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I spent all of last week silent on Facebook, which no one probably noticed for a number of reasons: I was active on other social networks, I was still frequently in touch with family and friends and of course I was on live on the radio every weeknight.

To me, it felt weird. Last weekend I returned to Syracuse to catch the Orange (don’t get me started on the tournament snub) beat Georgia Tech and attend the annual WJPZ reunion dinner. On Monday I joined my friends on TV at “Chasing News” to talk about my Vinny Guadagnino interview. Wednesday I made the trek down to Brooklyn to watch the Orange lose in the first round of the ACC Tournament (and probably cement that aforementioned snub). And of course, I spent the week counting down the days until my trip to Las Vegas Tuesday, which yes I know might not even happen now with this pending blizzard.

But guess what? None of it mattered this week.

Saturday I was leaving the bookstore inside the Schine Student Center on SU’s campus when I looked down to see a new text notification on my BlackBerry. It was from a coworker with a link to an article on Billboard’s website.

My former colleague, Tommy Page, was found dead in an apparent suicide. I immediately felt numb.

I first met Tommy in May of 2009. I lived in Wilkes Barre, and was as Tommy would later refer to me, “a baby DJ.” At the time, Page was working A&R at Warner Bros. Records. He was so excited about his new act, a boy-band called V-Factory, that he decided to personally bring them by the studio for an interview.

Tommy and I hit it off right away, but to be honest a lot of it was more circumstantial; I think he immediately took a liking to me or at least gave me the benefit of the doubt because he was close with my Program Director at the time, A.J. He also was a bit fan of 97 BHT, particularly the station’s position in the market as the younger, hipper pop station that wasn’t afraid to lean rhythmic or electronic (example: WBHT broke Lady Gaga in the metro when other stations across the country declared that “Just Dance” was “too dance-y” – whatever that jargon means).

And of course, Tommy loved Northeastern Pennsylvania. He raved about his vacation home in East Stroudsburg, and also had recently purchased a fixer-upper in Jim Thorpe.

Tommy and I would spend 2010 through 2014 crossing paths at various events, either in New York or out in Los Angeles. I remember my first GRAMMYs; I attended Billboard’s after-party at The London in West Hollywood. Tommy was its publisher at the time, and immediately left his conversation when he saw me just to come over and say hello. That meant a lot.

Then in 2015, he joined our company as a Senior Vice President of Brand Partnerships. I enjoyed this because not only would I see Tommy in our building occasionally, but I’d get to work with him at some of our signature backstage broadcast events, including the Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Awards in addition to the aforementioned GRAMMYs.

The weekend after our first BBMAs working together in Vegas, Tommy and I both headed down the shore to Point Pleasant for 95.5 PLJ’s Summer Kick-Off. We sat down at the client party and talked about where the company was moving before he tasked me to help write a spec promo for an upcoming event we were working on called “Malibu Mansion Live.”

I’ll never forget, while music played and people partook in the open bar, Tommy and I sat alone in a corner of the room and wrote the script; Tommy throwing out ideas followed by me feverishly typing away on my BlackBerry and reading lines out loud to see what if any changes he wanted.

After a few more revisions, that promo was eventually voiced, produced and presented to company executives and our marketing department. The following November, Tommy and I were in Malibu for the two-night promotion that featured country singer Cam (who he sang “Happy Birthday” to while I walked out with a makeshift cake/candle for her), Nick Jonas, Tori Kelly and Fall Out Boy.

As the second, successful night winded down, Tommy pulled me aside.

“Remember when we first started talking about this and we wrote that promo in Point Pleasant?” he asked. “The whole thing came to life. It was like you and I wrote a hit record together.”

Of course, it was Tommy and his team that did all of the hard work. But coming from a guy who scored a number one hit in 1990 with the single, “I’ll Be Your Everything,” that compliment really struck a chord with me.

That was a unique trait of Tommy’s; working with others and making them feel like they belonged. It’s one of the reasons he was adored by so many, and certainly it’s one of the reasons why I and many others will miss him.

A 5 hour bus ride to Syracuse, there for about 9 hours, then a 3 hour car ride back to Niagara Falls…

Keeping with tradition, I stayed in the city for Thanksgiving and worked, however I took a lengthy vacation around Christmas. By lengthy, we’re talking nine days. Almost a week-and-a-half. I love my family, but it was a bit much.

Nonetheless, it is always nice to return back to Niagara Falls and visit with family and friends that still live in Western New York. I flew out on Sunday the 20 and snapped this shot as the sun was rising over the RFK Bridge.


Rarely does returning back to WNY solely consist of resting, especially around the holidays. But it’s nice when I’m home for events that normally I would have to see on Instagram or hear about after the fact. Example: My very talented niece Taylor had an art showing at a local wine bar in Niagara Falls the night I landed. She is ridiculously talented (you’ll see later) and the place was packed. It was great to be able to not only join family there but support her.


On Monday we had a family dinner with my Mom’s side and on Tuesday my Dad’s favorite bar, DeFazio’s Stadium Grill, had its annual Christmas Party. Here’s me and my cousin Mike.


Yeah, it was a good night! Attending with my Dad has turned in to an annual tradition that hope doesn’t end anytime soon.


