Herb Oscar Anderson: Farewell to the Morning Mayor of NYC

Sad news for fans of 1960s New York radio—the legendary Herb Oscar Anderson has passed away, according to a post by his son, actor John James, on Herb’s Facebook page. HOA, as he was known to all of his friends and listeners, was 88 years old.

Herb Oscar Anderson was born on May 30, 1928 in South Beloit, Illinois. His mother (both of HOA’s parents were Swedish) spoke very little English, and when his father passed away, young Herb was sent to the Odd Fellows Orphan’s Home in Lincoln, IL. He eventually relocated to Wisconsin, and found his calling during his teen years while reporting on high-school sports. HOA wrote for the Jamesville (WI) Daily Gazette, whose parent company also owned radio station WCLO. He applied for work at the station once it dawned on him that it took the on-air personality some two minutes and change to read copy that he, Herb, had taken four hours to compile (and which would end up in the circular file at the end of its extremely brief lifespan). Deciding that devoting two minutes to a topic was better than four hours, HOA promptly switched careers and never looked back.

After working at various radio stations including WROK (Rockford, IL), WBBO (Orlando, Florida), and WBBM (Chicago, IL),  Herb was hired at WABC in New York. He hosted a show on the ABC network and sang live with a band, but eventually left the station. Almost immediately, Herb was snatched up by WMCA, also in New York, where he remained until 1960 when he returned to WABC just in time for its switch to a Top-40 format. Herb left WABC in 1968.

Herb resided on a farm in Hoosick Falls, New York, where he stayed during the warm-weather months; in the winter, Herb and his wife, Terry, lived in the Vero Beach area of Florida. During the last several years of his life, HOA hosted a weekly one-hour show called “Conversations” on radio station WOSN-FM, and kept in touch with friends and fans via his page on Facebook. In 2013, the late Tom Pierce shot a video of Herb as the latter was recording a segment for one of his shows; every couple of months or so, HOA would re-share the video to his own Timeline so that it would remain on top for all to see—and hear.

Herb Oscar Anderson passed away on Sunday, January 29, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Terry, two sons, and a daughter.

***

In addition to his informal title of Morning Mayor of New York, Herb was also known as the Singing Disc Jockey. His longtime theme song was this Lawrence Welk-influenced ditty, “Hello Again” (audio only):

Herb also famously re-imagined Bert Kaempfert’s buoyant “That Happy Feeling” with original lyrics (audio only):

Edit (1 February 2017)—Herb Oscar Anderson tribute video by Art Vuolo:

Additional sources for this writeup:

Profile of Herb Oscar Anderson by Scott Benjamin (on musicradio77.com)

Audio interview with Herb Oscar Anderson by Ronnie Allen (on jerseygirlssing.com)

Two Founding Members of Jefferson Airplane Pass on Same Day

Jefferson_Airplane_early_1966

Two of the original members of Jefferson AirplanePaul Kantner and Signe Toly Anderson—passed away on January 28, 2016. Both were 74 years old.

Anderson, the female co-lead singer prior to Grace Slick, is on the left in the photo above; Kantner is second from right.

Jefferson Airplane was founded in 1965 by Marty Balin (third from left in photo) along with Kantner, as the house band for Balin’s San Francisco club, the Matrix. The group made its first public appearance as Jefferson Airplane at the Matrix on 13 August 1965. Anderson left the group in October of 1966; Kantner was to remain with the band, which evolved into Jefferson Starship in 1974, until his passing.

Paul Lorin Kantner: 17 March 1941 – 28 January 2016
Signe Toly Anderson: 15 September 1941 – 28 January 2016

Above photo by KRLA/Beat Publications-page 2 Photo by Chuck Boyd of Beat. The newspaper was produced for KRLA Radio, Los Angeles, in the mid-1960s.

Source: Jefferson Airplane – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bob Crewe: The Master And The Music

Frankie Valli and Bob CreweOn September 11, 2014, legendary composer/producer Bob Crewe passed away at the age of 83. Deejay Ronnie Allen has put together a fantastic four-part audio tribute to Crewe, which is available exclusively on the Jersey Girls Sing website. The tribute features contributions from more than three dozen music notables, two of whom are themselves no longer with us—Lesley Gore, who passed away on February 16 (exactly five months to the day of Ronnie’s interview with her, which took place on September 16, 2014), and Rod McKuen, who died on January 29. The names of all of the interviewees, among them Tony Orlando, Connie Francis, Denise Ferri of The Delicates (and Jersey Girls Sing), Ed Rambeau, Tommy DeVito of The Four Seasons, Ron Dante and Toni Wine of The Archies, and Dan Crewe (Bob’s brother), are listed on the tribute page.

