Blog
Jan
25

The Letter

Saturday night during our classic rock n' roll radio show, Those Were the Days, the topic will be songs about letters, the mail, and the lost art of the written word.  There have been a great deal of songs on the subject.  The Box Tops had a number one tune called 'The Letter' in 1967.  It was famously covered by Joe Cocker a couple of years later.  There are not as many personal letters sent anymore.  In the days before social networking took over,  you either paid long distance phone fees or put a stamp on the envelope and waited a day or so for your loved one to recieve a letter. When my first 'real' girl friend was away at a summer activity we both sent letters every day.  She even wrote a hidden message under the stamp, however, the adhessive from the stamp tore the envelope and I could not read it.  I wonder what the message was?  This 43 year old mystery will probably never be solved. 

Songs about letter writing will be the theme Saturday night during our salute to classic rock n' roll radio.  Some of my favorties include:  Return to Sender-Elvis,  Rock and Roll Love Letter-Bay City Rollers,  Signed Sealed and Delivered-Stevie Wonder,  Please Mr. Postman-Marvelettes/Beatles,  Roll Over Beethoven -Chuck Berry,  Strawberry Letter #23-Brothers Johnson, Take A Letter, Maria-R.B. Greaves, Dear Eloise-Hollies,  and Already Gone-Eagles.  We will be spinning some of these tunes along with all of your requests on Those Were the Days on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.    Our longest long distance request last week came from Mesa, Arizona.  Tell all of your far out friends that they can hear us everywhere through this website.  

Phil

Continue reading
  115 Hits
Jan
18

January 1983

In January of 1983 I was attending Trans American School of Broadcasting in Wausau learning to be a disc jockey.  Along with my schoolmate Marty Richards it was a first time off the farm experience. It is still not safe to mention some of the tomfoolery that happened because the statute of limitations has not expired yet.  Mornings were spent making aircheck tapes and writing news and commericals. We practiced trying to do 'man on the street' interviews but noone would talk with us.  The rest of the day was spent playing all of the classic arcade games at the Shopko Mall,  gorging on the $5.00 buffet at Shakey's Pizza (or the 4 for 1 dollar hamburgers at Burger Chef),  and watching MTV.  We listened to a lot of radio as well and on the weekends it was time to mobile d.j. at high schools and bars.   The music was very good in that era.  There were a lot of very danceable tracks. Some of the early '83 tunes that made it to the mix tapes I made for my girl friend include:  Rock the Casbah-The Clash,  The Other Guy-Little River Band,  You Got Lucky-Tom Petty,  Your Love is Driving Me Crazy-Sammy Hagar,  Stray Cat Strut-Stray Cats,  Hand to Hold On To-John Mellencamp,  You Can't Hurry Love-Phil Collins,  Gloria-Laura Branigan,  Africa-Toto,  Dirty Laundry-Don Henley, and Down Under-Men At Work.  

This Saturday night during my Those Were the Days radio show, I will spin some hits from early '83 and all of your requests from the fifties through the early '90's.  It is a rare time when the old and young can agree on a song being great.  We talked with more new friends last Saturday and I hope more will join the Saturday night  'cool kids club'.  Check out WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com Saturday night from six to midnight.

Phil

Continue reading
  157 Hits
Jan
11

Songs About Radio

Through the years there have been many songs written about the medium of radio, d.j's, dedications,  listening to the radio, and radio stations.  Saturday night on WRCOs'  Those Were the Days, I will dig out a few of those tunes.  I am a radio geek and have been since the early 70's.  My Panasonic AM radio was my night time friend.  I would attempt to find a cool sounding station and mark where it was on the dial.  Many times the next night that station was not there.  It had just faded in from somewhere in North America.  On cold winter nights I could sometimes hear signals out of Canada with French speaking announcers who would play English singing artists and groups. Even better than the music of the time was the d.j.'s with their frantic deliveries. 

