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3 Chords and the Truth: Hot day, cool tunes
July 25, 2014 09:40 PM PDT
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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the A/C inside's delightful.

But the summer heat's bad enough for us to go . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

OK, your Mighty Favog has many powers but -- unfortunately -- the ability to make it snow at the end of July is not among them. So we'll do the next best thing on this week's 3 Chords & the Truth.

We'll play an extra cool, extra long set of music designed to conjure up the cooling power of December in the middle of meteorological Hades. It's sort of like Prof. Harold Hill's "think system" of music education, only we're thinking winter in hopes of taking the edge off of summer.

APART FROM that, you could say the show has its highs and lows this go around. Of course, even the lows -- and the Lo's -- are high points. As we strike a mortal blow against Yankee imperialism.

What? Hell, yeah!

Huh? You bet!

Confused? Relax. We got this covered.

All you have to do is listen to the Big Show, and all will become clear. Your confusion will turn into a profusion of musical enlightenment. And a cooling trend on a hot summer's day.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: Expect the unexpected
July 18, 2014 11:21 PM PDT
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Did you know that, back in 1956, you could get Elvis Presley on 78 RPM records?

You could, and my folks did . . . and we have just that on 3 Chords & the Truth this week.

That's just one of the unexpected things you'll hear on this, and every, episode of the Big Show. Because we're all about surprises. And good music.

Let's see -- what else would you like to hear about this venture into the world of 3 Chords & the Truth and the stupendous music we play?

WELL, there's all the good doo-wop and R&B this time on the program. And there's all the good jazz. And then there's some tasty tunes from the world of rock.

And, of course, then there's the. . . .

Hey! You don't think I'm going to give away all the intimate details of how this week's 3 Chords & the Truth excels, do you? C'mon, sit still for an hour and a half and find out for yourself.

It might be the most satisfying 90 minutes you'll spend this week. And we do it all over again almost every week on the Big Show. You just might learn something -- or hear something you have laid ears on in years -- and you'll have a ball doing it.

Really.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: Your musical answer
July 12, 2014 10:43 AM PDT
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This week, we answer a simple yet crucial question in putting together yet another fine edition of 3 Chords & the Truth -- did Steven Tyler always look this bad?

So we got out the vintage 1975 vinyl of Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic. And then we looked at the group shot on the back cover.

And your answer is this: Yes. Yes he did.

How Liv Tyler emerged from that gene pool, I don't know.

That's the kind of burning question we're happy to answer on the Big Show . . . and, uh, we also like to play lots of good music, too. As far as telling you anything else about this week's show, I can only shamelessly repeat what was said about the last episode of 3 Chords & the Truth.

Here you go:

THIS TIME, like every time on the Big Show, we play a little bit of this, a lot of that and some of the other thing. All of it comes with our iron-clad guaran-damn-tee that you'll love it or your money back.

Of course, the program costs you absolutely nothing, so there's that.

Then there's this: You're likely to say at least once, "My God, I haven't heard that in years!" Try that listening to the radio. You see, this little venture, hosted by your Mighty Favog, is like radio back when radio was actually radio.

Call it, if you will, freeform radio with a bigger playlist and a lot less reefer and patchouli oil. OK, maybe a little patchouli oil when the spirit moves us.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: A little of this, some of that
June 27, 2014 10:19 PM PDT
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We ask a simple yet crucial question to start this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth -- is there anything The Ventures couldn't cover?

This time, it's the guitar gods doing a hipper version of Lawrence Welk's No. 1 smash from 1961, "Calcutta." If this is the kind of thing you like, this is the kind of cover you'll love.

And if this is the sort of thing you wish were still on the radio, you'll love this edition of the Big Show. It's kind of mellow, kind of lounge-o-licious, kind of pop, loaded with classic folk and lots of other tasty eclecticism for which our little podcast is almost famous.

And with a little help from your downloads . . . well, 3 Chords & the Truth could become famously famous, just by doing our thing, which is the sort of thing radio doesn't much do at all. And that would be playing just one kind of music -- good -- the Format Nazis be damned.

THIS TIME, like every time on the Big Show, we play a little bit of this, a lot of that and some of the other thing. All of it comes with our iron-clad guaran-damn-tee that you'll love it or your money back.

Of course, the program costs you absolutely nothing, so there's that.

Then there's this: You're likely to say at least once, "My God, I haven't heard that in years!" Try that listening to the radio. You see, this little venture, hosted by your Mighty Favog, is like radio back when radio was actually radio.

