Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Here Comes the Sun!

I think this Beatles song is quite appropriate for today. I decided to post the Richie Havens version of it. Facebook friends can see and hear it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8HBHWYd6ug

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rain causes sadness

For the second day in a row it has rained. I took two vacation days for Passover, but was stuck in the apartment :( . Too much rain creates sadness. Maybe you can call it seasonal affective disorder or cabin fever. It is supposed to end tomorrow.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Million Dollar Quartet - one last time

Below is a clip of the Chicago cast of Million Dollar Quartet singing Blue Suede Shoes. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuaN5hSM1k0

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Million Dollar Quartet - My Review

Over the past several years I have seen the following "jukebox musicals" :
  • Smokey Joe's Cafe
  • All Shook Up
  • The Times They Are A Changin'
  • Ring of Fire
  • Jersey Boys
  • Million Dollar Quartet

I enjoyed all of the above, but I am not the typical viewer of Broadway shows. Only Smokey Joe's Cafe and Jersey Boys were commercial successes. Certainly Elvis Presley has universal appeal, but All Shook Up closed after 33 previews and 213 performances. The weakness of this type of show is the lack of an in depth plot. Million Dollar Quartet relates how these 4 superstars performed a jam session on December 4, 1956. If you love the oldies, this show is for you. Most of the audience were people older that I. There were many empty seats in the theater, but the show is still in previews. The show is only 1 hour and 40 minutes, but I only paid $19.56 per ticket (this was a special deal advertised on WCBS-FM). I had to shell out $100/ticket for Jersey Boys two years ago.

I can not accurately predict how the professional critics will evaluate this show. It was successful in Chicago, but that is not Broadway. I would recommend that my oldies enthusiast friends see this before it closes. I hope it succeeds, but I am not optimisic. I loved the The Times They Are A Changin but it closed after 28 previews and 35 previews.

I suggest my readers see the Youtube Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjbCpXhTS00

Happy Birthday - Lee

It is hard to believe that my son Lee is now 22 years old. Where did all these years go? It seems like it was just yesterday when he was born. I found a pciture of him with his Mets t-shirt standing next to a wax figure of his idol Johnny Cash. Today he'll see an actor playing Johnny as we see Million Dollar Quartet later today.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oldies Concert at the Flushing Library

Tonight we walked over to the Flushing Library to see an Aesthetic Realism Theater Company performance of Rock 'n' Roll, the Oppposites & Our Greatest Hopes, A Celebration. The company sang 13 oldies but also gave an explanation of the significance of each song. For example one of the songs was You're So Vain as originally done by Carly Simon. They explain how the singer was complaining about her relationship with a man. We enjoyed this performance right in our neighborhood.

Facebook Friends

Dictionary.com defines friend as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. The expression "personal regard" is open to interpretation. The concept of friendship has been corrupted in this "Facebook world." When one opens a Facebook account there is a temptation to build up a large list of friends. I friended many Slutskys who were not related to me. I also tried to friend NJIT students in an attempt to promote my services as a librarian to them. I have friended people from my past, NJIT colleagues, people with similar interests and friends of friends.

Some months ago I de-friended several people whom I just didn't know. This morning I de-friended 38 people for that same reason. As I perused my list, I did give many people the benefit of the doubt, but my list is at 380 which is still too high. Facebook does not inform a member when someone unfriends him, so I am certain that many people have done the same to me for whatever reason.

This entire Facebook thing is getting silly. I suppose it is a fad that will eventually decline in popularity. I have noticed that many people start a profile and then abandon it or delete it in a short period of time. I have had positive and negative experiences with it.

Have a nice day everybody.

