The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 17 2004
By: Art Vuolo
Christmas is but eight days away, and I can't find any holiday music on the radio. Of course, I'm not serious.
Personally, I'm hoping that lots of new radios will be given this year. Sadly, for local broadcasters, I'm afraid many will be the kind that pull in satellite signals and lack the ability to receive traditional AM and FM stations.
The other hot electronic toy under many trees will be the iPod, that mini-music system with the white cord and earphone "buds." It's quickly become a major status symbol.
This year, the 39th annual WJR-AM (760) Christmas Sing will be different - it's later, in the daytime and in a new place.
It's 11 a.m.-noon Saturday in front of the Town Hall inside Dearborn's Greenfield Village, not in front of the clock tower as in past years. Or at Kennedy Square in downtown Detroit, where it got started years ago when it was sponsored by one of the Detroit papers.
This year's MC will be Paul W. Smith, the golden-voiced morning host of the news-talk station. Those paying admission to the Village are promised a good time, and the lucky ones will walk away with certificates for five golden rings compliments of Edmund T. Ahee jewelers. Just register at www.wjr. com.
Paul will be joined by a plethora of personalities from 'JR, the Walled Lake Central High School Choir and, of course, Santa Claus!
There's also still time to contribute to the WJR Adopt a Family 2004 campaign, being held in concert with Volunteers of America Michigan. Simply call (248) 945-0101 and press 9. Sunday is the last day for this effort and more info is on the WJR Web site.
Soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1), better known as Magic, is bursting with pride over the fact that generous listeners contributed more than 26,600 toys in their Toys for Tots campaign.
Done in association with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, the drive means that many needy kids will have a better Christmas - and they do believe in "Magic."
Across the hall in the Greater Media Broadcasting compound, classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) also has the holiday spirit. The station recently launched an online music channel, and family and friends of local military personnel are invited to record holiday greetings.
The station will upload them to the WCSX Holiday Channel, which will allow soldiers to hear the sounds of the season and these special messages wherever they are stationed. Just call (248) 586-2941 to record a greeting. That's it - no catch, no cost.
If you missed it, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca went head-to-head with defense lawyers on the "Mojo in the Morning Show" last week on hits WKQI-FM (95.5).
The topic? The Basket Brawl Game at The Palace. And haven't we seen that video enough times?
Another "radio moment" occurred recently when WJR afternoon star Mitch Albom actually called Greg & Michelle on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) to defend his reputation as the midday duo ripped Albom for an allegedly self-serving column he wrote. Amazingly riveting radio.
Kudos to Oakland County resident Bernie Fratto (pronounced FRAT-toe), who's now the official fill-in on WKRK's Parker & The Man sports show, which is 7-11 p.m. weeknights.
The "other Bernie" knows his sports, is passionate about our local teams and deserved this shot. He'll join co-host Mark Wilson whenever Rob Parker is on assignment.
From Jan. 6-9, the annual Consumer Electronics Show will host more than 100,000 attendees in Las Vegas, and I'll be there to salivate over all the neat stuff that I can't afford - and report to you the latest technological marvels that'll be rolling into your favorite electronics stores next year.
Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.