The Green Door
Saw an eyeball peepin'
Midnight, one more
night without sleepin'
|" Born in Springfield, Mo., Lowe didn't come to New York as a
crusader. He came as a songwriter and singer who in late 1955 had a hit
with "Close the Door," then a bigger one - a No. 1, in fact -
with "Green Door."
He cut some songs his later fans might think odd, including "Maybelline," and he had almost as big a hit as Jim Reeves with the melancholy "Four Walls."
It was also noted that he had a great radio voice, and by 1962 he was doing Saturday nights at NBC Radio's "Monitor."
A year later he joined WNEW-AM, doing the "Milkman's Matinee" and "Jim Lowe's New York," which featured listener quizzes on esoteric facts.
He returned to "Monitor" from 1969 to 1973, then bounced back to WNEW-AM, where he revived "Jim Lowe's New York," did a spell on the evening shift and in 1982 became program director. Neither he nor anyone else could save the station, which finished its own run in 1992. So Lowe, like others, took to focusing on the music.
"If all we do is keeping playing 'In the Mood,' we'll end up in a museum," he said. So he looked for new music that reflected the classic sound and style, and therefore could blend with the old.
That's the music he listens to at home these days, he says, and that's what "Jim Lowe and Friends" was about. It carried the torch and helped to pass it.
One of those who picked it up, Jonathan Schwartz of WNYC and XM Satellite Radio, has known Lowe since the '60s and says Lowe's retirement, while well-earned, saddens him.
"Jim Lowe, or 'Mr. Broadway,' is one of the passionate champions of the American Songbook," says Schwartz. "He is a dedicated friend of craft: He was born with the knowledge that 'home' does not rhyme with 'alone.' "
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