My heart belongs to Dad’s records
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
1M ago
This week brings my dad’s birthday — he’d have been 99 — and Father’s Day. Been thinking about how the music my dad loved influenced the music I love. Dad had a modest record collection, maybe 50 LPs. He held onto them long after he no longer had a record player or a stereo. When Dad was in his early 80s, and after I’d started collecting records again, he let me go through his stack. I took what I wanted and we donated the rest to a senior citizen center. Having come of age in the ’40s, Dad’s favorite genres were swing music and boogie woogie. He filled the jukebox at the enlisted men’s club h ..read more
Visit website
If I had only 10 records …
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
1M ago
Last week — May 23, to be precise — marked 49 years since the release of Elton John’s “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” album. It’s been one of my favorite records for that long. That day, one of those classic rock Twitter feeds posted that fact and asked followers to mention their favorite cut from that LP. A friend responded with “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” Great choice. I told my friend that if I had to cut my record collection to 10 albums, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” from 1975 would be one. Great songs about young men becoming writers and navigating gro ..read more
Visit website
Record store of my dreams
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
3M ago
Had this dream the other night. Someone handed me a small card. It had a simple black-and-white line drawing with an autograph. Eric Clapton’s autograph, perhaps? A crudely drawn riff on the “Slowhand” cover? A stick drawing, really, not close to what you see here. (Clapton must have lingered in my subconscious. I’d read he’d just turned 79. I’d also just read a biography of George Harrison, in which Clapton was a major figure.) “Where did you get this?” I ask. I’m directed to a tiny record shop. Seemed like it was in Milwaukee. I show the card to the guy at the small counter. “Where did you ..read more
Visit website
This boot is made for walking
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
5M ago
As AM, Then FM quietly celebrates 17 years on the web, we may have arrived at a crossroads. On this sunny Wisconsin afternoon, I’m sitting in my office for the first time in almost two months. Doctor’s orders. I’ve done almost nothing since having Achilles tendon surgery in early January. Stay off the foot. Only now — with this big walking boot having replaced the cast — am I getting a wee bit more mobile. Unable to sit at my desk until now, I’ve been doing a lot on my phone. Listening to music is one of those things. My wife and I sit together in the living room. She has the TV on as backgro ..read more
Visit website
Gone in Threes, 2023
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
7M ago
They go in threes. They always go in threes. 2023, though, was a bit different. In 2023, we lost some musical and entertainment giants whose gifts, greatness and accomplishments were so substantial that they defy categorization. First, a farewell to this magnificent seven: Burt Bacharach, Jeff Beck, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, David Crosby, Gordon Lightfoot and Tina Turner. Many more, however, went in threes as usual … ABA alumni: Henry Logan (also first Black athlete at Western Carolina), George McGinnis (ABA all-time team), Cincy Powell (two-time all-star) Adventurers: David Kirke (first ..read more
Visit website
Three Christmas wishes for us all
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
7M ago
The first Christmas wish Christmas bells, those Christmas bells Ringing through the land Bringing peace to all the world And good will to man “Snoopy’s Christmas,” the Royal Guardsmen, from “Snoopy and His Friends,” 1967. https://amthenfm.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/royal-guardsmen-snoopys-christmas.mp3 In 1965, Charles Schulz started drawing Snoopy as a World War I flying ace battling the Red Baron. But “it reached a point where war just didn’t seem funny,” he told biographer Rheta Grimsley Johnson. Even so, Snoopy and the Red Baron inspired this novelty Christmas song wi ..read more
Visit website
Hey, Satch! Rob! It’s Christmas Eve!
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
7M ago
Please enjoy our traditional Christmas Eve post. On a winter day now more than 50 years ago, Louis Armstrong went to work in the den at his home at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, New York. On that day — Friday, Feb. 26, 1971 — he recorded this: “The Night Before Christmas (A Poem),” Louis Armstrong, 1971, from “The Stash Christmas Album,” 1985. That LP is long out of print, but the original 7-inch single (Continental CR 1001) seems to be fairly common. https://amthenfm.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/louis-armstrong-the-night-before-christmas-a-poem.mp3 (This ..read more
Visit website
An MTV Christmas, anyone?
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
7M ago
Let’s just sit down and watch one video after another. Let’s have a rock and roll Christmas just like we used to know. All you kids who weren’t born yet, don’t get hurt shaking your head in disbelief. (Shaking your head in some holiday headbanging is entirely acceptable, though.) Billy Squier, “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You,” 1981. George Thorogood and the Destroyers, “Rock and Roll Christmas,” 1983. Run-D.M.C, “Christmas in Hollis,” 1987 ..read more
Visit website
Unexpected holiday moments
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
7M ago
Sometimes, that holiday spirit sneaks up on you. Unexpected holiday moment No. 1 .38 Special played a show in Green Bay on Friday night. My friend Mike mentioned on Facebook earlier that day that he was going to it. I responded: “.38 Special has a surprisingly good Christmas record, ‘A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night,’ released more than 20 years ago. If they play some cuts from it, keep an open mind and enjoy!” Good memories of that record, shared here 13 holiday seasons ago. “Halleujah! It’s Christmas,” .38 Special, from “A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night,” 2001. A joyous, upbeat tune written by guit ..read more
Visit website
Ladies’ night
AM, Then FM
by Jeff Ash
9M ago
WXPN, the fine public radio station out of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, has been asking listeners to help pick the 885 greatest songs by women artists. (Why 885 songs? WXPN is 88.5 FM. They’ll play them all on their annual end-of-year countdown.) I thought about it for a few days, then waded in at pretty much the last minute. Went through all my LPs and compiled a preliminary list of a couple of dozen songs by women. Then I trimmed that list to 10 songs and filed my ballot on the last possible evening. Deadlines spur action, you know. We were asked to rank our top 10 songs ..read more
Visit website

Follow AM, Then FM on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR