Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Emitt Rhodes (Airdate: March 20, 1997)

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

Alan in the studio

Alan in the studio

On this sunny Friday, we go way, way back to 1997. The weekly Pure Pop Radio show was two years old and the number one name on my interview want list was heritage pop artist Emitt Rhodes.

Way back when, WCBS-FM in New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice, was the place to be for new rock music. Before it became “New York’s Oldies Station,” it was a whole other station. It was the station that broadcast George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass in its entirety, back in the days when radio could do that sort of thing, and it was the station that introduced me to Emitt Rhodes.

emitt rhodes emitt rhodes

Emitt Rhodes, 1970

The deejay, Bobby “Wizard” Wayne, waxed poetically, with just the right dose of enthusiasm, about this wunderkind who played all of the instruments on his debut, self-titled record, who sounded like Paul McCartney; hearing the first 60 seconds of “With My Face on the Floor,” it was obvious that Wayne had hit upon something very special. And the McCartney reference was right on.

Ever since then, Rhodes’ amazing albums have been rotating in and out of my daily playlists, including his most recent release, Rainbow Ends, from last year. I’d always wanted to meet him, but never got the chance… until the very first International Pop Overthrow in Los Angeles. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As I said, when I started doing my Pure Pop radio show in 1995, Rhodes was at the top of my list of artists to interview. But getting to him was another matter. Ray Paul, then head honcho at the great, much-missed Permanent Press record label, came to my rescue, and set up the interview.

emitt rhodes mirror

Mirror, 1971

Imagine my surprise and delight when I came home one day from doing errands and checked my answering machine and found that Emitt had called me and left his number. Long story short, we spoke later that day and scheduled a day and time for him to be on Pure Pop.

emitt rhodes farewell to paradise

Farewell to Paradise, 1973

That day was March 20, 1997. Talking to Emitt was like a dream come true. We spoke about his three albums that had been released, his songwriting, and much else. At one point, when Emitt took a bit of a break from the interview, I spoke on the air to Emitt’s mother, who related some wonderful, warm anecdotes about her son growing up, and the influence of music on the Rhodes family. I also asked Emitt questions submitted by listeners.

Pop maestro Emitt Rhodes and Pure Pop Radio programmer and host Alan Haber put their heads together in Los Angeles.

Emitt Rhodes and Alan Haber, IPO Los Angeles, 1998

I finally met Emitt, at the first International Pop Overthrow (IPO) festival in 1998. He remarked that he had enjoyed our talk, and that his mother, who had recently died, had enjoyed it, too. He even bought me a soda!

For me, having any contact whatsoever with one of my musical heroes instantly qualifies as a high point of my life. I hope you feel the same way after listening to this interview from 20 years ago.

I hope you enjoy the show.

pprListen to my interview with Emitt Rhodes from March 20, 1997 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 the songs played during this interview by clicking on the following
Spotify links:

“Farewell to Paradise” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0EbcnHIeCryuJ2sqdPVvVQ

“Somebody Made for Me” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5N6UGAAjtWe6NyQ9pMxo45

“Only Lovers Decide” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/6OQa2wBtfw1YvajQMsPdUS

“Live” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/3LQZ52GYA5V0QjDZyUFlXj

“Bubblegum the Blues/I’m a Cruiser” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5sxJazadYQIhhzvamt86vH

“Ever Find Yourself Running” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0f2o0yWXzHGhgD3p6EvjqV

“Nights are Lonely/Bad Man” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/3ia1kM7EI2CJLfP5lANPqs

“Tame the Lion” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5LUHwnRiRfE10bz8pLUrBj

“You Must Have” | https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5GdAhgRQfFwaQilX8x2tHU

Look out for more current and archived Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews.

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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:

Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of 2016

favorite records of the year - stars of 2016

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio
(Originally posted 01.03.17)

2016 was a terrific year for melodic pop music from both new and heritage artists, perhaps the best in recent memory. My list of 28 Favorite Records of the Year from 27 artists–The Stars of 2016–is presented below in random order.

It has long been my view that ranking entries on best-of-the-year lists is an impossible task, at least for me. If I made such a list on Monday, would the number nine entry still be in that slot on Tuesday? Perhaps not. Sometimes, I fear, agonizing over a particular placement would be akin to splitting hairs and not particularly a worthwhile enterprise. So, I’ll go with I like these a lot instead.

Here are my Favorite Records of the Year–The Stars of 2016–in no specific order. All are more than worthy of your time, and all should be added to your core collection of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe.

And now, on with the show…

The Stars of 2016

bob lind magellanBob Lind | Magellan Was Wrong Pop bard Bob Lind’s latest is a typically heartfelt collection of songs that deliver his always magical one-two punch: emotional lyrics and beautiful melodies, brought to life with stellar arrangements and production, much of it supplied in grand fashion on this album by the Spongetones’ Jamie Hoover. Gorgeous soundscapes abound, such as the romantic, catchy “From the Road,” awash with poppy background harmonies from Hoover and perceptive, picturesque lyrics from Lind (“In moments others call mundane/My soul is warming by your flame/Turning just like a sailor to the harbor/And I will carry back my songs and tales/Of calms and gales/And sing and tell them all/To you”), and Lind’s emotional cover of Tom Paxton’s “Bottle of Wine.”

Where to Get It: Amazon

Legal Matters cover conradThe Legal Matters | Conrad With this album, the Legal Matters have set a new standard for vocal harmonies in melodic pop music. Andy Reed, Chris Richards, and Keith Klingensmith are the players, and their human voices are their instruments. The songs are sweetly realized, from the opener “Anything,” not the first track on this album tipping its hat to the much-loved Beach Boys vocal vibe, to the upbeat, single-worthy “Short Term Memory,” which tips its drumsticks to Ringo Starr in a delightful fill and puts forth some top-notch electric guitar playing. To listen to this album is a thrilling experience.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, iTunes, CD Universe

the weeklings studio 2The Weeklings | Studio 2 The beat-betrothed, Beatlesque foursome from New Jersey, steeped in the Fab tradition and nom de plumed in the spirit of all that started off holy in Liverpool’s Cavern Club a fair number of years ago, follows up their self-titled long player, affectionately known as Monophonic, with a sterling 12-song set composed of eight superlative originals and four rare John Lennon and Paul McCartney songs not given away to other artists. Recording in Abbey Road’s hallowed Studio 2, where the Beatles made their astounding magic, Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger, John Merjave and Joe Bellia, aka Lefty, Zeek, Rocky and Smokestack, respectively, make considerable Merseyside hay with delightfully brisk and catchy songs steeped in the effervescent spirit of the Fab Four. A splendid time, to be sure.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon

caper clowns 2Caper Clowns | The Buca Bus Delicious pure pop from Odense, Denmark delights with a dozen beautifully written and performed pearls. Lovely melodies and vocal harmonies are always present, particularly on instant classics such as the should-be-hit-bound earworm “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains” and the gorgeous ballad “Lizard Heart.” Debut of the year? Most certainly.

Where to Get It: iTunes, imusic, Amazon UK (mp3 download)

kenny herbert forever and beyondKenny Herbert | Forever and Beyond A gorgeous, romantic song cycle inspired by Caroline, the love of his life, Forever and Beyond is Herbert’s melodically-charged survey of the power of true love. The 14 songs on offer, encompassing 1930s, 1950s and modern melodic pop vibes, are tremendously affecting, beautifully drawn snapshots of a happy existence. The pretty “Queensferry Girl” and the catchy, McCartney-esque pop song “It’s All Good” shine among a rich collection of gems.

Where to Get It: Kenny’s website, iTunes

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | Trust Your Instincts Guitars, bass, drums, powerful vocals, and a whole lot of moxie power the pop on Nick’s latest, high-energy collection. These songs make heads turn and hearts embrace its many charms. “One Hit Wonder” is the big, splashy, pure pop hit here, a clear winner on an album full of winners.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, iTunes and Bandcamp

gleeson curse my lucky starsGleeson | Curse My Lucky Stars Austin, Texas band Gleeson have made their White Album, a sparkling collection of songs varied in approach and tone that makes a case for melodic pop being the genre of the moment. Encompassing beautiful balladry, art-pop, rock and retro charm, Curse My Lucky Stars is a marvel.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

teddy thompson and kelly jonesTeddy Thompson and Kelly Jones | Little Windows A true, modern classic bathed in retro charm, Little Windows’ rewards are many. There is a decidedly romantic notion at play here, one that slips in and out of hand holding echoes of the Everly Brothers at Cadence, Roy Orbison, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Buck Owens and a thousand other country-pop artists and their golden recordings. These lovely, heartfelt songs, brought to life by two of pop music’s finest vocalists, make up an album that is like a bright lighthouse shining across the sea, drawing you in.

