Saturday, December 31, 2011

Congratulations to the Beach Boys on Their 50th Anniversary


I think my last journal entry of the year will be about the Beach Boys. I don’t recall ever writing about them even though I have followed them since the 1960s. Pete Fornatale show on WFUV this afternoon celebrated today as the 50th Anniversary of the group’s first appearance using the name Beach Boys. It took place in Long Beach, California on December 31, 1961.

If Pete had has way he would devote the entire show to recordings of the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, but the Digital Millennium Copyright Act forbids that. There is a limitation on how many songs by an artist an internet stream may play in an hour.


In any 3-hour period, a station can webcast:
No more than 3 songs from one album;
no more than 2 played consecutively
No more than 4 songs from a set/compilation;
no more than 3 played consecutively
No more than 4 recorded songs by the same artist
(live studio appearances are okay)

Pete was able to get around this by playing covers of songs recorded by the Beach Boys. He also played a very rare recording of Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson on a song called Spirit of Rock n Roll which was on the unreleased Sweet Insanity album.

I certainly congratulate the surviving Beach Boys as they are planning a tour for this milestone anniversary. It is shame that Carl and Dennis Wilson have passed on, but their music lives on.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Paul Simon - American Masters Born at the Right Time

Today Karen and I went to the Paley Center for Media on West 52nd Street.  We went to their library and did a search on Paul Simon and found the PBS Special American Masters Born at the Right Time.  It was a 2 hour special that covered his career from the Tom and Jerry Days in the 1950s to Simon and Garfunkel of the 60s and 70s to his solo career in the 80s and 90s.  Needless to say Paul Simon had a phenomenal career which continues to the present.

When I got home I opened up the mail and found the Paul Simon t-shirt that Lee wanted for Channukah.  I should take a picture of him and post it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bruce's Journal and Google Analytics

I use Google Analytics to examine hits to my journal.  I was surprised to see which of my posts got the most posts.  Over the past 30 days two posts about Jeopardy were the most popular.

#1 - Jeopardy and the 2 dollar Bill
#2 - Jason Keller - Jeopardy Superstar - by the way he lost today so he goes out winning bout $213,000 with 9 victories.  He must be one of the top 15 winners in regular competition.

Over the last 8 months the Tale of the Two Dollar Bill has been my most popular post.  I talk about how I got a two dollar bill as change and a few hours later donated it to the local public library.

There is a popular Bob Dylan site called Expecting Rain that guided its readers to a few of my posts which generated hundreds of hits.  It seems that my postings about Dylan are more popular than those about the Mets.

About 85% of my hits are for 10 seconds or less, so most of my readers just skim the entry and don't read it thoroughly.  I have gotten hits from all over the world. 

In any event, thanks for stopping by if even it is only once.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jason Keller - Jeopardy Superstar


It's been getting exciting in "Jeopardyland" as Jason Keller of Highland Park, NJ just won his 8th game and $202,000.  He is really getting up there in the list of the all time winners.  I can not remember too many players who have won more than 5 games since the limit was lifted some years back. Jason certainly has a long way to go to reach Ken Jennings at 74 victories, but today he started out slowly and gained momentum later on and clinched victory before Final Jeopardy.  Stay tuned.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Decent Weather During this Winter Break

I have always enjoyed having the week off between Christmas and New Years.  It seems that every year there is either a snowstorm or bitterly cold weather or both as there was last year.  On December 26, 2010 there was a blizzard with 2 feet of snow that crippled the city.  The weather forecast for this week is for temperatures in the 40s with some rain on Tuesday night.  At least I won't be couped up in my apartment.  I plan to do some shopping at Macy's tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The NBA Season Finally Begins

It certainly was a Merry Christmas for Knick fans as the season finally began as the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 106-104 at Madison Square Garden.  Carmelo Anthony lead the Knicks with 37 points as they overcame an 8 point deficit after 3 quarters.  Rookie Iman Shumpert left the game with an injury and may be out of action from 2 to 4 weeks.

Each team will play 66 games with a compressed schedule which may be very difficult for veteran players.  Since the pre-season was so short, it may take a while for the level of play to come up to speed.  As I mentioned before in this journal, I will likely not go to any games this season since the prices of tickets has gone up dramatically.

We may be able to see few Knick games on TV since Time Warner Cable is in dispute with Madison Square Garden Networks.  It seems that Cablevision which owns the Garden  and the cable TV network wants more money from Time Warner to carry the games.  I guess the fan has to pay the multi-million dollar salaries of the players.  Also, over 3 years there will be major renovations to the arena which must be paid for by the TV viewers and ticket buyers.  It is a shame that two multi-billion dollar companies have to fight it out with the fans caught in the middle.  I think that the two sides will settle since there will be too much money lost on both sides if Time Warner subscribers are shut out of games.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tom Jones sings Bob Dylan

Tom Jones covered "What Good Am I" which Dylan recorded for his Oh Mercy album in 1989.  I found out about this is an usual way.  Some of my Facebook friends had Spotify and a list of songs on their walls or timelines.  I was curious and downloaded the Spotify software.  It is very similar to Pandora since you can create your own radio station by naming a recording artist.  The stream will start with a song by that artist and then pick similar music by comparable artists.  This morning I picked the Rolling Stones and somehow the program picked What Good Am I by Tom Jones.  I must say he has aged gracefully and sounds very good at age 71.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Son the Paul Simon Fan


Lee is pictured above wearing his 3 Stooges t-shirt in front of a wax figure of his buddy Elvis Presley.  Today he received his Chanukkah money from Grandpa Will in Florida.  So what does he ask for?  He wants a Paul Simon t-shirt.  He has seen Paul at Jones Beach with Bob Dylan and in Madison Square Garden with Art Garfunkel.  His dad went to Amazon.com and found a Paul Simon t-shirt for him tha the will receive in the mail in about a week.  Maybe he will wear it to the next oldies meet and greet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

There is Only One Band

The members of The Band were:
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Levon Helm
  • Rick Danko
  • Richard Manuel
  • Garth Hudson
They were known as The Band since they were Bob Dylan's band. Previous to that they were known as the Hawks since they played for Ronnie Hawkins. They toured with Dylan in 1966 and 1974.  In my opinion they must be one of the most underrated classic rock groups.  They covered many Dylan songs, but I have selected for your listening pleasure one they didn't.  Please enjoy Chest Fever.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ironbound Section of Newark

I have worked in Newark since I joined NJIT in 1992. It is still somewhat maligned with more than its share of urban problems.  Perhaps, it never completely recovered from the riots of 1967.  To be fair problems such as crime, corruption, AIDS, and urban blight which are seen in Newark occur in all regions of the United States.  In recent years Newark has rebounded with attractions such as the NJPC and Prudential Center.  Mayor Corey Booker has done an excellent job of promoting the city.

