(Pictured: in place of a more thematically appropriate piece of art, please enjoy this photograph of an accordion being tossed out of a high window.)
Tomorrow is the 11th anniversary of this blog’s creation. In keeping with anniversary custom, here’s a rundown of my favorite posts since July 11 of last year. Yearly best-of posts are aggregated at the top of the page under jb’s Greatest Hits. Taken together, they represent the best I can do.
This year featured the usual string of tributes to those now departed. Some losses were personal: a general manager who was more like a general and a radio man who gave me some good advice I didn’t take. Some were from the broader world of radio. When Gary Owens died this past spring, American Top 40 paid tribute by repeating a show he guest-hosted in 1982, and I live-blogged it (here and here). Other tributes were to artists I like: Stan Freberg and Hot Chocolate’s Errol Brown.
In addition to that post about my former general manager, there were several other posts touching on my early radio days: about the mad scientists in the engineering department in Macomb, and about the day I nearly killed an engineer in Dubuque. My Dubuque radio past came back in an unusual way this past spring when my 1982 face popped up on network TV. There was a post about the once-ubiquitous homemaker shows and one about the day I became the PD of a real Top 40 station.
We listened to some music, too: Elton John’s forgotten first album, a band from small-town Wisconsin, the new styles of country music, and hits from 100 years ago. On the latter subject, Archeophone Records invited me to review a compilation by Pioneer Era recording star Dan W. Quinn.
I also reviewed a forthcoming novel by a longtime friend of the blog.
We watched some TV this year, too, and spotted one of the most famous figures of the 70s in an unusual place.
My favorite thing to write has always been One Day in Your Life posts, or posts similar to them. This year, I wrote about a famous day in American history, and two significant dates in my personal history, three weeks apart, 50 years ago (here and here). I also went back to a significant season and found that it wasn’t as idyllic as seemed while I was living through it.
This blog occasionally went off topic, as in this post about why I don’t go to the zoo anymore, and this one, about a subject of grave interest to young boys (and the old men they become, if you want to know the damn truth about it).
And as usual, I have overused the editorial “we,” but only a bit.
My plan for the coming year is to keep on, not just here, but on Twitter and on Tumblr, and less often on Facebook, if you swing that way. I hope you’ll connect in one place or another, and continue reading here. My thanks to all.