Where to Get It: Teddy Thompson store, Amazon, and iTunes

ray paul whimsicalityRay Paul | Whimsicality Thirty-six years after the release of Ray Paul and RPM’s album Go Time, the artist is once again regaling listeners with enticing tales set to everyone’s favorite power pop beat. A delicious mix of originals and well-chosen covers, such as the Grass Roots’ “Temptation Eyes” and Paul McCartney’s “Oh Woman, Oh Why,” meets wonderfully-realized originals like the dynamic “A Fool Without Your Love” and McCartney-esque “Jeannie.” With Ray’s gorgeous melodies and strong vocals out front, this is a treat from first note to last.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, and iTunes

myrtle park's fishing coverMyrtle Park’s Fishing Club | Benches A monumentally towering testament to melodic and harmonic excellence, Benches is a delight from start to finish. There is nothing quite like Kate Stephenson’s take on melodic pop music, just as there is nothing like her soaring imagination, and her ability to express all manner of emotion and make the listener feel. Working in concert with musical partner John Steel, Kate delivers wondrous songs (and three-dimensional vocal harmony stacks) like “Somebody Called Me an Onion,” a smile-inducing, upbeat, energetic pop number with faux-reggae shadings about peeling back the layers to reveal the full, human package of emotion; and the a cappella wonder “Silent Letter,” a tune about inner beauty and the sanctity of thought that doesn’t always have to be laid bare. For those of you keeping score, this is the second Myrtle Park’s Fishing Club album to wear our Favorite Records of the Year mantle. As it should be.

Where to Get It: Myrtle Park’s Fishing Club’s website, Amazon, and iTunes

the nines alejandro's visionsThe Nines | Alejandro’s Visions Rolling and then filtering the influence of the music of writers such as George Gershwin and Rodgers and Hart into a mix peppered with the harmony styles of the Beach Boys, the Four Freshmen and even doo-wop, and then topping the resulting flow with his love of artists such as the Electric Light Orchestra and XTC, Steve Eggers has delivered a harmony- and melody-drenched soundtrack to an imaginary film, somewhat of a sequel to the last Nines album, Night Surfer and the Cassette Kids. Standout tracks include the beautiful, bittersweet, old-fashioned “When Our Love Was in Bloom,” stacked deep with gorgeous harmonies and an irresistible melody; and the early rock and roll/pop hybrid “Operator (Coming Home to You),” which sports a meaty, catchy, percussive piano riff, opens with an aural allusion to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” and lays out a delectable Jeff Lynne-ish bridge that will make you smile. Alejandro’s Visions is Eggers’ best and most assured work yet, an immensely satisfying collection that belongs in every melodic pop music fan’s collection.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, CD Baby, and Amazon (mp3)

seth swirsky new album coverSeth Swirsky | Circles and Squares Proving that a creative, heartfelt approach to making music will yield magic almost every time, Seth Swirsky has crafted a collection of songs that draws on all of his strengths, and perhaps incorporates a couple of new ones. Moreover, these songs reveal the truth about all of our lives, right from the first track, “Shine,” his statement of purpose, the one that sets the stage for what comes next. And what comes next is winner after winner, such as the lovely confessional and autobiographical “I Don’t Have Anything (If I Don’t Have You),” in which the narrator allows that life means nothing at all without the proverbial “one”: “I’ve got some baseballs/That are pretty rare/Got a swimming pool/And a fast car/But I don’t care/’Cause I don’t have anything if I don’t have you…I’ve got gold records/Hanging on my wall/But without your love/Baby you can have ’em all…” This 16 song collection is the latest expression of craft from one of pop music’s most important artists.

Where to Get It: seth.comKool Kat Musik, Amazon, and iTunes

lucy wainwright roche and suzzy roches mud and applesLucy Wainwright Roche and Suzzy Roche | Mud and Apples A sparkling duo release from Suzzy Roche and her daughter, Lucy Wainwright Roche. Warm harmonies, clever songwriting and the inclusion of beautifully-sung covers such as Paul Simon’s “Bleecker Street” and the Cascades’ “Rhythm of the Rain” push this 11 track masterpiece into hall-of-fame territory. Roches fans will be charmed, and so will everyone else. Surely one of this year’s top expressions of musical joy.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the monkees good timesThe Monkees | Good Times! Good Times! is a classic-sounding Monkees album that happens to have been released 50 years after Monkeemania began. A mix of recordings based on sessions produced during the group’s heyday and new songs written by top-flight, current songwriters of note, this is a fun listen from start to finish. A shining example of how good this album is: The perky, catchy “You Bring the Summer,” written by XTC’s Andy Partridge, fulfilling a childhood dream. A great album.

Where to Get It: Amazon and iTunes

mimi bettinis music soundsmimi betinis basement tapesMimi Betinis | Music Sounds and Basement Tapes Vol. 1 Pezband’s Betinis scores with two sterling releases in 2016 that are really two sides of a rather entertaining coin, so they both rate a spot in this Stars of 2016 feature. Music Sounds is a vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures. Its songs are wonderfully realized pop confections that hit the hooky bullseye, like “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo).