Call it, if you will, freeform radio with a bigger playlist and a lot less reefer and patchouli oil. OK, maybe a little patchouli oil when the spirit moves us.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: The hits from coast to coast
June 21, 2014 02:21 PM PDT
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I was an American teen-ager in the 1970s, therefore American Top 40 was appointment listening.

In Baton Rouge, we got it on WIBR radio. I was a WLCS kind of guy, but Casey Kasem counting down the hits every Sunday afternoon would have me winging it down to the other side of the AM dial to see what was No. 1 on the Billboard charts this week.

Casey Kasem died a week ago today at 82, and this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is a tribute to the man and to the show he co-created in 1970 -- and which he hosted for decades.

Mine was his radio generation. Back in the day, Kasem and the late Dick Clark were America's DJs. Now they're both gone, and untold millions of the children of rock 'n' roll find ourselves slightly adrift at the loss of these pop-culture giants.

THIS WEEK on the Big Show, we're doing what we do, just doing it Casey Kasem style. Just like it was on AT40 in the show's heyday -- only in our own quirky way.

This one's for Casey. This one's also for all those American kids now of a certain age who remember radio when it was relevant. Who remember when radio was an event.

Rest in peace, sir. At long last, you have reached the stars.

Love, a grateful generation with its feet still on the ground.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: Mo' stacks o' wax
June 13, 2014 09:08 PM PDT
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This is all you need to know about this week's 3 Chords & the Truth.

Stacks of albums. Stacks of albums just in to the studios of the Big Show here in Omaha, by God, Neb.

Stacks of stuff. New stuff. A lot of stuff that never made it to compact disc or digital download. A lot of stuff you'll hear only on 3 Chords & the Truth.

IF YOU like music and hate to be pigeonholed, this is where you need to be. This is seriously where you need to be.

That's what you need to know about the show. This is what we do week in and week out, and we do it well. So there you go.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: Yes, it's on the exam
June 06, 2014 07:13 PM PDT
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OK, all you hipsters and hepcats and cool cats and rockers and freaks and punks and longhairs . . . your Mighty Favog has a question for you.

This question will be on the exam -- this question is the exam -- and the answer can be found on 3 Chords & the Truth.

Ready? Cool.

How do you put together Azure Ray, John Fred, Dale and Grace, Jerry Butler, Jefferson Airplane, Men at Work, The B-52's, Feist, The Mindbenders, Harry Connick, Jr., Leon Redbone, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Art Garfunkel, Ian Gomm, Michael Nesmith, The Doobie Brothers -- among other stuff -- and not end up with a musical hot mess?

BEGIN answering whenever you're ready. Feel free to use the Big Show as a reference tool . . . you will have 90 minutes.

On the test, spelling will count against your grade, and I will know whether or not you listened to the program from the detail in your answer. Don't expect a passing grade if you say "It's magic!" -- although your professor and proprietor will be flattered.

Finally, you have been given multiple ways to access the relevant podcast, 3 Chords & the Truth, so not being able to listen will not be accepted as an excuse. That is all.

Oh . . . except for this.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

3 Chords and the Truth: Nineteen seventy-one
May 30, 2014 09:55 PM PDT
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¿Quién es más bueno, 1967 o 1971?

¿Quién es más bueno, 1967 o 1971?

If you're on the early end of the Baby Boom generation, I'll bet you'd say 1967 when you're arguing the best year for music on the radio.

If you're on my end of the Baby Boom -- the late end -- I'll bet you'd argue that, no, 1971 was a better music-radio year than 1967. I don't know about you (and you might be a Millennial and thoroughly confused by the whole question for all I know), but I love me some 1971.

1971 WAS a great year for music -- particularly Top-40 radio. And if you don't believe me . . . brother, you need to be listening to this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth.

You. Have. No. Idea.

But lucky for you, the Big Show is here to give you one.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Four Songs: Yesterday Once More
Clean
March 21, 2008 12:40 AM PDT
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This week on Four Songs: five songs. It was necessary, one of the songs is by John Denver, and a "make good" was in order.

IN MY DEFENSE, I didn't pick the music. That was done according to what was hot with the record-buying public . . . in April 1975. Unfortunately, John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" was big back then.

Unsurprisingly, I would have picked differently. But they don't let 14-year-old kids program Top-40 radio stations, and that's how old I was when this episode of Four Songs was done. Live. Through the facilities of the Big 91, WLCS radio in Baton Rouge, La.

In all its amplitude-modulated glory.

And glorious it was. So glorious that I was sitting at the kitchen table, early the morning of April 17, 1975, with my portable reel-to-reel tape recorder patched into the earphone jack of my clock radio to preserve a piece of WLCS forever.

