Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why am I punishing myself by watching the Mets?

The picture above should look very familiar to readers of this journal. Since I had a professional meeting in Manhattan today, I got home early enough to watch the Met game against the Washington Nationals which began at the unusula time of 4:30 PM. At about 6:55 the Mets were ahead 3-2 in the 8th innining when I had to turn to watch Jeopardy. When it was finished at 7:30 we turned back to the ball game as the Mets were leading 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th with star reliever Francisco Rodriguez on the mound. The Nationals scored one run and had the bases loaded with two outs when Justin Maxwell hit a grand slam home run to win the game for the lowly Nats 7-4. The Mets just lost 3 games in a row to the worst team in baseball. Oy vey! The season is almost over. 3 games to go this weekend against the Houston Astros and then the entire management team should be fired!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Girl Named Johnny Cash?

I was listening to Bob Shannon and Connie T. Empress on WLNG in my office for a short time this afternoon. Back in 1977-78 when I lived in New London, CT I was able to listen to this great oldies station over the year. In this internet era, it can be heard online. Today Bob played "A Girl Named Johnny Cash" by Jane Morgan. It was the answer to Johnny's big hit "A Boy Named Sue." Below is a version of Jane singing it to Johnny on his TV show. Lee really enjoyed it when I showed it to him tonight right after Jeopardy.

There was a funny coincidence today with this song an Jeopardy. Here was the final Jeopardy Answer - 2 of the 4 members of both the Rock and Country Music Halls of the Fame.

The Question - Who are Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee and the Everly Brothers?

Monday, September 28, 2009

One Last Thought about Yom Kippur a few hours after it ended

I am quoting from Regina Brett, columnist of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

On Yom Kippur, the scrolls of fate close when the sun sinks. The destinies of all are considered sealed for the next year. The key is not just to make peace with God but to repair any injuries done to others.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yom Kippur Tomorow

For all my Jewish friends who are observing the holiday, I hope that you will have an easy fast.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yearly walk on the Boardwalk in Rockaway Beach

I may as well repeat my journal entry of October 11, 2008 . We did exactly the same thing today and saw the two memorials. It's nice to walk around the beach on a sunny day in early autumn.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beatles Song of the Day - I'm So Tired from the White Album

This is what I get for going to a Met game in the middle of the week. At least the stadium is close to home. I bought the White Album in November 1968 when it was first released. Maybe I'll buy the remastered version on CD.

Mets lose to Atlanta 5-2

Last winter I bought a 15 ticket package to the Mets thinking that it may be difficult to get tickets to the new stadium. It was my expectation that the Mets would at least be competitive. Who thought there would be so many injuries. Our package included 10 Saturdays and 5 weekday games including last night. The Mets and Atlanta could have been fighting for the National League East. The Mets just could not get any clutch hitting as they lost 5-2. They hit into three double plays and left 11 runners on base.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I got around Ticketmaster today

Ticket prices for sporting events, concerts and shows are high enough, but one must also have to pay a fee to Ticketmaster that has a monopoly. Whenever I can, I go to the venue to buy tickets. Today before I came to work, I stopped off at the Prudential Center and bought tickets for the New Jersey Devils. I paid $105 for 3 tickets and avoided at least $18 by not using Ticketmaster. Since I pass by Madison Square Garden on the way home, I always use their box office to save money. However, most of the time I can't avoid buying the tickets online since the venue is out of the way.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Hearty Mazel Tov To Mary Shaw and Her Family

Congratulations to Mary Shaw, one of the greatest listeners in the world to oldies radio, on the birth of he first grandson, Aidan Anthony. If I were the program director of WCBS-FM, I would have interrupted programming with a bulletin announcing it.

I have been informed that Bob Shannon announced it on the air this afternoon while Mary talked about new grandson with Broadway Bill Lee.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Elvis Sings Dylan - Tomorrow is a Long Time

I knew that I would forget some Dylan cover. Below is a knockout version of Tomorrow is a Long Time by Elvis Presley. I never heard it on any radio station.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Fantasy - Programming a Radio Show

About a week ago Dave DuBrow asked Maria and Phyllis how they would program one hour on WABC. I then thought how would program a radio show. I would chose WFUV since it is the closest thing to a true free form radio station in New York excluding satellite and internet radio. As a not for profit station associated with Fordham University they are very dependent on listener donations. I give them about $100/year and wish I could donate more. I also support jazz and blues station WBGO. WFUV pays tribute to Bob Dylan on May 24th, his birthday. If I could program WFUV on that day I would play my favorite cover versions of Dylan songs. My list is below. I am sure that as soon as I post this entry I will post more.

