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Playlist: Most Popular American Jukebox® Shows

Compiled By: Garrett Stack


These shows are placed here based on listener response and interest by other radio stations.

RESPECT: The Aretha Franklin Story

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:58:00

The Queen of Soul earned that title with nearly 60 years of performing under her belt. This is a career-spanning tribute.

Aretha_show_aj_270_small American Jukebox® 270 RESPECT: The Aretha Franklin Story

In 1960, when Aretha Franklin was 18, she was signed to Columbia Records. But, there was little soul. For six long years in those studios, under boss of A&R Mitch Miller, they tried one formula after another. Nothing clicked with the public. Nine albums, 22 singles later, with scant sales, the two parted company in 1967. On to Atlantic Records.

Head of Atlantic, Ahmet Ertegun, knew Aretha had talent but was reluctant to sign her because of the dismal record sales at Columbia for over six years. Jerry Wexler convinced Ertegun to let him take Aretha down south to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Fame Studios had a killer rhythm section. Ertugun flew off to Europe to work on some other deals and Wexler and Franklin flew off to Alabama. 

Sure enough, Wexler's hunch paid off. Aretha blossomed in that environment and they cut two sides including I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Love You). Atlantic released it and BOOM! It soared up the charts into the Top-10. (Of the 22 singles Columbia previously released, only one even reached the Top-50.) The Muscle Shoals crew was flown to New York to cut an album. They did - in one week. On that first album was Respect, an Otis Redding song aretha liked. No fancy Columbia orchestrations. No holding back Aretha. R-E-S-P-E-C-T burst into the consciousness of America, went to #1, and "Lady Soul" was soon to become "Queen."

On this edition of American Jukebox we take a career-spanning look at Aretha: Columbia, Atlantic, Arista, and live perfromances. 

Hail the Queen.

The Phil Spector Story

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:58:00

Phil Spector is the legendary record producer who created the "Wall of Sound" with a stable of talented singers and musicians.

Phil_spector_story_green___small American Jukebox 269 The Phil Spector Story

At 18 Phil Spector had a #1 hit with his L.A. friends who called themselves The Teddy Bears. With the taste of success he went to New York to apprentice with Lieber and Stoller in the recording studio. Honing his craft with the support of the two giants, Phil produced several hits and soon became a record producer with his own company, Philles Records.

Surrounded by singing talents like the Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Sheen and the equally legendary house band, The Wrecking Crew, Phil Spector was a huge force in the record industry of the 1960's - all this while in his erly '20s. By the time the '70s rolled around he was working and producing for The Beatles and then for John Lennon and George Harrison as solo artists. 

This is the story of Phil Spector, the artist, not Phil Spector, the person.

The Worst Records Ever

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:58:00

Everyone has a list of the worst records ever: From NPR to Rolling Stone Magazine. From the NY Post Readers' Poll to noted rock music journalist Robert Fontenot. 31 of them are here.

The_worst_ever_small American Jukebox® 268. The Worst Records Ever!

We’ve looked at lots of lists through the years. But we’ve never looked at these lists. These have beeen compiled by everyone from NPR's "All Things Considerd," to Rolling Stone Magazine. From New York Post readers to veteran journalist Robert Fontenot who has been covering rock, pop and soul for decades. Many of these records keep showing up on all the "Worst Songs Ever" lists.

But, don’t shut off the radio, switch stations or log out. I was shocked by some of these choices and I know you will be too. There are over 20 #1 hits on the list! The critics of the songs sight things like they take themselves too seriously, the lyrics are benign, the constant repetition is irritating, the sentiment is saccharine, they’re too sexually icky, and some are just plain annoying.

Your listeners will certainly want to weigh in. They'll get mad that some are there and agreee on others. On today’s worst records ever edition of American Jkebox you’ll hear greats like The Beatles, Dionne Warwick, Sonny & Cher and others. They all made the worst records ever list.

Agree or disagree? There is no right or wrong and I’ll weigh in too. If something really gets to you, drop me an email at stack@wmnr.org. I’d love to know what you think.


From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:57:14

Celebrate our country in song. From pop, rock and soul, to country, Broadway and film, music about America has never been in short supply.

Garrett Stack

America_small American Juebox 225: This edition of Ameican Jukebox celebrates the USA in songs about our country. From the patriotic to the protest, and the expanse of the nation join singers and groups who have put their mark on songs about America. To name a few, listen to Frank Sinatra, Cher, The Kingston Trio, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley,Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kate Smit, James Cagney, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez and Simon and Garfunkle. And then there's Neil Diamond, Trini Lopez and Daniel Rodriguez. 
Be moved. Let your tears flow. Let your hope soar for the promise of America. 