Basement Tapes Vol. 1 collects tracks that Mimi has been working on over the years, like “Ray of Light,” a melodic sweetness that sounds like an Andy Partridge outtake off of XTC’s Nonsuch album, and simply lovely covers (Paul McCartney’s song for Mary Hopkin, “Goodbye,” and the Hudson Brothers’ “So You Are a Star” are glorious). Saying that some heritage artists are only getting better as time passes by can sound like rather an empty assertion, but my, how that phrase does indeed fit snug as a bug, listening to Music Sounds and Basement Tapes Vol. 1.

Where to Get Them: Pop Music Sounds and CD Baby

winterpills love songsWinterpills | Love Songs The numbers on Winterpills’ seventh album get under your skin; they become you in some celestial kind of way. The vocals of songwriter Philip Price and his wife, guitarist and keyboard player Flora Reed, are the collective glue that holds these proceedings together–the glue that gives them life. Consider “Wanderer White,” a rolling, rhythmic song about a fall from grace, in which Philip takes the lower notes and Flora the higher ones, and “Freeze Your Light,” which starts off as if in a church with a slight, ghostly choral singsong and becomes a folk-into-pop number with a delectable chorus buoyed by the same low-and-high vocals. The poppy bopper and should-be-hit-bound “Celia Johnson” turns the tables with Philip initially taking the high vocal part and Flora following closely. A trumpet and coronet serenade add to the song’s beauty; a lovely, echoed piano part comes in for a beautiful coda. A real treat.

Where to Get It: Winterpills’ web store and iTunes

butch youngButch Young | Mercury Man Butch Young’s miraculous, hall-of-fame-worthy album is a modern classic by way of its dazzling array of 1970s-styled instant classic songs, peppered with a mix of Paul McCartney and Harry Nilsson-esque magic. Every one of these Los Angeles-based artist’s songs is a clear winner, like the title track, “Persephone,” “One Foot In,” and “The Fools of May.” Awesome.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, CD Baby, and iTunes

the dowling poole one hyde parkThe Dowling Poole | One Hyde Park One Hyde Park, the sterling follow-up to the Dowling Poole’s Bleak Strategies, is a virtual tour de force and, if that weren’t enough, it’s an album influenced by sounds from across the pop landscape that doesn’t actually sound like its influences. Witness “Vox Pops,” which incorporates a very Partridge Family-sounding keyboard line and a very Brian May-sounding guitar solo; “Hope and Glory,” an upbeat pop song; and “Bring Back the Glow,” a smooth, rolling ’70s number. Joy from across the pond.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes

chris murphy and michael carpenter real love sleeveChris Murphy with Michael Carpenter | “Real Love” This absolutely gorgeous ballad recasting of John Lennon’s song is one of this year’s major triumphs in melodic pop music. For this rendition, the tempo has been slowed, allowing Murphy to lovingly communicate the depth of the emotional lyric. Murphy’s vocal may well be the best vocal performance of the year. His ability to hold a melody line’s final note in such an artful way, to sustain its resonance and maximize its impact on the listener, is something to behold. Recorded with precision and heart by Carpenter on the occasion of singer Kylie Whitney’s wedding (Whitney also sang background vocals), this new version of this wonderful song is proof positive that covers can reveal new layers of emotion not previously brought to the surface.

Where to Get It: iTunes and CD Baby

emitt rhodes rainbows endEmitt Rhodes | Rainbow Ends Forty-three years after his third album, Farewell to Paradise, was released, this new collection surfaces to critical and listener acclaim, and rightly so. Here are songs that feature all of the Rhodes hallmarks: beautiful, catchy melodies; inventive chord changes; and those velvety, smooth, sturdy and emotive vocals. Perhaps this is no more evident than on the emotional ballad “I Can’t Tell My Heart.” Somewhat reminiscent of Mirror‘s “Love Will Stone You,” this is a showcase for Emitt’s committed, vocal delivery; the gorgeous melody and emotional lyrics combine to sketch the breakup of a relationship and a considered plea for the other party to embrace the option to heal. A wonderful surprise and an instant classic. Welcome back to a truly special artist.

