Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to All

I wish all readers of Bruce's Journal, my Facebook page and Twitter feed a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.  Of course, I wish all my friends and acquaintances who are not on social media the same.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Visited the Guggenheim Museum Today

Today Karen and I visited the Guggenheim Museum as we saw the exhibit Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting,  Burri (1915-1995) was an Italian painter who was trained as a physician but gave it up in 1946 to become an artist.  His unique style used highly tactile surfaces drawing the viewer into a deeper sensory experience.

There was also a photography exhibition featuring ten artists who uniquely contemplate the nature, traditions, and magic of photography.

The last time I visited the Guggenheim was on Martin Luther King Day of 2013 when we saw an exhibit on Picasso.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Facebook Friends on the Radio

Bob Radil of  the 60s 70s Show on Rewound Radio featured above is one of many of my Facebook friends.  I just looked at my friend list and found so many who have been on the radio now or in the past.  I have decided to compile a list limited to those radio personalities whom I have met.  I will obviously not give their entire radio resume, but just say how I met them and my radio experience with them.  The list is in no particular order:

  • Don Tandler - met at a few of the oldies meets and greets.  Pop Gold Radio and NJ 101.5
  • Cousin Bruce Morrow - met at the Rewound Cruise in 2007.  SiriusXM, WCBS-FM, WABC
  • Rich Appel - the only person who ever gave me a ticket to a Bob Dylan concert.  That Thing with Rich Appel on Rewound Radio
  • Gary Brefini - I have never met him, but spoke to him once on the phone. He is a reader of this journal, Radio XL5
  • Bobby Backman - Cool Bobby B - Another regular person at the oldies meets and greets.  The Doo Wop Stop on SiriusXM
  • Alan Seltzer - oldies meet and greet - WCWP
  • Scott Fybush - I last saw him at the Decalcomania convention in East Brunswick, NJ in July 1995.  WXXI Rochester and publisher of the North East Radio Watch
  • Russ DiBello aka Famous Amos - Oldies Meet and Greet.  WCBS-FM and Jammin 105
  • Tom Lawler - I just heard him today on WLNG.  I met him at the Long Island Radio Day at CW Post.
  • Ron Parker - Met him at a WCBS-FM picnic in Staten Island some years ago.  Work at WCBS-FM.  I think he does part time work on NASH-Fm
  • Jerry Barmash - Long Island Radio Day - WABC
  • Broadway Bill Lee - Came to one oldies meet and greet - WCBS-FM
  • Jim Kerr - Two oldies meets and greets - Q-104.3
  • Pat St, John - oldies meet and greet. WCBS-FM and WPLJ
  • Scott Lowe - oldies meet and greet - WBUX, Bucks County PA
  • Kristen LaBar - oldies meet and greet - Fresh 102.7
  • Joe Causi - WCBS-FM promotion at a Verizon cell phone store
  • Bob Shannon - CBS Radio day at Yankee Stadium - WCBS-FM and WLNG
  • Teddy Smith - the most recent oldies meet and greet - WPAT (AM)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Some Thoughts on Music Radio Countdowns

Back in the 1960s I used to love to listen to radio station countdowns.  Back then Dan Daniel on WMCA would count down the top 25 hits from 4 PM - 7 PM with Wednesday as the new survey day.  Likewise Tuesday was new survey day on WABC as it was introduced by Dan Ingram at 2 PM and counted down in order later that night by Cousin Bruce Morrow.  It was always fun comparing the surveys of the two radio stations.  At the end of the year the stations would compile the top hits of the year.

Let's turn the clock ahead 30 or so years ago as oldies stations would ask their listeners to vote for their favorite songs.  For many years In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins was the number one song voted by the listeners.  We never knew for sure is this was a truc countdown as we suspected that radio station would not include songs voted that were out of format.  When WCBS-FM returned from the dreaded Jack format in 2007 it was described as classic hits, not oldies and covered 1964-89.  Some how In the Still of the Night didn't make the survey.

For the past 18 years oldies enthusiast Mike Riccio and Tom Natoli have compiled a list of the Top 77 songs voted by  listeners.  Yesterday they appeared on Rewound Radio and played the top 77 with extras and gave a history of the songs that charted.  I certainly applaud their efforts and appreciate their enthusiasm.

