Cerphe Colwell, Stephen Moore, Carrel Books. 2016
Cerphe’s Up is an incisive musical memoir by Cerphe Colwell, a renowned rock radio broadcaster for more than forty-five years in Washington, DC. Cerphe shares his life as a rock radio insider in rich detail and previously unpublished photographs. His story includes promotion and friendship with a young unknown Bruce Springsteen; his years at radio station WHFS 102.3 as it blossomed in a new freeform format; candid interviews with Little Feat’s Lowell George, Tom Waits, Nils Lofgren, Stevie Nicks, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Steven Van Zandt, Robert Plant, Danny Kortchmar, Seldom Scene’s John Duffey, and many others; hanging out with George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, John Entwistle, Jackson Browne, and many more; testifying on Capitol Hill with friend Frank Zappa during the “Porn Rock” hearings; and managing the radio syndication of both G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Stern. Player listings and selected performances at legendary DC music clubs Childe Harold and Cellar Door are also chronicled. Edited by Patty Johnson Cooper
Cerphe’s Up is both historically significant and a fun, revealing ride with some of the greatest rock-and-roll highfliers of the twentieth century. Cerphe’s Up belongs on the reading list of every rock fan, musician, and serious music scholar.
"He is not a household name, but Colwell seems to have met everybody in the music business during his heyday as a rock ’n’ roll deejay for more than 45 years in Washington, D.C. During his career at WHFS, where he had the luxury of playing whatever he wanted, he met the musicians listed in the subtitle as well as George Harrison, Stevie Nicks, Steve Van Zandt, and Jackson Browne. His station was among the first in the country to play Bruce Springsteen. One of the responsibilities of a deejay is, of course, to promote and attend shows, which Colwell did with great anticipation, and one of his favorite venues was the Childe Harold, where he saw Springsteen perform for the first time. “He was the owner-builder-driver of the band: passionate, engaged with the audience, sometimes even playful and goofy,” Colwell recalls. Yet when Colwell interviewed him on his radio show, Springsteen was “shy and unassuming.” Coauthored with Moore, Colwell’s memoir is pure fun and, for many, a joyful trip down musical memory lane." — June Sawyers, American Library Association's Booklist
“Pure fun and for many, a joyful trip down musical memory lane” – Booklist
“ Somewhere in the 1960s, someone said ‘Let’s put some rock and roll music on FM.’ So there weren’t that many people listening, so not much pressure. The FM stations became very creative. You could play what you wanted and you could create an art form out of your own broadcast. Cerphe was involved in this.” Frank Zappa
Book Press Clips: John Kelly, The Washington Post
About The Authors
Cerphe Colwell began his career on WHFS 102.3 radio, one of the first freeform stations in the United States. Cerphe (pronounced “Surf”) helped promote the early careers of Bruce
Springsteen, Lowell George, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, and many other rock luminaries. Cerphe’s radio resume includes WAVA, DC101, WJFK, and current station Music Planet Radio. Cerphe lives in Leesburg,
Stephen Moore has coauthored four books, Johnny Holliday: From Rock to Jock, Helen Hayes: A Bio-Bibliography, Hoop Tales: Maryland Terrapins Men’s Basketball., and John Duffey's Bluegrass Life. A retired technologist at Georgetown University, he plays in the Bethesda, Maryland, rock cover band The Razors.