Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year to All

Happy new year to all readers of Bruce's Journal.  Thanks for stopping by if you are a regular reader or if you just find this site by accident.  I am approaching 2700 entries in the 9+ years since I started this journal.  I will certainly continue writing posts in 2015.  It is getting harder to think up new ideas as I don't want to rehash the same topics.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Random Thoughts During the Vacation Period

Even though I don't have to get up so early to start out on my miserable commute to work, I still get up at the same time anyway.  I guess my biological clock doesn't know I don't have to go to work.

It is nice to visit some familiar resturants:

  • Ben's Deli in Bayside - I just love a kosher pastrami sandwich.  The "goyische" pastrami at Subway is just not the same
  • International House of Pancakes - I just love their chocolate chip pancakes which you can not get at an ordinary diner
It is nice not to have to ride the subways or New Jersey Transit and encounter delays.  We took the trains to the Barclays Center on Sunday, but thankfully there were no problems.

Thankfully the weather has been decent for the end of December.  In other years there was extremely cold weather, show or both.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival Tripleheader at Barclays Center

Gee, it is late December and the Slutskys have not yet been to a basketball game.  Who wants to pay over $100/ticket to see the Knicks who have won 5 and lost 27.  We took a long subway ride to downtown Brooklyn to see some college hoops.  In the first game the nationally ranked St. John's Red Storm took on Tulane. Sir'Dominic pointer led St. John's with a career high 24 points and 7 steals as they routed Tulane 24-7.

Game Recap

Ameen Tanksley scored a career-high 32 points and Juan'ya Green had the first triple-double in program history as Hofstra routed LIU Brooklyn 88-62 on Sunday at the Barclays Center.  I also found out that former Hofstra star Craig "Speedy" Claxton is now an assistant coach for the Pride.

Game Recap

We didn't stay for the third game which featured Fairfield play Loyola of Maryland.  While the first two game were one-sided, Loyola won 61-59 in overtime.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Thanks Mike Riccio, Tom Natoli, Bob Radil and Allan Sniffen for a Job Well Done

Back when I was growing up I would always listen to WABC and WMCA and jot down the survey numbers.  I would always cheer when one of my favorite artists had a big hit.  I would occasionally buy Record World, Billboard, or Cash Box and to see the national charts.

Radio stations very often poll their listeners to compile a list of favorites,  Very often it is 500 or 100 songs.  It is the opinion of many that commercial radio stations fudge these surveys and eliminate songs that are not consistant with the station's format.

For the past 17 years Mike Riccio and Tom Natoli have polled oldies enthusiasts on the Oldies Message Board.  They always promise an honest report of the votes.  The Top 77 was heard starting at 2 PM today on Rewound Radio which is run by Allan Sniffen.  Bob Radil narrated the show with Tom and Mike.  There was a pre-show of 150-78 starting at about 10 AM.

Good Show!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas is Not a Good Holiday for Game Show Enthusiasts

On a normal weekday on ABC7:

2:00 PM - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
7:00 PM - Jeopardy
7:30 PM - Wheel of Fortune

ABC is telecasting NBA games from 2 PM - 8 PM today so all of my favorite game shows are pre-empted.  Oh well.

I think we are going to see the movie Unbroken which begins at 12 noon.  We will miss the Knicks who will be seen of the MSG network.  The stinking Knicks are 5-25.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Villanova 92 NJIT 67

The campus community is still excited over the upset win a few weeks ago against #17 ranked Michigan.  Today the Highlanders went to Philadelphia to play the undefeated and #7 ranked Villanova Wildcats.  Could lightning strike twice in the same season?  The Highlanders were quite competitive as they took a 44-41 lead at halftime.  The TV commentator even said the score was surprising.  Early in the second half the Highlanders actually had at 7 point lead as I could sense another possible upset.  At that point Villanova went on a 20-3 run and pulled ahead.

The game was on Fox Sports1 as I saw Athletic Director Lenny Kaplan in the stands.  My hope is that NJIT can get into a conference for the 2015-16 season.

Game recap

Box Score

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Favorite Joe Cocker Album Cut is Hitchcock Railway

It was announced today that Joe Cocker died of lung cancer at the age of 70.  Joe had many hits in his career including:

  • With a Little Help From My Friends - from Woodstock
  • Up Where We Belong - From the movie An Office and a Gentleman
  • Delta Lady
  • You Are So Beautiful
  • Cry Me a River
My Joe Cocker favorite is an album cut called Hitchcock Railway

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I Support the NYPD

99.999% of the time  police officers act honorably.  My condolences to the families of the two slain officers.

NJ Devils 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 2 in a Shootout

A couple of times a season Karen and Lee meet me  in Newark to take in a New Jersey Devils game.  The home team took an early 2-0 lead and was able to hold that lead until 40 seconds left in the third period when Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning.  There were no goals scored in the five minute overtime as the game went to a shoot out.   Patrik Elias scored the only goal in the shootout as the Devils won the game.

Keith Kincaid go his first NHL victory as the Devils snapped a 5 game losing streak.  There were plenty of fans wearing Martin Brodeur jerseys in the stands.

Game Summary

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Like A Rolling Stone Covered by Sebastian Cabot

This afternoon I was walking around the NJIT campus listening to Pop Gold Radio when I heard the original Like A Rolling Stone which is arguably the greatest song of its era.  As I heard it I recalled the cover by actor Sebastian Cabot.  I hear this song two ways:

  1. A parody
  2. A serious version
I most vote for #2 as you hear the words and realize what a bitter song it is.  Please listen to it and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thinking About Bob Shannon on His 66th Birthday

Bob Shannon at the CBS Radio Expo at Yankee Stadium in June 2010

Bob Shannon was last heard on WCBS-FM in December 2011.  For several months Ron Parker or Joe Causi filled in for him on his 10 AM - 3 PM shift. At time he also appeared once a week on WLNG from Eastern Long Island.  It was said on the New York Radio Message Board and other places that Bob had  health issues.  In July 2012 it was unofficially reported that he left the station.  WCBS-FM did not say anything over the air or on their web site about Bob.

