Saturday, April 30, 2016

50th Anniversary of Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde Album This May

Although it was released in May 1966 I had to wait until July since I had to scrape up enough money from my allowance to buy a double album.  I'd like to recommend my readers listen to this podcast where Tennessean music reporter Juli Thanki discusses the album and its impact.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Me and Mrs Jones by Billy Paul - Lyrics Taken Out of Context

This week we heard of the passing of soul singer Billy Paul who can be considered a one hit wonder with Me & Mrs, Jones. It charted in late 1972 and early 1973 when I was a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island. The song described the singer’s frustration about being in an extramarital affair which would inevitably come to an end. A line in that song that I am taking completely out of context is “We gotta be extra careful that we don't build our hopes up too high.”

Let’s turn the clock ahead a few years after I completed studies and was looking for my first professional position. A job search is likely one of life’s must frustrating experiences. After I left an interview Billy’s singing of “We must be extra careful that we don't build our hopes up too high” always went through my mind.

Very often lines in songs, books, and movies can be taken out of context.

I found this Youtube video of Billy's performing this in front of an audience in France in 2014

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Denver Vacation This July For Stadium #25

The family will be going on vacation to Denver this year as we have to check out another baseball stadium.  The Colorado Rockies will be at home at Coors Field when we are there against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Of course, we will check out museums and other attractions while we are in town.  Let me take this opportunity to count the baseball stadiums past and present that I have seen in my life.

  1. Fenway Park
  2. Yankee Stadium (original)
  3. Yankee Stadium (new)
  4. Ebbets Field
  5. Polo Grounds
  6. Shea Stadium
  7. Citifield
  8. Citizen's Bank Park
  9. Orioles Park at Camden Yards
  10. RFK Stadium
  11. Turner Field
  12. Marlins Park
  13. PNC Park
  14. Progressive Field
  15. Great American Ball Park
  16. Wrigley Field
  17. U.S. Cellular Field
  18. Busch Stadium (newest)
  19. Miller Park
  20. Target Field
  21. Royals Stadium
  22. Comerica Park (we were in the stadium waiting for the game to start, but it was rained out)
  23. AT & T Park
  24. Oakland Stadium (It has been under several names)
  25. Coors Field will be #25

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Like A Woman - Bob Dylan Song of the Day

I just heard Jim Ladd play this on the Deep Tracks Channel on SiriusXM.  I was released as a single in September 1966, but only peaked at #33 in Billboard.  Every year I vote for it on Rich Appel's It Should Have Been a Bigger Hit.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Prince Bob Dylan Connection

Both Prince and Bob Dylan were born in Minnesota, but Prince stayed while Dylan moved on.  Like millions of others I am sorry to hear of Prince's untimely passing.  I found out that Prince covered All Along the Watchtower at the 2007 Superbowl.  I just found it on Youtube.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Elvis & Nixon

On December 21, 1970 the King met Tricky Dick at the Whitehouse.  I guess if they can make a movie about this they can make a movie about just about anything.  I enjoyed the film but wonder if  events described in the movie actually happened.  Did Elvis present Nixon a handgun as a gift?  Did he sign an autograph for Julie Nixon?  Was Nixon thrilled to meet Elvis or did he go through this reluctantly?

I certainly would recommend this movie to those who grew up during the 60s and 70s who were living when Nixon was president and Elvis, the King.  Actors portrayed some of the future Watergate figures including H.R, Haldeman, Egil Krogh, and Dwight Chapin.

One of the best things for me was a chance to visit the Kew Gardens Cinema.  That is a movie theater they way they used to be in neighborhoods and not shopping malls.  I did miss the stadium seating of the College Point Multiplex.

Description in the Internet Movie Database

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 22 is Karen's Birthday

The Mets are on of the things that have
kept us together for 32+ years

Karen was born 6 years and one day after me.  She gets another Bob Dylan song for her birthday.  It is If Not for You which Bob originally recorded on the New Morning album in 1970.  Below is a video of George Harrison rehearsing it with Bob before the Concert for Bangla Desh.  Under that is a version by Olivia Newton-John

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 21 is My Birthday

This year I am not going to reveal my age.  I am going to quote the Beatles and say "You Know My Name, Look Up the Number."  That was the B-side of Let it Be.  But for this birthday I am going to post two songs that have appeared in this journal before.

This was performed on October 16, 1992 by the Mt. Rushmore of Rock n' Roll - Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roger McGuinn, Neil Young, Eric Clapton,Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

I was never a big fan of the Grateful Dead, but for old farts like me this song really hits the spot.  " I will get by I will survive."

