Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to All

I wish all readers of Bruce's Journal, my Facebook page and Twitter feed a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.  Of course, I wish all my friends and acquaintances who are not on social media the same.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Visited the Guggenheim Museum Today

Today Karen and I visited the Guggenheim Museum as we saw the exhibit Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting,  Burri (1915-1995) was an Italian painter who was trained as a physician but gave it up in 1946 to become an artist.  His unique style used highly tactile surfaces drawing the viewer into a deeper sensory experience.

There was also a photography exhibition featuring ten artists who uniquely contemplate the nature, traditions, and magic of photography.

The last time I visited the Guggenheim was on Martin Luther King Day of 2013 when we saw an exhibit on Picasso.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Facebook Friends on the Radio

Bob Radil of  the 60s 70s Show on Rewound Radio featured above is one of many of my Facebook friends.  I just looked at my friend list and found so many who have been on the radio now or in the past.  I have decided to compile a list limited to those radio personalities whom I have met.  I will obviously not give their entire radio resume, but just say how I met them and my radio experience with them.  The list is in no particular order:

  • Don Tandler - met at a few of the oldies meets and greets.  Pop Gold Radio and NJ 101.5
  • Cousin Bruce Morrow - met at the Rewound Cruise in 2007.  SiriusXM, WCBS-FM, WABC
  • Rich Appel - the only person who ever gave me a ticket to a Bob Dylan concert.  That Thing with Rich Appel on Rewound Radio
  • Gary Brefini - I have never met him, but spoke to him once on the phone. He is a reader of this journal, Radio XL5
  • Bobby Backman - Cool Bobby B - Another regular person at the oldies meets and greets.  The Doo Wop Stop on SiriusXM
  • Alan Seltzer - oldies meet and greet - WCWP
  • Scott Fybush - I last saw him at the Decalcomania convention in East Brunswick, NJ in July 1995.  WXXI Rochester and publisher of the North East Radio Watch
  • Russ DiBello aka Famous Amos - Oldies Meet and Greet.  WCBS-FM and Jammin 105
  • Tom Lawler - I just heard him today on WLNG.  I met him at the Long Island Radio Day at CW Post.
  • Ron Parker - Met him at a WCBS-FM picnic in Staten Island some years ago.  Work at WCBS-FM.  I think he does part time work on NASH-Fm
  • Jerry Barmash - Long Island Radio Day - WABC
  • Broadway Bill Lee - Came to one oldies meet and greet - WCBS-FM
  • Jim Kerr - Two oldies meets and greets - Q-104.3
  • Pat St, John - oldies meet and greet. WCBS-FM and WPLJ
  • Scott Lowe - oldies meet and greet - WBUX, Bucks County PA
  • Kristen LaBar - oldies meet and greet - Fresh 102.7
  • Joe Causi - WCBS-FM promotion at a Verizon cell phone store
  • Bob Shannon - CBS Radio day at Yankee Stadium - WCBS-FM and WLNG
  • Teddy Smith - the most recent oldies meet and greet - WPAT (AM)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Some Thoughts on Music Radio Countdowns

Back in the 1960s I used to love to listen to radio station countdowns.  Back then Dan Daniel on WMCA would count down the top 25 hits from 4 PM - 7 PM with Wednesday as the new survey day.  Likewise Tuesday was new survey day on WABC as it was introduced by Dan Ingram at 2 PM and counted down in order later that night by Cousin Bruce Morrow.  It was always fun comparing the surveys of the two radio stations.  At the end of the year the stations would compile the top hits of the year.

Let's turn the clock ahead 30 or so years ago as oldies stations would ask their listeners to vote for their favorite songs.  For many years In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins was the number one song voted by the listeners.  We never knew for sure is this was a truc countdown as we suspected that radio station would not include songs voted that were out of format.  When WCBS-FM returned from the dreaded Jack format in 2007 it was described as classic hits, not oldies and covered 1964-89.  Some how In the Still of the Night didn't make the survey.

For the past 18 years oldies enthusiast Mike Riccio and Tom Natoli have compiled a list of the Top 77 songs voted by  listeners.  Yesterday they appeared on Rewound Radio and played the top 77 with extras and gave a history of the songs that charted.  I certainly applaud their efforts and appreciate their enthusiasm.

In 2015 I just can't get excited over countdowns as I did when I was a teenager growing up.  Like A Rolling Stone was #20 this year, but I still like it no matter what number it reached.  There are plenty of other Dylan songs that I like better that are obscure and unknown to the casual listener.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My Son The Willie Nelson Fan at the Paley Center for Media

For the same reason Lee became a Johnny Cash fan some years ago, he has become a Willie Nelson fan.  We have a few of his CDs but no videos about him  For that reason we went to the Paley Center for Media today to see what they had.  We were there for over two hours and viewed the following:

  • Barbara Walters interviewing him in June 1982
  • His appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman in January 1994 and March 2006
  • Saturday Night Live December 1977
  • His July 4th Concert on the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack (date unknown)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day at the College Point Multiplex

I have mentioned the College Point Multiplex many times in this journal.  Now you can see a picture of it.  Anyway we wanted to avoid seeing the Star Wars movie the first weekend of its release.  We thought that on Christmas Day families observing the holiday would stay home all day.  We got to the theater at 11:30 to get tickets for the 11:50 show but found out it was sold out.  This was the first in years that we had been shut out of a movie at this complex.  We were able to get tickets for the 1:15 show and were able to walk back home instead of hanging around the theater.  I guess on Christmas Day everything else is closed so to get out of Mom's way while she is cooking dinner, the kids go to the movies.

I have seen every Star Wars movie since the first one in 1977 which I saw on my vacation that summer in Cape Cod.   I enjoyed the movie, but of course it is aimed at kids.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Comments on Off Season Moves by the Mets

I really think that in the off season so far the Mets have weakened themselves.  They traded Jon Neise for Neil Walker.  Since Steven Matz will be the left hander in the Mets rotation, Neise was expendable.  It remains to be seen if Walker will be a better second baseman than Daniel Murphy whose value on the open market likely increased with his performance in Division Series and League Championship series.  The Mets signed free agent Asdrubal Cabrera as their shortstop leaving Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores as backups.

They signed Alejandro De Aza to a one-year contract to play in the outfield.  I am not thrilled with his career statistics and if he will just platoon with Juan Lagares then this is a significant downgrade from Yoenis Cespedes who is obviously gone.

I think it was a good move to sign Bartolo Colon to a one year contract , but a think $7.25 million is excessive for him.  He will be the 5th starter until Zach Wheeler returns.

Baseball salaries are excessive these days and the Mets among other teams have been burned by overpaying free agents.  Jason Bay who was given a large 4 year contract a few years ago did not work out.  Any team needs to take a risk.  I wish the Mets would have signed Daniel Murphy as he was with the team for several years.  We become attached to a player and before you know it they are gone.

The Mets lucked out by getting into the World Series in 2015 as they had the 5th best record in the National League.  Had the Washington Nationals played as expected, the Mets would not have made the playoffs.

Before you know it pitchers and catchers will report for spring training and the 2016 season will be here.  We shall see what we shall see.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Steve Harvey Really Goofed

I didn't watch the Miss Universe Pageant but I heard that Steve Harvey really goofed as he announced the wrong winner.  For some reason I just never cared for his comedic style.  For that reason I don't watch his version of Family Feud.  Oh well.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

NJIT 83 St. Johns 74 at the Carnesecca Arena and I was there

St. John's coach Chris Mullin congratulates NJIT
coach Jim Engles after the game

Hearty congratulations to the NJIT Highlander basketball team who defeated the Red Storm of St. John's University 83-74 at Carnesecca Arena. Yours truly, Karen and Lee were in the stands rooting the team representing my employer. Congratulations are in order for all the players, coaches, and Athletic Director Lenny Kaplan as for the first time NJIT has beaten a school from the Big East Conference.

It seems strange that I never seen the men's basketball team at Newark, but I saw them twice at St. Johns and once at Hofstra as they lost all three games. As I mentioned before I got the tickets about a week ago at a bargain from Stub Hub. We drove over to the campus and we ran into Lenny in the lobby as we entered.

The Highlanders lead for most of the game as Damon Lynn led with 32 points. Chris Jenkins, Ky Howard, and Tim Coleman also scored in double figures. The Highlanders now have a 7-5 in games outside the Atlantic Sun Conference which they joined this past year.

When NJIT scored a basket I looked to my left and saw a handful of people cheering. I went over during halftime and found out they were from the Athletics Department. One of the gentlemen I spoke to was the tennis coach. I did find any students in the stands.

I must say that this victory was a pleasant surprise for me. I must admit that when NJIT first moved to Division I sports from Division II I was skeptical that the teams could be competitive at that level. It took a few years and recruiting the right student athletes for the team to succeed.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour - Good News, Bad News

Here is the good news Isis Magazine reports that the Never Ending Tour will resume in 2016.  The baad news is that several dates were set in Japan in April.  The tour did not come to NYC at all in 2015.  Since the tour will restart in Japan, it will likely not come to the east coast until the summer at the earliest.  I'll just have to wait.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Isis is a Bob Dylan Song and the Name of a Fanzine

Isis as heard above is the name of a Bob Dylan song that appeared on the Desire album in 1976.  It is also the name of an Egyptian goddess.  Two Bob Dylan fans in the UK, Derek and Tracy Barker publish a magazine since 1985 called Isis which provides Dylan enthusiasts with a wide-ranging collection of writings on Bob Dylan.  In a message to the subscribers the publishers stated they will not change the name of the magazine as a terrorist organization also uses that name.  They said "if we change the name of this magazine, then evil has triumphed."

We all must go on with our lives and not let the terrorists win.  When I see National Guard troops in New York Penn Station it reminds me that there is a constant threat of terrorist activity which could happen anywhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New York Radio is Not the Same Without Bob Shannon

Bob Shannon has appeared several times in Bruce's Journal over the years.  I would like to take the opportunity to wish him a very happy 67th birthday.  He left WCBS-FM in December 2011 for health reasons and since then New York radio has not been the same.

Don Tandler reported on Facebook that he spoke to Bob's wife Connie who said that Bob was most appreciative of the good wishes he received from his listeners.

I started listening to Bob in the mid 1980s when he did the evening shift on WCBS-FM.  I remember playing Tuesday Night Trivia and rarely got through first since I had a rotary dial phone back then.  Bob certainly is a "walking encyclopedia" of oldies artists and music.  For most of his time at WCBS-FM he was on the air from 3 PM - 7 PM.

In June 2005 after the oldies format was replaced by the dreaded Jack format Bob really stood up for his listeners.  When WCBS-FM came back with a classic hits formats Bob was hired back.  For a while Bob and Connie did an oldies show on WLNG from eastern Long Island.

Best wishes for good health, Bob.  New York radio is just not the same without you.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Remembering Phil Pepe (1935-2015)

I found out this morning from Dan Taylor's Facebook page that sportswriter Phil Pepe passed away at age 80.  Phil was best known for writing over 50 books.  If you want to see them go to Worldcat and do a search on his name.  For many years he was a reporter for the New York Daily News.

I best remember him for being part of the morning team on Harry Harrison's show on WCBS-FM.  In the photo above you can see from left to right Phil, Harry, Mr. G. and Debra Wetzel.  Phil's sports reports were always concise and to the point.  At 6:30 PM on Bob Shannon's show he would make comments on his segment called the Pep Talk,

Phil was certainly an asset to his profession and will certainly be missed by his friend and colleagues.  His books will live on.  My condolences to his family.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Breaking the Saturday Night Internet Radio Habit Yesterday

I guess Cousin Brucie needs some time off so last night's show was an encore performance which is a euphemism for repeat.  When he returns he'll say he was on "special assignment" which is likely a vacation.  I decided to surf the radio web.  Here is a list of the sites that I visited for about 20 minutes each.

That Thing With Rich Appel on WOLD - Woodbridge, NJ  - I usually catch Rich's Show on Sunday Nights on Rewound Radio but last night I caught a segment that I missed.  I am glad to see that Rich's show has gained more affiliates.  WOLD is a low power station at 107.9 FM which has a playlist that reminds me of WCBS-FM in its hey day.

RadioXL - with Gary Brefini.  This radio station plays hit music from the 1980s to the present.

Cavalcade on WFUV with Paul Cavalconte  - I tuned my radio to 90.7 FM for this.  Paul has been on several radio stations in NYC over the years with different formats.  At the recent oldies Meet and Greet Ken Dashow spoke very highly of him.  I would describe it as a free form show.  - This web site provides historical radio air checks.  I listened to a recording of Max Kinkel on WCBS-FM from 1993.  He had a big following overnights during his years on 101.1 FM.  He spent a lot of time talking to listeners over the years.  - I listened to several NYC format changes such as  WNCN to WQIV in 1974, Mix 102.7 to Fresh 102.7 and WCAA to WQXR on 105.9

Friday, December 11, 2015

I Got a Bargain on StubHub Today

I usually go to the box office to buy tickets for sporting events but when I have to I'll go online and get the tickets from Ticketmaster with their high fees.  I have only purchased tickets from StubHub a few times.  I wanted to get tickets to see the NJIT Highlanders basketball team play the Red Storm of St, Johns on Sunday December 20 at the Carnesecca Arena.  I was hoping to buy tickets from the NJIT Athletics Department, but I was told today they didn't have any available.

I noticed there were seats available on Ticketmaster for $30 plus their excessive fees.  Just for the heck of it I went over to StubHub and saw there were tickets for the ridiculously low price of $6.  Over course I bought 3 tickets for a total cost of $28.50 including all fees.  I was able to print the tickets on my computer.   I am guessing that students got the tickets for free and sold them online to make a few bucks.  I am not complaining.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hot Stove News From the Mets

The Mets traded left handed pitcher Jon Neise to the Pittsburgh Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker who seems to bring a good resume with him.  This solidifies Steven Matz's position as the lefty starter in the Mets rotation.  There is now speculation that Bartolo Colon will sign with the Mets and become the 5th starter until Zach Wheeler comes off the disabled list.  It is now virtually certain that Daniel Murphy will not come back to the Mets and will sign with another team.  The Mets will get a first round pick in the amateur free agent draft from the team the signs Murphy.  I am sure there will be more moves made to strengthen the team for the 2016 season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Watching the Wheels - John Lennon Song of the Day

It is hard to believe that it is 35 years snce we lost John Lennon.  Watching the Wheels reflected the years that he stayed home as a house husband and cared for Sean while Yoko took care of his business affairs.  We never now what music he would have created had he lived.  He is still sorely missed after all these years.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Donald Trump is a Tuchus Opening

Heaven forbid that this man become President of the United States.  Today he made the most asinine statement every made by a presidential candidate by saying that there be a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.  Hey asshole would you forbid Muslim students from entering American Universities?  Islam has about 1.6 billion adherents comprising about 22% of the world's population.  Why are you condemning an entire religion by the actions of a few.  By the way, Timothy Mcveigh was a Christian.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Hanukkah to All

My best wishes for a happy holidays to my blog readers, Facebook friends and Twitter followers who observe Hanukkah.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Few Brief Comments About Andrea D. Wiener

About a week ago I sent out a survey asking for feedback about Bruce's Journal.  It has been my experience that very few people respond.  Survey Monkey gives the I.P. address of the responders, so I can determine a little information about my readers.  Here is a quick summary of the two responses I recieved.

1. Someone from Manhattan whose internet service provider is RCN remarked that I made too many typos.  Thanks for your comment.  I will proofread my journal entries more carefully in the future.

2. Someone from New Jersey using Comcast asked me about Oldies Diva Andrea D. Wiener.   She obviously greatly reduced her presence on social media.  She is still on Facebook, but she unfriended me twice.  She never posts on radio message boards or phones into Bob Radil's 60s 70s show or Cousin Brucie's show.  She came to a few of the early oldies meet and greets, but I haven't seen her in several years.

I Watched Two College Basketball Games Simultaneously Today

Since it was a nice day the family took a drive out to LIU Post in Brookville to see Post play Mercy College.  The Pratt Recreation Center is very attractive facility for a Division II program.  I wonder why LIU Brooklyn is in Division I while LIU Post is Division II.  This game started at 2 PM while the NJIT game against UMass - Lowell started at 3 PM.  In this era of smartphones it was easy to follow both games as the NJIT game was shown on ESPN3.

