Thursday 1/21/2021 2pm ET: Across The Tracks

Today we feature tunes with Rock and Roll in title.

Wednesday 1/20/2021 1am ET: Feature LP: Toad The Wet Sprocket – Dulcinea

Dulcinea is an album by Toad the Wet Sprocket released May 24, 1994. It is their fourth studio album with Columbia Records and the follow-up to their popular album fear, which was released in 1991. Two songs from Dulcinea reached Top 40 designation on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts: “Fall Down” and “Something’s Always Wrong”. Dulcinea was RIAA Certified Gold on September 1, 1994 and Platinum on July 31, 1995.

The album’s name is a reference to the love interest in Miguel de Cervantes’ classic Spanish novel, Don Quixote. At least two songs on the album allude to themes found in the novel. “Crowing” is a song about a person who does not know how to hold on to a lover. “Windmills” is a metaphorical song about how people spend much of their lives chasing absurd or impossible pursuits (the allusion being to a specific scene in Don Quixote where the title character uselessly attacks a windmill). The album’s artwork (illustrated by influential artist Jason Holley) also explores Cervantes’ windmill metaphor, depicting the incongruence between the way things are and how we tend to perceive them.

Dulcinea also delves into some spiritual themes. “Fly from Heaven” is sung from the perspective of James, who is portrayed as Jesus’ literal brother and is upset by Paul’s manipulation of Jesus’ word. “Begin” and “Reincarnation Song” each explore questions about death and the afterlife.

Glen Phillips has said that Dulcinea is probably his favorite Toad album because they started to know what they were doing but weren’t overthinking things yet.

1. “Fly from Heaven” 4:33
2. “Woodburning” 3:59
3. “Something’s Always Wrong” 4:59
4. “Stupid” 2:42
5. “Crowing” 3:20
6. “Listen” 4:09
7. “Windmills” 3:50
8. “Nanci” 3:00
9. “Fall Down” 3:24
10. “Inside” 4:19
11. “Begin” 4:05
12. “Reincarnation Song” 4:44

Dean Dinning – bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Randy Guss – drums, percussion
Todd Nichols – guitars, backing vocals
Glen Phillips – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards

 

Wednesday 1/20/2021 12am ET: Feature LP: Heart – Bad Animals

Bad Animals is the ninth studio album by American rock band Heart. It was released on June 6, 1987, by Capitol Records. The album continues the mainstream hard rock style from the band’s 1985 self-titled release, all while enjoying similar success. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 in August 1987, and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 4, 1992. Internationally, Bad Animals charted within the top five in Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The album spawned the US number-one single “Alone”, while “Who Will You Run To” reached number seven, “There’s the Girl” reached number 12, and “I Want You So Bad” reached number 49. Bad Animals received a nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards in 1988.

The album features a few cover songs: “Alone” was originally recorded by the duo i-Ten on their 1983 album Taking a Cold Look, while “Wait for an Answer” was originally recorded by Dalbello on her 1984 album Whomanfoursays.

1. “Who Will You Run To” 4:06
2. “Alone” 3:38
3. “There’s the Girl” 3:50
4. “I Want You So Bad” 4:21
5. “Wait for an Answer” 4:31
6. “Bad Animals” 4:54
7. “You Ain’t So Tough” 4:05
8. “Strangers of the Heart” 3:41
9. “Easy Target” 3:58
10. “RSVP” 3:39

Ann Wilson – lead vocals, background vocals
Nancy Wilson – guitars, keyboards, lead vocals, background vocals
Howard Leese – guitars, keyboards, background vocals
Mark Andes – bass guitars
Denny Carmassi – drums

Tuesday 1/19/2021 3pm ET: Elton John A to Z


Updated program featuring Elton John tunes A to Z.

Tuesday 1/19/2021 12am ET: Feature LP: Styx – Cornerstone (1979)

Cornerstone is the ninth studio album by the American rock band Styx, released in 1979. Styx’s third straight multi-platinum selling album, Cornerstone was Styx’s first album to earn a Grammy nomination, which was for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. Like the four previous Styx albums, the band produced the album themselves. Styx recorded the album at Pumpkin Studios in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Cornerstone is best known for including the group’s only #1 Billboard Hot 100 Single, the power ballad “Babe”. The album also includes the folk rock song “Boat on the River”, which was a hit in Europe, though it failed to chart in the United States.

Cornerstone became Styx’s first US Top 5 album, peaking at #2 on the Billboard album chart.