Many have written tunes about listening to the radio.  Some of my faves include:  Life Is A Rock (but the radio rolled me)-Reunion,  Clap For the Wolfman-Guess Who,  Last D.J.-Tom Petty,  Yesterday Once More-Carpenters,  FM (No Static)-Steely Dan,  Radio Ga Ga-Queen,  Pilot of the Airwaves-Charlie Dore,  Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?-Ramones,  The Spirit of the Radio-Rush,  and Video Killed the Radio Star-Buggles.  I will play a few of these on Saturday night on FM 100.9 and wrco.com between six and midnight.  If you have any suggestions for radio related songs, please give me a call.  I will be playing all of your requested hits Saturday night during Those Were the Days.  

While I wish the green and gold had one more NFL game this season, they would have blocked our TWTD show because they would have played late Saturday afternoon if they had beaten the Lions.  On the bright side, we will be on with our full six hour rock and roll party!   I will look forward to it all week!

Phil

Continue reading
  195 Hits
Jan
04

1973 From the Nee

The new year has arrived.  Now that it is 2023, my favorite 1973 songs are fifty years old!  That year was prime time radio listening and record buying time for me.  Music motivated me to do extra chores so that when I was able to scrape together 80 cents, I could go to Saffels' and purchase a new 45 rpm record.  My friend Kent Kotal from the website forgottenhits.com is not a big fan of that year in music.  He and I will have to agree to disagree because I think 1973 music is pretty cool.  There were some stinkers that have not stood the test of time, but for the most part the music was awesome.  Top albums included:  Dark Side of the Moon-Pink Floyd,  Houses of the Holy-Led Zepplin,  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road-Elton John,  Band on the Run-Wings,  and Innervisions-Stevie Wonder.  Saturday night during Those Were the Days, we will stop and park for a while in January of 1973.  We wont have to run the heater because the music will keep us warm.  Some of my faves from that chart include:  You're So Vain-Carly Simon,  Your Mama Don't Dance-Loggins and Messina,  Crocodile Rock-Elton John,  Sweet Surrender-Bread,  I Wanna Be With You-Raspberries,  Do It Again-Steely Dan,  Dancing In the Moonlight-King Harvest, Peaceful Easy Feeling-Eagles,  Big City Miss Ruth Ann-Gallery,  and Superstition-Stevie Wonder.  These were songs that I listened to while I was riding the bus, helping in the barn, pretending to do homework, and what was playing on my AM Panasonic radio under my covers in January of 1973.

Saturday night will be the first show in 2023 and the request/contest line will be open for you to put in a dedication for a favorite from the fifties through the eighties.  This past Saturday night we had a blast with Triviathon revisited.  Nearly 40 teams played along with us.  Thanks to everyone involved.  We are already thinking about doing another one at the end of 2023!  Give me a call and we will talk this Saturday night during Those Were the Days on WRCO Fm 100.9 and wrco.com

Phil

Continue reading
  346 Hits
Dec
28

Triviathon

You can spend your New Years Eve with WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com as we will be bringing back one of our favorite radio events.  Triviathon began airing in the late 80's.  It was a spinoff of the long and successful radio trivia game that originated at UW Stevens Point.   Here in Southwest Wisconsin it became a yearly event.  After a few years off,  Triviathon returns to the radio this weekend.  It happens to be a Saturday night so that means I will be spinning all of our Those Were the Days favorites from the fifties through the eighties in between questions.  There will be a question approximately every ten minutes.  Teams have been registering this week.  If you would like to offically play along, you can call us at 608 647-2111 this week and we will get your info and give you your team i.d. number.  Many have told me that they are less competitive and would rather just play along at their leisure.  Some of the long time tenured teams are returning to play along with us.  It is so great to see those familiar team names!

The questions will come from various topics.  Entertainment, Sports, Music, and questions with local ties will be featured.  There might be one or two where you have to phone a friend instead of using your search engine.  All answers will be phoned in.  Our Solid Gold Dancers will be operating the phones and scoring.  They include: Beau Hinrichs,  Adam Hess, Chris Simonson,  Jo Ann Krulatz,  Todd Allbaugh, and Ken Thiede.  That is quite a crew!!!

It is going to be a blast and I hope that you can tune in between six and midnight Saturday when Those Were the Days meets Triviathon. 

Phil

Continue reading
  324 Hits
Dec
21

Happy Holidays From TWTD

On behalf of the Solid Gold Dancers, I would like to wish one and all the best this holiday season.  It has been such a blessing to be able to celebrate the music we love each and every week during Those Were the Days Saturday nights on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.  After being in the hospital for 4 1/2 weeks earlier this year, I was able to crawl back on the air.  That ordeal made me more grateful for the job that I have and the loyal listeners that the radio station has.

