Thursday, April 29, 2010

WABC Rewound is gone

I am going to assume that readers of this journal entry are all radio enthusiasts so I won't explain what is WABC Rewound. Allan Sniffen, moderator of the New York Radio Message Board, announced in his board reflections podcast that this program will not be heard on 770 AM or online this year. It was heard on Memorial Day on the station from 1999-2008, while only mp3 files were made available in 2009. Allan announced that on Memorial Day weekend he will play back airchecks done over the past 10 years on his Rewound Radio.

It is possible that new airchecks made by collectors have surfaced over the past year, but the management of WABC radio has retired the show. I am probably repeating what I said a year ago is that we must think about this in a logical way. Over the years the euphoria over Rewound has waned. The station can not program to the radio geeks who are a small number. I am not in the radio business, but I presume that few people listen to talk radio on a major summer holiday. Apparently, WABC feels it can make more money by airing reruns of their regular weekday programming.

I like thank Johnny Donovan, Peter Kanze, Rob Frankel and many others for making it possible over the years. Thanks to Allan Sniffen for providing it this year online.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Look Who's Number 1

We are only 21 games into the season, but the Mets with a 12-9 record are leading the National League East by 1/2 game. They have won their last 6 games. They had a good record going into May last season when the injuries started to decimate the team. The pitching and hiting have both been consistently good till now. In a 162 game season everything evens out, so we will just have to wait to see if the good play holds up.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tonight's Met game was rained out

As part of a 6 game package we had tickets for the Mets against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. There has been a light rain all day, so it was postponed and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 4 PM. Nobody likes sitting in a damp and cold stadium so I am glad the game was called off. We can exchange the tickets for another game later this season.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blue Monday by Fats Domino

Although today is Sunday it was damp and dreary all day and felt like a Blue Monday. Since I am still into blue songs I thought I may as well post that song today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Memphis the Musical - Our Birthday Treat

One you associate Memphis and music you think about Stax-Volt, Elvis Presley, and Beale Street. None of these three are depicted in this excellent Broadway show. My radio enthusiast friends would appreciate the references to fictional Memphis radio stations in the 1950s. The story is completely fictional, but does reflect the racial climate of the south during that time. Rhythm and Blues done by Black performers (the term Negro was used back then) was the precursor to Rock and Roll. Huey Calhoun played by Chad Kimball is a disk jockey who plays black music to a white audience. He falls in love with Felicia played by Montego Glover. Back then interracial dating and marriage was not accepted. The music and dancing were excellent. We were lucky to see two fantastic musicals this spring.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Deep Blue - George Harrison

It is a Friday with writer's cramp for me so I scratched my head and thought of Deep Blue by George Harrison. Facebook friends can see it at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finally, something is coming to the Caldor's Site in Flushing

Since 1999 the site of Caldor's Department store in downtown Flushing has been an eyesore. The Queens Tribune reports that a major superstore will open at that site. The ground floor will be retail space; the second floor will be a supermarket while the top level will be a Chinese restaurant. I pick up either Q20A/B or Q44 at that spot on the way home from work. It will be nice to see that eyesore gone after all these years.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

6 years and 1 day Apart

When I met Karen for the first time in 1980, I noticed a knick-knack with the astrology sign Taurus. I promptly asked when is her birthday. She said April 22. Ever since then we have had joint birthday celebrations. You can do the math and determine her age. Readers of this journal would know that I am an avid fan of Brian Matthew's Sounds of the 60s on BBC2. Exactly 3 years ago Brian played my dedication of Petula Clark's " I Couldn't Live Without Your Love." You can hear the aircheck at . I have only succeeded twice in about 5 attempts to make a dedication on this show. You can als hear the song at this Youtube site Happy Birthday Karen!!

Life is a highway and today I completed Highway 61

You never know when a Bob Dylan song will hit close to home. I first heard it in 1965 when I was 16 years old. Life is very much like a highway which can can go uphill, downhill, or stay on a plateau. The trip can be turbulent, happy or uneventful. I would classify my last year as being somewhat mundane with too much of "same old." As one gets older people become more resistant and even fearful of change. We are in a comfort zone when we do the same thing over again, but this can be boring. I would have to say the highlight of my year was celebrating my mothers 90th birthday. She is in excellent health for her age. Getting an iPhone would be a very distant second place. On the negative side, this past year I had to face rejection for the silliest of reasons.

