Archives For the mall at steamtown


97 BHT presented “Idol Got It Wrong” with Tim Halperin at The Mall at Steamtown on July 16, hosted by Kidd Kraddick In The Morning’s Big Al Mack.

While at The Mall at Steamtown, Kidd Kraddick In The Morning’s Big Al Mack decides to call Kellie Rasberry on his iPhone. File this one under “Failed Bits.”

While in-studio Thursday on “The Ralphie Radio Show”, singer Fefe Dobson revealed that she is working with an acting coach to prepare for an on-camera role with label mate/singer Ne-Yo.

“I can’t give too much information!” Dobson teased after dropping the R&B crooner’s name. “We get to work together and it’s gonna be awesome and you’ll see it soon.”

You could speculate that perhaps Dobson will appear in Ne-Yo’s music video for his new single, “Beautiful Monster.” The only scenario that Fefe ruled out was a possible cameo in her music video for “Ghost” as she says the final product is finished and will be shown to the masses next week.

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American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi and singer/songwriter/guitarist Kevin Rudolf collaborated to write the track with Dobson, who is pushing it to radio as her next single from Joy. Dobson also noted that her sophomore album, which initially had a June release set, is now postponed until August 17.

“Yunno, we just got the single going and you need a certain amount of time to have a lead up,” explained Dobson as to the project’s delay.

The Canadian-born singer currently finds herself back on a radio promo tour to stir up interest for the record – similar to 2003, when she played radio shows, made TV cameos, and opened for the likes of Justin Timberlake. But despite the time passed, Dobson finds that radio disc jockeys and program directors still remember her from the days of “Take Me Away” and “Everything.”

“I’m going in and people are like, ‘I was at this station, now I’m here and it’s good to see you again,” said Dobson. “But I also want to reintroduce myself… because I’m a different person, I’m grown up and (my) music’s changed, and you have to reintroduce that and yourself as an artist.”


BTW, this is the photo that Ralphie showed Dobson from when he first met her in the spring of 2004.


In addition to traveling across the nation to different radio stations within the past couple of months, Dobson has also performed at events for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and toured with Hedley and Boys Like Girls. Mix in the radio promo, acting classes, and personal time – and it’s a little easier to understand why Dobson didn’t want to drink any alcohol last Wednesday at Kevin Rudolf’s CD release party in New York.

“I ordered myself a Diet Coke,” proclaimed Dobson. “And the woman gave it to me for free, because it was a Diet Coke, and she probably thought I was lame.”

97 BHT and “The Ralphie Radio Show” received some solid media coverage last week surrounding our private events with both Orianthi and Adam Lambert.

WNEP did an excellent job with their report, and properly crediting/citing 97 BHT and “The RRS” in naming the event’s host and my interview with Adam – even including a sound byte of me talking about the whole ordeal:

Other stories…

– WBRE
– Times Leader
– Electric City
Thanks to all the media outlets that covered the event!


97 BHT presented Geffen recording artist Orianthi inside The Mall at Steamtown on Wednesday, June 2 for an intimate, acoustic performance. Special thanks to IGA, Cinnabon and Starbucks Coffee.

I learned the difference first hand between the tabloids in the States and across the pond on Saturday. The British boy-band JLS joined “The Ralphie Radio Show” – and were quick to correct me when I cited a report that I read in The Mirror that the fellas hung out with Jay-Z and KanYe West in Los Angeles.

“It’s good that you ask, because we can squash (the rumors),” replied Marvin Humes, who called in to “The RRS” from the UK just a few months ago. “The Jay-Z connection has come from back home.”

Both Jay and JLS performed and won at The Brit Awards, which is similar to the Grammys. After the show, the “Empire State of Mind” emcee congratulated the boys at an after party by sending a bottle of champagne over to their table… of course, each person received their own bottle.

As for Mr. West, JB Gill revealed JLS has yet to rub elbows or receive gifts from him. The initial report also claimed the boys were introduced to both rappers by former Sugababes member Keisha Buchanan, also incorrect.

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While we were speaking about what they did not do – Humes noted that they have yet to meet with J.R. Rotem, the man who produced “Everybody In Love” (along with half of everything else you hear on the radio these days). Yes, Aston Merrygold was photographed at Burger King but no, he never made it to In-N-Out Burger.

The guys did try Pinkberry for their first time – Oritsé Williams insisted he is addicted. Also while in L.A., the band wrote some new material for a forthcoming LP. Humes said that they worked with some big producers, including Toby Gad (Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy”).

JLS has also now encountered both the paparazzi in the UK and in the US. So, who’s more aggressive?

“We’re cool with both,” insisted Gill. “I’d say probably a bit more aggressive in the UK, obviously because we’re more known. But you know what, the paparazzi, they do their job and they help us – yunno, they give us press and they let people out there know what we’re doing.”

International recording group JLS performed “Everybody In Love” for 97 BHT listeners inside The Mall At Steamtown.


97 BHT, Atlantic Records, The Mall At Steamtown, and F.Y.E. proudly presented Matchbox Twenty front man and Grammy award winner Rob Thomas, with an intimate, acoustic performance at the 97 BHT studios.

I ran in to FeFe Dobson in December of 2007. Dobson randomly appeared inside The Mall At Steamtown in downtown Scranton, an apparent guest of Drake Bell. We chatted for a few minutes (we met previously in Buffalo during the spring of ’04), and before we parted, she gave me a note to pass to Bell. Dobson also assured me that we’d be speaking again in the near future.