1. “Lights” 4:38
2. “Why Me” 3:54
3. “Babe” 4:25
4. “Never Say Never” 3:08
5. “Boat on the River” 3:10

6. “Borrowed Time” 4:58
7. “First Time” 4:25
8. “Eddie” 4:15
9. “Love in the Midnight” 5:25

Dennis DeYoung – vocals, keyboards, accordion
James “JY” Young – vocals, electric guitars
Tommy Shaw – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, autoharp
Chuck Panozzo – bass guitar
John Panozzo – drums, percussion

Monday 1/18/2021 5pm ET: The Chain with Ron Kovacs


We chain tunes together by song title.  New 2021 Season 5.

Monday 1/18/2021 1am ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did (1980)

Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did is John Mellencamp’s fourth studio album, under his pseudonym of John Cougar.   Released September 15, 1980 and produced by soul pioneer Steve Cropper, the album includes the Top 40 hits “Ain’t Even Done with the Night”, which reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the album’s second single, and “This Time”, which peaked at No. 27 as the album’s lead single.

The woman pictured on the album’s cover and seen in the music video for “This Time” is actress Edith Massey, a member of the Dreamlanders troupe who often appeared in the films of John Waters. Massey was chosen because, as Mellencamp told Rolling Stone in late 1980, “I was looking for a typical heavy woman to convey a lower-middle-class way of living.”

A remastered version of Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did was released on Mercury/Island/UMe on March 29, 2005; it includes one bonus track, “Latest Game”, which, according to the liner notes, was taken from the sessions for Mellencamp’s 1982 album American Fool.

The album is certified Platinum by the RIAA.

1. “Hot Night in a Cold Town” 3:47
2. “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” 4:38
3. “Don’t Misunderstand Me” 3:33
4. “This Time” 4:18
5. “Make Me Feel” 4:04
6. “To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)” 4:50
7. “Tonight” 3:17
8. “Cry Baby” 0:25
9. “Wild Angel” 3:13
10. “Peppermint Twist” 0:28
11. “Cheap Shot” 3:00

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar
Doc Rosser – piano
Mike Wanchic – guitars, backing vocals
Larry Crane – guitars, backing vocals
Rick Shlosser – drums
Ed Greene – drums
Jeff Baxter – pedal steel guitar
Dave Woodford – saxophone
Kenny Aronoff – vibes
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass guitar, backing vocals
John Barlow Jarvis – piano
Susan Duitch Helmer – backing vocals on “This Time”

Monday 1/18/2021 12am ET: Feature LP: Andrew Gold – What’s Wrong with This Picture? (1976)

What’s Wrong with This Picture? is the second album by the singer-songwriter Andrew Gold. It was released in 1976 on Asylum Records. It includes the hit single “Lonely Boy” which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard singles chart featuring Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals. The album’s artwork reflects its title, mimicking a style of visual puzzle that consists of various logical inconsistencies or paradoxes for the viewer to try to identify.

1. “Hope You Feel Good” 4:49
2. “Passing Thing” 4:08
3. “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” 2:52
4. “Learning the Game” 4:08
5. “Angel Woman” 1:38
6. “Must Be Crazy” 4:13

1. “Lonely Boy” 4:24
2. “Firefly” 3:23
3. “Stay” 4:45
4. “Go Back Home Again” 3:10
5. “One of Them Is Me” 4:00

Andrew Gold – vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, drums, bass guitar, organ, ARP, tambourine, congas, shaker, recorder, percussion, backing vocals
Kenny Edwards – bass guitar, mandolin, backing vocals
Brock Walsh – backing vocals, electric piano, acoustic guitar, ARP
Dan Dugmore – guitar
Mike Botts – drums, sleigh bells
Peter Asher – backing vocals, tambourine, shaker
Waddy Wachtel – guitar, bass guitar
Leland Sklar – bass guitar
Russ Kunkel – drums
Danny Kortchmar – guitar
Linda Ronstadt – backing vocals
Tessie Coen – congas
Don Menza – saxophone, shakuhachi
Clarence McDonald – electric piano
Val Garay – backing vocals

 

In Memoriam: Chris Murphy (1954 – 2021) INXS Manager / Entrepreneur

Christopher Mark “CM” Murphy (November 9, 1954 – January 16, 2021) was an Australian music and multimedia entrepreneur. He was the band manager for INXS (late 1979 to June 1995, December 2008 to November 2012) and Models (from late 1984 to mid-1987). He died on 16 January 2021, aged 66.