The Ironbound is a section just east of Penn Station.  The population predominately Spanish, Portuguese  and Brazilian.  Today the NJIT Library staff held its annual holiday party at the Spanish Tavern.  The Ironbound is noted for its very fine restaurants.  Please check out http://www.goironbound.com for information.  If you are in northern New Jersey, please stop by this historic section.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah to All

I wish all readers of Bruce's Journal and my followers on Facebook a happy Chanukah.  This year it is late on the secular calendar so it coincides with Christmas.  I would like to thank Don Tandler for posting Dreidel by Don McLean on his Facebook Timeline.  Enjoy

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pat St. John - Facebook Friend of the Day

We were in my car on the way to visit my mother today at about 12:45 listening to Pat St. John on WCBS-FM.  He has an interesting feature called the collectible cut where he plays a rare version of a well known song.  He gave a very glowing tribute to Bob Dylan as he introduced today's cut.  In all my years of listening to radio, I have never heard a DJ give such a tribute to Bob.  I wish I could remember Pat's wording, but I had to concentrate on my driving.  He played Dylan reciting The Night Before Christmas which I never heard before.  As we pulled into the parking lot he played a cut from Dylan's Christmas in the Heart.

I do feel that Jewish entertainers should not sing Christmas songs since it is not our holiday.  Dylan did contribute his royalties from Christmas in the Heart to charity.

I admire Pat St. John's encyclopedic knowledge of the music and artists of classic rock.  He appears on WCBS-FM on Sunday from 11 AM - 3 PM and on SiriusXM on the 50s on 5, Deep Tracks, and BB King's Bluesville Channel.   He previously worked at WPLJ and WNEW-FM among other radio stations.  As you can see from the photo above I had the pleasure of meeting Pat and the Oldies Meet and Greet a few years ago.

Please see:
For his praise of Bob Dylan and his contributions to New York radio over the years, Pat has deserved to be my Facebook Friend of the Day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden

The prices for college basketball at the Garden are much more reasonable than they are for the Knicks as I reported here a few days ago.  We paid $35/ticket for the 300 level in center court.  The student athletes play for the love of the game and are not cocky like the professionals.  Madison Square Garden did undergo some renovations over this past summer.  They will not be complete for another two years.  It will be mor restaurant and luxury boxes for the rich.

Anyway in game one Rutgers defeated Stony Brook 67-58 Box Score

In game 2 St. Johns had a 14 point lead at 40-26 as Fordham came close but lost to the Red Storm 56-50 Box Score

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Facebook Timeline - Another World Wide Waste of Time

Just when you think you've mastered Facebook, they more changes.  With this new timeline feature you can see everything that you've done on Facebook since you joined.  I just added this feature and am dabbling with it for now.  I noticed that I joined on February 18, 2006 which is almost 6 years ago.  I understand that I have 7 days to delete old posts.  In any event only friends can see the timeline.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Set List for Forthcoming Amnesty International 4 CD set with Dylan Covers

It is a shame that I won't be able to run to a music store to buy this when it is released at the end of January.  I will likely order it through Amazon.com.  I should give to credit to WCBS-FM who posted this set list on their web site.

I will be especially looking forward hearing the covers from the "old guys" who go back to the 1960s:

Pete Townsend - Corrina Corrina
Joan Baez - 7 Curses
Carly Simon - Just Like A Woman (he first hit was likely in the 70s)
Kris Kristofferson - The Mighty Quinn
Pete Seeger - Forever Young  (he is 92 years forever young)
Eric Burden - Gotta Serve Somebody
Marianne Faithful - Baby Let Me Follow You Down

Dylan himself will sing Chimes of Freedom.  I wonder if this will be the original studio recording from 1964



DISC One:
Johnny Cash feat. The Avett Brothers “One Too Many Mornings”
Raphael Saadiq “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
Patti Smith “Drifter’s Escape”
Rise Against “Ballad of Hollis Brown”
Tom Morello The Nightwatchman “Blind Willie McTell”
Pete Townshend “Corrina, Corrina”
Bettye LaVette “Most of the Time”
Charlie Winston “This Wheel’s On Fire”
Diana Krall “Simple Twist of Fate”
Brett Dennen “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”
Mariachi El Bronx “Love Sick”
Ziggy Marley “Blowin’ in the Wind”
The Gaslight Anthem “Changing of the Guards”
Silversun Pickups “Not Dark Yet”
My Morning Jacket “You’re A Big Girl Now”
The Airborne Toxic Event “Boots of Spanish Leather”
Sting “Girl from the North Country”

Mark Knopfler “Restless Farewell”

DISC Two:
Queens Of The Stone Age “Outlaw Blues”
Lenny Kravitz “Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35″
Steve Earle w/Lucia Micarelli “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)”
Blake Mills “Heart Of Mine”
Miley Cyrus “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”
Billy Bragg “Lay Down Your Weary Tune”
Elvis Costello “License to Kill”
Angelique Kidjo “Lay, Lady, Lay”
Natasha Bedingfield “Ring Them Bells”
Jackson Browne “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”
Joan Baez “Seven Curses”
The Belle Brigade “No Time To Think”
Sugarland “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You (Live)”
Jack’s Mannequin “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Oren Lavie “4th Time Around”
Sussan Deyhim “All I Really Want To Do”
Adele “Make You Feel My Love (Live)”

DISC Three:
K’NAAN “With God On Our Side”
Ximena Sarinana “I Want You”
Neil Finn with Pajama Club “She Belongs to Me”
Bryan Ferry “Bob Dylan’s Dream”
Zee Avi “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”
Carly Simon “Just Like a Woman”
Flogging Molly “The Times They Are A-Changin’”
Fistful Of Mercy “Buckets Of Rain”
Joe Perry “Man Of Peace”
Bad Religion “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
My Chemical Romance “Desolation Row”
RedOne feat. Nabil Khayat “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
Paul Rodgers & Nils Lofgren “Abandoned Love”
Darren Criss feat. Chuck Criss and Freelance Whales “New Morning”
Cage the Elephant “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”
Band of Skulls “It Ain’t Me, Babe”
Sinead O’Connor “Property of Jesus”
Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project “Shelter From The Storm”
Ke$ha “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
Kronos Quartet “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”

DISC Four:
Maroon 5 “I Shall Be Released”
Carolina Chocolate “Drops Political World”
Seal & Jeff Beck “Like A Rolling Stone”
Taj Mahal “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream”
Dierks Bentley “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (Live)”
Mick Hucknall “One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)”
Thea Gilmore “I’ll Remember You”
State Radio “John Brown”
Dave Matthews Band “All Along the Watchtower (Live)”
Michael Franti “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
We Are Augustines “Mama, You Been On My Mind”
Lucinda Williams “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven”
Kris Kristofferson “Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”
Eric Burdon “Gotta Serve Somebody”
Evan Rachel Wood “I’d Have You Anytime”
Marianne Faithfull “Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Live)”
Pete Seeger “Forever Young”
Bob Dylan “Chimes Of Freedom”

Knick Ticket Prices Are Outrageous

Today there was a pre-sale for Knick tickets on the internet.  It has been a Slutsky family tradition to go the game on Martin Luther King Day.  The cheapest tickets were $75 plus $13 for Ticketmaster in the 400 level with a footnote saying obstructed view.   The most expensive tickets were $4,000. C'mon guys give people a break.  All these money for 2 1/2 hours of entertainment.  I guess the fans have to pay for the renovations to Madison Square Garden in addition to the millions in salary to the players.  It looks like we'll have to stick to college basketball.  Maybe I'll check out the Nets this second and last year they are at the Prudential Center in Newark.  I wonder how high their tickets will be next season when they move to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I am Hoping that A Biography of Dion DiMucci Makes it to Broadway

