Jim Bartlett's Blog

Posts from May 2013


Dogpile on Uncle Jim
My wife and I have no children. (I can barely take care of a cat.) We do, however, have eight nephews, three nieces, and a slew of honorary grandchildren that officially belong to friends of ours. We love other people's kids, because at the end of the day, either they go home or we do.

Unlike my immediate family, which is all in southern Wisconsin, my wife's family is spread all over the country. Her brother and his family (three boys and a girl) are in Michigan; her sister and her family (also three boys and a girl) are in Virginia; her father lives in Massachusetts. Because of the distances involved and the fact that Ann's father and his wife don't travel much anymore, we are rarely able to be all together. In fact, it's been seven years since all of us were in the same place at the same time.

This weekend, however, we're all descending on my sister-in-law's house in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. (She'll be fine. She worked in the resort industry and for Hyatt Hotels for several years, so she knows what she's doing.) We don't have much planned for the weekend except to hang out under the same roof. Ann and I will get lots of prime aunt-n-uncle time, with eight kids ranging in age from 2 to 20. I expect I will once again get to demonstrate to the nephews that I have no skills whatsoever at xBox, and I expect that I will once again do whatever my nieces (age 12 and 2) want me to do because they know I will and all they have to do is ask.

If they don't wear me out completely, I'll be back on the radio on Tuesday the 4th.
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The #1 Weekend Is Here
Ann has been married to me for 30 years and she still can't believe I know what was #1 on July 4, 1976 ("Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney and Wings) but I can't remember how to find things in my own neighborhood. It's a problem some of the time, but this weekend it's actually useful, because it's a #1 weekend on Magic 98. We're playing nothing but #1 songs from Friday morning through Monday night. And here's some #1 trivia:
  • The newest song you're likely to hear this weekend is "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink and Nate Ruess, which was #1 until just a couple of weeks ago. "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars is another 2013 hit on our #1 list.
  • You'll hear some really long-running #1 hits on the show, like "Smooth" by Santana and Rob Thomas, which was #1 for 12 weeks as 1999 turned to 2000.
  • "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith was #1 its very first week on the charts in 1998, which has happened maybe 20 times in history.
  • Lots of famous movies will be represented on the show, lots of them from the 80s including Flashdance, Top Gun, and Back to the Future.
  • You'll be able to catch all four Beatles, but only one member of Wham.
  • Because the taste of the American record buyer has always been odd, you'll hear "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede and "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone.
  • "You Light Up My Life" was #1 longer than any other single in the 1970s. It's pretty much guaranteed that if it's going to be on this weekend, it'll be on my show. Just a feeling I have.
The #1 weekend will be great for whatever you have going on over Memorial Day--running errands, working on or around the house, hanging out with the family, and whatever's in between. We're doing it to celebrate being Madison's #1 radio station. All of us on the Magic Crew are grateful for your loyalty and friendship, and we hope you have a great weekend.
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Hometown Spirits

Between my recent blog post on local beer, wine, and distilling, and my Facebook posts and talk on the air about Madison Craft Beer Week, you're probably starting to think I'm a lush. Not so. I practice and encourage responsible sampling and enjoyment--as frequently as possible.

Last weekend Ann and I went back to my hometown, Monroe, to tour the Minhas Craft Brewery and the Minhas Micro Distillery across the street. The brewery is one of the oldest businesses in Monroe, although it's had many names over the years. I've toured it a couple of times, but the tour is more elaborate now. The Canadian couple who bought the brewery a few years ago have turned it into the 10th-largest brewery in the country in terms of capacity--not the 10th-largest craft brewery, but the 10th-largest brewery period. They've expanded the warehouse space--necessary given the amount of brewing they do, not just for their own labels, which include Huber and Rhinelander, but what they do on a contract basis for other brewers. Yet for all the beer they produce, they still have only one brew kettle---which is why they brew in three shifts, 24 hours a day, four days a week. The Micro Distillery is not doing any distilling at the moment, although they're equipped to do so. They're blending exclusively on-site right now, and making some tasty whiskey, rum, and vodka.

An hour's ride down Highway 69 to Monroe is mandatory if you enjoy local beer and spirits. To learn more about the brewery, click here. For more about the distillery, click here.
 

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Locations: Hometown




 
You Be the DJ
We have been doing Five at Five every weekday afternoon at 5:00 since way back in the 1960s. (OK, well maybe not that long, but for a while, anyhow.) Since the average commute in the Madison area is something like 20 minutes, we figure that five songs in a row gives you enough time to get home, or almost home. Our crack staff (actually, "cracked" is probably a better word) spends a lot of time and energy coming up with themes. This week we did songs with the word "young" in the title, songs based on classical pieces, 80s remakes of 60s hits, and songs from 1999. On Fridays, we often do a preview of "Saturday at the 70s" or "Sunday at the 80s."

Now, we'd like to see what you can come up with. We want your personal Five at Five. It can be songs from a certain year,  favorite movie songs, Grammy winners, songs with certain words or names in the title, or just songs you really like and want to hear sometime on your ride home. Make up your list and e-mail it to me: jim.bartlett@magic98.com. It would help if you threw in a couple of extra songs so we have something to fall back on, in case something you want to hear is something that's not in our library. (It happens.) If we choose your list, we'll even give you the chance to introduce a song or two on the air, if you want to. (It's not very hard. If radio was too hard, I'd be doing something else.)

(I notice this post has a lot of sentences in parentheses in it.)
 
We figure that if you're a regular Magic listener, you can pick songs just as well as we can.  So send your Five at Five: jim.bartlett@magic98.com.
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