Monday, January 30, 2012

This Week On Treasure Island Oldies

January 29, 2012 to February 4, 2011

As we get through another winter season, whether cold and snowy or mild and rainy, it's good to hear some hot music on the show. And this week was no exception; thanks for your requests. I always enjoy hearing from you, whether it be via email or a phone call. You can get your song requests to me by calling the Treasure Island Oldies Listener Line 24/7 at 206-339-0709. You can also send an email by clicking the Requests button on any page of the website. I'll do my best to play your requests. The big thing to remember though, is the songs had to have been on the Hot 100 during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. While I play Lost Treasures, they all charted among on the top 100 charts. I look forward to hearing from you.

A programming alert for next week. It's our Annual Tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper on The Day The Music Died. We'll recall the events following the announcement of the plane crash February 4, 1959 near Clear Lake, Iowa, with news clips, interviews and some of the greatest music ever. Be sure to Listen next Sunday, February 5, 2011. The show begins at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

Happy Birthday wishes go out to identical twins, and good friends of mine, Judi Gunter in Calgary, Alberta, and Janet Dunnett in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia. Hope you have a nice celebration. If you have a birthday coming up, be sure to let me know by sending the details of your special day to I'll be pleased to wish you Happy Birthday on the show and play Birthday by The Beatles, as I did for Judy and Janet.

The Treasure Island Oldies Blog is playing  the fantastic Staple Singers with one of their huge R&B hits, If You're Ready (Come Go With Me). It's a clip from Soul Train and is also our Song of the Week. Enjoy!

Voice Your Choice presents "Slowhand", Eric Clapton. After all his years with various other musicians in groups such as John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, Cream, Blind Faith and more, Eric Clapton came into his own as a solo performer. A whole new string of hits resulted and we're featuring two of them for your votes this week. Would you like to hear After Midnight or I Shot The Sheriff? Interestingly, both songs were not written by Eric. After Midnight was written and recorded by J.J. Cale, while I Shot The Sheriff was written and recorded by Bob Marley. Cast your vote for the song you'd like me to play at the Voice Your Choice page. We'll play the winning song in the 3rd hour of next week's show.

I continue to hear from listeners that are now listening to the show on their new smartphone. They tell me it is the coolest to be able to walk or drive and have Treasure Island Oldies playing along with you. Well done and thanks for listening. You can find an inexpensive app for your smartphone. Once installed, just search for Treasure Island Oldies and you'll be "on the Island" before you know it.

Have a good week. See you soon on Treasure Island Oldies.

Bye for now.

Eric Clapton - Voice Your Choice

Eric Clapton had quite the impressive career even before he started his solo career in 1970. Prior to then he had been a member of The Yardbirds from 1963 to 65, followed by two years with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. He then formed Cream with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Never content to stay in one group for too long, in 1968 he formed Blind Faith and also played with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and also with Delaney & Bonnie And Friends. Oh yes and he also formed Derek And The Dominos in 1970.

Whew! That would be a staggering amount of success, by any standard. Not content to sit on his laurels, he then started what was to become an enormously successful solo career.

He charted 28 times between 1970 and 1998, including 3 Gold and 1 Platinum record sales.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents "Slowhand", Eric Clapton with After Midnight and I Shot The Sheriff. Which song would you like to hear? Cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice page now, and we'll play the winning song on next week's show in the 3rd hour.

Staple Singers - Song Of The Week

What an amazingly talented family! The Staple Singers, feature the lead vocals of Mavis Staples, and head of the family and the group, Roebuck "Pop" Staples.

It was a treat to play this song on this week's show and a pleasure to play it for you here now.

Here's the Staple Singers in a performance on Soul Train with If You're Ready (Come Go With Me). It's our Song of the Week.


Monday, January 23, 2012

This Week On Treasure Island Oldies

January 22nd, 2012 to January 28th, 2012

It was good to be back with you on the show this week and am I ever glad to be feeling better. Just a leftover: a cough, but that is diminishing every day. Thanks for your many get well wishes. I appreciated receiving your emails, phone calls and postings to my Facebook page.

Happy 7th Anniversary to Tim and Jill in Cambridge, Ontario. They met in the Treasure Island Oldies Chat Room seven years ago. They eventually met and, after hitting it off in the chat room, they sure hit it off in person and have been together ever since. How wonderful! I'm sure happy for the both of you.