There was an excellent article in the Metropolitan section of the New York Times today titled A Wanderer, the Singer Dion Returns to the Bronx. It states that Dion is collaborating with Charles Messina, a playwright and director, on “The Wanderer — the Life and Music of Dion.” It would be biographical similar to the Jersey Boys which actually took 10 years to get to Broadway. The author of the article, David Gonzalez, reports that Dion and Charles Messina actually toured Dion’s old neighborhood in the Bronx and are now trying to get investors for the show. I guess people outside of show business just don’t realize how difficult it is to take an idea to fruition as a Broadway musical. Many such “jukebox musicals” have failed including:

The article does not give any target date for the production of this proposed show. I certain hope that this show will come to Broadway and succeeds. I had the pleasure of seeing Dion in concert twice. Once was in 1985 or so when he appeared at a WCBS-FM concert at the Radio City Music Hall. The other time was in November 2009 when he opened for Bob Dylan at the United Palace Theater.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Steve O'Brien - Facebook Friend of the Day

Whenever I listen to WCBS-FM on Saturdays after 2 PM, I never know who will be the DJ behind the mike.  While I was in the car this afternoon I was pleased to hear Steve O'Brien who has a very long history in New York radio.  I best remember hearing Steve back in the early 1980s when he was on WYNY in the early evenings.   Back then WYNY was an adult contemporary station at 97.1 on the FM dial.  Over the years Steve has appeared on WCBS-FM on a part time basis.  According to his Facebook profile he is also a free-lance talent in videos, commercials and voice-overs.

You can follow Steve on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thesteveobrien

He has a blog at http://www.steveobrien.net

For being a radio mench, Steve has earned the honor of being my Facebook Friend of the Day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Never Like to Hear About Violence on a College Campus

Two people were killed on the campus of Virginia Tech today.  This is the second time that tragedy has come to this fine university.  On April 16, 2007, a student, Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people and then himself at Virginia Tech.  Since I work at a college on a campus in an urban area, I never like to read stories like this.

NJIT where I work is in the University Heights section of Newark just west of  the downtown.district.  Sadly, Newark has had more than its share of urban problems over the years.  Perhaps, it never completely recovered from the riots of 1967.  There has been much revitalization of the city with a performing arts center and the Prudential Center.  Crime has not gone away.  Public Safety at NJIT does a fine job at preventing crime on the campus, but they can't cover every square inch of territory.  There have been some robberies on or near the campus, but no murders.  Let's hope for safe college campuses everywhere.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Congratulations to Donovan for his Election to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

I have written about Donovan (Leitch) several times in this journal.  I bought his records since his acoustic days in the mid 1960s.  I even have some of his LPs on the Hickory label.  I enjoyed many of his hits such as Catch the Wind, Colours, Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow and many others.  I congratulate him heartily for his election to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.  As I mentioned early in this journal it is sad that many other fine recording artists such as Chubby Checker, Neil Sedaka, and the Moody Blues among many others have been denied election to the Rock Hall.  Likely, politics has reared its ugly head.

I would love for Bob Dylan to induct Donovan.  In the documentary Don't Look Back Dylan really dissed Donovan very badly.  So I think justice would be served if Bob praised Donovan at his induction.

I few months ago I asked Bob Radil to play Sunny South Kensington which was the B side of Mellow Yellow.  Please enjoy it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oy Vey - The Mets have lost Jose Reyes


Adios Jose.  To the surprise of nobody, the Mets have lost Jose Reyes to the Miama Marlins who reportedly are giving him $106 million over 6 years.  According to a report from CBS News the Mets never made an offer to Jose.  IMHO Reyes should have gone back to the Mets to see if they could match the Marlins' offer.

Could this be a blessing in disguise for the Mets?  How much time over 6 years will Jose lose to injuries?  The Mets now have money to spend on other needs such as pitching.  Obviously Ruben Tejada will play shortstop while either Daniel Murphy or Justin Turner will be the starting second baseman.  It could be a very long season with lots of empty seats at Citifield.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another Radio Adventure With Bob Dylan Covers

In January 2010 I reported in this journal how I discovered Ben Sidran's covers of Dylan songs while listening to WBGO at work.  This morning I was listening to WFUV in my car and heard a cover of Dylan's Tangled Up in Blue (Lee's favorite)  by an artist named Nik Rael as seen above.  At the end of the song John Platt contined to interview Nik and said that he had released a CD of Dylan covers.  I made it my business to remember that name.

When I got home I googled Nick Rail, but eventually determined the correct spelling of his name.  I found the CD called Winter 61 on Amazon.com and downloaded it.  Today was busy so I haven't had a chance to listen to it.  My suggestion to my radio friends is to listen very carefully, since you never know what you may hear.  Also, take advantage of technology.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

James Madison 62 Hofstra 60

The NBA ended its lockout and an abbreviated regular season will begin on Christmas Day.  Since we can't wait we made our second trip of the season to the Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra.  The home team could not hold a 10 point lead and lost to James Madison 62-60 in their first Colonial Athletic Association game.

More Information

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gary Jackson - Facebook Friend of the Day

Some years ago I regular listened to a radio show called My Generation on Live 365 radio hosted by Gary Jackson.  The show was archived it could be heard at any time.  Gary played mostly British oldies from the 60s, but would air some American hits as well.  After Gary's show left Live 365, I lost track of him, be he reappeared on Facebook.  I found out that his My Generation show is now heard on Skyline Gold 102.5 from the UK on Fridays from 3 PM - 5 PM EST.  I was able to listen to part of the show in my office this after.  Please also check out these web sites:

  • http://www.garyjacksonradio.com

  • http://www.my-generation.org.uk


  • I highly recommend Gary's show to my friends who are oldies enthusiasts.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Remembering George Harrison

    Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the passing of George Harrison who left us all too soon.  I found this video on Youtube of George and Bob Dylan singing If Not For You at a rehearsal before the famous Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. 

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    New Brunswick, NJ Revisited

    In July 2008 I wrote a journal entry about living in New Brunswick, NJ from 1974-76 just after graduating from the University of Rhode Island. In much of that entry I wrote about my social life as a Jewish single in the suburbs.  Today I revisited New Brunswick since I attended a professional meeting at Rutgers.

    I was quite impressed at the way the downtown area was revitalized over the past 35 years.  There were several new high rise apartment buildings near the train station.  Back in the 70s that downtown area was nodescript at best.  The College Avenue campus of Rutgers looked pretty much the same. There was not all that much time to walk around the city especially since it was raining after the meeting. I think the Busch and Livingston campuses on the Piscataway side of the Raritan River expanded greatly over the years.  I remember visiting the Library of Science and Medicine.

    I did not visit:

    1. 9 Hartwell Street where I lived for the first 4 months in New Brunswick.  The landlord just kept pestering me.
    2.  The Colony House on George Street where I lived for most of my New Jersey years.  It is a high rise building near Landing Lane Bridge.
    3. Rhodia on Jersey Avenue where I worked.  A chemical engineering student at NJIT told me that the plant closed down in 2000.  I read that Rhodia was recented acquired by Solvay.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Good Morning Good Morning by the Beatles



    Please take a look at this Youtube video. There are many photographs of the Beatles in this collage which I have never seen before.