I wish him all the best on his 66th birthday and respect his privacy.  He was very active in protesting the hijacking of WCBS-FM in June 2005.  He really appreciated his listeners during his radio broadcasting career.  I fondly remember his announcing my son Lee's birth on his show in March 1988.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Michael Judge - Facebook Friend of the Day

It has been a long time since I have appointed a Facebook Friend of the Day.  Michael Judge is one of those people whom I've known electronically for years, but never met him face to face. I don't remember exactly how and when I met him on Facebook, but he  and are radio enthusiasts. I think a year or so he wanted to come to the Oldies Meet and Greet, but at the last minute he changed his mind.

He is originally from Brooklyn, but for the last two years he has lived in Richmond, Virginia. Michael has been unemployed for a while but today he announced on Facebook and his Leprechuan’s Blog that he is now enrolled in a training program in Little Rock, Arkansas which will eventually lead to a government job by the summer.

I certainly wish Michael all the best in his future endeavors.  Thankfully, the last time I was unemployed was during the summer of 1982, but I remember the agony of being unemployed back in the 1970s.  It is certainly a big thrill to come back to work.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Three Greatest Concerts Ever

I did not have the pleasure of seeing these concerts in person, but I saw the videos several times:

1.  The Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert on October 16, 1992.  I remember seeing this on Pay Per View and later bought it on DVD.  It was the best of both worlds as you can hear covers of Dylan songs and Dylan himself.

2.  The Concert for Bangla Desh - August 1971.  As far as I know this was the first concert with several superstars that was a fundraiser.  I think Dylan's appearance was a surprise as during that time he didn't perform much in concert.

3.  The Last Waltz - November 1976.  It was supposed to be a farewell concert for The Band, but it wasn't.  The group reformed without Robbie Robertson.  It is a shame that Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko passed away.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Random Comments on a Friday Night

It was a pretty bad week for commuting as you can read on my alternative blog, but thankfully there were no problems today.

Since the Knicks are so terrible at 4-20 I will not watch them on TV tonight.  I'll spend the rest of the night listening to Bob Radil's 60s 70s show on Rewound Radio.

For years I owned the book Top Pop edited by Joel Whitburn that covered all Top 100 hits from 1955-1996.  Since the book was chewed up by my using it so much I bought the newest edition covering 1955-2012.  It comes in useful when I listen to Bob Radil's show.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bob Dylan Announcing Shadows in the Night to Be Released February 3, 2015

Back in May I remarked in this journal that a new Bob Dylan Cd will be released called Shadows in the Night.  The details were just announced today.  This will be a CD of Frank Sinatra covers to be released on February 3, 2015.  I wish it would be a CD of songs written by Dylan, but it is unique for him to sing Frank Sinatra songs.  2015 will mark the 100th anniversary of Sinatra's birth.

Some pompous radio personality who now is heard on WOR loves Sinatra, but hates Dylan.  Mr. Pompous made it his business to trash Dylan when he was heard on WABC a few years ago.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It Was 34 Years Ago Today

It is more than 1/2 lifetime ago when I woke up that Tuesday morning to find out that John had been killed the night before.  I cetainly don't want to repeat things that I have written here before so please see my previous journal entries on John Lennon.  His music will never die.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

NJIT Beats Michigan 72-70 in a Big Upset

The NJIT Mens Basketball has come a long way since the program went into Division I in 2006.  They started out by losing their first 51 games.  For a few years the team played in the Great Western Conference which eventually disbanded.  Today the Highlanders went to the midwest to play the  Wolverines of the University of Michigan who are ranked #17 in the nation.  In a big upset NJIT won 72-70.  This was the first time the Highlanders played a top 25 team.  I just hope that NJIT will be admitted to a conference next season.

The game was on national TV on the Big Ten Network, but I missed it.  It was a rainy day so we decided to take in a movie.  I will make sure to watch the next time NJIT is on TV.

It is Extremely Difficult to Become a Contestant on Jeopardy

Every year I take the online test to be try to become a contestant on Jeopardy.  I always have wondered exactly what the odds are of becoming chosen to appear on the show.  This morning I watched Sports Jeopardy when host Dan Patrick remarked that only 160 out of 30,000 applicants were chosen to appear on the show. I imagine the odds are even worse on regular Jeopardy.  I also must presume that very few older people are chosen as contestants.  Years ago there was a seniors tournament for the over 50 crowd, but that was dropped.  Oh well.  I can always dream about it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Random Comments of the Day

I went to a professional conference at Baruch College in Manhattan today.  It was nice for once to have a short commute.  I didn't have to worry about New Jersey Transit delays.

My Joel Whitburn Top Pop book which has all the records that made the Top 100 in Billboard was in pretty bad shape.  So I ordered another more recent edition for $67 including postage.  This edition covers 1955-2012.  I am not interested in the more recent years, but it doesn't hurt to have the additional information.

