Song of The Day

Mike McKay

By his own account, Mike McKay has lived a charmed life. This year, he and his wife, Nancy, celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary. Their daughter, Erin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she studied zoology and now cares for the animals she loves – great apes – at the Fort Worth Zoo. Mike has been fortunate to spend his adult life doing what he always wanted to do – entertaining listeners on the radio. He was born and grew up in Brooklyn, N. Y. After graduating from college with a B. A. in English Literature from Saint Anselm College he began working, somewhat inexplicably, in the financial sector in lower Manhattan. But it wasn’t long before he began pursuing a dream born years before while listening to the Beatles on New York’s WABC radio. Soon he was offered a position in sales at an AM station in tiny Lehighton, PA. Within a month he was doing the morning show. Five years later, he landed an on air gig at the most listened to station in the nation which just happened to be that very station he tuned in while in high school – WABC 770 which was heard in more than 30 states. By the early eighties however, music on radio was making it’s inexorable transition to FM. Although that meant leaving the station he grew up with, it brought other remarkable opportunities. Mike went on to a pioneering position in satellite radio hosting Nighttime America on the RKO Radio Network which was heard on hundreds of radio stations in all fifty states. Later he was able to live and work in other parts of the country, including Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, and Detroit. In ’97, the family moved to the great southwest which led to the ultimate opportunity when an entrepreneurial listener, Ned Bennett, approached Mike with a plan to form a new radio company. And Bravo Mic Communications was born. Today, and every day, Mike looks forward to getting up early and joining his on air partner and great friend for the last 14 years, KC Counts, for “Your Morning Show with Mike and KC” which has been the most popular radio show in southern New Mexico for several years running. Email mikemckay@101gold.com

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by

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August 26, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was a mixed blessing for the one time bar band that got its start at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. People who liked the song usually didn’t like the concert the group performed.

The 101 number one song of the day was a mixed blessing for the one time bar band that got its start at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. People who liked the song usually didn’t like the concert the group performed. It was written by group leader Elliott Lurie about a former high school friend of his whose name was Randy although that name never worked quite right in the actual song. Lurie described themselves as hard rockers whose on stage performance was high decibel and pretty raucous. The song that catapulted them to the top was heavily overdubbed with strings and horns. When people who came to see them because of their hit song often went away disappointed because of the disparity of styles. But for one brief moment in time they enjoyed being on top. That moment came on August 26, 1972 when their one hit record reached number one in America – here’s Looking Glass with the song that might have been called Randy but to them “Brandy” sounded better.


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Monday, August 25th, 2014 by

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August 25, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was co-written and sung by a guy who once scored a perfect 800 score on his math SATs.

The 101 number one song of the day was co-written and sung by a guy who once scored a perfect 800 score on his math SATs. The son of a NYC MD, he intended to become an engineer and he enrolled at Cornell but soon he was spending more time on music than his studies and while hitchhiking across the country to San Francisco he taught himself to play the harmonica. He then joined a band called Clover but eventually moved on to head up another group which would be responsible for today featured single. It was written for the movie “Back to the Future” and it was the number one song in America on August 25, 1985 for Huey Lewis and the News – “The Power of Love.”


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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by

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August 22nd, 2014: The 101 # 1 Song of the Day was the second number one for a NYC group headed by a couple of guys who actually had a lot more success producing records for other people.

The 101 # 1 Song of the Day was the second number one for a NYC group headed by a couple of guys who actually had a lot more success producing records for other people. Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were extremely success in producing major hits for Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran, Debbie Harry and many others to the point that it created a strain on their time and resources. Edwards once said that when they were on stage doing their own stuff, they’d often be thinking of the projects they were developing with other big stars of the day. Something had to give and by August 22, 1979 when today’s featured single was at number one it would prove to be their 5th and final chart entry as performers with their own group which they called “Chic.” The song: Good Times.


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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by

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August 21, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was the ninth try for a group of girls signed by Motown. Their 8 previous attempts all failed on the charts and the other artists on the label had started making fun of their inability to produce a hit.

 

 

The 101 number one song of the day was the ninth try for a group of girls signed by Motown. Their 8 previous attempts all failed on the charts and the other artists on the label had started making fun of their inability to produce a hit.  Today’s featured song was written for the Marvellettes but lead singer Gladys Horton said, “no way am I gonna sing any junk like!” The song was passed around down the line until it was offered to the group you’re about to hear and because they were low down on the totem pole, they couldn’t turn it down. After the song was recorded, they were booked for a tour on Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars along with Gene Pitney and the Shirelles but these girls didn’t even get billing when they first hit the road. They were simply listed under “and others.” Until, that is, the song started climbing the charts. It reached number one this week in August, 1964 – from then on, their name would be up in lights – Big Time! The Supremes – “Where Did Our Love Go”


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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by

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August 20, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written by a man named McKay and sung by a trio once known as the Heavenly Sunbeams. The title of the song was the same as a onetime number one by the Eagles. It was an entirely different song though.