Had a chance to spend some quality time with my cousin Anthony on Wednesday. I ran a few errands with him and we grabbed lunch in Lockport – home of course of the Erie Canal.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


V ARTSY as the kids say. Thursday was Christmas Eve aka my favorite meal of the year: The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s an Italian thing, and I love it because I want all of the seafood.


Then Santa stopped by. We opened gifts as a family on Friday and then went to my brother’s house for brunch. That’s where my niece, the aforementioned Taylor, gave me this!


How amazing is that?! Her and I both share a love for Coldplay. All-in-all, Santa treated me well.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


It was just great to be able to hang with all of my nieces and nephews.


Saturday was a blur of a day, spent mostly visiting with friends from high school and grade school. Then on Sunday, I headed off to the Carrier Dome to see Syracuse play Texas Southern.


‘Cuse won and I got to see one of my old college roommates and my family that lives there, so it was a solid trip back to Central New York. I kept with the sports scene Monday night, heading to Buffalo to see my Sabres play the Caps. Sadly they lost but it was still nice to get back to the First Niagara Center and see all of the great development happening in downtown Buffalo.


Of course it’s not a trip back to Western New York in December if you don’t have inclement weather.


But soon enough I was back in the air and en route to the city.


Definitely a trip home for the books and a solid way to end my 2015 travels.

Sure, “it was a really, really messed up week” for Hot Chelle Rae as per the opening of “Tonight Tonight.” But since that single climbed the top of the charts, it’s also been a really, really great year for the Nashville-based quartet.

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“Dude, I’m absolutely loving it, every minute,” guitarist Nash Overstreet told me via Skype on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” Overstreet checked in from Charlotte, NC where HCR was supporting The Script on tour. “We’re really, really busy, busier than we’ve ever been. But I would definitely not have it any other way.”

In addition to touring and making the media rounds, the guys have been busy finalizing Whatever, Hot Chelle Rae’s sophomore LP. The album hits stores November 29.

“They show up knowing all the words to everything,” Overstreet said of the crowds that the band has experienced on tour thus far. Apparently, HCR’s fans even know the lyrics to unreleased tracks. “It’s just really amazing to us to see people being so up-to-date on what we do.”

As of this moment, there may be no better example to support that notion than the number of views HCR’s “I Like It Like That” video has. The single eclipsed the million views mark weeks quicker than it took “Tonight Tonight” to surpass it. Nash revealed the band shot the video themselves while touring with a bus, as opposed to a van, for the first time.

The song and video feature the rap duo New Boyz, whom HCR linked up with in Syracuse, NY after a radio event.

“We went out in Syracuse one night and threw down, spent a few hours making trouble,” Overstreet recalled. “They’re really cool guys, great artists, and great writers, and they killed it.”

Gym Class Heroes front man Travie McCoy is a little salty that a rough mix of a demo track featuring Ke$ha found its way on to the Internet. He knows someone on the West Coast is responsible, although is unaware of who leaked it. Regardless, he’s upbeat, with a more positive outlook on the bigger picture.

“Luckily enough, none of the stuff on the album has been leaked, and hopefully it won’t before the album drops,” revealed McCoy, speaking on his tour bus to “The Ralphie Radio Show.” His solo debut, Lazarus, comes out June 8. The first single, “Billionaire” features triple-threat Bruno Mars – who sings, writes, and produces. Mars gained notoriety recently for his chops on the hook of B.o.B’s smash hit, “Nothin’ On You.”

“I hooked up with his production team… just the tracks they were coming up with; I was like, ‘Whoa… we definitely need to get together on this record,’” McCoy said of collaborating with Mars and The Smeezingtons – a production team also comprised of Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine. The meeting occurred about a year and a half ago. “We were in the studio, and he played me ‘Billionaire’… it was just the track and him on the hook – and I was just like, ‘Wow, alright, we’re in a recession right now, how can I come out with this song talking about wanting to be a billionaire?’”

Download the interview



McCoy answered his own question by flipping the scenario and becoming selfless, instead of selfish. While he rhymes about spending money on the ones he loves and good causes – McCoy raps that he would have his own theme music wherever he walked. So, what would it be?

“Probably the theme song from Super Fly,” joked McCoy. “You know what I mean? I’d have a band behind me, as I walk everywhere.”

Speaking of bands – the one currently behind him isn’t going anywhere. McCoy reiterated that the Gym Class Heroes are not breaking up. The group is currently 12 demos in to a new LP, due out next year, titled PCC II. The GCH emcee alluded to the album being a sequel to the 2005 release The Papercut Chronicles. Gym Class drummer Matt McGinley is currently touring with McCoy.


02.19.09 : Bayje – Find A Way
Bayje Calls The Ralphie Radio Show!
On “Find A Way”:

On Syracuse, Listening To Ralphie, The Origin of “Bayje”:


Yes, the Facebook album is here.

apparently dj samantha ronson is billing around $20,000 per event she spins at. ridiculous!

this article on abc news explains more, including why samantha isn’t necessarily the best DJ in the world as far as mixing and working the wheels, yet picks all the right songs.

ronson recently spun at my old stomping grounds of central new york, throwing down at lava nightclub inside the turning stone casino and resort in verona, ny.

and these kids look way too happy.