Saturday, March 30, 2019

Cousin Bruce and Bob Radil Think Alike as They Both Play Brown Sugar by Little Richard

Cousin Brucie plays a good selection of oldies and always plays listener requests.  It is unusual when he plays an "Oh Wow" record that is rarely heard on the radio.  On Wednesday night he played Little Richard's version of Brown Sugar which I never heard before.  The Rolling Stones, of course, had a big hit with it in 1971.

On Friday night Bob Radil who plays mostly rarities played Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones followed by the Little Richard cover.  I wonder if I had something to do with that.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

I am glad that baseball season started with the Mets (2-0) and Yankees (7-2) winning on Opening Day. Since 1970 the Mets are 38-12 on Opening Day, but there are 161 games to go.  Professor Bruce Bukiet of NJIT made his predictions for the 2019 season.  He had first reported this at the local SABR meeting a few weeks ago at Finnerty's.

It was a big disappointment for 3 of the 5 winter sports teams in NYC.  The Islanders and Nets will likely make the playoffs, but I doubt if they will advance.  The Knicks were pathetic this season as they have won only 20% of their games.  I just don't understand how they get a full house for most of their games with such expensive ticket prices.  It is rebuilding time again.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Today is Opening Day of the Baseball Season

It is only March 28th which is Lee's 31st birthday but it is opening day of the 2019 baseball season.  I think they are starting early to allow for more off days during the season.  Opening day is a time for optimism as the cold winter days are ending and we can put the disappointments of the 2018 baseball season behind.

The Mets made several moves in the off-season by acquiring Robinson Cano to play second base and Wilson Ramos to catch.  Rookie Peter Alonso looks promising as he will be the first baseman. They fortified the bullpen by signing Edward Diaz to be the closer and re-acquiring Jeurys Familia to be the set-up man.  Free agent Justin Wilson was also signed to fortify the bullpen.  Hopefully, there will be no further injuries as Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie start the season on the injury list.

Can the Yankees overtake the Boston Red Sox to win the American League East and advance to the World Series?  Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Ain't Too Proud to Be by the Actual Temptations

I found this on Youtube.  The actors in the show were excellent in recreating the music and dance of the original group.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ain't Too Proud to Beg: A Jukebox Musical that Succeeds

Many jukebox musicals that focus on one artist have failed over the years.  Beautiful (Carole King) and Jersey Boys (Four Seasons)  succeeded because there was a viable storyline in addition to the singing of the artists' many hits.

From the photo above, you can see there were 5 men in the group, but there were many personnel changes over the years.  The show demonstrates how the group got started and how it evolved with the many professional and personal problems encountered by the members.  The singing and choreography were both excellent.

Lee actually picked this show as every year we take him to a Broadway show for his birthday which is on March 28.  I think the television commercials for the show won him over.

Review in the New York Times.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Roger McGuinn to Appear at the World of Dylan Symposium

Here is the big announcement.  It seems that the conference will be very scholarly with the speakers picking apart every word of every song.  That is to be expected, but I hope that Roger will give a talk describing his experience working with Dylan in different eras of their respective careers.  I wouldn't mind if Roger will give a little concert of his Dylan covers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Art Shamsky's book After the Miracle to be Released Today

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the 1969 New York Mets who surprised the baseball world by winning the World Series after being perennial losers. Much will be written and done for this milestone anniversary.  There will be a weekend celebration at Citi Field this June.

After Art Shamsky spoke about the book at the recent SABR meeting, I ordered it from  He will report on relationships among the members of that team over the years.  There will be a chapter about his visit to Tom Seaver in California.  It was recently reported that Tom is suffering from dementia and will no longer make public appearances.

Art and his co-author Erik Sherman were interviewed on WNYC radio.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Program for the World of Dylan Conference Was Announced

If you are interested the program can be found at this site.  I am hoping that the presentations will not be too "academic".  I guess I have to expect that it would be since it was advertised as a scholarly meeting.  I am especially interested in the following sessions:

Nicolette Rohr, “Them Screamin Girls”: Folk, Rock, and Dylan Fandom
Laura Tenschert, “What’s a Sweetheart Like You Doing In A Dump Like This?”
Antonio de Velasco, Nature, Solidarity and Change: “Chimes of Freedom” at the first Clinton Inaugural

Larry Starr, Bob Dylan’s Essential Harmonica
Betsy Bowden, “A Poem Ain’t a Song / Nyanh, a Poem Ain’t a Song / The Time Is Ripe to Right that Wrong”
Richard F. Thomas, “Too Serious to Fool”

John Covach, ‘I Can’t Hide’: Bob Dylan and the British Invasion
David Thurmaier, The Collaborative and Collegial Relationship between Bob Dylan and George Harrison, 1968-70
Ken Womack, Dylan and the Beatles

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Mr. Tambourine Man by William Shatner

Very often Bob Dylan's songs are taken too seriously.  The most famous cover of Mr. Tambourine is by The Byrds, but above you can hear a humorous version done by William Shatner of Star Trek fame.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Madison Avenue Visit Today - Morgan Library and SIBL

Today I walked along Madison Avenue and stopped by the Morgan Library and Museum.  I was there a few months ago but noted from their website that there were new exhibits.