Where to Get It: Amazon and iTunes

daisy house western manDaisy House | Western Man Doug Hammond and his daughter Tatiana’s album for the ages features golden harmonies and great songs that will melt your heart all the way through. The heavenly duo channels the Byrds in the uptempo “She Comes Runnin’ Back” and “Twenty-One,” offers up a catchy, playful vibe with the singalong number “Willow,” and delivers a strong, emotive ballad with the orchestrated tune, “Western Man.” Best news of all: a new album is soon to be released. Happy new year, indeed.
Where to Get It: Bandcamp

brain circus use this jpeg instead of the other oneBrain Circus | Brain Circus This smashing collection of impossible-to-resist songs performed in grand style by ace songwriter and keyboard wizard Brian Curtis, late of the much-loved band the Oohs, serves up 13 numbers in all, performed entirely by this transplanted Virginian. The majestic, heartfelt love song “Finally Found the One,” a musical sculpture formed with smiles and tears and a whole lot of heart, is but one highlight. You’ll detect essence of the Beach Boys, Jellyfish and Queen, among other classic touchstones, but this is all Curtis and don’t you forget it.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the flat fiveThe Flat Five | It’s a World of Love and Hope This Chicago-based band of harmony-hounds deserves supergroup status, thanks to the members’ affiliation with artists such as Neko Case, NRBQ and the New Pornographers. Welcome a deliciously wondrous assortment of luscious pop dressed in a variety of comfortable musical clothing that runs the gamut from the Manhattan Transfer-meets-hep cat vibe of the delightful “Buglight” to the Paul McCartney retro-sway of “I Could Fall in Love with You” and the pretty back porch balladry of the Roches-like “Bottom Buck.” Pretty special all the way through.

Where to Get It: Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp

bent van looy pyjama daysBent Van Looy | Pyjama Days Based in Paris, France and a member of the band Das Pop, Bent Van Looy’s 2016 release is a lovely, pure poppy collection of sweet-sounding catchy melodies sung with assured style, like the upbeat pop number “My Escape,” beautifully arranged with little Beach Boys vocal flourishes weaved in; “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” a melodic mid-tempo ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Randy Newman album, and the sumptuous title track, a three-minute genius construct, nicely orchestrated and adorned with a smile-inducing whistle. Pop on.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the junipers red bouquet fairThe Junipers | Red Bouquet Fair This charming collection from the Leicester, United Kingdom band recalls the sweet sunshine pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s in such lovely songs as “Summer Queen” and “Like a Merry-Go-Round.” Red Bouquet Fair is no less than the audio equivalent of smiling at your good fortune on a warm day in the park while sipping cool lemonade (the effect is equally transcendent wherever else you may be). The vocals are enchanting and the instrumentation is perfectly played. Lovely.

Where to Get It: Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp

tommy and the rocketsTommy and the Rockets | Beer and Fun and Rock ‘n’ Roll This ace project, featuring 10 pop-rockers, co-written, except for one, by super criminal defense attorney Michael Chaney and Thomas “Tommy” Stubgaard, who plays all of the guitars, bass, and provides handclaps, shake the house, as it were. Check out the catchy, Beach Boys-influenced sunshine anthem “Here Comes Summer,” and a couple of  energetic Ramones nods, “Silly Teenage Love” and “You Want Me (But I Don’t Want You)”). Cheery, toe-tapping fun.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, and CD Baby

explorers clubThe Explorers Club | Together This collection of songs imbued with the spirit of the best of the Beach Boys, the Four Freshman, the Association and other time-honored practitioners of the art is one of the sweetest offerings of the year. Here are songs that are beautiful and beautifully sung, lovely and lovelier still, from Jason Brewer, Wyatt Funderburk, Paul Runyon,  Kyle Polk and Mike Williamson. From the southern California harmony- and sun-soaked sound of “California’s Callin’ Ya” to the Four Freshmen-meets-“Graduation Day”-by-way-of-Les Paul ballad “Perfect Day,” Together invites listeners to bathe in the beauty of harmony-filled dreams.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, and iTunes

The Road Ahead

Harmony-filled dreams… Ah, as ever, they feel so right. With 2016 now in our collective rearview mirror, it is time to look ahead into what is just around the corner. Your favorite artists, and those new to the melodic pop scene, are itching to get going…to release their latest creations, crafted with a mix of melody, harmony, and keen performance.

Already, I have heard a few upcoming albums that I predict will knock your socks off. Nick Bertling, who records under the name Bertling Noise Laboratories, has been making a name for himself with a few rather extraordinary platters; the Lab’s latest, releasing later this month, is a covers collection called, in a nod to the great Harry Nilsson, A Little Touch of Bertling in the Night. This is a sweet mélange of favorite songs from yesterday, filtered through today’s singular sensibilities. It is uniquely Bertling, and you’re going to love it.

