June 16, 2017 by [email protected]

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week. Listen to the audio:

Posted in
June 14, 2017 by Mike Sauter


The Roots & Rhythm Mix this Sunday will be spending Father's Day exploring "Musical Dads and their Kids," sets of music by artists and his son or daughter.

You'll hear from Steve and Justin Townes Earle; Johnny and Rosanne Cash; John and Lilly Hiatt; Levon and Amy Helm; Muddy Waters and Big Bill Morganfield; Woody, Arlo, and Sara Lee Guthrie; Bob and Jakob Dylan; Loudon III and Rufus and/or Martha Wainwright; Bob and Ziggy Marley; John and Bonnie Raitt; and James and Ben Taylor.

The Roots & Rhythm Mix can be heard every Sunday from 11 AM to 2 PM on WYEP. This week's special guest host is Dave Blaushild.


Happy Father's Day to all dads, whether you make music or are just a music fan!

Posted in
June 14, 2017 by [email protected]

WYEP hosts Pairings Dinner at Eleven
Chef Bill Fuller creates menu to match The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

This past Sunday (June 11, 2017), Eleven (part of the big Burrito's Restaurant Group) hosted a WYEP benefit dinner with a menu that paired with The Beatles landmark release, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which recently celebrated it's 50th anniversary. WYEP's General Manager and foodie extraordinaire, Abby Goldstein, was in attendance and taking notes. Abby detailed the menu on her food blog Goldilox CooksRead a preview below and check out Abby's full post on the WYEP Pairings dinner here.

Matching Music and Menus

Music and food go together like, well.....I can't seem to come up with a simile that doesn't include food references in song lyrics. They go together like beans and cornbread, like a cheeseburger in paradise, like a lime in a coconut, like jambalaya, crawfish pie and a file gumbo. When you have a dinner party, do you have your guests eat in silence?  If you are having a barbeque, would you choose to regale your guests with La Traviata?  For a holiday cocktail party, would you pick surf music as the soundtrack? Of course not. You would pick music to create the right mood, that special ambiance that will make your event most enjoyable. I am a big fan of Bob Blumer and his book The Surreal Gourmet actually has album suggestions to accompany various menus. It's a really interesting approach and one I think is worth exploring more.

I have the best job in the world. I am the general manager of a very cool non-commercial music radio station in Pittsburgh, PA - WYEP. Obviously, I am biased, but I would be remiss if I didn't make sure you knew about this amazing station. Hint - you can stream it online. But I digress. Pittsburgh has a thriving and growing food scene with new and interesting restaurants popping up all the time. One of the segments on WYEP is called "Pairings" and in this collaboration between our on-air host Cindy Howes and our own local celebrity Chef Bull Fuller, they match music and menus. Cindy will play a song and Bill will suggest a menu. Then Bill will describe a menu, usually something seasonal, and Cindy will suggest some music. This approach seems custom made for a dinner party, doesn't it?  So, that's exactly what we did.

Chef Fuller is the executive chef for the Big Burrito Group, which runs six restaurants. They do these benefit dinners once a month for local nonprofits in which they donate all the food and wine and the nonprofit sells tickets. We approached Chef Fuller about doing this as a theme dinner inspired by a classic album and he loved the idea. In 2014, we hosted a dinner at Eleven restaurant inspired by Bruce Springsteen's "The River" and it was a huge success.  This time, we chose The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. It was perfect timing for a perfect pairing. Chef Fuller personally designed and executed this perfect menu.

Read the rest of Abby's post at her food blog Goldilox Cooks.

Posted in
June 14, 2017 by [email protected]

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman!

In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played: 

SZA, "Go Gina" - New Jersey based R&B songstress SZA has been around for a minute on LA's TDE with plenty of great features on songs from that label's roster of top notch MCs (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad) and also dropping two highly regarded EPs. Her big debut record Ctrl is a massive expansion of her previous creative vision, pushing her influences, such as vulnerable indie rock and damaged art pop, outside of the usual prerequisites for an R&B record. "Go Gina" , the Martin crbbing mid album track, is a confident merging of old and new R&B worlds, as SZA shows off her song writing chops and pop sensibilities.

