Is there a song that is more misunderstood than Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans”? I don’t mean like Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” “‘scuse me while I kiss this guy…” misunderstood. We understand every word of “Forever in Blue Jeans”, but no one seems to understand the author’s meaning.
Yesterday morning, Christa Wessel, the host of KMHD 89.1 FM’s Divaville, announced she is retiring her radio show after 20 years as a volunteer DJ. The show is perennially near or at the top of the most listened to shows on KMHD and is focused on the vocal jazz of the ‘20s through the ‘60s. Great stuff! In an open letter posted to her Facebook page, Wessel says, “Divaville has been a part of my life for the last 20 years, and it’s been my joy and privilege to share these great old vocalists with you.” Her departure leaves a void in the radio landscape that will be tough to fill and it’s not just because of the music. It’s because of the host, Christa Wessel.
For whatever reason, (and I’m sure it’s a good one) too many seventies songs, (and especially those known as AM Gold) have parentheses in their titles. This phenomenon begins around 1970 (the year that I was born) and by 1978 (the year I was eight) is all over (as in, done.) Why?
My father remarried in 2003. It was a small affair for immediate family and friends that numbered about a dozen or so. We commandeered an intimate bed and breakfast for a long summer weekend in Napa Valley. I let the family know I would be entertaining at the reception. They knew what to expect. I performed professionally for years as Tony Starlight, a Rat Pack, lounge singing crooner, but had retired from the music biz in 1999 and was busy performing in comedy theater in L.A. I didn’t miss music and it didn’t miss me. I was burnt out.
It seems a long time ago because it is. The world has changed so much. That was the year I started down this path to save this business we call “show”. To put it into perspective for you, if you were born in 1994, you’d be 20 years old right now. Wow! The twenty years I’ve been doing the Tony Starlight Show is 20 years longer than anyone else has been doing this show. It makes you think, and I’m sorry for that.