Spend our Birthday with us in the MM-aRchives
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April 29202111:00 am - 11:00 pm

April 29, 1968: the day we went from Sinatra and Company to The Marconi Experiment. The day that the WMMR you know and love today was born.

Join us on the air Thursday, April 29th as Pierre spends the day in the MM-aRchives.

Take a trip with us and enjoy a few hours of the best live music we’ve recorded over the past 53 amazing years. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram throughout Pierre’s show. See what he’s been playing below…

It’s been a long, wonderful musical journey with the best Rock and Roll audience in the world!

1. Flying – The Beatles

This was the very first song played on our airwaves when WMMR signed on in 1968.

2. Like A Stone – Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell performed acoustically at Grape Street in a session hosted by Pierre Robert in 2007.

3. Talk of the Town – Chrissy Hynde of the Pretenders

This track is from an MMaRchive Session with Chrissie Hynde and James Walbourne of The Pretenders, hosted by Pierre Robert on May 8th, 2008. They played several songs from the album that was new at the time, Break Up The Concrete, but towards the end of the session they pulled one out from their catalog of classics: “Talk Of The Town”.

4. Pain Lies on The Riverside – Live

This MMaRchive Session was recorded in April of 1992 with the band Live. In this cut we hear Bubba John Stevens introducing the band. At that time Bubba John helmed the afternoon drive, along with Mark the Shark. Live had released Mental Jewelry a few months prior; “Pain Lies On The Riverside” is the lead track on that album.

5. Give A Little Bit – Roger Hodgson  of Supertramp

Rodger Hodgson of Supertramp provides this MMaRchives pick with a neat version of “Give A Little Bit”. It’s from an MMaRchive Session with Pierre Robert that took place on November 20th, 2012. Later that night Roger performed at the Keswick Theatre as part of his “Breakfast In America” world tour.

6. Suffragette City – David Bowie

This was recorded at the Spectrum on April 29th, 1978 – WMMR’s 10th birthday! Bowie’s relationship with this city and with our listeners is a long and storied one; David Live was recorded at the Tower Theater, and Young Americans was recorded at Sigma Sound Studios.

This track only recently came to light; it’s part of a series of box sets released just after David Bowie’s passing. The ’78 run of Spectrum shows was recorded and released as a live album, called Stage. However, “Suffragette City” was omitted from both the original release AND its 2005 reissue. This track was rediscovered while last year’s box sets were being assembled.

7. Trip Switch – Nothing But Thieves

This UK band has been live on Preston & Steve several times, including a Zoom chat for Camp Out For Hunger last year. This track is from their first visit to the MMR studios, on October 21st, 2016. “Trip Switch” was their breakout single off their self-titled debut album.

8. If I Had A Million Dollars – Barenaked Ladies

Planet M was a specialty show on WMMR that was hosted by Matt Cord. It started on Saturday nights, but eventually became a part of the evening show every weeknight. This was the first commercial radio show in Philly to play a long list of alternative acts like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day. It was on the air from about 1990-95. Sometime in 1992, Barenaked Ladies stopped by for a fun performance at MMR’s studios, then located at 5th and Market, and one of the songs they treated us to was “If I Had A Million Dollars”.

9. Turn It On Again – Genesis

This song marks the conclusion of a sold-out 4-night run at the Spectrum, recorded live on September 27th, 1986. In it, Phil Collins thanks the crowd and refers to Philadelphia as the band’s hometown. The English band were fond of Philly fans, who consistently supported Genesis as their lineup evolved. The 1986 iteration of the band included Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford, plus touring musicians Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer.

10. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

Pittsburgh roots-rockers Rusted Root were live on the Preston and Steve Show on October 2nd, 2008. They played at the Electric Factory two nights later, on 10/4/08. The song is from the band’s 1994 platinum album When I Woke.

11. Pinball Wizard – Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend of The Who played the Tower Theater as part of the Psychoderelict Tour in the summer of 1993. He was supposed to visit John DeBella’s show on MMR that afternoon, but had been running late, so instead he came to the studio after the concert at the Tower. The interview lasted until almost 2am. Debella and Townshend met again in 2016 while The Who were doing their Quadrophenia tour; Townshend told him it that the conversation from ‘93 was the best interview he was ever a part of! This version of “Pinball Wizard” begins with Townshend talking about why he loves this song – and the reason might surprise you…

12. Glycerine – Bush

This is a cut from one of our most notable archive sessions with Pierre Robert of recent years. Bush performed in the MMR studios on August 5th, 2011. This is an acoustic take on their hit “Glycerine”.

13. Fat Bottomed Girls – Mack, Myers, Moore

This recording features Zach Myers of Shinedown, along with JR Moore & Zack Mack, together known as Mack, Myers & Moore. They did a show at Grape Room on March 8th, 2017, and after their set they joined Brent Porche in the MMR studios to perform live on his overnight show. Our favorite moment from this visit is when they covered ‘Fat Bottoms Girls’ acoustically, referring to it as their ‘bluegrass version’ of Queen.

14. Beat Up Guitar – The Hooters

Concerts on the Parkway (for 4th of July, Live Aid, Made In America or a number of other events) can draw 100-200k people, and such was the case when the Hooters rocked Independence Day in 1990.

15. No Particular Place To Go – George Thorogood

In the 1970s and early ‘80s, the Bijou was Philadelphia’s premier showcase for up-and-coming acts; Barry Manilow, U2 and Prince all performed there. On April 8th, 1978, MMR broadcast this George Thorogood performance live from the Bijou Café. at this point in time, George only had one studio album out: his eponymous debut. Later in 1978 he would release his second album, Move It On Over. During this entire song (which is a cover of the Chuck Berry classic) you can hear the crowd going wild – the audience was as much a part of the song as George and the Destroyers were!