I thank everyone for their kind birthday wishes.

According to the Dylan covers database Highway 61 Revisited was covered over 300 times. I am posting the version by Ben Sidran which I first heard on WBGO. He has a CD of covers called Dylan Different. My name for this CD is Dylan with Diction. Facebook friends can see and hear it at

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61”

Well Georgia Sam he had a bloody nose
Welfare Department they wouldn’t give him no clothes
He asked poor Howard where can I go
Howard said there’s only one place I know
Sam said tell me quick man I got to run
Ol’ Howard just pointed with his gun
And said that way down on Highway 61

Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
I got forty red, white and blue shoestrings
And a thousand telephones that don’t ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things
And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son
And he said yes I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61

Now the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren’t right
My complexion she said is much too white
He said come here and step into the light, he says hmm you’re right
Let me tell the second mother this has been done
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61

Now the rovin’ gambler he was very bored
He was tryin’ to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done
We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Google Analytics and this Journal

Google Analytics is a tool where people can analyze the activity of a web site. I have used it for most of the time the Bruce's Journal has been in existance. Some facts:
  • This journal averages about 25 hits per day
  • The most popular post is about my top 10 followers on Facebook
  • All of a sudden a book review I wrote about Bill O'reilly has gotten many hits. I commented that he has very strong Catholic values
  • For a while an entry about kosher delis closing in Queens closing received a lot of hits
  • For over a year articles that I wrote about Don K Reed and Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor have been popular.
  • Google analytics can not reveal the identity of a viewer, but sometimes I can figure out who it is from the geographic location.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Moody Blue - Elvis Presley

Another day with writer's cramp so I am posting a video of Moody Blue by Elvis Presley. The video is a montage of Elvis wearing blue or having a blue background. This song was released several months before his death. Speaking of Elvis, my radio enthusiast friends should enjoy the Elvis and Friends show hosted by Ron Cade on Sundays 7 AM - 10 AM on WOGL Philadelphia. for years I used to trade for tapes of it. For the past few Sundays I have heard it on internet radio. There is a syndicated show called Elvis Only hosted by Jay Gordon. WMTR in Morristown, NJ used to carry it, but now I'd have to hear a podcast of it. Back to Moody Blue. My Facebook friends can hear it at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

At least the Mets won this game

The Mets have played some bizarre games in their history. In the first 11 games of this season the pitching seems to be good, but the hitting is from hunger. You can read the details in this recap as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 20 innings. I think this time it was the Cardinals that couldn't capitalize when they had runners in scoring position. The Mets had only 9 hits in 20 innings. The Cardinals actually used 2 position players as pitchers. That is a rarity.

Perhaps the rules in Major League Baseball should be changed to allow for players to return to a game after they are taken out. Baseball is the only sport where a player is disqualified when he leaves a game. Hockey (the shoot out to break a tie), pro football (the 2 point conversion after a touchdown) and basketball (the 3 point goal) have made major rule changes over the years. Perhaps baseball can make some changes as well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Long Island Radio and TV Day at CW Post

Today we went to the Long Island Radio and TV Day at CW Post on Long Island. The first nice thing was meeting many of my fellow radio enthusiast friends:
  • Alan Berman
  • Linda Cohen
  • Mary Shaw
  • Paula Ross
  • Andrea Wiener
  • Bill Dillane
  • Larry Stoler
  • Alan Seltzer

I also met several people in the radio business for the first time. Many of them are Facebook friends:

  • Don K Reed - Former WCBS-FM radio personality (see photo above)
  • Don Tandler - WHTG (AM) The Breeze and Thunder 98.5 under the name Kris McNeil
  • Big Tom Lawler - WMTR
  • Pete Fornatale - WFUV (see photo above)
  • Tony Warren - former WCBS-FM newsman
  • Keith Allen - B-103
  • Famous Amos - WCBS-FM - he is a cousin of Barbara Kebbekus who retired a few years ago as a chemistry rofessor at NJIT

There were many other people in the radio business. I would have like to have met Ted David, but he was really busy everytime I saw him. There are more photos of mine at They are also posted to my Facebook account.

I also met Clay Cole there. I had met him back in November at the Beatles show in Stamford, CT

The highlight of the day was hearing Pete Fornatale talk about Woodstock. He played a short tape of his doing a commercial on WNEW-FM for Woodstock in July 1969. The funniest thing was a video he played of Joe Cocker singing With a Little Help From My Friends at Woodstock. Much of his singing was garbled, so video had some funny lyrics in the song. Pete debunked a story that there were babies born at Woodstock.

It was a very enjoyable day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Montague Street (Journal of Bob Dylan)

In my career of as a science/engineering librarian I have been exposed to many technical journals which by their nature are written for specialists in their respective fields. Over the years I have read many popular books about Bob Dylan. The ones in my personal collection is listed at . For the first time I found out about a journal devoted to the works of Bob Dylan. It is called Montague Street named after a street mentioned in "Tangled Up in Blue." Since the editors, Nina Goss and Lucas Stensland, live in Brooklyn, I assume they are referring to the street there.

In an introduction to the first issue Nina and Lucas state that the scope of this work is in the artistry of Dylan. Some years ago I subscribed to the fanzine On the Tracks which ceased publication. I am aware of Isis and a few other intellecutal Dylan publications, but this is the only academic journal I am aware of devoted to Dylan. I did a search in a humanities database and there are many peer reviewed articles about Mr. Zimmerman.

When I got the journal I looked at the credentials of the contributing authors. Several of them are Professors at prestigious universities. I actually had the magazine with me yesterday when I had my long train delay. About half of the articles were devoted the the album Oh Mercy for its 20th anniversary. This was not my favorite Dylan album, but I still enjoyed it.

This periodical is not for the casual Dylan fan. I enjoyed reading it though it was a little too intellectual for me even with a masters degrees in chemistry and library science. The authors give very detailed analyses of Dylan's words while my approach to his analysis is somewhat cursory. I can pick lines out of context and ignore the rest of the song.

I was almost shocked to read that Nina Goss started listening to Dylan in 2005, while I started back in 1965 after I heard Like a Rolling Stone on Top 40 radio. I guess 45 years of listening and reading about Dylan should qualify me to write an article. The editors say that the credentials of the author are less important than the substance of the contribution . The theme of the next issue is confinement. Let me scratch my head.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bad Commute Home Tonight

You never know when this is going to happen. The New Jersey Transit train pulled out of the Secaucus station toward the Hudson River tunnel and came to a stop. The conductors announced that there were signal problems in Penn Station and that trains were not moving in or out of the station. We just sat there for one hour until the train moved. The conductors did a good job of keeping the passengers informed about what was going on. I didn't get home until 7 PM.

To add insult to injury New Jersey Transit is raising it fares 25% on May 1. Why can't they maintain the signals so they don't break down. Read about my last major delay last October.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Me, The Mob and The Music by Tommy James

I was able to pick up this book at the local public library. People listen to music all of the time, but don't realize what goes on behind the scenes. This autobiography traces Tommy James (born Tommy Jackson) from his childhood in Niles, Michigan to his rise and fall as a rock star. Hanky Panky was a local hit on a small label, but launched Tommy's career. Tommy became involved with Morris Levy, the President of Roulette Records who had mob connections. For a while Tommy had to carry a gun with him because he was afraid the mobsters would get him. I highly recommend this book to my oldies enthusiast friends. My only complaint is that the book stops at 1989, so readers don't know what has done professional over the last 20 ears. Recently, he has been interviewed on several radio shows about the book.

For a number of years WCBS-FM played his hit Mony Mony to death. I had to turn off the radio or change the station every time it came on, since I was so tired of hearing it. It was never a bad record, it was just overplayed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan

It's time for another blue song. This is Lee's favorite Dylan song "Tangled Up in Blue". The video below is from the Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid 1970s and was seen in the film Reynaldo and Clara. Facebook friends can see it at

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Reviews for Million Dollar Quartet

Million Dollar Quartet opened last night after completing its previews. The reviews of it were very good. The one that really counts was by Charles Isherwood of the New York Times. You can read it by clicking on the link.

