On This Day In History – August 31

Inspired by Don Wallace, I decided to post little tidbits of music and entertainment history today on Twitter. If you follow me on Twitter (Good for you!!), you will probably recognize these, but if you don’t (You are missing out!) here is a recap of some things that have happened “On this date in history” as posted on Twitter.

  • Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is actually written about his feelings toward Gary’s girl…just didn’t sound as cool. #songfacts
  • #1 song on August 31, 1982? Just say the magic words “Abracadabra” and you’ll find out. Or just click here. http://bit.ly/bVyDE3
  • #1 song on this date in ’79: M-m-m-my Sharona by The Knack http://bit.ly/cXMeWn
  • And one more…the song that makes you feel like you should be shaving your legs, #1 on Aug 31, 1986 from Bananarama http://bit.ly/9Ryx3r
  • August 31, 1994: 25 year old R. Kelly married a 15 year old girl. Only to have the marriage annulled later.
  • Today in 1985 Eddie Murphy released this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuODQrjzMGw “Party All The Time”
  • August 31, 1992 – Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Cleveland OH on WNCX 98.5 FM

Aside from music and entertainment history, I also posted links to a few very interesting news stories that you should check out.

If you are interested in this blog, listening to the best music from the 70s and 80s, and participating in on-air contests, be sure to tune in to me on the Fusion Flashback on 92.9 KMSC/Fusion 93. My showtime has not been set as of now, but in the next week I will be sure to pass that along to you!

Until then, thank you for checking out my blog and be sure to come on back!


My REO Speedwagon Concert Experience

Me with REO's lead singer Kevin Cronin

There comes a time in many lives where someone meets their idol(s). Whether it be athletes, musicians, politicians, or whatever, the simple act of meeting a hero is a monumental moment in life. Well I had that chance this week.

On August 17, REO Speedwagon, along with Pat Benatar, made a stop at the Iowa State Fair as part of their 2010 “Love On The Run” tour.

I bought my tickets within minutes of them being released, so as my pictures will show, I had pretty good seats to say the least.

Pat Benatar, along with her husband Neil Giraldo, took the stage around 8:45 as the sun set behind her. Her hour plus performance was jam packed with her biggest hits including her opener “All Fired Up”, “We Belong”, “Love Is A Battlefield”, “Hell Is For Children”, “Promises In The Dark”, “Shadows Of The Night”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, and the song that she said put her on the map back in 1979, “Heartbreaker”.

While I obviously at this concert because of REO Speedwagon, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by the now 57 year old rock star. Her vocals sound just as good now as they did back in her prime. Of course I wasn’t around in her prime, but from what I’ve heard, she’s still got it.

Her portion of the show wrapped up right at 10:00 and the stage crew began prepping the stage for the headliner of the night: REO Speedwagon.

No caption is necessary to show how awesome these guys are.

Just after 10:30, the lights dimmed as a 1980 “Hi Infidelity” album promo came over the sound system. This entire tour for REO is a bit of a

nostalgic one as their most prominent album, the aforementioned “Hi Infidelity”, was recorded 30 years ago. The promo ended as a 1980 radio DJ introduced a new single by REO Speedwagon called “Don’t Let Him Go”, the first track off the new record.

Bryan Hitt, Neal Doughty, Bruce Hall, Dave Amato, and Kevin Cronin took the stage. The show had begun.

They obviously opened Don’t Let Him Go, followed by their first ever #1 single, “Keep On Lovin’ You.” They followed those two up with “In Your Letter” and “Take It On The Run”, also off of this album, which turned out to be the best selling rock album of 1981.

They continued with a crowd favorites “Keep Pushin” and “Golden Country”. Now it was time to get the sold out crowd on their feet and singing. Their second ever #1 hit “Can’t Fight This Feeling” did just that.

They did some “Like You Do” from the mid 70s, some “Time For Me To Fly” and “Back On The Road Again” before “ending” the concert with my personal favorite “Roll With The Changes”. They all left the stage but for everyone familiar with and REO concert, there was more to come. After about 30 seconds of darkness, the band reappeared as Bryan Hitt banged the giant gong for all it was worth. A storm was brewing; it was time for some “Riding The Storm Out”. After surviving the storm of rock and power, a trip to “157 Riverside Avenue” was in store.

Bruce, Dave, and Kevin. And a hand.

Amazing lead vocals and harmonies, breathtaking guitar solos by Dave Amato, massive bass slappage from Bruce Hall, stunning organ and keyboard work by the band’s founder Neal Doughty, and simply amazing drumming by the “Hitt Man.” They rocked and they rolled, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

My second REO Speedwagon concert adventure was in the books, but the fun wasn’t completely through. By knowing the right person, I obtained a meet and greet pass to do just that after the show with the band. It was nearly 12:30 when they finally let us backstage, but the wait certainly didn’t disappoint me.

I first got my picture taken with Neal Doughty and got his autograph, followed by Bryan Hitt, Bruce Hall, Dave Amato, and finally the lead singer Kevin Cronin. To my surprise, Kevin had heard of me before! He referred to me as the “little rock radio dude.” I didn’t disagree .

If you’re interested in seeing my pictures from the REO portion of the concert (which I

Neil and Pat

know you are), go for it! For you Pat Benatar fans out there, click here!

The 70s and 80s have come and gone as times have changed, but the Illinois based REO Speedwagon has proven once again, that they can indeed roll with the changes. And I love it!


Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting all summer for…my second REO Speedwagon concert. Except this time is even better. I got a meet and greet pass so as soon as the show is over, I get to spend some time with the band.

I’ll be taking lots of pictures and videos and will post them as soon as I can either on Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll also be tweeting from the Pat Benatar/REO show so be sure to follow me for live pictures and tweets. It’ll almost be as if you’re sitting with my friends and I in row 10. Almost.

As soon as this concert is done, I will turn all of my attention to college. I leave this Friday. I am getting ready to turn some pages and roll with the changes, and you’re just along for the ride.

2010. A long time coming for Jamie McMurray.

Here is a brief rundown of Jamie McMurray’s NASCAR career shown through various youtube clips and pictures from his Busch series days through today.

He made his NASCAR Winston Cup debut at Talladega in the fall of 2002 for

McMurray won in only his 2nd ever Cup start

Chip Ganassi Racing after replacing Sterling Marlin due to a neck injury. He escaped Dega with a finish in the mid-20s, but he kept the car in one piece. People had no idea who Jamie McMurray was. He was going to make himself known. The next race, he shocked everybody by leading nearly all of the final 100 laps at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and held off a hard charging former champion Bobby Labonte for the win. (Click here to watch the video)

He had broken the modern era record for winning the quickest, in only his second ever start, and he hadn’t even ever won a Busch or Craftsman Truck race. Yet.

Within weeks of this Cup triumph, he stumbled into victory lane in his Busch car for the first time. Literally. Check it out.

The next week, he won AGAIN in his Busch car, this time at Rockingham, and again it was an extremely exciting victory!

It took nearly 5 years, but McMurray finally picked up his 2nd career win in 2007 at Daytona.

Things were happening very quickly for the young 26 year old from Joplin, Missouri. And then he started racing full time in Cup. Yes he won Rookie of the Year in 2003, but he would go winless in Cup until 2007. People began to think that “this next big thing” would be nothing more than a fluke. His fans stuck behind him though.

McMurray's 3rd career win came at Talladega in 2009.

After announcing that he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing after 2009, he went out and won at Talladega in the fall. Little did he know that this was only a preview.

2010 came and McMurray found himself in a familiar place – driving for Chip Ganassi. In the biggest NASCAR race of the season, the Daytona 500, Jamie McMurray showed he can still race. And win.

In the second biggest race on the NASCAR schedule, McMurray accomplished something only done two other times in history: Win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400.

He started his career off with a bang, and has finally shown that he can do what was expected of him. In 2010, Jamie has proven not only that you can go home again, but waiting is not necessarily a bad thing. He is living proof of “never giving up.”