Dana Countryman, of whom much has been said throughout these pages, all of it sweeping-me-off-my-feet good, is about to release in 10 days, through Australia’s Teensville Records, his passion project, a tribute to the 1960s girl group and Brill Building sounds that continue to bring joy to ears around the world. Dana Countryman’s Girlville!: New Songs in the Style of Yesterday’s Hits will transport you back to a much simpler time, perhaps, when melody and joy were king. Lisa Mychols, Swan Dive’s Molly Felder, and Lisa Jenio are just three of the vocalists that help to bring Dana’s vision to life on an album that you will hug tightly. Look for Dana to appear on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation soon to talk about this landmark release.

Bill DeMain, whose solo music and treasured albums with Molly Felder as Swan Dive will always have a place here on Pure Pop Radio, has a new record that will soon be released. After hearing and playing on the air a bonus track from Beans, a lovely arrangement of the Beach Boys’ “Wendy,” we hope the release date comes very soon.

The Word is Love

“Spread the word,” the Beatles sang back in 1965. They were talking about love, not melodic pop music written and recorded in the 2010s, but they might as well have been looking forward, as should we all.

In 2017, we look forward to bringing you more of the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. We’re on the job 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. A click of any of the Listen links that follow will connect you with our stream. Spread the word about Pure Pop Radio, if you will and, if you haven’t already, please click the Follow button on the homepage of this very website to ensure that you will be notified by email every time we make a post.

Thanks for reading our list of our Favorite Records of the Year: The Stars of 2016. Add them all to your collection; your ears will thank you, as will I.

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In Conversation Interview with Emitt Rhodes Producer Chris Price is Now Posted on Our PodOmatic Podcast Page

chris priceAlan Haber: Proud Music Geek!Alan Haber’s in-depth interview with Emitt Rhodes producer Chris Price, first broadcast on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on February 16, is now posted on the show’s PodOmatic podcast page for listening and downloading.

emitt rhodes rainbows endDuring the interview, Chris takes listeners on a tour of his magical time with Emitt, from the friends’ initial meeting in 2006 to Chris’s production of what may well wind up ranking as fans’ favorite Rhodes recording. The album, Rainbow Ends, releases this Friday, February 26, on CD and vinyl from Omnivore.

Emitt Rhodes

Rainbow Ends, tracks from which we are now proudly playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, brings pop classicist Emitt Rhodes back into the spotlight with terrific songs so good they could only have come from this master of the pop form. Supporting Emitt on this album is a band stocked deep with top-flight musicians–many, if not most, familiar names to pop fans: Jellyfish’s Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., Jason Falkner, Fernando Perdomo, the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, Bleu and many more.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!Click here to listen to and download Alan’s interview with Emitt Rhodes producer Chris Price. While you’re on In Conversation’s PodOmatic podcast page, why not listen to and/or download any of the nearly 60 other interviews with melodic pop music artists? You’ll love them all.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere melodic pop interview program hosted by Alan Haber, airs Tuesday nights at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) and repeats on Sunday afternoons at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT). Archived, podcast versions of interviews are posted on the In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page; click here to listen to more than 60 shows previously broadcast on Pure Pop Radio.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Emitt Rhodes’ Rainbow Ends: Go Inside the Album with Producer Chris Price Tomorrow Night on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

emitt rhodes rainbows endOnly 11 days to go until the release of Emitt Rhodes’ first album in 43 years: Rainbow Ends joins the pop craftsman’s peerless catalog on February 26, courtesy of Omnivore Records, in both CD and vinyl formats.

chris price

To get you ready for the February 26 release of Rainbow Ends, producer Chris Price joins Alan Haber tomorrow night, February 16, at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation for an extensive, in-depth look at the album. (Alan was among the first critics to review Rainbow Ends. If you missed the review, click here to read it.) During the interview, Chris takes listeners on a tour of his magical time with Emitt, from the friends’ initial meeting in 2006 to Chris’s production of what may well rank as fans’ favorite Rhodes recording.

Emitt Rhodes

Emitt Rhodes, Hawthorne, California. 16 October 2015.

Rainbow Ends, tracks from which we are now proudly playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, brings the pop classicist back into the spotlight with terrific songs so good they could only have come from this master of the pop form. Supporting Emitt on this album is a band stocked deep with top-flight musicians, many, if not most, familiar names to pop fans: Jellyfish’s Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., Jason Falkner, Fernando Perdomo, the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, Bleu and many more. During the interview, you’ll hear three songs from Rainbow Ends, and Emitt’s cover of a favorite Bee Gees song, “How Can You Mend a  Broken Heart,” which was first released as a limited edition vinyl 45 for Record Store Day 2014 and subsequently included on a Bee Gees tribute album.

emitt rhodes farewell to paradiseemitt rhodes mirroremitt rhodes emitt rhodesPure Pop Radio is your home for this exciting salute to Emitt Rhodes, leading up to the long-awaited release of Rainbow Ends on February 26. To celebrate, in addition to airing Alan’s extended interview with producer Chris Price tomorrow night, February 16, we’ve added to our playlist the lion’s share of tracks from all of Emitt’s albums, including Rainbow Ends. We’ve also added the bulk of tracks appearing on the Merry-Go-Round’s Listen, Listen: The Definitive Collection. All of these tracks, and more, are now playing in rotation on our air.

