Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Random Thoughts at the End of September

  • Singers Mac Davis and Helen Reddy passed away the same day at the age of 78.  Both had big hits in the 1970s
  • I really hope that Joe Biden wins the presidential election in a landslide.  Donald Trump is a pathological liar who never deserved to be president in the first place.  The Electoral College really stinks as someone who lost by 3 million votes wins an election.  He will wreak havoc if he loses by a small margin and perhaps will cause a constitutional crisis.
  • I found through an online chat that there are no plans to reopen the New York Public Library Research Libraries.  It is understandable, but disappointing as there are so many print resources not available online.  I wish they could devise a plan so that researchers could order materials online and could access them in a reading room with a limited number of patrons and social distancing.  I have used many online library resources over the past 6 months.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The New York Mets in Popular Culture edited by David Krell - Book Review


We are very often so deeply involved in our popular culture that we don’t realize that this culture exists.  Sports very often provides an escape from our daily problems.  The Mets have been a large part of the popular culture of New York City since the team’s inception in 1962.  The team often intersected with other entertainment venues including movies, television, and music as shown in this book.

I have read many baseball books that are very scholarly and provided numerous statistics and details that are suitable for the serious baseball researcher.  Editor David Krell received contributions by several academics whose contributions are suitable for the casual Met fan who want more detail about the “Beloved Amazins”. Krell, a noted baseball writer, made two contributions. I have been a Met fan since 1962 and learned quite a bit from reading this book.

For example, I always enjoyed Bob Murphy’s broadcasts but knew little of his career before he joined the Mets.  Donna Halper, a professor of media studies, provides a detailed account.  Likewise, there is an excellent biography of Joan Payson, the first owner of the Mets, by SABR member Leslie Heaphy.  I was also amused to read more about Mr. Met.

Each contribution included a long list of notes that provide a reference to original newspaper articles so that serious baseball scholars can get more detailed information.  I highly recommend this book to all baseball enthusiasts even if they are not Met fans.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Today's Visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)


Sculpture from the Judd Exhibition

We were able to get tickets today for the Museum of Modern Art as they are only allowed to admit 25% of capacity.  The last time we were here was in November 2019 so there were obviously new exhibits when the museum reopened.

The first exhibit we visited on the sixth floor was devoted to the works of Donald Judd, wo used industrial materials and production processes, to explorations of color and surface through his “boxes” and “stacks" as seen above.

Another exhibit was Félix Fénéon The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond.

There were several paintings by Pablo Picasso in the collection.

There has always been a helicopter in the museum

Friday, September 25, 2020

Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) Lotte Lenya and the Doors

 I heard Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by the Doors way back in the late 1960s when it was on their first album.  I was certain that Bob Dylan would play it when I heard that a new Theme Time Radio Hour would feature whiskey songs.  He did play the Lotta Lenya version of it back in 1930.  I must say that it is a very deep track and that Dylan must have an encyclopedic knowledge of music.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Galen Faison Should Be Father of the Year

 Galen Faison joined the NJIT Library in 1995, 3 years after I did.  While he was employed there he obtained Bachelors's and Master's degree in Professional and Technical Communications.  He also became an Adjunct Professor.

After 25 years he decided to bow out gracefully and will teach in the mornings and become a stay-at-home dad for most of the day.  He is the proud father of one son and two daughters.  I am sure he is also glad that he can spend more time watching football.

I wish him well in all his future endeavors and nominate him for Father of the Year.

Galen with his youngest daughter
at my retirement party in December 2017

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

500 Best Albums of All Time According to Rolling Stone Magazine


I have written more about top oldies (singles) as selected by listeners or contrived by radio stations.  I received an announcement from Rolling Stone magazine announcing the 500 Best albums voted by over 300 Artists, producers, critics, and music-industry figures.  I don't want to peruse the entire list, but my readers can click on the link.  The number 1 album is What's Going On by Marvin Gaye.  Number 2 was Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.