Right now I am listening to Bob Radil's 60s 70s show on Rewound Radio.  Those stinkin' Knicks were losing by 21 points, but went ahead by one point with 4 seconds to go.  The Charlotte Hornets were able to score at the buzzer to win.  The Knicks are now 4-17.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rest Well Bob: You Deserve It

Tonight Bob Dylan completes his gig at the Beacon Theater after 5 performances.  It is also marks the end of the 2014 leg of the Never Ending Tour.  Since Bob is now 73 years "Forever Young" he deserves a rest.  I'm really hoping that the tour will resume in Spring 2015 and that it will return to the NYC area.

Sometime in 2015 he will release Shadows in the Night which will likely be a collection of Frank Sinatra covers.  Hoping for a productive 2015 for Bob Dylan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Too Much Hype These Days

How much do we have to hear about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday?  Most people are off from work on the day after Thanksgiving, but when did the hype for that day as a big shopping day begin?  Small businesses are hurting these days as the large retailers are "eating them up."  Does business on that Saturday increase dramatically?  People can shop online 365 days a year, so what is the need for a "Cyber Monday?"  Just for the heck of it I bought a book for my Amazon Kindle for $1.99 yesterday.

I guess that's the way it is.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theater - Saturday November 29

It's nightime in the big city as we exit the 72nd subway station and walk toward the Beacon Theater.  This is the third time that I've seen Dylan at this venue.  We walked up to the balcony and took our seats.  The show started at 8:02 as Dylan and his band started with "Things Have Changed."  I think they could have waited 10 or 15 minutes as people were still getting to their seats.  On this leg of the tour the same set list was used.  Thus, we were able to follow it as the concert progressed.  Dylan did not play the guitar at all.  On some songs he played the piano and the harmonica.  As usual, he did not talk to audience and did not even introduce his band.  There are three more concerts scheduled for the Beacon and then the Never Ending Tour takes a break.  Hopefully it will resume in 2015.  Since Dylan is now 73 years old, we don't know when he'll decide to stop touring.

The set list was on Bill Pagel's Bob Links page.

1.Things Have Changed (Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
2.She Belongs To Me (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel)
3.Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
(Bob on piano, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic)
4.Workingman's Blues #2
(Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
5.Waiting For You
(Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic, Tony on standup bass with bow)
6.Duquesne Whistle (Bob on piano, Donny on lap steel, Tony on standup bass)
7.Pay In Blood (Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
8.Tangled Up In Blue
(Bob center stage with harp then on piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
9.Love Sick (Bob center stage, Donnie on electric mandolin)
10.High Water (For Charley Patton)
(Bob center stage, Donnie on banjo, Tony on standup bass)
11.Simple Twist Of Fate
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
12.Early Roman Kings
(Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic, Tony on standup bass)
13.Forgetful Heart
(Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on viola, Stu on acoustic, Tony on standup bass with bow)
14.Spirit On The Water (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass)
15.Scarlet Town
(Bob center stage, Donnie on banjo, Stu on acoustic, Tony on standup bass)
16.Soon After Midnight (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
17.Long And Wasted Years
(Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic)
18.Blowin' In The Wind
(Bob on piano, Donnie on violin, Stu on acoustic, Tony on standup bass)
19.Stay With Me (song by Jerome Moross and Carolyn Leigh)
(Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel,

The Youtube video below is Long and Wasted Years.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Thoughts

Of course retailers are out for the almighty buck and Black Friday actually started on Thanksgiving.  The TV news reported that many stores were crowded yesterday as shoppers sought out bargains.

I avoid shopping on this "sacred day" as I really don't like the crowds and waiting on long lines to pay.  In recent years I have become a "cyber shopper".  This morning I ordered my Jeopardy calendar from

Later today I will see the movie The Theory of Everything which is about Stephen Hawking.  Since it is not playing at the College Point Multiplex I will drive over to the Bay Terrace Theater in Bayside.

There is a new oldies station WOLD-LP in Woodbridge, NJ.  They are playing a wide variety of hits from the 60s and 70s.  The dial position is 107.9 FM, but since it is a low power station I assume it can be heard over the air only in Central New Jersey.  It is on the internet at

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bob Dylan Was In Newark Today But Didn't Visit Me at NJIT

The Never Ending Tour stopped at the NJPAC today in Newark within walking distance of NJIT.  I thought he may stop by the NJIT Library today and visit me.  It would have been nice if he took me to Highlander Pub and bought me a beer after all the "business" I gave him over the years.  I'll have to wait until Saturday night to see him at the Beacon Theater.

The weather was pretty bad as it was sleeting in Newark.  We were allowed to go home early before the holiday weekend.  When I got to NYC the precipitation was almost all rain.  Of course I had a train delay this morning as a train stuck at Grand Central messed up the 7 line.  I had to switch at 74th Street for the E Train to get to Penn Station.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Donated to Hungerthon 2014 Today

For many years I have donated to Hungerthon which was a charity promoted by the late Pete Fornatale. Hungerthon is an annual Thanksgiving radio tradition started in 1975 by WhyHunger to raise awareness about hunger and poverty and to invest in long-term solutions that help people in need in communities across America  I believe there will be a radiothon tomorrow on WCBS-FM, Q-104.3 and other stations,  I decided to "jump the gun" by a day and sent my donation a day early.  I will get a long sleeve John Lennon t-shirt that I will give to Lee.  I think John is Lee's favorite of the 4 individual Beatles.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Random Comments of the Day

Yesterday was the 51st anniversary of the assassination of JFK.  Since it was not a milestone anniversary, not much was siad in the media about it.  Since I have reported about this tragic event in Bruce's Journal before, it is not necessary to repeat my thoughts.  Last night Cousin Brucie played The Warmth of the Sun by the Beach Boys saying that Brian Wilson wrote it hours after the assassination.

