Saturday, December 31, 2016

Radio Personalities We Lost in 2016

Much has been written about the high number of celebrities who passed away in 2016.  For my last entry of 2016 I would like to pay a brief tribute to three radio personalities who left us this year.

Dan Daniel

I wrote a tribute to him last June, I listened to him on WMCA, WHN, WNBC WYNY and WCBS-FM

Jim Lowe WNEW

Jim worked at WNEW 1130 AM and WNBC 660 AM but was also a recording artist best known for his hit Green Door.  Here is an obituary from the New York Times

Rich Conaty WFUV

His untimely passing at age 62 was announced last night.  He loved the music from the 1920s and 1930s and played it on WFUV Sunday nights.  Please see this tribute from the WFUV staff.

I'd like to thank reader Gary Fishbein for telling me that Dan Daniel and Jim Lowe also worked for WNBC 660 AM.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Case of the Media Creating the News

I have always tried to keep informed of what is going on in the world by watching TV News and reading newspapers.  The former can be depressing as much of the stories are about crime and accidents.  This morning as I watched the Today Show there was a report that Conor Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy was arrested for disorderly conduct after a fight at a bar.

What is the big deal here?  There are likely hundreds of arrests each day for disorderly conduct, but since a Kennedy was involved it becomes big news.  The best thing for me to do is just turn off my TV.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Visited the Paley Center for Media Today

Karen and I visited the Paley Center for Media today to "follow-up" on the movie Jackie which we saw on Saturday and Rolling Stones Exhibitionism that we visited Monday.  First of all I must say that Natalie Portman was excellent in her portrayl of Jackie Kennedy.  The film showed Jackie giving a tour of the White House that was on CBS TV back in the early 1960s.  The Paley Center had in its database the actual show in January 1962 where Jackie escorted Charles Collingsworth through the White House.  We also viewed some footage of NBC News on November 22, 1963 when the shooting of JFK was first reported.  It took about 30 minutes until his death was confirmed.  Back then there were no satellite transmissions, so there was a delay in getting out the news.

I searched the database under the Rolling Stones and found a special about them on MTV in 1990.  We also viewed an episode of Shindig from 1965 featuring the Rolling Stones, Byrds, Everly Brothers, Billy Preston, and others.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism in Lower Manhattan

The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism started its run in NYC (775 Washington Street near the Whitney Museum) in November and will continue until March 12.  I highly recommend it to my friends who are oldies enthusiasts.  It included over 500 items including vintage guitars, rare instruments, lyric books, album art, and personal letters.  The best part of the exhibit was a short 3D movie of the Rolling Stones singing Satisfaction.

When we finished the show we went to the gift shop across the street,  I bought the Stone's new CD called Blue and Lonesome where the group returns to its musical R&B roots.  I have several of their albums from the 60s and 70s on vinyl, but only a greatest hits compilation on CD.  We also got a t-shirt for Lee and a refrigerator magnet for Karen.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Was a Terrible Year For Celebrity Deaths

I found this picture the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Facebook site of friend Jay Mandel.  We just found out today of the untimely passing of musician George Michael at age 53.  Too many of the celebrities in the photo left us much too soon.  RIP and may 2017 be a better year. A list may be found at this web site.

Friday, December 23, 2016

I Saw Two Sporting Events in One Day in Newark

Yesterday with a unique day as I saw two sporting events in person within hours in Newark.  Let me explain how this happened.  Yesterday was faculty and staff appreciation day at NJIT so we were invited to the Athletic Center to see the Men’s Basketball Team play Dean College.  The Highlanders won 92-50 as Damon Lynn became the top scorer in the school’s history.  They are now unbeaten at home and are 6-8 on the season.  They will be playing Atlantic Sun Conference schools shortly after the first of the year.