In the meantime, why not click on one of the listen links below so you can enjoy our continuous, original 24-hour stream of the greatest melodic pop in the universe? Enjoy!

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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Specialty Shows Dazzle This Week on Pure Pop Radio

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioThe hosts of our regularly scheduled specialty shows are ready to go with brand-new episodes crafted for you, our loyal listeners. This week on Pure Pop Radio, every little thing is ready to roll!

everylittlethinglogo-smallSpeaking of Every Little Thing, host Ken Michaels is rolling out a tribute to the Everly Brothers tonight at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). What’s more, he’s speaking to author Chip Madinger, whose book Lennonology charts the day-to-day lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and playing through an opening, varied set featuring a pair of Paul McCartney classics, a choice Ringo Starr cut, and a couple of Beatles numbers that are sure to please: “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Good Day Sunshine.”

emitt rhodes rainbows endchris priceYou can read about tomorrow night’s in-depth interview with Chris Price, producer of Emitt Rhodes’ first album in 43 years, Rainbow Ends, by clicking here. Fans of one of pop’s original, defining artists won’t want to miss this show. Set your alarm clocks for Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, tomorrow night at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT).

needle meets vinylBrian Bringelson spins vinyl and only vinyl this Wednesday night, February 17, at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) on his always-entertaining show, Needle Meets Vinyl. This all-new episode opens with none other than famed comedian W.C. Fields, who gives way to tracks from the Beatles, Steely Dan, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Rivers, Julie Andrews, Ricky Nelson and many more. It’s another fabulous show you won’t want to miss.

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayThis Thursday night at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) on Things We Said Today, our regular panel of Beatles experts talks about their favorite Beatles cover songs and albums. Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, Al Sussman and Allan Kozinn bring to mind both well-known and perhaps not-so-well-known examples that will surely get your Beatle bells a-ringing, like Stevie Wonder’s “We Can Work It Out,” Sergio Mendez’s “Fool on the Hill,” Emmylou Harris’s “Here, There and Everywhere,” Del Shannon’s “From Me to You,” and tracks from classical guitarist Steven King and Steeleye Span. It’s another example of the best Beatles talk on radio…anywhere.

everylittlethinglogo-smallEvery Little Thing is the premiere, syndicated program playing Beatles group and solo recordings. Hosted by longtime radio personality Ken Michaels, the show airs a mix of new and archived shows on Monday nights at 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

needle meets vinylNeedle Meets Vinyl is the weekly show during which all songs are played from vinyl records. The music spans the decades during which popular music has flourished. Curated and presented by Brian Bringelson, a member of the band Anchor and Bear and a solo artist under the name Paul Starling, the show airs Wednesday nights at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT).

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayThings We Said Today is a weekly survey of all things Beatles that’s hosted by a quartet of Beatles experts–today’s Fab Four, if you will. Ken Michaels, host of Every Little Thing, is joined by Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman, Steve Marinucci (Beatles Examiner), and Allan Kozinn, longtime music critic. Other well-known Beatles experts sometimes sit in with the core group. Things We Said Today airs Thursday nights at 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Go Inside Emitt Rhodes’ New Album With Producer Chris Price and Visit with Terry Draper on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioPure Pop Radio: In Conversation, Internet radio’s premiere melodic pop talk show, returns on Tuesday, February 9th, for the first of two brand-new installments. First up: Terry Draper, whose new album, Searching, Alan reviewed on January 21st, calling it the “first great album of 2016.” On February 16th, producer Chris Price will take listeners through every step along the way to the completion of Emitt Rhodes’ Rainbow Ends, the first album from the pop master in 43 years.

terry draper phototerry draperOn February 9th at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT), Terry Draper engages with Alan in a lively discussion of his recently-released album, Searching, released by Bullseye Records of Canada. The album’s clever songwriting and three-dimensional arrangements, not to mention top-flight performances from Terry and guests such as Jamie Hoover and Ray Paul, and the usual vivid artwork created by Ted Jones, whose mark was indelibly left on the many Klaatu albums he illustrated, sit center stage. Terry talks about it all. You won’t want to miss a second.

chris priceemitt rhodes rainbows endProducer Chris Price takes listeners on a magical tour from the first time he met Emitt Rhodes through to the production and pending release of Emitt’s first album in 43 years, Rainbow Ends. This fantastic album brings the pop classicist back into the spotlight with terrific songs so good they could only have come from this master of the pop form. This chat brings new meaning to the idea of “in-depth,” the kind of interviews we’re known for. You’ll hear three songs from Rainbow Ends, and a bonus cover of a favorite Bee Gees song.

