Thursday, January 31, 2013

Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Again)

The morning show with Corny O'Connell  on WFUV has feature where listeners can suggest songs to be played at 9:30 AM.  To celebrate the birthday of harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite listeners are asked to suggest songs with the harmonica.  One of my favorites has to be Don't Think Twice It's Alright as heard on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963.  There is no Youtube version of this since Sony Records deleted many Dylan recordings due to copyright violations.  Thus I will show the Johnny Cash cover.  It was announced today that there will be a postage stamp to honor the Man in Black.  In March 2012 I featured the Eric Clapton cover of Don't Think Twice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It is Time to Support Your Favorite Not For Profit Radio Station

Please see my journal entry from one year ago.  What I said then certainly applies right now.  Radio stations like WBGO and WFUV need your financial support to provide excellent programming not heard on commercial stations.  Every little bit helps, so please lend your support.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Random Comments of the Day

The weather was really crappy today.  It started to snow in the morning and then changed to rain.  At least the cold snap ended.  With the exception of the last week, this has been a mild winter.

The iPhone5 uses the IO6 operating system.  I found out today that one can consolidate apps by placing them in a folder.  It was very useful to put all of my radio apps in one folder.

By listening to Breakfast with the Beatles with Dennis Mitchell I found out there will be a festival honoring George Harrison on February 16 in Fair Haven, Massachusetts.

One of the most popular Bob Dylan albums is Blood on the Tracks released in 1974.  A group called Mary Lee's Corvette covered the entire album.  The celebrate the 10th anniversary of the cover album the group is playing this Wednesday night at Joe's Pub in lower Manhattan.  I would go if this show were on a weekend, but it is just too inconvenient to go during the week.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

St. Johns 71 Seton Hall 67 at Madison Square Garden

Instead of building a new arena in Manhattan Madison Square Garden has undergone major renovations over the past two summers.  Of course the basketball and hockey fans must bear the cost of these improvements by higher ticket prices.  Since  the cheapest Knick tickets are about $75 each we opted to go to college basketball at MSG.

In this afternoon's Big East clash the Red Storm of St. Johns defeated the Pirates of Seton Hall 71-67.  The sight lines at the renovated Garden are very good as we had a seat at center court in the upper level.

Game Summary

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rams vs Rams Basketball Today

In July 2008 I recalled 1972-74 when I was a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island.  At that time the basketball team known as the Rams was in the Yankee Conference with the Universities of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  Back then the Providence College Friars were the smallest state's best basketball team.  For many years Fordham's basketball team has also been known as the Rams.

Today, both schools are in the Atlantic 10 conference.  Today, the Yes Network aired a game with the Fordham Rams playing the URI rams.  Fordham won 66-63.

Game Summary

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Should Check Out Vin Scelsa's Idiot Delight More Often

There is so much good stuff on terresttial, internet and satellite radio and only so much time in a day that I just can't listen to everything.  There is only so much time in a day and I have only two ears.  Vin Scelsa has been on the air in NYC for at least 35 years.  His Idiot's Delight show is heard on WFUV on Saturday night.  It is also heard on the Loft on SiriusXM.

This afternoon I turned on the Loft and Vin played the Basement Tapes version of Bob Dylan's The Mighty Quinn followed by the hit cover version by Manfred Mann.  In all my years of listening to the radio I can not remember a DJ playing Dylan and then right after a cover version.  Perhaps WFUV did it years ago.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

No News About the Neverending Tour in 2013

I just checked Boblinks and noted that there are no Bob Dylan concerts scheduled for 2013.  I was a little disappointed that Bob did not perform at the inauguration since President Obama is a big fan.  I hope Bob is resting well this winter and that the Never Ending Tour will resume in a few months.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Picasso Black and White at the Guggenheim

After I heard the format change of the century we went to the Guggenheim museum to see the Picasso Black and White exhibit.  I am not an expert in art, but I do enjoy going to museums once in a while to enjoy the rich culture that NYC offers.  Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is certainly one of the most revered figures in 20th century art.  The audio tours offered by the museum are very helpful in understanding the significance of of each work.  I didn't know that Picasso was exiled from Spain when Francisco Franco took over as dictator.

The exhibit ends this Wednesday, but I am sure another stimulation collection will be on display in the near future.

