Saturday, March 07, 2009

My afternoon with Richard Pegue (In memory of A Legend 1944-2009)

I was actually a bit intimidated by Richard Pegue Initially. Back in the days before Bad Boy Radio when we were only on Saturday nights, Richard used to do his show The Best Music of Your Life in the adjacent Dusty Radio 1390 studios. He never said much more than a "hi" as I passed him in the hall and I figured him to be a bit crotchety. I was like, who is this "Richard PEE-GUE" guy? Growing up in Milwaukee, I didnt know much about Richard Pegue, much less how to pronounce his name or the legendary WVON Good Guys. I did remember our local line-up of radio DJs in the 70's also called themselves the "WAWA Good Guys" but I would soon find out it was Chicago where the name originated.

So here we are in '95-'96 doing the All Request Party on 'GCI while Richard Pegue during the same time slot is playing Dusties on 1390, when we meet Richard's intern/assistant/gopher a 15 year old wunderkid named Lawrence Jones aka LJ. LJ would come into the studio and kick it with us and share an unbelievable wealth of knowledge for old school music for a kid so young. I remember thinking at first he was Richard's son bacause he knew so much about dusties and not only Chicago but Chicago radio history.

The Moo & Oink Jingle? That was Richard Pegue, LJ would say.
The Funtown Jingle? That was Richard too!

I think I learned more about Richard Pegue's place in Chicago radio history talking to LJ than I would have from the man himself.

So there it is, I'm working directly across from a legend every Saturday night and I am now officially intimidated. He's probably thinking, look at these "young bucks" over there with their hip hop and whatnot, they aint got nothin on us with this real music. The best music of our lives...

I could'nt have been more wrong about the man.

Fast Forward to 2003. Dusty Radio has long since been replaced by Gospel Radio 1390 and we're no longer on Saturday nights. Bad Boy Radio is making Chicago radio history in its own right and I recently start doing a mixtape series called The Mike Love Show to display my DJ talents and make a lil noise in the midwest Mixtape game. I'm doing a my 1st mixtape hosted by a Chicago artist, Twista, and I want an intro that truly says Chicago.

And nothing says Chicago like Tommy and the Moo & Oink commercials.

By 2003 Moo & Oink had stopped using their standard jingle and moved to a newer version that wasnt as good. I remember LJ telling me that Richard Pegue would have all the original jingle music and if I wanted to have them cut a mixtape intro as if it was a moo & oink commercial to give him a call. I call Richard and I'll never forget when he took the call...

*answers phone* hello, this is Richard
Hey, Richard. its Mike Love
um, Mike Love? From Mike Love & The Diz?
oh...hey what's going on Mike

needless to say, the intimidation factor from '95 kicked right back in.

I explained what I needed to Richard. A mixtape intro that uses the Moo & oink jingle voiced by the announcer Tommy. instead of in-store specials it would talk about mixtape specials. Richard liked the idea and we agreed to meet on a saturday to cut the spot at his home studio. I arrived at his home in South Holland and he was a very warm host, Not the "crotchety" person I remember thinking he was back in the Dusty radio days. I remember having to explain to Tommy the whole concept of reading a script about mixtapes as if it was a Moo & Oink commercial but it was Richard who really helped him to understand the concept and coach him through the process. While spending part of that Saturday afternoon in his studio, I thought it was the coolest thing that Richard still used reel to reel to record the commercial to give it that warm, vintage, back-in-the-day feel. After the intro/commercial was cut, I talked to Richard about commercial production and all the different types of spots he's cut over the years and of course radio. He said he had a lot of respect for what The Bad Boyz had accomplished over the years and how proud he was of his own son Chris who was starting to come into his own as a radio personality in his own right on 'GCI. Totally the opposite of the "young bucks" I thought he perceived us as.

I asked him what I owed him for his time and he said nothing, it was on him but I insisted he take something for his time (back in'03 people actually used to turn down money) As I was leaving I said maybe one day I can come back and we can turn the Funtown Jingle into a mixtape intro. He flashed a smile and said he liked the idea. Something he created back in the day reaching a new generation in a new and creative way and If I wanted to do it to just give him a call.

Check out the intro below. Thanks Richard.

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