After the game ended I took the light rail to get to the Prudential Center where I met Karen and Lee to see the New Jersey Devils play the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Devils shut out the Flyers 4-0 for their first win in 8 games.  It was Corey Schneider’s first shutout in almost a year.  There were several fights especially in the first period when the teams combined for 17 penalties and 46 penalty minutes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bob Dylan Sings Once Upon a Time at the 90th Birthday Celebration for Tony Bennett

Two of Bob Dylan's recent albums, Fallen Angels and Shadows in the Night, are all adult standards with none of his compositions.  Since he appeared in a tribute concert Tony Bennett, I thought that he would chose a song on one of those two albums.  Instead he picked a song titled "Once Upon a Time" which was recorded by Tony Bennett.  Ironically, Like a Rolling Stone starts out saying "Once upon a time."

I think the segment with Dylan was pre-recorded and not done at the Radio City Music Hall with the rest of the show.  Elton John appeared from Las Vegas, but nothing was said about where Dylan's song was recorded.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Congratulations to Joan Baez on Your Election to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

It was announced today that Joan Baez along with Tupac Shakur,  Pearl Jam, Journey, Yes, and Electric Light Orchestra were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  There is always controversy overe who gets in and who doesn't.  I would label Joan Baez as a folk singer while other rock stars are not in.  I personally would like to see Neil Sedaka and Chubby Checker inducted.

I hearty congratulate Joan and the others for their election and forthcoming induction in April.  Perhaps Mr. Zimmerman will induct her.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sometimes College Students Do Not Use Common Sense

I work in a college with a relatively small campus of about 50 acres, yet I regularly see students skateboarding.  It is a pain in a neck at times to avoid these kids who can easily walk from one building to the next.  Today I saw a kid trying to do that in a corrider that is narrow since it is adjacent to a construction site.  I asked him nicely to just carry his skateboard through this passageway.  He did that for about 10 seconds and after I turned my head he started to sidewalk surf.  C'mon guys, there is a time and place for skateboarding, but please don't do it on a crowded campus.

I also observed students wearing shorts and flip-flops in the winter.  I am not their father and just can' stop them.

What can I say?  A little common sense and courtesy go a long way in this world.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Watching TV News Can Be Depressing

I always like to be informed so habitually I watch TV News at 11 PM just before I go to sleep.  Both local and national news organizations are guilty of often creating the news instead of reporting it.  It seems that crime and accidents dominate the TV news.  For example the Jon Benet Ramsey murder is still on national newscasts 20 years later.  There have been many high profile cases where police have acted inappropriately which dominate the news for months.  But when the police go beyond the call of duty and rescue people there is little or no mention.

The only thing one can do is not watch the news or read newspapers.

Friday, December 16, 2016

New York Mets Home Run Apple Ski Cap

The 7 Line (not the dreaded subway #7) is a group of diehard Met fans who usually sit in the seats in deep center field at Citifield.  They are also known for selling Mets apparel.  Toward the end of last season I saw a girl wearing a Home Run Apple ski cap.  I google and found at this this item was available from The 7 Line, but they were out of stock.  I saw some advertised on Ebay at outrageous prices, but it just wasn't worth it.

I have always been on their mailing list and found out a few days ago that the hat was now available.  I ordered mine just after I read the e-mail.  I was really lucky as an hour later they were sold out.  It arrived today and I asked Karen to take a picture of me wearing it.  This hat will not leave my apartment.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bob Dylan Cover of the Day - Taj Mahal & The Phantom Blues Band - Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

I was listening to Bob Dylan Tracks which features mostly covers and this one comes up which Dylan did on his Bringing it All Back Home album in 1965.  Taj does a pretty good "silly song."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cindy Stowell Won on Jeopardy Today

I read about the story of Cindy Stowell on the Jeopardy web site and other places on the web.  Today's show was recorded on August 31, but Cindy passed away on December 5.  She beat 7 time winner Tim Aten on today's show and of course will stay on until she loses.  She donated her prize money to cancer related organizations.

This was a very touching story.  I'll be rooting for her.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present at the Brooklyn Museum

Since I thought I needed a break from watching sports events on TV on Sunday I thought we would take a trip to the Brooklyn Museum to see the exhibit Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present at the Brooklyn Museum.  Since this particular exhibit will close on January 8th, I wanted to make sure that I saw it.