In 2015 I just can't get excited over countdowns as I did when I was a teenager growing up.  Like A Rolling Stone was #20 this year, but I still like it no matter what number it reached.  There are plenty of other Dylan songs that I like better that are obscure and unknown to the casual listener.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My Son The Willie Nelson Fan at the Paley Center for Media

For the same reason Lee became a Johnny Cash fan some years ago, he has become a Willie Nelson fan.  We have a few of his CDs but no videos about him  For that reason we went to the Paley Center for Media today to see what they had.  We were there for over two hours and viewed the following:

  • Barbara Walters interviewing him in June 1982
  • His appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman in January 1994 and March 2006
  • Saturday Night Live December 1977
  • His July 4th Concert on the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack (date unknown)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day at the College Point Multiplex

I have mentioned the College Point Multiplex many times in this journal.  Now you can see a picture of it.  Anyway we wanted to avoid seeing the Star Wars movie the first weekend of its release.  We thought that on Christmas Day families observing the holiday would stay home all day.  We got to the theater at 11:30 to get tickets for the 11:50 show but found out it was sold out.  This was the first in years that we had been shut out of a movie at this complex.  We were able to get tickets for the 1:15 show and were able to walk back home instead of hanging around the theater.  I guess on Christmas Day everything else is closed so to get out of Mom's way while she is cooking dinner, the kids go to the movies.

I have seen every Star Wars movie since the first one in 1977 which I saw on my vacation that summer in Cape Cod.   I enjoyed the movie, but of course it is aimed at kids.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Comments on Off Season Moves by the Mets

I really think that in the off season so far the Mets have weakened themselves.  They traded Jon Neise for Neil Walker.  Since Steven Matz will be the left hander in the Mets rotation, Neise was expendable.  It remains to be seen if Walker will be a better second baseman than Daniel Murphy whose value on the open market likely increased with his performance in Division Series and League Championship series.  The Mets signed free agent Asdrubal Cabrera as their shortstop leaving Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores as backups.

They signed Alejandro De Aza to a one-year contract to play in the outfield.  I am not thrilled with his career statistics and if he will just platoon with Juan Lagares then this is a significant downgrade from Yoenis Cespedes who is obviously gone.

I think it was a good move to sign Bartolo Colon to a one year contract , but a think $7.25 million is excessive for him.  He will be the 5th starter until Zach Wheeler returns.

Baseball salaries are excessive these days and the Mets among other teams have been burned by overpaying free agents.  Jason Bay who was given a large 4 year contract a few years ago did not work out.  Any team needs to take a risk.  I wish the Mets would have signed Daniel Murphy as he was with the team for several years.  We become attached to a player and before you know it they are gone.

The Mets lucked out by getting into the World Series in 2015 as they had the 5th best record in the National League.  Had the Washington Nationals played as expected, the Mets would not have made the playoffs.

Before you know it pitchers and catchers will report for spring training and the 2016 season will be here.  We shall see what we shall see.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Steve Harvey Really Goofed

I didn't watch the Miss Universe Pageant but I heard that Steve Harvey really goofed as he announced the wrong winner.  For some reason I just never cared for his comedic style.  For that reason I don't watch his version of Family Feud.  Oh well.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

NJIT 83 St. Johns 74 at the Carnesecca Arena and I was there

St. John's coach Chris Mullin congratulates NJIT
coach Jim Engles after the game

Hearty congratulations to the NJIT Highlander basketball team who defeated the Red Storm of St. John's University 83-74 at Carnesecca Arena. Yours truly, Karen and Lee were in the stands rooting the team representing my employer. Congratulations are in order for all the players, coaches, and Athletic Director Lenny Kaplan as for the first time NJIT has beaten a school from the Big East Conference.

It seems strange that I never seen the men's basketball team at Newark, but I saw them twice at St. Johns and once at Hofstra as they lost all three games. As I mentioned before I got the tickets about a week ago at a bargain from Stub Hub. We drove over to the campus and we ran into Lenny in the lobby as we entered.

The Highlanders lead for most of the game as Damon Lynn led with 32 points. Chris Jenkins, Ky Howard, and Tim Coleman also scored in double figures. The Highlanders now have a 7-5 in games outside the Atlantic Sun Conference which they joined this past year.

When NJIT scored a basket I looked to my left and saw a handful of people cheering. I went over during halftime and found out they were from the Athletics Department. One of the gentlemen I spoke to was the tennis coach. I did find any students in the stands.

I must say that this victory was a pleasant surprise for me. I must admit that when NJIT first moved to Division I sports from Division II I was skeptical that the teams could be competitive at that level. It took a few years and recruiting the right student athletes for the team to succeed.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour - Good News, Bad News

Here is the good news Isis Magazine reports that the Never Ending Tour will resume in 2016.  The baad news is that several dates were set in Japan in April.  The tour did not come to NYC at all in 2015.  Since the tour will restart in Japan, it will likely not come to the east coast until the summer at the earliest.  I'll just have to wait.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Isis is a Bob Dylan Song and the Name of a Fanzine

Isis as heard above is the name of a Bob Dylan song that appeared on the Desire album in 1976.  It is also the name of an Egyptian goddess.  Two Bob Dylan fans in the UK, Derek and Tracy Barker publish a magazine since 1985 called Isis which provides Dylan enthusiasts with a wide-ranging collection of writings on Bob Dylan.  In a message to the subscribers the publishers stated they will not change the name of the magazine as a terrorist organization also uses that name.  They said "if we change the name of this magazine, then evil has triumphed."

