As most people know, I wear two hats at my radio station.
I have been hosting my WDOS Morning Marathon five days a week since 1989. It has always been a mixture of music, interviews and stories. The other hat I wear is that of the host of the WSRK “Thursday Night Jukebox,” an oldies music show from 7 to 9 p.m.
This month I celebrated my 17th year on the Jukebox, and even though I only do the show one night a week, it is my favorite two hours of the entire week.
The whole concept of “oldies music” has changed over my lifetime. I didn’t listen to oldies music when I was a kid because, well, there wasn’t any. The term has come to define the rock ‘n’ roll era, say, from 1955 to 1975. So if I was tuning into oldies music when I was a kid, it would have meant listening to Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller music, now called pop or standards.
The music we now call “oldies” came from the jukeboxes of the small dives and diners across America, it came from the “stack ‘em up high” record turntables in our bedrooms, and it came blaring out of the transistor radios we carried with us. Turn to an AM station in your father’s car, put the top down and have your sweetie inch closer to you (no seat belts required), and you were in heaven, circa 1959.
The songs I play every Thursday night are literally the soundtrack of my life. Here are some of my favorites from over the past 17 years.
Joey Dee and the Starlighters were the house band at a dance club on W. 45th Street in New York. Their “Peppermint Twist” crashed through the walls of the club and swept the nation as the heir apparent to Chubby Checker’s dance sensation.