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    J Edgar - A non chronological biopic

    Love him or hate him, you must admit that J Edgar Hoover had a phenomenal career as Director of the FBI.  It is impossible to cover every aspect of his life in a 2 hour film.  Whenever I read a biography or a see a biographical movie, I prefer that a chronological approach be used by the author or filmmaker.   In J Edgar the scenes constantly changed from his early career to his later days with stops in the middle.  Much emphasis was placed on his role in the Lindbergh kidnapping and subsequent trial of Bruno Hauptmann. Time was given to his pursuit of crriminal gangs who carried out bank robberies in the midwest.  The JFK and Martin Luther King assassinations wer briefly mentioned without detailing any FBI investigations.

    Since Hoover never married there were rumors that he was gay.  The film clearly implies that Clyde Tolson, the Associate Director of the FBI, was his lover for many years.

    Kudos must go to Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood and others for this fine movie.  I really think a TV miniseries with several chapters would have done more justice to Hoover's career and personal life.

    Random Thoughts on Thanksgiving Weekend

    I completely avoided shopping malls on Black Friday which has really been hyped by the media.  I feel that it was inappropriate for major retailers to open late on Thursday night.  Consumers have to option to shop then, but the employees have to come in and miss their family gatherings.

    The concept of Small Business Saturday seems to be new.  It is said that many family owned businesses have ceased operation due to big retailers such as Wal Mart, Target, and Home Depot among many others.

    I am glad that the NBA players and owners finally came to their senses and reached a tentative settlement.  There will be a 66 game season that will begin on Christmas Day. I feel sorry for the small guys like the ticket takers, vendors, and restaurant owners who lost money.  It turns out that only 8 home games per team were lost.

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Alice's Restaurant - A Thanksgiving staple on NYC radio


    I can remember back in 1967 when Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie was released on LP and was played on album rock stations like WNEW-FM.  For many years it has been heard on NYC radio on Thanksgiving.  Today at 12 noon it will be heard on WFUV and Q104.3.  I will be listening.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Jeopardy and the Two-Dollar Bill

    Google Analytics is a tool to analyze the hits on a web site.  The one site on Bruce's Journal that received the most number of hits was the tale of the 2 dollar bill that I wrote in April 2011.  It got infinitely more hits than anything I wrote about Bob Dylan, the Mets, oldies, or New York radio.

    Anyway, my knowledge of the two dollar bill helped me on Jeopardy tonight.  I probably don't have the wording correct, but it was the sum of the money of bills in common circulation that has a president on them.

    1 dollar bill - George Washington
    2 dollar bill - Thomas Jefferson
    5 dollar bill - Abraham Lincoln
    20 dollar bill - Andrew Jackson
    50 dollar bill -  U.S. Grant

    The correct Jeopardy question - What is 78.  All 3 contestants answered 76 and got it wrong since they forgot about the 2 dollar bill.  I didn't win thousands of dollars by getting it right.  I just got a high five from Karen and Lee.

    If you are curious, please go to this Presidents on Money Web site .  It states that William McKinley is on the $500 bill while Woodrow Wilson is on the $1000 bill, but those are not in common circulation.

    I wonder is Lisa Weisbard got it right.

    The Kennedy Assassination Remembered by Irv Kass

    Every year on Bruce's Journal I recall the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  I could think of anything new to say this year.  There was little if any media coverage of the anniversary of that dreadful day.  A small percentage of people living today were born before November 22, 1963 and can remember the tragedy.  I thought I would refer my readers to the blog entry of Facebook friend Irv Kass that he wrote on November 22, 2008.

    Irv and I were students at Russell Sage Junior high school in 1963, but didn't know each other.  He found me on by doing a Google search on Charles Tanzer who was the principal at that time.

    I presume that in 2 years on the 50th anniversary there will be extensive media coverage.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    This Beatles Song is Just For Fun


    I like this version from the Love soundtrack.  Maybe Ringo can see the octopus from the Yellow Submarine.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Bob Dylan Radio Documentary about his 1962-63 trip to England

    This morning I was surfing Facebook when I read on Fred Velez's wall that there is a Bob Dylan documentary on BBC called Bob Dylan's Big Freeze about his trip to England during the winter of 1962-63.  Even though I have read several biographies of Dylan, I can't remember reading about this trip.  Any Dylan fans reading my journal should go to  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fnnwg by Saturday November 26th to hear this documentary.  It seems that the BBC will only archive specialty shows for one week.  There is a good synopsis of this show at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fnnwg#synopsis.

    Anyway any artist is stimulated by his experiences.  The writer of this program strongly believes that this trip inspired Bob to write several songs that appeared on subsequent albums.  Remember at this point in time "Freewheelin'" had yet to be recorded.  Let me quote from the obscure cut I Shall Be Free #10 on the Another Side of Bob Dylan album which was released in 1964.
    Now you’re probably wondering by now
    Just what this song is all about
    What’s probably got you baffled more
    Is what this thing here is for
    It’s nothing
    It’s something I learned over in England

    I highly recommend this program for all Dylan fans.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    First College Basketball Game of the Season

    As time goes by it appears more likely that the NBA season will be cancelled.  These jackasses who make millions of dollars a year just can't come to a fair settlement.  I feel sorry for the little guys who lose money from this lockout.  There are ushers, ticket takers, vendors, and restuarant owners who lose many when games are cancelled.

    Anyway college basketball is not affected.  Today we went to the Mack Arena at Hofstra to see their team beat St. Francis of Brooklyn 63-59.  The foul shooting for both teams was terrible, but Hofstra held on for the victory.  On the way home from work last night I stopped by Madison Square Garden and bought tickets for two St. John's game later in the season.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Congratulations to Pete Fornatale

    I was reading a few radio messages boards and found out that Pete Fornatale won the  2012 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards (The AMEES).  As I have written in this journal many times Pete has been an asset to New York radio for over 40 years.  I look forward to listening to his show on WFUV on Saturdays from 4 PM - 8 PM.  My hearty congratulations to Pete whom I wish many more years on the radio.  Below is a photo of Pete with the Slutsky family at the Long Island Radio Expo at CW Post in April 2010.  He was very friendly to all of the radio enthusiasts he met that day.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Time to Revisit Murray the K

    Back in September 2008 I wrote a journal entry  about radio personality Murray the K as the anti-chart guy.  As I am writing this journal entry I am listening to an aircheck of Murray the K from WINS on October 15, 1963 on Rewound Radio.  I believe that Alan Berman has this aircheck on tape.  With internet technology recordings of old radio shows can be transmitted much more easily.  I remember spending countless hours in the 1990s recording radio tapes and trading them with people over the country.

    Any there is a good Wikipedia article about Murray, thus is not necessary for me to repeat his biography.  He passed away at age 60 in 1982.  He last appeared on a syndicated radio show called Soundtrack of the 60s which was heard in NYC on WCBS-FM.  Cousin Bruce Morrow on SiriusXM and Dick Biondi on WLS-FM in Chicago are still active in oldies radio when they are well into their 70s.  I think that Murray would have been active in oldies radio had he lived longer.  The Wikipedia article stated that he lived in Los Angeles, so he may have gotten a gig on KRTH.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Congratulations Roger Craig

    I heartily congratulate Roger Craig of Newark, Delaware for winning the 2011 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions.  He defeated two excellent opponents in Tom Nissley and Buddy Wright.  In yesterday's game he bet his entire bank in two daily doubles in a row.  His winning of $250,000 in this tournament added to his $231,200 total in 7 games last year brings his grand total to close to a half a million dollars.