Smino, "Father Son Holy Smoke" - The St. Louis based rapper, who  could be considered in the same creative orbit as Chicago Mcs Noname and Chance the Rapper, dropped his heady, acid funk grooving debut full length blkswn back in March. Compared to many of the other slower, late night vibing tracks on the album,  "Father Son Holy Smoke" shows Smino switching into a higher gear, laying down rapid fire verses over the best beat on the album while still maintaining the cool air of late night, post party come down.

Posted in
June 13, 2017 by Mike Sauter

We just got the word that Farm Aid is returning to Western Pennsylvania for 2017. The show will take place September 16 at KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown and will feature Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Insects vs Robots. More artists are expected to be announced later on.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, June 23.

This will be the second time that Farm Aid has taken place in Burgettstown (it was also there 15 years ago), and it's only the third occasion that the festival has happened in Pennsylvania (it was located in Hershey in 2012). Pennsylvania is behind only Illinois as the state that has hosted the festival most often (Farm Aid has been held in Illinois five times since its 1985 debut; including the upcoming event, PA is tied with Virginia as the host site most frequently).

Pennsylvania was chosen as the Farm Aid site again in part because agriculture is the Commonwealth’s leading economic enterprise. It is also home to 58,200 farms and is the birthplace of organic agriculture in the United States.

"Family farm agriculture is the heart of Pennsylvania," Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson said. "What’s happening in western Pennsylvania and the region shows us that we can count on family farmers to strengthen our communities and connect people. Whether we live in rural or urban places, food — and music — brings us all together."

Keep listening to WYEP and checking our website, Twitter, and Facebook to find out how you can win tickets to the festival from us!

Posted in
June 9, 2017 by [email protected]

Below are the 5 key tracks that you need to know from The Smiths.


A vital voice of the 1980's music scene. The Smiths were Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce, and Andy Rourke. The band was nominated in both 2014 and 2015 for induction into the Rock hall of fame.


  • Song: "A Rush & a Push & the Land Is Ours"

  • Album: Strangeways, Here We Come
  • Year: 1987
  • Comment: Remastered version of this classic.



  • Song: "Sheila Take a Bow"

  • Album: Single
  • Year: 1987
  • Comment: This track reached #10 in UK in 1987



  • Song: "Ask"

  • Album: Single
  • Year: 1986
  • Comment: features Kirsty MacColl on backing vocals



  • Song: "What Difference Does It Make?"

  • Album: The Smiths
  • Year: 1984
  • Comment: There are 2 verisons of the single, one on their debut and one from the John Peel show recording



  • Song: "How Soon Is Now?"

  • Album: Meat Is Murder
  • Year: 1984
  • Comment: B-side to a 1984 single that was eventually released 2 years later as a single



Catch Key Tracks every weekday during the Midday Mix at 1 PM on 91.3 WYEP.


Posted in
June 9, 2017 by [email protected]

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week. Listen to the audio:

Posted in
June 7, 2017 by [email protected]

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Jess Phaneuf from WUMB in Boston!

In case you missed it, here's what Jess played:

Dolly Parton, "The Story" - Brandi Carlile is celebrating 10 years of her album The Story and has an all star cast of musicians to cover each track on Cover Stories. Not only does this album of unique covers captivate, but it's also for a great cause - proceeds benefit War Child UK.

Dan Auerbach, "Shine On Me" - One half of The Black Keys, Auerbach has really established himself as a solo artist at this point and his new album sounds quite solid with Mark Knopfler assisting on this particular track.

Posted in
June 3, 2017 by Mike Sauter



It's no secret in Pittsburgh that Mayor Bill Peduto is a big music fan. Many of us have seen him out at concerts -- sometimes in the audience, occasionally on stage, and he's even been known to drop backstage at WYEP's annual Summer Music Festival. So our own Morning Mix host Cindy Howes decided to be a facilitator, seeing if she could put the mayor together with a major artist. (It's like her Pairings feature, I guess, but instead of matching "music & menus," she's matching "music & mayors.")


