Category: Uncategorized

Make It Or Break It – WFUN in 1971

WFUN d.j. Don Wright

  Make It Or Break It was a nightly feature on WFUN’s  Don Wright radio show, back in 1971. South Florida listeners had the chance to tell the station brass whether they liked, or hated, a selected new release. A few of the “break it”s, such as “Want Ads” by the Honey Cone and “Stay …

Continue reading

WQAM’s Roby Yonge And the Elusive Butterfly

WQAM's Big Kahuna, Roby Yonge

A power couple’s wedding and an enterprising disc jockey turned an obscure folk rock song into a major hit – and helped make South Florida history. It all started when Roby Yonge – WQAM Radio’s famed Big Kahuna – had drinks with singer Jackie DeShannon at Martoni’s, a Hollywood record industry hangout near Capitol Records. …

Continue reading

Grey Boy on Miami Soul Music & the Human Race

I’m basically happy with the way Savage Lost turned out, but it’s far from a perfect work.  It could desperately use an index.   It could use more pictures.  (My publisher said we had to keep it under 25 to avoid a higher cost.)   I would love to expand the Central Florida coverage, and include Pensacola …

Continue reading

Leon Russell Meets the Allman Brothers In 1966

One of three covers for the Super Dupers LP, featuring, among others, Leon Russell and Duane & Gregg Allman

Leon Russell came from Tulsa, Oklahoma, but one of his early endeavors featured two Florida legends — in their first-ever record release.  I remember, as a 9-year-old, hearing “Batman And Robin” by the Spotlights on the radio.   It reached #12 on WQAM and #13 on WFUN in my hometown of Miami, during the third week …

Continue reading

WLOF & Bill Vermillion: Florida Top 40 Legends

Bill Vermillion received this super-cool clock as a thank you from Tower Records, for being the first to believe in "Dirty Water".

Most people are content to follow.   It’s lonely out there leading the way, especially when you hear something, or just know something that others simply don’t understand.  It was that way for Bill Vermillion, the visionary music director of WLOF in Orlando, a guy who wasn’t content with playing or programming just the proven hits …

Continue reading

600 WLOF Chart Hits That Missed the Hot 100

  Anyone who sees Bill Vermillion as just another music director, or WLOF as just another Top 40 station, probably sees the Beatles as just another pop group, or Muhammad Ali as just another boxer.  WLOF played the hits, but constantly kept things moving so that local records and anything else that sounded great could …

Continue reading

WLOF #1 Hits That Missed The Billboard Hot 100

  Here are more than a dozen records that not only were played on WLOF, and not only were hits on the station, but made it all the way to NUMBER ONE… despite completely missing the Billboard Magazine Hot 100.   I’ve listed them in chronological order.   An asterisk denotes a Florida-based artist (though not necessarily …

Continue reading

Where Did WLOF Get Its Records?

Music Sales of Florida also provided records to play, although not on the scale of Tone and Campus.

  In order for Bill Vermillion to use his magic music director ears, somebody had to provide a steady stream of records to the station.  In a perfect world, each record company would have the means to provide every radio station with product — but in the ’60s, just like today, it was not a …

Continue reading

The Real Teen Tragedies Behind Two Moody Garage 45s

An early shot of the Emotions, from St. Petersburg

  WHY MUST IT BE? Tragedy brings people together.    The worst of times can bring out the best in us, and nowhere is that more evident than in a local music scene, or among amateur athletes.  Twice, in the years 1967 and 1968, the deaths of Tampa-area high school athletes brought not only their …

Continue reading

The First Deep City Related 45, and Miami Girl Group Confusion!

The first-ever recording by several Miami soul legends


DIAMONETTES and OTHER DILEMMAS
It’s not always easy to tell the story of an artist, or the records they created.   Sometimes every answer just brings another question, with clarity never really showing up for the ride.   It reminds me of George Harrison’s insightful line, borrowed from the Tao Te Ching:  “The farther one …

Continue reading