Mike Perini | Michigan Radio

Mike Perini

Host - Middays

Mike Perini is Michigan Radio's midday host. He started at the station in 1996 as a temporary, fill-in announcer and was made the full-time midday host in 2002. Mike likes to spend his vacations visiting some of the offbeat places in America's heartland.


How did you get involved in radio?
I started in the mid-80s at WJJX, a tiny Top 40 training station at the University of Michigan. After a hiatus, in 1994 I moved on to WCBN, the student-run eclectic music station. I'm still doing a radio show there once a week.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Aside from eating interesting food and hanging out with interesting people, I love to explore Americana, from the Motown Museum in Detroit to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter and on-air host?
I've had many, but the one that may have stretched me the farthest as a radio person was going curling in Windsor, Ontario, for a story on Olympic events. I didn't know I had muscles in those places. I'm still not sure I do.

Do you have a favorite program on Michigan Radio?
What day is it? Let’s see, it could be 1a, On The Media, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…or…something else. I like to be drawn into conversations…I like to be educated while I’m straightening out the apartment…and laughing brings oxygen to the brain, doesn’t it?


The Associated Press is reporting this afternoon that Detroit native and Wayne State University alum Casey Kasem is in critical condition with an infected bedsore at a Washington state hospital.  St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor says the 82-year-old Kasem is receiving care for a serious pressure ulcer he had when he was admitted Sunday.  Michigan Radio’s Mike Perini has been thinking about the impact the former radio host has had on the current radio host. 

I loved numbers when I was a kid, and I loved music.

Songs and numbers made everything better: songs made me happy and sad and filled my head with delightful tunes. Numbers looked cool, they were reassuringly orderly, and they were fun to count.

In 1975, when I was ten years old, I found out that there was a radio show that put numbers and music TOGETHER—Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40”—and I was a goner.

It was immediately clear I would have to give over my life to the show each Sunday.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

In what could be a victory for the Detroit-based United Auto Workers, a union official in Tennessee says a majority of workers at Volkswagen's assembly plant in the state have signed cards favoring the UAW’s representation in creating a German-style works council at the plant.

The official told the Associated Press that the cards are as legally binding as an election by the workers.

More from the AP:


Detroit musicians who had to wait decades for recognition are getting some high-profile attention lately.

The long-awaited discovery of Detroit musician Rodriguez was highlighted last month, when the documentary about him, “Searching for Sugar Man," won an Oscar.

This month, the once nearly forgotten session musicians for Motown Records will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As it turns out, two of those Funk Brothers played a role in Rodriguez' 1970 debut album, "Cold Fact."

Funk Brothers guitarist Dennis Coffey co-produced "Cold Fact," played guitar on it, and wrote the liner notes for it; the late Funk Brother Bob Babbitt played bass on the album.

But as the Detroit News notes, many of those Motown musicians have not lived to see this new accolade:

Shealah Craighead / White House Photo

People who wish to express their sympathy to the Ford family can sign a condolence book at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids:

Tonight (Wednesday) from 7pm-11pm and tomorrow from 7am-10am.

There is also a condolence book at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, on North Campus in Ann Arbor. The lobby will be open for the following hours, for people who wish to sign the book:

Today (Wednesday) 10am-6pm
Thursday and Friday 10am-6pm each day.

screen grab from YouTube

Fifty years ago this week, "Runaway" by Del Shannon was the Number One song in the U.S.

It was the first rock 'n' roll song by a West Michigan-born artist to hit the top.

He was born in Grand Rapids, and grew up in nearby Coopersville.

Aside from his own hits, Del Shannon wrote Peter & Gordon's hit "I Go To Pieces", and he produced a 1964 recording by a young Michigan musician named Bob Seger, among other achievements.

Bonnie Raitt recorded her own version of "Runaway' in the 1970s.

Tragically, Del Shannon took his own life in 1990. He was inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

Earlier this year, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the song's recording, John Sinkevics of The Grand Rapids Press wrote about Shannon and his no. 1 song:

Few could have guessed at the time that this pop single would propel the Coopersville native — born in Grand Rapids as Charles Westover — to national super-stardom or that it eventually would be regarded as a milestone in rock history.


Here is a link to Del Shannon on a show called "The Golden Age of Rock And Roll". The song recording is from 1961, but the TV show is from 1965... as evidenced by the groovy dancers: