Monday, November 29, 2010

I ordered an Amazon Kindle today

Since today is Cyber Monday I just had to jump on the bandwagon and purchase something online.  Of course I wouldn't have to fight the crowds and wait on line at a shopping mall.  I have been mulling this over for several months and today finally took the plunge and bought an Amazon Kindle.  I very often purchase books which are large and heavy and difficult to schlep to work.  If a book is heavy, I can't read it unless I get a seat.  The Amazon Kindle obviously solves that problem.  I have to think of what will be the first book that I order online.  Hmm, I have probably read every Bob Dylan book that has ever been written.  I have a couple of days to think about it until my package arrives.  Readers of Bruce's Journal or my Facebook friends are welcome to make suggestions.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan

How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan

When I listen to the radio, I try to be play close attention to what the DJ says.  This morning as I was listening to my favorite show Sounds of the 60s on BBC2 Brian Matthew played Maggies Farm by Solomon Burke who recently passed away.  Brian said that this cut was from a compilation CD titled How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan.  I have several CDs of Bob Dylan covers in different genres of music.  I did some quick research and found it on  I ordered it right away after I saw the track listing:

3. I PITY THE POOR IMMIGRANT - Marion Williams
4. MAGGIE'S FARM - Solomon Burke
6. FROM A BUICK 6 - Gary US Bonds
7. THE MAN IN ME - The Persuasions
8. LIKE A ROLLING STONE - Major Harris
9. WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE - The Neville Brothers
10. MR TAMBOURINE MAN - Con Funk Shun
11. MASTERS OF WAR - The Staple Singers
12. I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT - Bill Brandon
14. KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR - Booker T Jones
16. JUST LIKE A WOMAN - Nina Simone
17. I SHALL BE RELEASED - Freddie Scott
18. LAY LADY LAY - The Isley Brothers

I am familiar with only a few of these versions of Dylan songs.  I greatly anticipate my package from this week.  Thank you Brian Matthew for bringing this compilation CD to the attention of your loyal listeners.  You are truly a "Radio Mensch".

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Last Boy Mickey Mantle

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and finally found some time to read it.  I am about half way through it.  Baseball as a game and as a business was certainly much different in the 1950s than it is today.  Back then the owners had the upper hand since there was a reserve clause.  Every player had to fight for a raise after every year and could not declare free agency.  It was certainly difficult for Mickey who was born in Commerce, Oklahoma to play in New York.   Despite his many injuries he really could smack the ball.  The author Jane Leavy devoted much time to a home run that he hit in Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC that supposedly traveled 565 feet.  Sadly the Mick's drinking problem lead to his early passing at age 64.

From 1958-1961 I rooted for the Yankees since there was no National League baseball in NYC back then.  The book brought back memories on how the Yankees dominated baseball in that era.  When I pick up the book again I will read about the historic 1961 season where Maris and Mantle aimed at Babe Ruth's 60 home runs without steroids.  I highly recommend this book to younger baseball fans so they could learn about Mickey Mantle's impact in that earlier era.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Random Thoughts on "Black Friday"

Wikipedia reports that the term Black Friday was first used in Philadelphia in 1966 to describe the shopping frenzy on the day after Thanksgiving.  The article states that the term became more common starting in 1975.  Since I just hate shopping, I just stayed away from all shopping malls today,  I just hate the crowds and waiting to pay.  For those reasons I have become a big online shopper over the years.

The closest I got to a shopping mall was the College Point Multiplex where we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Since this was the second week of its release the theater was not too crowded.  These fantasy movies are just not for me.

Karen and Lee voted for their top 5 oldies on the poll done on the Oldies Message Board.  After Christmas Bob Radil will play the top 77 hits as voted by the listeners.

 The TV show Live with Regis and Kelly is holding a contest for a male radio co-host of the day.  I voted for Cousin Bruce Morrow.  I hope my radio friends vote for their favorite host.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Alice's Restaurant - A Thanksgiving Tradition on New York Radio

For as long as I can remember Alice's Restaurant has been played at 12 noon on both WFUV and Q-104.3 here in NYC on Thanksgiving.  Years ago it was played on heritage radio station WNEW-FM.  You can read the lyrics written by Arlo Guthrie at .  If you have 18 1/2 minute free you can see and hear Arlo Guthrie perform it.  