Happy Birthday wishes go out this week to Fred Waterer in St. Catharines, Ontario, and to my nephew Tony's wife Charlene Smith-Gize in Airdrie, Alberta. If you have a birthday coming up, be sure to let me know by sending the details of your special day to I'll be pleased to wish you Happy Birthday on the show and play Birthday by The Beatles for you.

It was sad news for R&B and Rock & Roll music fans with the news of the passing of Etta James and the man who discovered her, Johnny Otis. I was pleased to play some great songs by Etta including At Last, Pushover, Tell Mama and more; and it was good to hear Johnny Otis' biggest hit, Willie And The Hand Jive, again. If you missed the Live show, be sure to listen to the Archive at the Listen page.

The Treasure Island Oldies Blog is paying tribute to Etta James with a wonderful live performance from Austin City Limits of her signature hit song, At Last. It's our Song of the Week. Just scroll down this page for the video. Enjoy!

Voice Your Choice spotlights the 1910 Fruitgum Co. with two great bubblegum hits for your votes: 1 2 3 Red Light and Simon Says. Cast your vote for the song you'd like to hear at the Voice Your Choice page. We'll play the winning song in the 3rd hour of next week's show.

As we approach May 4, 2012, the actual date for the 15th Anniversary of Treasure Island Oldies radio show, I'd like to ask you to consider contacting your local oldies or adult contemporary radio station and ask them to carry Treasure Island Oldies on their station. We're nearly at 30 radio stations airing the show in various countries around the world including New Zealand, Singapore, Scotland, England, Germany, Sweden, the United States and Canada. You can check out the individual stations on the Treasure Island Oldies Broadcast Partners page. It would be a fantastic 15th Anniversary celebration to get even more stations. Thanks for your ongoing support of Treasure Island Oldies.

Have a good week.

Bye for now.

1910 Fruitgum Company - Voice Your Choice

The 1910 Fruitgum Co. were at the forefront of the "bubblegum movement". I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek; however they were among the first bubblegum groups to score big on the charts.

The core of the group was lead singer Mark Gutkowski from New Jersey. Their producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, used the original line-up of Floyd Marcus, Pat Karwan, Steve Mortkowitz and Frank Jeckell, and of course, Mark Gutkowski, on their first two singles, Simon Says and May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart). All of their additional hits were played by a revolving door of various studio musicians.

As a side note, that same production team also had their own hit with Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run) under the name of Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus in 1968.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents 1910 Fruitgum Co. with two of their hit records for your votes this week, 1 2 3 Red Light and Simon Says. Which song do you want to hear? Chew it over then cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice page. We'll pop the bubble on the winning song in the 3rd hour of next week's show.

Etta James - At Last - Song of the Week

In tribute to the great Etta James who passed away at age 73, it is my pleasure to present her performing her signature song.

Here she is in a wonderful live concert on Austin City Limits performing At Last. It's our Song of the Week.

RIP Etta!


Friday, January 20, 2012

R&B Producer and Recording Artist Johnny Otis Has Died

Bandleader and producer Johnny Otis, who launched and then nurtured the careers of many of R&B's greatest singers, died Tuesday at his home near Los Angeles. He was 90.

Otis started out in the 1940s, leading a big band that scored a hit with its 1945 jazz recording "Harlem Nocturne." That group, like many big bands, soon broke up for financial reasons. After that, Otis organized a smaller unit, which played a hybrid of swing and blues that became known as Rhythm & Blues. Otis' Rhythm & Blues Caravan became the first R&B touring road show. Through his nightclub, his talent shows and his road show, Otis discovered singers such as Etta James, Little Esther, Jackie Wilson, Big Mama Thornton and Hank Ballard.

Otis was also an accomplished musician who sang several hits, including "Willie and the Hand Jive," which made it to the Top 10 rock 'n' roll chart in 1958. But he spent more time helping singers establish their own voices and develop their own hits.

In a 1989 Fresh Air interview, Otis talked with Terry Gross about touring as a musician with some of the biggest black acts of the 1940s and '50s, including Louis Jordan and Bill Kenny and The Ink Spots.
"Both of these people were so popular at the time that there was the same feeling that you feel when the curtain opens — that great anticipation," he said. "We were lucky enough to be the band."

Many audiences assumed Otis, who was a white Greek-American, was actually a light-skinned black man. While touring in the South, he said he never disabused anyone of that notion.
"In those days, many of the places we played — had they suspected I was white, we would have been arrested," he says. "Your life was on the line. When our bus would cross the Mason-Dixon line, a pall would fall over the entire show. Because we knew we were down there where we had problems."