LIU Post fell behind 29-12 and was behind 43-32 at halftime but they rallied in the second half to win 71-63.

Game Recap

Meanwhile NJIT built a comfortable lead against Lowell in the first half.  When the Post game ended I had to drive home so I obviously could not follow the game until I got home.  After I parked my car I checked my phone and watched the last two minutes of the game.  NJIT won 90-77.

Game Recap

Friday, December 4, 2015

Best Wishes To Sandy Alderson

It was announced today that New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson will be undergoing chemotherapy for 8-12 weeks.  The reports stated that the form of cancer he has is treatable

I can only send Sandy my best wishes for the best of health.  He "pushed the right buttons" in July as he made the trades that got the Mets into the World Series for the first time in 15 years.  A person's health must come before his job.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

David Price to get $217 Million For 7 Years From the Boston Red Sox

It was announced that free agent pitcher David Price signed at contract worth $217 million over 7 years with the Boston Red Sox.  This equates to about $1 Million per start. It is very possibe he will be injured somewhere along the line. Also his skills could fade toward the end of his contract. Is any team athlete worth that money? The Red Sox fans will pay for it through higher ticket costs and cable TV fees for NESN.   How much will pitchers like Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard get when they are eligible for free agency in a few years?

It is sad in a way how society values athletic prowess more than other professional skills.  Doctors and firemen who save lives make a tiny fraction of the money commanded by professional athlete.  The chart below from Business Insider summarizes the average  salaries in the various professional leagues.  The sports fans are paying these salaries indirectly.  I remember years ago paying $1.50 to sit in the upper deck of Shea Stadium.  Those were the days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Trying to Survey the Readers of Bruce's Journal

Bruce's Journal has been on the internet for over 10 years now.  I have had fun doing it and sharing my thoughts with "the entire world".  I am curious as to who reads it and what types of articles are of interest.  I know that very few people like to answer surveys, but I have nothing to lose by trying to elicit feedback.  Obviously nobody is required to respond.   Adding your name or location is optional.

Thanks for stopping by.

Survey on Bruce's Journal

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another Tribute to George Harrison

George Harrison has appeared many times in Bruce's Journal, but since today is the 14th anniversary of his untimely passing, I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him again.  Below is a video of his playing Here Comes the Sun

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Drifter's Escape from Masked and Anonymous

Drifter's Escape was originally on the album John Wesley Harding that I bought in January 1968.  It had a very simple arrangement with just an acoustic guitar and bass.  I heard it in the movie Masked and Anonymous, but it was not placed in the soundtrack CD for the film.  My good friend Roy said "that was the weirdiest movie I've ever seen and Roy has seen thousands of movies over the years.

Anyway someone took the clip of Drifter's Escape and posted it on Youtube.  Please also listen to comments made by Penelope Cruz and John Goodman.

College Basketball at Barclays Center

Since tickets for NBA games are so expensive we go to several college games every season.  At least once a year we see games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Since there is no parking there we take the subway there.  This weekend there was a tournament with Nebraska, Tennessee, George Washington and Cincinnati.

As you can see in the photo above the attendance at this large arena was low.  These 4 schools have very good basketball programs, but have no connection to New York City.  I assume that the schools have relatively few alumni in the metropolitan area who would come to a game.

In the consolation game Nebraska beat Tennessee 82-71

In the championship game where the defenses dominated Cincinnati beat George Washington 61-56

Friday, November 27, 2015

Random Thoughts about Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Karen didn't want to cook so we went to Ben's Deli in Bayside for Thanksgiving Dinner.  No pastrami this time.  The restaurant was crowded so I guess a lot of people don't want to cook.

Thanksgiving is a good day for marathons on cable TV networks so we spent a little time watching Billy Joel on the MSG Network and Leave it to Beaver on Antenna TV.

WCBS-FM and Q-104.3 are playing their top 500 and 1043 songs respectively.  I really think that the list on WCBS-FM was picked by their music director and is "consistent with their format."  It is not the WCBS-FM of the Joe McCoy area as now mostly 70s and 80s hits are played now.  You can't argue with success as WCBS-FM has been consistantly #2 in the ratings.

I am going avoid shopping malls like the plague today.  I think that "Black Friday" has been realy hyped over the last 20 years or so.  People go shopping today just for the sake of shopping.  A few years ago a security guard was trampled to death in Valley Stream on Black Friday by aggreesive shoppers.  All this to save money.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Buying Mets Tickets for 2016

For several years I have bought a 10 pack of tickets for the Mets.  I was able to choose which 10 games I want and got a small discount.  Since the Mets won the pennant and got into the World Series the Wilpons and their cronies have gotten a little cocky.  First of all there are no more 10 game packages as the minimum for ticket packages are now 20,  It is also a little insulting that the Met ticket office dictates which 20 games are in the package.  Also single game tickets go on sale this coming Monday November 30, so Wilpon and company holds your money for several months before the season begins.

Since I have  a Citibank Mastercard I was able to buy tickets starting today in a presale.  I decided to buy tickets for the games against the Yankees on August 1 and the Kansas City Royals on June 22.  I thought that those games would sell out quickly.  For the Yankee game I had to pay $75/ticket while the cost last year was $50 for the Subway Series.  The tickets for the KC Royals were only $30.

I decided to wait until February to buy ticket for 8 or so more games during the season which would be less in demand.  I will also go to the Stadium ticket office to get them without the fees.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The 2015 Leg of Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Ends

The 2015 leg of the Never Ending Tour has come to an end without a stop in NYC.  Atlantic City was the closest stop earlier in the year.  I was also disappointed that the set list didn't vary much over the past year.