Will it be a box office hit like Jersey Boys? There were many empty seats in the theater when we saw it on March 28. There have been TV ads for it lately, so hopefully it will catch on.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Sunny Sunday

1. I had my usual phone conversation with Roy today at 9 AM. We talked about the Shalimar Diner in Rego Park. I recalled that in 1972 there was a fire on 63rd Drive that destroyed the library and several stores. The library moved across the street while the Shalimar diner was built on the site of the fire. Roy and his parents used to go there regular, but Roy han't been back there since his mother passed away.

2. I read one article from Montague Street: The Art of Bob Dylan , a new magazine edited by Nina Gross. I am going to have to sit down with this and write a review for this journal.

3. We walked around Douglaston and Little Neck early this afternoon.

4. The Mets have not looked good so far as they have lost 4 out of their first 6 games. Pitiching seems OK, but they just can't hit in the clutch. It is still very early, but if the team is not competitive this season, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel must go.

5. The Rangers lost 2-1 in an overtime shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers and missed out on the playoffs.

6. The Knicks lost their 52nd game of the season. Only two games to go. Donny Walsh had better keep David Lee. If the teams sucks next season that he and Mike D'Antoni must go.

7. I reconnected with Jean O'Conner from P.S. 139. She said she enjoyed reading this blog. I'm glad you enjoy it Jean.

8. Barry Scott featured 1977 on the Lost 45s tonight. That was not a very good year for me, so I turned it off. It is still a very good show and I recommend it highly.

9. Million Dollar Quartet opens tonight after 4 weeks of previews. I will check the reviews and report here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Our First Met game of the Season - Mets lose 4-3 to the Nationals

When noticed some changes as we approached Citifield this afternoon. The Home Run Apple from Shea Stadium was moved to the front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. There were also many banners saluting Mets stars of the past. The Mets Hall of Fame and Museum was opened for this second season of Citifield. It was crowded so it was hard to get close up to the many artificacts. We'll have to come back later in the season to spend more time there.

Our seats wer behind home plate in the upper deck. We met Alan Berman, the Dean of Oldies Listeners who is also a big fan of the Mets. The bad Oliver Perez was the starting pitcher as he allowed 4 runs, 4 hits, and 4 walks. Those bases on balls can really kill you. Willie Taveras drove in all 4 runs while Willie Harris made a diving catch to end the game as the Mets left the bases loaded and failed to score. You must hit in the clutch to win ball games.

Game Summary from ESPN

Friday, April 9, 2010

Random Thoughts of the Day

Today the boss took 4 people in the NJIT library to lunch who had birthdays in March or April.

Congratulations to Jeremy Garritano of Purdue University for earning tenure and being promoted to Associate Professor.

I recieved the following items in the mail today:
  • Soundtrack CD of the musical Memphis that we will see on April 24
  • Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge's Greatest Hits
  • Neil Sedaka's new CD

Umpire Joe West complained that Yankee-Red Sox games take too long. I must agree with him. How many times must the catcher have to run out to consult with the pitcher. Why must the batter call time so often? A good pitcher should know how to through to right and left handed batters.

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens has announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. There will obviously be a big fight when the president announces his nominee.

Have a nice weekend everybody.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Linda Cohen - Mary Shaw - Facebooks Friends of the Day

I just can't choose one of them as Facebook Friend of the Day, so I picked both. I first met both of them through a WCBS-FM folder on America Online around 1996. I organized the first meet and greet of oldies enthusiast around 1998 with them and Al Gordon at Mendy's deli on East 42nd Street. We have kept in touch ever since. I remember when I heard the dreadful news of the hijacking of June 3, 2005 I went online and initiated a chat with Linda. I give her a big Oy Vey! I didn't know how Mary would react since she has been the #1 listener of WCBS-FM for many years. We survived that have maintained our enthusiasm for the oldies.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blue Velvet by Bobby Vinton

I am now into my second day of writer's cramp. Since I am still into Bobby Vinton and blue, I am posting his version of Blue Velvet. Facebook friends may see and hear it at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blue on Blue by Bobby Vinton

Besides being a color the word blue is used as a synonym for sadness. Since there is nothing much to write about today I will post Blue on Blue by Bobby Vinton. Facebook friends can see it at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day of the Baseball Season 2010

After a very snowy winter, the baseball season is finally here. The Yankees opened last night at Fenway Park against the hated Red Sox. We were home last night and watched most of the game. Those Yankee-Red Sox matchups are always very long. Both teams work out long counts and foul off many pitches. I just hate it when the manager takes out the pitcher after one batter. Anyway the Yankees lost 9 -7.