Otis recalled one incident, when he was traveling with the singer Little Esther, now known as Esther Phillips. Phillips, who was only 13, stopped to use a restroom at a gas station.
"I looked up, and there's a guy with a gun in my belly, and he's shaking and he's all excited because the little black girl went to the white woman's bathroom," he said. "And I thought to myself, 'Any death but this.' But she came out and we went on down the road. But those things happened to us all the time."

Etta James Has Died At Age 73

Etta James, the singer who made “At Last” a classic and became one of the last survivors from early rock ‘n’ roll’s pantheon of soaring divas, died Friday at her home in Riverside, Calif., her manager said. She was 73.
She had been battling leukemia and dementia. Her final stage performances came in early 2010.

Over a 50-year career, James won four Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and was the recipeient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

A feisty and outspoken personality off-stage, James was known for a singing style that ranged from the lush elegance of “At Last” to powerful rhythm and blues like “Good Rockin’ Daddy,” “All I Could Do Is Cry” and her first hit, “The Wallflower.”

She was admired by many of her fellow female artists for her struggles against a system that often undervalued and underrated female performers.

The cost of that struggle was reflected in her lifelong struggle against several extended drug addictions.

“No one who wasn’t there could understand how hard someone like Etta had to fight,” the late Ruth Brown said in 1998. Brown, Lavern Baker and Della Reese, along with James, were some of the early female artists who to this day remain downplayed in early rock ‘n’ roll history.

Ironically, it was a car commercial that ultimately helped secure James’s stature.

In the early 1990s, Jaguar licensed “At Last” in a lavish, memorable television ad that gave the song far wider popular exposure than it had after its original release in 1961. It was a No. 2 R&B hit then, but only reached No. 47 on the pop charts.

James was still performing in the 1990s, and the song’s resurgence enhanced her stature.

She came into the spotlight again in 2008 when a James-like character was featured in the 2008 movie “Cadillac Records.” The movie was loosely based on Chess Records, where James recorded in the 1960s, and it featured Beyonce, as the James character, singing “At Last.”

James said she enjoyed the movie, though it “had some inconsistencies” and largely ignored the success the real-life James had on records and on black radio before she came to Chess in 1960.

She praised Beyonce’s performance, though in early 2009 she complained that Beyonce, rather than James, was invited to sing “At Last” at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

She also said Beyonce “should get her a—whupped,” though she said later she meant that as a joke.

In April 2009, James sang “At Last” on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Born in Los Angeles, James did her early singing in the church before joining impresario Johnny Otis’s stable of Los Angeles R&B singers in the mid-1950s. She sang with Richard Berry, among others, and “The Wallflower” was an answer to the Midnighters’ hit “Work With Me Annie.”

She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Artis, and two sons.

Monday, January 09, 2012

This Week On Treasure Island Oldies

January 8th, 2012 to January 14th, 2012

Welcome back to Treasure Island Oldies. It was great to be back with you after the wonderful Christmas and New Year break. I hope you enjoyed yourself and your time with family and friends. And all the very best to you in 2012. Be well and be happy.

And what a great way to start off the new year than with our Annual New Year Dance Party Special! It sure was a party atmosphere and a great chance to dance away, with four hours of great oldies dance songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s, including some great Lost Treasures. If you missed hearing the Live show, be sure to listen to the Archive.

Happy Birthday wishes go out to long time listeners Judy Covington in Canton, Ohio, to Shirley Ham in Cincinnati, Ohio, and to James Monaco in Haileybury, Ontario. Jim and I have been good friends since we worked together at A&M Records in the '70s and '80s. If you have a birthday coming up, be sure to let me know. Send the details to I'll wish you Happy Birthday on the show and then play our official birthday song by The Beatles, Birthday.

The Treasure Island Oldies Blog is playing a real classic that is in keeping with out New Year Dance Party theme. Our Song of the Week is Mashed Potato Time by Dee Dee Sharp. Enjoy!

Voice Your Choice presents the transplanted rocker from Arkansas who has made Canada home for longer now than he ever lived in his home country. Ronnie Hawkins not only discovered and developed talent, and had them in his band including The Band, he was also a successful recording artist with several hits. This week we spotlight two of them: Forty Days and Mary Lou. Which Ronnie Hawkins song would you like to hear? Cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice page. We'll play the winner in the 3rd hour of next week's show.

I'm pleased to tell you the number of new friends on facebook continues week after week. I invite you to follow me on Facebook.