Blowing in the Wind - Stevie Wonder
Don’t Think Twice - Elvis Presley
The Times They are a Changin’ - Richie Havens
Walkin’ Down the Line - Rick Nelson
Farewell - Dion
Dusty Old Fairgrounds - Blue Ash
Lay Down Your Weary Tune - Byrds
All - I Really Want to Do - Cher
My Back Pages - Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, George Harrison. Roger McGuinn, Neil Young (From 30th Anniversary Concert)
It Ain’t Me Babe - Johnny Cash
Subterranean Home Sick Blues - Tim O’Brien
Mr Tambourine Man - Gene Clark
Love is Just a Four Letter Word - Joan Baez
Like a Rolling Stone - Sebastian Cabot
Tombstone Blues - Richie Havens
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry - Al Kooper
Ballad of a Thin Man - Grass Roots
Queen Jane Approximately - Grateful Dead
Highway 61 Revisited - Johnny Winter
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues - Judy Collins
Desolation Row - Grateful Dead
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window - Jimi Hendrix
Pledging My Time - Duke Robillard
Just Like a Woman - Richie Havens
Absolutely Sweet Marie - George Harrison
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Dear Landlord - Joe Cocker
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight - Kris Kristofferson
If Not For You - George Harrison
I’d Have You Anytime - George Harrison
Watching the River Flow - Leon Russell
When I Paint My Masterpiece - The Band
Million Dollar Bash - Fairport Convention
Going to Acapulco - Jim James and Calexico
Please Mrs. Henry - Manfred Mann
Tears of Rage - The Band
Too Much of Nothing - Peter Paul and Mary
You Ain’t Going Nowhere - Byrds
Nothing was Delivered - The Byrds
This Wheel is on Fire - The Band
Quinn the Eskimo- Manfred Mann
I Shall Be Released - The Band
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door - Eric Clapton
Catfish - Joe Cocker
Seven Days - Ronnie Wood
Golden Loom - Roger McGuinn
Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) - Willie Nelson and Calexico
Gotta Serve Somebody - Shirley Caeser
Sweetheart Like You - Judy Collins
Blind Willie McTell - The Band
Foot of Pride - Lou Reed
Dark Eyes - Judy Collins
Farewell Angelina - Joan Baez
Simple Twist of Fate - Joan Baez
Tangled Up in Blue - Mary Lee’s Corvette
Cold Iron Bounds - Tom Verlaine and the Million Dollar Bashers

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mary Travers 1936-2009

We were all saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Travers of the folk group Peter Paul and Mary. Regular readers of Bruce's Journal may remember that I featured their cover of Bob Dylan's Too Much of Nothing twice this year in January and March. It was their version of the civil rights anthem Blowing in the Wind that introduced me to Bob Dylan. Back in 1963 in Camp Wel-Met in Narrowsburg, NY the counselors taught us the song. They didn't mention its composer. Below is the video of Peter Paul and Mary with Bob Dylan singing it on January 20, 1986 (the first observance of Martin Luther King Day) at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center Opera House in Washington, DC. Karen and I saw the trio in concert at Queens College in the mid 1980s.

An obituary of Mary may be found in the New York Times.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Please do not phone me Monday - Friday 7:00 - 7:30 PM

This means that the 26th season of Jeopardy with Alex Trebek has begun. This season will feature a celebrity tournament ending with one winning a million dollars for a charity. Stay tuned.

Condolences to my Sister Joyce and Her Family on the Passing of their beloved dog Sasha

I am saddened to announce the passing of Sasha Feuer, my canine niece, and daughter of my sister Joyce and her husband Keith. My condolences to them and my nephews Scott and Adam.

We always grew up in apartments so we could never have a dog since apartments are really too small for a large animal. Some people in apartments have small dogs. When Joyce married Keith she also inherited Artemis, a mix of a collie and labrador retriever. My father really loved Artemis and treated her like a granddaughter. When Joyce and Keith went away on vacation, Artemis would often stay with Mom and Dad.

After Artemis died, Joyce and Keith adopted Sasha who was born in Tennessee. We always enjoyed it when we rang the doorbell Sasha would jump on me. Lee especially was crazy about Sasha and sent her a birthday card every November 11.

I don't know if Joyce and Keith will get another dog. It is a very big responsibility and Keith may have had enough since he's had 3 in his lifetime. At least Sasha and Artemis lived to a ripe old age. They both passed away at 14 1/2 years.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Only a Northern Song - an underrated Beatles Album Cut

Only a Northern Song appeared on the Yellow Submarine album issued in 1968. I don't hear it very much on the radio. One of these days I am going to have to listen to my Beatles vinyl which are all over 40 years old. If they were in pristine condition, they would have monetary value, but I am sure they are all scratched up. I'll have to decide if I want to buy some of the remastered CDs.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do You Need Directions in Queens

My son Lee is really a wiz when it comes to maps. He found Lee Street which is within walking distance of our apartment. I will never have to worry about getting lost in the borough of Queens. He is also an expert on the New York City Subway and Bus systems. If you look closely, he is wearing an IEEE t-shirt. Maybe he wants to be an electrical engineering. He also has a Scifinder Scholar t-shirt. Does he want to follow in his dad's footsteps and become a chemistry librarian?

