Prince: Purple Rain (Deluxe Expanded Edition)

In 1984, Prince became a household name when his popularity soared into the stratosphere upon the release of his film debut and its accompanying soundtrack Purple Rain. Eventually selling over 25 million copies to date, Prince’s sixth studio album concurrently served as a full-length release of new material as well as underscored his dramatic first appearance upon the silver screen.

Prince fans and the mainstream masses alike know the classic hits spawned from The Purple One’s seminal release by heart: “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and the epochal title track, all of which became staples of radio, MTV and Prince’s live repertoire. Now, 33 years later, we have reason to rejoice and revisit this stunning work of genius anew with the release of the Purple Rain Deluxe Expanded edition… [Read Full Review]

The Age of Television Variety Shows, Panapets and Record Clubs

My third and final chapter of Memories of Old and AM Gold focuses on musical television shows, transistor radios, and mail order record clubs…

Often reflecting back upon the days when AM radio ruled the airwaves with infectious bubblegum earworms and Casey Kasem’s weekly American Top 40 countdown, I remember prime time television also provided a moderate source of musical entertainment with series such as The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Donny & Marie, and The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Show. Additionally, late night programming provided the rock-oriented Midnight Special and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert for the hard-core music enthusiasts who were dedicated to stay up past midnight.

I remember eagerly waking up on Saturdays, bleary-eyed after my late-night concert viewing sessions, eager to seek out selected musical programming. I’d tune into American Bandstand, Solid Gold, the Grand Ole Opry Live, and Dolly, which starred Dolly Parton. [Read Full Feature] or [Read Part One] and [Read Part Two]

Long-lost days of musical Saturday morning cartoons and bedroom slide show concerts

As a child during the late 1960s and 1970s, the magical world of music caught my attention immediately, but outlets to find musical sources were extremely limited. My ears were always thirsting to hear something new, thus I would gravitate towards any form of media that related to my affinity for music. One year for Christmas I’d asked Santa Claus to bring me Kenner’s Give-A-Show Projector, and to my delight, he happily obliged. I’d lie in my bed every night and project some of my favorite cartoon character’s images upon my bedroom wall and ceiling. I’d stay up well past my bedtime (unbeknownst to my parents) and produce my own private slide shows and concerts starring The Archies, Josie and the Pussycats, H.R. Pufnstuf and The Scooby-Doo Show.

Weekend nights were usually spent watching The Partridge Family, The Monkees, and The Brady Bunch. I’d also excitedly arise early every Saturday morning and record all the songs from each week’s episode of my favorite cartoon/musical shows including H.R. Pufnstuf and The Krofft Supershow. My childhood Saturday mornings revolved around the world of Sid & Marty Krofft. [Read Full Feature] and [Read Part One]

The Golden Days of AM Radio and Cereal Box Records

Whenever summer rolls around, it annually evokes fond memories of youthful days I’d eagerly spend counting down until the school year would finally end. The anticipation of long, lazy summer days, extended car rides, and family vacations was always palpable. That was the era of AM radio hits which often turned into road trip sing-alongs which served as a much needed reprieve from being cooped up for hours on end in the car. I’m referring to a time when portable electronics were almost non-existent and the only access to music was the standard AM radio that came factory installed in the family owned American automobile.

Summertime also reminds me of how excited I’d get about routine trips to the grocery store when I was a kid. Yes, the grocery store, because back in those days, they used to print records right on the backs of cereal boxes, similar to flexi discs often found in music publications or instructional books. Nothing made me happier than picking out a brand of cereal I’d pretend to like just so I could get a new record by The Archies, The Monkees, or The Jackson 5. I can still recall being mesmerized and oddly entertained as I’d watch the phonograph stylus play over the faces of Betty, Veronica, Archie, Reggie, Jughead, and Hot Dog as I carefully memorized every word of “Everything’s Archie” and “Nursery Rhyme.” [Read Full Feature]