July 31, 2022 – The day Austin, the world and KUTX became a less interesting place because it was the day we lost John Aielli at the age of 76. He remains forever in our hearts and in our smiles when we think of him.
Let’s spend Monday’s episode HEARING FAVORITE JOHN AIELLI-APPROVED SONGS.
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The song John Aieli opened his show with on the day after Barack Obama won the election in 2008 to become the first Black president of the United States – “Oh Happy Day.”
Do You Remember by Chance the Rapper featuring Death Cab for Cutie. I love that a man in his 70s introduced me to Chance the Rapper. Music knows no age. Miss him!
I associate John with The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel. He loved the song and played it often. Haven’t heard it on the air since he left
In the Hall of the Mountain King: one morning he was playing different versions back to back and my little sister (who I was driving around), threatened to jump out of the car if I didn’t change the channel. Fortunately I had a classical music cassette in the console…you’ll never guess the second track on the tape. 😈
1. Frog sounds
2. Throat singing monks 3. Anything by Adele followed by commentary about how she’s singing improperly and destroying her voice. 4. Musings about the weather and gardening. 5. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow Corrina Hart
Anything from Edith Piaf or John Denver. Alternatively you could play 20 minutes of dead air.
the frog sounds. Definitely the frog sounds!
The Sound of Silence – but.not the Simon and Garfunkel song
I have a wonderful John Aielli story. I was with a band called MoPac and The Blue Suburbans and we’d put together a charity show called Help A Kid With The Blues at the great old venue, The Pier, on Lake Austin. John was kind enough to allow us to come in, play a few songs and plug the show. We showed up at the studio early, maybe 7:30 or so and get set up. Just before we started to play, he looked up and saw or lead guitarist, that we referred to as Too Much Rick because he was always too loud and usually imbibing on something, popping the top of a tallboy beer. He was shocked. He’d had a lot of musicians and this could have been the first time he saw one drinking this early in the studio. Our guitarist and a back up singer quickly downed their beers and we got started. Too Much Rick was in fine form and I saw John’s face when he looked up from the board and saw Rick playing with his teeth, then flip the beat-up Strat over his head and play backwards. John was gracious and kind to the trainwreck we’d brought into his studio that morning. And as fate would have it, the band blew up on stage the next day and none of us talked to each other for years. Wonder what happened to Too Much Rick.
Two songs I remember hearing first (and only) on Eklektikos: It Hasn’t Happened Yet by William Shatner, and The Sweater by Meryn Cadell
The Unicorn- The Irish Rovers. Always loved John’s St Patrick’s Day shows
Remember him reciting lyrics from Death Cab for Cutie’s The Photo Album when that came out. I think the song was Styrofoam Plates
Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. John and I were roommates in an big, old house at the corner of MLK and Nueces from 1972 to 1977. Many years later when Covid hit and his health continued to deteriorate, my wife Kathy Eady Whatley who I met through John, and I would deliver him supper almost every Monday until his passing. I think he enjoyed having someone to talk to as much as he appreciated the food. It was rare that we spent less than two hours visiting. One evening I recounted how in his early days at KUT, he would put on a long classical piece then go stand on his head as he practiced yoga. He got a grin on his face and told me that he onetime put on a particularly long piece and went to a dental appointment. He is missed.
We (Music Moves Mountains Foundation) were able to recover the remaining expansive collection of albums and CDs from John’s estate sale after his passing and donate them back into the community (to memory care facilities, state hospital, school for the blind, etc) and out of thousands of pieces, opera legend Maria Callas was the artist he had collected the most. So, I hope you can include a selection from her in his honor.❤️
When I moved to Austin in 2013 my first encounter with KUTX was John playing What Does the Fox Say because he’d heard it was popular. Then he spent a few minutes trying to figure out what in the world he had just played. He was a Cincinnati native like me which made me like him even more.
My most distinct memory of him is from about 8 or 9 years ago. Between each song, he was going on about how he couldn’t find a song he called “Mr. Saturday Dance.” It was one of his favorite Duke Ellington songs and he knew several artists had done versions of the song, but none of them seemed to be in the KUTX library. Finally, somebody took pity and told him the actual song title, and so after he played a Beatles song, he said “So, I’ve been informed that the official title of the song everyone calls ‘Mr. Saturday Dance’ is actually ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.’ Isn’t that fascinating? Anyway, here is Sam Cooke doing his version of ‘Don’t Get Around Much Anymore’, better known as ‘Mr. Saturday Dance'”. (We all mishear song lyrics sometimes.)
I WANT MORE MUSIC LIKE THIS! The John Aeilli tribute today made me realize how much I want to hear more of this type of music on KUTX. I want my musical boundaries pushed even more. I want to be stopped in my tracks by something like Christmas on Acid or What Does the Fox Say? And I want to hear it in the daytime, which is the only time I can really listen. Please encourage even more oddball variety among your DJs, who are awesome. Thanks!!
Not a song, but commenting about how many monks were walking the campus on that certain day, only to be told by a guest that they were not Monks. They were students wearing robes! One of the many hilarious memories of this excellent show
Nancy Angeline Skudris
Frasquita Serenade- John Kirby (Titanic Soundtrack). But, be sure to stop in the middle and give us some commentary.
Connie Brady Ojeda
I worked in the same building for years, and was utterly charmed by John’s habit of warming up his voice in the stairwell shortly before going on air! He was one of a kind.
Elizabeth MacLean Support KUTX’s ability to bring you closer to the music. Donate Today