Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sometimes even the president of the United States is a Bob Dylan Fan

Today Bob Dylan was among 13 distinguished Americans who was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama.  This time the President of the United States is standing very proud.  Let me quote from the article in the Huffington Post:

"In college days, Obama said, he listened to Dylan and recalled "my world opening up, because he captured something about this country that was so vital." Dylan's appearance drew the biggest whoops from the crowd, and he dressed for the event – sunglasses, bow tie and black suit embellished with shiny buckles and buttons."

It is a very proud day for all Bob Dylan fans.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Staycation is over - Back to work tomorrow

It's back to work for me tomorrow.  I did accomplish some things this past week:

  • Karen and I bought new furniture for the living room
  • I visited my mother twice
  • We saw Men in Black today
  • We saw the Mets beat the Padres 9-0
  • I read:

    • Dickey, R A, and Wayne R. Coffey. 
    • Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2012. Print.
  • I listened to WABC Rewound
  • I saw Happy Traum and friends cover Bob Dylan songs in honor of his birthday

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remember Musicradio WABC 1960-82

Back in the 1960s and early 70s popular music on AM radio was king.  Until 1970 WABC and WMCA were the biggest competitors for listeners of Top 40 radio.  Play lists were very tight back then since listeners wanted to hear only the biggest hits of the day.  As we moved into the 1970s and 80s music transitioned to FM as new radio formats which appealed to niche audiences developed.  In 1982 WABC dropped music completely and adopted a talk format.

For many years WABC on Memorial Day had special programming called WABC Rewound which featured airchecks from the music radio era.  A few years ago when the station stopped this feature it moved to Rewound Radio .  Many radio enthusiasts including myself thank Alan Sniffen for continuing this tradition.  It is fun to hear radio personalities including:

  • Harry Harrison
  • Ron Lundy
  • Dan Ingram
  • Cousin Bruce Morrow
  • Charlie Greer
  • Herb Oscar Anderson
  • George Michael
  • Robie Younge
  • and many others

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oldies Radio Enthusiasts See Mets Blow Out The Padres 9-0

The photo above is the original home run apple from Shea Stadium which is now placed outside Citifield.  In today's game the home run apple went up 3 times after blasts by Scott Hairston, Vinny Rottino (his first major league homer) and Mike Nickeas (grand slam).  The last few years have been tough for the Amazins so it was nice to see a blowout.  Johann Santana pitched a shut out given the bull pen a well deserved rest.

Game Summary

Alan Berman organized this as a gathering of oldies radio enthusiasts.  I am getting a little tired of the M&G moniker, so we'll save it for the annual gathering in November at Ben's Deli.  Frank DeRosa and Mary Shaw were there.  Late in the game we were surprised by a visit by Jerry Gillespie.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Saluting Bob Dylan on his 71st Birthday

If I had to be on a desert island and had to pick 3 albums with take I would chose what I call the Mid 1960s Trilogy:

  • Bringing It All Back Home
  • Highway 61 Revisited
  • Blonde on Blonde
Subterranean Homesick Blues which was the first cut on Bringing it All Back Home was the show stopper at the show at the Iridium last night.  To salute Bob Dylan on his 71st birthday I am featuring a video of that song seen on the documentary Don't Look Back.  Happy birthday Bob and many more.

Happy Traum and Friends Salute Bob Dylan's Birthday at the Iridium

If you can't see Bob Dylan for his birthday, the next best thing is to go to a concert of cover versions.  There is a two night tribute at Irving Plaza, but since this venue is standing room only, we decided not to go.  In November 2010 we attended a Dylan concert at Terminal 5  where we had to stand.  It was like standing in a crowded subway car, but I did it for Bob.  At the last minute we decided to see Happy Traum and friends salute Dylan at the Iridium.  Happy is a folk musician from Woodstock, NY who played with Dylan before.  The musicians who sang solo were:

  • Terre Roche
  • Jim Weider
  • Jason Crosby
  • David Massengill
  • Tim Moore
  • Doug Yoel
  • Lincoln Scheffler
I look for originality in Bob Dylan cover versions.  I am glad to say that all of the performers did unique versions.  The show stopper in my opinion was Subterranean Homesick Blues.  Jim Weider who played with The Band gets an A+ for originality for his guitar solo of Just Like a Woman.  Here is the set list:

  • I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
  • Gotta Serve Somebody
  • Girl from the North Country
  • Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
  • House of the Rising Son
  • Blowin' in the Wind
  • It's Not Dark Yet
  • Love Sick
  • The Man in Me
  • Just Like a Woman
  • It's All Over Now Baby Blue
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues
  • Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You
  • Buckets of Rain
  • You Ain't Going Nowhere
Here are some videos from the concert

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Good Luck Jay Sorensen on your new radio gig

Since I am home this week I had more time to listen to radio during the middle of the day.  I am not a fan of talk radio, but I found out that Big Jay Sorensen seen above appeared today on IQ 106.9 from Philadelphia.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jay at a few of the Oldies Meets and Greets that I organized with Alan Berman and Jeff Scheckner.  I decided to check out Jay from 12:00 - 12:30 and from 1:00 - 1:30 although the show continued until 3:00.  At 12:30 I had to watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire while at 1:30 I had to watch the Mets who won the game 3-1.