It all started after President Trump namechecked Pittsburgh in his speech announcing he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Mayor Peduto issued multiple responses to this reference to our city, including this one:



Peduto's tweets drew reaction from a number of musicians, including retweets related to his comments by Rosanne Cash and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Also a reply from Aimee Mann:



This is where Cindy joined the story. She jumped in to make a virtual introduction between Mann and Mayor by way of a musical suggestion:



 And it turned out that Mayor Peduto was on board with this notion:



 To which Aimee Mann tweeted:



We certainly have abundant evidence of Mayor Peduto's tambourine skills. Here he is with the local group Lohio:

And Donora tweeted a pic of Peduto with them:


And, of course, we all likely recall what happened with Guster last year. After Guster performed in an alley by a dumpster, Peduto tweeted about it and the band tweeted back, Peduto later joined us on WYEP to announce that Guster would be performing at the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival. The next day, Guster told Peduto that he was going to perform with them, and the mayor conditionally agreed as long as they wrote a song about Pittsburgh.


And then it happened:

(The mayor walks on stage for his incredible spoken-word part beginning at 5:45 in.)


So will the mayor actually play tambourine with Aimee Mann? Time will tell. As of right now, Mann has a string of concert dates booked in June and July -- before she heads to tour Europe in the fall -- but nothing in the Pittsburgh area. We'll keep our eye on the situation and let you know if any concert opportunities emerge. Because what other major city has a mayor as musically plugged-in and as cool as ours?

Posted in
June 2, 2017 by [email protected]

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week. Listen to the audio:

Posted in
May 31, 2017 by [email protected]

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Sarah Wardrop from WFUV in New York!

In case you missed, it here’s what she played:

Big Thief, "Shark Smile" - This Brooklyn-based band had me hooked with the title of this one, but the sound would have done it anyway. It's a great road song and even though there is an unhappy end, there are so many beautiful moments in between – from the guitar tone, to Adrianne Lenker's vocal lilt in the chorus, to the lyric, "it came over me at a bad time." Look for Big Thief's sophomore album, Capacity, out June 9.

Nicole Atkins, "Listen Up" - After a move from New Jersey to Nashville, Nicole Atkins is set to release her new album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, on July 21. Classic country stands out in another new song that's already out ("A Little Crazy"), but this one leans soul. It's no surprise that Nicole can hold her own given all the directions her incredible voice has traveled across her catalog, but with what was apparently a live-to-tape recording process, there's a freeing energy that comes through too – in the song and in the video.

Posted in
May 26, 2017 by [email protected]

Below are the 5 key tracks that you need to know from R.E.M..


This band bridged the gap from the new wave era and college rock to the birth of alternative music. Their jangly southern rock sound was always present in their music, even after gaining stadium rock status in the 90's


  • Song: "Everybody Hurts"

  • Album: Automatic For The People
  • Year: 1992
  • Comment: Powerful song that everyone can relate to



  • Song: "Driver 8"

  • Album: Fables Of The Reconstruction
  • Year: 1985
  • Comment: Underrated Key track from an early release. One of those early MTV videos



  • Song: "Superman"

  • Album: Life's Rich Pageant
  • Year: 1986
  • Comment: Obscure cover of The Texas band 'The Clique' that R.E.M made popular.



  • Song: "Radio Song"

  • Album: Out Of Time
  • Year: 1991
  • Comment: Features KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions



  • Song: "Begin The Begin"

  • Album: Life's Rich Pageant
  • Year: 1986
  • Comment: This track kicked off side A of Lefe's Rich Pageant for our Album Side weekend.



Catch Key Tracks every weekday during the Midday Mix at 1 PM on 91.3 WYEP.


Posted in
May 26, 2017 by [email protected]

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week. Listen to the audio:

Posted in
May 24, 2017 by Mike Sauter


Listen to WYEP's 50th anniversary celebration of The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, exploring the history, impact, and legacy of the album as a whole as well as each song on it.


As part of our celebration of this anniversary, join WYEP for an intimate evening at Eleven on Sunday, June 11th with a culinary tour of this iconic album. All proceeds from the five-course, wine-paired dinner inspired by the album benefit WYEP. Get more info or make your reservation here.



Friday, June 2, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' landmark Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in the U.S. Although nearly every aspect of the album -- from the music to the album cover to the rest of the artwork -- has become culturally iconic, let's time-travel back to a world that did not yet know any of it. Let's recall and explore the pre-Pepper state of mind.


