Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: David Myhr (Airdate: May 16, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

On May 16, David Myhr was my very special guest on an all-new hour-long edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. The topic of conversation, fittingly, was David’s wonderful new album, Lucky Day, which was released by Lojinx. A festival of pure pop pleasures, Lucky Day presents eight songs co-written with some of the best and brightest pop song scribes working today, from Bill DeMain to Linus of Hollywood. The other two tunes are solo Myhr compositions, one of which, “The Perfect Place,” is pretty well perfect.

LJX115 David Myhr - Lucky DayDuring this program, we played, and David spoke about, three songs from Lucky Day: Room to Grow,” written with Pure Pop Radio favorite Bill DeMain; “Lovebug,” co-written by David and another Pure Pop Radio favorite, Linus of Hollywood; and the aforementioned “The Perfect Place.” (Listen to each of these songs on Spotify by clicking on the song titles.)

David also spoke to me about the trip he took from Sweden to the United States, during which he met with his co-writers to come up with snappy songs, some of which appear on Lucky Day. Also on our agenda: David’s work as a senior lecturer at a music university in the north of Sweden, and the big musical surprise in store for folks who purchase the CD version of Lucky Day.

Don’t miss this information-packed and delightful conversation with one of melodic pop music’s great talents. Purchase David Myhr’s Lucky Day at the Lojinx store, and at Amazon and iTunes.

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pprListen to my interview with David Myhr from the May 16 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

New on Pure Pop Radio 5.16.18: Lisa Mychols, David Myhr, Vanilla and Ken Sharp

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By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Spins and Reviews | 5.16.18

Lisa Mychols | Sugar (2018)
PrintScheduled for release on June 15 and just in time for summer’s arrival on June 21, Sugar is perhaps the most appropriately titled album of the year–a joyous, harmony-filled singer’s showcase, imbued with sweet songs sung sweetly. This is the sound of pure pop made for a life under sun-drenched skies spreading light and love over lazy mid-year, carefree days.

Sugar is nothing less than Lisa Mychols’ greatest achievement, and that, as has been said before, is really saying something.

One part girl-group aesthetic and one other part sunshine pop, Sugar’s songs, built around gorgeous, rich harmonies and Lisa’s most assured vocals ever, should have no trouble lifting spirits as they entertain. It would be impossible to deny the pleasing power of beauteous creations such as “Loving You” and the full-on, sugary sweet uptempo wonder “Don’t Wanna Close My Eyes.”

And then there is “He’s Got Me Dreaming,” a girl-group confection running atop a steady rock beat, “Domino,” within which rock steady verses meet pop choruses, and “Next to Impossible,” a sweet, bluesy ballad.

It’s a wonder to behold, this album full of wonders. This is your summer album, sung sweetly by one of melodic pop music’s most enduring, endearing talents. Steve Refling produced, played all of the instruments, and co-wrote all of the songs with Lisa. Sugar is sweet. Don’t miss it.

black box Now Playing in Rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “One Revolution,” “Loving You Baby,” “Domino,” “Don’t Wanna Close My Eyes,” “Goodbye to All Carousels,” “Next to Impossible,” “He’s Got Me Dreaming,” and “Into Oblivion”
black box Where to Get It: Check back soon for purchase links

David Myhr | Lucky Day (Lojinx, 2018)
LJX115 David Myhr - Lucky DayA beautifully rendered selection of melody-rich songs from one of melodic pop music’s greatest practitioners, Lucky Day is the sound of a master songwriter’s loving embrace. It is a warmhearted musical journey you will want to take over and over again.

Lucky Day’s 10 lovingly crafted songs, eight written with some of pop music’s top talents while David was on a trip to the United States and two self-scribed, speak to the heart of what matters to melodic pop music fans; all feature beautiful melodies and top-notch playing and singing. All contribute to one of this year’s best albums.

“Room to Grow,” written with Pure Pop Radio favorite Bill DeMain, is about giving a romance all the chances it deserves to prosper. Listening to this song, I hear a rhythmic kinship to Paul McCartney’s “Arrow Through Me.” The background vocals, as the song progresses, suggest a 1930s sort of vibe. The gorgeous harmonica solo, very Stevie Wonder-like, is played with heart and great skill by Mikael Bäckman. It’s quite a delectable stew.