Monday, April 18, 2016

Good Day for a Staycation

Since my vacation hours are a little high, I decided to take today off to get a 3 day weekend.  If we have more than 175 vacation hours after June 30, we lose those excessive hours.  I have to get my bank down to zero when I retire.  The weather was absolutely perfect.

I took my car to Sparkles for a wash.  Since I was there last they took away the iPads and put in a little coffee shop.  I guess they are trying to make a few bucks off people who are hungry while they are wating for their cars.  My 2000 Chevy Cavalier looks like a brand new car.

From there I drove over to Alley Pond Park where I took my usual hike and then sat down to read my Kindle Fire.  It is difficult to read from an electronic device when the sun is very strong.  I looked at a "tradtional magazine" instead.

While looking at Facebook I found a link to Rich Appel's list of It Should Have Been a Bigger Hit.  I guess not too many Bob Dylan fans voted.

Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mariners 3 Yankees 2

The only time I root against the Yankees is when they play the Mets.  We generally go to two games a season at Yankee Stadium so today was game #1 for us.  C. C. Sabathia started for the Bronx Bombers and looked good for the first 4 innings, but gave up 3 runs in the 5th inning and removed.  The only highlight for the Yankees was the performance of Carlos Beltran who went 4 for 5 including a home run.  The Yankees had the tieing and winning run in scoring position in the 9th inning, but Chase Headley grounded out to end the game.

TV Series Based on Bob Dylan Songs in Early Development at Amazon, Lionsgate TV

I want to thank regular reader Frank D'agostino for bringing this to my attention.  Certainly Bob Dylan songs have had a great impact on me and millions of his fans of years.  A detailed article in Variety reports that the series will be name "Time Out of Mind" and each show will be a story inspired by characters and themes in Dylan songs.  Certainly the sky will be the limit as there are hundreds of Dylan songs with themes from the ridiculous to the sublime. "His songs are vague and open to interpretation."

As of now it is in the early stages of development, so we may have to wait a few years before we see the first show.  I must assume that there will be contracts involved in getting the rights to use the songs.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Good Luck Brian Kennedy

New NJIT Men's Basketball Coach Brian Kennedy (l) with Athletic Director Lenny Kaplan

Today I attended a press conference introducing Brian Kennedy as the new men's basketball coach at NJIT succeeding Jim Engles.  Brian was promoted from Assistant Coach to ensure continuity in the program.  He recruited many of the current NJIT student athletes and is familiar with the program.

At one time he was Assistant Coach at DePaul where he worked with several future NBA players.  Perhaps some NJIT players will make it into the NBA.  Only time will tell.

My best wishes to Brian for much success as the NJIT Men's Basketball coach.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Power Outage in Newark Creates A Crazy Morning for Me

It was a pretty normal morning for me until I reached New York Penn Station at 7:30.  I looked at my cell phone and recieved a text message stating that a power outage in Newark affected several buildings at NJIT including the Central Avenue Building which houses the Van Houten Library where I work.  Luckily I hadn't boarded a New Jersey Transit Train.  At that time the announcement said that the buildings would open at 1 PM.  I decided to come home and take a half a vacation day if necessary.

I took the subway and arrived home at about 8:45.  At about 10:20 an announcement was made that the affected buildings would be closed all day.  It turned out to be a "snow day" on a sunny spring day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Can't Find the Time by Orpheus - The Number One Song on It Should Have Been a Bigger Hit

Can' Find the Time by Orpheus was first released in 1968 but charted at #111 in Billboard.  A year later it was re-released and could reach only #80 in the charts.  Apparently the top 40 stations back then did not play it.  I do remember hearing it as an oldie on WCBS-FM years later.  It reached #1 on the list of songs that should have been a bigger hit on Rich Appel's That Thing Show.

I wonder if the members of the group are aware of the song's great popularity as an oldie.  I sure hope they get residuals from it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Phillies 5 Mets 2 in Our First Game of the Season

We always go to a game the first weekend of the season, and this year was no exception.  It was a little chilly in the upper deck, but that didn't bother us.  It was the lack of hitting for the second game in a row that was bad.  It was Harvey Day, but he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings with only 3 strikeouts and was outpitched by Jeremy Hellickson.  The only highlights were a 2 run homer by Yoenis Cespedes and a three strikeout inning by Jim Henderson who is the most pleasant surprise of the season so far.

Game Recap

Before the game I bought the yearbook for the 55th time.  Since the caps we had at home were somewhat shabby, we bought new caps for everyone.  Below is a selfie that I took with my new cap.  I have to learn to smile when I take a selfie.  Maybe somebody should tell me a joke as a snap the camera.