I am certainly hoping the tour will resume early in 2016.  Since Bob is 74 years I understand if there are less dates in the years to come.  My favorite venue was the Beacon Theater where I saw him in November 2014.

Rest well Bob as you certainly deserve it and may you stay Forever Young.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

On the Go This Saturday

We walked over to Uncle Bill's Diner to eat breakfast out for a change.  The last time we went ther it was closed for renovations.  I just love their pancakes and sausages.

From there Lee and I went to Cunningham Park to play some basketball as we do on most Saturday mornings.

When we got home we watched Sports Jeopardy which is on Crackle TV.  Last season a contestant can only win once, but this season the winner comes back.  Today Vinny Varadarajan won his fifth game.  The winner get $5,000 while there is no dollar limit for a win on regular Jeopardy.

At 12 noon we wlaked over to the local multiplex to see The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 2.  I thought the earlier movies in the series were better.

At 4 PM on ESPN3 I watched thhe NJIT Highlanders play Lafayette.  My school won 80-66 and are now 3-1.  They bounced back after losing the opener to Kentucky.  The next game is Monday night against Providence College in the Big East.  NJIT has never beaten a Big East opponent, but there is always a first time.

At 6:30 we watch the Adventures of Superman on MeTV featuring George Reeves and Phyllis Coates.  I must have seen this episodes umpteen times over the years.

And now it is time for Cousin Brucie.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dick Biondi to Come to Weekend Mornings on WLS-FM Chicago

Dick Biondi is certainly a legend in Chicago Radio as he has been on the air for over 50 years.  He has appeared on several radio stations in Chicago and other cities as noted in his Wikipedia biography,  I used to listen to him regularly on the internet version of WLS-FM but in recent years he was heard weeknights from 11 PM - 2 AM Central Time.  Robert Feder, a media colunmnist reports that Dick will be moved to weekend mornings.  I will have to check out part of his show on Saturdays or Sundays.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Usual Radio Rituals

Here is my usual weekly radio ritual.  Sometimes I diverge from it.

  • WFUV - Corny O' Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Classic Vinyl
  • Breakfast with the Beatles Podcast with Dennis Mitchell
  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Willies Roadhouse
  • SiriusXM - Deep Tracks
  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Cousin Brucie on 60s on 6

  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - Tom Petty's Buried Treasure
  • WFUV - Corny O'Connell
  • WBGO - Gary Walker
  • SiriusXM - BB Kings Bluesville Channel
  • Bob Radil's 60s 70s Show on Rewound Radio
  • 1010 WINS
  • WCBS-FM Sue O'Neal
  • Johnny Cash Radio
  • Pop Gold Radio's Countdown with Don Tandler
  • WFUV - Mixed Bag with Don McGee
  • SiriusXM - Cousin Brucie on 60s on 6
  • 1010 WINS
  • WCBS-FM - Scott Shannon
  • Q104.3 Breakfast with the Beatles with Ken Dashow on Q-104.3
  • Classic American Top 40 with Casey Kasem on IHeart Radio
  • Sounds of the 60s with Brian Matthew Podcast
  • WFUV - Sunday Supper with John Platt
  • That Thing with Rich Appel on Rewound Radio
  • Cool Bobby B's Doo Wop Stop on SiriusXM 50s 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PF Sloan Passes Away at Age 70

When people bought records in the 1960s the songwriter was usually not known.  There were obviously some singer songwriters who are household names, but very few heard of P.F Sloan.  I looked in my Joel Whitburn book and saw only two very minor hits as P.F. was primarily a songwriter.  His claim to fame was Eve of Destruction as recorded by Barry McGuire in 1965.  It is a very bitter song, but much of what is said in it sadly applies today especially after the recent events in Paris.  He wrote many other hits including:
  • Take Me For What Its Worth by the Searchers (Sloan's version is seen and heard above)
  • A Must to Avoid - Herman's Hermits
  • You Baby -  Turtles
  • Where Were You When I Needed You - Grass Roots
  • Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers
He just passed away from pancreatic cancer. My condolences to his family and friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Review of Bob Dylan 1965-1966 The Cutting Edge.

At the request of Mary Ellen Brown aka Snoopy I am writing a review of Bob Dylan 1965-1966. The Cutting Edge. It is Bootleg Series #12. which took me over a week to listen to this 6 CD package. A bootleg, of course, is a recording not released by a legitimate record label. I would say that Bob Dylan is likely the most bootlegged artist in history going back to the early 1960s. Columbia Records is trying to cash on this by issuing concert and studio recordings not on earlier Dylan albums.

Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde are by far my favorite Dylan albums. The Cutting Edge includes rehearsals and alternative takes for most of the songs on those albums. As someone not a musician, I never experienced how a record developed from a demo to the finished product. Any recording artist and his producer must make a decision on what version to put on the final product. The engineers also get involved by mixing the tracks.

CD #3 on the 6 CD set is devoting to the various versions of Like a Rolling Stone. I spent over 1 hour on Wednesday listening to Dylan's greatest hit. I certainly enjoyed listening to all of the 100+ cuts in the series. With the exception of Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, I felt that the versions that I've heard for 50 years are better. This set is not for the casual Dylan fan, it is appropriate for people like myself who have followed Dylan for decades.

On a related note, I am disappointed that the Never Ending Tour will not come to the New York area in 2015. I am hoping the tour will resume on the east coast in early 2016.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ken Dashow was the Hit of the 10th Annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts

Ken Dashow with Cara Sieden in the Background

For several years the Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts is held two weeks before Thanksgiving.  It is a good chance to see people that I have known for many years through Facebook and radio message boards.  I also met some new people.  We usually have a guest from a major radio station appear at the event.  This year Ken Dashow of Q-104.3 appeared.