Saturday night will be Christmas Eve and Those Were the Days will feature some of the best known and a few of the rarest Christmas records of all time.  Between six and midnight I will be spinning songs from the fifties through the nineties that will help us celebrate Christmas.  We will not be taking requests or playing trivia.  That will allow the Solid Gold Dancers to be able to celebrate with their families.  

I hope you will join us New Years Eve for Triviathon.  We will ring in 2023 with a salute to the popular radio contest that we first aired in the late '80's.  It will air during Those Were the Days Saturday night December 31st.  It you would like to register a team to officially play along, you can call WRCO at 608 647-2111 during business hours and we will get you set.  

Merry Christmas from all of our staff at WRCO.

Phil

Continue reading
  263 Hits
Dec
14

The Adventure Team In 1971

Christmas of 1971 I got a G.I. Joe for Christmas.  It wasn't your average action figure (we didn't call them dolls).  He was the first with life like hair and beard. There were several members of the Adventure Team that you could collect.  My Joe would also say several different phrases such as: "I've got a tough assignment for you",  "Set up team headquarters here",  "We must get there before dark, follow me", or "Mission accomplished, good work men".  He was a good friend of mine and he still sits on the shelf of my man cave and has not lost his voice yet.  Songs that Joe and I were listening to in late 1971 include:  Brand New Key-Melanie, Two Divided By Love-Grass Roots,  Theme From Shaft-Isaac Hayes,  Family Affair-Sly and the Family Stone,  Sunshine-Jonathon Edwards,  I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing-Hillside Singers and Have You Seen Her-Chi-Lites.  The last two songs were two of the first new records in my collection.  I have mentioned on this blog before that Have You Seen Her was the first 45 that I purchased.  The Hillside Singers version of a popular Coca-Cola commercial was most likely my 2nd 45.  I owned several records at that time but they were all hand me downs and I played my dad's collection of '78's.  The chance to have my own records is what my wife calls and addiction.  I call it a hobby and I can play what I collect on my radio show, Those Were the Days on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.  Saturday night you can hear the best of this weekends chart in 1971 during our salute to the rock and roll made during or before 1992.

I will be back in the studio this Saturday night to take requests and to play trivia.  I hope you enjoyed our salute to the great albums of 1977 and Otis Redding tribute last week.  The Solid Gold Dancers and me were guests at the Civic Media holiday party.  A good time was had by all.  Everyone was well behaved as far as I know.  I hope you will check in this Saturday night between six and midnight.  You can reach me at 608 647-4155 or contact me through this website.  

Phil

Continue reading
  280 Hits
Dec
07

Best 8-Tracks of 1977

Saturday night during Those Were the Days, I will pay tribute to the best albums of 1977.  In that era vinyl records and 8-track tapes were still the biggest selling champions at the record stores.  Cassette tapes were making a big push.  The biggest year for 8-track tapes was 1978 and just a year later cassettes ruled.  During our Those Were the Days radio show Saturday night between six and midnight, we will fill up your fake alligator 8-track tape case with the best albums of 1977.  I will play tracks from my top 20 faves of that year that will include :  Rumours-Fleetwood Mac,  Aja-Steely Dan,  Slowhand-Eric Clapton,  Book of Dreams-Steve Miller Band,  News of the World-Queen,  The Grand Illusion-Styx,  Foreigner-Foreigner,  and The Stranger-Billy Joel.

It will also be an honor to pay tribute to Otis Redding this Saturday night. He and members of his backup band, the Bar-Kays were killed in a plane crash in Madison December 10th of 1967.  He has always been a favorite of mine with his incredible range and energy.  Hear a few 'Otis' classics during the 2nd half of Those Were the Days.  I will not be taking your requests this week.  Please save those for next Saturday night.  Have a great weekend with your radio.

