Monday, April 29, 2013

Atlanta Vacation This Summer

For several summers we have visited major league cities and booked a hotel within walking distance of the ball park.  We took Jay Buckley Baseball Tours in 2006, 2007, and 2010 and enjoyed them thoroughly.  We have taken trips to Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and Cleveland to see ball games among the other attractions in those cities.  This year we will be going to Atlanta,

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Motown the Musical

Jukebox musicals very often fail on Broadway.  Jersey Boys is the only one in recent years that has thrived.  The problem is usually that the rock n roll musicals lack a strong story line.  Over the years I have read several biographies of Motown recording artists so I know the story of how the company started, grew, and eventually declined.  The show plays the music roughly in the order of when they charted.

The musical performances were excellent.  The actors greatly resembled the recording artists they portrayed.  The highlight of the show was Diana Ross leading the audience sing Reach Out and Touch.  I highly recommend this show to my oldies enthusiast friends.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

200,000 Page Views of Bruce's Journal

Bruce's Journal uses Blogger software provided by Google which gives me statistics on what entries are accessed. As of today there are 200,000 page views of this journal since October 2005.  I sense that only a few people who know me check in regularly.  Most people do a Google search and land on a single entry.

The entry that got the most hits (about 9000) was a short entry called TGIF.  Some of the posts were just Youtube videos of a song that came to mind. There were posts that were autobiographical while others reviewed books, movies, concerts, CDs, and museums.  I also documented sporting events that I attended and several vacation trips.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Remembering Richie Havens

I heard the bad news today that Richie Havens passed away today from a heart attack at age 72.  I have written about Richie several times in this journal.  Murray the K introduced me to Richie when he was on WOR-FM in the late 1960s.  Pete Fornatale named a radio show after his seminal album shown above.  Mixed Bag is still heard on WFUV Saturdays from 4 PM - 8 PM and is hosted by Don McGee after Pete's untimely passing.

Richie is best known for his show stopper Handsome Johnny at Woodstock in 1969.  It seems since Richie was the only performer who arrived at Yasgur's Farm, he was allowed to start the show.  I remember Richie as one of the best interpreters of Bob Dylan's songs.  At dinner tonight we heard his CD Richie Haven sings Beatles and Dylan.  My favorite has to be Just Like a Woman.  Please see his performance at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert.  If there was a Folk Music Hall of Fame, Richie Havens would be one of the first inductees.

 Please also see this video of the late Pete Fornatale talking about Richie Havens.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mets 2 Washington 0 and some Bob Dylan News

Today Karen, Lee and I joined Bill Dillane, Ken Dulberg, and Alan Berman at Citifield to see the Mets play the Washington Nationals.  I was not disappointed as Dillion Gee pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings followed by 3 2/3 flawless innings by the bullpen.  John Buck hit a home run that went 460 feet.

Box Score

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour will be returning to the NYC area in late July with supporting acts Wilco, Richard Thompson and My Morning Jacket.  On Friday July they will play at the Pier A Park in Hoboken while on Saturday the 27th they will be at the Jones Beach Theater.  Since we have seen Zimmy at Jones Beach several times I am interested in the Hoboken venue.  However, I really don't want to go to a venue where I'll have to stand.  If general admission seats are announced for Hoboken, I'll go to Jones Beach.  I am getting a little old for standing up for a concert.

Happy Birthday Karen

On our very first date in August 1980 I found out that Karen's birthday was one day after mine, but not the same year.  She is older than 39, but I will not reveal her age.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

64 Years Forever Young Tomorrow

I am posting this now since I will likely not get online until about 10 tomorrow morning.  I don't want anyone being mislead and be told that I am only 39 years old.  I will be 64 years forever young and will celebrating at Citifield.  I hope the Mets will give me a good birthday present by having a winning team this season.

Please disregard the first line of this song.  I am not losing my hair.

Images of America New York City Radio by Alec Cumming and Peter Kanze

In recent years I have purchased most of my books for the Amazon Kindle, but I bought the print version of this book.  I actually found out about this book by reading the New York Radio Message Board.  It usually takes me several days or even a week to read a book, but I actually finished this book in one sitting from 10:30 AM to about 12 Noon today.  Once I started it, I just couldn't put it down.  I met one of the authors, Peter Kanze, on the WABC cruise in June 2007.  I even spoke to him over the phone one year during WABC Rewound.