Murphy continued as a booking agent until late in 1979 when he met with Gary Morris then-manager of Australian rock groups Midnight Oil and INXS. Morris wanted to focus on Midnight Oil and asked Murphy to look after INXS, Murphy recalled: The night Morris offered them to me, I told him I’d take them midway through their third song. I stood there thinking, “This is pretty funky’. This kid up front is pretty weird. This band plays really, really well … What Morris didn’t realise was that I only intended to take them on as their booking agent. I didn’t want to be their manager.

Nevertheless, by 1980 Murphy had “dissolved his rock agency and became manager of the band”. He subsequently hired Gary Grant as the group’s touring manager and by 1982 Grant was his business partner at MMA Management. In July that year Murphy had brokered a deal with Atco Records for INXS after “[he] had made numerous overseas trips setting up contacts”. Grant declared that the “direct signing to a US label was one of the crucial elements in INXS’s success”. In 1983 MMA set up an office in New York and during the next three years either Murphy or Grant spent “10, 11 months of each year there”.

In late 1984 Melbourne-based alternative rock group, Models, were considering breaking up, their label Mushroom Records tempted them with an offer of recording with US producer Reggie Lucas. INXS encouraged Murphy to sign the group to MMA: under his influence Models pursued a more commercial sound to a radio-friendly format. Models relocated to Sydney and long-term member, Andrew Duffield, was forced out of the group by Murphy under “controversial circumstances”.

According to The Canberra Times’ Tony Sarno “in the industry [Grant] and his partner [Murphy] are seen as good operators”. By April 1986 INXS were “selling records overseas. Lots of them. [Grant] delights in telling how INXS, no, MMA Management as well have calculated success in America. He talks quickly, with an authority bordering on aggression”.

Jenny Morris (ex-The Crocodiles, QED) told Stuart Coupe of The Canberra Times that back in 1985 Murphy “rang up and said, ‘Why don’t you come on the road with INXS for a couple of weeks and fill in a bit of time’ … I thought I might as well, and that turned into a two years thing that meant I did two world tours with the band”. Morris had supplied backing vocals on their April 1984 album, The Swing, she performed a duet with INXS’ lead singer, Michael Hutchence on their cover version of “Jackson” (also in April on Dekadance), and toured with them from 1985.

Under the management of Murphy and Grant, INXS went from a Sydney pub band to playing international venues including headlining a show at Wembley Stadium in July 1991 with 74,000 in attendance. INXS sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Murphy also assisted in the commercial success of Models, which achieved two hits on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart in 1985, “Barbados” (March, No. 2) and “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” (July, No. 1).

During October 1986 Murphy and Grant teamed with fellow managers Jeremy Fabinyi (Mental as Anything), Mark Pope (Jimmy Barnes, Divinyls), and Ken West (I’m Talking) to stage the Australian Made series of concerts. The tour performance order was Mental as Anything, I’m Talking, The Triffids, The Saints, Divinyls, Models, Barnes and INXS. It began in Hobart in December and visited all state capitals ending in Sydney in late January the following year. Although the tour had been announced with claims of Australian mateship and cooperation, arguments ensued between various band managers over the proposed concert series film. Some bands felt they had been coerced into unfavourable tour contracts. The tour ended in a fracas when Murphy and Fabinyi argued backstage in Sydney and came to blows.

In the 1980s Murphy invested in digital broadcasting and music sales but also organic farming. He created a large-scale free range/organic chicken operation and ran a business for daily delivery of organic lamb to restaurants around the world. In 1987 Murphy was rated by BRW magazine as Australian Entrepreneur of the Year In 1988 he established an independent record label, rooART, initially distributed by PolyGram.

Murphy signed Australian acts to rooArt including Crash Politics, The Hummingbirds, Ratcat and You Am I. In June 1991 Ratcat had simultaneous number-one single, “Don’t Go Now”, and album, Blind Love, on the ARIA charts. In 1992 Murphy signed a deal with Time Warner Inc. for international distribution. In February 1995 You Am I had a number-one album with Hi Fi Way.Later rooArt acts included Wendy Matthews (ex-Models) and The Screaming Jets which also helped the label become more commercially popular in Australia. In the 1990s, he sold his publishing company, MMA Music, to PolyGram Music Publishing.