    I would love to see him compete against Jeopardy legends Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Oldie of the Day - Sally Go Round the Roses by the Jaynetts

    Louise Murray who sang with the Jaynetts was one of the honored guests at the recent Oldies Meet and Greet.  Sally Go Round the Roses charted at number 2 for them in Billboard in 1963.  Louise treated the group by singing Gee Whiz which was a 1961 hit for Carla Thomas.  Below is a recording of Sally.  Hopefully Louise will sing it on November 10, 2012.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Report from the 2011 Oldies Meet and Greet

    The 6th Annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts took place today at Ben’s Deli on West 38th Street with about 60 people attending. A few other people were wanted to come, but illness or other factors prevented them from attending. It is one thing to connect with people through message boards, Facebook, and Twitter, but you really can’t get to know people until you see them in person. I’ve known Mary Shaw and Linda Cohen since the late 1990s after we first met on the WCBS-FM AOL folder. Over the years I have become acquainted with many people through these gatherings. Some of the radio personalities who came:

    Keith Allen - seen below

    Famous Amos - Russ DiBello

    Anita Bonita

    Bob Radil

    Joe Accurso

    Scott Lowe

    Kristen LaBar

    We were treated by a performance of Gee Whiz by Louise Murray who sang with the Jaynetts.

    Today, Alan Berman was the happiest man on the face of the earth

    Photos can be seen at
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.635874111570.2097200.54903942&type=1&l=d8b548af2a

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    It looks like I may have to read about the Knicks this season

    There doesn't seem to be a settlement of the NBA lockout in sight, so there is a distinct possibility that the pro basketball season could be cancelled.  These guys are making millions of dollar a year to play a boys game and they want more money.  I feel sorry for people like restaurant owners, ushers, and others who lose money when the games are not played.

    Today I was reading the book review of the New York Times when I saw a review for:

    Araton, Harvey. When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the Old Knicks. New York: Harper, 2011. Print.

    I remember those days in the early 1970s when the Knicks were the champs.  So it looks like I may just have to read about the Knicks this season.  Hopefully they will come to their senses and settle to save at least part of the season.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    R.I.P. Curtis Speller

    A few days ago I heard the terrible news that my NJIT friend Curtis Speller died of a heart attack.  From the photo above you can see that Curtis with the nickname Caz was a stand-up comic.  He tried very hard to get comedy gigs but obviously needed his day job as a custodian for NJIT.

    Around 1994 Curtis was assigned to clean the library before it opened.  The library didn't open until 9 AM while Curtis would be in early to clean.  He would work with his boombox on listening to Sam Cooke music.  One day I walked over to him and and talked about Sam.  I must say that Curtis should have been appointed Distinguished Professor of Sam Cooke by NJIT.  He knew about concerts and obscure recordings and outtakes.  Felix Hernandez should have invited him to his Rhythm Revue Show on WBGO.

    I was disappointed when Curtis was transferred to another building.  Over the years I ran into Curtis on the campus and continued our discussions of Sam.  Curtis gave me a few videos and burned some CDs for me.  I send my condolences to his family.  I hope that when Curtis goes to heaven he will meet up with Sam.  I am sure that if Sam had lived he would have been appreciative of Curtis's knowledge of his recordings.  Sadly both of them left this world too soon.

    I'd like to dedicate to Curtis A Change is Gonna Come

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Yesterday's Paper by the Rolling Stones

    One of favorite early Rolling Stones LP was Between the Buttons which was released in early 1967 when I was a senior at Forest Hills High School.  The two most popular cuts have to be Ruby Tuesday and Let's Spend the Night Together.  Back in those days the latter originally the A Side was a little too suggestive for AM radio so DJs flipped it over.  One of my favorite cuts that was not a 45 RPM single was Yesterday's Paper.  Enjoy

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Spotlight on Judy Collins

    Tonight as I do on most Monday nights I am listening to Breakfast with the Beatles with Dennis Mitchell.  He interviewed Judy Collins on this show.  Thus, I would like to feature her cover of the Beatles' In My Life.

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    Lee was the family's biggest fan of Andy Rooney

    The entire family likes to watch 60 minutes, but Lee was the biggest fan of Andy Rooney.  We all enjoyed his comments ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime.  He did so many pieces over the years that I can't think of any particular one the affected me the most.  He will be sorely missed by his millions of fans.  Below is Andy Rooney on sleeping.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    The Dark Knight Rises is filming in Newark


    The next Batman movie titled The Dark Knight Rises was filmed for the last two days in Newark.  Today as the New Jersey Transit bus passed the underground Light Rail Station, I observed the crews were going into the station to film.  I said to someone today that anyone who lives and works in Newark should get a free pass to see the movie.  There were no scenes taken at NJIT or Rutgers. :)

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Kudos to New Jersey Transit

    Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that I regular complain about mass transit delays by New Jersey Transit or the MTA.  The last leg of my commute to NJIT is a short ride on the Newark Light Rail from Penn Station to Warren Street.  About a week ago there was announcement that due to the filming of a movie in Newark the light rail would run on November 3rd and 4th and would be replaced by bus service.  The buses ran very often and with minimal delay as a substitute for the train service today.  Thank you New Jersey Transit for a job well done.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Jeopardy News

    Today the Tournament of Champions featuring the best 15 players of the last year started.  I especially like this tournament since the games will be very competitive with very difficult questions.  Today Jeopardy started to take applications for the online contestant quiz to be held in January.  Maybe this year I will live out my fantasy and become appear on the show and tell Alex that I have watched the show since the Art Fleming version began in 1964.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Judging the 2011 Battle of the Dylan Cover Bands

    Facebook friend and fellow New York Mets fan Pete Freckelton asked me to be a judge in the 2011 Battle of the Dylan Cover Bands which is featured on DylanRadio.com.  It is very difficult to make a judgement as to whether or not a group makes it to the second round.  I am looking for originality and  good instrumental backing.  I will not vote for any group that imitates Dylan or does not offer an original cover version.  I will post the final results.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Alex Bennett Quote - Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life


    This journal entry does not have a specific person in mind, nor does it refer to a specific situation. Some years ago I picked up a booklet listing courses for the Learning Annex. There was a course titled “Moving On and Letting Go”with a description stating that life is a series of beginnings and endings and that one should not be caught in an ending. We all must face rejection in our personal and professional lives. We must accept that and learn from the bad experience. Some years back I interviewed for a university and was not hired. I found out that so few librarians at that school attain tenure, so it was for the better that I didn’t get the job. Very often friendships end abruptly through a bad experience or misunderstanding. Sometimes people just grow apart from each other and move on. In any event there is never any sense in dwelling on the past. The best thing to do is to make new friends and let go of the old ones.

    My excellent autobiographical memory is a blessing and a curse. I am guilty of thinking back to bad experiences and thinking how I should have handled them differently. No matter what we do or think, the past can never be changed. I remember a quote by radio personality Alex Bennett who once worked at WPLJ. He said “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make the best of it.”

    Sunday, October 30, 2011

    When I Paint My Masterpiece by the Band -Dylan Cover of the Day

    The Band must be one of the most underrated group in rock history.  They are called the Band because they were Bob Dylan's band back in the mid 1960s.  Does anyone remember 33 1/3 rpm LPs?



    Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
    Ancient footprints are everywhere
    You can almost think that you’re seein’ double
    On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs
    Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
    Where I’ve got me a date with Botticelli’s niece
    She promised that she’d be right there with me
    When I paint my masterpiece

    Oh, the hours I’ve spent inside the Coliseum
    Dodging lions and wastin’ time
    Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see ’em
    Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb
    Train wheels runnin’ through the back of my memory
    When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese
    Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
    When I paint my masterpiece

    Sailin’ round the world in a dirty gondola
    Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

    I left Rome and landed in Brussels
    On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried
    Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin’ muscles
    Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside
    Newspapermen eating candy
    Had to be held down by big police
    Someday, everything is gonna be diff’rent
    When I paint my masterpiece

    Copyright © 1971 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1999 by Big Sky Music

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Snowtober!

    It is very rare indeed when it snows in New York City in October.  It didn't snow very much in Queens, but the areas north and west of here got significant accumulations.  I was going to visit my mother in Long Island today, but just did not want to drive in hazardous conditions.  This storm is supposed to end early tomorrow morning, so I"ll be able to go then.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Remembering Gene Clark

    Gene Clark may he rest in peace never got the recognition he deserved and sadly passed away at age 47.  He was a founding member of the Byrds and wrote or co-wrote many of The Byrds' best-known originals, including: wrote or co-wrote many of The Byrds' best-known originals, including: "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better", "Set You Free This Time", "Here Without You", "If You're Gone", "The World Turns All Around Her", "She Don't Care About Time" and "Eight Miles High.  He left the group to pursue a solo career and eventually rejoined them long after they stopped making chart hits.

    Today Lee picked one of his solo CDs to play while we ate dinner.  It featured his version of Mr. Tambourinine Man.  I invite my readers to hear this fantastic version.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Alias The Neighborhood Bully

    A few days ago I reported in this journal that I was reading Stephen Scobie's book Alias Bob Dylan.  I finished it this afternoon on the subway ride back home.  Professor Scobie provided some good insights into Dylan's works.  No evaluation of Dylan or anyone else can be exhaustive.  There was a significant alias in the Dylan song Neighborhood Bully that was on the Infidels album in 1983. According to Dylan's web site he never performed it in concert. This database indicates that no artist ever covered it. Can you figure out just who or what is the Neighborhood Bully?



    Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
    His enemies say he’s on their land
    They got him outnumbered about a million to one
    He got no place to escape to, no place to run
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
    He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
    He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
    He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
    He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
    Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
    He’s always on trial for just being born
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
    Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
    Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
    The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
    That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
    ’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
    And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    He got no allies to really speak of
    What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love
    He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
    But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
    They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
    Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
    They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone
    Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
    He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
    In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
    No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
    He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
    Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    What’s anybody indebted to him for?
    Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
    Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
    They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
    He’s the neighborhood bully

    What has he done to wear so many scars?
    Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
    Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
    Running out the clock, time standing still
    Neighborhood bully

    Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    The fences at Citifield will be brought in next season.


    After three seasons the Mets will bring in the fences at Citifield.  The Mets have always stressed pitching and defense with only a few major sluggers in their history.  Shea Stadium was always a pitchers park, but with the open outfield balls would often carry.  I have seen so many long drives fall short in Citifield, so hopefully the shorter fences will help David Wright and Jason Bay. On the other hand, the shorter fences will help the visiting team. Story from ESPN.

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Jay Bushinsky - Then and Now

    It has been some time since I have taken a walk down memory lane.  From 1957-1962 I was a student at the Hebrew School at the Rego Park Jewish Center.  During my first two years Dvora Bushinsky was my teacher.  I remember her telling the class that she was a soldier in the Israeli War for Independence.  During my last year her husband Jay Bushinsky was my teacher.

    I have heard his reports from Israel on 1010 WINS radio for years and think back to his classes.  There is a nice biography of him at this CBS Philadelphia site.  I must assume that his reports are heard on CBS radio stations throughout the USA.  When I saw his picture, he looks like Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Finally Reading Alias Bob Dylan by Stephen Scobie

    Scobie, Stephen. Alias Bob Dylan. Red Deer, Alta., Canada: Red Deer College Press, 1991. Print.

    I am going to turn the clock back to November 11, 2002 when we saw Bob Dylan play at the main arena of Madison Square Garden.  I chatted with the gentleman sitting next me who  was Stephen Scobie who wrote book listed above.  I vaguely remember reading a book review of that, but I don't think I ever read it.  Anyway this week I was able to get it from the Queensborough Public Library.  I am quoting from the book jacket "Bob Dylan has taken on many guises.  Engimatic and elusive, he has never once given his vast audience anything close to what is expected.  He has preferred instead to be "Alias" the character that he played in Sam Peckinph's film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

    I just started the book and read only the first chapter, so I will have write a revised entry later.  Anyway when I see the alias theme I think of my two favorite Dylan songs Maggie's Farm and (Stuck Inside of Mobile) With the Memphis Blues Again .  Maggie is a person I know very well while the farm is a place I must visit quite frequently.  Likewise Memphis and Mobile are not cities in the South.

    Certainly much has been written by and about Bob in the 20 years since the publication of Alias Bob Dylan.  I first think of the film Masked and Anonymous where Dylan plays Jack Fate who fronts a band called Simple Twist of Fate.  Of course there is the surrealistic biopic I'm Not There where 5 actors and one actress play Dylan with 6 different names.

    I will have to use my library skills to see if Stephen Scobie has written articles since 1991 on Dylan and the alias theme.  I have three books on my Amazon Kindle that I have not finished, but I think I am going to have to drop to read one more Bob Dylan book.

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    The Sad Story of Lenny Dykstra

    Long time fans of the Mets remember Lenny Dykstra fondly from his accomplishments in the mid to late 1980s.  With Dykstra batting in the lead-off spot, the 1986 Mets coasted to the division crown with a fantastic 108-54 record.  In game 3 of the NLCS Lenny won the game with a walk off home run.  His lead off homer in game 3 of the World Series against the Red Sox sparked the Mets to a come from behind victory in the series.  Sadly, he was traded to the Phillies during the 1989 season in a very bad deal for the Mets.

    The New York Daily News reported today that Lenny took a plea deal in a grand theft auto case in Los Angeles.  The story by Nancy Dillon states he pleaded "no contest" to three felony counts of grand theft auto and one felony count of preparing phony paperwork in a deal that could carry up to four years in state prison, the sources said.  He still has other legal problems and could face additional jail time.

    It is quite sad that a professional athelete who made millions of dollar in his career  and was idolized by millions 25 years ago has to resort to a life a crime and must pay the price.  Perhaps many athletes who must retire by age 40 just don't know what to do with their lives after their sporting career ends.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Bob Dylan News from Rolling Stone Magazine

    I was reading the October 27th issue of Rolling Stone and I found out that in early 2012 there will be an album of Dylan  covers titled Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 years of Amnesty International.  All proceeds will benefit that human rights group.

    There was a long article about the late Steve Jobs saying he was a big Dylan fan.  The article states that he spent much time rewriting Dylan lyrics in his own words.   He used Dylan songs to make sense of his world.  He actually hung a picture of Dylan over his bed when he lived with girlfriend Chrisann Brennan.  Perhaps Steve Jobs was Dylan's most famous fan.