The old saying that a picture is worth 1000 words certainly applies to this book.  Most of the images belong to the personal collection of Peter Kanze.  Others were from the Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland.  In all my years as a librarian, I have never heard of that collection.  Some years ago I regularly did research at the Performing Arts Center of the New York Public Library which has collections on radio.  I look forward to my retirement when I will have the time to return there to do more reading.

The photographs with their captions cover most formats and radio stations from 1920 to the present.  There are numerous pictures of radio personalities that I've known for years.  I highly recommend this book for all of my radio friends and congratulate Alec Cumming and Peter Kanze for a job well done.

By the way, I just found a photo that I took of Peter Kanze (tan jacket) and Rob Frankel at the WABC Cruise in June 2007.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spotlight on Al Gordon

Above is a photo of radio friends Linda Cohen and Al Gordon.  Al is the proprietor of WJPR which is a low power radio station operating at 1640 AM from Highland Park, NJ.  Today at 8:10 AM he dedicated When I'm 64 by the Beatles in honor of my birthday which is Sunday.  More on my birthday in a future post.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rip Van Winkle by The Devotions - Doo Wop Hit of the Day

First, let me thank Cool Bobby B for playing this for me on his Doo Wop show on SiriusXM. I remember haveing fun with this song in the 9th grade at Russell Sage JHS.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

Is there anything that I can say that hasn't been said before?  My prayers go out to the victims in Boston who were there to watch or run the Boston Marathon.  We just can't hide at home afraid to go outside and face a terrorist attack. Every time I walk through Penn Station in Manhattan I see National Guard troops with rifles.  I appreciate their presence there, but it is always a reminder of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

The period from April 15 - April 20 has been a tough time for Americans:

  • Waco Siege - ended April 19, 1993
  • Oklahoma City Bombing - April 19, 1995
  • Columbine Shooting - April 20, 1999
  • Boston Marathon Bombing - April 15, 2013
So sad

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Highly Recommend 42

42 tells the story of Jackie Robinson's signing by Branch Rickey to the Brooklyn Dodgers as he became the first Negro player in the major leagues.  It shows how he had to fight the racial prejudice of the postwar years.  It is not a complete biography of Jackie since it only covers 1946-47.

On this Monday all major league players will wear #42 in tribute to Jackie.  When Mariano Rivera retires at the end of the season no player will wear #42.  I highly recommend it even for non sports fans.  Perhaps there will be a future movie featuring his later baseball years and his life after baseball.

River Deep Mountain High Should Have Been a Bigger Hit

Every year Rich Appel, seen above with radio legend Harry Harrison, compiles a list of records that should have been in the Top 10 years ago.  Very often records are more popular many years after their original release.  He calls this the IRS 104 and plays it just before the Internal Revenue Service requires us to file our tax returns.  He and Bob Radil play the list on Rewound Radio on Friday Night and on the Rest of the Week show heard Saturday 6 AM - 1 PM and Sunday 10 AM - 3 PM on WRNJ-Hackettstown, NJ.  I am not fussy about what song made what number, but I did submit a list to Rich. On the top of my list was River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner.  It was strange that it reached #3 on the British chart but only #88 on the Billboard Chart in the USA.  Thanks Rich for your efforts.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Congratulations to Pat St. John on His 40th Anniversary in New York Radio

Over the years there have been plenty of radio personalities who have come and gone from the New York airwaves.  Pat St. John has certainly passed the test of time as he celebrates 40 years on the New York radio dial.  I had the pleasure of meeting Pat at the 3rd Annual Oldies Meet and Greet held at Ben's Deli in December 2008.  It was certainly nice of Pat to come out to meet his listeners.  Most of his years were spent  at WPLJ and WNEW-FM.

He is currently on the air on WCBS-FM on Sundays from 11 AM - 3 PM.  At that time I am usually in the car on the way to visit my mother in Westbury.  I just love his collectible cut feature which I usually hear as I drive into the parking lot of my mother's building.  I catch him from time to time on several channels on SiriusXM.

Rewound Radio  featured a 3 hour retrospective of his radio career last Saturday, but I was at the Met game.  It will be repeated tomorrow night at 7 PM when I will be listening on my iPhone on the way home from work.  Thanks to John Troll and Allan Sniffen for airing this show.