Phil

Continue reading
  322 Hits
Nov
30

Two Of My Favorite Groups

Saturday night on Those Were the Days, I will feature 2 of my favorite bands.  The Dave Clark Five and Bread.  It was an honor to interview Mike Smith of the DC5 in 2003.  Sadly it would be one of his last as he was injured in a fall at his home in Spain later that year.  Favorite segments of that rare interview will be posted Saturday on Kent Kotal's Forgotten Hits website.  That night I will feature more of the interview and outtakes with the legendary Mike Smith.  During our talk, I even had the chance to talk to Mike about my favorite DC 5 flip side.  Find out what it is during Those Were the Days.  The group Bread dominated the early '70's charts.  Many music lovers that are my age remember having an 8-track or cassette that contained the Best of Bread.  It was a must have during my dating years.  I was ready in case I got a date!   Group leader and principle songwriter David Gates joined me on the show in 1994.  David is now retired from music and this is another interview that I am proud to have conducted.   Forgotten Hits recently posted highlights of this interview and it will be a pleasure to revisit it on the radio and play a few hits from Bread.

I hope that you will join the rock and roll party Saturday night during Those Were the Days on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.  It will be a great chance to hook up with great friends and music.  There is such a wide range of ages that listen to our show.  I know for a fact that one requester last week recently turned 85.  We had a trivia winner that is 11 and another requester that is a freshman in high school and asked for a song from the Doors!  It is so great to know that my favorite music is going to live on for more generations.  I will be waiting all week for Saturday night.

Phil

Continue reading
  392 Hits
Nov
23

Leftovers From 1967

Saturday night during my Those Were the Days radio show, I will happily go back to my favorite music year of all time (1967).  The fact that I love the music from that era has been well documented in this column.  I could easily pick a favorite 100 from every year from 1964 through 1989, but I would be hard pressed to limit 1967 to just 100 songs.  It was the start of FM radio and you had groups like the Doors, and the Who,which had songs that were played on both sides of the dial.  The Top 40 AM survey was chocked full of tunes from the Monkees,  Spanky and Our Gang,  the Turtles,  and the Cowsills.  Some of my favorites from this weekends '67 survey include:  Incense and Peppermints-Strawberry Alarm Clock,  Soul Man-Sam & Dave,  I Can See For Miles-the Who,  Daydream Believer-Monkees,  Everlasting Love-Robert Knight,  Summer Rain-Johnny Rivers,  Beautiful People-Bobby Vee,  and Itchycoo Park-Small Faces.

When you tune in to Those Were the Days Saturday night from six to midnight, you will hear some of the greatest pop radio tunes ever.  I will be in the studio to take your requests for fiftes through the early nineties tunes.  You could win a ticket for the upcoming For Kids From 1 to 92 concert in Richland Center featuring Steve March Torme.  There are other great prizes that could be yours!  I hope you will join me this holiday weekend for some radio mischief.  We are planning to end the year strong with guests and themes.We will cap off 2022 with our Those Were the Days Christmas party and listen for details on a special New Years Eve broadcast of Those Were the Days on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.

Phil

Continue reading
  365 Hits
Nov
16

Warming Up In 1979

In November of 1979, I was a high socks, tight shorts, pimple faced, forward on the Ithaca junior varsity basketball team.  That season I was the leading scorer during warm ups!   We did not win much.  I have heard that sometimes you can learn more from a loss.  If that is the case, that team should have been brilliant.  We were not.  We were good at making mix tapes that we could listen to in the locker room.  Favorite tunes from November of 1979 include:  Bad Case Of Loving You-Robert Palmer,  Cruel To Be Kind-Nick Lowe,  One Way Or Another-Blondie,  Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin',-Journey,  Heartache Tonight-Eagles,  Good Girls Don't-Knack,  Dream Police-Cheap Trick,  Drivers Seat-Sniff n the Tears, Don't Bring Me Down-E.L.O.  and Lets Go-Cars.   Those songs made up much of the soundtrack for my formative years.  This week I will be going back to 1979 and I will have a fun time although my 1979 shorts wont fit (they were tight back in the day).

Not only will I be playing hits from the last month of the 70's, but we will also spin all of the tunes you love from the fifties through the eighties during Those Were the Days on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com from six until midnight Saturday night.  I hope you will make a request.

Phil

Continue reading
  403 Hits
Nov
09

The British Are Coming!

