Archive for April 1st, 2010

1st April
written by Matt The Cat
Some artists simply resonate with radio listeners, and the multiple tributes to Johnny Maestro since his death last week say he was one.
New York Daily News
March 31, 2010


  Saturday at midnight on WFUV (90.7 FM), Dan Romanello will salute Maestro on “Group Harmony Review” – which grew out of “The Time Capsule Show,” which launched in March 1963 and whose first-ever voice was Johnny Maestro, leading the Crests on “Sweetest One.”


Maestro, a quiet New York kid who became riveting when he took the stage, cut more than a dozen great records with the Crests – a seriously underappreciated vocal group – and then scored again with the Brooklyn Bridge.


His work was saluted on WCBS-FM, WFDU, WBZO, WMTR, WVOX, WRSU, WLNG and on Sirius XM – though radio rarely does extended tributes any more unless the artist is on the level of Michael Jackson.


Twenty years ago WCBS-FM’s Bobby Jay would have done at least an hour in the Hall of Fame the night Maestro died. That doesn’t happen now, though WCBS-FM (101.1) program director Brian Thomas says listeners still do “appreciate our remembering.”


Sirius XM’s Norm N. Nite did a half hour on Maestro, talking with contemporaries like Jay Black, Lou Christie and Dion, and that was good.


But since Sirius XM first sold itself as alternative radio, it was frustrating that it no longer has a live weeknight host like Matt the Cat who could have done a longer, more music-based retrospective on an important life and career.


Memo to Sirius XM: Bring back MTC.


Bobby Jay, meanwhile, says he misses Maestro not only as an artist, but as a friend with whom he often recorded.  


“Johnny not only had that distinctive voice, he was a brilliant musician,” says Jay. “He understood vocal harmony. He did all his arrangements and he had a great ear. If 20 people were singing and one was a little sharp or flat, he heard it.


 “He was a singer. That’s what he was about. He wasn’t interested in the show biz life. He got off on a major ninth chord.


 “He was rock ‘n’ roll’s bel canto singer.”


    AROUND THE DIAL: The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM (Sirius 159, XM 117) features extensive Holy Week programming that includes Easter Mass celebrated on Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI. Hear that live at 4:10 a.m. And rebroadcast at 4 p.m. . . . Donny Osmond’s new syndicated nightly show can be heard starting tomorrow, 7 p.m.-midnight, on WBZO (103.1 FM). . . . Friday night, midnight, will Joey Reynolds’s last broadcast on WOR (710 AM). Starting next Monday, George Noory’s “Coast to Coast” moves into that slot.