The Revolver album was released in August of 1966, which The Beatles immediately followed up with their final U.S. concert tour. They concluded the tour in San Francisco's Candlestick Park, which famously became their last standard concert appearance as a band.


It took awhile for word to leak out to the public that the band would no longer perform live. And when it did, The Beatles' future intentions were generally misunderstood. A widely-distributed article by Tom Cullen, the European Staff Correspondent for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, declared in late November 1966, "As things stand, there is general moaning and gnashing of teeth because the fabulous foursome -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr -- have decided to go their separate ways."




While that assertion no doubt sounded dire to fans, the article admitted that "The Beatles will continue to cut records from time to time. They may even make films together." How did this square with the suggestion of a band break-up? Well, the reporter wrote, "They are unlikely ever to tour again as a group, and personal appearances are considered to be the lifeblood of popularity in the pop world."


And yet, even around the time this article was being read by disappointed fans around the country, The Beatles had already regrouped and were recording music for their next album. On November 24th, the band had convened at EMI Studios in London to begin work on their follow-up to Revolver. They began with "Strawberry Fields Forever," and would also be diligently working on  "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "Penny Lane" before the year was out. (Even though "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were issued as a single and not included on the eventual album, that was not the plan as work on the next album began.)


On January 22, 1967, the London Sunday Times ran a Paul quote that again suggested that band had broken up: "Now we're ready to go our own ways. We'll work together if we miss each other. Then it'll be hobby work. It's good for us to go it alone." When asked about his new moustache, Paul responded along the same lines: "It's part of breaking up The Beatles. I no longer believe in the image. I'm no longer one of the four mop-tops."


It seems like odd comments to make, as The Beatles had been hard at work recording "A Day in the Life" during the previous week. It does, however, add context to the personification of another musical group that would be somewhat of an organizing principle for Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and its usage of Beatlemania-era wax statues of themselves in the cover photo.


To reassure everyone that The Beatles were marching steadily on, the very next day (January 23rd) a band spokesman rushed out the news that a fresh single, featuring "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," was planned for a February 17 release in the United Kingdom and somewhere around that date in the U.S., as well.


Further, a United Press International wire service report informed the public that "The Beatles are now working on another 12 numbers for their next album, to be released sometime in the spring, along with a one-hour television spectacular of their own centered on the recording."


A Honolulu DJ and newspaper columnist named Dave Donnelly (whom I will refer to multiple times due to the very interesting information about which he wrote) observed wryly in a February 1 column, "All of the premature talk of the Beatles breaking up is going to do wonders for their upcoming single." He also shared with his readers that "The Beatles -- for all the rumors and press agentry -- have been busy recording. And recording perfectionists they are, too. Brian Epstein, Beatle boss, reports that their new record is 'just superb.' The question is, for the Beatles, is 'superb' good enough"?


Two days later, Donnelly debuted the new Beatles single to his radio listeners and subsequently shared these observations in print:


As expected, it's strange. Accompanied by double string quartet plus harpsichord, the Liverpudlians have outdone themselves musically. There's even a brass section, and on Penny Lane, a wild trumpet solo. Strawberry Fields Forever is over four minutes long, and the ending is too much. It's going to take several listenings to really hear what's happening. With the Beatles world wide popularity, and with rumors of a split, this may be the record to knock off the Monkees.


(The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" was currently reigning supreme on pop charts both sides of the Atlantic.)


The single made one Massachusetts music columnist excited for the announced next album. "Be on the look out for the next Beatle's [sic] album," she wrote. "It's scheduled to be released in early spring. I'm hoping that they keep the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' theme throughout the album since this is the best material they've ever created. In any event, it will be interesting as usual to see what they do come up with."


Others were still confused about the band's future. In a "Platter Chatter" column in a Van Nuys, CA, newspaper, the writer declared, " 'Strawberry Fields Forever' may be the last record for the Beatles, since they are due to pursue their own careers sometime in the immediate future."


