The Toms! Librarians With Hickeys! Lisa Mychols! Pure Pop Radio Plays the Hits!

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

What happens when Pure Pop Radio is spinning the latest smash hits from the Toms and Librarians with Hickeys (with Lisa Mychols) alongside choice sixties nuggets from American Spring, Billy Nichols, the Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra and other fine purveyors of pop from across the decades?

Well, when you mix all of that with the greatest melodic pop in recent and faraway memory, you’ve got your one-stop home for melodic gems that fill your ears and your heart with joy. Pure Pop Radio is working hard for you. The proof is only a listen away.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-toms-one-man-girl-parade-cover-futureman-2020-2-1024x1024.jpgBoth sides of the Toms’ just released single on Futureman signal that a new album is coming any time at all. The pure poppy “One Man Girl Parade” and the decidedly-10cc-ish “You Shot Me Out of Your Cannon” are now playing in rotation. Hats off to all of the Toms, known collectively as  Tommy Marolda, for a catchy, surely headed-for-the-top-of-the-pops double-play.

Librarians With Hickeys, who sing and strum and write and percuss while providing no evidence of said red marks, are enjoying multiple spins for multiple tunes taking up residence on their inaugural long-player for Big Stir, Long Overdue. The b-side to their just released single, whose A-side is the uptempo smash “That Time is Now,” featuring the dulcet tones of Lisa Mychols, is a nifty, pseudo-psychedelic version of the Banana Splits’ “I Enjoy Being a Boy (In Love With You)” that practically demands airplay because this writer was hit in the head, way, way back in time, by a Banana Splits hatpin-fitted button thrown from a flatbed truck on which the Splits moved and grooved to one of their groovy tunes. True.

Also spinning in rotation is a quite spectacular number from the forthcoming album by Pure Pop Radio favorite mylittlebrother. Said number, “Janey,” a lovely sixties-drenched recording that sounds like something the Association might have recorded, releases on July 31. “Janey” is golden and a significantly-earwormy specimen.

Other new and new-to-you tunes now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio include nuggets from Greg Pope (“Four Leaf Clover” and the title song from his album, Guiding Star) and banjoist extraordinaire Jacob Panic (“Drown,” “The Flame,” and the country-pop-bluegrassy “Hold Your Freight Train” from Jacob’s 2016 self-named EP). Check out “Hold Your Freight Train” below (in fully-instrumentated and solo banjo incarnations, both rather fantabulous).

More choice pearls from Pure Pop Radio’s deep archive are being added to our rotation nearly every day, which makes for quite a satisfying listen. Simply click on the player below, and don’t forget to save our player to your desktop and tablet.


Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

Beatles, Solo Beatles, Association, Oh My! Our Specialty Shows Dazzle This Week!

alan-micHot on the heels of last week’s triumphant salute to the great soft-pop group Harpers Bizarre (now available for listening and downloading from Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation‘s PodOmatic podcast page), our regular specialty shows ring the bell for Beatles, solo Beatles, and Association magic.

everylittlethinglogo-smallTonight’s repeat edition of Ken Michaels’ Beatles spectacular, Every Little Thing, magically rolls at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). On tap: the usual, wonderful, varied opening set with guest star Gary U.S. Bonds, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon; an interview with famed Beatles author Mark Lewisohn; and a fun, themed set featuring songs from the Beatles and solo Beatles that start with the letter “A.”

Every 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.

terry kirkmanTomorrow night, March 8, at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT), we deliver an encore airing of a very special episode of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. From October 2013 comes a marathon, in-depth, two-hour visit with the Association’s Terry Kirkman, who takes listeners through his career from his childhood to playing music in the 1960s to the Association and beyond. Along the way, you’ll hear a wonderful selection of Association classics. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to once again hear from one of the greatest writers and performers of the rock era.

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 nearly 60 shows previously broadcast on Pure Pop Radio.

needle meets vinylOn a brand-new edition of Needle Meets Vinyl, airing this Wednesday night, March 9 at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT), musician Brian Bringelson brings you a wide variety of melodies played by a host of familiar names from Christine McVee,  Dennis Wilson and  Lindsey Buckingham to  John Phillips, Mike Nesmith and Carl Wilson…and a bunch of favorite solo Beatles. And, as always, it’s all spun from vinyl.

Needle 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 every Wednesday night at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). An encore performance runs on Sunday afternoons at 1 pm ET (10 am PT).

Tthe-beatles-things-we-said-todayhis week’s edition of the Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, airing on Thursday night, March 10 at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT), features a discussion concerning artists, living or dead, that the panel would like to see the solo Beatles work with. You may be surprised at the names that are suggested. Bono? Bruce Springsteen? Elton John? Chet Atkins? Tune in to hear about these great muscians and more.

Things 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.

Make it a four-night date: This Monday through Thursday at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). Our regular, weekly specialty shows sizzle with melodic pop goodness.

alan-micAlan 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. (And dig our new, coolness-adorned logo from musician Jamie Grant (McPherson/Grant)!)