Bob Dylan at Terminal 5 November 24

It's night time in the big city as I get off the New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station.  The place is a mad house as people are traveling to their destination for Thanksgiving.  I am early so I decided to walk up 8th avenue to 57th Street where I met Karen and Lee at 6:30.  We walked over to Terminal 5 at 6:45 where there is already a long line. Some people likely arrived hours earlier to get a close standing spot.  When we entered we got a standing place in the middle of the floor.  Many of the early birds were standing in the balcony where they had a birdseye view of the stage.  My only complaint was that the people were standing very close to each other like a rush hour subway train.  In the past I stood up for Bob at the Roseland Ballroom, Manhattan Center, and William Paterson University where there was some room to move around.  A loyal Dylan fan does mind standing.

At 8:10 the show began with Gonna Change my Way of Thinking. Before I write any further I must applaud Bob's backup band who was absolutely superb:

Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar
Charlie Sexton - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - banjo, violin, electric mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel

Here is the set list from Bill Pagel's web site.  It actually appeared on Facebook before 11:15 PM.

1. Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking (Bob on keyboard)
2. The Man In Me (Bob center stage on harp, Donnie on electric mandolin)
3. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on trumpet)
4. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage on harp, Donnie on electric mandolin)
5. The Levee's Gonna Break (Bob on keyboard)
6. Spirit On The Water (Bob on keyboard and harp)
7. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Bob on guitar)
8. Can't Wait (Bob center stage on harp)
9. Summer Days (Bob on keyboard)
10. Forgetful Heart (Bob on center stage on harp, Donnie on violin)
11. Honest With Me (Bob on keyboard)
12. Nettie Moore (Bob on keyboard)
13. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage on harp)

15. Jolene (Bob on keyboard)
16. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
17. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)

Dylan fans know that he varies the set list with each performance.  This set leaned heavily on the more recent recordings.  I was disappointed that there was no acoustic set but he can't please all the people all of the time.  He did play Lee's favorite Tangled Up in Blue as #4.  I just loved the harmonica part on this.  Bob's voice was good considering that he performed for the third night in a row.  When I heard Like A Rolling Stone, I just wished that Al Kooper was on stage with him.  All of the concerts had only 16 songs, but we were surprised to hear Watchtower as the third encore.

As I left the concert I wondered when the Never Ending Tour will end.  We have seen him in NYC 3 Novembers in a row.  Next year will mark Bob's 70th birthday.  Will there be a special concert on 5/24/11 as there was for Ringo Starr on 7/7/10?

Thanks for a great concert.  At least I got a seat on the subway going home :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tomorrrow is the Big Night Bob Dylan at Terminal 5 in Manhattan

Dylan is at Terminal 5 for 3 nights.  Here is Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues from lat night's concert.  "I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough."

Here is a short article about the 3 concerts from the Villiage Voice.  I thank Alan Berman for bringing this to my attention.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A few thoughts on the Anniversary of the Kennedy Assasination

Most people alive today were not yet born when John F. Kennedy was assasinated 47 years ago today.  Last year I wrote about where and when I was when I heard the news.  In recent years there have been no new conspiracy theories which used to surface on the anniversary.  There are certainly many unanswered questions about exactly what happened on that fateful day in Dallas, but it is unlikely that there was a conspiracy.  A lot more will be written about the assasination 3 years from now when we reach the 50th anniversary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sources Report that Terry Collins will be New Mets Manager

It hasn't been officially announced, but reliable sources report that Terry Collins will be named manager of the New York Mets.  It appears that the decision has been made, but the details of his contract must be worked out.  I assume that when that happens a press conference will be held to announce it formally.

A manager is as good as his players.  He must motivate each player to perform to his potential and to foster an environment of teamwork.  Casey Stengel and Joe Torre were big winners with the Yankees, but losers with the Mets.  Once Terry is signed, sealed and delivered, he must meet with new GM Sandy Alderson and determine what player moves must be made.  I feel that with the large dimensions of Citifield, the Mets must excell at pitching and defense.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Donated To Hungerthon Tonight

I made a small donation tonight to Hungerthon.  Cousin Brucie just said that 1 out of every 4 children today go to sleep hungry.  Please see the web site for more information.  Several radio stations in the New York area are participating in this fund raising drive. I am asking all readers of Bruce's Journal to make a donation in any amount to support this worthy cause.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Symposium for Bob Dylan and the Band on Sunday December 5

Today I found out about a symposium celebrating the collaboration between Bob Dylan and the Band in early December at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan.  On Friday night December 3 there will be a gallery exhibit opening night featuring  photos by William G. Scheele, equipment/stage manager for Dylan and the Band.  The major part of the event will be a symposium featuring:
  • Greil Marcus
  • Christopher Ricks
  • D.A. Pennebaker
  • Stephen Hazan Arnoff
The event will end that Sunday evening with an all-star tribute concert.