Honolulu's plugged-in Dave Donnelly wrote on March 11, "A one hour special is being filmed in conjunction with the release of the new Beatle album, tracks of which the Beatles are now recording." He continued,


Typical of the film is a recent session at the E.M.I. Records studio in London. There were 41 of the Great Britain's finest classical musicians in formal evening dress. They are backing the Beatles on at least one track in the new album. Also seen (besides the Beatles and their wives) will be Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful, Donovan and Gipsy Dave, Keith Richard and Monkee Mike Nesmith (who just happened to be in town). There were seven cameras handy, and any of the guests could film away to their heart's delight. Apparently some daring film editor will try to construct something out of the madness, but the results may prove surprising. The new album certainly will.


The earliest indication I've been able to locate of the title of the Fab Four's next album was from April 14, in the Ottawa Journal:


Would you believe "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?" That, my friends, is the title of the next album by The Beatles. The LP, which so far has taken seven months to record, is almost finished. Among the tracks are "When I'm 64," a novelty number in the early phonograph style featuring Paul McCartney; "A Day in the Life," a John Lennon solo in which he is backed by a 41-piece orchestra; "Good Morning, Good Morning," John and Paul dueting with musical accompaniment from Sounds Incorporated; "She's Leaving Home," arranged by Mike Leander and using string; and "Sergeant Pepper's Blues." "Meter Rita," is another John Lennon solo incorporating three four-track machines which took a month to prepare. Another gimmick of the number is a comb and paper played backwards! The uncompleted tracks are a George Harrison composition which he sings accompanied by Indian instrumentation; and Ringo's solo which hasn't yet been written. The album won't include 12 tracks since some of the numbers are of considerable length. It will be released in May.



(In fact, Ringo's solo -- "With a Little Help From My Friends" -- was not only already written but had been recorded on March 29th and 30th. "Within You Without You" had also already been completed in early April.)


While the title of "Lovely Rita" was misreported and it's unclear to what "Sergeant Pepper's Blues" was referring, the brief album overview is fairly accurate. The intrepid Dave Donnelly relayed much of the same information to his readers the following day, although he had one Lennon song listed as "Good Morning Good Morning Good Morning," and mentioned that "Both sides of the current ["Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane"] single may be included."


On April 21, the Detroit Free Press cautioned fans to remain patient. "Although the Beatles' album is scheduled for May release there may be a delay since they want to add pictures and souvenirs to make it into a deluxe package," it reported.


While, famously, no single was released from the Sergeant Pepper album ("Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were excised from the album after they were issued as a 45), some advance music did leak out. Dave Donnelly in Honolulu was playing one song from the album on his KPOI radio show and he discussed it in his April 22 column in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.


The new Beatle song which has been receiving much airplay is called A Day in the Life, and features John Lennon and a 41 piece orchestra. It's a fantastic record, and far removed from their earlier I Wanna Hold your Hand efforts. The song, which easily fits into the category of "pot pop," will included in the next Beatle album, "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The L.P. won't be released for several weeks, due to problems with the album jacket. If this track is any indication of what the rest of the album is going to be like, and it probably is, then the L.P. could be the wildest pop album ever made by a name group. Flash: The new Beatle single will be called L.S. Mummble-Bee and sounds like a take off on the old Lucky Strike commercials, with psychedelic overtones.


This final detail, about the new single by The Beatles, was inaccurate. "Capitol is pretty annoyed at tapes being played of what is supposed to be a new Beatle single," said The Ottawa Journal on May 5. "The wax most stations are playing does come from the new Beatles album" -- presumably referring to the recording of "A Day in the Life" as mentioned by Donnelly -- "and was in all probability stolen from EMI. But the flipside most uninformed deejays are touting as The Beatles isn't the Beatles at all but a British comedy duo called Dudley Moore and Peter Cook."


Oops. The "L.S. Bumble Bee" was its correct title and was a then-new single by Moore and Cook satirizing psychedelia in general with a nod towards the Beach Boys specifically.


However, it was true that tapes of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band had "leaked" to some radio stations. (A common enough occurrence in the internet age, but also not unheard of 50 years ago.) Donnelly reported in a later column that, according to a legal representative from The Beatles' U.S. label, "several copies apparently had been made from the originally pilfered one and came into the hands of about a half dozen stations across the country, all of which have now agreed to stop playing the album. One Los Angeles station needed a court suit to be persuaded, but others of us were more easily convinced."


