When Tishawn Gayle worked for Universal Records as a promotions representative, he gave me alot of stuff. One of them was a video tape that had a collection of music videos from artists under the Universal label. One of the new groups caught my ear but it wasn't until a few months later this all came together.
I took the opportunity to intern at WJMN Boston when my time for my three month co-op came up. One day, a new group called Shades came to the station to be interviewed. I had heard of them through Tishawn and I was told that one of them was a Northeastern Grad through Lady D. I walked over to the production studio where they were being interviewed by Ralphie Marino. The group was there with their road manager from Motown records. She was in the music director's office. I walked to the office and introduced myself to her. The music director did not look to happy that I walked into the office. She gave me her business card and told me to give hera call to set something up. I walked back down to the studio, got some drops from Shades and went back into the on-air studio to finish my shift.
That following week, I gave her a call to set up the interview. Tishawn helped me to get Shades into the studio on June, 24th, 1997. After the interview, I called back the rep to thank her and to see if there was any other new artists. She asked me if I would be interested in interviewing an R&B group called 98 Degrees. I told her that I saw there video and really liked the song 'Invisible Man.' She said she would check on their availability and get back to me. We played phone tag for the next couple of months and finally settled on a call-in interview one night.
The night of the interview came and then plan was to have the guys call in the interview. Since it was after office hours, I moved a reel-to-reel machine into the main office and positioned the microphone above the speaker of the office phone. The guys called in from their limo as they were on their way to the hotel. About half way through the interview, the call disconnected. I was determined to finish this the interview. About forty-five minutes later, 98 Degrees called back and we finished the interview with them on a hotel speaker phone. The guys were wonderful and they seemed very down to Earth. They were also be more of an R&B group to me then the other boy bands of that time. 98 Degrees really could sing.
A couple of years later, I went with a friend to the 98 degrees concert in Worcester. Part of the invite was to meet them in person which was interesting. It is just too bad I did not have enough time to remind them of the game of pool they owe me. The concert was great.