Game Summary
The Mets were more successful as they beat the Florida Marlins 7-1. The Mets have now won 32 of their last 41 openers after losing their first 8. It is a good start, but there are still 161 games left. The starting rotation after Johann Santana will likely be inconsistent this season.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reviewing the Color Songs on Bruce's Journal

Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that on days when I just don't know what to write, I post a color song. Let me take this opportunity to review what I have posted to date. I will move on to blue songs the next time I have writers cramp.

Colours - Donovan - November 20
She’s a Rainbow - Rolling Stones - November 25
White Room - Cream - November 30
Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues - December 4
A Whiter Shade of Pale - Dec 7
Black is Black - Los Bravos - Dec 9
Baby’s in Black - Beatles - Dec 14
Black Magic Woman - Santana - Dec 16
Black and White - Three Dog Night - Dec 18
Shades of Gray - Monkees - December 21
Yellow Submarine - Beatles - December 24
Mellow Yellow - Donovan - December 30
Tie a Yellow Ribbon - January 7
Yellow River - Christie - January 12
Green Tambourine - Lemon Pipers January 22
Green Onions - Booker T and the Mgs - January 27
Green, Green Grass of Home - February 16
Green Green - New Christie Minstrels March 3
Jolly Green Giant - Kingsmen March 5
Orange Blossom Special - Johnny Cash - March 10
Green Grass - Gary Lewis and the Playboys - March 16
Blue Moon - Marcels - March 18

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Willie Mays The Life The Legend

Over the years I have read many biographies of public figures. Most readers don't realize all the work the an author must do as he writes a book on any topic. James S. Hirsch was born in 1962 and was only 11 years when the Say Hey Kid retired from baseball. He interviewed over 130 people, reviewed over 4000 articles and other documents, and read 135 books in researching Willie. It is an authorized biography since Willie with all of the author's efforts in compiling this book.

I like Hirsch's chrnological method as the reader knows the time frame of each chapter. He includes some personal aspect of Willie's life without being gossipy. There were significant racial issues when Mays broke into baseball in the early 1950s. Jackie Robinson was traded to the Giants before 1957, but retired instead of reporting. It is a shame that Jackie and Willie never played together. I was aware the Mrs. Joan Payson, first owner of the Mets tried to trade for Mays for years, but didn't get him until 1972 when his skill had greatly eroded. He played poorly and spradically during his tenure with the Mets.

The book is very detailed and does not bore the reader with insignificant minutae. It was over 550 pages so it will require several hours over a number of sittings to finish. I spent much time on the rainy days this week reading it. I highly recommend this book for all baseball fans.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yes, it was a Good Friday

NJIT was closed today, so for that reason alone it was a good Friday. I brought my car into a local service station for an oil change and state inspection. Everything was OK. The mechanic noted that my car is in good condition for a 10 year old car. I only have 38,000 miles on it and keep it in a garage. For the most part it has been a weekend car. I took a drive over to Alley Pond Park in eastern Queens and spent some time reading the biography of Willie Mays.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some Random Thoughts About Facebook

I wonder if Facebook has past its peak in popularity. I think some people have left the service completely or just abandoned their accounts. I have had good and bad experiences with this #1 social networking site. I started out trying to build a large list of friends, but realized that this is not the right thing. Should I care if a one time acquaintance is walking in the park today? On the other hand I have had some good reconnections with people I haven't heard from in 40 years. Most of these reconnections were brief. I recently sent a long e-mail to an old graduate student friend reminiscing about the old days, but didn't get a reply.
There have been some misunderstandings about friending and unfriending people. One big oldies enthusiast whom I've met, for some strange reason de-friended me. I just can't let it bother me. When I read the posts of one person in Florida whom I've never met, I think to myself that I am just glad that I am not in his predicament. He seems to be extremely frustrated and bitter about his situation.
I think Facebook is here today, but it will gradually lose popularity as other social networking sites gain populairty. I will keep my account, but should spend less time with it.
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