16. Blood and Roses – The Smithereens

On May 2nd, 1988, while in the midst of promoting their sophomore album Green Thoughts, The Smithereens performed a full set at Sigma Sound Studios. There were about 30 people in the audience, but thousands listened in as the session was broadcast live on WMMR. DJ Earle Bailey hosted the gig, and in this cut, you can hear him plug the Smithereens’ show the next night at the legendary Chestnut Cabaret at 38th & Ludlow.

17. Carolina In My Mind – James Taylor

James Taylor was live on the Preston & Steve Show on November 7th, 2008. He was promoting his album Covers, which is a collection of – you guessed it – cover songs. It received two Grammy nominations. This track, “Carolina in My Mind” is a song that first appeared on James Taylor’s 1968 self-titled debut album. Taylor wrote it while overseas recording for the Beatles’ label Apple Records, and the song’s themes reflect his homesickness at the time. It was re-recorded for Taylor’s 1976 Greatest Hits album in the version that is most familiar to listeners. It has been a staple of Taylor’s concert performances over the decades of his career.

18. Werewolves of Bryn Mawr (London) – Warren Zevon

In this unique version of “Werewolves of London”, Warren Zevon alters the lyrics to “Werewolves of Bryn Mawr”, much to the delight of his audience. This adjustment was a reference to the Main Point, where WMMR was broadcasting the show live on June 20th, 1976. This was the beginning of a long relationship between MMR and Zevon. In the 80s he was a frequent guest of the Morning Zoo, a Philly resident for a stretch of time, and he later performed at the station’s 25th Birthday Show.

19. Could Have Been Me – The Struts

The Struts are now good friends of WMMR, having been on Pierre’s show for a chat, doing a Pierre Presents session, performing at MMRBQ 2017 AND 2019… the list goes on. This cut comes from one of our first encounters with this band. They sat in with the Preston & Steve show on September 3rd, 2015, and delivered a take on “Could Have Been Me” that allowed Luke Spiller’s voice and charisma to truly shine. He won us over when he changed some of the lyrics on the fly to incorporate WMMR into the song (not that we weren’t impressed to begin with!).

20. Take It Easy – Jackson Browne

One of the shows that WMMR broadcast live from the Main Point in Bryn Mawr is Jackson Browne on September 7th, 1975. Though “Take It Easy” was first released by the Eagles, it was co-written by Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne. Since Browne’s single arrived later, the Eagles’ take on the song is more widely known. In country-fried interpretation of the song you’ll hear a violin – that’s acclaimed multi-instrumentalist David Lindley.

21. Touch Of Grey – Grateful Dead

You’ll hear Ted Utz [former PD] and Chip Horaneck [former DeBella producer] setting the scene on March 31st, 1987 and broadcasting live at the Spectrum. At the end of the track, Bob Weir gives WMMR a shout out from the stage!! Fun fact: Jerry Garcia and Pierre Robert share the same birthday.

22. A Horse With No Name – America

In the early 70s, the voices you may have heard on the WMMR airwaves include Ed Sciaky, Michael Tearson, and David Dye, to name a few… These were your hosts for the sessions that the station broadcast live from Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. One of these sessions was with folk trio America in February of 1972. They performed “A Horse With No Name” which was a staple of early FM rock, despite the song being banned by some radio stations because of supposed drug references in the lyrics.

23.  Captain Jack – Billy Joel

This Billy Joel concert is legendary. It was hosted by WMMR’s Ed Sciaky at Sigma Sound Studios on April 15th, 1972. This particular version of “Captain Jack” began to get a lot of airplay on our station. Word quickly spread about Billy Joel and his talents, and his career was kickstarted by the radio support here in Philadelphia.

24. Blender Blues – Bonnie Raitt

This MMaRchives pick was inspired by a kitchen appliance. It’s true! Bonnie Raitt is known for her soulful, moving voice, but she has a little fun with “Blender Blues”, done live at the Rainbow Room at Sigma Sound Studios. Gene Shay was your host for this session on February 22nd, 1972.

25.  The Kids Aren’t Alright – The Offspring

In our most recent MMaRchive Session, the Offspring joined us via Zoom for a chat with Pierre in Studio Z. They also performed a few songs exclusively for MMR listeners!

26. Wings For Wheels (Thunder Road)– Bruce Springsteen

Five months before Born To Run was released and they were catapulted into the highest ranks of rock n’ roll, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band performed at the intimate Main Point on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA. WMMR carried the show live on February 5th, 1975. It was hosted by Ed Sciaky, who accurately predicted in his introduction that Bruce would go on after this show “to conquer America and the world”. The song “Wings For Wheels” was still a work in progress at this point; it would eventually be known as “Thunder Road”. This early version was a highlight of this historical live broadcast.

27. Birthday – The Beatles

They say it’s your birthday!

28. Flying – The Beatles (encore)

So nice, we had to play it twice.

29. Seek & Destroy – Metallica

As Pierre closed his birthday show today, we thought it’d be fitting to start Jaxon’s portion of the day with a kick in the pants!! This supercharged version of “Seek & Destroy” comes from Metallica’s May 2017 show at the Linc in South Philly. Jaxon and Sara were on hand that day to broadcast live, introduce the band and speak with James Hetfield backstage before the show.