Glen Campbell & the Nashville Jukebox

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:55:31

Country crossover made some huge hits in the '50s, '60s and '70s. Glen Campbell's musical legacy is powerful.

Nashville_music_copy_small American Jukebox 204: The Nashville Jukebox features country crossover hits that charted high on the Pop charts. An in-depth look at the music of Glen Campbell rounds out the second hour as this music legend is now in the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease.
Crossoverr hits by Jimmy Rodgers, Sonny James, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Charlie Rich and Charlie Pride are just a sample of what's in store on the Nashville Jukebox today. Fun Test and Behind the #1 are regular features and are part of this edition of American Jukebox. 

Tell Me A Story

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:56:23

Ever think about how many great hit songs tell stories, with a beginning, a middle and an end? The short answer: countless.

Tell_me_a_story_for_prx_small American Jukebox® #237. Tell Me A Story: There has been no shortage of huge hits on the Billboard charts that tell stories. These story songs, like all stories, have a beginning, a middle and an end. They wrap up an event in 3 or 4 minutes often with memorable results. Included in Tell Me A Story are no less than fifteen TOP-5 hits including nine that reached the top at #1. Several more were in the TOP-10. 
From a story about two kids on a date who fell asleep in a movie theater and didn't wake up till 4 AM (Wake Up Little Susie), to a family's indifference to a suicide (Ode to Billy Joe), to hypocrites in the small town of Harper Valley, on to a grieving mother on a Chicago street (In The Ghetto), and a couple of murders in a baroom (Stagger Lee and Copacabana), this fascinating set of hits will delight audiences. 
Among others, artists include the Beatles and the Shangri-Las, Harry Chapin, Kenny Rogers, Joan Baez, Clarence Carter, Tom Jones and Gene Pitney.
Be sure to check out the complete music details on the .pdf attachment.

A Baby Boomer's Christmas

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:55:56

Celebrating 50 years of Phil Spector's Christmas Album and many other Baby Boomer favorites.

Xmas_lp_cover_small American Jukebox 170 | XMAS Special 2013: 50 year Anniversary of Phil Spector's "A Christmas Gift For You" Album, & Other Baby Boomer Favorites. Baby Boomers have their favorites when it comes to Christmas songs. Among them included here are songs by The Beach Boys, Perry Como, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Joan Baez, The Carpenters, John Lennon, The Royal Guardsmen and many more. Pop, rock, country and soul favorites are counted in for the whole family to enjoy.

Also featured on this special edition of American Jukebox is a complete play-through of the Phil Spector Christmas Album. When Phil Spector gathered his girls, boys and "The Wrecking Crew" at Gold Star Studios in the summer of 1963, little did they know they were making history. The album practically went unnoticed for the Christmas season of 1963. It was released on the same day President Kennedy was assassinated. The somber mood of the country was not ready for this departure from traditional Christmas music and it got little or no airplay. But, by Christmas 1964 the coountry was ready to party. The Phil Spector Christmas album started to make its mark and began its 50-year run on radio and jukeboxes - and department store background music. With classic performances by Darlene Love, The Crystals, The Ronettes, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, and even a spoken "thank you" from Phil, this is arguably the most important Christmas record in the rock and roll canon.

Angel Hair & Tinsel: Another Baby Boomer's Christmas

From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:56:53

Baby Boomers were born from 1946 - 1964, coming of age in the '60s through the '80s. Here's the Christmas music of their lives, and the lives they touched.

Angel_hair___tinsel_small American Jukebox 235: Angel Hair & Tinsel: Another Baby Boomer's Christmas combines pop, rock and soul Christmas favorites that span that generation's life. Born from 1946-1964 Baby Boomers arguably have had the greatest impact on shaping American poular music, and that includes Christmas music. From country artists like Gene Autry, Alabama, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, to rock megastars like The Beach Boys, The Eagles, John Lennoin, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and the Phil Spector's groups, to pop icons like Bing Crosby, Bette Midler and Glen Campbell, their Christmas recordings live on year after, generation after generation.
Join me on this edition of American Jukebox, gather your friends, trim a tree, pour something refreshing, and enjoy a White Chritsmas or Christmas in Dixie. Feliz Navid!


From Garrett Stack | Part of the American Jukebox® series | 01:55:00

Lots of funny and scary stuff has been on the radio and in the movies.

Garrett Stack

Happy_halloween_240x240_small American Jukebox 212: Halloween is great time to let loose and enjoy the fun and fright that goes with it. Here is a Halloween playlist that will make you laugh and scare the dicckens out of you. Devils, spells, monsters, ghosts, murder and terror is all here.