The top Beatle albums were:

5- Abbey Road

11- Revolver

The Top Bob Dylan albums were:

9- Blood on the Tracks

18 - Highway 61 Revisited

I guess I should examine the entire 500 list in detail.  Obviously, the list would be different if voted by readers.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Random thoughts of the Day


  • Today would have been Harry Harrsions's 90th birthday.
  • For the past two days, I attended virtual Rosh Hashana services offered by the Free Synagogue of Flushing.  The Rabbi, Cantor, pianist, and camera operators were the only ones in the temple.  The people blowing the shofar did it remotely.
  • NYC Oldies Radio Enthusiasts is one of the Facebook groups that I moderate.  I can not understand why people from outside the New York Metropolitan area join it.  Most of them are lurkers.  Many people use this group to promote their internet radio shows.
  • I really hope that Donald Trump can be blocked from nominating a Supreme Court justice.  The Republicans denied Barack Obama's nominee from being considered 9 months before the election in 2016.  Politics suck.
  • I saw the documentary RBG a few years ago but did not document it in this journal.  She was an extraordinary woman.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Virtual High Holy Day Services at the Free Synagogue of Flushing This Year

 First of all, I wish all my readers who observe the holidays a happy and healthy new year.  For several years we have attended High Holy Day services at the Free Synagogue of Flushing.  They have never charged anyone for attending services.  Every year I send them a donation to support their efforts.  Since there are still limitations on gatherings, the temple is offering virtual services.  I assume that current regulations would allow for 10 men to attend in person allowing for a minyan.  This would include, the rabbi, cantor, and those reading the Torah.  I will attend their virtual services.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Count Your Blessings When You See a Food Line

I was sitting and reading in the little park adjacent to PS 214 in the Mitchell Linden section of Queens where I live.  I observed a line of people by the school waiting for food that was more than a block long.  The coronavirus pandemic has thrown millions of people out of work and sadly these people don't have the money to buy food.  I often see people in the neighborhood scrounging garbage to find bottles and cans that they can redeem for 5 cents each.

When I see that I am glad that I have a good pension and am able to support my family at this time that has created stress for me.  If things are bad for you, always realize that it is worse for other people.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour to Return


There were about 100 episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour recorded and played on SiriusXM radio, but the series stopped.  All of a sudden there will be a new show with the theme Whiskey.  Dylan is the owner of a distillery which makes Heaven's Door Whiskey.  This new episode will be heard the Monday, September 21 at 2 PM on the Deep Tracks Channel.  Fortunately, I will be home to hear it.  Below is the official announcement:

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Heaven's Door Spirits, an evolving collection of American whiskeys created by Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partners, is proud to announce Dylan's return to his famed "Theme Time Radio Hour" series for a special episode. Kicking off a special week-long limited run of Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour on SiriusXM's Deep Tracks (ch. 27), beginning Monday, September 21st, at 12 p.m. ET, this program feature theme is "Whiskey" in honor of Bourbon Heritage Month. The new, never-before-heard episode will then be made available on the Heaven's Door website and social channels, Bob Dylan's website, and social channels, as well as all major streaming services starting September 25th.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Discovering Pete Hamill Shortly after His Passing

 In early August I found out that writer Pete Hamill died at age 85.  I certainly heard about him, but never knew the details of his life and career.  According to his obituary in the New York Times, he was a "celebrated reporter, columnist, and the top editor of The New York Post and The Daily News; a foreign correspondent for The Post and The Saturday Evening Post; and a writer for New York Newsday, The Village Voice, Esquire, and other publications. He wrote a score of books, mostly novels but also biographies, collections of short stories and essays, and screenplays, some adapted from his books." I found out about a documentary Breslin and Hamill Deadline Artists that I was able to view since I am a subscriber to HBO.

I decided to seek out some of his publications.  I bought his autobiography, A Drinking Life on It was published in 1994.

He traced his life starting out as a young boy in Brooklyn.  He was very interested in cartoons but became a writer much later.  His first job was with the New York Post.  He moved to several cities in different countries and eventually most back to Brooklyn.  He ended this partial autobiography in 1974 when he finally kicked his drinking habit.

I also bought Downtown which I thought was an autobiography of his later years.  It was published in 2004.  I was surprised to find out that it was a guide to Lower Manhattan where Pete lived for most of his later life.  He offers a historical perspective on many of the streets and attractions from the Battery to Times Square.  It can actually be useful to tourists.

Should I explore more of his works?  I can't always read about baseball or rock music.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution at the New York Historical Society


Before the pandemic forced closures of museums I observed that there was an exhibit featuring Bill Graham and his concerts at the New York Historical Society.  The museum just reopened yesterday so today was a good time to visit.  One must purchase a timed ticket in advance and the museum may only admit 25% of its capacity at a time.  I last visited this museum in March 2019 so it was time for a return visit.