Part 2 of our annual cemetery trips

Today we drove to Long Island to visit two cemeteries. My father who died in 1997 is buried in New Montefiore Cemetery. It is hard to believe it is 12 years since he lost his battle against pancreatic cancer. He survived for 2 years after he was diagnosed with that dreaded disease. Most people live only a few months after that diagnosis. From there we went to nearby Beth Moses cemetary to visit the graves of Karen's mother, grandmother, aunt and uncle.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Finally got some Nachas from the Mets

Nachas is a Yiddish word that can roughly be translated as pride in someone else's accomplishments. It is often used when saying that a parent get nachas from a child. The Mets were playing in Philadelphia today. They took at 4-0 lead, but fell behind 8-4 and were down 9-5 at the end of 7 innings. They scored 3 runs in the 8th and won the game with two outs in the top of the 9th with a 2 run home run by David Wright who also hit a dinger earlier in the game. Carlos Beltran also homered in the first inning. To use a phrase popularized by the late Bob Murphy, here is the happy recap.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11, 2001

It was a normal late summer morning as I arrived at work and gave a freshman seminar tour of the library at 9 AM. As I was finishing it a colleague told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At that point everyone thought that it was just a small private plane had hit the building by accident. As time passed on we knew it was a terrorist attack. It was very hard to reach the news sites on the Internet at that time. I sat in my boss' office and heard the reports on the radio. NJIT closed at 12 noon.

All the public transportation was closed so I had no way of getting home and no way of determining when it would resume. My boss graciously let me stay at his house in Metuchen. I was inconvenienced for one night, but I thought of the thousands who had perished in the three locations. This must never happen again.

Every day when I go through Penn Station I see National Guardsmen and police with bomb sniffing dogs. A mass transit hub is always a vulnerable place for a terrorist attack. Whenever I go to a sporting event I am patted down by security. These are reminders of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One of the Ugliest Loses of the Season

It was so bad, we didn't stay until the end of the game as the Mets lost to the Florida Marlins 13-4. Unhappy recap

We usually don't go to games in the middle of the week, but the 15 game package we bought at the beginning of this season included this game. It could have been a meaningful game, but injuries killed the Mets over this season. There were probably about 15,000 people in the stands so we could move to seats behind home plate. We left in the 7th inning when the Mets were behind 9-4. When we got home we heard the final was 13-4. Oy vey!

If anyone noticed I took off the Mets' widget from this journal. I will have to look for another one with another theme.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some Thoughts on Beatles Day 9/9/09

Today marked the release of the video game Beatles Rock Band and the mono and stereo remastered box sets of all Beatles CDs that were originally released in the 1960s. It really shows how Beatles music has trenscended the generations. I bought the LPs shortly after they were originally released. I remember having to scrape up my allowance money and run to Alexanders in Rego Park to buy them on a Friday when they went on sale. I still have my turntable and occaisonally play my scratched up Beatles vinyl. The Beatles CDs were first issued on CDs in the late 1980s. Since my copy of Abbey Road was cracked I bought it again on CD. Likewise I couldn't resist buying Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band on June 1, 1987 twenty years to the day after the record came out.

Capitol/EMI is selling mono and stereo versions of the remastered box sets for about $200/each. This may be a good purchase for younger people who were not born when Beatlemania struck. I certainly would not buy the entire set but may eventually get one or two CDs to replace some scratched up records. The most hardcore Beatles fan may be compealists and want absolutely everything.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello Again Literally

I am quite honored to have Herb Oscar Anderson as a friend on Facebook. As a young child I listened to him in my Dad's car on WMCA and then WABC. I loved hearing his theme Hello Again. You can hear it by doing a search for it on Youtube. I found two biographies of Herb on the web:

Wikipedia - since anyone can revise an article there, I had someone can fill in the gaps. Please be accurate if you chose to edit this article

Scott Benjamin wrote a more detailed article found at

Herb - if you are reading this I wish you the best of health. Hello Again!

WCBSFM Top 500 Countdown

Back in the 1960s I followed radio station surveys even copying them down as the number of the song was announced. These surveys were likely based on record sales. Over the years WCBS-FM would ask listeners to vote for their top three songs and a list of the most popular 500 records were played over a holiday weekend. In recent years I have lost my enthusiasm for looking at songs by their number on a survey. I don't care what number a song is as long as I enjoy it.

