When we were asked to come up with a list of seven artists you “can’t live without,” I was a bit bewildered. I mean you can’t live without food and water, but musical artists!?

Playing along, though, I suddenly found it difficult to limit it to just seven:

  • 1

    The Four Tops

    Growing up in Detroit in the '60s, it was a given that the "Motown Sound" would permeate the airwaves. Marvin Gay, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, The Supremes, Temptations, The Miracles and many others.  The Four Tops have always been one of my favorites. The great vocals, lush instrumentation, heavy bass lines still captivate me when I listen. If you ever get the chance to see one of those PBS specials featuring Motown, check out the choreography.  Simply dazzling!

  • 2

    Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

    Another Detroit-area rocker got significant radio play in the early to mid-1960s. “Ramblin' Gamblin' Man,” and “Heavy Music” were big regionally.  These days, I like “Ship of Fools” from his 'Night Moves' album and “Roll Me Away” from 'The Distance.'

  • 3

    Five-Man Electrical Band

    “Signs” — heard may times while I was in Clark AFB hospital.  Has a line I still use today: “Thank you Lord for thinkin’ about me / I’m alive and doing fine.”

  • 4

    The Beatles

    From 'Meet The Beatles’ to 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,' the mop-tops changed the world of music. But ... we always rooted against them on the countdown shows. We wanted our Motown sound to be number one!

  • 5

    The Rolling Stones

    I always thought of the Stones as “The Anti-Beatles,” sort of the bad boys of Rock and Roll. They’ve never strayed from those roots.

  • 6

    The Bee Gees

    The first time I heard “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” in stereo, it just blew me away. The orchestration, the window-rattling bass and the harmonies made me a lifelong fan.  1970’s “Lonely Days” was a fave while serving in Vietnam, and “Nights on Broadway” was another of those milestone songs. I was at my first radio job when that was released in 1975.

  • 7


    The self-described "rock band with horns" began as The Chicago Transit Authority in the late 1960s. Pretty much everything they released in the '70s and '80s went gold. “Feeling Stronger Every Day”, and “Wishing You Were Here” are among my favorites.  Listen to them loud to hear everything.