Two of my Facebook friends were at the game.  I tried to meet Joanna Ente, but she was sitting in the 300 levelwhere the ushers were checking tickets, so I could meet her.  I did meet fellow librarian Kate Kosturski who was sitting in section 523.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Best Wishes to Pat St. John for a Speedy Recovery

Yours truly with Pat St. John at the November 2009
Oldies Meet and Greet

Pat's daughter reported on facebook that he suffered a fall at his home in San Diego.  He suffered severe spinal trauma, including shattered and fractured vertebra.  I certainly wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.  He was certainly an asset to New York radio for about 40 years as he worked at WNEW-FM, WPLJ and WCBS-FM.  Nationally he is heard Monday-Friday 1PM -5PM and SiriusXM 60s on 6.  I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Oldies Meet and Greet in November 2009.

Friday, April 8, 2016

It Should Have Been a Bigger Hit

Every year Rich Appel polls his listeners and derives a list of songs that should have been a bigger hit.  Many song for whatever reason became more popular as oldies.  I send Rich my list every year, as some of them hit his top 104 list.  Right now he and Bob Radil are playing them on Bob's 60s 70s Show on Rewound Radio.  In this journal entry I am featuring Blow Away by George Harrison which peaked at #16, but should have been a bigger hit.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

RIP Merle Haggard

I had the pleasure of seeing Merle Haggard in concert as he opened for Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theater in April 2005.  I bought a CD of his greatest hits shortly afterward.  Today he passed away at age 79.  RIP and thanks for all the good music over the years.

Good Luck Jim Engles

Today I heard that NJIT's men's basketball coach Jim Engles resigned to accept the coaching job at Columbia University.  When NJIT entered Division I sports the basketball team fared very poorly as they lost 50 games in a row when Jim was hired,  In the 8 years he was at NJIT he turned the team around is it became competitive at the Division I level.  Many people including myself were skeptical about the advisability of moving from Division II to Division I, but Jim proved everyone wrong.  Credit must also be given to Athletic Director Lenny Kaplan, the assistant coaches and many others who are responsible for the team's success.

I think the key to success in college sports is the recruitment of student athletes.  Hopefully the Wellness and Event Center which will open in Fall 2017 will attract excellent student athletes to NJIT.

Jim Engles returns to Columbia where he was Assistant Coach before coming to NJIT.  I wish him all the best.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Tarantula Name Johnny Cash?

Johnny Cash sang about a Boy Named Sue, but just today by accident I found out there is a tarantula named Johnny Cash.  To be exact the name is A. johnnycashi.  In my "previous life" I was a chemist and still am a member of the American Chemical Society and receive as part of my membership a subscription to the Chemical & Engineering News.  An article in the April 4 issue discusses this insect.

Chris A, Hamilton, the lead researcher who discovered this new species, is a big fan of Johnny Cash and since this insect is predominantly black named it after "The Man in Black."  They can be found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains which are close to the Folsom State Prison made famous by a Johnny Cash song.

Did you know that Bob Dylan wrote a book called Tarantula.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Play Ball - It's Opening Night for the Amazin' Mets

It must be the first time ever when the teams in the World Series meet each other on the following opening day.  It will be Harvey Day as Matt will face the Kansas City Royals on Opening Night.  The young pitching staff is now more experienced and will likely be strengthened when Zach Wheeler returns later iin the season.  I think the hitting will be the question mark.  Was Yoenis Cespedes' 57 game tenure last season a fluke?  Will Neil Walker be an improvement at second base over Daniel Murphy?  Will the bullpen come through?

The Mets' success will also depend on how the Washington Nationals do this season.  They obviously underachieved last season and let the Mets win the National League East.  They changed their manager and made some improvements.  It is a long season and anything can happen.

Play Ball!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Yesterday Was April Fools Day

It seems that jokes on April Fools' Day were more common years ago.  Yesterday Facebook friend Steven Jay Gilinsky announced he became engaged.  He fooled a few people including myself, but retracted the announcement later in the day.  When Jeopardy came on yesterday Alex Trebek appeared for a few seconds without his pants on.  There were a couple of pranks later on the show as they played a few Wheel of Fortune jingles and showed Ken Jennings answering a question.

There was a Morning Zoo reunion on WCBS-FM yesterday morning.  Competing radio station Z-100 was not mentioned but Scott Shannon and other were on that station in the 1980s.  WCBS-FM is now trying to attract listeners in the 25-54 age range who grew up listening to contemporary hit radio in the 1980s.  They don't want old farts like me who grew up in the 1960s listening to WABC and WMCA.
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