Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Mets Sign Yoenis Cespedes for Big Bucks and I Get a Phone Call From the Mets Ticket Office

The news came through today that Yoenis Cespedes will get a 4 year deal from the Mets for $110 Million.  It will not become official until he passes a physical exam.  He is an excellent player, but not Hall of Fame material.  He certainly helped the Mets get to the World Series in 2015 and to the wild card game in 2016.  It is just he is at times inconsistent and did miss some time for injuries.

Meanwhile on the way home fromwork I received a cell phone call from the Mets ticket office trying to sell me tickets.  I guess they have to raise money to pay his salary.  Presently, the smallest partial plan is for 20 games which is just too much for me.  Also why should they hold my money for several months before the season begins.

Monday, November 28, 2016

I Got an Amazon Echo Today

I think I have been making Jeff Bezos a rich man as I have been buying so much stuff on Amazon.com.  I never liked to go shopping in stores anyway, so online shopping is the way to go for me.

Anyway, I have had a small Bluetooth speaker for a few years, but I decided to upgrade to something bigger and better.  Alexa on Amazon Echo is similiar to Siri on the iPhone and Cortana on Microsoft Windows 10.  I experimented with it for about an hour before Jeopardy tonight, so I'll have spend a little more time with it again.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Speedy Recovery to Brian Matthew

Brian Matthew and Sounds of the Sixties have appeared many times over the years in Bruce's Journal.  It has been on BBC2 for over 25 years and is aired in London 8 AM on Saturday mornings.  I discovered this show at least 10 years ago as there is a podcast.  I usually listen to it Sunday mornings.  It is a terrific show with a good blend of British hits rarely heard in the US and American oldies.

When I turned on the show this morning a different announcer, Tim Rice, announced that Brian is under the weather and will be out for a while.  Brian is 88 years old, so there is some concern for his health.  Back in late 2006 and early 2007 Brian was away from the show for about 6 months.

I am sure that I speak for all his listeners in the UK and the USA by wishing him a speedy recovery.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

South Carolina 64 Syracuse 50 at Barclays Center

Since the ticket prices for professional basketball are so high we usually go to several college basketball games a season.  This afternoon we took the subway to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to see the Syracuse Orangemen play the Gamecocks of South Carolina.  Most of the people were fans of Syracuse as that university has many students and alumni from the NYC area.  The Gamecocks really played tight defense as they held the #18 Orangemen to 50 points.

Game recap

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Radio Log for Thanksgiving Day

I guess I haven't done this in a while so here goes:

  • WFUV - morning show with Paul Cavalconte in for Corney O'Connell
  • WBGO - Morning show with Dan Karcher for Gary Walker
  • Buried Treasure Show with Tom Petty on SiriusXM
  • Rewound Radio - no repeat 60s weekend
  • WCBS-FM - Ross Britain for Scott Shannon
  • WFUV - I had to catch Alice's Restaurant at 12 noon
  • Q104.3 - Ian O'Malley was playing the station's Top 104.3
  • WCBS-FM - it's always good to hear Randy Davis even though the music mix stinks
  • WFUV - Rita Houston featured a concert that was on the air previously
  • NJ101.5 - I actually spoke to Don Tandler
  • Pop Gold Radio - this is Don Tandler's internet oldies station

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ralph Branca Should Be Remembered for Other Things

Ralph Branca who passed away today at age 90 was best known for pitching to Bobby Thompson who hit "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" in the 1951 playoffs as the New York Giants won the pennant.  Russ Hodges famous call was heard on radio station WMCA which was later a famous Top 40 station.

Ralph was a pretty good pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers Dodgers in the 1940s and 50s as seen below in his records taken from Baseball-Reference.  His lifetime record was 88-68.  He actually won 21 games for the 1947 Dodgers.

In 1962 and 63 the Met games were broadcast on WABC and Ralph was the sidekick of Howard Cossell for the pre- and postgame shows.

Ralph was also the father-in-law of former Met manager Bobby Valentine.

For the last 65 years of his life he had to suffer the infamy of that one pitch.