“It is with great sadness that Caroline Murphy and family confirm that Christopher (CM) Mark Murphy, Chairman of Murphy Petrol Group, has today passed away peacefully at his beloved Ballina property ‘Sugar Beach Ranch’ surrounded by his family,” Murphy Petrol Group wrote in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

While no cause of death was provided, the statement noted that Murphy battled Mantle Cell lymphoma.

In Memoriam: Jason Cope (1979 – 2021) Guitarist


Jason Cope, the guitar player for the Southern rock band the Steel Woods and a collaborator with artists like Jamey Johnson and Brent Cobb, has died. He was 42. The group’s publicist confirmed Cope’s death to Rolling Stone.

Cope was an in-demand session guitarist, playing on albums by Lindi Ortega and the Secret Sisters, but he first became visible to country music fans by performing onstage with Johnson for nearly a decade. Nicknamed “Rowdy,” the North Carolina native also played on Johnson’s albums That Lonesome Song and The Guitar Song and co-wrote The Guitar Song track “Can’t Cash My Checks.”

In 2016, Cope founded the Steel Woods with singer Wes Bayliss in Nashville. The group released their debut album, Straw in the Wind, in 2017, and followed it up with 2019’s Old News. Both albums mixed elements of outlaw country and Southern rock with a blast of hard rock — the group covered Black Sabbath’s “Hole in the Sky” on Straw in the Wind and “Changes” on Old News. (Rolling Stone)

The Steel Woods are an American country music group from Nashville, Tennessee, exploring a variety of genres – stringing together lyrically strong songs, a big sound and well-put together harmonies, they have created a new sound that is being dubbed “Smart Southern Rock.” A quartet of Southern rock traditionalists from Nashville, The Steel Woods lay claim to the sound pioneered by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Like Skynyrd, The Steel Woods balance heavy blues-rock with Southern poetry, and they add a bit of plainspoken outlaw country to the mix, as evidenced on their 2017 debut, Straw in the Wind.

Though their style is unapologetically Southern Rock and Rock, just pull back the layers to find lyrics that feature passionate storytelling and messages that resonate. At first glance, Nashville four-piece The Steel Woods may seem like a chip off the ol’ Skynyrd block. But you’re just as likely to hear hints of Ricky Skaggs in the outfits’ rollicking bluegrass rock as Southern rock heroes like Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers Band.

Lead singer Wes Bayliss’ Southern fried vocal certainly fits among the long list of long-haired rebel rockers, but there’s a certain subtlety to The Steel Woods you just don’t hear in modern Southern rock. Much of that comes from the band’s affinity for old country tunes. “I grew up on Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Led Zeppelin,” says co-founder and guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope.

The themes reflected in their music range from perseverance and unity to hope and resilience. Inspired by conversations they had with people they met on the road, The Steel Woods strive to find common ground through shared life experiences and a musical connection.

Over the last few years, the band has built a loyal and passionate fan base through their road warrior touring mentality and extraordinary live shows. Whether headlining or supporting artists such as Dwight Yoakam, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jamey Johnson, Cody Jinks, Miranda Lambert and Blackberry Smoke, among others, The Steel Woods consistently convert audiences with each performance.

The band sounds like “drinking a bottle of bourbon and having inebriated hallucinations of Gregg Allman and Lucinda Williams standing hand in hand in powder-blue choir robes, as ‘Melissa’ plays in the background,” the staff of Rolling Stone wrote in a May 2017 “10 New Country Artists to Know” list.

With a pair of critically acclaimed Woods Music/Thirty Tigers releases under their belts in Straw in the Wind (2017) and Old News (2019), Nashville-based The Steel Woods have lived up to their name as a hybrid musical force both in the studio and live.

Founding member and guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope died on January 16, 2021.

 

In Memoriam: Phil Spector (1939 – 2021)


Harvey Phillip Spector (December 26, 1939 – January 16, 2021) was an American record producer, musician, and songwriter who developed the Wall of Sound, a music production formula he described as a Wagnerian approach to rock and roll. Spector is regarded to be among the most influential figures in pop music history and as the first auteur of the music industry for the unprecedented control he had over every phase of the recording process. After spending three decades in semi-retirement, in 2009, he was convicted for the 2003 murder of the actress Lana Clarkson. At the time of his death, he was serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.