Set your alarm clocks for Tuesday, February 9th at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) for Alan’s talk with Terry Draper, and Tuesday, February 16th at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) for an in-depth chat with Chris Price, the producer of Emitt Rhodes’ forthcoming album, Rainbow Ends, being released by Omnivore Records on February 26th.

Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere melodic pop interview program hosted by Alan Haber, airs Tuesday nights at 7 pm ET (4 pm PT) and repeats on Sunday afternoons at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT). Archived, podcast versions of interviews are posted on the In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page; click here to listen to more than 60 shows previously broadcast on Pure Pop Radio.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Emitt Rhodes’ Triumphant Return

emitt rhodes rainbows endEmitt Rhodes | Rainbow Ends (Omnivore, 2016)
A review by Alan Haber

Emitt Rhodes released three tremendous and influential solo albums during the first four years of the 1970s and then, as quick as that, withdrew from the pop music scene he helped to create and grow after the pressures of writing and recording more music than was realistically possible in a short period of time wore him down.

Now, 43 years after Emitt’s third album, Farewell to Paradise, was released, the artist has recorded a brand-new record, Rainbow Ends, lovingly produced by musician Chris Price. To say that this is another tremendous release by one of pop music’s favorite sons is hardly doing the project justice. It is an incontrovertible fact that this is one of those albums that not only fits into the current pop milieu, it transcends it; put simply, it is as perfect as it is possible to be.

Delivering his buoyant melodies with a rich and emotive vocal timbre, somewhat deeper and more resonant than before, Hawthorne, California’s other favorite son’s songs are played to perfection by a core group consisting of top-flight musicians including Price, Jellyfish’s Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Jason Falkner, Rooney’s Taylor Locke, Fernando Perdomo, the New Pornographers’ Joseph Seiders, and guests such as the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, Bleu, and ace utility player Probyn Gregory. To say that this is the collective musical dream team is quite simply putting it mildly.
Emitt Rhodes

The songs on Rainbow Ends are closer in approach and feel to those on Emitt’s Farewell to Paradise album than they are those on his self-titled debut and Mirror, but they are no less powerful and catchy. They may not be played by Emitt in his storied one-man-band mode, but it all sounds like it is as it should be, as if he were behind the kit or standing with a guitar draped over his shoulder (he does play acoustic guitar and piano on some songs).

Alternately playful and emotional, these songs feature all of the hallmarks that fans have come to expect and revere: beautiful, catchy melodies; inventive chord changes; and those velvety, smooth, sturdy and emotive vocals. Perhaps this is no more evident than on the emotional ballad “I Can’t Tell My Heart.” The song is somewhat reminiscent of Mirror‘s “Love Will Stone You,” and a showcase for Emitt’s committed, vocal delivery; the gorgeous melody and emotional lyrics combine to sketch the breakup of a relationship and a considered plea for the other party to embrace the option to heal.

The bluesy pop vibe of the playful and standout track “If I Knew Then” is a showcase for the core players’ talents: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.’s percussive, bass clef-heavy piano; Fernando Perdomo’s deep-voiced bass; Taylor Locke’s Paul McCartney-esque electric guitar riffs, sounding as if they were borrowed from McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It”; and Joseph Seider’s demolition derby drumming are all top-notch.

“Friday’s Love” paints an emotional picture of a weekend romantic encounter that, against all odds, sparks the hope that the connection will roll on into the next week and beyond. Strong harmony vocals, sung by a grouping that includes Bleu, are especially affecting. The closing, title song finds all musical hands on deck for a plea for hope for peace in one’s life in the here-and-now and in the coming days. “I wanna be with the ones I love/Hold them close, give them hugs,” Emitt sings. It’s the universal wish, hopefully come true.

Rainbow Ends is the sweet payoff realized after more than four decades of hope for more music from a true, legendary artist, but really it’s more than that; it’s the passage of dreams into the real, the realization of what was wanted becoming true. Welcome back, Emitt Rhodes.

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.

(Emitt Rhodes photo by Greg Allen)

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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