Radio Programming Legend Passes. Pop Culture History.

Mr. Pop History – Ruth Meyer – one of the early pioneering top-40 radio programmers and who paved the way for women in the media – has passed away.

Ruth took radio station WMCA NY to the top of the ratings during the Beatles-era of the 1960′s, despite having the lowest wattage (and coverage area) of her immediate competitors. This was a time when women in any kind of media management were unheard of – but Ruth not only was the programming boss – she managed 7 (male) on-hair DJ’s and the total direction of the station.

More about Ruth Meyer here, in an upcoming interview with legendary NY personality Harry Harrison.

Gary West – mrpopculture.com    www.mrpophistory.com

Mr. Pop Culture Report – December 9… Will Chrome Be Gold For Google?… Mr. Pop Reports The Assassination of John Lennon…

The first laptops powered by Google Inc’s Chrome operating system will reach store shelves months later than expected and miss the holiday shopping season as the Internet company fixes software issues. The Web-centric computers, intended as an incursion into territory dominated for years by Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc, will ship around the middle of 2011.

Mr. Pop chronicles John Lennon’s death... Let’s go back to the week of December 8, 1980… Hard to believe John Lennon’s been gone 30 years:

Beatle  John Lennon is slain in front of the Dakota apartment building he and Yoko called home. The suspect is Mark David Chapman, who was photographed getting an autograph from John Lennon by Paul Goresh, who talked to Chapman earlierin the evening. He said a guy named Mark, spoke with a Southern accent and said he was from Hawaii by way of Atlanta. “He said he spent the last three days trying to see Lennon and get an autograph on Lennon‟s new album.” When Lennon and his wife emerged from the building, mark approached with the album said Goresh. “He timidly held it in front of him. Lennon took it and signed “‟John Lennon‟ across the cover.”
Police say Lennon and his wife arrived at 10:50pm in a limousine from a recording studio and had just stepped out of the car when the gunman approached them. “Mr. Lennon” the man said, drawing a .38 caliber handgun from under his coat. Chapman then opened fire without waiting for an answer. Lennon was struck in the chest, back and
shoulder and staggered from the sidewalk into a small vestibule of the apartment used by the doorman. “Do you
know what you just did?” said the doorman to Chapman? “I just shot john Lennon,” the gunman responded throwing down his gun. The first policeman arrived and made the decision to take Lennon directly to the hospital without
waiting for an ambulance. Lennon was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, less than a mile away. Doctors pronounced him dead at the hospital.
Next day – Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach slipped into the Dakota building to see Yoko. They broke off a vacation to fly into the United States after hearing of the murder. Paul McCartney – quoted leaving his Sussex, England farmhouse after learning of Lennon‟s murder – “I can‟t take it at the moment. He is going to be missed by the whole world.”
In New York, President-elect Ronald Reagan, asked about the Lennon shooting said “we have to find an answer” to violence in the nation‟s streets, but that handgun control legislation is not the answer. Asked if there is any solution to such killings, Reagan said, “Well if there is, it should be done, but I think the overall picture of violence in our streets has to be treated.” He called the murder of John Lennon “a great tragedy… just further evidence of something we‟ve got to stop.”
Despite the murder of her husband, Yoko Ono still believes in the philosophy of peace: This is not a time for hate or disillusionment.” She said of the even – “it was so sudden… so sudden. We had planned to go out to eat after leaving the recording studio but we decided to go straight home instead. We were talking to the entrance of the building when I heard the shot. I didn’t realize at first John had been hit. He kept walking, then he fell and I saw the blood.”
Continued Yoko Ono - “The future is still ours to make. The 80‟s will blossom if only people accept peace and love in their hearts. It would just ad to the tragedy if people turned away from the message in John‟s music.”
John Lennon is cremated and his ashes are privately unturned sources close to Lennon‟s family said the action was taken to avoid any of the mass public adulation that has marked the grave of Elvis Presley in Memphis.
Yoko Ono says she has explained the killing to their 5-year-old son Sean: “I told Sean what happened. I showed him the picture of his father on the cover of the paper and explained the situation.” “I took Sean to the spot where John lay after he was shot. Sean wanted to know why the person shot John if he liked John. I explained the he was probably a confused person.‟
The lawyer for Mark David Chapman is replaced after he reportedly received death threats an after he told the court the defense had become „an albatross” in terms of the time it was taking from his other clients. Mark David Chapman is secretly moved from a psychiatric hospital to an island jail in the East River.
And Now The Following Week – December 15, 1980 As Reported At www.mrpophistory.com:
Sunday – More than 100,000 pack hillsides and valleys in Central Park during John Lennon commemorative services. A smaller crowd gathered outside the Dakota, the apartment house where Lennon lived and was shot.
Yoko Ono asks fans “to pray for John’s soul” for 10 minutes on Sunday. She thanked the millions of fans
and friends who paid tribute to Lennon in a worldwide outpouring of tears and silent prayer. She said she
saw her husband “smiling in the sky.”
Radio Comes Through -The stations to listen to in New York were WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM for John Lennon. WNEW-FM prepared the selections for the Sunday Central Park gathering and they included classical selections and
Beatle songs. WNEW-FM went commercial-free for 12 hours after the murder was reported to the media. Lennon Tribute recordings. WABC -AM also went into John Lennon mode with Beatles music and veteran DJ Dan Ingram talked about WABC’s days when the Beatles first came to NY in 1964. All-news 1010WINS featured a story on how the Beatles were a part of WINS and Murray the K – back when they played top-40 music.
John Lennon Tributes Begin –
Since Lennon’s death, four tributes of the slain Beatle have been recorded. The first one, on Shelby Singleton’s Sun Label, was written, recorded and shipped within 48 hours of the murder. Three of the four songs came from Nashville. The fourth, “We won’t say Goodbye, John,” was recorded in Los Angeles. Here they are:

“John” – Baxter, Baxter & Baxter“John Would Agree” – Contains Beatles-flavored tracks – by Bob Farnsworth, “Elegy For the Walrus” – Sid Bradley. Another – “We Won’t say Goodbye – Iren Koste

Beatles Question. Pop Culture History – Week-By-Week.

From Adam G – What was the only Beatles album released with nada a Beatles single?

Mr. Pop History – It was intentional – and another reason why this album was so unique. It was 1967′s “Sgt. Pepper.” Not one single was released. It was a total album concept. For all those who remember – “All You Need Is Love” was the summer 1967 by the Beatles.

From Rich A – When did Vee Jay records finally shut its doors (exact day please?). There seems to be mis-information out there.

Mr. Pop History – Vee Jay Records – Once home to the 4 Seasons and… The Beatles. Long reported to be in trouble financially, the American Federation of Musicians severed its licensing agreement with the label on October 12, 1965 and the very next day, Vee Jay Records – then 11 years old, died.

Vee Jay started out in Chicago, but with all the Beatle activity and a flood of cash, moved to Los Angeles in 1964. Beatle activity? It wasn’t supposed to happen – but it did as this small label was thrust among giants in early 1964. Vee Jay – for all practical purposes, released more than several Beatles records, plus an album (which was re-packaged at least five times). It’s an amazing story – one of my favorite in the colorful world of record labels – and pop culture history.
Vee Jay

From Roseanne R – Mr. Pop – I was having a discussion with friends about the Beatles and their first album, “Meet the Beatles.” Didn’t Brian Epstein, their manager, design their distinctive outfits?

Mr. Pop History – Ever image conscious, Brian Epstein had London tailor Dougie Millings design those famous round-collared suits. Epstein told Millings he wanted something as distinctive as (Cliff Richard’s) distinctive white suit, “only different.” Richards was one of England’s pop rock acts at the time. Millings and his son, Gordon – made 500 outfits for the Beatles. From what I know, his son continues to operate the family tailoring business Dougie Millings with the Beatles

All You Need Is… A Video Game

Video games are the latest craze to expose new groups and their music – and even older bands.

Now music from the Beatles will be featured in an upcoming video game…

For the first time, the legendary group’s music will be featured in the lucrative video game market in a deal with MTV Games and Harmonix, creators of the “Rock Band” series. The game is scheduled to debut sometime next year.

Beatle Paul McCartney said: “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out.”

AP/Mr. Pop Culture