RIP Ralph

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

53rd Anniversary is Not a Milestone

Every year on November 22 I write something in this journal about the Kennedy assassination.  There is no need to repeat where I was at the time or the people I knew back in 1963 at Russell Sage Junior High School.  Since the 53rd anniversary is not a milestone year, there hasn't been much written or said in the mainstream media.  About 2/3 of the people living today were not yet born on that tragic day.

Even though the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, most people believe there was somewhat a conspiracy.  Perhaps in the year 2063 the Federal Government will tell everybody what really happened.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The THE BAND Band at the Iridium

The Performance above was at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY in July 2014

When a major group disbands or many of the original members pass away, tribute groups often form.  There are umpteen Beatles tribute groups and Elvis Presley impersonators out there.  Since 1968 I have been a fan of The Band which recorded with Bob Dylan and by themselves for many years.  Original members Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Levon Helm passed away while Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson are still living.

Last night we went to see The THE BAND Band, a tribute group, at The Iridium on Broadway and 51st Street.  I guess if the original group is no longer around, a tribute group is the next best thing.  They performed mostly early Band recordings of the late 60s and early 70s.  They played a few songs done on the Jericho album from 1991.  The only two Dylan songs that they played were Like a Rolling Stone and I Shall be Released.  I wish they would have played This Wheel on Fire, but they just couldn't do everything.

We enjoyed the show.  I do remember seeing the original group at Central Park in the Summer of 1971,

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bob Dylan Will Not Go to Stockholm to Pick Up His Nobel Prize

Rolling Stone magazine and other sources report that Bob Dylan will not go to Stockholm to accept his Nobel Prize.  He told the Swedish Academy that previous committments preclude him from accepting the prize in person.  I assume that someone will go in his place to accept it, but who?  I must respectfully disapprove of Dylan's actions here.  Winning a Nobel Prize is an honor bestowed on a very select few.  What committments does he have?  The last concert on this leg of the Never Ending Tour is November 23 while the ceremony in Stockholm is December 10.  Maybe he is just lazy.  There will be a reception that day in his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota honoring him for winning the prize.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leon Russell Passes Away at Age 74

News travels very fast in this era of social media.  This morning I logged into Facebook and found out that Leon Russell passed away at age 74.  There was a link to the announcement on his offical web site.  There is a good obituary including a summary of his musical accomplishments from NPR.  Thus I will try to make this journal entry unique.

I searched Youtube and found a video of Leon at BB Kings in November 2011 praising Bob Dylan.   He said that Dylan taught him everything he knew about songwriting.

I had the pleasure of seing Leon in concert once in August 2011 when he opened for Bob Dylan at Jones Beach.  If you link to that journal entry there is a Youtube video of  his singing A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall.  Below is a Youtube video of Leon sing another Dylan composition Watching the River Flow.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Report on the 2016 Oldies Meet and Greet at Ben's Deli

Cool Bobby B Spoke to the Group About
How He Produced a Doo Wop Concert

Jeff Scheckner and I have organized these gatherings of oldies radio enthusiasts since 2006.  Every year Jeff makes an effort to get a well known NYC radio personality to come, but this year several sent their regrets.  It is more important to me for people who "know each other" through social media to meet face to face at least once a year.  Electronic relationships are just not the same as meeting people in the flesh.

In the past we have had as many as 80 people come to these events.  Perhaps many just came to meet the celebrity that agreed to come.  This year the turnout was somewhat lower since we did not have a DJ from a major NYC radio station.  Cool Bobby B as seen in the photo above who has come for several years spoke to the group on how he succeeded in producing a Doo Wop Concert on a shoestring budget.  Louise Murray, another regular, sang for us again.

Until next year.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Bye Bye Bartolo Colon - Thanks for 3 Good Seasons for the Mets

You just can't get too attached to a ball player these days as you never know when they will leave your team.  It is very rare today when a superstar like Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams will play his entire career with one team.

Today Bartolo Colon signed a one year $12.5 Million contract with the Atlanta Braves.  You have to think about the Mets' options here.  Although Bartolo had an excellent season for the Mets last year winning 15 games, he is 43 years old.  You never know when an "elderly" athlete will all of a sudden lose his skills.  Bartolo was injury free last season when 4 of the Mets yonger players lost much time due to injuries.

My favorite memories of Bartolo was seeing him run out two doubles at Citifield.  His home run in San Diego was "amazing".  Thanks for 3 good seasons for the Mets.

