Happy World Read Aloud Day 2023!

Happy World Read Aloud Day, book lovers!

What better way to celebrate books and reading than to spend an entire day reading out loud? We can all agree that not only is it super-fun to read aloud with your favorite bunch (teachers, pals, little brother, cat, goldfish), but here are a few ways it’s great for ya!

* Bonding time! (Aww.)

* Reading aloud builds vocabulary.

* Bedtime stories = cozier sleep. (Am I right?)

* Reading aloud also exercises that brain!

* Develops deeper empathy and emotional awareness. (That’s nice.)

* Improves memory and brain agility.

* Stress reduction. (Yes!)

* Sharpens creativity.

* Builds an even stronger love for books and literature.


So, remember to grab a book, grab a pal, read aloud, and read it PROUD! Happy Reading!

KRISTY JO VOLCHKO is an award-winning, multi-genre author, poet, blogger, book reviewer, and human rights activist.

Kristy Jo Volchko Books : Amazon 

Welcome, Wave 80 Hit Radio!

If you were a Young Turk’ in the 80s, chances are you had a favorite, go-to pop station that played all the best hits, requests, and/or dedications, held exciting contests & ticket giveaways, danced you through homework, chores, getting dolled-up for school/work/night out, rang you into the new year, serenaded you through unrequited crushes, and crooned you to sleep from a nightstand clock radio. For me, that was B94 FM. And during those years, those chuckling DJs’ kind, enthusiastic voices had become as familiar to me as family.

Yet somehow, we’d drifted apart.

As time went on, it became ‘blaringly’ obvious that the American Top 40 booming from my son’s room was…was…(what is this?) a far cry from the childhood soundtrack that had introduced me to unforgettable music and had me walking like an Egyptian, ‘Walking on Sunshine’, and walking the dinosaur. Boom-boom-acka-lacka-lacka-boom… 

Although it was far from ‘The Bee’ that had once supplied half the city with a choice of pop or beer, had won me, the 8th caller, (and three pals) Winger tickets, and had kindly played my ‘Crazy for You’ requests (dedicated to, what was his name?)…when ‘The Bee’ went off the air, it stung.

Sure, there were places I could get my 80s fix; after all, my car was crammed with 80s CDs, but where were all the other die-hard, 80s-obsessed, robot-dancing, pop-glamming, hair band-loving, kool-katz hiding? Was I doomed to ‘Safety Dance’ alone? And when had I last put in a good old-fashioned request, let alone an 80s ballad? Hard times, fer sure.  

Until…I stumbled across a little slice of 80s heaven. Ooh, Heaven is a place on Earth…  

How to describe Wave 80 Radio? A-W-E-S-O-M-E. The songs? Simply the Best’. And it didn’t take long for me to realize that Wave 80 fans tuned in for much more than just tunes. Like me, listeners from around the globe love the vibe; DJ, Gary Teel’s variety of shows, (planned and impromptu), Friday Night New Wave and Sunday Night Request parties, the friendly folks in the request/chat-box, and simply the joy of listening to the best music, with the coolest listeners. (And I’m still learning ‘new’ 80s songs.)

I had found my tribe.

So, without further ado, let’s meet the guy whose station serenades our senses with iconic music, fun happenings, and brings together friends who have become as familiar as family. A place where…we can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind…cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance…anyway

Let’s hang out with Wave 80!

Kristy: Garrryyy! Please tell everyone a little about yourself and how Wave 80 Radio came to be.

Gary: The 80s were my ‘Glory Days,’ thank you, Mr. Springsteen. I think the 80s were a special time in music, when technology allowed for amazing recordings, but the human element was still there, as people were still writing real songs with real music. There are the great songs that everyone remembers, but there were some incredible tunes that maybe spent a few weeks on the Top 40 and then disappeared that I wanted to bring back and spotlight. Wave 80 is my attempt to present a good balance to all of these songs. I also wanted to play all of the popular styles of the day, just like the Top 40 stations of the 80s did. There was no distinction between pop, rock, new wave, R&B… It was all just Hit Radio, which is why we call ourselves 80s Hit Radio.

