Once again, greetings and salutations. And yes, fall is upon us, with lots of activities for the Geator. As you know, this Saturday it’s the annual Baby Boomers Rock & Roll Revival at La Costa in Sea Isle City. Then on to Wildwood in October for Fabulous ’50s weekend. And then, before you know it, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then the holidays. We’ve often said it: Where does the time go? I guess it’s because we are so active in our daily lives that time seems to fly by. But one thing is for sure: the Geator is on the move, even though we’re not down at the shore as much as we were during the summertime. To find out our schedule and where you can join us live, check our official calendar at Geator.net.
And remember, every night I’m a part of the family when you tune in to WTKU Kool 98.3 from 7-9pm.
Now, let’s ask the Geator.
On your radio show I have heard you tell story after story about how Florence Greenberg didn’t want to release a particular track that later became a big hit. My question is: How did this woman ever run a record label? — Paula Smith, Linwood
One must remember that most of these people who owned independent record companies were business people who put up the money to start their labels. Most, as in the case of Florence, were not musicians and depended upon A&R people to pick the tunes. Until Florence realized that and brought in Luther Dixon, she was calling all the shots. Her big push was always on the Shirelles, whose first record, “I Met Him on a Sunday,” which she financed on her first label, Tiara, put her in business. Later on, with Scepter and its subsidiary, Wand, she had Luther make the decisions when she realized she didn’t always have an ear. Some of the songs she initially rejected were “He’s a Rebel,” “Twist and Shout,” “Baby, It’s You,” and “Make It Easy on Yourself,” but she was also hip enough to pick up on “Louie Louie” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”
And here’s a trivia question: Luther Dixon co-wrote some of the biggest hits ever recorded. Can you name any of them? Answer at the end of the column.
The other day you played a really terrific cover version of “Come and Get These Memories” by a female group, but I didn’t catch the name and couldn’t place the group. — B.B. (via e-mail)
That was the Supremes, and the reason you may not have recognized them was because it was Florence Ballard and not Diana Ross singing lead.
What is the story behind the song “Color Him Father” and who wrote it? — Alex, Manchester, N.J.
“Color Him Father,” a big hit for the Winstons, was composed by Richard Lewis Spencer, who sang lead on the song and won the 1970 Grammy for best R&B song. The lyrics were not about his real father, who was often absent, but about an imaginary stepfather who would teach him how to be a man.
"No, you’re not going crazy. I’ve used many wonderful instrumentals throughout the years for backup around the commercials, promos, or just the Geator Rap. 'Firewater' is definitely one of them."
Once again, greetings and salutations. And as I’m about to embark onto the high seas for our annual Malt Shop Memories Cruise, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and safe Halloween!