I Just Received 36 Bob Dylan CDs - That Will Keep Me Busy For A While

In September I mentioned in this journal the announcement of the Bob Dylan 1966 Live Recordings.  This boxed set inlcudes all of his concerts in April and May of 1966.  I received my package from Amazon.com today.  I decided to listen to one CD a week for the next 36 weeks.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Should Have Listened to More of Leonard Cohen

 I just found out on Facebook and Twitter that Leonard Cohen just passed about at age 82.  To be honest, I really didn't spend much time over the years listening to him.  From time to time his recordings were played on WFUV, but I never bought any of his albums.  With 20/20 hindsight I really should have since his 50 year career as a singer/songwriter was legendary.

Biography in Rolling Stone

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Oy Vey, Donald Trump will be the Next President

I went to sleep last night at about 11:15 thinking that this close election would not be resolved for several hours.  I promised myself I would not wake up in the middle of the night to check the results.  I woke up at about 5:45 (normal wakeup time for me is 6:10) and looked at my phone and saw that Donald Trump won as he took most of the battleground states.  I can only pray for the future of this country.  Will he be the same jerk as he was as a candidate?  The Republicans will also have control of the House and Senate.  Who will be appointed to the Supreme Court and to cabinet positions?

Michael Moore when he was interviewed on NBC last night summarized it perfectly as he said that Trump conned the American public into thinking that he was best for the presidency.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voice Your Choice by the Radiants - Appropriate Oldie for Today

I remember hearing Murray the K play this all those years ago when he was a DJ at WINS.  It was released in late 1964, but only peaked at #51 in the Billboard chart.  I think it is quite appropriate for today.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Thank Goodness it is Almost Over

In 48 hours I will sitting at my TV screen watching the election returns.  Will it be over by 11 PM or be a cliffhanger?  In any event I will be happy that it will be over as I have to vote for the lesser of the two evils.  I would like to comment that I feel that the electoral college should be abolished.  In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote, but since he lost in the electoral college George W. Bush became president.  In the campaign the two candidates have visited the so called battleground states. I guess Trump has conceded NY State to Clinton so nobody has camapigned here.

Oy Vey!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

New Hewlett Packard Printer for the Computer

I must of had my old HP inkjet printer for at least 7 years.  The last several times I have tried to print, there were problems so I thought it was time to get a new one.  This device is a combination printer, scanner and photocopier.  I was able to get it for $60 at Amazon.com.  The "catch" with printers is that in the long run you pay more for ink than you do for the printer itself.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Preview of Bob Dylan The 1966 Live Recordings

In September I announced in this journal the 36 CD set of every live Dylan recording from 1966.  As it is now only 8 days from the release of this boxed set a preview was released today on the NPR web site.  As I am writing this I am listening to the preview.  Back then he actually talked to the audience.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Oh Well - New York City Law Only Allows for Naming or Co-Naming Street for the Deceased.

It was short and sweet as my quest to name a street in Forest Hills after Simon and Garfunkel ended as I found out from an official source that streets in NYC can only be named or co-named after dead people.  I sent my query to Community Board #6 which covers Forest Hills and received a prompt response.  This is what I received:

Standards for Council Consideration of Street Co-naming

Subjects Must Be either:

An individual who:

1. Is deceased; and

2.   a. Was a New York City resident or native; or

      b. Was an individual of particular importance to a significant population of New York City;  and

3.   a. Whose contributions to art, science, culture, politics, education, society or health and safety have a lasting positive impact on a city community, the city, the state, the country or the world; or

      b. Who knowingly risked their own life to save the life of another person in an act of heroism above and beyond the call of duty; or 

                  c. Who engaged in extensive community involvement or activism, including, but not    limited to, the providing of aid to members of a community in need; or

                  d. Was a uniformed member of the Department of Correction, the Fire Department, the Police Department or the Department of Sanitation who died in the line of duty.

Organizations or Cultural Works that have:

1. Had an enduring or lasting impact on large segments of the City’s population, or have undertaken an act or acts that had an enduring or lasting impact on a community; and

2. Whose importance to the City or whose enduring or lasting impact is a result of exemplary acts or achievements which reflect positively on the City.

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