In other events the radio personality just spoke to the crowd very briefly.  This time Ken spoke at length about his radio career, relationships with other DJs and his meetings with Paul McCartney and George Harrison.  He spent a considerable amount of time answer questions from people in the audience about the radio business and classic rock.  It was certainly a pleasure to have him as a guest.

One of the highlights for me was meeting Facebook enthusiast Michael Judge.  I really wonder if he is online all of his waking hours.

Michael Judge

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Random Comments of the Day

It is time for the annual Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. 13 time winner Matt Jackson won his match today and will advance to the semi-finals next week.  I'd like to see him play against the big winners over the years like Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and Julia Collins.  Perhaps in the future there will be another tournament featuring big winners over the years.

Tomorrow is the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wellnesss and Event Center at NJIT.  It will be a multi-purpose building that will offer something for everyone at NJIT.  It will provide a larger basketball arena which is desperately needed since we are in Division 1 sports.  It is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2017.  The school has expanded greatly since I came in 1992.

The 10th annual Oldies Radio Meet and Greet will occur on Saturday.  There will be more about that in Bruce's Journal by Sunday.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Oh Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?

It was 50 years ago today that the lights went out in New York City.  I was a sophomore at Forest Hills High School at the time and was doing my homework at 5:28 PM.  At that time everyone thought it was local.  Since my grandmother lived in the same apartment building, I went to her apartment to make sure she was OK.  My father who drove to work came home at the usual time.  New York was relatively calm during the 1965 blackout, but there was a completely different story during the second blackout in 1977.  I missed that one as I was living in New London, Ct. at that time since I worked at Pfizer.

A few months later  WMCA DJ Dan Daniel recorded "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out" which was released on the Mala label.  I think it was only played on his station.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I liked the earlier James Bond Movies with Sean Connery Best

Today we saw Spectre the lastest James Bond film starring Daniel Craig.  I didn't realize that over the past 53 years there were 26 movies with 10 actors playing 007.  When I looked at the list I most likely saw all 26 films.  Some younger people may not realize that the James Bond character was created by novelist Ian Fleming.  This Wikipedia article lists the Ian Fleming books with James Bond as the protagonist.  I didn' realize that the first book was written in 1953 while the first film came out in 1962.  Ian Fleming passed away in 1964, but the movies based on his books were released for many years.  The more recent movies featured the James Bond character but the screenplays were not based on any of the books.

The early Bond films had some good theme songs that were played on Top 40 radio.  My favorite had to be Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey.  There was also a novelty song called Double-O-Seven by the Detergents.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Beatles 1 DVD

I spent time today listening to the first 2 CD's of Bob Dylan's Cutting Edge.  The three Dylan albums released in 1965-66 have always been my favorites so it really nice to hear the outtakes.

I just received the Beatles 1 DVD as described in the Youtube video above.  It is a compilation of the videos of the 27 number 1 Beatle hits from 1962-1970.  I only had time to listen to part of it today.   Some of the videos very familiar, but some I had never seen.  The quality of each film was excellent.  Beatles music is timeless and appeals to all ages.

NJ Devils 4 Chicago Black Hawks 2

Karen and Lee met me in Newark after work at the Prudential Center as we usually like to go to a few hockey games every season.  The Devils took a 4-0 lead, but late in the game the Black Hawks fought back.  They were behind 4-1 with 6:42 to go when they took out the goalie to get an extra skater.  I have never seen a team do that being 3 goals behind and with so much time left in the 3rd period.  They did score one goal to get closer, but still lost 4-2.

I was really suprised to see so many people there with Chicago Black Hawk jerseys on.  Many of them were on the train back to NYC.  I must assume that most of them were tourists.

Box Score

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Empty Pages by Traffic Classic Rock Song of the Day

From the album John Barleycorn Must Die.  At least a journal entry that is not about the Mets or Bob Dylan.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Now it is time to think about winter sports

Now that the World Series is over it is time to start thinking about winter sports.  It is halfway through the football season already and I haven't given much thought to the Giants or Jets.  I was never much of a football fan anyway.

Last season I completely gave up on the Knicks as they dumped many good players to save on salary.  They have almost a completely new team so I will have to try to watch them regularly.  The Brooklyn Nets have made some changes as well.

We bought tickets for two Devils games and one Islander game at the Barclay Center.  Tickets for professional sporting events at Madison Square Garden are outrageous so we will only go there for college basketball.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Suffered Through 1962, 1978, 1979, 1993, 2008 and Other Bad Years With the Mets

In January 2006 I wrote in this journal that I had been a Met fan since the team's inception in 1962.  Back on July 31 of this year I wrote that it takes a lot of patience to be a Met Fan.  This was just after the Amazin's blew a 7-1 against the San Diego Padres and lost 8-7.  Hours later the Mets traded for Yoenis Cepedes just minutes before the trade deadline.

At the beginning of this season I only expected about an 85-77 record with a second place finish in the NL East behind the heavy favorite Washington Nationals.  Early in the season the Mets had an 11 game winning streak and were way ahead in the standings.  Later on the hitting went bad as the team skidded toward mediocrity.  After the trades at the deadline the team took over and won the NL East, the Division Series against the Dodgers and the League Championship series against the Cubs.