K: Do you still run into songs here and there that you’ve never heard before?

Gary: Oh, absolutely! Especially now, with the new shows, I’m doing more chart research than ever, and I’m always finding songs that I either forgot about or never knew in the first place! I have a soft spot for the failed follow-up singles to big hits, especially the one-hit-wonder types. Check out ‘Don’t Let Me In’ by Sneaker, the band that had a big hit with ‘More Than Just The Two Of Us.’ Great song, failed follow-up single!

K: So, what’s the latest buzz with Wave 80?

Gary: I have so much going on right now, and I’m loving it! The biggest project is a weekly time-capsule program called ‘The Excellent 80s Rewind.’ I pick a year from the 80s, and then I go up the Top 100 chart for that week, spotlighting hits, misses, and great forgotten songs and the stories behind them. I also touch on big news stories for that week, popular movies and TV shows, and that sort of thing. The show is already being heard on 11 stations around the world, including the US, Canada, Chile, and the Philippines. I grew up listening to Casey Kasem and Dick Bartley, and no one is really doing that kind of a show anymore. So now, someone is!

Friday Night New Wave continues as the centerpiece show for the station. It’s now being syndicated around the world, as well. The Sunday Night All-80s Request Show has seen a surge in listenership lately, and is now expanding to Saturday nights, as well.

Speaking of New Wave, we now have a second station, ALT/80, that plays great 80s New Wave music 24/7. It can be heard at alt80.wave80hits.com. And a third station may be on the way soon… My new broadcast and production studio is nearly finished and has gone a long way toward making all of this success a reality. I’m beginning to get busy with several voiceover projects, which is another dream of mine.

And finally, we just unleashed our new toll-free phone number for requests: 888-5-WAVE80.

K: That’s awesome! Lots of cool stuff going on. And being so passionate about what you do makes none of this feel like work, I’m sure. What’s your favorite part about being a DJ?

Gary: The music is great, but it is beginning to be overshadowed by all of these great people that I’m meeting from all around the world. We come from so many different backgrounds, but we’re all united by this amazing music from this wonderful decade. We get together every week and we celebrate it, revel in it, get healed by it, even make fun of it. It’s these personal connections that give me more satisfaction than I ever expected when I started this station.

K: How can readers tune into Wave 80 Radio, the raddest, 80s-blastin’ station on the planet?

Gary: Thank you so much! First, there’s our own website, http://www.wave80hits.com/

We can also be heard on MyTuner, Online Radio Box, and the Simple Radio app. http://alt80.wave80hits.com/

#GaryTeelFunFacts

Favorite sports teams: St. Louis Cardinals! I used to like the Rams until they moved back to L.A.

Dream vacation destination: Australia

Ultimate fav flicks: O Brother Where Art Thou, The Truman Show, The Gods Must Be Crazy, The Princess Bride, The Wedding Singer.

Top five greatest artists/band: Billy Joel, Yes, Squeeze, Police, Pink Floyd.

One food you could eat every day for the rest of your life: Cheeseburgers!

Two movie quotes that best describe your taste in film?Do these balloons blow up into funny shapes?” “No, unless round is funny.” Raising Arizona See? Billy Idol gets it, I don’t know why she doesn’t get it…” The Wedding Singer

Your three must-have albums of ALL TIME? Yes – Close To The Edge Squeeze – East Side Story & Billy Joel – 52nd Street

Michael Myers, Freddy, or Jason? Not a horror fan. Which one has the hockey mask? I do like hockey.

A Christmas Story or National Lampoons Xmas Vac? A Christmas Story, by a longshot! “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie…”

Would you rather be a lifelong ticket-holder for the Steelers, Pens, or Pirates? (You have to choose! Haha) I see what you did there…I would have to say Pirates, if only because I’d get to see my Cardinals a few times a year!