The exhibit covers any any all sport at any level.  The must outstanding photo was that of Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston after knocking him at at Lewiston, Maine in 1965.  I saw so many photos, but a few that I remember are:

  • Greg Louganis hitting his head on a diving board
  • Jackie Robinson stealing home in a World Series against the Yankees
  • Johnny Unitas in the 1958 championship game against the Giants
We took time to take in the other exhibits in the museum

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Patti Smith Should Have Sung Forever Young at the Nobel Prize Ceremony today

I mentioned before that Patti Smith went to Stockholm to accept the Nobel Prize for Bob Dylan.  I heard that she sung A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall at the ceremony.  You can see below that she flubbed a couple of lines.  I forgive her for that, but I really feel that the wrong song was selected as this was a cold war song from the early 1960s.  We should all look ahead to the future, no back upon the past.

I would have selected Forever Young which is much, kinder, gentler, and timeless.  I just finished watching a DVD of The Last Waltz where Dylan sang it backed by the Band.

I am Mr. Spreadsheet for SABR

About two years ago I joined SABR which is an acronym for the Society for American Baseball Research.  I was always interest in the history of baseball and was thinking ahead to retirement as I'd like to be active in a "cultural" organization.  After about a year I volunteered to be the record keeper for the Games Project.  SABR members write up various games that are historical in nature such as a no hitter, world series victory, and record setting incident among others.  When a member submits a game I have to check the spreadsheet to see if the game has been done before.  There have been over 1000 games done.  This has been a lot of work.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Random Comments of the Day

Today is the 36th anniversary of the tragic murder of John Lennon.  I don't want to repeat what I said in previous years so I'll refer my readers to these posts about John.

It was announced on Bob Dylan's official web site that the Never Ending Tour will come to the United Kingdom in May 2017. Hopefully it will come to NYC over the summer.

It was announced today that astronaut and Senator John Glenn died at age 95.  I remember back in February 1962 as a student at Russell Sage Junior High School many kids brought in transistor radios to monitor his three orbits around the earth.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Patti Smith Will Represent Bob Dylan at the Nobel Prize Ceremony

Again, I must express my disappointment that Bob Dylan will not appear in Stockholm to accept his Nobel Prize for literature.  Patti Smith will appear and sing A Hard Rain is a-Gonna Fall.  I also feel that this is a cold war song and is not appropriate for this occasion.  I would have liked to have heard Blowin' in the Wind instead.  I also read that Dylan sent an acceptance speech to be read.

Article in Los Angeles Times

Sunday, December 4, 2016

College Hockey at Madison Square Garden

Since ticket prices have skyrocketed over recent years for professional sports at Madison Square Garden, we have gone to college games.  Most of the times we have seen St. Johns basketball, but last night there was rare college hockey game with the University of North Dakota playing Boston College.

I was somewhat surprised to see so many fans rooting for North Dakota.  I must assume that the university sponsored a group trip to New York City.  They were very enthusiastic about their hockey.  There was also a small er contingent from Boston College.  The quality of the game was quite good as North Dakota won 4-3.

Box score

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bill Dillane Interviews Rich Appel

I highly suggest that readers of Bruce's Journal watch this interview.  Rich talks at length about That Thing with Rich Appel.  It is heard on over 66 internet and terrestrial radio stations all over the world.  I usually catch it Sunday nights on Pop Gold Radio.

I am actually mentioned in this interview.  I guess I am now a celebrity in North Haven, CT.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Collective Bargaining Agreement in Major League Baseball

Can you really call playing baseball labor?  These guys get millions of dollars a year for playing a boys game.  Sometimes these multimillionaires act like children, but there is labor peace for several years.  I really think that the baseball strike of 1994-95 was really devastating and must never happen again.

The one thing I like about this agreement is that the All-Star game will not decide what team gets the extra home game in a 7 game World Series.  The pennant winning team with the better record will get the home field advantage now.  Another change is that the minimum time on the disabled list is reduced from 15 to 10 games.

Please see this article in SB Nation for a further discussion.
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