Born in the Bronx, Spector began his career in 1958 as co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist of the Teddy Bears, penning their US number-one single “To Know Him Is to Love Him”. In 1960, he co-founded Philles Records, and at the age of 21, became the youngest ever US label owner to that point.[6] Throughout the 1960s, he wrote, co-wrote, or produced records for acts such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, and Ike & Tina Turner. He typically collaborated with arranger Jack Nitzsche, engineer Larry Levine, and a de facto house band that later became known as “the Wrecking Crew”. Spector initially retired from the music industry in 1966.

In 1969, Spector returned to his career and subsequently produced the Beatles’ album Let It Be (1970), as well as several solo records by the band’s John Lennon and George Harrison. By the mid-1970s, Spector had produced eighteen US Top 10 singles for various artists, but following work with Leonard Cohen, Dion DiMucci, and the Ramones, he remained largely inactive and affected by personal struggles. His chart-toppers included “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” (co-written and produced for the Righteous Brothers, 1964), “The Long and Winding Road” (produced for the Beatles, 1970), and “My Sweet Lord” (produced for Harrison, 1970). According to BMI, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” is the song that received the most US airplay in the 20th century.

Dubbed the “First Tycoon of Teen”,Spector’s records helped engender the role of the studio as an instrument, the integration of pop art aesthetics into music (art pop), and the art rock genre. His multi-artist compilation album A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963) is widely considered to be the finest Christmas record of all time. Spector’s honors include the 1973 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for co-producing Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh (1971), a 1989 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a 1997 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Spector number 63 on their list of the greatest artists in history.

Spector died in prison on January 16, 2021 due to complications from COVID-19.

Sunday 1/17/2021 12pm ET: Max Country Sunday with Ron Kovacs

Return of Max Country Sunday 

Sunday 1/17/2021 2pm ET: Classic Countdown with Ron Kovacs

Rescheduled  From 12pm Today

Sunday 1/17/2021 1am ET: Feature LP: Alan Parsons Project – Eve (1979)

Eve is the fourth studio album by British rock band The Alan Parsons Project, released on August 27, 1979 by Arista Records. The album’s focus is on the strengths and characteristics of women, and the problems they face in the world of men. It had originally been intended to focus on “great women in history”, but evolved into a wider concept.

Eve is The Alan Parsons Project’s first album with singer Chris Rainbow. The album’s opening instrumental “Lucifer” was a major hit in Europe, and “Damned If I Do” reached the US Top 40, peaking at No. 27. “Lucifer” also is used as title track for the German political TV show Monitor.

The album’s artwork features two apparently beautiful women wearing veils. On closer examination, it can be seen that each has large sores, moles and other disfigurements hidden beneath the veils.

1. “Lucifer” 5:09
2. “You Lie Down with Dogs” 3:47
3. “I’d Rather Be a Man” 3:53
4. “You Won’t Be There” 3:34
5. “Winding Me Up” 4:04

1. “Damned If I Do” 4:50
2. “Don’t Hold Back” 3:37
3. “Secret Garden” 4:41
4. “If I Could Change Your Mind” 5:49

“Elsie’s Theme from ‘The Sicilian Defence’ (the Project that never was)”
“Lucifer” (demo)
“Secret Garden” (early rough mix)
“Damned If I Do” (rough mix)
“Don’t Hold Back” (vocal rehearsal rough mix)
“Lucifer” (early rough mix)
“If I Could Change Your Mind” (rough mix)

Sunday 1/17/2021 12:30am ET: Feature LP: 38 Special – Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (1981)

Wild-Eyed Southern Boys is the fourth studio album by the southern rock band 38 Special, released January 1981.

Three of the four songs written or co-written by Survivor’s Jim Peterik for the album charted as singles: the title track, “Fantasy Girl” and “Hold On Loosely”.

“Hold On Loosely” – 4:39
“First Time Around” – 3:59
“Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” – 4:18
“Back Alley Sally” – 3:11
“Fantasy Girl” – 4:06
“Hittin’ and Runnin'” – 4:55
“Honky Tonk Dancer” – 4:59
“Throw Out the Line” – 3:45
“Bring It On” – 5:38

Don Barnes – guitar; piano; lead vocals on tracks 1, 3, 5, & 6; background vocals
Steve Brookins – drums
Jeff Carlisi – guitar, steel guitar
Jack Grondin – drums
Larry Junstrom – bass guitar
Donnie Van Zant – lead vocals on tracks 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, background vocals
Carol Bristow – vocals
Lu Moss – vocals

Carol Veto – background vocals
Steve McRay – piano
Terry Emery – percussion