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Good Things Happen On October 16

    October 16, 1969 - The Mets won the World Series

    October 16, 1992 - 30th Anniversary Concert for Bob Dylan - this had to be the greatest concert ever.  I remember I unsuccessfully tried to get tickets by phoning Ticketmaster the first hour of the sale.  Back in those days one couldn't buy tickets on the internet.  That night Karen and I watched the concert on TV

    October 16, 1983 - Karen and I were married.  It is hard to believe that it has been 28 years.

    This photo was taken at the Oldies Meet and Greet in December 2009.  I believe Bill Dillane was the photographer.

    There is a Bob Dylan song for every occasion so I am dedicating to Karen "Tonight I'll be Staying Here with You" from the Nashville Skyline album when "that young angry kid went romantic."



    Throw my ticket out the window
    Throw my suitcase out there, too
    Throw my troubles out the door
    I don’t need them anymore
    ’Cause tonight I’ll be staying here with you

    I should have left this town this morning
    But it was more than I could do
    Oh, your love comes on so strong
    And I’ve waited all day long
    For tonight when I’ll be staying here with you

    Is it really any wonder
    The love that a stranger might receive
    You cast your spell and I went under
    I find it so difficult to leave

    I can hear that whistle blowin’
    I see that stationmaster, too
    If there’s a poor boy on the street
    Then let him have my seat
    ’Cause tonight I’ll be staying here with you

    Throw my ticket out the window
    Throw my suitcase out there, too
    Throw my troubles out the door
    I don’t need them anymore
    ’Cause tonight I’ll be staying here with you

    Copyright © 1969 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1997 by Big Sky Music

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Priscilla Queen of the Desert

    Every October Karen and I go to see a Broadway show to celebrate our anniversary (it is tomorrow).  This year we chose Priscilla Queen of the Desert which was in part produced by Bette Midler.  In the show two drag queens and a transexual get a gig in the middle of the desert when their bus breaks down.  The sets and the costumes were absolutely beautiful.  There was some very familar music featured including:
    • What's Love Got to Do With It
    • I Say a Little Prayer
    • Material Girl
    • True Colors
    • Colour My World
    • Thank God I'm a Country boy
    • MacArthur Park
    I highly recommend this show.  After the show we went to dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner with its singing waiters and waitresses.  The first time I was at Ellen's was on June 3, 2006 at a Meet and Greet of oldies radio enthusiasts on the first anniversary of the hijacking of WCBS-FM.

    6th Anniversary of Bruce's Journal

    It was 6 years ago today that I started Bruce's Journal.  The entries have ranged from the mundane to the sublime.  I've discussed activities with my family, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, radio stations, transit delays, the New York Mets, and oldies music among other topics. There were just over 1800 journal entries over the 6 years. I use a service called Google Analytics  to track the hits.  Most people find me by googling a word or phrase.  Suprisingly the entry about how I found and spent a 2 dollar bill got the most hits.  A few friends follow me regularly, but most readers just look at my journal once.  Here is my first journal entry from October 15, 2005.

    Today we went to see Hofstra play the University of Maine.  Hofstra won 44-0.  It only costs $8 to see a college football game.  Even though it was a one sided game we had fun.

    It is a very mundane entry, but I do get hits from people who have searched on Hofstra.  Since that time the university dropped its football program.

    It is my intention to continue writing entries for my journal.

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    I supported WFUV today

    Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that I am all over the radio dial and the internet listening to different genres of music.  I discovered WFUV in the early 1990s during a special for Bob Dylan's birthday.  It seems very hard to label their format.  In radio jargon it is know as Adult Album Alternative.  In the past they have branded themselves as City Folk and Roots of Rock.  IMHO, those labels were confusing.  To quote their web site, they play "anything from Bob Dylan, Joan Osborne and The Decemberists (weekdays) or The Beach Boys and Christine Lavin (Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag), to Cherish the Ladies and The Saw Doctors (our weekend Irish shows), or Fats Waller and Paul Whiteman (The Big Broadcast)."  I don't have to worry about hearing oldies burnouts like Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison.  It is not a bad song, but I am so tired of hearing it umpteen thousand times over the years.

    There is an HD-2 channel which features their regular music mix on weekends while the HD-1 station has special programming.  The HD-3 channel is indie music full time.

    The station features Dennis Elsas, Pete Fornatale and John Platt who are veterans of heritage station WNEW-FM.  The weekday lineup includes Claudia Marshall, Darren Devivo and Corny O' Connell among others.

    I contributed today, the first day of the fall fundraising drive sinc my contribution will be matched by FJC, a foundation of donor advised funds.  I will recieve their annual New Music Sampler and FUV Live #14.  I have a full set of those CDs.  It is a shame that only about 5 - 7 % of listeners of non-profit radio stations support them financially.

    I suggest to my radio friends that they sample WFUV and if they like it and become a regular listener, support them financially.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Lee Beat His Father at his own game

    The scholarly young man in this photo got today's Final Jeopardy question while his father missed it.  This person won the Academy Award for both acting and song writing.  The correct question:  Who is Barbra Streisand.  If you read this journal entry from 2008 you will read how Lee feel in love with Barbara after seeing her picture on a bus shelter by Cunningham Park.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Former WCBS-FM Personality Bill Brown passes away


    Long time New York radio personality Bill Brown just passed away at the age of 69. There was some confusion last night as a radio message board post announced his death from his Wikipedia entry. We all know that anyone can post information on the Wikipedia and it is not always a reliable source of information. When I heard Dan Taylor announced it this morning, I knew it was true. Bill actually came to WCBS-FM before it became an oldies station in July 1972. He was the last DJ on the station when it was hijacked on June 3, 2005. I would like to refer my readers to fine articles by Vince Santarelli and Jerry Barmash which detail Bill’s radio career.  It was a shame that Bill never did another radio show after WCBS-FM flipped to Jack.  He never got a chance to say goodbye to his listeners.


    I would like to add my Bill Brown story. I think this must have happened in the late 1990s when there was a feature on his show called the Brown Bag. Listeners could send Bill a list of songs with a theme. If you set list was picked, you would win a WCBS-FM tote bag. I knew that May 24th, Bob Dylan’s birthday was coming up. I asked Bill to play a set list of Bob Dylan covers that were top 40 hits. If I remember correctly I requested:
    • It Ain’t Me Babe - The Turtles
    • Mr. Tambourine Man - Byrds
    • The Mighty Quinn - Manfred Mann
    • Don’t Think Twice - The Wonder Who
    • Blowin’ in the Wind - Peter. Paul and Mary

    I usually take vacation on Dylan’s birthday and was listening to WCBS-FM at 12:20 to hear the Brown Bag. Sadly, my set list was not played. A few months later I received a package with my WCBS-FM tote bag with a note saying that my set played. I obviously missed it since on most weekdays when Bill was on the air I was at work. Oh well.

    Right now I am listening to an air check of Bill Brown from July 12, 1971 one year before the station adopted the oldies format.

    Obituary


    My condolences to his family.

    Obituary.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    I certainly didn't forget Ringo Starr

    I have featured the other 3 former Beatles in my journal over the past few days.  I certainly didn't forget Ringo who has appeared in several of my blog entries over the years.  Anyway, one of my favorite Ringo hits is It Don't Come Easy.