For further information go to

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Radio Greats Reunion Friday November 19 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM WPAT-AM

David Hinckley reports in today’s Daily News that there will be a radio greats reunion Friday night from 7:00 - 10:00 on WPAT-AM. The lineup with some live and some on tape includes:

Harry Harrison
Dan Ingram
Herb Oscar Anderson
Don K. Reed
Cousin Bruce Morrow
Dan Taylor
Mike Fitzgerald

I have no URL for this.  It appeared in the print New York Daily News.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

I got the idea for this blog post from Twitter. Someone from the midwest needs to move on and let go. I hope Alan Berman gets a good laugh.

There Has Been Better Communication from the MTA and New Jersey Transit

The worst thing about a transit delay is not knowing what is going on.  Very often there are alternative routes that I can take when there is a delay.  The conductors on New Jersey Transit always make anouncements when there is a significant delay in service.  There is also a service where riders can get e-mail or text messages alerting them of delays.  The loud speaker systems on subway cars and stations have improved over the years.  The announcements used to be so garbled that we could not understand them.

With colder temperatues coming it is inevitable that there will be delays caused by weather conditions.  I hope that the transit agencies can improve their maintenance to minimize such problems.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gary Brefini - My Facebook Friend of the Day

Back in the 1990s I traded radio tapes with Gary Brefini who lives in the Boston area.  If I remember correctly I received several tapes of the Lost 45s with Barry Scott from him.  We reconnected several months ago on Facebook.  For several weeks Gary was my #1 follower on Facebook until he was overtaken by Alan Berman, though Gary consistently finishes in the Top 10.

Today Gary sent me this report from  :

The head of New York City's transit union wants to go after an anonymous blogger who has blasted him, asking a court to force Google to give up his critic's name.

John Samuelsen says in court papers filed Friday that the blog has repeatedly defamed him with false accusations of incompetence and financial improprieties.

There was no immediate answer to an e-mail sent to an address posted on the blog. It's housed by Google's

Google Inc. declined to comment. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company says it doesn't discuss individual cases to protect users' privacy.

In the past I have been critical of the MTA and New Jersey Transit when there have been delays that could have been avoided by better maintenance.  It is certainly unfair to pin the blame on one person, thus I do not mention any names.  It is certainly fair game to criticize a public figure when a govenment agency performs poorly.  Google was correct in this case to protect the privacy of its user.  My journal has my name on it and I stand by what I say here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Afternoon at the Queens Historical Society

Lee found an announcement in one of the local Queens newspapers that there would be a talk at the Queens Historical Society about a book titled The Greater New York Sports Chronology by Jeffrey Kroessler.  We took a walk on a pleasant fall day to the Society's headquarters to hear the author talk.  It seems that most of the significant sports events in the history of the United States happened in New York City.  The author mentioned some of them including:
  • The Don Larsen Perfect Game
  • The Mets winning the world series in 1969
  • The Football Giants winning the greatest game ever played in 1958
  • The Knicks beating the Lakers for the NBA championship in 1970
  • Secretariat winning the Triple Crown
The book lists hundreds of sporting events in NYC in chronological order.  I recommend it for all sports fans.

Congratulations to Al Kooper for his election to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame

Al Kooper has been mentioned several times in this journal.  I have followed him since his days in the Blues Project in 1966.  In my opinion he is one of the most underrated performers in rock history.  Yesterday after I returned from the Oldies Meet and Greet I turned on WFUV where Pete Fornatale was playing tribute to Al for his election to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.  Pete was playing hits where flute music was featured in honor of Flute Thing which appeared on the Blues Project Projections album.  I actually have a vinyl copy of that album that I bought back in the 1960s.  At 7 PM Pete's interview with Al was aired on WFUV.