Friday, March 26, 2010

TGIF

I wouldn't say that I did nothing today. I helped students find information to fullfil their assignments at NJIT. I always keep in mind that students' tuition dollars pay my salary.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spotlight on Johnny Cash

Here is a photo of Lee with a wax figure of his idol Johnny Cash at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Times Square a few years ago. Why did he have to wear a 3 Stooges t-shirt? I still can not recall how Lee became interested in the "Man in Black." Before he was born I only owned one Johnny Cash album. It was Johnny Cash at San Quentin where he sang "A Boy Named Sue". Facebook friends can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M89c3hWx3RQ



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spotlight on Carl Perkins

I became familiar with Carl Perkins in the mid 1960s when the Beatles covered Honey Don't, Everybody's Trying to be my Baby, and Matchbox. On January 21, 1998, a few days after Carl died I went to a Bob Dylan concert at Madison Square Garden when Van Morrision was the opening act. Bob and Van played Blue Suede Shoes together as a tribute to Carl.

Wikipedia biography of Carl Perkins

Below is a video of Carl Perkins performing Blue Suede Shoes on the Johnny Cash TV show. You will see the Man in Black introducing him. Facebook friends can see it at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrfzcIdOOLc .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spotlight on Elvis Presley

There have been many books written about Elvis, so I will have to add some personal recollections. I can barely remember his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s. I did ask a friend if his mother screamed when Elvis appeared.

I was on vacation in Cape Cod when I found out about his passing on August 16, 1977.

When Lee was a small child we went to the Westchester County Fair at Yonkers Raceway and saw a large figurine of the King. At that point my son became the biggest Elvis fan in the family.

In 1995 Bob Shannon on WCBS-FM played my dedicated his version of Crying in the Chapel to Karen.

We even featured his music at Lee's Bar Mitzvah in 2001.

In 2002 Greg Peters, an Elvis impresonator performed at my friend Herb Hollander's 50th birthday party.

We visited Graceland in Memphis in 2003. Most of the tourists were not yet born when the King died.

When we visited Nashville in 2004, we also saw an Elvis impersonator perform.

In honor of the Million Dollar Quartet you can Elvis' version of Blue Suede Shoes. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrjbwVhQOAw

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spotlight on Jerry Lee Lewis

This week I will spotlighting the 4 recording artists of the Million Dollar Quartet. We will be seeing the show on Sunday for Lee's birthday. Of the four, Jerry is the only one still living. He was 21 years old on December 4, 1956, the date of the famous session. He gained notoriety when he married his 13 year old cousin Myra in December 1957.

Wikipedia entry

Facebook friends can see this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yRdDnrB5kM

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Should Police bother with very petty offenses?

There are some web sites in the blogosphere where the author simply copies and pastes articles from news sites into his own. What does that really accomplish? Most of my journal entries report on my personal experiences. This morning I read an article in the New York Times titled
His Offense: Taking 2 Seats on a Nearly Empty Train by Jim Dwyer.

A man was given a summons for taking up 2 seats on an empty subway car at 1:30 AM. In the post 9/11 era I am always grateful to see a police officer in a train station or a subway car. A mass transit hub is a vulnerable place for a terrorist attack and a police presence certain thwarts a possible attack.

Customers on mass transit are often discourteous to their fellow riders. I see people hogging seats on crowded New Jersey Transit trains all the time, but the conductors rarely confront them. I absolutely hate when passengers block doors on subways and buses. This is a matter of courtesy, not a crime. I would much rather see police patrolling cars and stations to defer real crime.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Should I apply to be on the Community Advisory Board to WFUV?

I think I am going to ask my radio friends for advisement here. I was listening to Pete Fornatale this afternoon while he mentioned that WFUV is looking for new members to its Community Advisory Board. In brief this committee is to:

•Review the programming goals established by the station;
•Review the community service provided by the station;
•Review the impact on the community of significant policy decisions made by the station;
•Advise the governing board of the station whether the programming and other significant policies of the station are meeting the specialized educational and cultural needs of the communities served by the station.

WFUV brands itself as "Rock and Roots Radio" which to me is quite vague. They used to refer to their programming during the week as "City Folk" which is folk music for people in NYC. In radio jargon their format is described as AAA (Adult Album Alternative).