Bill Graham was a German-American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash.  The exhibit started out was some biographical information about him.  Most of the exhibit featured posters and other artifacts from the concerts he promoted over the years.  Many of them were at the Fillmore in San Francisco and Fillmore East in NYC.  Both of those venues closed in 1971.

He promoted concerts with The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones among others.  I didn't know that he promoted The Last Waltz in 1976 and the Bob Dylan and The Band tour in 1974.

Photo of Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead

I highly recommend this exhibition for my friends who are oldies and classic rock enthusiasts.  There were a few other exhibits at the museum that my readers may find on the website.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I am Glad that Indoor Dining Will be Returning on September 30 in NYC


 I certainly have missed going out to restaurants for meals over the past 6 months.  It was a nuisance to walk to fast-food restaurants in the neighborhood buy the food and walk quickly back home to eat it before it gets cold. On several occasions, we drove for 15 minutes to Ben's Deli to order sandwiches and then drive back home.

There are restrictions as there can only be 25% capacity sitting in the restaurants.  This could create lines at popular restaurants.  Hopefully, they will take reservations.  I do sense there are politics involved in this decision.  Restaurants as close as Nassau and Westchester counties were allowed to open with 50% capacity several months ago.  Sadly, thousands of restaurants in New York State have closed over the past months.  As of now the infection rate is less than 1%, but Mayor de Blasio states that if the infection rates hit 2 % indoor dining will stop.

Bon appetit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bed Post Overnight - Another Silly Oldie with a Long Title

Lonnie Donegan and his skiffle music were much more popular in the United Kingdom. This did peak at #5 on the Billboard chart in 1961 and is heard on oldies stations.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Man Who Took The Valise Off The Floor Of Grand Central Station At Noon by Lloyd Price

This has to be one of the weirdest novelty songs that I ever heard.  Yesterday afternoon on Pop Gold Radio, the only oldies station you ever will need, Don Tandler was playing the top hits of September 5, 1966, from the WMCA survey.  This actually charted at #45 but was not found on the Billboard chart at all.

WMCA always had a wider playlist than its rival WABC.  If you want to hear rarities, check out Don Tandler's countdown show Saturdays at 3 PM on Pop Gold Radio.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

A Walk along the Highline as a Tourist in My Own City

I searched this journal and saw that I had walked along the Highline in August 2016.  I thought it would be time for a return visit to see how it has changed.  To ensure social distancing a timed reservation is required as it was very crowded when I visited it the last time.

I am following behind Lee and Karen
The yellow dot is there to help with distancing

There were many new apartment buildings right along the walkway.  I imagine that the rents must be astronomically high.  It was impossible to view the Hudson River to the west.
View of 23rd Street at 10th Avenue just east of the Highline

We got off the Highline at 30th Street and walked around Hudson Yards for a little while.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Bob Dylan's Acceptance Speech When He was Elected to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 1988


I just completed reading Norm N. Nite's book about how the Rock Hall got its start in Cleveland.  He didn't at all discuss any of the inductees or the controversy over why some artists were never inducted.  I thought I would post Bob Dylan's induction speech in 1988.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Tom Seaver Has Died at Age 75

It was announced this evening that Met legend Tom Seaver, The Franchise" died at age 75 of complications from dementia, COVID-19, and Lyme Disease.  There is so much written about his phenomenal baseball career.  I will refer my reader to:

SABR Biography written by Maxwell Kates

New York Times Obituary

Norm N. Nite Has Written a New Book About the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

Oldies enthusiasts in New York City know Norm N. Nite as a radio personality who worked at WCBS-FM in its heyday as an oldies station.  I always enjoyed his top 20 oldies countdowns heard on weekends when he played "lost hits" not usually heard on the radio.  Many may not know that he was instrumental in conceiving the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and bringing it to Cleveland where it opened in 1995.

The book is written from Norm's perspective and draws on his own experiences and exclusive interviews with business leaders, governmental officials, and musicians.  The controversies of why some rock stars have been excluded are not considered in this fine book.  I personally feel that Neil Sedaka and Chubby Checker should have been elected to the Rock Hall.

Back in 1998, the family visited the Rock Hall in Cleveland.  When we were at LaGuardia Airport we met Norm who had completed his shift at WCBS-FM and was on our flight to Cleveland.  We revisited the museum in 2008.  I think it is time for a return visit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

IOS 13.7 is Here Today IOS 14 is Coming

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you should view this video.  There are no big updates, but the people at Apple are keeping us busy.  The author of this vides states that IOS 14 will be coming later this month.  I can remember IOS 3.
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