BEATLE BRUNCH MEMORIES….
It Was 20 Years Ago Today
By Joe Johnson
This is the one time I can use the opening line from Sgt. Pepper and truly mean it. Today marks 20 years (May 31, 1992), since Beatle Brunch began airing. The idea came to me when the new car I was driving then, a 1992 Mitzubishi Eclipse turbo (beep, beep, beep, beep, yeah!), had an in-dash CD player, the first one I’d ever owned. I was heading down to my family’s to take part in one of those group family photos you do at places like Sears. I knew I had an hour’s drive, so I brought along some Beatles’ CDs to enjoy. I loved the way they sounded in my new car’s CD sound system, especially Pepper, with perfect stereo separation between channels, that I immediately wondered why no radio station was putting out a regular show on The Beatles. That’s when the idea was born. I tossed it out to my then Director of National Programming, Rick Peters, who threw it back to me to make a demo of a show I might like to hear, I did, and the rest is history.
Beatle Brunch began airing on the station I worked at and still do to this day, Majic 102.7 (WMXJ) in Miami, as well as the four other Oldies stations our company at the time owned in Rochester, NY; Laconia, NH, Indianapolis, IN; and Baltimore, MD on Sunday, May 31st, 1992. The subject of my first Beatle Brunch program was, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on its 25th anniversary.
When the show began in 1992, we had yet to experience The Beatles Anthology, Beatles Rock Band, The Circue du Soleil LOVE show or LOVE mixes for that matter, The Beatles Remastered and certainly not the Mono mixes. There was no email or websites, except for a very slow AOL connection. You would sign on, then go do a load of laundry. Recordable CDs were very expensive to produce and DVDs were just beginning, as Laser Discs, the size of pizza trays.
Today the show is delivered nationally via an ftp website and streamed online from the various radio stations that air the show, as well as on demand via The Beatle Brunch Club. Sadly, George Harrison and Linda McCartney are no longer with us, and John is long gone but not forgotten, yet the music and memories are as fresh as the day they were made, even better with today’s technology.
This week on Beatle Brunch, for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, we’ve come full circus. I’ll be joined by Sgt Pepper and his band again for my 20th anniversary Brunch. Sure, Sgt Pepper’s hair’s a little salt-n-pepper now (so’s mine for that matter!), but the music has held up, in fact, it’s been improved.
I hope you will enjoy the show. I’ve “peppered” it with clips from my first broadcast, but even cooler, I’ve uploaded that very first show to a new section called “Beatle Brunch Classics: Old Brown Shows”. Every month, you’ll get to hear a new Old Brown Show from the vault. Please don’t judge my early delivery style or the possibility of errors in the script (there was no Wickepedia then). Back then, it was just a day in the life of one of my many jobs at the radio station, one that I’ve built on over the years.
We’d like to thank you once again for making the past 20 years so Fab for all of us at The Brunch and The Beatle Brunch Club. I hope I’ll still be doing this When I’m 64 if I’m not up in the sky with Lucy or Fixing a Hole in the retirement home roof with Vera, Chuck and Dave. Hey, is that Billy Shears singing out of tune just down the hall?
Joe Johnson is the host and creator of the nationally syndicated Beatle Brunch radio show, which airs on 100 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, and The Virgin Islands ( 9 am on Majic 102.7 in Miami) via The Dial Global Radio Network (formerly Westwood One). Joe is also the morning drive radio host at Classic Tracks of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, Majic 102.7, where he’s worked since 1987. Joe has lived in South Florida since 1962, is a 6-time Air Award Winner (Achievement in Radio) and Addy Award winner for commercial production. Joe is also a national voiceover talent and former stand up comic, who’s written material for Jay Leno and performed stand up at comedy clubs across South Florida. www.johnsonvoice.com , www.brunchradio.com