Readers of this Journal know that I listen to many genres of music. A jack of all trades is a master of none. I would estimate that I listen to WFUV about 6 - 8 hours each week, but my knowledge of the multitude of recording artists that they play is very cursory. Based on that I don't know if I can effectively serve on their board. WFUV does play more Bob Dylan music than any other station on the terrestrial dial in NYC. Only Dylanradio.com plays more Dylan.

OK folks - should I apply?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bought Yankee Tickets Today

I like to go to a few Yankee games each season even though I am a big Mets fan. The only time I root against the Yankees is when they play the Mets. Today the Yankees put single game tickets on sale through the dreaded Ticketmaster. We could not get tickets for weekend games at the price level we wanted. So I got tickets for May 4th against the Baltimore Orioles and Monday August 2nd against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blue Moon by the Marcels

It is time to shift colors and start on blue songs. My first selection is Blue Moon by the Marcels which was my favorite song in the first grade at P.S. 139. I remember putting a dime in the juke box at the pizza parlor on 63rd Drive to hear it. Those were the days. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-avJPsuArgs

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Facebook Friend of the Day - Ray Schwartz

Ray Schwartz was my colleague at the NJIT Library where he worked for about 6 years. He has sinced moved on to William Paterson University where he earned academic tenure last year. Ray was always a lot of fun when he worked at NJIT. I always enjoyed the jokes he made about baldness. He is my friend of the day because he complimented me in front of one of the managers of the NJIT Library. As you can see from his photo above, Ray is an avid runner. He has ran in several marathons all over the world.

I would like to dedicate Keep on Running by the Spencer Davis Group to Ray. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAdottB7UU8


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Grass - Gary Lewis and the Playboys

After I thought I was finished with green songs, I remembered another one. Green Grass by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knj9FE0dsQ4

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sad Radio News - Ron Lundy passes away at 75

Ted David announced on the New York Radio Message Board that Ron Lundy passed away today at age 75. One of those "Sweet Talkin' Guys" has sadly moved on to the great radio station in the sky. Right now Ron Parker is talking about Ron with Bob Shannon on WCBS-FM.

Ron was always a friend behind the mike when he was on the air. He came to New York on WABC in 1965 on the overnight shift. For most of his time there he worked from 10 AM - 2 PM. He and Dan Ingram did the last music show on WABC on May 10, 1982. Ron's voice was also heard in the movie Midnight Cowboy. From 1984 - 1997 Ron worked at WCBS-FM from 9 AM - 12 noon. Radio enthusiast Alan Berman pointed out that when Joe McCoy hired Ron at WCBS-FM, he actually made time for him by shortening other DJs shifts.

He will be sorely missed by his friends in NYC. There was an article in today's Daily News by David Hinckley saying that NYC DJ Bobby Jay travelled 10 hours from his home in Columbia, SC to see Ron one last time.

My condolences to his wife Shirley in Mississippi.

Finally finished with the dentist - I was crowned

This ordeal started over a year ago when a tooth was cracked. The dentist said that it had to be extracted. The process of placing an implant with a crown takes several steps over time since the dental implant has to bond with the bone. Then a crown is screwed in place of the lost tooth. The process finally ended for me today. Yippee!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Music Man at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center

Today we saw The Music Man produced by the community theater group of the Bay Terrce Jewish Center. The play first appeared on Broadway in 1957 and ran for 1357 performances. There was a 1962 film adaptation and numerous revivals over the years.

My favorite character in the play has to be Marian the Librarian who reminds me of a former Director of Reference at the NJIT Library. I really shouldn't talk about her any further. Some of the familar musical numbers for the show are:
  • Seventy-Six Trombones
  • Till There was You - covered by the Beatles.
  • Gary, Indiana

It is a Crime to Abandon a Pet

It wasn't raining this morning so Lee and I drove out to Cunningham Park so he could play basketball. When we got to the court I saw a pet porter dog crate with a Scottish Terrier inside. Sadly someone had abandoned this little dog. My first impulse was to dial 311 and report it as a non-emergency to the police. When I couldn't get through I used the white pages app on my iPhone to try to call the ASPCA. There was an office in Manahattan that didn't answer. Luckily, a police car was in the park. The officer came by and took the dog away.