Jay said that he worked at 13 radio stations at 42 years.  I have certainly heard him recently as he has filled in many times at WCBS-FM.  I heard recordings of his Time Machine show on WNBC from the late 1980s at ReelRadio.  He talked about a situation where a Pizza chain specifically catered to Spanish customers.  In the second segment he discussed a recent murder in Atlantic City.

I do not feel qualified to critique a talk radio host since I am not in the radio business.  I felt that Jay let the callers talk without bashing them.  One reason that I don't regularly listen to talk radio is that very often the host will bash a caller if there is disagreement on an issue.

I am aware that in this era of voice tracking it is difficult for radio personalities to get gigs.  It appears that IQ 106.9, a new radio station station, is a work in progress and is giving on the air auditions to several people including Jay and Michelle Jerson.

Be Big, Jay.  I wish you the best of success in all of your radio endeavors.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Staycation Week

I am on vacation for the rest of this week, but am staying at home as a usually do in May after the spring semester ends at NJIT.  I came in yesterday since there were two important classes that I had to give.  Anyway I found out about a Bob Dylan Tribute Concert at the Iridium tomorrow night.  The show features folk singer Happy Traum & friends. I will be going to celebrate Dylan's birthday there.  There is actually two other tribute concerts this weekend at Irving Plaza, but there is only standing room at that venue.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My First Memory of Robin Gibb and the Bee Gees

It has been a tough few days for enthusiasts of music from the 1960s and 1970s.  A few days ago we lost Donna Summer while  moments ago the announcement of the passing of Robin Gibb was made.  Back in 1967 Scott Muni teased the WNEW-FM audience by playing British Surprise #1 and #2  which were New York Mining Disaster 1941 and I Can't See Nobody.  They sounded so much like the Beatles so many thought the Fab Four were recording under another name.  Scott said that this group would be around in popular music for many years to come.  He was sure right.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Congratulations to my nephew Adam Feuer on his graduation

Congratulation to my nephew Adam Feuer on his graduation today from SUNY Oneonta.  He received his degree in business administration.  Hopefully, he will be as big a businessman as Mark Zuckerberg.

Recalling May 19th as someone else's anniversary

Back in the early 1970s I had a friend whom a will call AA who lived in Sunnyside, Queens.  We were the best of buddies as we got together almost every weekend.  Back in May 1972 I was a student at the University of Rhode Island and exchanged letters with AA.  On May 19, 1972 he went to a Cometogether singles dance at the Malibu Country Club in Queens.  There he met LK, a Jewish American Princess (JAP) from Long Island.  Back then the term JAP was popular term for a spoiled Jewish girl.  They started dating and really hit it off.  By October they became engaged and were married on May 19, 1973.

So they met 40 years ago today, and are now married 39 years.  After that point AA looked down on me since he was married and I was not.  Our friendship gradually faded but in the Fall 1974 when I was living in New Brunswick I phoned him to catch up.  He sarcastically said to me "When you get a girl, we'll be sure to come down there."  I was really hurt by that.  About a year later, I sent him a Jewish new year's card, but he didn't reciprocate.  Our friendship was over.  He rejected me because I was still single and did not even have a girlfriend at that time.

In this Facebook era, I never had the desire to reconnect with him although I became reacquainted with other friends of mine from that time of my life.  He is likely a grandfather by now.  I certainly don't wish anything bad for him, put I must remember him for the tactless way he rejected me.  We all must face rejection in our personal and professional lives.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bob Dylan's New Album is Coming Soon

An article in The Examiner reports that Bob Dylan's new album has been recorded and is almost ready for release.  It stated that the music press will get a chance to hear it first.  No title or release date was given for this new album.  I will just have to sit tight and wait for more announcements.  Usually radio stations are given a few cuts of a new album to be heard over the air before the album is issued in its entirety.  I assume that WFUV will do the honors in NYC.

I'd like to thank Alan Berman for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alok Chakrabarti - Facebook Friend of the Day

The distinguished gentleman on the left is Alok Chakrarbarti a retired Professor of Management at NJIT.  The man on the right is Robert English currently Professor of Engineering Technology.  Alok served as the Dean of the School of Management until his retirement.  Since that time he has taught in Finland, India, and near his new home near Emmaus, Pa.

Today he visited the NJIT library for the first time in several years.  He was kind enough to stop by the say hello to a few colleagues while he was doing some research for a textbook he will be writing.  Alok said that he follows me on Facebook.  There are two Facebook friends of the day in a row from NJIT.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Doreen Mettle - Facebook Friend of the Day

Doreen was the second person that I met at NJIT when I interviewed in July 1992.  She has hung around the library for almost 25 years putting up with all the nonsense.  Today, when I encountered her in the Campus Center she congratulated me on 2000 entries in this journal.  I didn't know she was a regular reader.  For that reason she is my Facebook Friend of the Day even though she only has 5 Facebook friends.  I guess she opened an account, but quickly lost interest.  The last NJIT person I made Facebook Friend of the Day unfriended me and blocked me.  I will not mention her name.  Why should there be animosity over Facebook.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

It was especially nice to get together for Mother's Day this year.  Mom had a tough year after fracturing her hip and undergoing a partial hip replacement.   It was difficult for the entire family these last several months, but she is doing better.  She lost a lot of weight, but is gradually gaining it back.  Her arthritis pain is often very bad.