Congratulations to Al for this honor.  If I had my way he would be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

5th Annual Meet and Greet and Oldies Radio Enthusiasts

For those of you who don't know him the gentleman in the photo above is Alan Berman who today was the happiest man of the face of the earth.  For 365 days a year (366 on leap years) he talks about the annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts.  Yours truly, Alan, and Jeff Scheckner organized this event held at Ben's Deli on 38th Street in Manhattan.  This year a record setting 75 people attended.  We had some radio personalities including:
  • Jim Kerr (Q-104.3)
  • Don Tandler (New Jersey 101.5)
  • Big Jay Sorensen (WCBS-FM)
  • Bob Radil (Rewound Radio)
  • Anita Bonita
  • Famous Amos
  • Rich Appel
Over the past 15 years people have formed "electronic friendships" with people having similiar interests.  I have certainly met many radio enthusiasts through Facebook and message boards.  It was nice to see some old acquaintances for the first time in a few years.  The following names come to mind:
  • Frank D'Agostino
  • Gary Fishbein (I think he is a bigger Met fan than I)
  • Andrea Wiener (the oldies diva)
  • Linda Cohen ( I have known her for years)
  • Mary Shaw
  • Terri D
  • Rich Appel
  • Bill Dillane
  • Larry Stoler
It is always nice to meet people for the first time.  I met Stu Dolgon on the WCBS-FM AOL folder back in the 1990s, but I met him for the first time face to face today.  Some years ago I traded radio tapes with Scott Lowe a member of the radio club Decalcomania.  I met him for the first time today.

I think everyone really enjoyed this and are looking forward to another one next year.  I prefer smaller gatherings where everyone knows each other, but a large "Meet and Greet" once a year is a good thing.

My Facebook friends can see photos on my profile.  I'm  sure others will be posting within a day or so.  Readers of Bruce's Journal not on Facebook can see my photos at

Bill Dillane's photos may be seen at

Jerry Barmash's article about the gathering may be found at:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finally got my laptop back

It turned out to be a wild goose chase, but after 4 weeks I finally got my laptop back from repairs.  It should not have taken this long, but I will no longer shop at a certain electronics retailer.  I just don't want to go into all the details.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Condolences to Karen's Family on the Passing of Paul

My brother-in-law Paul Shapiro is on the extreme left (#52).  Sadly he passed away last Saturday after a courageous battle against cancer.  To his left is his son Scott, daughter Faith, son Justin, and Justin's fiancee Rachel.  Scott and Justin are twins.  It seems like just yesterday when Karen called me to say that Scott and Justin were born.  Time goes by much too fast.  Faith will be 19 in January.

It must be difficult to lose a parent at such a young age.  It also must be difficult to lose a son as my father-in-law Will did. My deepest condolences to Karen's family at this very difficult time.  She seems to be holding out well.

This photo was taken just a few weeks ago when Paul flew to Houston to visit the family as the Giants played the Houston Texans.  It was nice to get together with the family, but better at simchas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jews and Baseball

Saturday we drove to the Kew Gardens Theater to see the documentary Jews and Baseball. Over the years there have been very few Jewish professional athletes, but this film tells a little about several Jewish baseball players. Much time was devoted to Hank Greenberg who played from 1933-47 except for his service in World War II. One season Hank hit 58 home runs and it was believed that many fans did not want him to break Babe Ruth’s record since he was Jewish.

Al Rosen who played for the Cleveland Indians and later worked as a baseball executive was also profiled.

Sandy Koufax was arguably the best left-handed pitcher of all time. Sadly, his career was cut short by an arm injury. Of course the film mentioned the fact that Sandy refused to pitch on Yom Kippur during the World Series of 1965 against the Minnesota Twins. I didn’t realize that Elliot Maddox who played for the Yankees and the Mets was Jewish. It is believed that Rod Carew was Jewish, but he was not. There was only a brief reference to Ark Shamsky of the 1969 Mets. Shawn Green who played for the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Mets was one of the more recent players profiled in the movie.

I recommend this movie for all baseball fans Jewish or not.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bob Dylan Song of the Week - Got My Mind Made Up

Got My Mind Made Up

Don't ever try to change me,
I been in this thing too long.
There's nothin' you can say or do
To make me think I'm wrong.

Well, I'm goin' off to Libya,
There's a guy I gotta see.
He's been living there three years now,
In an oil refinery.
I've got my mind made up.
Oh, I 've got my mind made up.

Call your Ma in Tallahassee
Tell her her baby's on the line.
Tell her not to worry
Everything is gonna be fine.

Well, I gave you all my money
All my connections, too.
There ain't nothin' in this world, girl
You can say I didn't give to you.
I've got my mind made up.
I've got my mind made up.

You will be alright, girl,
Someone's watchin' over you.
He won't do nothin' to you
Baby that I wouldn't do.

Well, if you don't want to see me,
Look the other way.
You don't have to feed me,
I ain't your dog that's gone astray.
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up

Copyright ©1986 Special Rider Music

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hello Dolly, Jeopardy, Casey Kasem and My Cassette Walkman

Yesterday I brought my cassette walkman (remember them?) to listen to music on the commute to work.  I listened to a tape of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem.  He featured a countdown of the 40 top girls name songs.  As I left the train last night Casey was going to play Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong, but I had to shut the cassette player off.

