Late last night we found out that Philip Kives (Keev-is), founder of K-tel, passed away at age 87. Kives built a multi-million dollar company by selling people gadgets that they didn't know they needed to own, and he is also credited with creating the very first infomercial. His greatest creation, however, was the K-tel compilation record. They would often feature 20+ hits of the day on them, and you could pick them up at a low low price at your local record store, super market, wherever records were sold. The covers would often scream "AS SEEN ON TV", and their TV ads would also scream at you via the classic voice of Bob Washington.
Long time listeners of Shuffle Function are well acquainted with K-tel compilations via our Shuffle Function Radio Roulette game. Years ago we were trying to think of something unique to do for Halloween, because playing Halloween songs has been done to death. It occurred to us that there is nothing more terrifying to us than giving up control of our playlist, so we created Radio Roulette, a game that takes the playlist away from us and gives control to destiny. We numbered Shelley's K-tel records, then throw a corresponding number into an actual magic hat. We then draw a from the hat to select the record, flip a coin to determine the side, and then roll dice to determine the track we play. It's completely random, completely risky, and completely fun.
This morning we sent Philip Kives off with a 400+ record salute. The ENTIRE K-tel collection was wheeled into the studio, and Shelley went through and picked some of the choicest cuts for airplay. We go on and on about how rough and bad the songs can get when we're playing Radio Roulette, but there's also a ton of great songs to choose from when you're not confined to the randomness of it all. It was a very fun show to do, and you guys gave us some great requests to track down.
Thanks to everyone for participating this morning, and thanks to Lisa (our favorite Coloradan) for being so helpful. It was through a mutual love of K-tel records that we met Lisa about 15 years ago, and she's been a great friend to us and to KMSU ever since, so don't ever let anyone bad mouth K-tel records!
Guse was preaching to the choir when he requested Fantastic, by Jack Kass!
This is the record that Fantastic is on. BUY IT IF YOU SEE IT!