The pretty ballad “Lovebug,” written with another Pure Pop Radio favorite, Linus of Hollywood, who sings background vocals, came about when David arrived at Linus’s home and said hello to the family dog. Linus’s wife said the dog was a lovebug, and therein lay the inspiration for the title of this classic piece of songwriting. The music is pretty, while the lyrics tell a different, bittersweet story–one of a disconnected romance: “I’m under the water and fighting for air/But your gravity’s pulling me down/They tell me I’ll live but I don’t feel alive at all.” It’s quite an achievement.

“The Perfect Place,” one of two songs on Lucky Day written solely by David, soars with an affecting melody, an ultra-catchy chorus, and live strings that ingeniously bring the number to a satisfying, unique conclusion.

And on and on the album goes–one great song after another that you will treasure forever. Produced by Brad Jones, Andreas Dahlbäck and David Myhr, and recorded at Jones’s Alex the Great Recording in Nashville and at studios in Stockholm, Sweden, Lucky Day is a wonderful gift to lovers of melodic pop. And speaking of gifts, CD purchasers should stay tuned after the 10th song plays; a lucky gift awaits.

black box Now Playing in Rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Jealous Sun,” “The Perfect Place,” “Lucky Day,” “Wait Until the Moment,” “My Negative Friend,” “Room to Grow,” “If You Really Think It’s Over,” and “Lovebug”
black box Where to Get It: Preorder at Lojinx, and at Amazon and iTunes; stream the album at Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Apple Music, beginning May 18.

Vanilla |”Itchykoo Park” | Mystik Knights of Takoma (2018)

london underground sign(World Radio Premiere on Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, Thursday, May 17, 8 pm ET on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio)

Jayson Jarmon’s always intriguing outfit returns with another song slated for inclusion on the group’s upcoming Mystik Knights of Takoma collection. This time around, the Vanillians transform the Small Faces’ classic song “Itchykoo Park” by applying a glittery coat of glam inspiration and a straight-ahead rhythm. The result is almost otherworldly, as they gather to breathe new life into Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane‘s 1967 masterpiece.

Sung with his usual invested, emotional connection to both music and lyrics, guest vocalist Regan Lane, from Strangely Alright, grabs both with total conviction. In the process, he transforms “Itchykoo Park” into a contemporary, psychedelic parable. “It’s all too beautiful,” Lane sings, and he means every syllable. It’s another can’t-miss slice of Vanilla.

black box Now Playing on Pure Pop Radio
black box Where to Get It: Available May 18 at Vanilla’s Bandcamp site

Ken Sharp | “She Hates the Beatles” | Single, 2018
ken sharp she hates the beatles coverAfter musician and co-producer Fernando Perdomo suggested the title, Ken ran with it and conjured up a guy’s ultimate fear: that the girl he loves hates the Fab Four. From that scary conjuring comes this upbeat, catchy pop song that lyrically, and with a healthy dose of jocularity, pounds the ceremonial nail into a relationship’s coffin.

The song’s lyrics get into the down and dirty of this doomed pairing: “She don’t know John from Paul/But baby what’s the worst of all/She thinks Wings is a TV show and Lennon is a Russian mole.” And, what’s more, to drive her point home even further, the narrator relates that  “…when she turns on the radio, she makes me listen to Barry Manilow.” Now, that hurts!

Never mind that “She Hates the Beatles” sounds more like a mashup of ’70s, Partridge Family and Todd Rundgren aesthetics than Beatlesque–this is a fun, catchy ride. Ken and Fernando split the instrumental duties and Ken sings his Beatle-loving heart out. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

black box Now Playing on Pure Pop Radio
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Your Lucky Day: David Myhr Guests on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. World Radio Premiere: Vanilla’s Small Faces. This Week’s Specialty Shows are All Too Beautiful!

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

This week’s specialty shows are all too beautiful, serving up a lucky day on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation and a world radio premiere of Vanilla’s punchy Small Faces cover on Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show. And that’s only scratching the surface of what’s in store.