Country Music Returns to the NYC FM Radio Dial

After weeks of speculation 94.7 FM flipped to a country music format today.  My family was planning a trip to the Guggenheim Museum, but I would not leave the house until after the format change shortly after 9:47 AM.  There hadn't been a full country music signal in NYC since February 1996 when WYNY at 103.5 became WKTU.  There have been some suburban stations over those years, but none reached the 5 boroughs of NYC.  The calls of 94.7 is now WRXP, but I suspect that that will change.

According to the first songs played were:

Randy Houser – This Is How Country Feels
Alan Jackson – Gone Country
Brad Paisley – Southern Comfort Zone
Brooks & Dunn – Boot Scootin’ Boogie
Carrie Underwood – Blown Away
Lady Antebellum – I Run To You
The Band Perry – Better Dig Two
Garth Brooks – Friends In Low Places
Jason Aldean – My Kind Of Party
Taylor Swift – Begin Again
George Strait – Write This Down
Thompson Square – You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not
Lee Brice – I Drive Your Truck
Reba McIntyre – Turn On The Radio
Zac Brown Band – Free
Dierks Bentley – 5-1-5-0
Kenny Chesney – Big Star
Eric Church – Springsteen

The key to success of this station will be its appeal to advertisers who covet the 25-54 year old demo.  There is a perception that country music does not appeal to listeners with buying power.  I hope there will be some personalities who will attract listeners.  I remember on Sunday nights WYNY had a classic country show hosted by Steve Warren.  Hopefully, 94.7 FM will play some of the oldies.

I congratulate Cumulus Media for picking the right format which has been missing for too long.  Best of luck.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

There are Still Kosher Deli's in Queens

For many years I have taken walks in an near Alley Pond Park as I reported in this journal in 2008.  It was a little was cold, but sunny today as we decided to get a little exercise there.  We stopped by Buddy's Kosher Deli on 73rd Avenue in Bayside to get a light lunch.  This is a small neighborhood kosher deli the way they used to be.  It is so sad how so many others have closed over the years.

Restaurant review in the Queens Tribune.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wheel of Formats on 94.7 FM

WFME at 94.7 FM which is licensed to Newark, NJ had been a religious radio station for many years until it was recently sold to Cumulus Broadcasting.  One week ago the deal was completed and 94.7 FM simulcasted WPLJ also owned by Cumulus as the call letters were changed to WRXP.  Of course this created much speculation and hundreds of posts on the various radio message boards.  WRXP were recently the call letters of an alternative rock station at 101.9 FM.

Starting this afternoon 94.7 started airing the Wheel of Formats where they would play a different music format for a few minutes.  They announced that the new format will be revealed at 9:47 Am on Monday.

Stay tuned

Thursday, January 17, 2013

If This Then That And Other Things

This week when I went to a professional conference at the Metropolitan New York Library Council I learned about a service called If This Then That ( .  It allows a person to do two things at once on the internet.  As of now I have chosen 3 operations:

  • If I add an entry to this blog then a link will appear on my Facebook page
  • If I receive an e-mail on my Gmail account, then that e-mail will be forward to my AOL e-mail account
  • If I update my status on Facebook, then the same message will appear on Twitter.  I will have to check what happens if the Facebook statement is more 140 characters
There are many other operations that can be done.

I am still experimenting with the Wordpress software and slowly getting the hang of it.  I finally figured out how to include a photo in a text entry.  I still feel more comfortable with Blogger.  Check it out at

For some time I have had an account on Tumblr.  I added one entry today at  Do I really need a 4th blog.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You Don't Say

Many years ago there was a game show hosted by Tom Kennedy called "You Don't Say".  Tom would say that it's not what you say that counts its what You Don't Say.  Of course anybody can read this journal.  All I will say here is I wish "Awesome Lady" the best of luck in her future endeavors.  Any other comments I will keep to myself.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kristin Morgan Must Have the Record for Jeopardy Ties

Once in a while two players on Jeopardy end the game in a tie and come back the next day.  There was one occurrence of a three way tie back in March 2007 .  Contestant Kristin Morgan of Huntsville, Alabama won for the fourth time today.  It is unusual that two of her four victories were ties.  I don't think that has ever happened in the history of Jeopardy.  If I am wrong I am hope that one of the show's historians will correct me.