When I got home I watched a tape of Jeopardy from earlier in the evening.  The final Jeopardy answer in the category Billboard #1 hits was:  Song that kicked Can't Buy Me Love by the Beatles out of number 1 in 1964 (Jet Screamers favorite year).  The question:  What was Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong.  What a strange coincidence.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Missed Another Train Delay This Morning

On days that I must work on the late shift I don't have to leave home until about 10 AM.  When I checked my e-mail this  morning I saw that there was a delay on the Newark Light Rail formerly known as the Newark City Subway.  I take it from Newark Penn Station to the Warren Street stop at NJIT.  When I arrived in Newark at about 11:30 the delay was over.

Back when I first began at NJIT in 1992 the system used PCC cars which resembled trolley cars.  But late in the decade the system was modernized and used light rail cars seen above.  The service is usually reliable, but you never know when there is a delay.  I can always walk the one mile to NJIT if the cars are not running.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Electioneering should be prohibited on Election Day

Candidates for public office treat voter like morons through their incessant campaigning.  We see plenty of commercials on TV and radio, receive tons of mail promoting every candidate and get bombarded by phone calls. An informed citizen will view news programs on TV or read newspaper articles to make an educated decision on whom to vote.  However, every election day there are people electioneering close to the polls. This insults the intelligence of the voters. Any good voter has his mind made up before Election Day.

At 6:45 AM as I approached PS 214 near my home I noticed people giving out flyers.  I told them that my mind was made up.  I thought they were too close to the polls but they said there was a 100 foot limit as seen in the image above.  A police officer nearby said the same thing.

I would go even further to say that electioneering on election day should be prohibited.  It would likely take an act of the state legislature to do that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Listening to the Radio on Saturday

I haven’t reported much on my radio listening, so here is my log for Saturday. I did most of my listening early in the day since I wanted to watch the World Series starting at 7 PM. This is the earliest starting time for a World Series game in over 20 years.

6:30 AM – WINS – I heard a commercial promoting NJIT to prospective students and their parents. The commercial talked about the research of Kam Sirkar, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. I have known Kam since I started at NJIT in 1992.

6:45 AM – Sue O’neal on WCBS-FM. She is Ms. Reliability at the station since I can not remember her missing any weekend shifts since she joined in 2007.

8:00 AM – the Saturday morning function with Bob Porter on WBGO

8:30 AM – Classic Vinyl or Sirius/XM

9:45 AM – Richard Neer on WFAN. The callers were speculating on whom the Mets will hire as the next manager.

12:15 PM – back to WCBS-FM with Broadway Bill Lee behind the mike. The station featured hits by artists who have passed away.

3:45 – WCWP – since we left the CW Post football game a few minutes early, we wanted to hear the very end of the game in the car.

4:00 PM – WCBS-FM with Dave Packer. It seems that every week there is a different DJ in the 2-7 PM slot on Saturdays.

5:00 PM - Norm N. Nite on Sirius/XM 50s on 5. I would certainly name him as the Distinguished Professor of the Heart of Rock N Roll.

6:00 PM – Pete Fornatale on WFUV

I missed Cousin Brucie on Saturday night, but I heard on Sunday interviewing Zacherle.

New Jersey Nets Basketball and CW Post Football This Weekend

For the next two seasons the New Jersey Nets will be playing at the Prudential Center in Newark before moving to their new home in Brooklyn. I met Karen and Lee there after work on Friday night to see the Nets play the Sacramento Kings. It is a shame that the arena was half empty. One advantage of the Prudential Center is the proximately to public transportation when you needed to drive to get to the Izod Center in the Meadowlands. It was only the second home game of the season so fans may need time to gravitate to winter sports.

The Nets had an 18 point lead at one point, but the Kings rallied to take an 8 point advantage. The Nets closed with a 17-3 surge in the final 3:40 to win 106-100. Devin Harris had 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Nets.

On Saturday we drove out to CW Post to see their football team for the third time this season. It is Division II, but at $5/ticket how can we go wrong. There were two unusual plays:

1. CW Post scored on a safety when their opponent, Bloomsburg University was called for holding penalty in the end zone.
2. Bloomsberg who was ahead at the time successfully recovered an onside kick. Usually the team that is trailing will try such a move to get back in the game.

CW Post lost 36-16. They just could not generate much of an offense.
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