Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Where Did Summer Go?

It doesn't seem that long ago that we were rejoicing that Memorial Day finally arrived and summer was right around the corner. We had some hot weather, then some cool weather and even some rain. We suffered through the mosquitoes of July and the yellow-jackets of August. Now, Labor Day has come and gone. The weather has gotten cold. We've turned in our tank tops and short and are dressed in sweatshirt and jeans.

I'm sure we all started the summer with lofty goals and plans. We were going to spend more time working on the yard, more time exercising to get in shape and more time relaxing with the family. Did we do these things? We probably pretty much did what we always do and the time flew by faster than ever.

Now that fall is upon us, we look forward to the fun activities that will take place. We're excited about providing music for a number of great scouting parties. Please check out our website www.radiorecordhop.com for a listing of the locations and date where we will be performing. And, as always, we invite you to stop by and check us out. Perhaps you're planning an event for your group. We'd love to entertain for you too.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Which way?

An unpopular war is raging and the US is involved. Events in the decade have shocked America and it has seemed to have lost its rudder and has become a land of opposing forces. Equality was a hot topic and had in many respects become a dividing line. There was an air of "Your with us or you're against us" in the political discussions of the day.

No, the time is not today, but 1965. America is involved in the Vietnam War. It had watched on TV and JFK was shot and later told he he had died. It lost Bobby Kennedy as well and was a land of racial strife as Doctor Martin Luther King worked to get Equal Rights for people of color.

Enter The J. Blanton Belk - musical group The Colwell Brothers, and Herb Allen who assembled a cast of over 150 international talent and formed "Up With People" A choreographed performance program with soloists or small groups backed by a large chorus and a collection of songs about how hard work and clean living had made America great and were what would be needed to continue making America and the rest of the world great was meant to inspire and reinforce such goals.

In the summer 1968 they appeared in Milwaukee at Milwaukee County Stadium. The county provided a stage that was a really semi trailer with one side that dropped down. Perhaps you have seen it on the lakefront during the fireworks pre-show.

Tim of our show had the chance to see them during this performance and it is a very memorable moment in his life. The show was followed by a spectacular fireworks show in the outfield. His parents purchased the LP that evening at the show and it remains a very clear memory. He found a copy a couple of years ago at a rummage sale. (did you know he is addicted to them?)

Up With People was featured in the 1976 Super Bowl, Longtime NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle called hiring the group "my second biggest mistake, after playing the week JFK was shot". There were no wardrobe mishaps. Later The Simpsons would parody them with a group called "Hooray for Everything!"

The program toured the US and grew until it was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1968. By this time Up With People had developed into a leadership-training program (for the chorus members and others). Trainees would pay to be part of the program, and their training would in large part consist of handling logistics of the traveling show, including finding host families to provide free lodging for the troupe and doing community service. The program was well organized and met with enough success that at one point it was taking $30 million per year, with five complete touring groups. Over 20,000 students from 79 countries have participated in performances in 38 countries around the world. Several later it would experience hard times and run out of funding. It currently is involved as an International teaching and outreach organization in many countries of the world. The performance portion no longer exists.

Among the former members you would find Actress Glenn Close then known as Gleen Close and several others who have found fame on the international scene.

The show and the LP ended with the same song, one that perhaps sums up the groups and perhaps something that still lingers as a question yet today in these uncertain times.

There was a baritone soldier in the spotlight, on bended knee and he asked the following question in the song "Which Way America?"

Which way America?
Which way America?
Which way America?
Which way to go?
This is my country and I want to know
Which way America is going to go.

There is many a storm before us,
Many a choice to make,
I'm gonna ask the Lord above
To show me the road to take.

We are Radio Record Hop. A DJ Dance show over 23 years in the making.

Radio Record Hop is proud to be Southeast Wisconsin's most professional and affordable mobile DJ service. We serve the following counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Jefferson, Washington and Dodge. We will travel beyond this immediate service area. As always, please check out our website at http://www.radiorecordhop.com/.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Music and Memories

Whether you listen to the radio, tapes or CD's while driving in your car, truck or van, the music will often trigger memories. You might here a song that was popular while you were in grade school, high school or college. Or, maybe it's a song that was played during a very memorable dance at home coming, prom or some one's wedding reception.

Music can often bring back very vivid and powerful memories, allowing you to literally "re-live" the moment. Depending on your age, you probably have some music related memories of hearing various songs on the radio. Maybe you were traveling on a family vacation or group trip and enjoyed listening to local radio stations. Many times we would hear unfamiliar songs due to the regional aspect of radio that existed in the second half of the 1900's.

Today, with satellite radio, personal MP3 players and CD players, we find ourselves listening less to local radio and it will be interesting to see if this has an impact on the power of music related memories.

Hopefully the next time you enjoy our music at your upcoming wedding reception, class reunion or party, we will be able to rekindle a fond memory for you, or even better, create a new memory that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. Be sure to check out our website at www.radiorecordhop.com

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is there Talent in America?

12 year old Caitlyn Taylor Love sang, it was a big song, was she out of tune in some places? Team Acrodunk showing a new way to slam dunk! Sonia Lee electified the audience with her hot pink electric violin. Elliot did nothing for Piers who called him a ‘wanna be’. Ten13Concept just didn't cut it with the judges, all three of them voting them down. The Rappin' Granny had every one in the house on their feet, shouting "Go Granny!". Nathan showed an incredible magic act, disappearing from the stage and reappearing behind the judges - to their surprise as you might expect! Bianca Ryan showed off all the power she had in her voice, and the panel of judges thought it was too much. I guess you can't please everyone. Kenny gave a hot performance, juggling fireballs to the delight of all three of the judges. And, last on stage was Trey Night's Stilt World, which unfortunately found that it was also their last performance on the show because one of the members of the troupe fell off their stilt and hit the stage.

In the end the judged picked the Rappin Granny as the best performer.

Who will America pick as their choice to move in to the next round? Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

America's Got Talent Update

Well, The Horn Man fell flat. N'Versity failed to diversify their personal stock by comming forth with a winning performance. Even the usually kind Brandy was tough on them. Where they trying too hard and lacking chemesty amongst themselves? Hmm?

Sugar and Spice, 8 brothers and sisters ranging from age 3 to 14 showed their stuff on stage and, well, it was sadly not a stelar performance. Their's is a sad story of great poverty and need, but the judges were not looking at that. Hopefully they will find a way out of their situation.

A young Natasha Le wowed the stage with some great piano playing, showing that Classical Music is not dead. The only 'Professional Snapper", and former star of a Fed-Ex commercial amazed the judges, but not quite enough to get into the final.

In the end the acrobatics of Realis wowed the judges who struggled to make a decision. And the pick from America's calls and visits to the NBC website gave the nod to At Last. Even if they don't make it to win a Million, look for these 4 talented guys in your nearby CD rack. Wow. Very tight harmony.

We are Radio Record Hop; a DJ providing service to Southeast Wisconsin and beyond. You can visit our website at www.radiorecordhop.com