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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

Reviews from the Pages of buhdge: The Association’s Waterbeds in Trinidad (1972)

The Association's Waterbeds in Trinidad

(Originally published on the buhdge website in 2006)

Unfairly categorized as a singles band, the Association did not, as some would have you believe, make bad albums. They also did not become a less-interesting aggregation in the band’s later recording years, as this lone Columbia album proves.

Released a year after the group’s final Warner Brothers release, the eclectic Stop Your Motor, Waterbeds in Trinidad is a solid mix of originals and covers that is as good as any of their eight studio releases (a ninth, double-live set recorded at the University of Utah, was released in 1970). From Terry Kirkman’s sweet midtempo confessional “After the Fall” and the Larry Ramos co-penned paean to a lost love, “Indian Wells Woman,” to a muscular, jazzy cover of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Snow Queen,” Waterbeds soars. But the album’s fate was foretold: it became the group’s last release until an embarrassing 1995 collection featuring only two original members, Russ Giguere and Ramos, that managed to single-handedly crush memories of the original group–at least for those unlucky listeners who heard it.

Waterbeds in Trinidad was, like most of the Association’s later albums, out of step with the then-current musical times. The group dared to be true to themselves, never succumbing to market pressure and preferring to follow their own muse. They even turned down the chance to record Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park.”

The Association’s stance never varied: Their original songs, and the songs they chose to cover, were fully-realized vocal harmony showcases that emphasized melody above all else. Although the variously six-and-seven man band got a bit heavy on occasion (“heavy” being a relative term), they pretty much stuck to soft pop, providing the template for other groups that followed them into the seventies. Certainly, the Carpenters, whose first album was released in 1969, wouldn’t have been the Carpenters if the Association hadn’t set the earlier standard.

That standard lay at the foundation of Waterbed’s 10 tracks. The well-chosen covers, particularly John Sebastian’s classic “Darling Be Home Soon,” given an emotional reading here by Jim Yester and deep background vocal support, are tremendous examples of the exquisite taste exhibited by the group. The group’s originals are equally fine, even the jazzy, 5th Dimension-esque throwaway “Kicking the Gong Around,” whose many wordless vocal parts sound like they were a blast to wax.

The album closer, John Stewart’s touching ballad “Little Road and a Stone to Roll,” remains a particularly eerie listening experience given that the group’s bassist, Brian Cole, sings it (Cole later died of a drug overdose). It is hard not to get a lump in the throat when Cole sings “Everybody needs a fire inside/Everybody needs a dream to ride/Everybody with a growing soul/Needs a stone to roll.” The song’s reference to a Carole King tune as something that everyone needs always results in a tear or two.

The vocal arrangement on “Little Road and a Stone to Roll” is perhaps closest to the most classic moments the Association achieved during their career. The gentle, soaring harmonies seep into your brain and give you a little chill at every turn, not unlike the bulk of the group’s output.

After a couple of subsequent singles on RCA and Elektra and a mostly disappointing oldies collection released by, of all companies, Radio Shack, the group called it a day, although they did reform in the early 1980s, even appearing on TV’s The Mike Douglas Entertainment Hour, during which they performed “Windy,” “Cherish,” “Along Comes Mary,” and a terrific, still unreleased song entitled “Back Seat of Heaven.” What’s more, the group performed totally live, proving themselves to be a solid band that hardly needed the help of seasoned session musicians who played the parts on their early albums.

This 2006 release corrects the omission of bonus tracks on the 2002 Japanese issue, although most of the added sides are no great shakes; other than the single version of “Kicking the Gong Around,” which runs significantly faster (and thus shorter) than its album counterpart, the other single versions on offer don’t sound very different. Fortunately, the great version of Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood’s “Names, Tags, Numbers and Labels,” released on 45 only, is included. The sound overall is top-notch. Housed in a mini-LP-style cardboard sleeve, the CD is a bit pricey, but worth every penny.

What is little known is that the Association recorded a number of new songs, including the aforementioned “Back Seat of Heaven,” after reforming in the early 1980s. Hopefully those songs will one day be released. And hopefully, one day, the Association will get the respect they deserve. Certainly the Japanese CD reissues of the band’s albums, which now all contain bonus tracks, and the ongoing Collector’s Choice reissue program (which, sadly, does not offer bonuses and, to these ears, sound at least slightly inferior to their Japanese counterparts) will continue to keep this truly original musical legacy alive.

Alan Haber
June 10, 2006


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

Two Music Geeks Returns with Special Memorial Day Show Dedicated to Pop’s Fallen Heroes

The Two Music Geeks Remember Our Fallen Pop Music Heroes Tonight at 9 pm ET
The Two Music Geeks Remember Our Fallen Pop Music Heroes Tonight at 9 pm ET

On this Memorial Day at 9 pm ET, Two Music Geeks makes a welcome return to the airwaves to honor pop music’s fallen heroes–the artists who left us too soon, whose music lives on in our hearts and minds.

Alan Haber and Scott W. McKinney have chosen a dozen songs to remember some of their favorite moments in time, when all was right with the world–when the sounds of pop music’s greatest recordings filled the air with hope and wonder. These are some of the great creators, whose vision and talent made the grade through careers both long and short. These are the artists and songs that we remember and cherish.

Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly

During this very special two-hour show, we rewind the clock and cherish the memories of artists including Buddy Holly, Larry Ramos of the Association, Chris Dedrick of the Free Design, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, Gerry Rafferty, Phil Seymour, Mike Smith of the Dave Clark 5, and Rob Grill of the Grass Roots. We play the songs we remember them by and talk about the impact they had on everyone’s lives.

Don’t miss tonight’s edition of Two Music Geeks, honoring our fallen pop music heroes, airing on Pure Pop Radio at 9 pm ET. Alan and Scott hope to see you on the radio.

Larry Ramos
Larry Ramos


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

It’s Mega Happy Day on Pure Pop Radio! 12 Artists…81 Tracks Now Added and in Rotation!

It's New!
It’s New!

Yes, that noise you heard was the lot of our playlist rotation genies adding 81 tracks from 12 super pop artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Pat them on the back for a job very well done! Here’s the rundown:

* Various Artists – It Was 50 Years Ago Today: A Tribute to the Beatles, Vol. 3. Another installment of Bullseye Records’ great series paying tribute to the one and only Fab Four means more tracks for the Pure Pop Radio playlist. This time around, we’re glad to be able to add the following: Anger Brothers – “And Your Bird Can Sing,” Bentwood Rocker – “It Won’t be Long,” The Spongetones – “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” Terry Draper – “Til there Was You,” The Oohs – “You’re Gonna Lose that Girl,” Wendie Colter and Rob Laufer – “Here Comes the Sun,” and Yeah Yeah Yeah – “There’s a Place.”

* Mike Dees. We’ve chosen two songs from Mike’s Something Like Glitter album to add to the playlist: “AM Radio” and “Something Like Glitter.” Cool stuff.

* Matt Kabus. We added some songs from Matt the last time around. Now, we’ve added four more from this most talented singer-songwriter: “Roller Coaster,” “Crossroads,” “Fly Away,” and “Picture Frame” (from Matt Kabus EP #1).

We’ve also beefed up our stock of songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s, with a host of tunes from The Association, Harpers Bizarre and The Monkees. Here are the particulars:

* The Association. “Look at Me, Look at You,” “What Were the Words,” “Under Branches,” “Six Man Band,” and “Dubuque Blues” (from The Association); “Come On In,” “Everything that Touches You,” “Time for Livin’,” “Hear in Here,” and “Birthday Morning” (from Birthday); “Enter the Young,” “Don’t Blame It on Me,” “I’ll be Your Man,” “Along Comes Mary,” “Cherish,” and “Better Times” (from and then…along comes The Association); “No Fair at All” and “You Hear Me Call Your Name” (from Renaissance); “Wasn’t it a Bit Like Now (Parallel ’23),” “When Love Comes to Me,” “Windy,” “Wantin’ ain’t Gettin'” (from Insight Out); “Bring Yourself Home,” “P.F. Sloan,” “Travelers Guide (Spanish Flyer),” and “Seven Virgins” (from Stop Your Motor); “Names, Tags, Number and Labels,” “One Sunday Morning,” and “Dreamer” (from Just the Right Sounds – The Association Anthology); “Darling Be Home Soon,” “Indian Wells Woman,” and “Little Road and a Stone to Roll” (from Waterbeds in Trinidad).

* Harpers Bizarre. This much-loved ’60’s groups’ soft, melodic sounds get much love from Pure Pop Radio. We’ve added some of Harpers’ greatest hits and album tracks: “Come to the Sunshine,” and “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” (from Feelin’ Groovy). Also, from the Now Sounds reissue of this album, three songs by the group from which Harpers Bizarre grew, The Tikis: “Pay Attention to Me,” “If I’ve Been Dreaming,” and “I’ll Never Forget About You.” Plus: “Anything Goes,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Hey, You in the Crowd,” “Louisiana Man,” “You Need a Change,” “High Coin,” and “Malibu U” (from Anything Goes); “Soft Soundin’ Music,” “Witchi Tai To,” “When the Band Begins to Play,” “Blackbird,” “All Through the Night,” and “Poly High” (from 4); “Mad,” “Both Sides Now,” and “The Drifter” (from The Secret Life of Harpers Bizarre).

* The Monkees. It’s pre-Fab Four time! We’ve added a whole host of numbers from Mike, Micky, Peter and Davy, including: “She,” “When Love Comes Knockin’ (At Your Door),” “Mary, Mary,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow),” and “I’m a Believer” (from More of the Monkees); “(Theme From) The Monkees,” “Saturday’s Child,” “Take a Giant Step,” and “Last Train to Clarksville” (from The Monkees); “Salesman,” “She Hangs Out,” “Cuddly Toy,” “What am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.); “You Told Me,” “I’ll Spend My Life with You,” “Forget that Girl,” “For Pete’s Sake,” “Sunny Girlfriend,” “No Time,” “Randy Scouse Git” (from Headquarters); “Listen to the Band” (from The Monkees Present).

Pretty cool, huh? That’s it for today. Tune in to Pure Pop Radio and enjoy the newly-added sounds! And, as always, thanks for listening!

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