Losing the World Series in 5 games to the Kansas City Royals was a disappointment, the Mets have nothing to be ashamed of.  People are criticizing Terry Collins for some of the moves he made, but some risks don't pay off.  I am very pleased that the Mets went as far as they did.  The result was much better than the years I mentioned in the title of this entry.  I am already looking forward to next season.

The young pitchers will mature and will be assume.  Already there is speculation in the electronic media on the leaving of free agents Cespedes and Murphy.  Buster Olney of ESPN is stating that with certainty they will not return.  Sometimes I think that the media creates the news.  It is very easy to speculate, but the writers and broadcasters don't now what goes on behind the scenes.

I will have to take the off season also known as the Hot Stove League one day at a time and hople for the best.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Which Met Team Will Show Up Tonight?

In both the regular and post seasons the Mets have been inconsistent.  Last night's game which they lost 5-3 really showed that.  Let me bring out some points:

1. Tyler Clippard was lights out during his first 20 games with the Mets. but his two walks last night in the 8th inning gave the game to the Royals.
2. Daniel Murphy's hitting has cooled off during the World Series.  His error at second base was crucial as his fielding at times is erratic.
3. Yoenis Cespedes' fielding leaves something to be desired as for the second time he kicked a ball in the outfield.  His hitting has cooled off as well.
4.  Terry Collins has made some poor pitching choices.  Last night he should have stayed with Colon and Niese longer.

It should be an active Hot Stove League this winter as many free agents will try to get big bucks.  They should not be given outrageous salaries for mult-years based on a hot streak.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Mets Beat KC 9-3 in Game 3 of the World Series

The Mets certainly did not want to fall behind 3-0 so this was a must win situation.  The bats finally came to life as David Wright and Curtis Granderson hit home runs to highlight a 9-3 victory.  Noah Syndergaard  pitched well but had to be taken out after the 6th inning.  Bullpen performances by Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia were perfect as the Mets held on to win.

Game Recap

The Mets are still trailing in the series 2-1.  Steven Matz pitches tonight while Matt Harvey is scheduled for game 5 on Sunday.  In any event the Mets will have to win one game in Kansas City if they are to take the series.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Mets Overcame a 2-0 Deficit in the 1986 World Series

Things didn't go too well for the Amazin' Mets as they lost decisively 7-1 to the Kansas City Royals in Game 2 of the World Series.  It doesn't look promising as they are now trailing 2-0 in the Fall Classic, but let's look back at 1986.  They lost the first two games of the series 1-0 and 9-3 at Shea Stadium.  They bounced back to win the series in 7 games.

This year they lost the first two on the road and return home for the next 3 games.  There is always the advantage of being the home team wih the fans in the stands rooting for you.  The Royals will be at another disadvatange as their pitchers will have to bat.  Let's hope the momentum will change.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This is a Good Night - A New Bob Dylan Book and the Mets Start the World Series

I received the books seen above from when I came home tonight.  I didn't have to schlep it from a bookstore :).  Anyway it is an encyclopedia of all the songs that Dylan recorded in chronological order.  The compilers give their interpretation of the songs and list all the musicians at the sessions.  I just had a little time to skim through it before dinner and Jeopardy.  I am impressed with what I have seen.  Remember Dylan's songs are vague and open to interpretation.  This is a big coffee table book so I won't be able to take it on the trains to work.

In 10 minutes I will turn off my computer and watch the Mets play in the World Series for the first time in 15 years.  I will have more on that in future journal entries.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Random Comments of the Day

I don't understand why people congratulate me as the Mets are in the World Series.  I didn't do anything. :)

Very often I take the subway to the Union Square station to get the New York Metropolitan Library Council.  I usually take the #7 to Grand Central and take the #4 or #5 to go downtown.  Both of those trains are always very crowded so today I took the N Train at Union Square to the #7 at Queensboro Transit.  It was much less crowded.

I got a laugh when I heard that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got a slap on the wrist for being loud in the quiet car on Amtrak.  His excuse was that he didn't realize that it was the quiet car.  What would be his excuse if he was caught on the Newark Light Rail without a validated ticket?  Duh, I thought the ride was for free.  They should punish him by putting him on an NJ Transit train that gets stuck for 2 hours in the tunnel under the Hudson River.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Steve Jobs - Bob Dylan Fan Extraordinaire

Today we walked over to the local multiplex to see Steve Jobs.  It was noted in the film that Steve was a big fan of Bob Dylan as he made references to his songs.  My only disappointment was that the story ended in 1998 as I thought there would be treatment of the development of the iPod, iPhone, iPad.  Steve faced pancreatic cancer after the time frame covered by the movie.

My friend Roy told me that he always sits through all of the credits after every movie he sees.  Today I couldn't walk out as Shelter from the Storm was played during the credits.  It made my list of favorite 25 Dylan songs for personal reasons.

It Will be the Mets vs Kansas City Royals in the World Series

Last night the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 to take the ALCS 4 games to 3.  I was watching the game until 11:20 last night when there was a rain delay with the score tied.  When I woke up I found out the KC won the game and the series.

I don't know that much about the KC Royals, so I don't feel qualified to make objective predictions.  Here is a preview from the CBS New York web site.  In a short series anything can happen.  I think the hitting for the Mets will have to be hot for them to win.  The starting pitching will have to go long as the middle relief has been inconsistent.  Jeurys Familia has been lights out but you never know when he can have a bad game.

Lets go Mets!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Mets Win The Pennant! The Mets Win the Pennant!

In last night's Game 4 the Mets score 6 runs in the first two innings and held on to beat the Cubs 8-3 to gain a sweep of the NLCS.  Lucas Duda drove in 5 runs and NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy hit a home run in his 6th straight postseason game to set a record. Now the Mets have to wait to play the winner of Toronto/Kansas City ALCS in the World Series.