I have a new blog

Bruce's Journal has been in existence since 2005 while I started Bruce at the NJIT Library in 2008.  Both blogs are produced by Blogger software offered by Google.  Since we are between semesters at work, I was able to spend sometime learning to use Wordpress, another popular blogging program.  I started a blog using that platform called NYNJCOMMUTING which will document some of my adventures and misadventures commuting in the New York metropolitan area.  It will take me sometime to learn some of the special features of Wordpress, so it may take me sometime to spruce it up.  I am predicting the Alan Berman will be the first visitor.  If you want to read about Bob Dylan, oldies music, Jeopardy and radio, please stay here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Favorite Doo Wop Hit - I Only Have Eyes for You by the Flamingos

Cool Bobby B just played my request on his Sunday night show on SiriusXM 50s on 5. In the mid 1980s I dedicated it to Karen on the late Jack Spector's Saturday Night Sock Hop on WCBS-FM

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hofstra 70 William and Mary 59 with a Seat Upgrade

For the first time this season we drove out to the Mack Arena to see Hofstra play William and Mary.  The home team started out with a 16-2 lead as the visitors from Virginia could never come back.  The closest they closed the deficit to 4 points but still lost the game 70-59.

Game Summary

Early in the game a seat upgrade contest was announced.  You had to put your section and seat number in Twitter with #WeAreHofstra.  Today was my lucky day as I won and was moved from section 202 to the 4th row of section 102 at center court.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ben Sidran - There was a fire: Jews, music and the American dream

I reported in this journal before how I became interested in Ben Sidran after hearing Gary Walker of WBGO play a cut from his Dylan Different CD.  I was in my car about 8:30 one morning in December listening to Gary on WBGO saying that Ben would be his guest at 9 AM to talk about his new book

Sidran, B. (2012). There was a fire: Jews, music and the American dream. S.l.: Nardis Books, an imprint of Unlimited Media Ltd.

I had an appointment at 9 AM so I couldn’t listen to the interview, but luckily there was a pod cast of it on  that I heard a few days later.

Before I read the book I didn’t realize how Jews dominated the music business for the last 100 years.  It is obvious that Ben spent much time and effort researching many recording artists of many genres and music executives who were Jewish.  Many of them changed their names so I didn’t realize that so many of them were Jewish.   Barbra Streisand was one of the few Jewish recording artists who did not change her name. He even discusses one of  sensitive topics of Jews singing and writing Christmas songs.  Irving Berlin wrote the famous White Christmas.  Ben does talk about my favorite Jewish recording artist.  It certainly makes sense for a nice Jewish Boy from Wisconsin to write about a nice Jewish boy from neighboring Minnesota.

On a tangent, it is unfortunate that so many secular Jews reject their heritage.  From reading the book many recording artists and music executives were indifferent to their religion and customs.

Since I work in a science/engineering library I can not purchase it for my library.  Hopefully my colleagues at the Institute Jazz Studies at Rutgers will buy it.  I highly recommend it for those interested in the history of any kind of music no matter what religion you observe.

I thank Gary Walker for bringing Ben Sidran to my attention for the second time.  I actually found out about this biography of Ben which I just purchased for my Kindle:

Sidran, B. (2003). Ben Sidran: A life in the music. New York: Taylor Trade Pub.

I am sure that it will be a good read.  I’ll have to review it in Bruce’s Journal after I finish it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Random Thoughts on a Thursday Evening

It's always a good feeling to get the final Jeopardy question correct when all 3 contestants missed it.  The category was legal terms.  The answer - The French term for truth. [The wording may not be exact].  The Correct Question - What is verdict.

There has been speculation for months about what will happen to 94.7 FM when the sale from Family Radio to Cumulus was completed.  Radioinsight reports that they applied for WRXP, thus the big speculation is that the station will be alternative rock.  A few of the amateur radio executives on the message boards think it could be a decoy.  I hope it will be country music.

Carmelo Anthony was suspended for one day for his misbehavior after the Knick-Celtic game on Monday night.  These jerks make millions a year and then act like children.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No One is Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

I was disappointed to find out that Mike Piazza was not elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Many voters may be reluctant to elect some one when they are eligible for the first time.  I am almost certain that Mike will get in within a few years.  Hopefully he will be wearing a New York Mets cap on his plaque.