Donnelly further editorialized:

While it is our opinion that two weeks of heavy air promotion for the album would be beneficial to later sales, the men at Capitol (who after all own the album and have not authorized its release) think otherwise.... Without a doubt, the Capitol decision makers underestimate both the public and the album in question. "Sgt. Pepper" will not only become the probably best selling album of 1967 (despite the furor over premature release) but will make a kind of milestone in pop music. From the psychedelic overtones of "A Day in the Life Of..." to the 1930's spoofing of "When I'm 64" to the lyrical and musical beauty of "She's Leaving Home" which is probably the finest single recording ever made by the Beatles or anybody else in the pop field for that matter.... There are no traditional "pop" songs in the album, no conservative cop outs to youth. This is a package for the musically mature, and we can only wait patiently until the album cover problems are overcome and the ban is lifted before once again dishing up the fantastic Beatles in their most fantastic venture to date. 


Prophetic words, as it turned out.


Meanwhile, back on April 27, The Guardian in England published a preview of the forthcoming album from a highbrow musical perspective:


Stockhausen is one of the improbably, if conscious, influences on the Beatles' latest LP, "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," due to be issued on May 19. The last LP, "Revolver," issued last summer, pointed the way to avant-garde influence, but according to George Martin, the Beatles' recording manager, this one goes much farther towards abstract music, and there are "lots of odd accompaniments." The influence of Eastern music is again important (George Harrison rehearsed a full five-piece Indian group for one track) and all these developments reflect much more sophisticated musical taste in the moustachioed period. The odd title of the record is simply that of the first number.


Dave Donnelly heard the influence of drugs in the new album, as written in his May 6 column:


The new pop lyrics are reflecting the influence of drugs on young people. Witness "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles. And another cut from the forthcoming Beatle album, "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," contains the lyrics "forty thousand purple holes in my arm." These are the cleanies -- the Beatles. Wonder what the new album by the baddies -- the Rolling Stones -- will be like.


One can only assume his "purple holes" line is a mangling of "four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" from "A Day in the Life," despite the suggestion that it is from a different song.


Donnelly also broke the news of the album's track listing on May 17, and while it turned out to be inaccurate, it remains a fascinating (if perplexing) running order for the album:



2 - LOVELY RITA, sung by Paul


4 - WHEN I'M 64, sung by Paul

5 - A DAY IN THE LIFE OF..., sung by Paul and John

6 - SHE'S LEAVING HOME, sung by Paul and John

7 - FIXING A HOLE, sung by Paul

8 - GETTIN' BETTER, sung by Paul

9 - WITHIN YOU - WITHOUT YOU, sung by George and at 5:11 is the longest Beatle song to date.



12 - SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (Reprise), sung by Paul



Donnelly also reported that the release date had been pushed back to June 1, and that the cover art was causing the delay. "It's a complicated fold out affair," he wrote about the cover, "not unlike those in children's books and valentines, so we won't be able to do it justice by printing a picture of it."


An unrelated article in The Honolulu Advertiser later described the album's bonus elements. "Naturally, the musical contents (now silenced because of legal action by the recording firms) are explosive. But wait until you see the double-wallet cover. It will include four pages of Beatle pics, words of all songs (hurray! a first!), a postcard of Sgt. Pepper, a cut-out moustache for fan use, two badges, a pair of sergeant stripes, a stand-up photo of the four fellas dressed like members of Sgt. Pepper's Band. It's like Christmas coming early."


The London Times news service further discussed the album's cover in an article titled "Way-Out Record Cover Due for Beatles' Next LP":


EMI, naturally enough, has been a bit worried about the expense of publishing the cover. "The art work alone cost 50 times more than the art work on a normal LP," says Sir Joseph Lockwood, chairman of EMI. "But it's their best ever record and I hope we'll sell about seven million. I'm sure everyone will want one as a unique souvenir.


The Times also discussed the array of famous faces used on the cover photo.


It is all very harmless and nobody could possibly object to anything, but EMI has been a bit upset. It made them take Gandhi's face out, just in case anyone would think the Beatles were attacking him in some way. "there are millions of people in India who might be offended," says Sir Joseph.