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This Wednesday, May 16 at 9 pm ET on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio, David Myhr guests on an all-new hour-long edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. The topic of conversation, fittingly, is David’s wonderful new album, Lucky Day, which releases this Friday, May 18, via Lojinx. A festival of pure pop pleasures, Lucky Day presents eight songs co-written with some of the best and brightest pop song scribes working today, from Bill DeMain to Linus of Hollywood. The other two tunes are solo Myhr compositions, one of which, “The Perfect Place,” is pretty well perfect.

LJX115 David Myhr - Lucky DayDavid talks to me about a trip he took from Sweden to the United States, during which he met with his co-writers to come up with snappy songs, some of which appear on Lucky Day. Did you know that, in addition to being a heralded songwriter, David is also a senior lecturer at a music university in the north of Sweden? You’ll hear all about this during the hour. Plus you’ll find out about the big surprise in store for folks who purchase the CD version of Lucky Day!

pop tunes disc smallAlan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show shifts to once-a-week status beginning this Thursday night, May 17. Thursday nights will kick off at our usual time, 8 pm ET on Pop that Goes Crunch, with super-sized episodes that you won’t want to miss. This week, we’ve got the world radio premiere of Vanilla’s new recording, a spirited cover of the Small Faces’ “Itchykoo Park,” which features none other than Strangely Alright’s Regan Lane.

astral drive coverPlus, you’ll hear new tracks from TSAR’s Jeff Whalen; Astral Drive, which out-Rundgrens Todd Rundgren; Al Shields and the Delahayes; We Are Muffy; the Kennedys; the Tearaways; Gretchen’s Wheel; Rob Bonfiglio; Scot Sax; Seth Timbs; Simon Love; the Electricoke, from the new ’80s-themed compilation, Back in Time; and a choice Beatles cover from the Quick (their 1976 album, Mondo Deco, will soon see reissue from Real Gone Music). And, if that weren’t enough, my snappy deejay patter! It’s an exceptional hour-plus of great melodic pop music.

Don’t miss a minute of this week’s Pure Pop Radio specialty shows on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. They’re all too beautiful! And tune in to Pure Pop Radio, the greatest mix of melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day!

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Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

New on Pure Pop Radio 4.10.18: Lannie Flowers, David Myhr, and Wilson

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By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Spins and Reviews | 4.10.18

Lannie Flowers | “Lost in a Daydream” (2018)
lannie flowers lost in a daydreamThe vibe is decidedly Beatlesque and practically overflowing with clues for you all–the Ringo Starr drum fills, loping Paul McCartney bass line and horns practically beg for a communal gathering in the Church of Fab. All this and Tears for Fears guitars and Tom Petty dust intertwine to elevate this latest in a series of monthly free songs from Lannie Flowers’ label, Spyderpop Records, to enchanting heights.

This second in Spyderpop’s free song series is made all the more special because none of these freebies will appear on Lannie’s upcoming album, Home, slated for a fall release. “Lost in a Daydream” will certainly offer up a basketful of warm and fuzzies to those for whom 1967 and 1968 are two of the most fertile years in pop music history; for everyone else, this will just be more proof, as if more were needed, that Lannie Flowers is the king of Texas pop and roll.

black box Where to Get It: Spyderpop Records (free download)

David Myhr | “The Perfect Place” | Lucky Day (2018)
david myhr lucky day coverThe fourth song, and new single, to emerge from David Myhr’s new album Lucky Day (coming May 18) is another example of the artist’s mastery of the melodic pop form. Of the four songs we’ve heard so far, this may well be my favorite. An alternately soft and insistent swirl of gorgeous melody, lovely lead and background harmony vocals and bright and shiny production technique, “The Perfect Place” is indeed perfect.

black box Where to Get It: Purchase or listen to “The Perfect Place” by clicking here. Explore the various Lucky Day bundles available here.

Wilson | “Right Here” | Single, 2018
wilson right here single coverThe quartet comprising Pink Hedgehog Records helmsman Simon Felton, Steve Wilson, Marco Rossi, and Chris Rickard delivers a cheery slice of ’60s-styled pure pop that ought to come with a repeat button sewn on its face. Just like David Myhr’s new single (see above), this song is a mix of delights that call out to melodic pop lovers and define the genre. Don’t miss it.

