because its best resource, the website of Arrow 92 in Los Angeles, went dark when the station flipped formats. Arrow 92 was the longtime home of Los Angeles legend Uncle Joe Benson, who did mornings on the station for years before switching to afternoons with the arrival of Jonathan Brandmeier a couple of years ago. What I didn't know about Benson until I explored his personal website is that he was a few years ahead of me at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. His long tenure in Los Angeles probably makes him the most successful jock Platteville's broadcasting program ever produced--and I'm simply astounded that I'd never heard of him before.