|T H E R E A L D E A L W I T H T O M D I E H L|
The Real Deal with Tom Diehl
Presented on every third Thursday from 8 -12 pm ET is The Real Deal
with Tom Diehl featuring some of the best uncommon oldies you will
Below are past shows you can listen to anytime. The first column
lists the date of each show. The second column is for real time
streaming of the shows. The third colum is a download option.
Simply right click any of the choices and then choose 'Save As' or
'Save Target As' and save to a hard drive folder. You will then
able to play this on your pc or even load it into your portable player.
Tom and Charlie Gracie
Tom and Bobby Vee
Tom with Sonny Turner (bottom right)
and his Platters
As one of the younger fans of oldies music, I don't have any stories
of growing up with the music when it was new, but I absolutely
did grow up with it, when it was new to me. My love
with music and records in particular goes back to a time when I was
still in diapers. My mom would play stuff like Disney records' "
children's favorites volumes 1 through 4" and "Rock Around The
Mouse" for me, to keep me quiet, I guess. Not only did I like what
I was hearing, I was absolutely fascinated that there was sound
coming out of this machine, just because something was spinning
When I was old enough to walk, I broke into my parents' record
collection and, after I had trashed every child’s record I had
(a 4 year old, a record player, and a shelf full of records are not
a good combination), I proceeded to do the same to their records.
Along the way, some of the records did get played, so I got hooked
on the sounds of the Beatles, Jethro Tull, Dusty Springfield, Skeeter
Davis, and the Moody Blues.
When I was 5, we had moved into a new house and my dad hooked
up a stereo system so my mom could play her records. I somehow
figured out how to work the radio, and one day I turned it on to
the station my dad had pre-set it for mom, WARX Oldies 106.9 out
of Hagerstown, Maryland. The first song I heard was I'm Henry VIII,
I Am by the Herman's Hermits. The next song was Catch Us If
You Can by the Dave Clark Five. Wow! I went nuts over both of the
songs (they were both short and repetitive, two things that absolutely
keep a 5 year old's attention) and so I kept listening to the station,
hoping to hear those songs again. Along the way I discovered many
new songs. I would often come home from school, do my homework,
and then immediately go turn the radio on for hours at a time.
Around this same time, my dad took me to an antique store so I
could pick out a record to take home and play on my mom's record
player, which my dad had set up for her. I had picked up a record
(with a red label) called "How To Train Your Dog", but I had
accidentally broken it in half before I ever had a chance to play it.
The next week I asked my dad to take me back to the same store,
and I immediately asked the owner if he had any more records with
red labels (at the time I didn't realize that it might not be the same
record). The next record I found with a red label was the record I
had my dad purchase for me...and is the one I consider my very first
45.... it was an Everly Brothers 45 on Warner Brothers from 1963
(hence the red label), called (So It Was... So It Is...) So It Always Will
Be.... at least, that was the side I preferred. I played that record
nonstop for a few weeks before I came home from school one day
to find the record broken into pieces.... my older brother was not
happy with the music I preferred listening to. It took me 9 and a
half years to find another copy of that record.
Over the years, I bought more 45's...my parents would take me to
various places that sold records and would let me pick out usually
one a week, and slowly my collection grew to around 300 records,
which I thought was huge at the time. Around the age of 14, a DJ
I had befriended online sent me a box of around 300 more records,
and suddenly a light went on in my head that I should try collecting
more records, boxes at a time. By the time I reached the age of 20,
my personal collection had grown to almost 2,000 45's. I bought LP's
too, but I never liked albums as much as singles, for whatever reason.
As I near the age of 25, my personal collection has grown to over
4,000 45's, around a thousand albums, and countless cd's.
Around 1995 my dad bought us our first cd player (complete with a
6-disc changer), and he bought some oldies cds for me to play at the
same time. I used to put in six random cds and press the Random
button and as the tunes would play, I would "play disc jockey",
shouting out the titles and artists of the song with as much gusto as
I could before the singer would start singing any lyrics. Of course,
back then, my mother was my only audience, and she would be in
a different room drinking her coffee and reading the newspaper
and not paying me all that much attention.
How I became associated with Topshelf Oldies is an interesting story
in itself. One night when I was flipping through channels on my TV,
Jay Leno had a musical guest on and I had tuned in during mid-song.
I was just blown away! Here was this guy singing a tune that just
sounded like it was straight out of the 50's. I inquired a little bit on
the Internet through a message board I frequented and was told that
the song was Talking' 'Bout My Love by James Hunter. I was pleased
to see the song available on his MySpace page so I added it to mine.
Having befriended other musical artists on the same social network
site, a disc jockey named Dave The Rave saw a message I posted on
the page for Ed Rambeau, so he went to mine to check out who this
young kid was, and he was floored by the James Hunter song he
heard. Dave then sent me a message asking me what the song was,
who the artist was, where he could find it on a 45, etc. Then he
happens to mention that he is a disc jockey on this website called
Topshelf Oldies, and that I should check it out.
October 28, 2006 I check out Topshelf Oldies for the first time as a
listener. Fortunately by this time I had a broadband internet connection.
A year or two earlier, my friend Cheryl had told me of the station.
but I was never able to tune in when I was on dialup, so I had
forgotten about it).
I discovered some songs I knew, yet so many more I had never even
heard of prior to that day. I was amazed at how much good music
was out there that I had never heard of. I started looking into
finding some of the songs I had heard and that got my record
collection boosted at the same time. While I tried to buy other
records I’d never even heard of, hoping they were good tunes.
I was also fortunate that several of the other DJ's lived in the
same area that I did at the time and one of them mentioned that
with my knowledge of music (up to that point), I should do my own
show for Topshelf oldies. I initially laughed at the idea, thinking I
would be no good. A few months later, one of the Tuesday DC
Dynamos, Lee Michael Demsey, mentioned that he had an open slot
available and asked if I wanted to do a show. So after everyone in
the Topshelf Oldies chatroom had encouraged me to do one, I
finally agreed. I threw together 3 hours of music and sort of fumbled
my way through that first show (April 26, 2007), with sheer
nervousness. At the time I thought it would be a one-shot deal, but
it was well received and I was asked to do more shows.
I was asked to fill in for another DJ who couldn't make his Thursday
show slot. Lee was unavailable to engineer another show for me on
such short notice, so I had my mom take me to our local Staples
to buy a headset microphone for my my home computer. I then
recorded and edited a show on my computer. Now i realized that
I could do this if I needed to fill in on short notice. Shortly after
that, my parents and I moved to New York, so I had no choice but
to continue using my headset and my computer to record my shows.
Over time, I got to be more at ease behind the microphone, but
perhaps I just get more nervous when there are others present
These days I can usually be found every other Thursday.
Sometimes I can be heard on other days of the week with special
editions of either the Time Machine or the Real Deal with Tom Diehl....
be sure to check the how show calendar to see when I will be on the
If you have any ideas you'd like to forward to me or if you just
want to provide some feedback you can email me at