I think some people use poor discretion when they post on Facebook.  It is one thing to say you are in the hospital.  When that happens the good health wishes come quickly.  But, please don't post photos of yourself in a hospital bed.

I guess that's it for today.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Congratulations Ben Ingram

I congratulate Ben Ingram for winning the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions.  He won 8 games during the "regular season" but able to defeat 20 time winner Julia Collins and 11 time winner Arthur Chu.  The questions are extremely difficult during the tourament.  Julia faltered during the final round and Arthur bet $7,000 and lost on a Daily Double.  I must congratulate all 15 contestants for a job well done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I've Passed This Way Before by Jimmy Ruffin

I saw the announcement today that Motown star Jimmy Ruffin passed away at age 78.  One of his songs that had significance for me and perhaps some of the lines could be taken out of context.

Life lands a freshing blow
And once again our heart is broken
And as history repeats itself
These few words are sadly spoken

I've passed this way before
I've felt this pain before
A hurt that took so long to end
Has found my poor heart again

As I watch love walking away
It brings back old memories
A familiar pain still feels the same
Once again, heartache has found me

A dark cloud covered my heart
Oh, when she told me goodbye
Now there's nothing left but emptiness
And the tears that fill my crying eyes

I've passed this way before
I've felt this pain before
A hurt that took so long to end
Has found my poor heart again

No matter how strong a man is
Without a love he walks in the dark, baby
If love deserts him, it would surely hurt him
'Cause his weakness is his heart

A lonely journey now stands before me
The endless pain has started
But this time I know the way
Walking alone and broken hearted

Because I've passed this way before
And I've felt this pain before
A hurt that took so long to end
Has found my poor heart again
I've passed this way before
I've felt this pain before
A hurt that took

Read more: Temptations - I've Passed This Way Before Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ken Jennings Won $100,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Ken Jennings became a celebrity after he won 74 games on Jeopardy.  He was invited to play on Who Wants to be a Millionaire where the rules are different.  On Millionaire if you miss a question you are out and just get the $1,000 consolation prize.  Ken started out very well as he got the first 9 questions with no trouble.  He stumbled on question #10 and had to use all 3 of his lifelines.  He used the Ask The Audience Lifeline first.  Since the audience was not conclusive he used his Plus 1 and then jumped the question.  I reallly thought his Plus 1 would have been Brad Rutter, but it was not.  He answered the $100,000 but decided to walk away when he was unsure about the answer for the $250,000 question.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Are Changes Needed in Future Oldies Meet and Greets?

Sue O'Neal Talks to Amy Auerbach and Others

Yogi Berra once said “It is so crowded that nobody goes there anymore.” Let me discuss a minor problem that arose at yesterday's Oldies Meet and Greet. Several people complained that the waiters were very slow at bringing the checks. Some had to leave to catch buses or trains, so I can certainly understand their anxiety over this. A few hours after the event I received an e-mail from the manager of Ben's asking how things went. I reported this situation to him and he responded Its time consuming to make separate checks per person based on what they ate. We can work on that for next year by setting a price per person. One of the fixed price menus should work for the group. Another option would be to have the waiter give one check to each table. The problem is that people often have problems figuring out how to split the check.

This is a problem that arose since we had a turnout of about 70 people. The question is “Has the Oldies Meet and Greet become a victim of its own success? Since 2006 we have held the event at Ben's Deli on West 38th Street in Manhattan.

  • We are open to everyone. Nobody was ever turned away.
  • Ben's Deli never asked for money in advance to reserve the back room.
  • Everyone was able to order anything from the menu.

Since we ran into this problem, we may have to make changes in the future.

  1. Should we used a fixed price menu limiting people to certain items and collect the same amount from everybody at the beginning?
  2. Should we look for another venue that could accommodate more people? Again I don't want to have to collect money before the event. I think the people at Ben's have accommodated us very well over 9 years.

My feeling is to go for option #1.

Since the internet became popular in the 1990s people have met and became “virtual friends” as part of “virtual communities”. You really don't “know” people until you have met them face to face. Since there were 70 people at the event, it was just impossible to meet everyone. I personally prefer a smaller gathering so I can spend some time conversing with everyone there. Is the event a victim of its own success?

We certainly have time to think this as the next event would likely not be until next November.  I certainly welcome other opinions.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The 9th Annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts Was a Big Hit

About 60 people came to the 9th Annual Meet and Greet today at Ben's Deli.  Sue O'Neal of WCBS-FM was the guest of honor.  I didn't realize that Sue appeared on many other NYC radio stations including 99X, Mix 102.7, Jammin' 105, WPLJ and WKTU.

Bruce, Jeff Scheckner, and Sue
Photo taken by Matt Seinberg

It was always nice to meet old radio friends and on the air personalities.  I think I became Alan Schulman's personal photographer :)

I first met Frank D'Agostino at Ellen's
Stardust Diner in June 2006
I met Jon Binstock back in 1995 when
we were both on Prodigy.  He travelled from
Maryland for this gathering

Cool Bobby B plays Doo Wops every
Sunday night at 9 PM on SiriusXM 50s on 5

Alan Schulman poses with Keith Allen 
formerly of B-103 on Long Island

Karen poses with Mary Shaw who Cousin Brucie
calls Ms. Radio

Bob Radil drove in from Connecticut for
the event

Louise Murray sang Gee Whiz for us

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Love My Radio Stations on SiriusXM

Here is my deal on SiriusXM Radio.  For some years I was reluctant to buy a stand alone radio, but for a while AOL offered XM radio for free,  After the merger they offered an internet only package which I now pay $164/year.  I actually have four "radios" for it since I can get it on:

  • My laptop at home
  • My work computer
  • iPhone
  • Kindle Fire
But I just love the programming:
  • 50s on 5 - too bad they dropped most of the DJs, but just love Cool Bobby B's Doo Wop Stop
  • 60s on 6 - home of Cousin Bruce and stuff WCBS-FM doesn't play anymore
  • Classic Vinyl - more variety than Q104 with no commercials
  • Deep Tracks rarities
  • Tom Petty's Buried Treasure Channel - I just love those specialty shows
  • The Loft - sounds like WFUV
  • Willie's Roadhouse - classic country not heard on Nash-FM
  • Outlaw Country - includes some country crossovers
  • Watercolors - smooth jazz that was once heard on CD101.9
  • Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Channel - only inductees are heard here.
There are many more good channels, but I just don't have time to listen to them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thinking About The Mets and The Hot Stove League

I have mixed feeling about the signing of Michael Cuddyer.  I know the Mets need more hitting, but Cuddyer only played 49 games last season due to injury.  I guess only time will tell.  Now Sandy Alderson says he wants to upgrade at shortstop.  Perhaps he should let Wilmer Flores mature into a full-time player at SS.  The Mets have a surplus of pitching, so who knows what they will do.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bob Dylan Sings Doo Wop

 I thank Facebook friend Scott Warmuth for bringing this to my attention.  This was never heard on Don K. Reed's Doo Wop Shop by the current king of Doo Wop Radio, Cool Bobby B is aware of it.  I hope there are Dylan fans who are reading this journal entry.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Looking Forward to the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions

Alex Trebek announced the the Tournament of Champions featuring the big winners of the last two years will begin tomorrow.  The questions are always more difficult during this tournament as the cream of the crop of the players are competing.  I hope there will be a face off between Julia Colllins and Arthur Chu who bring different styles to picking the answers on the board.  Good luck to all of the players.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I Fixed A Computer Problem - Mazel Tov to Me

As I reported last week  I had a problem with my printer.  I tried just about everything, and it still didn't work.  Today I restored my windows settings to what they were a month ago and the printer worked.  Apparently something in the Windows Files were corrupted.  It took about a week, but I fixed the problem.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Garth Hudson of the Band Visits Big Pink for the First Time in 47 Years

So far I have listened to the first two CDs of the 6 CD set. I found this video on the Rolling Stone Magazine Web site.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Random Thoughts of the Day

Happy Birthday to Art Garfunkel and Peter Noone.  We would have played their music tonight, but the CD player was busy with Bob Dylan's complete Basement Tapes which took about an hour.  He actually covered two Johnny Cash songs - Big River and Folsom Prison Blues.

It was a busy night as I had to juggle Cousin Brucie, Bob Dylan, Jeopardy, and the Knicks.  So far they are 2-2.

Alex Trebek announced that the Tournament of Champions will begin next Monday.  I hope there will be a match of Arthur Chu against Julia Collins.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mr G Leaves WCBS-FM after 37 years

Irv Gikofsky better known as Mr. G announced this morning on Scott Shannon's Big Show that he was retiring after 37 years at the station.  I have listened to Mr. G give weather reports for at least 30 of those years with:

  • Harry Harrison
  • Dan Taylor
  • Mike Fitzgerald
  • Micky Dolenz
When Scott Shannon came to WCBS-FM this March I stopped listening to the station since I just did not like all the talk associated with the "Big Show".

Mr. G will continue to do the weather for PIX-11 TV.

Here is where the speculation sets in:

Did Mr. G leave WCBS-FM voluntarily or did Scott Shannon want his own morning team without anyone from the good old days at 101.1 FM?  I will give the management of WCBS-FM credit for giving Irv a chance to say goodbye to his audience.  The Jackasses in charge of CBS radio n June 2005 didn't offer that courtesy to their listeners.

Above is a photo of my son Lee taken with Mr. G on CBS Radio day at Yankee Stadium in June 2010.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Remembering Valerie and July 1970

I was listening to Hy Lit radio when I heard Ronnie Dyson's 1970 hit Why Can't I Touch You Came On. For many years I have associated that song with Valerie whom I dated in July 1970 when that song was a hit. Back then my father managed a ladies clothing store in Mount Vernon in Westchester. He met a young lady named Valerie and suggested that she meet me. I phoned her and met her in Manhattan. We saw the movie The Hawaiians at a theater near Times Square. From there I took her home taking the Metro-North train to Mount Vernon. When we arrived home she invited me to her sister's wedding the next week. I was absolutely stunned to be invited to her sister's wedding after knowing her for just a few hours. During that first date she told me she was going to Israel during August.

Listening to Ronnie Dyson's song regenerated my memories of her. Over the month of July:

  • I took her to see Blood Sweat and Tears at Madison Square Garden
  • We saw the Movie Z
  • We went dancing at Community Gardens a disco in Queens Village
  • We went to the beach at Rye Playland

I never tried to be too forward with someone I just met. But she never wanted to get close to me physically. I remember one date, I got a handshake instead of a kiss. This is why I associated the Ronnie Dyson song with her.

Just before she left for Israel she cooked dinner for me. At point I certainly expected to see her when she returned.

At the end of August I phoned and she talked about her trip. When I asked her out she said “call me again.” A few days later I tried again and she said “I can't go out with you because I had a bad reaction to my cholera shot". After a few more phone calls I got the message that she didn't want to see me anymore. I was really disappointed. Perhaps she met someone on the trip to Israel or maybe she had gone with another boyfriend. I've learned that most disappointments like this in the long term are for the better.

When I heard the Ronnie Dyson hit today, out of curiosity I Googled her and found out that she passed away about a year ago at the age of 63.