This Saturday night (by listener request) we will be programming the 'wayback tuner' to the first wave of the British Invasion.  English artists dominated the American charts between 1964 and 1967.  It is my favorite music of the 1960's.  A combination of recycled hits from the states and original material was the music of choice from those hit makers from 'jolly old England'.  On our Those Were the Days radio show, I will be featuring interview segments from the many British artists that I have had the honor of chatting up on the air. The first hit of 1964 was from the Beatles.  I Want to Hold Your Hand ushered in the new error and several followed the 'fab four' to American radio.  Dusty Springfield was next, followed by Dave Clark Five, the Searchers,  Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas,  Peter and Gordon, the Animals, and the Rolling Stones.  From the 1964 through 1967 the Beatles charted 25 hits in the U.S., followed by Hermans Hermits with 14, the DC 5 with 13, and the Stones with 12.   Hear some of those memorable tunes between six and midnight Saturday night.

The request line will be wide open for you to request a favorite song from the fifties through the early '90's.  We had a blast this past Saturday.  There was an official petition started to get me to stay on the air longer.  The reasoning was that because we were gaining an hour of sleep, I should play that extra hour and technically the program would be over at the same time.  I compromised and played an extra half hour in an attempt to get all of the requests on the air.  We will feature lots of trivia and stuff this Saturday night during Those Were the Days on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco dot com between six and midnight.  I hope to hear from you than.  If you have an idea for a Saturday night musical theme, let me know through this blog or by dropping me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Phil

Continue reading
  344 Hits
Nov
02

Picking the Fall of 1985

In the fall of 1985, I was a chore hand by day on my parents farm and a mobile d.j. by night.  I would pull the New Idea corn picker around the field with all kinds of music running through my head.   They had not developed a good head set radio yet, and my dad's tractors did not have cabs with radios, so all of the music had to be imagined.  The music I played at the bars, parties, high school gyms, and other locations, included lots of songs that are considered classics today.  It was the post disco, right in the heart of MTV era.  In my spare time, I was the king of mixtapes.  I could put together some great cassettes which I gave to friends and some that I kept to play in my Pontiac J-2000.  Faves from this weekend in 1985 include: We Built This City-Starship,  Take On Me-A-Ha,  And We Danced-Hooters,  Sunset Grill-Don Henley,  Lonely Ol Night-John Mellencamp,  St. Elmos Fire (Man in Motion)-John Parr,  Running Up That Hill-Kate Bush (the song from the summer of 2022 because of its use in Stranger Things),  Home Sweet Home-Motley Crue,  and I'm Goin Down-Bruce Springsteen.  It will be a pleasure to play some of the best of the fall of '85 during this Saturday nights' Those Were the Days radio show on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.

We had a wild Halloween bash last weekend.  It was great to hear from so many that were keeping us on during their Saturday night social functions.  Tell your friends out of state to find us and you can do a long distance dedication to them!   Perhaps you will win a grand trivia prize.  If you win apple cider donuts from Oakwood Fruit Farm, you will have even more friends.  I can't wait to escape with you to the first 50 years of rock and roll during Those Were the Days.

Phil

 

Continue reading
  445 Hits
Oct
26

Cool Kids Halloween Party!

Everyone is invited to be a part of the Those Were the Days Saturday night radio Halloween party.  It is our yearly fun night with all kinds of records that fit the season.  You can help program the program between six and midnight Saturday night.  Perhaps you can request the traditional classic Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett,  Other seasonal faves include:  Werewolves Of London-Warren Zevon,  Ghost Riders In the Sky-Outlaws,  Devil Woman-Cliff Richard,  Time Warp-Rocky Horror Cast,  Evil Woman-E.L.O, Welcome To My Nightmare-Alice Cooper,  I Put A Spell On You-Screamin Jay Hawkins,  Boris the Spider-the Who,  and Witch Queen of New Orleans-Redbone. I hope you will stop by for the musical treats. We may trick you with our trivia games. 

It was an amazing night last weekend with a record number of requests!  Long distance requests came from Illinois and Michigan.  I never thought that we would see the day when folks could check in from all over the country.  It is amazing to think that someone just stumbled onto hearing the show.  I still appreciate everyone listening locally.  It is an amazing honor to still be rockin' the tunes over the hills of the driftless.

