Presty the DJ for April 22

Today in 1964, the president of Britain’s National Federation of Hairdressers offered free haircuts to members of the next number one act in the British charts, adding, “The Rolling Stones are the worst; one of them looks as if he’s got a feather duster on his head.”

One assumes he was referring to Keith Richards, who is still working (and, to some surprise, still alive) 55 years later.

The number one British single today in 1965:

The number one British album today in 1972 was Deep Purple’s “Machine Head”:

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Presty the DJ for April 21

The number one British single today in 1958:

The number one single today in 1962:

The number one album today in 1973 was Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies”:

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Presty the DJ for April 20

The number one single today in 1957:

Today in 1959, Goldband Records released a single that had been recorded two years earlier by an 11-year-old girl named Dolly Parton.

“Puppy Love” didn’t chart for Parton, but it did for other acts, including Paul Anka and Donny Osmond. And Parton had a pretty good career anyway.

The number one single today in 1974:

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A week after eating a rock

An outstanding newspaper wrote a story and a column about last weekend’s UW Band concerts.

Photo by Gary Smith. Good thing this is only practice, but Leckrone always said you play like you practice. Toes not pointed, upper leg not at a 45-degree angle. What is the statute of limitations for being on the Dummy List?
For those who assume I’m making all this up, my cousin shot this photo as evidence that I indeed marched one more time with the UW Band.
The 50 alumni — 50 for 50 years, get it? — who played in the concert. Photo by Gary Smith.
The oldest trumpet players in the concerts. Photo also by Gary Smith.

If you look toward the lower right of the screen you will see more evidence that I did actually play:

Another band alum posted about the first time he met Mike Leckrone. Since my parents are football season-ticket-holders of long standing, and I generally got to go to one game a year, I saw the band starting in the early 1970s, and went to two concerts in the late 1970s. (A Madison TV station had a preview of the concert that night including video of practice with Leckrone not too happy with the band. That’s what we call foreshadowing.) The first time I saw him close enough to be recognizable was at a high school marching band practice, in which Leckrone exhorted us to march with a sense of confidence and pride and we’re-the-best-there-is. I didn’t get that until three years later when I made the band.

(About which: I survived 1983 Registration Week practices, thinking I was going to die 15 minutes into the first practice. The following Monday the list of those who made it and those who didn’t was posted. I went over, looked at the you’re-in list, and then found the trumpets, and there I was. I stared at it for a few minutes not believing my eyes. Then I called my parents and, after a pause for dramatic tension, told them that now they had a reason to go to the games.)

The funniest thing about Wednesday’s practice — other than Leckrone’s telling his band they weren’t going to practice more than twice so we wouldn’t get tired out — was that he indicated his displeasure with his band using the exact words he could have used on us 35 years ago, beginning with the band director chestnut, “Why are you talking?” after they stopped playing. (That might be a reality of even military bands.) That was followed by a criticism for lack of spacing while playing and a general observation that “you play like you practice.”

The UW Band Alumni Association Facebook page has a huge list of people’s favorite shows or music (in my case, the James Bond Medley from freshman year, Too Old for MTV sophomore year, West Side Story and the international On Wisconsin show from junior year, and Jesus Christ Superstar from first senior year), and people writing about the impact Leckrone and the band had on their lives.

All of the lasts of Leckrone’s final season …

The four days with the band were better than I thought possible. There were two marchers from Leckrone’s first band, in 1969. The most numerous marchers seemed to be from the group that started in 1979, which got not just bowl games …

… but NCAA hockey championships to go to and play.

There were a lot of tears Saturday night. I wasn’t one of them because I’m not built like that. (Recall the Dr. Seuss phrase, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”) Perhaps it’s because, like my last year in the band, all my lasts didn’t hit me as lasts until the following August when I wasn’t about to start Reg Week rehearsals.

(I am virtually certain I am somewhere in that video.?)

The Peace Corps calls itself “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” The term “love” is grossly overused today, but I loved being in the band. What did the band mean to me? Take your pick.


Presty the DJ for April 16

The number one British single today in 1969:

Today in 1969, MC5 demonstrated how not to protest a department store’s failure to sell your albums: Take out an Ann Arbor newspaper ad that says “F— Hudsons” (without the dashes).

Not only did Hudsons not change its mind, Elektra Records dropped MC5.

Detective Kenneth Hutchinson of a California police department had the number one single today in 1977:

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Presty the DJ for April 14

A former boss of mine was a huge fan of the Rolling Stones. His wife was a huge fan of the Beatles. The two bands crossed paths today in 1963 at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England.

The number one British single today in 1966:

Today in 1971, the Illinois Crime Commission released its list of “drug-oriented records” …

You’d think given the culture of corruption in Illinois that the commission would have better and more local priorities. On the other hand, the commission probably was made up of third and fourth cousins twice removed of Richard Daley and other Flatland politicians, so, whatever, man.

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