It is really cruel to abandon a pet like that. Hopefully he wasn't in the park very long. Next to the basketball court there is a dog run, so the jerk thought a dog lover would adopt it. I am sure that the police was able to get the dog to an animal shelter and that a new home will be found for him.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Saturday

I can not remember the last time that it rained so much on one day. Better rain than snow. If this were cold enough to snow, we would have gotten about 3 feet. On a misreable day like this there is nothing much to do but go to the movies. So we walked to the multiplex to say Green Zone starring Matt Damon. It was about looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003. I am not a movie buff but this and The Hurt Locker are the only movies to date that I know of that are about the Iraq War. There were many films about the dreaded Vietnam War which is now a terrible memory. This site lists the Top Ten movies about the Vietnam War.

We bought our plane tickets today for our trip to Chicago in June to begin and end our Jay Buckley baseball tour.

I very rarely get involved with radio station contests but several years ago on a Sunday morning as I was leaving to buy the newspaper I phoned in to Gary Clark of WCBS-FM and answered a trivia question about a Temptations hit. The answer was "I Wish it Would Rain"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Resumes

The Never Ending Tour resumed last night in Osaka, Japan after a 3 1/2 month hiatus. Zimmy deserves a little break. Who says he should retire? May he stay Forever Young.

Set List

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I am telling you I am not going

No, I am not going to write a song heard in the Broadway show Dreamgirls. I am not going to move to New Jersey in spite of a proposed bill in the NJ State legislature. There are some people in the state governmnt who want to require state employees to live in NJ. New hires would be required to assume residency in 4 months while old timers like myself would have 2 1/2 years to make the move.

There are certain problems with this. The most important is that it would retroactively change the conditions under which people accepted employment. Also, NJIT is a state supported school. We are not state employees since much of our salaries are supported by tuition dollars. The arguments for and against this are outlined in the linked article. At this stage of my life, I just don't want to uproot my family and adjust to living in a new community. I heard that there are about 10,000 people in this situation. Relocating would be a hardhsip for most. True, the commuting can be a pain in the butt, but housing in a nice community within a short commute to Newark would be very expensive. I still can't cut my travel time to zero.

I think it is unlikely that this bill will pass since there are so many complications. People should live where they want. I think there will be much discussion on this before it is resolved.

I actually heard this over the news on WBGO this morning. My colleague Heather brought the article to my attention.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Orange Blossom Special - Johnny Cash

I am now finished with the green songs so I'm moving on to orange. Here is the orange Blossom Special by Johnny Cash. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAmrKeyeHKA

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Best of Health to Ron Lundy

For readers of Bruce's Journal who are not radio enthuisasts, Ron Lundy was a radio personality who worked at WABC (1965-82) and WCBS-FM (1984-1997). There was a report today on the New York Radio Message Board that he is having health problems.

I certain wish Ron the best of health. I always remember him as being very friendly over the air. For most of his time at WCBS-FM he was on the air from 9 AM - 12 noon. I remember listening to his farewell show on September 18, 1997 a few days after my father passed away. He has spent his retirement years in Mississippi far away from the Big Apple. He has been interviewed a few times on oldies shows.

Some airchecks and photos from his last show may be found at http://www.musicradio77.com/ronlundy.html .

Wikipedia article.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Article about Facebook in Sunday's New York Times Business Section

I read the article Getting Older Without Getting Old on the way home from work. The author, Randall Stoss, predicts that Facebook is here to stay since many older users who tend to stay put are becoming members. There are now over 400 million users which is more than the population of the United States. I suggest that my readers check out this article and also go to http://allfacebook.com a site with Facebook related news and statistics.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Today's Basketball Notes

We likely saw our last game of the season as we went to the Pratt Recreation Center and saw Bridgeport defeat CW Post 70-61. This was the final game of the East Coast Conference tournament. Bridgeport now moves on to the Division II NCAA basketball tournament.

