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Beatles DJ Ken Michaels hits milestone of 2000 shows
In May, 2020, Beatles DJ Ken Michaels hit the biggest milestone of his career by finishing his 2000th radio show on the Beatles! Beginning in March, 1982 on college radio station WNYT (New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, Long Island), Ken created "The All-Request Beatles Show," one of the longest-running Beatles programs on radio, and certainly, one of the first weekly Beatles programs on radio.
In its early days, the show quickly developed into an all-comprehensive show that featured all of the Beatles' group and solo recordings, mixed with cover versions, side projects, tribute songs, novelty records, family members, Apple recording artists -- essentially anything Beatles-related, but relying heavily on the Beatles' historic music as a band and gigantic solo catalogue spanning the Fabs' entire history right up to today. But equally as important as the music are all the other elements that Ken features in every show -- Beatle News, the most unique thematic sets, original interviews, and the widest assortment of Beatles games and trivia with great prizes to give away (books, vinyl, CDs, DVDs, etc.)
After one and half years on WNYT, Ken took "The All-Request Beatles Show" to rock station WDHA-FM in Dover, NJ, where it ran for exactly 10 years (1983-1993). This was the first time his distinctive Beatles program could be heard on a commercial radio station. It is there, Ken feels, that the show really developed and finessed. Ken credits WDHA-FM and their program directors for giving him the freedom to create a Beatles show unlike any other. Heard Sunday mornings, 7-10 am, Beatles fans were treated to several hours of great programming, and eventually the highly successful syndicated radio series "Lost Lennon Tapes" preceded his show at 6 am, which later morphed into "The Beatle Years." You can't beat four hours of Beatles material!
Later, Ken's Beatles show was picked up by oldies station B-103 (WBZO, Long Island) at the height of the Beatles Anthology craze. Ken's first national exposure occurred when he was heard on two different channels of XM Radio, 2003-2009. There, "The All-Request Beatles Show" was given a new and far better title, "Every Little Thing," heard on XM's all-eclectic music channel, Fine Tuning. Michaels said, "The show really fit that format, which blended all genres of music together -- rock, jazz, progressive, you name it, and the Beatles catalogue, when you combine the group and solo recordings, are really the kings of eclectic. Program Director Ben Smith did an incredible job mixing it all and keeping it interesting." In addition, Ken's short features, "Beatle News" and "Beatle Breaks," were featured regularly on XM's 60's channel ("The 60's on 6").
In the next decade, Ken brought "Every Little Thing" into syndication, where it is now heard on 40 stations. Among the many outlets, he is very proud to have his show on the American Forces Radio Network, where "Every Little Thing" is heard by our troops and their families overseas in Europe, Asia, Japan and South Korea. Also, he has joined the United DJs (www.uniteddj.com) -- an exciting new radio station started by British radio legend Tony Prince, that combines the talents of famous DJs from around the globe -- mostly coming from the U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia. All of the DJs bring their unique personalities and program their own shows, very much a throwback to old school radio, where personalities dominated music shows. "It's a tremendous honor for me to be in the mix with these radio legends," Ken said.
As "Every Little Thing" continues to grow and pick up more stations, Ken has made a big splash in the world of Beatles podcasts, where he started one of the first Beatles talk shows, "Fab Fourum," in 2009. He left that show and started another Beatles talk show, "Things We Said Today," with Beatles newsman Steve Marinucci. "In the beginning," Michaels said, "it was a news-oriented show, but it gradually became a show where you could talk about anything concerning the Beatles -- their music, history, and solo careers, as well as the news. We later added new co-hosts, Al Sussman (Beatlefan) and Allan Kozinn (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Beatlefan.) When Steve and Al left, we added veteran radio broadcaster Darren DeVivo, who's been on New York's WFUV since 1983. With Allan, Darren, and myself, the show is still going strong, and we recently celebrated our 300th show with a reunion of all the co-hosts; an incredible moment for all of us." You can listen to current and older shows for "Things We Said Today" at www.beatlesexaminer.podbean.com.
The newest of Ken's Beatles work is "Talk More Talk: A Solo Beatles Videocast," a bi-weekly live show heard Mondays at 9pm (et) on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkmoretalkvideocast/. Ken shares the spotlight with fellow co-hosts Kit O'Toole (author of "Songs We Were Singing: Guided Tours Through The Beatles' Lesser-Known Works" and "Michael Jackson FAQ,") Tom Hunyady (co-host for the solo Paul McCartney video podcast "2 Legs" with Andy Nicholes,) and Mean Mr. Mayo, host of his very popular YouTube channel discussing Beatles, classic pop and rock music and films.
Original co-host Ken Womack (author of a two-part biography on George Martin -- "Maximum Volume" and "Sound Pictures," and his recent book on the Abbey Road album "Solid State,") will be returning as a co-host to the show. "Talk More Talk" is a show that mainly discusses the Beatles' solo careers in depth -- their music, collaborations, and history, with all the co-hosts bringing their own perspectives for each topic. Viewers can comment live as the show goes out, and for those who can't tune in for the live broadcast, it remains on their Facebook channel, and can also be watched on YouTube, and heard on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.
If you can't wait for any of Ken's three Beatles radio programs/podcast shows, you can always visit his website www.kenmichaelsradio.com. So much of what you'll hear on "Every Little Thing" is there -- loads of interviews from people in the Beatles world in their entirety, weekly Beatles trivia, special contests, links to articles on the Beatles, concert information, and more!
Michaels said, "I could never have predicted doing Beatles radio shows for almost 40 years when I started, but I'm even more fascinated and more appreciative of the Beatles' works and accomplishments now than ever before. They gave us the greatest and most influential catalogue of all time, and went on to have the most successful solo careers of any musicians from a previous group. Lightning struck twice for the Beatles. To me, they are four complete talents on their own, each with his own individual style, who achieved success as solo artists that no one else has even come close to. And together, they were unbeatable. Presenting the Beatles in a refreshing way with mixing all their group/solo music, presenting news every week, along with Beatles trivia, interviews and thematic sets has been creatively the most satisfying achievement of my career."
To reach Ken, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published June 3, 2020