Ralph Rasmussen Radio History - Vintage WVVX Newsletter
Check out an old Press Clipping from the past of RadioBypass DJ, Ralph Rasmussen CHICAGO FOO GOOD ROCKER COCO 103.1 FM NEWSLETTER ww....
RadioBypass first went online on January 22, 2017. This podcast was born out of years of radio stations failing to support new rock bands or playing new music that established bands were creating. Many musicians have continued to make new music but radio never plays it. New band? Next to impossible to get your work on the radio. So, if Radio is not going to be an outlet for new music, we will bypass radio and be that outlet online instead!
From the beginning, the purpose has been to play Rock and Roll music that DESERVES to be heard and interview the talented musicians creating the music. After doing just that for 4 years now, we have learned that Rock and Roll is not dead, it’s just a little harder for the audience interested in the music to find because there are so many outlets.
We plan to continue to be a place that brings the best music together in one place and bring you interviews with the people creating it!
Our mission is to curate the best in Rock and Roll music. Period - from the best of the big names, to the freshest music from those yet to build their name. RadioBypass provides a destination where classic artists have their new music heard, and offers a platform to showcase emerging talent. All to benefit the listener with great music, great interviews and great opportunities to hear the music that rocks!
Our goal is to keep Rock and Roll music alive and help musicians spread the word about their music! We want to always be an outlet for hard working musicians to have their new music heard, and be a place where they can come and talk about it!
I have had a lifetime love affair with rock and roll music. My mom always told me that I was responding to rock music before I was born! I first fell in love with The Beatles, then Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and many more. I knew when I was a little boy that I wanted to be involved with music in some capacity. I took a couple of guitar lessons when I was about 8 or 9 years old but it didn’t last long. My grandmother had agreed to pay for the lessons as long as I practiced every day. Well, as soon as my buddies would knock on the door wanting to go ride our bikes, play ball, or whatever, I always put the guitar down and went to hang out with the guys.
When faced with the ultimatum of either practicing as instructed or there would be no more lessons, the guitar fell by the wayside. Not too long after that, I got a book about the Beatles for Christmas. The book was largely focused on their manager Brian Epstein and how he discovered the band and began to manage them. I thought, that’s what I can do! Find a band, be their manager, get them a record deal, and travel the world! So, from that day forward, I would read everything I could get my hands on about the musicians I was listening to and try to understand the music business. In those days, a lot of local bands would do all ages shows in high school auditoriums so I would get my mom to take me to as many of those as possible. I was always the youngest one there. Not too many 8 and 9 year olds were checking out live rock bands. I would watch everything that took place before the band played. I noticed that before the band would play, there was always at least a couple of people on stage placing equipment on the stage. I watched those guys like a hawk. A few times I would see one of these people come out to where the audience was and I would try to talk to them and ask questions. Most of the time, being just a kid, they would ignore me. Finally, at a show at East Leyden High School, one of the guys working for a band called The Insubordination, answered a couple of my questions. He said the people on stage before a band comes on are called roadies. I decided that would be my starting point for a career in the music business when I got a little older.
Several years later, when I was a teenager, I met a keyboard player from a local band called Galleon who needed a roadie. I was too young to be in the clubs they played at, but he let me hang out with the band anyway and I would help carry equipment in and out and get to watch the band play up close. It was a great learning opportunity and I am happy to say he and I are still friends to this day.
Once I started hanging out with his band, I got to see all the top bands in Chicago play and then meet many of the players. I was blown away at the amount of talent in Chicago! As I would meet these different musicians, most of the ones that had a demo tape would give a copy to me. I started to build a substantial library of local bands.
In 1985, a musician friend of mine asked me if I could listen to a radio station for him to see if one of his songs got played. The radio station had a limited signal and he could not pick it up where he lived but thought I lived close enough to pick it up. He was right. That radio station was WVVX. From 1 - 5AM they had a show called Nightpeople that featured many types of local entertainers including musicians. Sure enough, right at 1:00AM I hear my friends song on the radio! Cool! After the song, the DJ spoke. His name is John Gorny and he gave a phone number to call in for requests. I called in. Came to find out he did not have music from any of the local bands I was asking for. He asked me if I have the music. I told him I did and he said it would be great if I could come to the station one night and show him what I had. So, we made arrangements for me to do that. I showed him what bands I had and starting give him information on the bands. I ended up staying with him all night and he asked if I would be interested in being his producer. Unpaid. But, we could play all the local music we wanted to. I loved the idea of being able to help local musicians get their music heard so I started to work with John. It was great, and he and I had a lot of fun. John’s biggest musical passion was the blues. He eventually left WVVX to host a blues show at another station and management at WVVX offered me the hosting job full time, with pay, which I accepted. We played mainly hard rock/heavy metal music which was perfect for me as that was, and is, my favorite genre. So, I got to play both national and local bands for 20 hours a week. Felt good to give unsigned, local bands, a chance to have their music on the radio. During this time frame, I also began to work with a band called Smash Alley. I thought maybe this would be my Beatles. The band was extremely talented - top notch players, songwriters, performers and wonderful guys. Sadly, that elusive record deal didn’t happen but we are all still friends to this day and our guitar player, Tyler Bates, has gone on to achieve success as a composer for movies, video games, television shows and more.
In 1991, I felt it was time to leave WVVX and get a job that would earn me a better paycheck. I left WVVX at the end of that year, but my love of music was as strong as ever. Smash Alley continued to play until 1993. When the band stopped, I never worked with a band again nor did I work at a radio station again. The passion I had for music never stopped. I knew someday I would do something music related again, just unfortunately music would not be my career.
Over the years, I would often meet people that used to listen to my radio show, or saw me introducing a band somewhere, and I would always hear how much radio sucks now and that there is no easy place to hear the music from back then or easily find new bands. After many years of hearing these types of comments, and being frustrated myself that radio stations will not play new music from the classic bands they feature, or play new music from new bands, I decided that I would do a podcast that featured some of what I used to play at WVVX, play new music from the bands that were around back then, and play new bands. If radio won’t do it, I will! Now I just have to figure out how! I started gathering information and coming up with names for the show back in 2015. I wanted to come up with a name that expressed what this podcast is all about. I came up with RadioBypass, as the purpose of this podcast is to showcase music that is being bypassed by radio today, whether it’s rock music from the past or from new bands trying to get their music heard. I was able to obtain the domain, went out and got the gear I needed, and found a company that would host the podcast. On January 22, 2017, the first episode went online! My desire to provide artists that create kick ass rock and roll music with a dedicated platform to get it out to the people was alive again! Rock and Roll music that DESERVES to be heard! My passion, and love of rock music has never diminished and it feels great sharing my passion with all who listen!