Getting kicks at 66

Route 66A year ago I entered the final demographic. So far, so good.

@Deanland texted earlier, asking if I had a new affinity with WFAN, the New Yawk radio station that radiates at 660 on what used to be the AM “dial.” Back when range mattered, WFAN was still called WNBC, and its status as a “clear channel” station was non-trivial. At night clear channel stations could be heard up to thousands of miles away on a good radio. Other stations went off the air to clear the way for these beacons of raw 50,000-watt power. As a kid I listened to KFI from Los Angeles in the wee hours and in California I sometimes got WBZ from Boston. Now even “clears” like WFAN are protected only to 750 miles away, which means any or all of these stations also on 660 splatter over each other. Reminds me of a fake ad I did once back when I was at WSUS: All the world’s most beautiful music, all at once. We overdubbed everything we could onto one track.

Funny, a few months back my 16-year old son asked what the point of “range” was with radio. He’s a digital native who is used to being zero distance from everybody else on the Net, including every broadcaster.

He made his point when we were driving from Boston to New York on a Sunday afternoon last month, listening to the only radio show he actually cares about: All A Capella on WERS. While WERS is one of Boston’s smaller stations, it has a good signal out to the west, so we got it nearly to Worcester. Then, when it went away, the kid pulled out the family iPad, which has a Net connection over the cell system, got WERS’ stream going, and we listened to the end of the show, somewhere in Connecticut, with the iPad jacked into the car radio, sounding great.

Meanwhile here I am with a giant pile of trivia in my brain about how AM and FM broadcasting works. It’s like knowing about steam engines.

But mostly I keep living in the future. That’s why I’m jazzed that both VRM and personal cloud development is rocking away, in many places. Following developments took me on three trips to Europe in May and June, plus two to California and one to New Zealand and Australia. Lots of great stuff going on. It’s beyond awesome to have the opportunity to help move so much good stuff forward.

Speaking of distance, the metaphor I like best, for the birthday at hand, is “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Composed in the ’40s by Bobby Troup, the jazz composer and actor, it has been covered by approximately everybody in the years since. The Nelson Riddle sound track for the TV show Route 66 was evocative in the extreme: one of the best road tunes ever written and performed. In addition to that one I have ten other versions:

  • Erich Kunzel
  • John Mayer
  • Chuck Berry
  • Nat King Cole
  • The Cramps
  • The Surfaris
  • Oscar Peterson & Manhattan Transfer
  • Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby
  • Manhattan Transfer
  • Asleep at the Wheel

My faves are the last two. I’ll also put in a vote for Danny Gatton‘s Cruisin’ Deuces, which runs Nelson Riddle’s beat and muted trumpet through a rockabilly template of Danny’s own, and just kicks it.

Anyway, my birthday is happy, so far. Thanks for all the good wishes coming in.


  1. Doc Searls’s avatar

    I love the song, Uncle Dave! Feel-good stuff. Wrote the above in Fargo, too! 🙂

  2. Geoff’s avatar

    Happy Birthday Doc, to celebrate my 66th I’m leaving England for the first time with no return ticket, only 45 years after I first wanted to do it.
    First part is cycling from Cambridge (UK) down to The Black sea & Istanbul mainly following The Danube I hope 🙂
    Best regards & hope to meet up again (somewhere) soon.

  3. Chip’s avatar

    Hey “brother by another mother”

    Just happened to pull up your blog after some software updates
    I had known you were just a bit over a month younger

    Happy Birthday !!!

    Busier than ever here
    Bought a business last year to add to the collection
    Shirley asked “what’s wrong with this picture, Jim is turning 65 and selling, you are turning 65 and buying?”
    It’s all in having the right staff … and I don’t play golf

    Bought out other owners in Earthy Delights last Dec, bought a facility for Earthy in March, just bought one for Cherry Capital Foods (named as one of “50 companies to watch in Michigan this year)

    Growing our companies fast (50% a year) and having a ball

    Did dial back on some ancillary activities, staying active and engaged

    My father passes away back in March (frail but lucid, died in his favorite chair in his sleep) … suppose that nudged me to kick it up a notch.

    Keep up the good work

    Nelson Riddle … running through my head


  4. Catherine Raymond’s avatar

    Hi, Doc! I didn’t realize this was your birthday until Dave Taht mentioned it on Google Plus. Congratulations, and may you continue to be vigorous, and interesting.

  5. Freddy Jr’s avatar

    Happy BDay Doc!

    Great blog by the way!

    I’ve never heard of these guys but I will soon thanks to you! 😉

    You are a very interesting man with an interesting life you share. Congratulations on your journey and thanks for sharing it with us.

    Have a great day everybody!

  6. Nithin Upendran’s avatar

    I know it’s too late to wish you a happy b’day.Any way Happy b’day and live long,Your blog is fantastic.I am new to this blog and the first post i saw on this blog is about your birthday.I think i had a luck to wish you a birthday on my first to your blog.

  7. Bipper Media’s avatar

    Happy “late” b day – enjoyed the read.

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