  • Tolkien - Maker of Middle Earth
  • The Extended Moment - Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada
  • Invention and Design - Early Italian Drawings
Since I was in the neighborhood I thought I would drop by SIBL (Science Industry and Business Library) of NYPL.  When I worked at NYPL in the 1980s the Science Division was in Room 121 of the main building and 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.  I spoke to Madeline who is the only person still employed there whom I knew.  Everyone else moved on or retired.  We discussed some of the people we both knew there.  I knew that they eliminated most of the science collection about 10 years ago.  It was very expensive and relatively few people used it.  Within the next year, SIBL will close and move to the renovated Mid-Manhattan at 5th Avenue and 40th Street.  Nothing stays the same.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Must View for Bob Dylan Fans - Tangled up in Blue - Dubuque 1996

I just read about this concert in the latest issue of the Dylan fanzine ISIS ,  The kid actually went on stage and danced with Dylan and his band members as they played Tangled Up in Blue.  It is quite amusing especially since Dylan doesn't even acknowledge his audience today.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Hal Blaine Drummer for the Wrecking Crew Dies at 90

The Wrecking Crew is a group of session musicians who played backup on numerous hit records in the 60s and 70s.  Drummer Hal Blaine passed away at 90.  Below is A Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon and Garfunkel where Hal Blaine was the drummer.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Revisited the New York Historical Society Museum

I just checked this journal and noted that I last visited the New York Historical Society Museum last February.  The main exhibit was Hudson Rising that describes200 year of ecological change and environmental activism along the Hudson River from the source in upstate New York to the NYC harbor.  The exhibit shows writings, paintings, drawings, literature, and photographs of the river over the past 200 years.  Hundreds of species of fish, birds, and plants are demonstrated.

There were several other exhibits, but I was especially amused by "Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorkers Perspective".  His works have appeared in the Saturday Review and The New Yorker among other publications.  I especially liked this drawing:

It is difficult to see, but the one on the right is Richard Nixon with Charlie Brown at Shea Stadium.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Tom Seaver is Diagnosed with Dementia

More sad news as it was reported in the New York Times and other sources that at age 74 Tom Seaver was diagnosed with dementia and will no longer make public appearances.


NEW YORK — Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia and has retired from public life.

The family of the 74-year-old made the announcement Thursday through the Hall. They say Seaver will continue to work in the vineyard at his home in California.

Seaver has limited his public appearances in recent years. He didn't attend the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner in January when members of the New York Mets' 1969 World Series championship team were honored.


At the recent meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR his former teammate Art Shamsky who has written a book about the 1969 Mets alluded to this.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Prayers for Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek announced on social media that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  Sadly, this form of cancer has a very low survival rate.  My father and Uncle Ben suffered from this dreaded disease over 20 years ago.  My Dad was treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation and survived about 2 years after the diagnosis.  The doctors felt that radiation shrunk the tumor and slowed the progression of the disease.

As a long time fan of Jeopardy, I am saddened by this announcement.  I was glad to hear that Alex wants to fight the disease and is taking a positive attitude.  My Prayers go out for him. 

Governor Phil Murphy Says He'll Fix NJ Transit Even If It Kills Him

I refer my readers to this article from  He even vowed not to increase fares.  When I started my commute to Newark in 1992 the monthly ticket cost $70 while it was $152 when I retired in 2017.  But the service got progressively worse.

For the sake of my colleagues who still ride the trains, I am glad Governor Murphy understands that there is a problem that must be solved while his predecessor just didn't care.   Improvements in service will take time.

Monday, March 4, 2019

My Tweet Was Published in AM New York

AM New York is a free newspaper that can be picked up in subway stations or on the street.  It is concise but provides enough to keep its readers informed about local, national and international issues.  It regularly publishes tweets by readers on its editorial page.  Most of these Tweets are on public transportation issues.

I must say that my Tweet really makes sense as my idea will ease vehicle congestion in Manhattan and make entrepreneurs who construct these parking garages a good source of income.  However, would the parking garage fee exceed the tax the city would charge for cars entering Manhattan?

If NYC adopts congestion pricing, parking garages should be built in the outer boroughs near subway stations

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Today's Radio Log

I haven't done this in some time so here goes.  Times are approximate.

  • WINS - 6:30 AM - I have to catch up on the news
  • WCBS-FM - 7:00 AM - America's Greatest Hits with Scott Shannon - One of my token listens to the former oldies station.  It changed with the times.
  • WAXQ - 8:00 AM - Breakfast with the Beatles with Ken Dashow
  • BBC2 - 10:00 AM Sounds of the 60s Podcast with Brian Matthew
  • Classic AT 40 with Casey Kasem on iHeart Radio App - 2:00 PM - I catch his show once a week
  • Rewound Radio - 3:00 PM - Jon Wolfert's oldies show featuring radio jingles.
  • Definitely Dylan - 4;00 PM - Laura Tenschert's excellent show from the UK about Dylan
  • WFUV - 5:30 PM - Just caught Sara Wardrop's show for a few minutes.
  • That Thing with Rich Appel - 8:00 PM - Since WLNG dropped it, I found it on a station in Florida
  • Pod Dylan 9:30 PM - I just discovered this podcast.  I'll have to try to catch up on older episodes.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Chase with Mark Labett as "The Beast"

For many years I have been a big fan of quiz shows with Jeopardy as my favorite.  By accident, I discovered The Chase featuring Mark Labett and Brooke Burns on 3 PM on the Game Show Network.  Below is a description of the show that I found on its website:

In the game, a team of three contestants takes part in a fast-paced quiz in an attempt to earn as much money as possible by answering a series of questions in 60 seconds. Any money earned goes into a team bank that can be won by any team members remaining at the end of the show. Competing against the team is a quiz genius known as the Beast. His role is to catch contestants by answering more questions than they, so they cannot bank money. In the final round, the contestants who have survived the initial chase battle the Beast for the entire amount that has been banked. But beating the Beast won't be easy. The trivia veteran has degrees from Oxford, Exeter and Glamorgan universities.

I must say that "The Beast" really knows his trivia.  The best part of the show is that it is very fast paced with the minimal small talk by the contestants and the host.  I even got the app for the show so that I can play it on my phone.  I found a Youtube Video where he appeared on the British version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2006.

I would love to see him go against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Jeopardy
Personal-Journals blog