Thank you so much, Gary Teel, for the Q&A and most of all, for your friendship! #KeepOnRockinMyFriend

(Lets go BUCS!)

*****

KRISTY JO VOLCHKO is an award-winning, multi-genre author, poet, blogger, book reviewer, and human rights activist. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she continues to share her love of storytelling, all things 80s, and tries to stay out of trouble.

Love the 80s? Read award-winning young adult comedy, Mall Hair Maladies

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29 Rad Romance Movies of the 80s (That Branded Our Hearts Forever)

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who channel surf right past Pretty In Pink or Dirty Dancing without flinching, and those who are compelled to stop and watch (even if only for a few minutes and the 1400th time in their life). The second group knows within seconds which scene of the movie it is, the actor’s next line, almost every song on the soundtrack, as well as the performing artist.

I am, without a doubt, the second kind. And if you grew up thinking that if a boy really loved you he’d be willing to ski the K-12 (on one ski), whisper, “As you wish” in response to whatever you ask, or surprise you at your prom by ditching his usual goony threads for a snazzy suit, you’re probably with me.

Yes, yes, I’ve heard the same kinds of comments you have. “This movie, again? Haven’t you seen Peggy Sue Got Married a thousand times already?” Or, “I don’t know how in the world you can sit through Dirty Dancing one more time.” And my favorite, “Ugg, I cannot watch Princess Bride again…you’re seriously stuck in the 80s.”

Blah, blah, blah. Some people just don’t get it.

What can I say? I love the 80s and have always been unapologetically super-romantic. Was I born this way or had I simply watched too many of the most romantic movies of all time? Probably both. But the awesome thing is, I’m not alone.

Millions of others share in the belief that these unforgettable movies are just as great today as they were in the 80s. Why else would they remake classics like Grease, Dirty Dancing, and Hairspray? And why is it that most of us still prefer the original versions? Because some films are created so perfectly the first time, attempting to replicate that magic will always fall short. We know and love them like we do old friends and they’ve become part of us.

Through the years, boyfriends/girlfriends, schools, jobs, careers, homes, and spouses come and go with the seasons, but music, art, movies, experiences, and relationships play a huge part in what shapes who we are. Whether you realize it or not, they’re embedded in our hearts, souls, and cells forever.  

For many, these quirky 80’s movies will always be a sweet reminder of that first kiss, high school dance, bogus journey, dream of traveling in a DeLorean time machine, becoming the next Rocky Balboa or the lead singer of one of the raddest metal bands of all time.

So, I say to my fellow 80s-loving, ultra-romantics who still sigh each time they hear ‘The Time of My Life’ or ‘Endless Love’ . . . we’re kindred. Let us continue having ‘the time of our lives’ forever and ever. To the ones who don’t get it, you’ll just have to tolerate our ‘Hopelessly Devoted’, ‘Endless Love’ of the best decade of all time—the 1980s!

You may also want to watch (over and over again) these totally adorable flicks:

The Princess Bride

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Dirty Dancing

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Sixteen Candles

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Endless Love

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Against All Odds

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Pretty In Pink 

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When Harry Met Sally

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Can’t Buy Me Love

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Mannequin

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Valley Girl

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Secret Admirer

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Mystic Pizza

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Some Kind Of Wonderful

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An Officer And A Gentleman

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Urban Cowboy

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Romancing The Stone

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Better Off Dead

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Peggy Sue Got Married 

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Footloose

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Private School

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The Secret Of My Success

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Purple Rain

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Overboard

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About Last Night

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Coming To America

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Say Anything

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Just One Of The Guys

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Blind Date

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Prelude To A Kiss

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Kristy Jo Volchko is the author of the award-winning tween 80’s comedy, Mall Hair Maladies. A child of the 80s, she lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she continues to share her love of storytelling (and all things 80s) and tries to stay out of trouble. 🙂 Drop by and say hello! @KristyJoVolchko   KristyJoVolchko.com     

Mall Hair Maladies 

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