Later in 1970 the family is in the car and Valerie by the Monkees came on the radio. Leave it to my sister to ask “What happened to Valerie?”

One consequence of having excellent autobiographic memory is that I often recall too many disappointing experiences of the past.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The printer spooler was unable to connect to your printer

Oy Vey! - This message has been driving me crazy for the last 3 days.  When I got this new Dell Computer I used my HP desk jet printer that I had for a few years.  I downloaded the drivers for Windows 8.1 as the old computer ran on Windows Vista.  For about 2  1/2 months there was no problem printing, but all of a sudden I kept getting the message "The printer spooler was unable to connect to your printer"  I tried everything, but just couldn't get it to work.  I don't do all that much printing anyway, so I really shouldn't worry about it.  I was able to download a file to a thumb drive and was able to print it from my old computer.  So, there are no mechanical properties with the HP Printer.  Obviously, the problem is with the software.

It was a rainy and miserable day anyway.

Friday, October 31, 2014

New Bob Dylan Album Shadows in the Night to be Released in 2015

Rolling Stone magazine reports that a new Bob Dylan album featuring covers of adult standards will be released sometime in 2015.  No exact date was given. This will be announced officially next week by an advertisement in the new boxed set of the complete Basement Tapes.  We'll just have to be patient as November will be a big Bob Dylan month for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Musical Dedication to Ray Schwartz

Ray in 2014
Ray c.1997
Ray Schwartz was my colleague at the NJIT Library for several years.  I don't remember the exact years, but he moved on to William Paterson University several years ago.  Back in his NJIT days he had a short crew cut as seen above, but over the years he really let his hair grow.  To paraphrase Bob Dylan "He was so much older then, he's younger than that now."  Anyway I thought the perfect 1960s hit to dedicate to Ray would be Hair by the Cowsills.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Final Jeopardy Question Last Night Was....

The answer was this restaurant chain was named after the 4th hit of a British rock group in 1967.  I guess I must have been tired since I worked late at NJIT.  I had eaten at the Ruby Tuesday's at 7th Avenue and 41st Street a few times.  I should have gotten it.  Oh well.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Random Comments of the Day

Boston radio personality Dale Dorman passed away.  I have heard of him, but didn't know much about him.  Several of my radio friends including Rich Appel and Gary Brefini are from the Boston area.  I assume Scott Fybush will have a long story about him in tomorrow's North East Radio Watch.

Someone on the NYRMB said that since of the World Series games was broadcast in NYC over  WMCA, it marked the first time since 1957 that the baseball Giants were heard on 570 AM.  He is mistaken since the Mets games were aired on WMCA from 1978-82.  Obviously during those 5 seasons there were several games between the Mets and Giants heard on WMCA.

I watched part of the Jets game on TV today.  They really sucked, especially Geno Smith.  I wonder when will Rex Ryan be fired since the team is now 1-7.

I wonder if the Tournament of Champions on Jeopardy will happen in November since that is sweeps month.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jack Bruce of Cream passes at age 71

One of the best super groups of the late 1960s was Cream with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  It was announced today that Jack Bruce passed away at age 71.  He performed as a solo artist after Cream had broken up.  My favorite Cream hit was White Room.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Van Lingle Mungo The Song and The Book

A few months ago I joined SABR (Society of American Baseball Research). As a member I received a free copy of the book Van Lingle Mungo.  There was a song by that title written by Dave Frishberg.  It lists Mungo who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1930s with other players of that era.  The book offers short biographies of the players in the song:

Heenie Majeski, Johnny Gee
Eddie Joost, Johnny Pesky, Thornton Lee
Danny Gardella
Van Lingle Mungo

Whitey Kurowski, Max Lanier
Eddie Waitkus and Johnny Vandermeer
Bob Estalella
Van Lingle Mungo

Augie Bergamo, Sigmund Jakucki
Big Johnny Mize and Barney McCosky
Hal Trosky

Augie Galan and Pinky May
Stan Hack and Frenchy Bordagaray
Phil Cavaretta, George McQuinn
Howie Pollett and Early Wynn
Art Passarella
Van Lingle Mungo

John Antonelli, Ferris Fain
Frankie Crosetti, Johnny Sain
Harry Brecheen and Lou Boudreau
Frankie Gustine and Claude Passeau
Eddie Basinski
Ernie Lombardi
Hughie Mulcahy
Van Lingle...Van Lingle Mungo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Who in Monroe Township, New Jersey is Reading This Journal?

I constantly monitor the readership of Bruce's Journal through Google Analytics.  Over the last year somebody from Monroe Township, New Jersey has accessed this site 379 times which is slightly more than once a day.  Monroe Township is off exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike in southern Middlesex County.  It is a bedroom community with a population about 39,000 halfway between NYC and Philadelphia.

I don't know anyone from that township.  Don Tandler lives in East or West Windsor which is nearby.  I think Don reads this journal once in a while but not as much as once a day.  I don't think anyone from NJIT lives there as it is a good 60 miles away from Newark.

Is this individual a

  • Bob Dylan fan
  • New York Mets fan
  • Jeopardy enthuisast
  • Oldies music maven
I am inviting Mr. or Ms. Monroe Township to reveal his/her identity and why he/she is attracted to this blog.  It gets about 20 hits a day and I often wonder who reads it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Oldies

Mike Riccio, Tom Natoli and the other Chart Guys need your help to compile the list of the 77 most popular oldies.  We know that radio station do have such promotions, but "fudge" the results as they don't want to include songs that are out of format.  Please go to the Oldies Board and vote for your 7 favorite oldies.

