John Kessler

All Blues Host

John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KPLU since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KPLU “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.

His most memorable and satisfying KPLU radio moment was getting an email from Jimmy Lane, a bluesman and the son of blues legend Jimmy Rogers, who said something like “You’re playing the good stuff, keep it up!”

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu April 28, 2011

The Lusty Month of May

The Maypole's Ancient Symbolism
Nick Smarto Flickr

If you’ve ever danced around a Maypole, you’re taking part in a ritual that goes back 1000’s of years, before the invention of the nuclear family but after the invention of alcohol and sex.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu April 21, 2011

Hot Hits From the Bible

Unlikely Pop Stars?
NJ Tech Teacher Flickr

Pop stars and Nuns. They don’t usually go together, with some notable exceptions.

But in 1973 Sister Janet Mead, a Roman Catholic nun from Australia had an international smash hit on her hands with her single “The Lord’s Prayer”. Selling over two million copies, Sister Janet donated all the sales proceeds to charity and continues to record to this day.

But she wasn’t the first nun to strike pop gold...

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Body parts in popular music

Musical inspiration?
DoubleM2 Flickr

What do we sing about when we sing about the body?

The folks at Fleshmap have analyzed 1000’s of songs in 11 genres and found which parts of the body show up most often. It’s not what you’re thinking…at least it’s not what we at Record Bin Roulette were thinking.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:03 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Scouts, s'mores and Kumbaya

s'mores!
sanchom Flickr

Truth be told, we at Record Bin Roulette can barely tie our shoes, let alone a taut-line hitch, so we never became Webelos, although we have toasted a few marshmallows…

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Record Bin Roulette
4:56 am
Thu March 31, 2011

Money can buy happiness, sort of

A Million Bucks!
JBlazeB Flickr

A recent Princeton University study found that “happiness” peaks when a person’s income is about $75,000. But you have to make a whole lot more to actually feel “rich”.

Another study found that 42% of millionaires don’t feel wealthy. It turns out, you have to have about $7.5 million before you can feel both happy and rich.

Just once, we would like the chance to prove that money can’t make us happy.

Herewith, some of our favorite sayings about money and happiness…

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Record Bin Roulette
2:10 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Oompah! Singin' about beer

Free Beer!
fengergold / Flickr Flickr

The world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink overall.

The invention of beer is argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. Think about that for a moment the next time you crack open a cold one. Those early Neolithic humans were tipsy.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:35 am
Thu March 17, 2011

The 27 Club

Betty Rubble
el frijole Flickr

A startling number of influential musicians have died at the age of 27, including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin. Strangely, they all knew each other, and their deaths happened within a 10 month period. The list goes on…Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Robert Johnson, Mia Zapata…all members of The 27 Club

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Record Bin Roulette
4:35 am
Thu March 10, 2011

Hot lead and "Super-Soakers"

Gun control in action: Super-Soakers
scorpiusdiamond Flickr

Sometimes it seems most of life’s problems can be solved with proper application of high velocity projectiles.

Take the “Chicken Gun”, operated by the US Air Force. It solved the problem of testing bird impacts on airplanes. It was too hard to fly around looking for a flock of birds to fly into, so they invented a cannon to fire freshly killed chickens at expensive airplanes. And in a pinch, it can be used as a weapon. While it might not create smoking craters, it would totally gross out the enemy.

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Record Bin Roulette
5:06 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Up, up and away: Airplane!

This week the Record Bin Roulette wheel lands on ... airplane! It's all about flying as John Maynard and John Kessler find the old vinyl that went airborne for inspiration.
Onkel_Wart Flickr

Flight has always inspired humans, from the days when Icarus flew his wax and feather contraption too close to the sun. An accident like his could never happen today. We have learned too much about the mechanics of flight, and Strategic Air Command would have vaporized him once he left controlled airspace.

Icarus could never have imagined that his dream of flight would be an inspiration to anyone who has ever tied 75 helium balloons to a lawn chair.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:15 am
Thu February 24, 2011

At the Oscars

Oscar, himself.
NMCIL ortiz domney Flickr

And the winner is…

Music and movies have pretty much always gone together. What would Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid be without “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”? Try to imagine The Wizard of Oz without “Over the Rainbow”. Or Blue Velvet without “Blue Moon”. Okay stop imagining now.

It doesn’t take a good movie to produce an Oscar winning song. For example, The Poseidon Adventure produced the Oscar winner “The Morning After”, and Towering Inferno gave us “We May Never Love Like This Again.”

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Record Bin Roulette
7:19 am
Thu February 17, 2011

The nine balls of George W. Bush

Now that we have your attention…it’s time for another romp through history in honor of this weekend’s big President’s Day Holiday. It’s a day to pay tribute to those brave men who served their country, and to enjoy deep discounts on furniture and appliances that honor their memory.

Record Bin Roulette takes this occasion to review the popular music Presidents have chosen for their formal celebrations. The biggest, baddest of all is the Inaugural Ball.

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Record Bin Roulette
5:25 am
Thu February 10, 2011

A Grammys pop quiz

Rob Pilatus, left, and Fab Morvan of Milli Vanilli display their Grammys after winning the 1989 best new artist award in Los Angeles Feb. 21, 1990. They were later stripped of their award after being revealed as lip-synching poseurs.
AP

The Grammys have been awarded since 1959, when Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" was the hit of the year. Some of the greats have been honored along the way, from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles to Quincy Jones.

Some not-so-greats have been honored, too. Milli Vanilli had to give theirs back-- seems they weren't actually on their award-winning record.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:49 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Super Bowl halftime show review

It's the unlikely history of the biggest halftime show on the planet: the Super Bowl. Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be  Super Bowl XLV - yes, 45 years of the Big Game - and among the millions watching some will be hanging on to see what passes as entertainment for the masses.

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Record Bin Roulette
8:02 am
Thu January 27, 2011

The CD, in memoriam

The dust of progress is collecting on the compact disc.
Mr Tickle - Wachoo Wachoo Tribe Congressman Flickr

It's a sign of the times for the lowly CD: Sony closes a huge CD manufacturing plant, and the same week the band Cake sells a dismal 44,000 copies, the lowest ever for a number one album.

Downloads and file sharing are undeniably edging out the Compact Disc. So, in memoriam, we offer a retrospective of the short but flashy career of the venerable CD.

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Record Bin Roulette
5:03 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Top TV theme songs, aka 'Boob Tube Pop'

Johnny Rivers sang one of the mid-1960's top TV themes, nearly taking it to Number #1 on the pop charts. Take the Record Bin Roulette quiz, and tell us what theme song was so popular.
Soulrocket YouTube.com

You can name a few, we're sure: TV theme songs that topped the pop charts. 

Here's a little quiz, based on this week's Record Bin Roulette. Name the show (and theme song) from the clue provided (answers at bottom of the post!):

  1. Johnny Rivers sang it all the way to #3
  2. Don Diego de la Vega was the lead character's name
  3. Theme song with one word, repeated over and over...
  4. The Sweathogs had him
  5. Unofficial University of Hawaii fight song
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