Tag: Was (Not) Was

Tuesday 10/26/21 1pm ET: Feature Artist: Was (Not Was)

Was (Not Was) is an American pop rock group founded in 1979 in Detroit, Michigan, by David Weiss and Don Fagenson, who adopted the stage names David Was and Don Was. Their song catalog features an eclectic mix of pop and rock styles, often featuring guest musicians from across the musical spectrum. The band’s most popular period was during the 1980s and early 1990s, with their highest-charting hit, the song “Walk the Dinosaur”, released in 1987 as the lead single from their 1988 album What Up, Dog?, becoming a worldwide top-40 hit and peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The band went on indefinite hiatus in the mid-1990s, but has returned sporadically since the turn of the millennium. Their most recent release was the 2008 album Boo!.

Hillard “Sweet Pea” Atkinson (September 20, 1945 – May 5, 2020) was an American R&B singer known as one of the vocalists for the band Was (Not Was).

Atkinson was born in Oberlin, Ohio, and moved to Detroit as a child. He worked at the Chrysler factory, and sang with colleagues in a local band, Hi Energy. He met Don Was in the late 1970s, when he was rehearsing at the studio used by Was.

Atkinson joined Was (Not Was) as joint lead vocalist alongside Harry Bowens. He also featured on some of the band’s most successful recordings. In 1982, shortly after the release of the first Was (Not Was) album, he recorded and released his first solo album, Don’t Walk Away. The album was co-produced by David and Don Was. In 1997, along with Kris Kristofferson, Atkinson starred in a 15-minute short film included on Don Was’ album Forever’s a Long, Long Time, which Was released under the alias Orquestra Was. Atkinson also performed as lead vocalist on most of the songs on the album, on which Was interprets songs by Hank Williams.

Atkinson later joined forces with blues guitarist Randy Jacobs – also a longtime Was (Not Was) session guitarist who co-wrote the band’s most successful hit, “Walk the Dinosaur” – in a band called the Boneshakers. Together they released three albums, two of which were studio recordings: Book of Spells in 1997 and Shake the Planet in 1999, both on Point Blank Records. The third album was Live in Seattle, with saxophonist Mindi Abair, which was released on Concord Records. Two more albums were credited to Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers: The EastWest Sessions (2017) and All I Got for Christmas Is the Blues (2018).

Atkinson also toured for ten years with Lyle Lovett, and sang on recordings by Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Barnes, and many others.

Tuesday 5/18/21 2pm ET: Sounds of The 80’s

2 – 6pm ET

Featuring tunes from Pablo Cruise, Def Leppard, Dire Straits, Little Richard, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, KT Oslin, Neil Diamond, Janet Jackson, Was (Not) Was, Fleetwood Mac, Lou Gramm, Irene Cara, Genesis, and more . . .