The survey will be heard on Bob Radil's 60s 70s show on Rewound Radio around Christmas.  Here are my 7 favorites:

Song/Artist 1: Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (1965)
Song/Artist 2: Turn Turn Turn (To Everything There Is A Season) - Byrds (1965)
Song/Artist 3: Mrs Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel (1968)
Song/Artist 4: Abigail Beecher - Freddie ( Freddy ) Cannon (1964)
Song/Artist 5: Mellow Yellow - Donovan (1966)
Song/Artist 6: Let It Be - Beatles (1970)
Song/Artist 7: Imagine - John Lennon (1971)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Resumes on the West Coast

After Bob toured Australia and New Zealand, he took a month off.  I think he deserves a break as he is 73 years old.  Anyway last night the tour resumed at the Paramount Theater in Seattle and got a positive review in a local newspaper.  He has not varied the set list at all as most of the songs are relatively recent.  The big day for us is November 29 at the Beacon Theater.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Love Letters on Broadway

This year Karen and I chose Love Letters as our Broadway show for our anniversary.  I think this was the first time we did not see a musical.  The show relates letters that were sent between Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd over a 50 year period.  We saw Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy in today's show, but as you can from the web site other significant actors and actresses will appear in the weeks to come.

The entire show was dialog as the two characters sat at a table and read their letters.  You really had to pay attention and realize that the years were going by during the readings.  I recommend it highly.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

9th Anniversary of Bruce's Journal

It was October 15, 2005 when I started this blog on AOL.  It eventually moved over to the Blogger service offered by Google.  There have been over 2600 posts covering topics from the ridiculous to the sublime.  I would classify the posts as:

  • Autobiographical
  • New York Mets
  • Other Baseball
  • Oldies
  • Bob Dylan
  • Mass Transit - in the last year these have moved to NYNJcommuting
  • Random comments
I try not to get too personal.  We all have problems, illnesses and setbacks, but do we want to share them with everybody?  I keep in mind that anyone can access my posts.  I sometimes wonder who is lurking out there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Anniversary Karen

It was on October 16, 1983 when Karen and I were married at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation.  It is hard to believe that it has been 31 years.  Back then I was working at the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street while Karen was working at Interpublic.  Obviously, so much as happened over the years.

Happy Anniversary, Karen and many many more.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Special Birthday Dedication to Cousin Brucie Who is 79 Years Forever Young Today

Cousin Brucie has certainly played many dedications over the years on SiriusXM, WCBS-FM., WNBC and WABC.  I think that for his 79th birthday I'll make a dedication for him.  I don't think the Cuz is a big Bob Dylan fan, so here goes.  I am picking a song from the 1970s that would likely never be heard on his show.  You would hear it sometime on WFUV, Q104.3, or Deep Tracks, but never on his show.  May you stay Forever Young and be on the radio for many more years.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Copyright © 1973 by Ram's Horn Music; renewed 2001 by Ram’s Horn Music

Saturday, October 11, 2014

More Random Comments

I have commented before on the misuse of Facebook.  Two of my friends have posted photos of themselves while they are in the hospital.  I can understand people informing their friends about their medical condition.  I  certainly would not want anyone to see me in poor physical condition in a hospital bed.

Cousin Brucie just mentioned Mary Shaw on his show and played Mary Mary for her.  She has just moved into a new apartment in Staten Island.

The Cuz also just played Mr. Bassman by Johnny Cymbal.  When I heard that song it reminded me of my very brief reconnection with John of New Britain, Ct.  Every time I have encountered an old friend either in person or online the new relationship has not lasted.

I get conflicting data on people hitting Bruce's Journal from Blogger and Google Analytics.  According to Blogger, a post from March 2011 titled More Tsuris for the Mets got 132 hits in the last week but none reported from Google Analytics.  Go figure.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Random Comments of the Day

I wasn't excited by the nominees to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame this year.  The ones that really should get in according to me are:

  • Neil Sedaka
  • Chubby Checker
Unfortunately there are politics going in choosing nominees and inductees.

Condolences to David McMillan on the loss of his father.  Dave worked as a temp for NJIT some years back and has kept in touch.

I had to stay a little late today at work to teach a class, but I was able to listen Bob Radil's 60s 70s show via my iPhone on the way home.

I will have to work on Columbus Day, but I shouldn't complain as there are still too many people out there pounding the pavement looking for jobs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Never Ending Tour is Extended for One More Night

By popular demand Bob Dylan's run at the Beacon Theater has been extended to Wednesday December 3 for a total of 5 performances.  As I stated before we have tickets for the second show on Saturday November 29.  I predicted that Bob will not be interviewed on WOR radio any weekday from 10 AM - 12 noon.  The pompous radio host at that time is not a fan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I donated to WFUV Today

Every October I make a $100 donation to support public radio at WFUV.  It is nice to listen to terrestrial radio without commercials or a playlist picked by consultants.  In one word I would describe their music as eclectic.  You never know what will be played.  Corny O'Connell usually plays one oldie every half hour when I listen.  I also enjoy Mixed Bag with Don McGee.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Offbeat Oldie - The Great Airplane Strike by Paul Revere and the Raiders

Today I heard about the passing of Paul Revere at the age of 76.  I fondly remember watching them in the 1960s on Where the Action Is hosted by Dick Clark.  Who would sing about an airplane strike?  Apparently back then they had to cancel several gigs since they couldn't get to the venue.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blue Snow Night by the Gurus - I never heard this on the radio

Back in the late 1960s there was a music show on Saturday mornings on Channel 5 in NYC. I can not remember the name of the show or its host. Anyway I distinctively remember seeing Blue Snow Night by the Gurus on the show. I don't remember hearing it on any NYC radio stations back then or on a classic rock station in recent years.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cousin Brucie and Neil Sedaka are Interviewed on Fox5 in NYC

The Cuz and Neil Sedaka talk to Ernie Anastos about their days in Brooklyn.  Check it out by clicking the link below.