Last night I watched the HBO special on Larry Bird and Magic Johnson so luckily for me I missed seeing the Knicks to the New Jersey Nets 113-93. The Nets won their 7th game of the season (2 against the Knicks) and now have a good chance of obtaining the worst season record in NBA history. The Philadelphia 76ers were 9-73 in 1972-73.

LeBron James has applied to change his uniform number fror 23 to 6 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This has fueled speculation that will he will stay in Cleveland and not sign with the Knicks. It seems that for two seasons Donnie Walsh, Knick President of Basketball Operations, has been trying to undo the fiasco of his predecessor Isiah Thomas. Walsh is dumping all contracts that don't expire so that he'll have enough money to sign several big free agents including LeBron James. If he doesn't, you will hear chants of "Fire Donny" in Madison Square Garden next season. Personally, I think everyone will be better off if the Dolans sell the team.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Crazy Heart

Since this movie was not playing at the local multiple we had to take a short drive over to the Bay Terrace theaters in Bayside to see it. For two weeks in a row we have seen films aimed at an older audience. Jeff Bridges was superb in his role as Bad Blake. Don't you think that Jeff looks like Kris Kristofferson? I highly recommend it to my readers.

IMDB entry

Friday, March 5, 2010

Jolly Green Giant by the Kingsmen

It is Friday night about 8 PM and my mind is just numb. I can't think of anything to write for Bruce's Journal. I thought of another "Green" song. Here is the video for Jolly Green Giant by the Kingsmen. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUg6EVcCb0g

Thursday, March 4, 2010

4 more Met games in 2010

There was a pre-sale for single game tickets for the Mets that started yesterday. I guess my sense of loyalty to the local team which I've followed since its inception in 1962 got the best of me. We bought tickets for 4 Saturday games. Now I have bought tickets for 10 games in 2010. This is less than the 15 in 2009, the inaugural season of Citifield. I am not very optimistic, but you never know.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Green Green by the New Christy Minstrels

It is one of those days when I just don't know what to write in my journal. I have one more green song before I move on to another color. It is Green Green by the New Christy Minstrels. Facebook friends can view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqVffZYR7A0 .

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The President of the United States has good taste in recording artists

On the way to work this morning I could have picked Rolling Stone Magazine or the AARP magazine to read. What's an old guy like me doing carrying the Rolling Stone magazine? Some months ago I was offered a subscription to it for about 50 cents an issue. At that cost it was a no brainer. I opened it up and there was the photo above from Dylan's appearance last month at the White House. I am certainly glad to see that the current president has good taste in music.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Favorite Radio Shows




My Favorite Current Radio Shows (in no particular order)

Dan Taylor’s Morning Show on WCBS-FM
Claudia Marshall on WFUV
Gary Walker - WBGO
Bob Shannon - WCBS-FM
Bob Shannon WLNG
Ron Parker - WCBS-FM
Sue O’Neal - WCBS-FM
Pat St. John - Sirius/XM 50s on 5 and WCBS-FM
Pete Fornatale - WFUV
Don Tandler - WHTG AM and the Breeze
Bob Radil - WNHU New Haven
Dylanradio.com
Breakfast with the Beatles -Ken Dashow WAXQ
Breakfast with the Beatles - Dennis Mitchell (internet radio)
Sounds of the 60s with Brian Matthew BBC2
Lost 45s with Barry Scott - WODS Boston
Beatlesarama.com
Cousin Bruce Morrow Sirius/XM 60s on 6
Dick Biondi - WLS-FM Chicago
Broadway Bill Lee - WCBS-FM
Joe Causi - WCBS-FM

Retired radio personalities and shows that are no longer on the air are not included. I am generally not into talk radio, so those shows are not included.

 
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