Phil

Continue reading
  538 Hits
Oct
19

A Visit to Life In 1964

During this weekends Those Were the Days radio show,  we will be sliding back to the Fall of 1964.  It was a wonderful time for Top Forty  music.  We think of the British Invasion first when we recall that era.  While the English are well represented on this weeks' '64 survey,  many American acts were fighting back. Top U.S. artists that were having hits include; Gene Pitney-It Hurts To Be In Love,  Beach Boys-Wendy,  Ronnie and the Daytonas-G.T.O. , Martha & the Vandellas-Dancing in the Street, Elvis-Aint That Loving You Baby, and Roy Orbison-(Oh) Pretty Woman.  The English acts fighting for playing time included: Manfred Mann-Do Wah Diddy Diddy,  Honeycombs-Have I the Right?, Dave Clark Five-Everybody Knows,  Billy J. Kramer-From A Window,  Zombies-Shes Not There, Herman's Hermits-I'm Into Something Good, and Rolling Stones-Time Is On My Side.  For a video diary of music from the Fall of 1964, I highly recomend the T.A.M.I. Show move. It was filmed for theatre release and featured dynamic live performances including a battle at the end between James Brown and the Rolling Stones Mick Jagger for the best dance moves (Brown wins easily).

WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco dot com will take you back to those black and white television memories from all of those years ago.  I look forward to you helping me with the playlist of the fifties through the early '90's.  Thanks to all of you that checked in last weekend.  There was a wild party in the leaves by Gotham,  the Herm Hollow boys reported in,  Hootin' Hill by Lancaster,  long distance hits from Green Bay, and Texas, and many more.  This Saturday should be a beauty with high temps around 70!!!!  It will be another great day and night in the 'dairy air' of Wisconsin.  I can't wait for this Saturday nights Those Were the Days radio party!

Phil

 

Continue reading
  293 Hits
Oct
12

Fall Of '75 Picking and Shoveling the Hits

Each autumn my dad would hitch up his New Idea corn picker and go to work.  Never one to embrace a mechanical way to do something easier, he would pull the wagons with their wooden corn boxes to the corn crib where the load needed to be shoveled through a window into the corn crib.  In 1975 I was old enough to start helping.  I quickly learned that music playing in my head was a great thing to help ease the burdon of hard labor.   Since I was addicted to Top 40 radio, there were many songs to which I could play on my imaginary Walkman.  This week on WRCOs' Those Were the Days, I will be shoveling the hits.  Some of my faves from this weeks 1975 survey include:  Ballroom Blitz-Sweet,  Fame-David Bowie,  Bad Blood-Neil Sedaka,  Miracles-Jefferson Starship,  Low Rider-War,  Nights On Broadway-Bee Gees,  Katmandu-Bob Seger, and Never Been Any Reason-Head East.  In the fall of '75 I was recording songs off the radio for a new mix tape.  A tune that I had never heard came on the air.  It was from a new artist named Bruce Springsteen and the song was Born To Run.  The tune was very different than anything else on the charts.

I hope that you will join me for Those Were the Days during our 'retro Saturday' on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.  We will be featuring all of your favorite requests from the fifties through the eighites and playing trivia games.  It was great to hear from new requesters last weekend.  My favorite call may have been from the gang on Bush Mountain near Barneveld (they claimed it had nothing to do with beer).  The entire Hart family from Allenton, Wisconsin (near West Bend) was listening in the (608) area code. It was nice to have them visiting here in the Driftless.  They often hear us on line.  Long lost cousins from Rockford, Illinois caught the Saturday night stream.  It would be awesome to hear from you between six and midnight Saturday night.

Phil

Continue reading
  423 Hits
Oct
05

Out Of This World Saturday Night

During Saturday nights' Those Were the Days radio show, I will be playing a few songs about rockets, stars, the moon, and space.  The world has long been fascinated about space and time travel.  Russia launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite,  on October 4th, 1957.  The United States sent Explorer 1 into orbit in 1958.  The first commercial satellite was Telstar which took flight 60 years ago in 1962.  I grew up learning about Americas' space progam while scanning my Weekly Reader at school.  I was fascinated by the Apollo flights and picked up a McDonalds moon map which was a giveaway in 1969.  That was a key but brief moment of coolness as I was the only rural student to have one (you had to travel to Madison or a bigger city since the golden arches had not made it to many smaller communities yet).  