"We simply had the idea of Sergeant Pepper," says Paul Mccartney. "He is a mythical band leader, and this is the record of his show, plus the sort of hand-out material he would give out."


"He would be a cult figure and he would have pictures of other cult figures in the background. We chose people who are our heroes. The trouble is, people start looking for deep psychological reasons, and of course they find them."


On May 20, the Michigan newspaper The Battle Creek Enquirer ran a feature on The Turtles ("Turtles Explain Why They Are 'Happy Together' ") in which it was revealed that the Los Angeles group had gotten their hands on an advance copy of the Sergeant Pepper's LP. "The new Beatle album, not yet on release, was discussed by members of the group," reported the Enquirer, "who were sent an advance copy. Howard [Kaylan] describes some of the cuts on it as being 'the most completely psychedelic songs I've ever heard.' "



That same day, the Associated Press distributed a story that the BBC had decided to ban "A Day in the Life" from U.K. airwaves. The story explained that,


The Beatles criticized the ban Friday night at a dinner party at the home of their manager, Brian Epstein, to celebrate the release of the new album, scheduled for June 1. McCartney said "The BBC have misinterpreted the song. It has nothing to do with drug taking. It's only about a dream."


"The laugh is that Paul and I wrote this song from a headline in a newspaper. It's about a crash and its victim," said Lennon.


"How anyone can read drugs into it is beyond me. Everyone seems to be falling overboard to see the word drug in the most innocent of phrases."


For their part, the BBC spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have listened to this song over and over again. And we have decided that it appears to go just a little too far, and could encourage a permissive attitude to drug taking."


As the release date neared, the London Times reviewed the album on May 29, giving a rundown of the then-current pop scene and then scanning through Sgt. Pepper's track listing:


Fixing a hole is cool, anti-romantic, harmonically a little like the earlier Yesterday and Michelle; She's leaving home is a slow waltz reminiscent of old musical comedy but with a classically slanted accompaniment for harp and string quartet, and with ironical words about a minor domestic tragedy (the text, which are of consistently lively poetic interest, are printed in full on the back cover). There is a neat vaudeville number, When I'm 64, which comments pointedly on this old-time vogue and its relevance for modern beat song. George Harrison's Within you without you carried the manner of Indian music farther into pop that ever before.... Psychedelia can be diagnosed in the fanciful lyric and intriguing asymmetrical music of Lucy in the sky, as well as the sound effects of Lovely Rita (she is a parking meter warden), and the hurricane glissandi of A day in the life which has been banned by the B.B.C. for its ambivalent references to drug-taking.... I greatly enjoy the five-bar phrases of Good Morning Good Morning which is something like a novelty number; and the tidy simplicity and shapely bass-line of A little help from my friends, the only track that would have been conceivable in pop songs five years ago. Any of these songs is more genuinely creative than anything currently to be heard on pop radio stations.


Finally, on Tuesday, May 30th, with the U.S. release of the album imminent on June 2, 1967, Harold V. Cohen ran a brief item in his "At Random" column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Aside to the John-Paul-George-Ringo Cult: B-Day is Friday. That's when the new Beatles album comes out."


The rest is history.





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May 24, 2017 by [email protected]

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Grizzly  Bear, "Mourning Sound" - The second single from the eagerly awaited new release by the dependable Brooklyn indie-rock band. A thick bass line, harpsichord, synth drums and dual vocals from Ed Droste and Dan Rossen, are part of the entrancing, multi-textured sound. The lyrics are about love aging, burning out then dying. The opening verse: I made a mistake/I should have never tried/I took the cake/Thinning every slice/I moved away/Still playing off the fights... Alright, you won't be hearing this one at any summer weddings.

Kids on Bridges, "Just Because You Can" - A danceable track from a fresh Liverpool trio -- (The Fab Three?) -- that's opened shows for Beck and Calvin Harris. Their album comes out June 23, featuring bassist Jennie Vee from Eagles of Death Metal on a number of tracks. This is the single, which tips a hat to the Rolling Stones with a groove near the end that's straight out of "Undercover of The Night."

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