Local DJs carry traditional spirit

Less than five weeks away, it is about time to start planning for the Clovis Music Festival. No, I don’t mean for the people who organize it; if they haven’t started planning by now, there is a siginificant problem. I mean for the families who plan to attend.

Talk about an event that has grown and prospered — this one leads the pack.

However, if you are like our family, you really can’t afford to spend the entire weekend there; you have to pick and choose which pieces you will attend.

For me, it always brings back a flood of memories. Not that this was the music of my teenage years — that was more like Lynard Skynard and Jethro Tull {by the way, those are groups not people.} However, western Penna has always been a hotbed for the kind of music we celebrate at the festival, and I can remember the diversion of listening to the “oldies.”

Saturday afternoon, we would be working on cars or hanging out, listening to Charlie Appel, from WPSL Monroeville — “You’re getting your Glee from the Appel tree!” Charlie was both an Episcopal priest and — shades of reflected fame — the brother in law of a friend of mine. I shouldn’t say was; Charlie is alive, well and still doing radio the old way.

Radio the old way — when you actually knew the DJ. When he or occasionally she showed up at community events, raised money for charity, and so on, instead of being an amorphous and often androgynous voice coming from satellite in — who knows? Chicago? LA? Philadelphia?

Evenings found our ears tuned to WAMO’s Porky Chedwick — “Your platter pushin’ papa, the bossman daddyo of the raddio…” also still well and doing music.

Terry Lee on WIXZ 1360 led us into our teenage years with music for young lovers, music to get lost by — well, this is a family oriented column so I can’t go into all of his catch phrases, but TL, according to his website, is still active although he has apparently experienced some health issues.

If you have a satellite radio, you can catch Cousin Brucie, another of that breed of DJ, though his stomping grounds were New York and Philadelphia. Certainly, we in our town are blessed with several folks who are truly radio personalities, not just homogenous beings. Thanks to Grant McGee, Rooney and Moon, and a few others who carry the tradition. Not, however, to digress too far from the approaching Music Festival. Celebrate a time and a place where life was, in effect, more personal and individual — when a music superstar didn’t have to be afraid of trading high fives with his or her fans.

Who knows, you just might find yourself howlin and prowlin with the Wolfman.