It was the beginning of July 1994. I had just made the difficult decision to walk away from a very high-profile gig producing the #1 morning radio show in Los Angeles. I had spent four years with Mark & Brian, a rewarding job that started out as loads of fun but became less fun as time progressed and is a story for another time.

Thankfully and luckily, I landed at the perfect place.

I had planted the seeds some months earlier while watching the rise of a new radio format that was actually about the music – good, quality music (you know, the kind I like). I’ll recount that story another time too.

But on July 1, 1994, I was part of the crew that launched fm 101.9 “Southern California’s Album Alternative”. It was the last remaining radio station owned by Gene Autry’s Golden West Broadcasters.

Thanks to consultant Dennis Constantine and the station’s General Manager Bill Ward, I was midday host when the station hit the air.

I was ecstatic about the playlist. The library was filled with the music I love, and the new music we were playing was ear candy. I was introduced to so many new artists, as our station proudly championed them.

One of the new songs in rotation was “Heaven and Hell” from the band Wild Colonials. They had just released their debut album, Fruit of Life.

Well, on July 6 – just days after the station launched – I received a fax (remember fax machines?) from Angela McCluskey, the singer of Wild Colonials, telling me that she heard me play their song improving her somewhat down day’s mood.

Soon after that, the radio station did our first live remote broadcast from Tower Records on Sunset Blvd with a performance from the Wild . I was the host. (The only photos I can find of Angela and me is from that appearance)

Wild Colonials Angela McCluskey, Paul Cantelon with KSCA’s Nicole Sandler at Tower Records Sunset Blvd

Angela and I became fast friends. If you knew Angela, you’d know that wasn’t unusual. She knew everyone, or so it seemed. And everyone was her friend!

I often joked that Angela was my social director. The fact is that I’m quite shy when I’m not speaking from behind a microphone, but Angela McCluskey was the opposite.

I bought my first home during my years at KSCA. It was on Kirkwood Drive in Laurel Canyon. Angela and some of her Wild Colonials bandmates joined with some of the members of the Young Dubliners to play at my housewarming party. And she always had friends around.
I won’t name drop here, but Angela knew everyone, and they all loved her.

Angela McCluskey oozed life. She was always busy making art and music and ranting and caring for friends.

I haven’t seen her in probably a dozen years. The last time we were in a room together was around 2009. I was hosting a nightly program on Air America Radio, usually from my home studio in Florida. But one week when I was in NY, I did my show from the Air America studios. On one memorable night, I was joined in the studio by Angela McCluskey and John Fugelsang for a show I won’t ever forget. I wish I had a recording of it..

Angela and I were supposed to record an interview a few months back for a project I was working on at the time, “Women Who Rock.” But the launch got pushed back (and later the whole project died), so we put it off for another time… which will now never come. And I’m devastated.

Rest in Power my dear friend. I hope you’ve reunited with Lisa Marie and are jamming with Karl Wallinger who got there a few days before you left us.
I miss you darling…. (all who knew Angela know that’s how she addressed all of us)…

In the Wild Colonials song “Spark” Angela sings “The spark is gone but the love lives on.” It does indeed.

I ended my show on Friday with a bit of a tribute. I spoke a few words about my friend, and then shared the recording of one of her many appearances on the air with me.  It was December 9, 1996. The second Wild Colonials album, This Can’t Be Life, had just been released. It was a fun interview and, as always, a great performance.

I’ve also uploaded a few other sessions to the Internet Archive. I’ll embed them all below so you can hear Angela’s wit, wisdom and beautiful soul whenever you need a lift.

Wild Colonials on KSCA with Terry Gladstone hosting March 4 1995

Angela McCluskey also joined me on the air at another LA station, Channel 103.1. She performed with Shark on Feb 1, 2000

And on August 2, 2000, Angela, Paul Cantelon and Shark returned