Some of my favorite 'out of this world' hit songs include:  Rocket Man-Elton John,  Space Truckin-Deep Purple,  Mr Spaceman-Byrds,  Space Oddity-David Bowie,  Major Tom-Peter Schilling,  Moondance-Van Morrison (with the lyric A fantabulous night to make romance 'Neath the cover of October skies),  Rocket Ride-Kiss,  Rocket-Def Leppard,  2,000 Light Years From Home-Rolling Stones, and Blue Moon-Marcels. This gives you an idea of the theme we are going for.  Perhaps you can think of a spacey title to add to the Saturday night playlist?  

I will be playing all of your favorite hits from the fifties through the early '90's during Those Were the Days between six and midnight Saturday night.  We will give you the chance to be a big winner when we ring the magic cow bell and throw a trivia question on the air.  Thanks for you support since 1986!

Phil

Continue reading
  366 Hits
Sep
28

Playing On the Linoleum In 1968

Way back in 1968, young Philip Nee was farming on the kitchen floor.  My Tru Scale tractors were getting a workout shelling corn and running the kernels up my toy elevator into a waiting Quacker Oatmeal container (my toy silo and corn cribs).  If there was a mouse in the old farm house,  they had to be happy that I was doing their hunting and gathering for them.  They only had to chew threw the cardboard to get into my corn harvest.   As my fall chores continued, the radio was always on.  Some of the songs I heard on the old Westinghouse are still on my brain.  It was a great time for Pop songs on the radio.  Some of the favorites include:  Hey Jude-Beatles,  Fire-Crazy World of Arthur Brown,  Over You-Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Hush-Deep Purple,  Midnight Confessions-Grass Roots,  Born To Be Wild-Steppenwolf,  All Along the Watchtower-Jimi Hendrix,  Hold Me Tight-Johnny Nash,  Elenore-Turtles,  The Weight-The Band,  and 1,2,3, Red Light-1910 Fruitgum Company.  All of those records were on the radio at the same time!  I don't think there is a song that I do not like from the Billboard Hot 100 from this week in 1968. 

Saturday night on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com, I will be spinning all of your favorites from the sixties through the early nineties.  Please give me a call if you would like to contribute to the playlist.  I hope you enjoyed our 1972 Love Letter last weekend.  We have picked up good feedback from that show.  Many thanks to Kent Kotal from forgottenhits.com for his contributions.  My two favorites from that year were Go All the Way by the Raspberries, and Day After Day from Badfinger.   Kent's top two were Sauvacito by Malo and Crazy Mama from J.J. Cale.  If you have suggestions for future shows, let me know through this blog or drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You could win some great prizes on Saturday night during my Those Were the Days radio show.  Play along with our trivia games.  We will be on the air from six until midnight Saturday night.  Listen while you enjoy the many events in Richland Center during Center Color Fest including the night time parade which starts at 7:00 pm Saturday night.  The weather should be awesome for a fall campfire.  Remember Those Were the Days during your weekend fun.

Phil

Continue reading
  360 Hits
Sep
21

A Love Note To 1972

This week on Those Were the Days from WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com, we will celebrate 1972.  That was the year I really started collecting records.  Every cent I earned was given to the local economy.  Saffells and Shultz Brothers (the Dime Store) got rich off my 69 cents every week for the latest 45 RPM record.  If there was ever a year that I would like to revisit, it might be 1972.  Life was good on the family farm.  There was always something going on with friends, neighbors, and relatives stopping by.  The radio was always on and every time a new record would be played, for little Phil , there was electricity in the air.  

Between six and midnight Saturday night, I will be turning back the clock to the year of '72.  Kent Kotal, who writes the forgotten hits blog will be my guest.  Both of us picked out what we felt were the best 40 records of the year plus 3 'guilty pleasure' songs.  Those are tunes that you are almost afraid to admit that you likel  We have teamed for several other Those Were the Days specials over the years.  The first was a top instrumental countdown in 2009.  This year only 9 songs were on both of our lists.  His log of songs is very good and it includes several that I wish I would have chosen.   There are no 'clunkers' !  You will hear music from many top acts of the day including:  the Eagles,  Hollies,  Elton John,  Chicago,  Three Dog Night,  Badfinger,  Doobie Brothers,  America, Bread,  Elvis Presley,  Raspberries,  Van Morrison,  and Dr. Hook.  

I hope you will join me for the Those Were the Days/Forgotten Hits tribute to 1972.  I will not be taking your requests.  That feature returns next week.  I also have received several questions about the new ownership of WRCO and if Those Were the Days will continue.  WRCO FM 100.9 is now owned by Civic Media.  I am happy to report that they are on board with all of our 'retro' Saturday programs.  Saturdays With Simo,  Backtrackin, and Those Were the Days, will live on!!!

Phil

Continue reading
  529 Hits
Sep
14

Jamming With Tommy James

When you listen to WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com Saturday night, you will be able to hear my chat with the legendary Tommy James.  Tommy's songs are favorites with three generations.  They include:  Crystal Blue Persuasion,  Crimson and Clover,  Mony Mony,  I Think We're Alone Now,  Sweet Cherry Wine,  Hanky Panky, Mirage,  Three Times In Love , Draggin the Line and many more. Numerous artists have recorded Tommy's songs including:  Billy Idol,  Joan Jett,  Tiffany,  Prince,  Carlos Santana,  Bruce Springsteen,  REM, Tom Jones, Cher, and Dolly Parton.  BMI awarded Tommy after it was determined that his songs have been played more than 21 million times on the radio.  His critically acclaimed autobiography Me, The Mob and the Music is now in pre-production for a movie.   Despite all of these things going for him,  Tommy took time out of his schedule to call me this week for an interview.  It was the first time in thirty years that I have been honored to have him on the line.  When we play trivia Saturday night, you could be the winner of two tickets to see Tommy James at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre in Wisconsin Dells on October first!

I hope you will join me for Those Were the Days this Saturday night for our jam with Tommy.  Hear many of his hits and your special requests and dedications for tunes from the fifties through the eighties.  We will soon celebrate thirty-six years on the air.  It still only seems like yesterday when I played my first record on WRCO (it started on the wrong speed).  Since that time I have not gotten much better, but I love being on the air more than ever.  We will close out the month of September next Saturday night with a love letter to 1972.  That was the year I really started collecting records.  That is something that I still love doing after fifty years.  That is next week.  I hope you will join me for Tommy James and live trivia and requests Saturday night on WRCO FM 100.9 and wrco.com.

Phil

Continue reading
  401 Hits

Recent Comments

Guest - Dave Wright January 1983
January 20 2023
'83..I was at the Richland Center campus. Those were the awesome songs that played in the student c...
Guest - dave 1973 From the Nee
January 06 2023
I was 10 when those songs you mentioned were new! It seems like only yesterday. Thanks for jogging...
Guest - Deborah K. Warming Up In 1979
November 22 2022
Last weeks show brought home many memories. I heard many songs that don’t often play. It is good t...
Guest - oldies dave Cool Kids Halloween Party!
October 28 2022
I have always loved Haunted House by 'Jumpin' Gene Simmons (not the Kiss guy). The Halloween songs ...
Guest - Amy d. A Love Note To 1972
September 23 2022
I graduated from high school in 1972. It was a great era to grow up. Thanks for the show.
Guest - Jen S. Dirty Dancing Is 35!
August 20 2022
Dirty Dancing is my all time favorite movie. Yeah!
Guest - Dave B. Party With the Beach Boys
August 05 2022
I love the Beach Boys! I am glad to see you spotlighting them. My favorites are some of the late 6...
Guest - Terri Nee-Holtz Rock n' Rodeo Hits
June 09 2022
Sister Mary said you were discussing the cheese roll. My daughter attended it. Said it was "wild m...
Guest - Debbie Stafslien Let's Try 1982 Again
April 23 2022
1982 was a dynamite year for music. MTV was a driving force. When I watch old clips i can’t believ...
Guest - Shelly 1977 April Hits
April 08 2022
1977 was a great year for albums. ELO-Out Of The Blue and Meatloaf were among my faves.