Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Don and Casey

You may not have heard about the recent death of Don Bustany. You may not recognize his name at all—even though he’s mentioned on Magic 98 every weekend. Don Bustany was the co-creator of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Back in 1970, he and Casey dreamed up the idea
Posted  on May 3, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Hello Again, Chicago

Thirty-five years ago this month, Ann and I honeymooned in Chicago, back when we were young and broke. For our anniversary, no longer young and no longer broke, we decided we’d go back for a weekend. We started on Saturday afternoon with lunch at Giordano’s with a big ol’ Chicago-style
Posted  on April 19, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Hey Honey, I’m Home

I have written a few times over the years about another job I have, which is to teach classes for high school kids getting ready to take their ACTs and SATs. I spent most of March doing that, mostly in Illinois and Minnesota, including 14 straight nights away from home
Posted  on April 7, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: The Night Van Halen Trashed the Sheraton

Forty years ago this week, Journey, then an up-and-coming rock band, was set to play the Orpheum Theater. Also on the bill was the band Montrose, and a new band from Los Angeles called Van Halen. One month after releasing their first album, Van Halen was already generating a buzz,
Posted  on March 10, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Lean Times

Last weekend, the American Top 40 show on Sunday at the 80s was from February 1984. It gave me flashbacks to a time when I was a far younger man, a time that was pretty awful for a while but eventually turned out OK. In the fall of 1983, married
Posted  on February 22, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Sticky Tape

So the other day I walked into the Magic bullpen, the office we share, looking for some tape to seal up an envelope. I said to Ginger and Jillene, “Do either of you have any sticky tape?” They both looked at me like I had two heads, so I decided
Posted  on January 27, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: New Year’s Vacation

Ann and I don’t usually take long vacations. We started 2018, however, with a nine-day trip, the longest one we’ve been on together in something like eight years. Our first stop was to visit Ann‘s sister and her family, who live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. We decided
Posted  on January 11, 2018
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Top Songs of 2017

When I was a kid, I was quite a nerd. (Cue people who know me personally: “What do you mean, ‘was’?”) I used to watch baseball games on TV and keep statistics in my own little scorebook. And for a lot of years before I was old enough to do
Posted  on December 31, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: How AT40 Remembered John Lennon

In December of 1980, John Lennon‘s comeback single, “(Just Like) Starting Over” was riding high on the charts. On December 8, 1980, a Monday, he was shot to death in New York City. This left the producers of American Top 40 with a dilemma. The show for the next weekend,
Posted  on December 7, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday

I grew up in a musical house. One of the bedrooms is still known as the “piano room,” where my mother’s upright piano has sat since the day my parents moved in, before I was born. I started piano lessons when I was eight, and I learned how to read
Posted  on November 29, 2017