And be sure to stop by and visit the Treasure Island Oldies Store. It's filled with great Island Souvenirs and all priced right. Check it out. Shop The Island and get some swag for yourself.

Have a great week and see you next Sunday for the next live show.

Bye for now.


Ronnie Hawkins - Voice Your Choice


Ronnie Hawkins was born January 10, 1935 in Huntsville, Arkansas. And since it is his birthday this week, it's perfect timing for him to be the first artist of 2012 on Voice Your Choice.
Ronnie formed a group called The Hawks in 1952 and moved to Toronto six years later in 1958. He's now been in Canada longer than he lived in his own country. He had a knack for discovering and nurturing great new talent. He assembled a group of musicians who later went on to call themselves The Band.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents Ronnie Hawkins with two of his hit records for your votes: Forty Days and Mary Lou. Which song would you like to hear? Cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice page at Treasure Island Oldies. We'll play the winning song in the 3rd hour of next week's show.

Dee Dee Sharp - Song of the Week

Our first Song of the Week for 2012 is by Dee Dee Sharp, the pride of Philadelphia and one of the many hit recording stars on Cameo Parkway Records.

This is one of the songs I played on our Annual New Year Dance Party Special this week on Treasure Island Oldies. If you missed hearing the live show, you can always listen to the Archive.

Here is Dee Dee Sharp with Mashed Potato Time.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

New Year Dance Party Radio Show Today

Please accept my very best wishes for a very Healthy and Happy New Year. I hope 2012 is filled with good times and pleasant memories.

I look forward to adding to your memories and good times throughout 2012 on Treasure Island Oldies, and I invite you to join me later today at 6 p.m. Pacific time for the first show of 2012, our annual New Year Dance Party Special.

Dig out your white bucks and saddle shoes, and jeans or poodle skirts and then get ready for 4 hours of great oldies, including Lost Treasures, all for your `listening and dancing pleasure`.

See you later, and be sure to stop by for a visit in the Treasure Island Oldies Chat Room. The Nuts in the Hut and myself would be pleased to extend a very warm welcome to you.

Bye for now.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Robert Lee Dickey from James & Bobby Purify Has Died

Robert Lee Dickey, who performed with his cousin James as James & Bobby Purify, died Sunday (December 29) in Tallahassee, Florida. He was 72. 

The Florida duo charted eight times from 1966 to 1968, most notably with "I'm Your Puppet" (#6-1966) and "Shake A Tail Feather" (#25-1967). 

Robert was replaced for health reasons by Buddy Grubbs (for one record) and by Ben Moore (permanently) in 1971. Bobby went on to work as supervisor for the custodial crew at the Tallahassee Police Department and became a Deacon in his church.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Belmonts' Fred Milano Has Died

NEW YORK (AP) — Fred Milano, who made rock and roll history on doo-wop hits with Dion and the Belmonts in the 1950s and continued to perform while starting a late-in-life career with the New York City Department of Correction, has died. He was 72.

Milano died Sunday, three weeks after his lung cancer was diagnosed, said Warren Gradus, who joined the Belmonts in 1963. Milano lived in Massapequa, on Long Island, and died in a hospital, Gradus said.

Dion DiMucci, the lead singer who left the Belmonts in 1960, said on his Facebook page Tuesday, "May he rest in peace and rock on in heaven."

Milano and three friends from the Bronx formed the Belmonts in the mid-1950s, borrowing their name from the borough's Belmont Avenue. They became Dion and the Belmonts after DiMucci joined in 1958.

Milano sang tenor on hits like "A Teenager in Love" and "Where or When."The Belmonts continued to perform and to record with different lineups after DiMucci left for a solo career. Gradus said Milano was performing with the Belmonts at casinos and other venues just weeks ago.

There was strife between DiMucci and Belmonts members, who were not pleased when DiMucci was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without them in 1989. In his Facebook posting, DiMucci said Milano "was very savvy with harmonies" and added, "We had our ups and downs through the years but that's how things go in families, even rock-and-roll families."

Milano went back school in middle age and joined the Department of Correction in 2003. In his position as a legal coordinator at the Rikers Island jail complex, he helped inmates research their cases and taught a legal research class, said Karen Powell, director of law libraries for the department.

Powell said Milano had more energy than colleagues two decades younger and "was a person who really loved life."
"We'd know it was him coming through the door because we'd hear him singing and skipping up the stairs," Powell said.

Milano is survived by his wife, Lynn, two children and 10 grandchildren.