“You’ll be hearing new stuff from me real soon,” she revealed during our chance encounter. “Real soon.”

Perhaps it depends on your definition of “real soon” – but fast forward over two years later. Dobson is back – performing, recording on a major label, and releasing new songs for Top 40 radio. Her latest offering is “I Want You,” the first single from Joy.

“It’s full circle,” she remarked on her reunion with Island Def Jam Music Group. “I mean, (IDJMG) have been my family since I was 17, yunno? So, it’s great to be back.”

Back in 2003, Dobson released “Take Me Away,” followed by “Everything” in 2004, from her debut, self-titled LP. Both cracked the top 40 on mainstream radio airplay charts. The immediate success brought a whirlwind of media appearances, tour dates, and sales.


Photo Credit: Vibe

Part 1: Performing at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductions, Career coming full circle

Part 2: The chance encounter at The Mall at Steamtown back in December 2007.


Considered a future superstar by her label, Dobson ventured back in to the studio to work on her sophomore LP, Sunday Love. After the album’s first single, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” didn’t chart, Island dropped Dobson, just days before the scheduled release of the album.

But, still, it’s now March 2010. What has she been up to?

“I had made some music for other artists, or, had music on other artists’ albums,” said Dobson, who brought up working with Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Jordin Sparks. “That was different for me, I’ve really never done that before – had (my) songs sung by other artists. And then I was just writing, and growing up, and doing my thing, and (laughing) having experiences.”

And of course, one of those experiences led her to downtown Scranton one blustery winter day in ’07. Dobson said she came out to support Bell, who she still talks with and considers a good friend.

“He’s someone I still think is amazing and I think he’s just so talented,” Dobson gushed, while admitting she was a little embarrassed about the whole mall situation. “I can’t wait for his new record to come out.”

But in the meantime, Dobson will prepare for her own record’s release, which is dropping May 4. Real soon. For real this time.

From the outset, Justin Bieber seems like your typical 15 year-old. He doodles on his own photos, cracks jokes with band mates, and will at times refuse to listen to anyone older than him. Getting ready to walk on stage at The Mall at Steamtown, he hops on his record label rep’s back, only to crash his head in to a door sill. Leaving the mall, in an attempt to retrieve his fallen hat, his ankle is stepped on by a fan, but of course, he tries not to let on to his staff, which laughs at him as he hobbles around, that its bothering him.

But a quick look at what the Canadian-born heart throb accomplished this past year, and “typical” will quickly become the furthest adjective from your mind.

Bieber performed last Thursday exclusively for 97 BHT listeners inside The Mall at Steamtown. Usher signed the teenage crooner to a deal after watching some of his YouTube videos – the most famous being Bieber’s cover of Chris Brown’s “With You”. But Usher wasn’t the only A-lister trying to court the 15 year-old.

“Well, what happened was, it was in Las Vegas. And it was Justin Timberlake in the red corner, it was Usher in the blue corner, and I’m pretty sure it was a technical knockout,” joked Bieber before he performed for almost 1,200 people inside the mall. I asked if Usher offered that much more than Timberlake, to which Bieber replied, “No, uhm… it was a technical knockout.”

Now with the upcoming release of his debut LP, My World, Bieber sports an enthusiastic fan base throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as two hits charted in the Top 30. Just a few weeks ago he popped up on NBC’s “The Today Show”, and who could forget his cameo at the MTV Video Music Awards? Yes, the 15 year-old had the daunting task of introducing Taylor Swift’s performance, immediately after KanYe West interrupted the starlet’s acceptance speech on stage. Bieber witnessed the fiasco from the stage, and then went on to offer impromptu kudos to Swift on-air, before introducing her.

“I don’t think as a new artist, or anybody, really goes off topic of like, what they’re supposed to say on the teleprompter,” Bieber noted. “I kinda took a risk… having to introduce Taylor Swift on top of that was kinda scary, but I mean, she’s amazing. She’s a really nice girl so, I was honored to be able to introduce her.”

Bieber was also honored to take part in Kidd Kraddick In The Morning’s “Band Camp.” For a week straight, the singer joined the morning show to help a group of kids form a band. Bieber notes that he enjoyed the experience, but in typical 15 year-old fashion, did have one complaint.

“The only crappy part was I had to wake up at like 5 in the morning, every single day,” Bieber said. He uses his iPhone as an alarm – and also as a way to connect with his fans. The same day he performed at the mall, uStream, a web site that allows for live web video chatting, sent Bieber an iPhone application that allows him to stream live video to the web site.

“I just got it today,” Bieber said, still kinda taken aback that uStream would send him the app before it makes it available to the general public. “But like, it’s cool that I can uStream from my phone.”

Bieber will then send the uStream link out to his Twitter followers, all 300,000 plus.

“I don’t know why (I have that many followers),” he joked. “I’m not that cool.”

Jason Castro postponed the release of his debut, self-titled LP to next year – he says it should be released in early 2010. On the day he announced the delay, Castro spoke with The Ralphie Radio Show on why he pushed back the date.

“I’ve spent the last year working on this record, and I’ve just poured so much in to it,” Castro said. “We’re still mixing and there’s still just a couple last minute tweaks that – we just still don’t have it all together, so, we don’t want to rush it out.”

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Castro insists the LP will drop in the beginning of the next calendar year – noting January as probably but definitely by February. Meanwhile, the American Idol alum will continue to put the finishing touches on the record while touring the country, performing at malls and promoting the album along with its first single, the catchy “Let’s Just Fall In Love Again.”