WCBS-FM just played their most recent survey over the Labor Day weekend. This year Thriller by Michael Jackson was voted the most popular hit by the listeners. It wa obviously chosen by sympathy over his untimely death. In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins was number 2. For many years the latter was always voted number one. However since WCBS-FM was reincarnated in July 2007 very few if any 1950s hits have been played on the station. Thus In the Still of the Night was the #2 song even though it is rarely played.

My favorite Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan was voted #141.

Monday, September 7, 2009

News About My Two Favorite Game Shows

Since we were home this afternoon we turned on the TV to watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire with Meredith Viera. It was the first show of the 8th season of her hosting the show. At the beginning she reported the nobody had won $1Million on the show since 2003. I knew it had been a long time, but I didn't realize that it hadn't been won in 6 years. A few a contestant on the night version with Regis Philbin attempted the $1Million question and got it wrong and lost $475,000. She announced that there would be a contest in November of the top 10 winners of this season and that the winner would get $1million. The web site has the details.
We turned on Jeopardy at 7 PM not knowing whether the 26th season would begin. Alex Trebek said that for this week there would be 5 classic episodes. Tonight the first show hosted by Alex Trebek in 1984 was aired. The photo above showed what Alex looked like back then with a moustache and black hair. The history of the show is outline in the Wikipedia. Art Fleming was the original host of the show from 1964-79.
We tell students not to reference the Wikipedia for scholarly works since it is not known who wrote the information or if it was inaccurately edited. I think it is OK to cite the Wikipedia for information about issues in the popular culture.

Happy 75th Birthday Dan Ingram

Readers of this journal who are not radio enthusiasts may not know that Dan Ingram is among the greatest radio personalities ever. There is a good biography of him on the Wikipedia which lists some of his famous quotes. I took the photo above at the WABC Rewound cruise in June 2007. Dan has not appeared regularly on the radio since June 2003. Mark Simone interviewed him a few times on WABC.

I certainly wish Dan a happy birthday and best of health in the future.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Part 1 of our annual cemetery trips

It is customary in the Jewish religion to visit the graves of family members just before the high holy days. This morning I picked up my mother and drove her, Karen, and Lee to my grandparents cemetery in Fairview, New Jersey just a few minutes south of the George Washington Bridge. My grandfather Boruch Wagman passed away in 1942 at age 49 while my grandmother Lena Wagman died in 1979 at age 90.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Mets lose for us 5-3

It was a beautiful day in NYC as we went over to Citifield to see the Mets. I don't want to have to repeat my self but it has been a very tough season for the Amazins as they lost to the Chicago Cubs 5-3. 3 Cub home runs (2 by Derrick Lee and 1 by Aramis Ramirez) coupled with a 10 strikeout performance by Rich Harden beat the home team. The only highlight for the Mets was a home run by Corey Sullivan.

There were tougher years in Flushing. I can remember the early years of the Mets in the 1960s when they lost 90-100 games each season. The late 70s and early 80s right after the Tom SeaBver trade were also difficult. Hopefully everyone can come back from injuries in 2010.
Box Score

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Labor Day Everyone

I have nothing much to report today. It was the first week of classes so things were busy at the NJIT Library. I have now worked 10 out of the last 12 days, so I'm a little tired. I am looking forward to the 3 day weekend. Have a good one everyone.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bob Dylan to Play in Chicago - October 29, 30, 31

He will be playing those three nights at the Aragon Ballroom. Did you notice the last night is Halloween? Maybe someone will go to the concert dressed in a Mark Simone costume. I just noticed that Halloween is on a Saturday Night. Maybe the concert hall will have wireless internet so he can listen to Dylan with one ear and WABC with the other. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My favorite B Side - You Know My Name Look Up the Number by the Beatles

Younger readers of this journal may not know that back in the days before CDs 45 RPM records had a B side that was of less interest than the A side that was played on Top 40 radio. My favorite has to be a silly Beatles song called "You Know My Name. Look Up the Number."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Listening to Radio Tapes on the Way to Work

Back in the 1990s I made hundreds of radio tapes. One of my favorite specialty shows was the WCBS-FM radio greats reunions. For a weekend former top 40 disk jockeys from WABC and WMCA did shifts at WCBS-FM. On the way to work today I listened to Joe O'Brien featured above in June 1998. For many years he did the morning show at WMCA with his "sidekick" Benny. He later moved on to WHUD in Peekskill, NY and sadly passed away in 2005 at the age of 90. Joe was reading names of people who phoned or faxed the station to say hello. I heard the name of radio enthusiast Mary Shaw.

Anyway, I must have been the only person in the New York City Subway system to listen to an old fashioned Sony Walkman with a tape player. There are turntables and tape decks now with USB ports that can be connected to a PC. It would take me forever to digitize my record and tape collections. In a nutshell, this is why I haven't gotten an Ipod.
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