We all must go on with our lives and not let the terrorists win.  When I see National Guard troops in New York Penn Station it reminds me that there is a constant threat of terrorist activity which could happen anywhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New York Radio is Not the Same Without Bob Shannon

Bob Shannon has appeared several times in Bruce's Journal over the years.  I would like to take the opportunity to wish him a very happy 67th birthday.  He left WCBS-FM in December 2011 for health reasons and since then New York radio has not been the same.

Don Tandler reported on Facebook that he spoke to Bob's wife Connie who said that Bob was most appreciative of the good wishes he received from his listeners.

I started listening to Bob in the mid 1980s when he did the evening shift on WCBS-FM.  I remember playing Tuesday Night Trivia and rarely got through first since I had a rotary dial phone back then.  Bob certainly is a "walking encyclopedia" of oldies artists and music.  For most of his time at WCBS-FM he was on the air from 3 PM - 7 PM.

In June 2005 after the oldies format was replaced by the dreaded Jack format Bob really stood up for his listeners.  When WCBS-FM came back with a classic hits formats Bob was hired back.  For a while Bob and Connie did an oldies show on WLNG from eastern Long Island.

Best wishes for good health, Bob.  New York radio is just not the same without you.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Remembering Phil Pepe (1935-2015)

I found out this morning from Dan Taylor's Facebook page that sportswriter Phil Pepe passed away at age 80.  Phil was best known for writing over 50 books.  If you want to see them go to Worldcat and do a search on his name.  For many years he was a reporter for the New York Daily News.

I best remember him for being part of the morning team on Harry Harrison's show on WCBS-FM.  In the photo above you can see from left to right Phil, Harry, Mr. G. and Debra Wetzel.  Phil's sports reports were always concise and to the point.  At 6:30 PM on Bob Shannon's show he would make comments on his segment called the Pep Talk,

Phil was certainly an asset to his profession and will certainly be missed by his friend and colleagues.  His books will live on.  My condolences to his family.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Breaking the Saturday Night Internet Radio Habit Yesterday

I guess Cousin Brucie needs some time off so last night's show was an encore performance which is a euphemism for repeat.  When he returns he'll say he was on "special assignment" which is likely a vacation.  I decided to surf the radio web.  Here is a list of the sites that I visited for about 20 minutes each.

That Thing With Rich Appel on WOLD - Woodbridge, NJ  - I usually catch Rich's Show on Sunday Nights on Rewound Radio but last night I caught a segment that I missed.  I am glad to see that Rich's show has gained more affiliates.  WOLD is a low power station at 107.9 FM which has a playlist that reminds me of WCBS-FM in its hey day.

RadioXL - with Gary Brefini.  This radio station plays hit music from the 1980s to the present.

Cavalcade on WFUV with Paul Cavalconte  - I tuned my radio to 90.7 FM for this.  Paul has been on several radio stations in NYC over the years with different formats.  At the recent oldies Meet and Greet Ken Dashow spoke very highly of him.  I would describe it as a free form show.  - This web site provides historical radio air checks.  I listened to a recording of Max Kinkel on WCBS-FM from 1993.  He had a big following overnights during his years on 101.1 FM.  He spent a lot of time talking to listeners over the years.  - I listened to several NYC format changes such as  WNCN to WQIV in 1974, Mix 102.7 to Fresh 102.7 and WCAA to WQXR on 105.9

Friday, December 11, 2015

I Got a Bargain on StubHub Today

I usually go to the box office to buy tickets for sporting events but when I have to I'll go online and get the tickets from Ticketmaster with their high fees.  I have only purchased tickets from StubHub a few times.  I wanted to get tickets to see the NJIT Highlanders basketball team play the Red Storm of St, Johns on Sunday December 20 at the Carnesecca Arena.  I was hoping to buy tickets from the NJIT Athletics Department, but I was told today they didn't have any available.