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

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Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

 

New on Pure Pop Radio 3.13.18: Michael Simmons, David Myhr, and Radio Days

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Spins and Reviews | 3.13.18

Michael Simmons | First Days of Summer | Crab Apple, 2018
michael simmons album front cover
You will likely know musician and high school educator Michael Simmons from the much-missed sparkle*jets u.k., from Yorktown Lads, whose Cameron Lew makes quite fine music on his own, or Popdudes, a musical conclave that counts journalist and drummer John Borack among its ranks. Now, it’s time to know Simmons as a solo artist who has produced a terrific long player that will stand, when all of this year’s dust has settled, as one of the best of the year.

First Days of Summer, the music of which was recorded from 2015 to 2017 in sparkling Kitchen-o-Phonic sound, reflecting the location of Simmons’ studio, is contained inside a striking cover bathed in a fiery orange wash with tools of the musician’s trade on the front and song lyrics and credits on the back. This is a stylistically diverse collection of songs that expertly lays out the artist’s diverse musical vision and dedication to craft.

The opening and closing tracks are near-perfect, soft-pop bookends: “Do Your Best to Care,” a keyboard driven toe-tapper featuring a determined, jazzy electric guitar solo, and the sleepy, closing ballad “Center of the Spiral,” which ends as if a turntable’s needle has become comfortably stuck in a loop within a record’s runoff wax, together form a comfortable wrapper within which sit First Days of Summer’s other songs.

Inside this wrapper, you’ll find a variety of catchy sounds, such as the mid-tempo pop-rocker “Fuzzy Green Hat,” steeped in a decidedly Something/Anything?-era Todd Rundgren vibe and all about creative inspiration, no matter where it may come from. The jangly, Andy Partridge-esque bopper “No More Girls” concerns itself with growing up where love is concerned (“I can’t sing about girls no more/No more girls for me/No more songs about girls for sure/A woman’s more my speed/And I know what I will do/I’m gonna sing about you”). “Bucket List,” on fire with a whole lot of Rockpile and NRBQ bluster, celebrates the embracing of true love.

And there’s more. “Let’s Fall in Love” is a lively, beat-driven, Prince-inspired slice of dance pop about second chance romance. The title track, a dreamy, breezy number,  recalls the best of Jeffrey Foskett with a pinch of Burt Bacharach horn embellishment and a wash of Todd Rundgren balladry. It’s sublime.

What shines brightly and decisively from within the dozen tracks on First Days of Summer is the passion that Michael Simmons has for making and playing music (he played most of the instruments on this album). He would do well to keep at this music thing and start planning his next collection with due haste. The sound you hear in the distance is listeners wanting a followup.

black box Where to Get It: Release date is TBD; check Michael Simmons’ Bandcamp page for the latest information

David Myhr | “Room to Grow” (from the forthcoming album, Lucky Day) | 2018
david myhr lucky day coverA joyous, jazzy-by-way-of-Paul-McCartney-esque song from David’s upcoming Lucky Day album, set for a May 18 release, “Room to Grow” was written in Nashville with Pure Pop Radio favorite Bill DeMain. It’s the kind of song that would be equally at home in an intimate club and your own music room. David’s vocal is smooth and emotive, the instrumentation bounces along to the bopping beat, and clever touches like the luscious bridge, lively background vocal arrangement and nimble Stevie Wonder-like harmonica break will put a smile on your face. Now playing on episodes of Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show. A catchy, delectable triumph.

black box Where to Get It: Lucky Day will be released by Lojinx on May 18

Radio Days | El Delfin y El Varano | 2018
radio days el delfin y el varanoSpeaking of diverse musical vision and dedication to craft, Milan, Italy’s Radio Days have, save for one track, stepped outside of their power pop comfort zone to deliver a four-song EP full of wonder. It is after the hard hitting, pounding opener “Time is Over” that the group starts serving up surprises. The beautiful “Sometimes,” a slow-paced ballad bolstered by lovely, close harmonies, is followed by a clever reinvention of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” recast here as a sensitive ballad adorned with Radio Days’ trademark vocal prowess. The title track, a Dick Dale-meets-just-about-any-’60s-surf-band-you-could-name mid-paced workout, roughly translates, according to Google, as “The Dolphin and the Monitor,” but you’ll probably be happy going with “Cool Instro.” Great stuff.

