Huey Lewis Should Be Heard


As you know, I am a first and foremost a DJ. First, I started on WTIT Tape Radio from age 15 to present day. Then at 17. I was off to Emerson College and was finally heard over a real FM signal at our college radio WERS, Boston. In fact, both my junior and senior years I was the music director at my college radio station. And with no offense to others who did college radio, Emerson College is one the best and biggest communications schools in the country. So, to do a radio shift and be in management was a HUGE deal.

At the time, if you asked any of us what we hoped to do, we would have said, “I’d like to host The Tonight Show.” Now realize that Johnny Carson had only been the host for six years when I left for Boston to Emerson. No one knew he’d do the show forever and become the icon that he became. However, when he did retire someone in my class at Emerson did get The Tonight Show job. Obviously, Jay Leno and I went to school together. After being a morning radio host, a Album Rock DJ, a program director and in radio management I think I know a bit about music.

Take the 80’s for an example. Who was the best rock band? You have a lot to choose from there. The Police? Journey? Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? Duran Duran? Huey Lewis and the News? Any would be a good choice, as would another twenty bands that I failed to mention. I have always felt that Huey Lewis and the News was the quintessential 80’s band. I'm not saying best, but at every party, some of what we'd be listening to would be Huey & The News. Fact.

How is this for a resume of some of their hits: The Heart Of Rock & Roll, Doing It All For My Baby, Do You Believe In Love, Trouble In Paradise, Hip to Be Square, The Power Of Love, Heart & Soul, If This Is It, Workin' For A Livin', Stuck With You, I Want A New Drug? Imagine my shock when I read a post from Diesel at Mattress Police that said classic rock radio does not play Huey’s music!

You may be surprised that I did not know this. The day I bought my iPod I stopped listening to radio. Now most iPod owners I've met do not own 11,000 songs as I do, but I do stay current by downloading new music at legitimate sites.

But I no longer listen to anything on the radio other than WFAN, a New York sports/talk station. I read the incredibly well written post and promised that I would try to help. Diesel is doing a petition to send to the huge radio companies like Clear Channel and I imagine Infinity/CBS, to beg them to add Huey and the News to their stations in a classic rock format. Please leave a comment on Diesel’s blog so he adds you to the petition. Please mention that you read about Huey's situation here. Here’s the name of the post to click on, Do You Feel Like I Do About Huey Lewis?

I met Huey in 1994. I was working for Star 104.1 an adult contemporary station. We played a lot of Huey Lewis & the News. But not a lot of their new music. It seemed that Huey and his band were at a crossroads. Radio was moving towards the Seattle grunge sound and he was going station to radio station trying to get the single "Some Kind of Wonderful" played off his brand new album "Four Chords and Several Years Ago". It was a collection of oldies covers and the single was a cover of the old Grand Funk song. Music had moved on and Huey Lewis and the News were yesterday’s news. He was great to meet. He posed for this photo with me and gave me a replica album cover (of course albums were gone by then which made this gift even more meaningful) that he and the band had signed. Obviously I am a huge fan. Meeting him and finding him so nice was an excellent "plus".

The irony is that radio station changed formats two weeks later. We became an alternative rock station and played a lot of Seattle grunge. I loved that music. As I had loved Huey in the 80’s, but times had changed. But I am OUTRAGED that Huey is not played on classic rock stations. Please post a comment on Diesel’s post. At WTIT the music and those who make it matters. Let’s help Huey get what he richly deserves. I thank you in advance!

Thanks for joing us on this Thursday on WTIT: The Blog. We will be back next time with Dating Profiles of the Week. If you absolutely have not gotten a better offer, join us. It should be funny. I owe you that. But today was about Huey. Same time. Same blog.

11 comments:

Bond said...

Also have always thought Huey was a great band,...

My take on why they are not played on 'classic rock' stations is because their song was more pop than rock...it fell somewhere between the Stones or Led Zep and Michael Jackson and thus the 3-4 people who now program for the hundreds (or less) of classic rock stations do not see them as Rock...

Anonymous said...

Great, great piece and I am loving that photo of you and Huey so much. WOW!!!

I have to respectfully disagree with Bond. H & The News is not Pop. It was straight-up Rock N Roll, the way R&R started out like with those great bands in the 50's of which my mind is blanking on the names (forgive me I was born in 1969!).

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Hey Vinny-
I think you are right about the "why" however, I strongly think they are wrong. Huey wasn't Britney. Michael Jackson is not comparable because of the R&B thing. Classic rock ignors R&B. Generally.

Polli-
Thanks. Huey was cool...

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Yep, I was a Huey Lewis fan too. I am impressed that you actually met him. I'm with Polliwog, they were a rock band. Great, informative post Bud. Have a great day. :)

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Sandee-
A great rock band. One of the perks of radio was meeting celebrities. Oh yea, that was Caroline Kennedy I just tripped over...

Bond said...

Bud

Back then he was more Pop than R&B... but you can insert another Pop artist into my assessment

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Vinny-
As I said, I am sure you are right, that he is considered too pop for classic rock. I guess I just think the band was SO strong that it's not a fair assessment. But, I also feel that way about Hootie in the 90's. The Blowfish were at first considered alternative. Then they were considered pop. It IS a fine line...

Anonymous said...

Wrong. He was NOT Pop. Pop music is very different. Normally sung by people under 25. Huey wasn't even under 25 back then.

And Bud, I'd like to see you do an expose on the drama queens of the blogosphere. If you don't I will.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Hey Polli-
Well we have beaten this horse to death. We all loved the band. You can call it what you want. To me, it was a great American rock band.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Polli-

If you are refering to the imprisonment of a blog author, then I am guilty. "OMG How are you?" Come on. Now that is drama...

Diesel said...

Huey rocks! Thanks for the shout-out, Bud!