Special thanks to my sister Joyce and brother-in-law Keith for their hospitality.  It was a shame that the Mets and Yankees lost today, but having everybody together was most important.  We also had fun with Casey.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Random Thoughts of the Day

We went to the local multiplex today to see The Avengers.  There were 3 theaters playing the 3D version while 1 played the 2D.  We decided to save money and see the 2D version.  It has been my experience that the enhanced 3 dimensional effects do not justify the extra $4.50.

We came home to see the end of the Met game as they won 9-3.  I didn't expect them to be 19-14.  It is still a long season, so lets hope for the best.  They Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners.

I received a booklet from Oldies.com announcing a clearance sale.  I ordered an Elvis Presley bobble head doll and CDs by Pete Seeger and Rick Danko.

I downloaded the CD Time it Was, a set of covers of Simon and Garfunkel songs by Aztec 2 Step.  It was a concert performance narrated by Pete Fornatale.  I listened to Mixed Bag this afternoon as Don McGee is the new host.  I have always enjoyed listening to Don and wish him well as the show's new host.

2000 Light Years From Home - Rolling Stones

This makes one light year for every post on Bruce's Journal.  I remember the album Their Satanic Magesties Request as the Rolling Stone's answer to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2000 Posts in Bruce's Journal

I have just posted 2000 times in Bruce's Journal since October 15, 2005.  Yes, the topics have ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Some of my favorite topics over these 6 1/2 years have been:

  • Bob Dylan
  • New York Mets
  • Jeopardy
  • Radio
  • Oldies Music
  • The Family
There have been other topics, but the above 6 have been my favorites.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed reading "my nonsense". I believe I only have a handful of regular readers.  Most people Google on a topic and find a single posting.  Since so few people make comments it is frustrating not knowing the impact of my writings on others.  I have loads of statistics from Google Analytics, but they don't prove anything. My other contributions in this Web 2.0 era have been:

  • Approximately 1400 Tweets
  • 465 posts on Bruce at the NJIT Library
  • Unknown number of posts on Facebook
Have a nice day and come back again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It is raining on my staycation day

I have plenty of vacation time coming to me from NJIT.  Since today is the last day of final exams, I thought I would take a vacation day to break up the week. Since I can't control the weather, I'll have to cope with a rainy day.  I will likely take a walk over to the local multiplex and take in a movie.

Monday, May 7, 2012

An Eyesore is finally being torn down in Harrison, NJ

Years ago Hartz Mountain which manufactures pet products had a plant in Harrison, NJ right off the NJ Transit tracks just before Newark Penn Station.  About 10-12 years ago the company abandoned the factory and over time the site become more and more of an eyesore as the vandals and graffiti artists took over.  There are finally demolishing the site after all these years.

In 2008-9 I almost cried as a saw Shea Stadium being demolished as my train passed it on the way to work.  Now I am smiling as this eyesore is finally being taken down.

More information

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Knicks Avoid a Sweep by Beating the Heat 89-87

Until today the Knicks had lost 13 straight playoff games going back to 2001.  They were down 3-0 to the Miami Heat.  I know there was no chance the Knicks could overtake the Heat, but I was just hoping they could win just one game.  Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points and Amare Stoudamire came back from his self-inflicted injury and beat the Heat 89-87.

Game Recap

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Recap - Mets 4 Arizona 3

It was a dull game, but the Mets got enough hitting to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 as Johann Santana gained his first victory since 2010.  The highlights were two run singles by Andres Torres and Mike Nickeas.

Box Score

Friday, May 4, 2012

Unusual Occurrence on Jeopardy Today

This was the first week of the Teen Tournament.  During regular games it is unusual when there is a tie after Final Jeopardy.  If that happens, both players return for the next game.  That rule does not apply for tournaments.  Since 2 players were tied, there was an extra question to determine the winner.  Betting strategy is very important during Final Jeopardy.  The young lady in the lead could have won, but she bet too much and tied the other player.  She lost the runoff question and was eliminated.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spotlight on Bo Diddley

I have nothing much to say today, so I'll just feature Bo Diddley.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Overlapping Sports Seasons

Last night the Knicks, Rangers, Mets, and Yankees were on TV compelling me to constantly use my remote to switch from game to game.  Basketball and hockey playoffs will last until late June.  The sports teams make more money by playing more games.   The World Series will likely go into early November  since there is an additional round of playoffs this year.  Last nights results:

Yankees 2 Orioles 1
Astros 4 Mets 3
Heat 104 Knicks 94 - Knicks are down 2-0
Capitols 3 Rangers 2 - Series is tied 1-1
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