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

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Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

 

David Myhr Channels ELO in Soundtrack Smash

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Spins and Reviews | 10.11.16 | by Alan Haber

David Myhr | “Spellbound” (From the upcoming film Flykten till Framtiden (My Future Love))

Update (10.14.16): “Spellbound” can be purchased at iTunes and Amazon, and heard on Spotify.

David Myhr and Jimmy Lagnefors, whose soundtrack graces the time travel-themed film Flykten till Framtiden, co-wrote this rather authentic sounding and eminently catchy Jeff Lynne/Electric Light Orchestra homage that plays over the film’s credits and is due to be released as a single in Sweden and the rest of Europe on Lojinx this Thursday, October 14.

Ddavid-myhr-head-shotavid, handling acoustic guitar, piano, bass, and lead and backing vocal duties, works with Jimmy, who plays guitar and sings, and drummer Andreas Dahlbäck to pack all of the hallmarks of an ELO-sounding track into the joyous “Spellbound.” It’s all here: the sweeping melody, strings (arranged by Hans Hjortek and David), horns (sounding as if they’d come straight from ELO’s “Livin’ Thing”), and sweet harmonies. It’s quite marvelous, and we’re honored to bring it to you on the radio.

david-myhr-and-bill-demainDavid and Jimmy collaborated on “Vänta inte på mig” (“Don’t wait for me”), which appeared in last year’s film, Micke and Veronica, and is also playing in rotation here on Pure Pop Radio. David has been recording songs for his next album; we’re looking forward to hearing them soon (for a report on David’s trip to Los Angeles, Nashville and New York, during which he wrote a good number of songs with pop visionaries such as Brad Jones, Blue, Swan Dive’s Bill DeMain (pictured with David at right), and The Davenports’ Scott Klass, click here).

Meanwhile, enjoy David Myhr’s latest smash, flavored and savored with ELO goodness.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box When and Where to Get It: iTunes and Amazon. Listen on Spotify.

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Coming Full Circle and Meeting Up With the Latest Music Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist

Essay by Alan Haber

This is the kind of full circle thing that tickles one’s funny bone or, at the very least, raises a smile when one thinks back to how it all started for him–him, and one, being me.

purepoplogoWhen the weekly Pure Pop Radio Show started back in 1995, I had moved on, in quick succession, from two short-lived programs. The first, Lost Treasures and Guilty Pleasures, outlived its usefulness in short order when I quickly realized that my supply of real, actual lost treasures (album cuts and b-sides that I thought were truly “lost”) and guilty pleasures, a concept I didn’t believe in because I really don’t believe that one, meaning me, should ever feel guilty about something they like, were in shorter supply than I thought they would be.

The second, a Beatles show, the title of which has been snugly wrapped in a cloud of misty and rather moist memory, lasted a bit longer–a couple of months, I think. The show, a mix of Beatles group and solo tracks lounging comfortably in the same hot tub as groups that sound Beatlesque (and don’t get me started on whether the term Beatlesque actually means anything), songs by artists who touched shoulders with the Beatles, and artists not connected with the Beatles who covered Beatles and solo Beatles songs, was fun for those couple of months and then, not so much. I know–you can’t understand how an all-Beatles show could get old, but it did for me. And I’m the world’s biggest Beatles fan (look me up in Guinness, if you must).

sheepshead bay brooklynStuck with a time slot and no show to fill it, I started to think about what I might tackle next, looking vainly through my humongous record collection for signs, any sign at all, that might clue me in as to my next radio move. The signs were not forthcoming. But then I remembered, for whatever reason, visiting a local mom-and-pop record store in my old neighborhood in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn about 10 years earlier. I found myself looking at a rather impressive wall of singles, many of which sported picture sleeves. One of those picture sleeves housed a 45 by a group called Common Knowledge, which was new to me.

common knowledge picture sleeveCommon Knowledge was actually the duo of Andrew Gold and Graham Gouldman, and the two songs on that single, released in 1984, the delightfully catchy “Don’t Break My Heart” and the b-side, “J.B. in Arabia,” functioned as nothing less than what would become the group Wax two years later. I remembered playing “Don’t Break My Heart” for the first time and falling in love with it. It was, to my ears, a perfect pop song, which led me to reminisce about listening to the radio, growing up in the 1960s, and hearing a whole lot of perfect pop songs, one after the other. The memory was an instant motivational shot in the noggin for me. I thought, why not do a show full of great pop songs?

nick lowe pure pop for now peopleBut what to call it? For that slice of inspiration, I looked to Nick Lowe’s 1978 Pure Pop for Now People album (the US title; in the UK, it was Jesus of Cool). A snip here and another snip there, and I had my title: Pure Pop. That seemed to sum it all up for me, for these were songs that were pure of heart, with natural melodies and harmonies and hooks, glorious hooks, and most of them were three minutes long (give or take). That kind of thing could fill a radio show, right?