    It don't come easy,
    You know it don't come easy.

    It don't come easy,
    You know it don't come easy.

    Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
    And you know it don't come easy.
    You don't have to shout or leap about,
    You can even play them easy.

    Forget about the past and all your sorrows,
    The future won't last,
    It will soon be over tomorrow.

    I don't ask for much, i only want your trust,
    And you know it don't come easy.
    And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
    And you know it just ain't easy.

    Open up your heart, let's come together,
    Use a little love
    And we will make it work out better.

    (ah -)
    (ah -)
    (ooh-ooh)
    (ah-ooh-ooh)


    Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
    And you know it don't come easy.
    You don't have to shout or leap about,
    You can even play them easy.

    Peace, remember peace is how we make it,
    Here within your reach
    If you're big enough to take it.

    I don't ask for much, i only want your trust,
    And you know it don't come easy.
    And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
    And you know it don't come easy.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    71 If

    John Lennon would have been 71 years old today had he lived.  It is a good time to think about the music that he left behind.  One of my favorites is Beautiful Boy which he wrote for Sean.  Back when Lee was a little boy I would always sing it to him.  It was also played at his Bar Mitzvah.  This morning when we were in the car Ken Dashow played it on his Breakfast with the Beatles show on Q-104.3.



    Close your eyes,
    Have no fear,
    The monsters gone,
    He's on the run and your daddy's here,

    Beautiful,
    Beautiful, beautiful,
    Beautiful Boy,

    Before you go to sleep,
    Say a little prayer,
    Every day in every way,
    It's getting better and better,

    Beautiful,
    Beautiful, beautiful,
    Beautiful Boy,

    Out on the ocean sailing away,
    I can hardly wait,
    To see you to come of age,
    But I guess we'll both,
    Just have to be patient,
    Yes it's a long way to go,
    But in the meantime,

    Before you cross the street,
    Take my hand,
    Life is just what happens to you,
    While your busy making other plans,

    Beautiful,
    Beautiful, beautiful,
    Beautiful Boy,
    Darling,
    Darling,
    Darling Sean.

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    George Harrison - Living in the Material World Part 2

    George's career certainly skyrocketed after the breakup of the Beatles in 1970.  Part 2 of this documentary started at that time with George's recording of the 3 album box set of All Things Must Pass.  It continues to cover his solo career until his passing in 2001. It includes interviews with Phil Spector, Ravi Shankar, Olivia Harrison, Dhani Harrison, Jim Keltner, Jackie Stewart and others.  Some footage of the historic Concert for Bangla Desh was shown.  Of course, I was pleased to see the Traveling Wilburys which included Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan.  I understand that a documentary can't cover anything, but I wish Scorcese had included a little time on the Concert for George in 2002 exactly a year after his passing.

     All Things Must Pass is my favorite George Song.

    Sunrise doesnt't't last all morning
    A cloudburst doesnt't't last all day
    Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
    Its not always going to be this grey

    All things must pass
    All things must pass away

    Sunset doesnt't't last all evening
    A mind can blow those clouds away
    After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
    Its not always going to be this grey

    All things must pass
    All things must pass away
    All things must pass
    None of lifes strings can last
    So, I must be on my way
    And face another day

    Now the darkness only stays the night-time
    In the morning it will fade away
    Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
    Its not always going to be this grey

    All things must pass
    All things must pass away
    All things must pass
    All things must pass away

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Yom Kippur

    To readers of Bruce's Journal who observe the Day of Atonement I wish you an easy fast. A happy and healthy new year to all.

    George Harrison - Living in the Material World Part 1


    Part 1 of this documentary focused on the Beatles years in the career of George Harrison. It was obvious that George did not get the recognition he deserved playing behind Lennon and McCartney arguably the best song writing team in the history of popular music. During those years, very few Harrison compositions were on Beatles albums.

    There were interviews with Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Patti Boyd, George Martin and other figures involved with the Fab Four. I believe much of the footage with George was taken from the Anthology which was released in the mid 1990s. This special is really aimed at people who grew up with the Beatles and have followed them from the 1960s till today. Certainly, the Beatles appeal spans the generations, but in my opinion the casual fan would not appreciate the details of this documentary. Don’t expect a concert from this documentary. Martin Scorcese certainly did an excellent job.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Web Site of the Day - J! Archive

    Regular reader of Bruce's Journal know that I regularly feature an oldie of the day.  Starting today, I would like to feature a web site of the day.  The first one is J!Archive which is devoted to the history of Jeopardy since 1984.  It documents every show since the Alex Trebek version of the show began.  It lists the contestants for each day and even gives the answers and questions.  Beautiful!

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Saturday November 12 - 6th Annual Meet and Greet of Fans of Oldies Radio

    Readers of Bruce's Journal are invited to the 6th Annual Meet and Greet of Fans of Oldies Radio.

    Saturday November 12 2 PM - 4 PM

    Bens Deli (http://www.bensdeli.net)
    209 West 38th Street
    New York, NY

    This is a golden opportunity to meet new and old friends who share the same enthusiasm for oldies radio. This event does not endorse any radio station or program. In the past celebrities from major radio stations have appeared. Presently we are inviting some well known personalities and will announce special guests after they have confirmed their appearance.

    We choose Ben’s since they are moderately priced and have always allowed to have a private room without an additional charge. You only have to pay the restaurant on the day of the event. We may ask for $1 from each person to pay for the lunch of any special guests. This is an open event, so please invite any friends who are interested.

    We would like to get an approximate head count so please respond to Alan Berman, the Distinguished Professor of Oldies Meet and Greets.  His e-mail is Alan707@verizon.net.  He will be very pleased to hear from you. 

    A splendid time is guaranteed for all.


    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Thoughts on the New York Mets


    Of course it was a very disappointed year for the New York Mets as they finished 77-85 which was slightly worse than their 2010 record. There obviously must be some changes made next season. First of all, the fences at Citifield must be brought in. It seemed very strange that the team’s record was worse at home. Hopefully, this will improve the performance of Jason Bay and David Wright. There is also the issue of signing Jose Reyes. The Mets should make a fair offer to him, but not overpay him. There are just too many former superstars making big bucks for mediocre performances.

    First base - Ike Davis should return

    Second Base - If Reyes re-signs Ruben Tejada . If not Justin Turner would play 2nd

    Short Stop - Tejada will play if Reyes leaves

    Third Base - Hopefully David Wright will play like a superstar

    Outfield - the Mets must pay 2 more years of Jason Bay’s contract. Angel Pagan may not be back, so maybe a trade is in order for an upgrade at center field. Lucas Duda is likely to be at right field.
    Starting Pitching - will Johan Santana be able to completely recover from his injury?   R. A. Dickey will return as he pitched much better than his 8-13 record indicated. Jon Neise should return, but there may be 2 new starters acquired by trades or free agent signings.

    Relief Pitching - Tim Byrdak was just signed for 2012 as the situational lefty. I think Manny Acosta pitched well to earn a contract for next year. Isringhausen may retire. Bobby Parnell has be inconsistent. More bullpen help is needed.

    Catching - I think Josh Thole is a question mark.

    The Mets are weak in several areas. The financial situation of the Wilpons will likely preclude the Mets from spending big bucks on free agents. 2012 will likely be another tough season.
     
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