I noticed there were seats available on Ticketmaster for $30 plus their excessive fees.  Just for the heck of it I went over to StubHub and saw there were tickets for the ridiculously low price of $6.  Over course I bought 3 tickets for a total cost of $28.50 including all fees.  I was able to print the tickets on my computer.   I am guessing that students got the tickets for free and sold them online to make a few bucks.  I am not complaining.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hot Stove News From the Mets

The Mets traded left handed pitcher Jon Neise to the Pittsburgh Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker who seems to bring a good resume with him.  This solidifies Steven Matz's position as the lefty starter in the Mets rotation.  There is now speculation that Bartolo Colon will sign with the Mets and become the 5th starter until Zach Wheeler comes off the disabled list.  It is now virtually certain that Daniel Murphy will not come back to the Mets and will sign with another team.  The Mets will get a first round pick in the amateur free agent draft from the team the signs Murphy.  I am sure there will be more moves made to strengthen the team for the 2016 season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Watching the Wheels - John Lennon Song of the Day

It is hard to believe that it is 35 years snce we lost John Lennon.  Watching the Wheels reflected the years that he stayed home as a house husband and cared for Sean while Yoko took care of his business affairs.  We never now what music he would have created had he lived.  He is still sorely missed after all these years.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Donald Trump is a Tuchus Opening

Heaven forbid that this man become President of the United States.  Today he made the most asinine statement every made by a presidential candidate by saying that there be a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.  Hey asshole would you forbid Muslim students from entering American Universities?  Islam has about 1.6 billion adherents comprising about 22% of the world's population.  Why are you condemning an entire religion by the actions of a few.  By the way, Timothy Mcveigh was a Christian.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Hanukkah to All

My best wishes for a happy holidays to my blog readers, Facebook friends and Twitter followers who observe Hanukkah.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Few Brief Comments About Andrea D. Wiener

About a week ago I sent out a survey asking for feedback about Bruce's Journal.  It has been my experience that very few people respond.  Survey Monkey gives the I.P. address of the responders, so I can determine a little information about my readers.  Here is a quick summary of the two responses I recieved.

1. Someone from Manhattan whose internet service provider is RCN remarked that I made too many typos.  Thanks for your comment.  I will proofread my journal entries more carefully in the future.

2. Someone from New Jersey using Comcast asked me about Oldies Diva Andrea D. Wiener.   She obviously greatly reduced her presence on social media.  She is still on Facebook, but she unfriended me twice.  She never posts on radio message boards or phones into Bob Radil's 60s 70s show or Cousin Brucie's show.  She came to a few of the early oldies meet and greets, but I haven't seen her in several years.

I Watched Two College Basketball Games Simultaneously Today

Since it was a nice day the family took a drive out to LIU Post in Brookville to see Post play Mercy College.  The Pratt Recreation Center is very attractive facility for a Division II program.  I wonder why LIU Brooklyn is in Division I while LIU Post is Division II.  This game started at 2 PM while the NJIT game against UMass - Lowell started at 3 PM.  In this era of smartphones it was easy to follow both games as the NJIT game was shown on ESPN3.

LIU Post fell behind 29-12 and was behind 43-32 at halftime but they rallied in the second half to win 71-63.

Game Recap

Meanwhile NJIT built a comfortable lead against Lowell in the first half.  When the Post game ended I had to drive home so I obviously could not follow the game until I got home.  After I parked my car I checked my phone and watched the last two minutes of the game.  NJIT won 90-77.

Game Recap

Friday, December 4, 2015

Best Wishes To Sandy Alderson

It was announced today that New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson will be undergoing chemotherapy for 8-12 weeks.  The reports stated that the form of cancer he has is treatable

I can only send Sandy my best wishes for the best of health.  He "pushed the right buttons" in July as he made the trades that got the Mets into the World Series for the first time in 15 years.  A person's health must come before his job.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

David Price to get $217 Million For 7 Years From the Boston Red Sox

It was announced that free agent pitcher David Price signed at contract worth $217 million over 7 years with the Boston Red Sox.  This equates to about $1 Million per start. It is very possibe he will be injured somewhere along the line. Also his skills could fade toward the end of his contract. Is any team athlete worth that money? The Red Sox fans will pay for it through higher ticket costs and cable TV fees for NESN.   How much will pitchers like Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard get when they are eligible for free agency in a few years?

It is sad in a way how society values athletic prowess more than other professional skills.  Doctors and firemen who save lives make a tiny fraction of the money commanded by professional athlete.  The chart below from Business Insider summarizes the average  salaries in the various professional leagues.  The sports fans are paying these salaries indirectly.  I remember years ago paying $1.50 to sit in the upper deck of Shea Stadium.  Those were the days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Trying to Survey the Readers of Bruce's Journal

Bruce's Journal has been on the internet for over 10 years now.  I have had fun doing it and sharing my thoughts with "the entire world".  I am curious as to who reads it and what types of articles are of interest.  I know that very few people like to answer surveys, but I have nothing to lose by trying to elicit feedback.  Obviously nobody is required to respond.   Adding your name or location is optional.

Thanks for stopping by.

Survey on Bruce's Journal
Personal-Journals blog