A hearty congratulations to Pat and I hope you will be on the radio for many more years.  More information may be found at:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ebony Hillbillies at Flushing Town Hall

It is always nice to have a concert venue in the neighborhood as I have reported several family outings to Flushing Town Hall.  We were supposed to see the Ebony Hillbillies back in February, but a snowstorm necessitated it to be rescheduled to last night.  We were all tired after seeing the Mets in the afternoon, but this group was certainly very entertaining.

The Ebony Hillbillies are described as one of the last black string bands in the United States. This two hour concert featured songs from many musical genres.  Some of the audience members danced up a storm.  The group members are:

  • Norris Bennett
  • Henrique Prince
  • William Salter
  • Newman Taylor Baker
  • Gloria Thomas Gassaway

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mets 7 Miami 3

It was a little cold this afternoon as we made our first trip of the the season to Citifield.  Of course, I bought the yearbook for the 52nd time.  We walked around the stadium for a while and the walked up to section 518 where we met Alan Berman.

There are many new faces on the team as the Mets try to improve on their 74-88 2012 record. John Buck drove in 4 runs and David Wright got 3 hits as the Mets beat Florida 7-3.

Game recap

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Begins its 2013 Leg

Since Bob Dylan is approaching his 72nd birthday, he deserves some time off from his legendary Never Ending Tour.  The last concert was November 22 at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn attended by yours truly.  The tour resumed last name at the Alumni Arena at SUNY Buffalo.  Below is the set list from Bob Links page compiled by Bill Pagel.  I am glad to see he played some songs from the recent Tempest CD.

1.Things Have Changed (Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel,
Duke on reddish orange hollow body electric, George on drums with brushes)
2.Love Sick (Bob center stage, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Duke on red hollow body electric)
3.High Water (For Charley Patton) (Bob center stage,
Donnie on banjo, Duke on red hollow body electric, Tony on standup bass)
4.Soon After Midnight (Bob standing at grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel,
Duke on red hollow body electric)
5.Early Roman Kings (Bob standing at grand piano, Donnie on lap steel,
Duke on red hollow body electric, Tony on standup bass, George on drums with brushes)
6.Tangled Up In Blue (Bob sitting at grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel,
Duke on red hollow body electric, George on drums with brushes)
7.Pay In Blood (Bob standing at grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel,
Duke on red hollow body electric, George on drums with brushes)
8.Visions Of Johanna (Bob sitting at grand piano, Donnie on electric mandolin,
Duke on red hollow body electric)
9.Spirit On The Water (Bob standing at grand piano and harp,
Donnie on pedal steel, Duke on red hollow body electric, George on drums with brushes)
10.Blind Willie McTell (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on banjo,
Duke on red hollow body electric, Tony on standup bass)
11.Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob center stage with harp,
Donnie on electric mandolin, Duke on red hollow body electric,
Tony on white 6 string Fender bass)
12.What Good Am I? (Bob sitting at grand piano, Donnie on pedal steel,
Duke on red hollow body electric, Tony on white 6 string Fender bass,
George on drums with mallets)
13.Thunder On The Mountain (Bob standing at grand piano,
Donnie on lap steel, Duke on red hollow body electric,
Tony on white 6 string Fender bass, George on drums with brushes)
14.Scarlet Town (Bob sitting at grand piano, Donnie on banjo,
Duke on red hollow body electric, Tony on white 6 string Fender bass,
George on drums with brushes)
15.Highway 61 Revisited (Bob standing at grand piano,
Donnie on lap steel, Duke on red hollow body electric,
Tony on white 6 string Fender bass, George on drums with brushes)
16.Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob standing at grand piano and harp,
Donnie on lap steel, Duke on red hollow body electric)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beatles Song of the Day - Drive My Car

I don't here this one much on the radio. Many Beatles songs have been burned out by overplay on the radio

Monday, April 1, 2013

Opening Day of the Baseball Season

It was very rare as both the Mets and Yankees were home on opening day.  I had to go to work, but my trusty iPhone kept me advised of the scores.  The Mets did very well as the usually do on opening day and beat the San Diego Padres 11-2 featuring a grand slam home run by Collin Cowgill.  I think Cow Bell Man may have to change his name.  The injury riddled Yankees lost 8-2 to the hated Boston Red Sox.

Recap of the Met game

Recap of the Yankee game

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