Game summary

At the beginning of the season I would have been happy with an 85-77, but Sandy Alderson made the right moves before the trade deadline to put the Mets over the top.  They finished 90-72 in the regular season which was only the fifth best record in the National League.  But they got hot during the playoffs.

Now it is time for all of the fair weather fans to come out.  I have been a Met fan since the team's inception in 1962 and have suffered through some very difficult times.  I was there in the early years, the late 1970s after the Seaver trade, the early 1990s, and the collapses in 2007 and 2008.

Since I had a 10 ticket package I had a chance to buy World Series tickets.  The price for upper deck seats were $210 while standing room cost $125.  I guess the wealthy fair weather fans will get the tickets.

Lets Go Mets!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Received an E-mail from Max Kinkel Today

My readers who are not radio enthusiasts may not know that Max Kinkel was a radio personality who did overnights on WCBS-FM for many years.  He had enthusiastic followers who phone him very late at night.  He likely broke the format of the oldies station by talking to listeners on the air.  If I remember correctly he left the station in 1995.  For a while he did morning drive at WNNJ (1300 AM) in Newton, NJ.  He hasn't been on the radio for years.

Today I received an e-mail from him:

Bruce Slutsky  are you an Orville Slutsky descendant who's
family owns Hunter Mountain?

I answered that I was not.  For many years I was asked if I was related to the Ellenville Slutskys who owned the Nevele.

I mentioned to him that Vic Monachelli who was one of his greatest fans passed away earlier this year.  I also asked Max what he was doing.

He has not yet responded to me.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Random Comments on a Monday Morning

I a rarely home on a Monday morning, but I am teaching a class from 6 - 7 PM so I am leaving at about 9:15 to arrive at work at about 11:00.  At least when I come in late I miss the rush hour so the commute is a little less stressful.

The Mets beat the Cubs 4-1 last night to take a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.  They could go all the way.  I never thought this would happen at the beginning of the season.  I would have been content with 85 victories and a second place finish.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wicked the Musical at the Gershwin Theater

Every October Karen and I go to a Broadway show to celebrate our anniversary.  This year we chose Wicked which has been on Broadway since October 2003.  This show certainly gets an A+ for sets and costumes.  There were many children in the audience as the play was about the Wizard of Oz and associated characters.

Below is a trailer from the show:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 16, 1983

It is hard to believe that Karen and I have been married for 32 years.  It was a warm and sunny autumn day when we walked down the aisle at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation.  If I had a scanner at home I would have included a wedding picture.  We are going to see the Broadway Show Wicked to celebrate on Saturday.

Happy Anniversary to Us!!

10th Anniversary of Bruce's Journal

It was 10 years ago today I strated this blog.  Back then I used the blogging service of AOL, but some years later AOL got out of the blogging business and transitioned everyone to Blogger run by Google.  So there have been oaver 2900 entries covering the ridiculous to the sublime.  Thus I have averaged a little less  than one entry per day.  I never indexed my entries so I don't have numbers for my major topics.  Here they are in no particular order:

  • New York Mets
  • Bob Dylan
  • Oldies Music including Youtube files of songs
  • Radio
  • Family activities
According to Blogger over 300,000 people have hit my journal.  Most of the hits were just for a few seconds.  I assume that most of the people who have read my journal are complete strangers, but there are some acquaintances who read it regularly.  Each entry is linked to Facebook and Twitter so many of my friends and followers have read entries.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mets 13 Dodgers 7 in First Postseason game at Citifield

 This was the first postseason game that I ever attended since going to games in 1957 when I was 8 years old.  There was not an empy seat in Citifeld as this was the first postseason game played there since it opened in 2009.  All of the Dodgers were booed as they were announced before the game.  The biggest boo that could be heard in Los Angeles was for Chase Utley whose aggresive play in Game 2 fractured Ruben Tejada's leg.  I was really surprised that he came out for the introductions, but he did not play in the game.  The biggest cheer came for Ruben.  Rusty Staub who recently suffered a heart attack threw out the first ball.

Matt Harvey was a little shaky as he allowed three runs in the second inning.  He left after the 5th inning after throwing 97 pitches.  The hitting for the Mets really came alive featuring two doubles by Curtis Granderson and home runs by Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud.  The Mets had a 13-4 in the top of the 9th but a shaky relief appearance by Eric Goeddel allowed 3 runs for the Dodgers.  Jeurys Familia came in to protect a 6 run lead, but it the post season you don't want to take any chances.

Beating the Dodgers decisively was the best revenge over the unfortunate incident on Saturday night.

Box Score

Below are photos of Karen and Lee.  My photo did not come out good.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Let's Win this Series for Ruben Tejada

I stayed up last night until 12:30 to watch the Mets play the Dodgers in game 2 of the NLDS.  There was a controvesial play in the 7th inning when Chase Utley aggressively slide into Ruben Tejada causing a fracture to his leg.  The umpires ruled Utley safe and the Dodgers scored 4 runs in that inning and won the game to tie the series a 1-1.

Joe Torre will rule on whether Utly should be suspended.  It did appear that his slide was overly aggresive.  The best "revenge" for the Mets is to beat the Dodgers in games 3 and 4 and dedicate the victory to Ruben Tejada who was a pleasant surprise this season.  There was talk at the beginning of the season of trading for another shortstop but Ruben did very well in the field and at bat.

I'll be at Citfield on Monday night for game 3.
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