Baseball may have “Iron Man” Cal Ripken who played in a record
2,632 straight games spanning sixteen seasons, but the Elvis World has
Rockin’ Ron Cade: 1,560 consecutive weeks over 30 years and counting
Rockin’ Ron spotlights Elvis’ music, movies and professional
career. No rumors. No gossip. No lies.
“In the grand scheme of things, when all is said and done
about Elvis, it all comes down to this: Elvis was, is and always will
be about the music,” Rockin’ Ron says.
Just the music and only the facts.
“A song like "Kentucky Rain" by Elvis, sounds as fresh today
as it did the day it was released. You could play that 50 years from
now and it will still sound great. The same for “classic Elvis” stuff
like “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog” and several others.”
Rockin’ Ron has been takin’ care of business (TCB) with tender
loving care (TLC).
“One of the things I've tried to bring out on my radio show
about Elvis, is the versatility and variety of music he did throughout
the years. I continually hear from people who say... “Wow, I didn't
know Elvis sang that!”
Early 1978 was somber for Elvis fans, just six months after his
passing. Despite the flood of memorabilia and media attention, not all
of it portrayed Elvis in the most positive light.
How would the Presley legacy be maintained?
Rockin’ Ron started ELVIS & FRIENDS while working at Philadelphia AM
station WRCP because at that time, while Frank Sinatra and The Beatles
had radio shows dedicated to their music legacies, there wasn’t an
all-Elvis radio program in the Delaware Valley. Rockin’ Ron says he
was considering the concept even before Elvis’ passing.
“I just didn’t want anyone to forget him.”
Rockin’ Ron says his goal has been simple: “To remember the music. We
give Elvis back to the Elvis fans.”
Rockin’ Ron takes pride that he has based ELVIS & FRIENDS entirely on
Presley’s vast catalog of recordings, which has only continued to grow
since 1978 with the release of alternate takes, live recordings and
the unearthing of recordings no one remembered existed.
“He’s contributed so much to the world, as far as I’m concerned, he’s
the greatest entertainer of all time.”
Each week, Rockin’ Ron spotlights an event or theme of Elvis songs
with a clever twist: anniversaries of recording sessions and release
dates, tributes to songwriters whose work Elvis recorded, or for fun,
Elvis songs with girls names in the title, or ones containing the word
“One of the things I have tried hard to do is to keep the show fresh.
I try to reinvent it every week, with the various features that we do
on the show,” Rockin’ Ron says.
The FRIENDS come out to play when Rockin’ Ron spins a song that can
have virtually any connection to Elvis. A songwriter’s demo, a
comparison version of a tune Elvis also recorded or something recorded
by someone who knew or worked with Elvis–or even a singer whose music
Elvis enjoyed and The King had in his own personal collection.
"Over the years, I find Elvis' music to be a comfort to me, it has
lifted my spirits at times and it has kept me together,” and he
cherishes his memories of seeing Elvis in his last area appearance at
the Philadelphia Spectrum on May 28, 1977. “I really have admired
Elvis professionally, personally and musically for as long as I can
Rockin’ Ron carved his own niche in the relatively narrow radio
universe of 1978 amid fierce competition for airtime to create a
successful, multi-hour broadcast: pleasing listeners with its sincere,
thoughtful remembrances of the Presley musical legacy, giving radio
stations sizable ratings and drawing numerous sponsors.
With the dawn of satellite, Internet and countless other listening
options by 2008, Rockin’ Ron hasn’t only retained dedicated listeners
from 1978, but has drawn three more generations of Elvis fans.
ELVIS & FRIENDS has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2004
Philadelphia A.I.R. Award for Achievement In Radio for “Best Weekend
Rockin’ Ron was officially acknowledged and his contribution to Elvis’
enduring legacy was commemorated by GRACELAND and the ESTATE OF ELVIS
PRESLEY upon the 25th anniversary of ELVIS & FRIENDS.
A total of eight AM and FM stations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Illinois and Michigan have aired the show during the three-plus
decades Rockin’ Ron has kept the Delaware Valley rockin’ and rollin’
by spinning ALL of the hundreds of songs in the Presley catalog
commercially released during The King’s lifetime, ALL at least once.
At one point in the mid-80s for many years, Rockin’ Ron hosted and
produced two completely different and original broadcasts each week:
One for an AM radio station in Philadelphia; the other for a New
Jersey AM station.
“I don’t get tired of it, I don’t get sick of it,” Rockin’ Ron says of
Elvis’ music. Although he may have played certain Elvis songs
thousands of times in his radio career, “I still enjoy them. I really,
truly enjoy listening to them.”