It was a Thursday. Gary King was the morning man.

WLCS was one of Baton Rouge's two Top-40 blowtorches. Radio 13 -- WIBR -- was the other. 'IBR had some great jocks, and a friend of mine even was a part-timer there when I was in high school . . . but I was an 'LCS man.

No offense to WIBR.

Of course, by 1976, I was firmly in the camp of Loose Radio (WFMF during its album-oriented rock salad days). But I'll always love Double-U ELLLLLLL CEE Ess . . . even though it died in 1983, a few months after I married a KOIL woman from Omaha.

And if you're under, say, 30, you're not getting this conversation at all, are you?

LET ME EXPLAIN. Once upon a time, there was this thing called radio -- AM radio -- and we listened to it on "transistors," which were like iPods, only affordable. And better.

An iPod only can bring you the few hundred songs you load into it after illegally downloading them off the Internet or legally buying them on iTunes. But a transistor radio, that could bring you the world, baby.

All for free. And without the threat of a lawsuit by the music cops.

The world first came to my bedroom on a transistor radio tuned to WLCS. I also could tune in the whole wide world on WIBR, or maybe WTIX in New Orleans -- and sometimes KAAY through the ether from Little Rock at night -- but I mostly dug those rhythm and blues . . . and rock 'n' roll . . . and countrypolitan . . . and a bit of ring-a-ding-ding, too, on the Big 91.

What it was, was the breadth of American popular culture at my fingertips. And British Invasion, too.

Never was education so fun. I turned on the radio just to listen to some tunes, and I found myself under the spell of a thousand different tutors -- friendly voices from morning to overnight -- playing for me the breadth of musical expression . . . or at least the musical expression that charted well. It is because of 'LCS, 'IBR, 'TIX (and later, 'FMF) that this Catholic Boy has catholic tastes.

Your iPod is cool and all, but it can't do that.

SEE, THE DEAL IS that I can't repay the debt I owe to WLCS, for one. I can't repay the debt I owe to Gary King, that friendly morning voice on this episode of Four Songs.

For a spell there, King's was the voice I woke up to, got ready for school to and ate breakfast to. He played the hits and told me what the weather was outside, and Gene Perry gave the news at the top and bottom of the hour.

Back in the day, radio was a well-rounded affair.

King's also was the friendly voice that answered the studio line when an awkward teen-ager in junior-high hell would call to request a song. And his was the friendly voice that would take time to chat for a bit when that kid -- or his mother -- sometimes thought he had nothing better to do . . . like put on a morning show.

I didn't know it then, and Gary King (real name: Gary Cox) probably didn't know it, either, but what he was doing was being Christ, in a sense, to a lonely kid and his -- come to think of it -- lonely mother. I shudder to think what one of today's "morning zoo" shows would do with rich material like me and Mama.

That is, if they answered the studio line at all.

Via the AM airwaves, I made a human connection with WLCS and Gary King. I needed that. We all need that. And you can't get that from your iPod, though some of us will try to give it, because you have to work with what you have.

BEFORE APRIL 1975 was done, Gary King was gone. He originally was from Kentucky, and one day the call came from WAKY, the Top-40 powerhouse in Louisville that Gary grew up listening to.

On his last show, Gary's ending bit was "convincing" Gene Perry that he could catch a bullet in his teeth if the newsman would just help him out on the gun end. It didn't work as planned . . . which means it worked perfectly in radio's "theater of the mind."

I think I shed a tear or two.

And a couple of years later, I was learning the ropes at WBRH, Baton Rouge High's student-run FM station. And 33 years later -- after various pit stops on the air and hot off the press -- here we are at Revolution 21, trying to figure out what "radio" will be in this new millennium . . . right here on the Internet.

Thanks, Gary. I can't repay you in full, but maybe this will make a nice down payment.

On dem first day of Christmas . . .
Clean
February 13, 2008 12:52 AM PST

Here's another special audio presentation: A bit of nostalgia recorded off the TV in the early '70s in Baton Rouge.

I remembered this recording when I heard of the death of Jules d'Hemecourt, a journalism professor when I was in school at LSU . . . and the man behind "The Cajun 12 Days of Christmas" when he was news director at Channel 33 in Baton Rouge.

This must have been recorded by me, off the air, sometime around Christmas 1973. Maybe '74. D'Hemecourt, who also was the Channel 33 news anchor at the time, introduces the recording on a holiday newscast.

Back in the day.

Enjoy.

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