I was satisfied the Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds were not elected.  It is almost obvious that they used performance enhancing drugs and should not be enshrined.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Remembering Elvis on His Birthday

Elvis Presley would have been 78 years old today had he lived.  Above is a photo of Lee with his 3 Stooges t-shirt standing with a wax figure of The King at Madam Tussaud's Museum a few years ago.  Over the years Lee has been the biggest Elvis fan in the family.  We saw Graceland in 2004 when we visited Memphis.  Most of the tourists there were not yet born when Elvis died in 1977

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Random Thoughts of the Day

Right now I am listening to Cool Bobby B on SiriusXM 50s on 5.  He is playing a countdown of the top 50 Doo Wop hits as voted by his listeners.  I voted for I Only Have Eyes for You by the Flamingos as my favorite Doo Wop.  It is a shame that we can't hear this music on terrestrial music any more.  After coming to the recent oldies meet and greet Bobby is now Alan Berman's friend for life.

There will be a full week of work coming up.  Things will likely stay very slow as classes do not resume until January 22.

I took a look at the Jewish calendar and noted that all of the holidays are early this year.  I will have to ask my friends who are experts in Judaica why there is no "leap month" this year.  Since the Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles, there must a a leap month every so often to "catch up" with the secular calendar.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Radio Listening for Tonight

6:00 - Don McGee's Mixed Bag Show on WFUV - I am pleased that WFUV has continued the Mixed Bag Show after the untimely passing of Pete Fornatale.  Certainly nobody can replace Pete but I certainly enjoy Don's style and selection of music.  IMHO WFUV succeeds the tradition of WNEW-FM when it was an AOR station. The proper description of WFUV in radio format jargon is AAA (Adult Album Alternative)

8:00 - Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM 60s on 6.  I have been listening to the Cuz for over 50 years.  Maybe I'll hear Mary Shaw (Ms. Radio) phone in.

I hope I can squeeze in some time to watch part of the Knick game.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mark Simone leaves WABC for WOR

Before you read the rest of the entry, I found out from a reliable source that Mark Simone is not married.  That is likely what you want to know.

Allan Sniffen reported today on the New York Radio Message Board that Mark Simone resigned from WABC radio and will be on WOR from 10 AM to 12 noon weekdays.  This obviously means that the Saturday Night show will be going off the air.  I will try to make my remarks as objective as possible.  I was an avid listener of Saturday Night Oldies for about the first 3 1/2 years of its run.  It was a good mix of oldies music, interviews of music personalities, and nostalgia talk.  After a while many of the features like the fake break (old commercials) became stale.  The show was rebranded as the Saturday Night Show with less music and more entertainment talk.  At this point many avid listeners including myself lost interest in the show and stopped listening.

There was an official message board associated with the show and an unofficial board on Yahoo which I feel generated some animosity among listeners who agreed or disagreed with features of the show.  To make a long story short Mark Simone was very nasty and abusive to me which led me to stop listening to that show. Cousin Brucie is a "radio mensch" on Saturday nights while Mr. Simone was very much a coward by assuming a false identity on the Yahoo board and bashing many people including myself.  There were some other issues that I will not discuss here.

The show served its purpose by putting oldies on terrestrial radio for 4 hours a week after WCBS-FM was hijacked in 2005.  I feel that it served its purpose, took its course, and should have been retired a few years ago.  It was quite sad that a difference of opinion among those who liked and disliked the show created some animosity.

I stand by the remarks that I have just made.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Random Thoughts at the Beginning of the Year

Today was my first day back at work at the  NJIT Library.  The place was virtually empty.  I thought there would be some international students doing some research, but there was hardly anybody there.

The CBS Sports Network made its debut today nationally.  In NYC it is now heard on WCBS-FM HD3, but since there are so few HD radios out there the station will not have much impact.  There is speculation that this station will go to 94.7 FM once that frequency is sold.  There are now 3 English and one Spanish language sports stations in NYC.

There have been some significant format changes in Boston.  101.7 FM is now playing electronic dance music.  The station at 96.9 FM just dropped it talk format and is playing contemporary music.  The posters on the radio message boards say that this is a temporary format.

Right now I listening some clips of FM radio in NYC from 1970-83 posted by Bob Goodman on Facebook.  I really wish that terrestrial music would sound like that today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

TV Marathons on New Years Day

There were 3 TV marathons on TV today"
  • Three Stooges on Antenna TV
  • Twilight Zone on Sy Fy Channel
  • Honeymooners on WPIX-11
Years ago Karen recorded episodes on all of these series.  I really think that TV was better all those years ago.
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