And so it did. But playing the great old numbers wouldn’t be enough…I needed new music that played in the same sandbox, which led me to peruse the pages of two great, much-missed publications: Audities, the Journal of Insanely Great Pop and POPsided. Both magazines featured reviews of then-current and archival releases by pop music artists. I would read these reviews and contact the record companies and/or artists for copies of their music to play on Pure Pop. I was working a pretty demanding day job at the time, and this was before cell phones; I made many calls in between flights for work trips, standing in my suit at payphone kiosks in airports talking to people who made the music that turned me on.

kennedys webrburtnik caseI invited artists into the studio for live performances and revealing chats–Pete and Maura Kennedy (see the photo at left for proof, and dig Maura’s Partridge Family tee), Glen Burtnik, John Wicks and the Records and the Van DeLeckie’s (christened the Recorleckie’s that day), Lee Feldman and others were early visitors. Pure Pop became Alan Haber’s Pure Pop, not because I wanted to put my name in the spotlight, but because there were many other “Pure Pop” sites springing up on the Internet and I didn’t want there to be any confusion. Plus, Glen Burtnik did a jingle for the show in which he sang “Alan Haber’s Pure Pop” and added a big poof! for a big-time, show biz touch that made me smile (that jingle, cut on February 13, 1997, is still in use today).

So, a little more than 20 years later, I’m still at it, except now Pure Pop is a 24-hour-a-day Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music in the universe. I’m proud to say that, because it’s still around despite many times when personal considerations tugged so hard that the only sensible thing would have been to walk away from it and move on. The fact is, I still get excited when I push the play button and hear something that moves me in a way that no other form of art could ever do. Reason enough to continue, I think.

melody and madness ep david myhr and linus of hollywoodlinus of hollywood your favorite recordmerrymakersAnother reason to continue is to marvel at how things come full circle if you’re around long enough. Linus of Hollywood and David Myhr, whose music I first discovered when he was a member of the Merrymakers, have just released a joint digital and physical EP that was created for their 2015 same-named tour. Melody and Madness is fabulous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that on this EP, Linus covers David’s song “Icy Tracks,” written with Peter, Bjorn and John’s Peter Morén (David’s version appears on his album, Soundshine); and David covers Linus’s song, “Ready for Something Good,” the original of which appears on Linus’s latest album, Something Good. The third track on the EP finds Linus and David pairing up to cover Paul McCartney’s “Come and Get It.” It’s all quite grand.

linus caseWe’re playing all three of the songs on the Melody and Madness EP on Pure Pop Radio, a reality which comes as no surprise, I suppose. The full circle bit, which is the whole reason for writing this essay, is that both Linus and David figure heavily and importantly in the early history of all that is Pure Pop. I had heard about Linus’s first album; I eventually received a pre-release CD-R copy with unmastered final mixes, which I still have. I was an instant fan, needless to say. That was in 1999, a pretty good year for pop music, because the Merrymakers’ No Sleep ‘Til Famous album, also released that year, was on my radar and in my hands after meeting David’s brother Niklas (he was living in the United States) for dinner at a local eatery outside of Washington, DC, before which he gave me a copy. The future station manager of Pure Pop Radio, Janet Haber, was in attendance at that memorable meeting. Now you know one of the reasons I call her my lucky charm. So, full circle and tied together with a neat little bow.

I’ve been in a bit of a reflective mood lately while I’ve been dealing with a number of health issues, which is reason enough, I guess, to have written this essay, which is, you may well guess, reason enough to say that it’s time to start reporting on new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. I’ve added a ton over the past many weeks; starting next week, if the creek don’t rise, I will begin said reporting, and the Melody and Madness EP will be first up. Trust me, the wait will have been worth it.

full circleSo, full circle. Who would have thought, right?

purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes