Thursday, May 25, 2017

Peter Asher's From Me to You Show on The Beatles Channel: A Hit

I already knew Peter Asher had talent as a singer (Peter and Gordon) and record producer (Linda Ronstadt and many others), but I found out a few hours ago that he has lots of talent as a disc jockey!

I was driving up to Cape Cod, loving the new Beatles Channel on Sirius/XM Radio (Channel 18), when up pops Peter Asher with an hour show called From Me To You.   I've always loved a good dj - I had a fine time years ago when I put together sets of songs for Murray the K and Wolfman Jack in their brief stints on WNBC-AM Radio in the 1970s - but they've been few and far between in recent years.   Dennis Elas and the late Pete Fornatale put on excellent shows on WFUV-FM - I know/knew them both, because I'm a professor at Fordham - and Bob Shannon does a good job on WCBS FM in New York.

Well, Peter Asher is right up there with the best of them.  His "threads" (his name for what Murray the K called segues) were a grab bag of fun.   He played Manfred Mann - their "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" (written by Ellie Greenwich - who produced my group The Other Voices with Mike Rashkow in the late 1960s) - because Peter wanted to play a record he produced with Manfred Mann's lead singer, Paul Jones, which was the first record that Asher ever produced.   On this record was Paul McCartney on drums, which lead to Asher playing "Back in the USSR", which also segued from Linda Ronstadt's "Back in the USA" (a Chuck Berry song) which Asher produced and also played on his show.

The interconnections of records and artists are a vibrant labyrinth begging for explication and demonstration on radio.   Every record and artist has a life story that draws upon and pollinates others.  Manfred Mann, for example, is a band that recorded not only an Ellie Greenwich song, but Dylan and Springsteen songs as well.   Peter Asher has lived through and helped construct some fascinating parts of this - his show is another reason to listen to the Beatles Channel, which may be the best thing on radio since the Swinging Soiree.

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