By: Art Vuolo, Jr.
Welcome to an early shot at our ordinarily Sunday offering on the local radio scene, but with the Woodward Dream Cruise looming and all that surrounds it, we felt it would be better to "jump the gun" than to speak about everything in past tense.
In recent years, this event has become a media extravaganza with just about every station in town taking part in some form or another. Even public radio WDET-FM (101.9) is scheduled to there! WDET will be revving up to be part of this year's annual Ferndale Woodward Dream Cruise on Friday, August 15. Tune in for a live broadcast from Woodward and 9 Mile on Detroit Today (10am - noon) and WDET will be on-hand throughout the day with contests and giveaways! My, this is sounding rather commercial for a public station.
Originally starting out as a small fundraiser to raise money for a soccer team, The Woodward Dream Cruise weekend is best known for being the world's largest one-day automotive event. The Ferndale Woodward Dream Cruise will kick off on Friday, August 15 with The Emergency Vehicle Show, Lights and Sirens Cruise and a Ribbon Cutting ceremony. This is followed by the actual Classic Car Cruise and show on Saturday the 16th, which has been known for drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe, from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union.
The Cruise has become a week-long event and even though WOMC-FM (104.3) is the "official station" you can expect to see and hear just about every major player on the local radio scene to be on hand. Probably the most up-beat show on WOMC, the Friday night Tom Kent Radio Party, will be missing so a special program broadcasting live from the Dream Cruise can air instead. TK will be back 7 pm till midnight next Friday night on Oldies 104.3.
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Last Sunday night your recently absent radio reporter along with michiguide.com webmaster Mike Austerman, were honored to be called upon by WRIF PD Doug Podell to co-host the top-rated Peter Werbe talk show known as "Nightcall." I must say it was the fastest two hours of my life. The phone lines were popping from 11 pm till 1 am. And it was a blast. Podell told us that The Riff has received excellent feedback and he felt that perhaps we might have to do it again. Just say when...Doug!
However, if you were one of a plethora of people who simply could not stay up till the ungodly hour of 11 o'clock and missed this award-winning show you can hear it all or however much you feel that you can stand by clicking on the link from WRIF's web site. It's www.wrif.com/podcast/nightcall/. Mike and I will await the reviews on how we did on Detroit's original Home of Rock & Roll...WRIF.
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It seems as though I attend a different radio convention in each month of each summer. In June it was the Talkers Magazine New Media Seminar in New York City, then in late June and early July it was The Conclave in Minneapolis. In late July and early August it was the Morning Show Boot Camp in Denver. Next in September, if I get to attend will be the combo NAB/R&R confab to be held in Austin, TX.
The Morning Show Boot Camp is always a fun gathering and often it scares me how many people know who I am at that event which moves around to various cities each year. I recall how it was in New Orleans just two week prior to Hurricane Katrina devastated that popular tourist destination.
This year in the Mile High City of Denver it was exceptional, but as usual not well represented by the Motor City. The only two morning hosts from our town were WDVD's Blaine Fowler and WDTW (The Fox) morning man Chad Mitchell. Channel 9-5-5's MoJo and crew are often in attendance, but they were a no-show. Perhaps they could handle the altitude, or it could have just been a scheduling conflict.
One thing that hasn't changed at this conference is the noticeably high degree of swearing by the various morning jocks. I attend a lot of conventions, and this one has a strong R-rating due to language. I guess they feel it's a place where they can speak more freely, but it's enough to make some people blush. Denver was also in the midst of a heat wave that saw over 21 days over 90 degrees smashing a 107 year old record!
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Last Friday, rock legends The Who announced that all of their earnings from the October 21st concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills will benefit Detroit area charities. Singer Roger Daltrey says "Pete and I are very aware of the problems people are having in Michigan and feel we should give something back for all the support we have had over the last 40 years."
The Who have teamed up with 94.7 WCSX in selecting Gleaners Food Bank and Focus: HOPE as beneficiaries. 94.7 WCSX Operations Manager Doug Podell "For over 20 years, WCSX has been committed to the Motor City. We were proud to be called upon by The Who to help in their effort to raise awareness and funds for these two worthwhile organizations."
94.7 WCSX invites Classic Rock fans to "Join Together With The Band" to help these great local organizations while experiencing a night of amazing Rock 'n Roll. Tickets for The Who, October 21 at The Palace of Auburn Hills, start at $39.50 and are on sale now. Tickets available at livenation.com, palacenet.com, the Palace box office and TicketMaster.
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Believe it or not college football is only a couple of weeks away. The Spartans at MSU open on the road out in California for a Saturday night game at 8 pm local time on Labor Day weekend. The Michigan Wolverines kick off at home in a "pardon our dust" Big House which is undergoing MAJOR renovations. If you haven't seen the stadium since 2007, you will be amazed. This year there will be a new coach, new playbook, new uniforms and new upgrades around the facility in Ann Arbor. No new radio stations though. Michigan State will again be on WJR-AM (760) and the Maize & Blue remain on FM at 104.3 WOMC...Where Only Michigan Counts! For AM listeners and those who are outside of the 'OMC coverage area in Ohio and Indiana, U-M games will again be available on CKLW-AM (800)...dangerously close to WJR with the Green and White!
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