The 101 number one song of the day was written by a man named McKay and sung by a trio once known as the Heavenly Sunbeams. The title of the song was the same as a onetime number one by the Eagles. It was an entirely different song though.   Al McKay and the guiding force behind Earth, Wind and Fire – Maurice White had composed the rhythm and a rough outline of the tune and went into the studio to produce a trio of former Gospel singers who were anxious to transition into a secular group. The song reached number one on August 20, 1977 for three women whose voices, according to an observer, elicited an emotional response in the form of spinal chills. That observation provided inspiration for their new name: The Emotions – Best of My Love


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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by

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August 19, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written by a guy who made a living as a backup musician for the likes of Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins but once he developed his own sound it was about as far removed from the styles of those guys as one can imagine.

The 101 number one song of the day was written by a guy who made a living as a backup musician for the likes of Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins but once he developed his own sound it was about as far removed from the styles of those guys as one can imagine. His dad directed the band and orchestra for the local high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His fatherly advice was to find a profession outside of music but his son would have none of it. He formed a band which found work in recording sessions behind several well known singers but when they recorded an album of their own, it went nowhere. But they kept trying and the second effort provided the formula for success. That formula was NOT the kind of rock and roll they were used to playing behind others in the industry. On August 19th, 1970 the number one song in America belonged to David Gates and Bread (Make It With You)


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Monday, August 18th, 2014 by

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August 18th, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written specifically for the British market but actually did better in the U.S. – probably because it was about an American city although the group ended up getting a rather rude reception from the mayor of that city.

 

The 101 number one song of the day was written specifically for the British market but actually did better in the U.S. – probably because it was about an American city although the group ended up getting a rather rude reception from the mayor of that very city.     Once the song became a hit, the writers, Mitch Murray and Peter Callander thought they could could get more mileage for their record by contacting local officials to arrange a ceremony which would include a key to the city. Apparently, the mayor didn’t like the idea or for that matter, the song because he replied with a letter which concluded, “…are you nuts?” Despite that negative review from then Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, the rest of America loved it and it was the number one song on August 18, 1974  for Paper Lace (The Night Chicago Died)


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Friday, August 15th, 2014 by

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August 15, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day had to clear several hurdles on its way to the top. The most significant challenge came from the head of the record company who felt a political song was not a good fit for a group known for the striped knickers and buster brown collars.

The 101 number one song of the day had to clear several hurdles on its way to the top. The most significant challenge came from the head of the record company who felt a political song was not a good fit for a group known for the striped knickers and buster brown collars.  Those outfits were meant to signify the clothing of the kids who became popular in a series of depression era movie shorts. The group’s music was light and fun loving to match their whimsical on stage appearance. But the spring of 1968 brought two assassinations (Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy) that affected the band members as deeply as most Americans and the song was written to reflect those feelings. But Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records didn’t want to release the song because he felt it would be disastrous for the group and for the company’s bottom line. He was wrong. It turned out to be their biggest hit – staying on top for more than a month. It was number one on August 16th, 1968 for the Rascals (People Got to be Free)


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Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by

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August 14, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written and produced by a former flunky for Phil Spector – his own words to describe the job.

 

The 101 number one song of the day was written and produced by a former flunky for Phil Spector – his own words to describe the job. He, Salvatore, teamed up with a onetime back up singer, named Cherilyn, who contributed to such records as the “Da Doo Run, Run” and “Be My Baby.” They’d go on to form a powerful pair.   At first, he was supposed to stay behind the scenes, while she got behind the microphone. But she got the jitters and he jumped in to sing with her to calm her nerves. The collaboration worked well and they began developing as a duo. When it came to today’s featured song, the head of the record label liked the flip side “it’s gonna rain.” Salvatore flipped out and got a DJ in LA to play the A side every hour until he convinced the boss that it was the hit. And on August 14, 1965 it became the number one song in America – for the pair now known as Sonny and Cher. And here it is: “I Got You Babe”


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Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by

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August 13, 2014: The 101 # 1 song of the Day comes from a band that got its start with a guy and his saxophone – trouble was, the guy didn’t actually know how to play the saxophone.

 

The 101 # 1 song of the Day comes from a band that got its start with a guy and his saxophone – trouble was, the guy didn’t actually know how to play the saxophone.  Thomas McClary was a freshman at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama when he decided that a good way to meet girls was to form a band. That’s when he ran into the guy with the saxophone who never really learned how to play it. But he was game and they formed a band called the Mystics. Later they were approached by another group – the Jays who suggested they merge. When deciding to pick a new name they threw a dictionary up in the air and let it fall open. They agreed to use the word randomly pointed to as their new name and that’s how they almost became the Commodes. But by August 13, 1978 they were riding high with a number one hit – it’s the Commodores with “Three Times A Lady”

BTW – Lionel Richie was the guy with the saxophone.


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