For a preview of the first three minutes of the tribute, check out the YouTube video below:

Edit (24 March 2015): A Note From Ronnie

Laura,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words about my Bob Crewe tribute show which I produced exclusively for the Jersey Girls Sing website. I’ve done many radio programs over the years and I must tell you that this was the most ambitious one that I have ever done. I am so appreciative of the 38 people who participated in this celebration of Bob’s career. And I should also add Bob himself as a 39th participant, because I used a few sound bites from my 2008 interview with him, also on the JGS website. Considering his body of work as a producer, songwriter, publisher and recording artist, I definitely feel that he should be considered for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. His incredible contributions will live on forever.

–Ronnie Allen

—> Bob Crewe: The Master And The Music

Remembering Davy Jones

It has been three years since the sudden and tragic passing of Davy Jones. In his honor, I am re-posting the link to my tribute to him on the Oldies Connection blog, which first went online on March 5, 2012. Davy, we will never forget you and the joy you brought to us all.

Davy Jones

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, the music world suffered a tragic loss when ’60s teen idol Davy Jones died suddenly from a massive heart attack. He was 66 years old. A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, Jones was residing in Indiantown, Florida at the time of his death.

Read more:

via Oldies Connection: Davy Jones: Farewell, Daydream Believer.

It’s Decided: Andy Kim Releases New Album

Andy Kim

Montreal native Andy Kim, who shot to fame in the late 1960s-early 70s with tunes such as “Baby, I Love You” (singer), “Sugar, Sugar” (composer), and “Rock Me Gently” (both), has just finalized work on his newest album. Written and produced with Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, It’s Decided is scheduled to hit the streets in February 2015.

While just a teenager, Kim joined forces with legendary Brill Building songwriter and producer Jeff Barry. Signed to Barry’s label, Steed Records, Kim was a steady presence on the charts for several years, beginning in 1968 with his first Steed single, “How’d We Ever Get This Way.” More hits followed—remakes of The Ronettes’ “Baby, I Love You” (which earned Kim his first gold record) and “Be My Baby,” and originals such as “So Good Together,” “Rainbow Ride,” and “Shoot ‘Em Up, Baby.” The latter has been re-recorded for Kim’s newest album, with a fantastic new arrangement; you can listen to this glorious new version by accessing the player below.

During his years with Barry, Kim collaborated with his producer and mentor on several tunes to be recorded not just by Kim but by other artists as well. One of these, “Sugar, Sugar,” by The Archies (studio singers Ron Dante and Toni Wine), sailed to the top of the charts, earning a gold record and becoming the RIAA Record of the Year for 1969. The band’s follow-up single, “Jingle Jangle,” also composed by the Barry/Kim team, didn’t do too badly either, hitting the Top Ten and garnering a second gold disc for the group. In 1974, Kim earned a second gold disc as a recording artist with the self-penned classic “Rock Me Gently.” After the success of this single and an eponymous LP released on Capitol Records, Kim laid low for a few years before re-emerging in 1980 under the name Baron Longfellow; “Amour,” his first single under his new moniker, enjoyed chart success in his native Canada.

Having returned to using the name Andy Kim in the 1990s, the singer teamed up with Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson for the single “I Forgot to Mention” in 2004. Kim’s first album in 20 years, Happen Again, was released in 2010. Now, in conjunction with Kevin Drew and Arts & Crafts Productions, Kim is presenting his newest collection of contemporary music—which, if the track samples are any indication (and they are), promises to appeal to old and new fans alike. The beauty of Kim’s voice remains unchanged; time has not altered its clarity, strength, or captivating nuances. It’s Decided is available on Amazon.com as an MP3 album (release date 24 February 2015); preorder now and enjoy an immediate download of “Shoot ‘Em Up, Baby.”

See also: Andy Kim artist page on Oldies Connection

Edit (26 January 2015): “Longest Time” by Andy Kim, from the forthcoming album It’s Decided

Singer Curtis Lee dies at 75

Curtis Lee

Curtis Lee, who made it big in the early ’60s pop music world before returning home to Yuma and building decades’ worth of homes here, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

Lee’s daughter, Stephanie Lee-Howell, said he will be remembered “not only as a local boy who made it big but as a true family man who believed in the small-town values and roots. He was proud of Yuma and being part of the community.”

Read more:

via Homebuilder, singer Curtis Lee dies at 75 – Yuma Sun: News.

Joe Cocker Dead at 70

Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker, the English blues and soul singer best known for his cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” – memorably used for the opening titles of the television show The Wonder Years – has died at the age of 70, his agent confirmed to the CBC.

Read more here:

Joe Cocker Dead at 70 : People.com.