New York News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MLB is Testing Rules in Arizona Fall League to Speed Up Baseball Games

About a year ago I reported in this journal on long baseball games.  The man in the picture above seems to have nodded off during a long game.  I read today on the ESPN site that there were going to be rules tested in the Arizona Fall League to try to speed up games.  In 1981 the average game was 2 hr 33 minutes while it is now slightly over 3 hours.  The ESPN site details all of the rules, so it is not necessary to repeat them here.   I like the rule limiting teams to three trips to the mound by managers, coaches and catchers during a game, except for pitching changes.

I suppose the MLB will evaluate what happens in the Arizona Fall League this season before implementing permanent changes.  This likely would not happen until 2016 at the earliest.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Congratulations to WCBS-FM for Being #1 in the Ratings

WCBS-FM is now #1 in the NYC radio ratings with 6.8% of age 12+ listeners.  Lite-FM with 5.7% came in a distant second.  It seems that the strategy of bringing in Scott Shannon in the morning has paid off nicely.  Likewise the move away from 60s music turned out to be correct. It also seems that a tight playlist attracts more listeners. Will they be able to sustain this ratings lead since listening habits likely change over the summer.

I have been listening to WCBS-FM less as I have moved to internet radio for oldies.  Since I am 65 years old WCBS-FM doesn't want me as a listener anyway.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mets 8 Astros 3 in Season Finale at Citifield

It seems to be a tradition that we go to the first Saturday home game and the last game of the season for the Mets.  In 2004 we saw the last game of the Montreal Expos; 2005 was the last Met game for Mike Piazza; in 2013 we got Mike Piazza shirts as he was elected into the Mets Hall of Fame.  This year the Mets were giving out Casey Stengel bobble head dolls.  I was likely one of the few people in the stand who rooted for the Mets when Casey was manager from 1962-5.  A few of his relatives were introduced to the crowd.

The game was a pleasant surprise as the Mets won 8-3.  Since Bobby Abreu announced his retirement he started in right field, but was taken out after he hit a single.  He received a warm reception by the fans.  Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada hit two run home runs for the Amazins as Bartolo Colon won his 15th game of the season.  The Mets were 4-7 in the games we attended this season.  The Mets appreciate the support of their fans.

For several seasons it has been a ritual in Wrigley Field for the Cub fans to throw back home run balls hit bey the opposition.. This has also spread to other stadiums.  Today for the first time I saw Met fans throw back balls that landed in the outfield stands as grand rule doubles.  It actually happened twice.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Announcing the 2014 Oldies Meet and Greet Saturday November 15 2 PM

Since autumn is now here it is time to think about the 9th Annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts. It will be held Saturday November 15 2 PM at the usual place. Ben's Deli, 209 West 38th Street in Manhattan. In the past as many as 80 people have come to our events. This year Sue O'Neal of WCBS-FM. Bob Radil of the 60s 70s Show and Cool Bobby B of Sirius XM 50s on 5 are scheduled to come. If other radio celebrities appear, it will be announced in this Facebook page. In the past Pat St. John, Broadway Bill Lee, Bobby Jay, Jim Kerr, Carol Miller, and Keith Allen have attended. You may see photos of the 2012 event posted by Bob Gilmore at .

All attendees will receive an air guitar courtesy of the organizers. It will not be necessary to answer a trivia question to get one.

Please feel free to invite any of your friends to this event. The organizers are Jeff Scheckner ( and Bruce Slutsky ( . Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Random Comments of the Day

I finally finished the book Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes.  Actually his son Jacob kept audio tape recordings that Victor made documenting his relationship with Dylan as his tour manager.  Every biography offers new facts. I found out that Dylan played chess.  The only significant revelation was that the 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden was originally planned as a benefit but turned out to be a for profit event.  George Harrison was really annoyed when he found out.  This biography was unique since it was written by a Dylan insider rather than a journalist.

God really must have been a Yankee fan yesterday.  The original weather forecast was for rain all evening.  Everyone was afraid that Jeter's last game at Yankee Stadium would be rained out.  The rain ended in Queens in the early afternoon.  Who thought that DAvid Robertson would blow a save by allowing 3 runs in the top of the 9th setting up the stage for Jeter's walk off single.

It is a shame that reconnections are just too brief.  JB just recalled our singing of Mr. Bassman.  He followed up wit a photo of his four dogs.  I wish he would have told be briefly at least what has happened to him over the last 40 years.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy Jewish New Year

I appreciate all who read Bruce's Journal, and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.  I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Comment on an article in Yesterday's New York Times Magazine

I guess it has been some time since I commented on an article in the New York Times which I only buy on Sundays.  I usually read several sections on the day that I get it but it has become a "ritual" for me to read the magazine section on the ride to work on Monday.  The was an article titled How Gary Hart's Downfall Forever Changed American Politics.  I didn't see the point on why the writer had to detail Senator Hart's indiscretion of 27 years ago.  He likely would have become the Democratic nominee in 1988, but his sexual adventure killed his candidacy.  Several years Bill Clinton acted like a jerk in his relationships with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, but I don't see how the situations with Clinton and Hart are linked.  The article did point out that FDR, JFK, and LBJ fooled around, but nobody knew about it until many years later. I guess back in those days it was easier to keep those things secret.
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