Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Another Attempt to Stay Connected to Former Colleagues

In previous entries, in this journal, I reported my frustration with my inability to stay connected with my former colleagues at an engineering college in Newark.  About a month ago I encountered Jane at a Zoom Meeting of radio station WBGO listeners.  We exchanged emails and discussed this issue.  She was successful in staying in touch with several people from her area who retired.

We decided to meet at another Zoom Meeting to discuss a strategy to do this on a more significant level.  We decided to have a Google group not affiliated with the university to share news, our activities in retirement, and gatherings for social purposes.  The challenge is in recruiting other retirees.  Some have retired with bitterness and would not be interested in reconnecting.  Others may just want to move on and let go.  We'll see what will happen.


Sunday, February 26, 2023

My Visit to the Jackie Robinson Museum in Lower Manhattan


The Jackie Robinson Museum located on Varick Street near Canal Street in lower Manhattan opened in late 2022 after 14 years of planning.  It honors Jackie's legacy as a baseball player and his role in the civil rights movement.  It traces his life story from his birth in Georgia until his death in 1972.  It contains several artifacts including his contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, his uniform, a seat from Ebbets Field, photos of his marriage to Rachel, and a poster from the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson Story where he played himself.

It is run by the Jackie Robinson Foundation established in 1973 by Rachel to perpetuate his legacy and to provide scholarships and leadership development programs for talented college students

Saturday, February 25, 2023

This Would Have Been George Harrison's 80th Birthday


Sadly, we lost George Harrison in November 2001 at the age of 58.  His music will live on forever.  Today, I am featuring a deep track called Faster which shows George's interest in car racing.  He was a good friend of professional driver Jackie Stewart.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Like a Rolling Stone - Recited by Actor Sebastian Cabot


When you hear this version of Dylan's greatest hit, Like a Rolling Stone, you can hear what a bitter song it is.  There are no guitars, drums, or organs that obscure the words.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will Collaborate with the Rolling Stones on a New Album


I thank Frank D'Agostino for bringing this to my attention.  The article he sent me from Hot Press does not provide many details but states that drumming parts by the late Charlie Watts will be included.  There was no mention of the title of the album, the names of the songs, or a project release date.  Phlash Phelps also mentioned this on his morning show on 60s Gold on SiriusXM.  We'll just have to wait.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Chuck Jackson Passes Away - Another Oldies Artist is Gone

 2023 is a bad year for celebrity passings and it is only February 20.  I just found out that oldies artist Chuck Jackson has just passed away at age 85.  The Joel Whitburn Top Pop Singles Book indicates that Any Day Now, his biggest hit, only reached #23 on the singles chart.  I assume that he charted higher on the soul chart.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Tim McCarver was Also a Singer


After Tim McCarver passed away a few days ago, he was praised for his career as a catcher for the Phillies and Cardinals and as a broadcaster of Major League Baseball games.  This afternoon as I was listening to Don McGee's Mixed Bag show on WFUV I heard the song There Used to Be a Ball Park.  This song was made popular by Frank Sinatra, but I didn't recognize the voice.  It turned out to be Tim McCarver.  In 2009 he recorded an album titled Tim McCarver Sings Selections from the Great American Songbook.

You learn something new every day.

Friday, February 17, 2023

I Don't Want to Drive in the Rain to Attend a Discussion Group


I belong to a senior center in eastern Queens that holds discussion groups for older adults.  Some months ago I attended on meeting on Wednesday mornings that was publicized as a singles group.  This group was comprised of about 80% of women, likely to be widowed or divorced.  After several weeks I gave up on it as I was just hearing other people's small talk.  I attended another group on Mondays to discuss current events.  This group was a little better as the topics were more substantial,

I suggested to the manager of this center that an all-men's discussion group be established.  They followed through with my idea and started a group on Friday mornings.  Since it is raining this morning, I am not motivated to drive over there.

There is a social worker for each group who is meant to be a moderator.  In all three groups, it is inevitable that a few people dominate the conversation making it difficult to get a word in edgewise.  This has greatly frustrated me as I usually leave the session unhappy.  I wish the respective social worker would take charge and make sure that everyone has a chance to speak.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

MLB and NHL - Extra Innings and Overtime Rules


An extra innings game can really put stress on a team's pitching staff.  Since 2020 a team places a "free runner" on second base during an extra inning.  Thus, it is easier to score making a marathon game less likely.  This rule was instituted in 2020 and 2021 in response to the pandemic.  It was continued in 2022 since spring training was shortened because of a labor dispute.  Now it will become a permanent rule.

At first, I frowned at it, but now I think it is a good idea since it will shorten games.  A marathon game can last four hours, and many fans will walk out before its conclusion.  This rule will not apply in the postseason.

For many years, an NHL game could end in a tie after the regulation 60 minutes of play.  But a tie is like kissing your sister.  Some time ago the NHL added a 5-minute overtime period, but the game could still end in a tie if no team scored.  After the 2004-5 season was lost because of a labor dispute the NHL added a shootout if there was still a tie after the 5-minute overtime.  It was hoped that this rule would generate interest in hockey.  During the 5-minute overtime, each team is limited to 3 skaters so that those shootouts would be minimized.  This overtime rule does not apply in postseason so a game can go on indefinitely,

Monday, February 13, 2023

Today is World Radio Day


For me, every day is a radio day.  On a typical day, I spend more time listening to the radio than watching television.  I have an AM/FM radio that can pick up HD stations, my iPhone, my computer, Alexa, a GE Superradio, and a Bose AM/FM radio.  My car radio gets SiriusXM.  For today I listened to Radio Radio by Elvis Costello and The Attractions.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Bert Bachrach was Interviewed on 60 Minutes in 1999


Still with 60 Minutes 24 years later, Leslie Stahl was the interviewer.  Many people forget that Hal David was his collaborator for many years.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Resumes This Spring in Japan


It was announced yesterday that Bob Dylan as he approaches his 82nd birthday will tour Japan in April.  Will he use the same set list as he did in 2021-22?  I am wondering if my Bob Dylan friends who are real diehards will travel from the US or UK to see him in Japan.

And the beat goes on.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

I'll Never Fall in Love Again written by Burt Bachrach/Hal David and recorded by Dionne Warwick


I have read several Facebook feeds reporting the passing of composer Burt Bachrach at age 94.  He certainly wrote many hits for numerous recording artists over the years.  There is no sense in repeating what others have written, so I have chosen one of his songs that is appropriate for me.

I thank him for all the wonderful music he composed and am grateful that he lived a long life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Whenever MLB Expands to 32 Teams the National and American Leagues Should be Preserved


Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Baseball, says that MLB will not expand until the stadium situations in Tampa Bay and Oakland are resolved.  The stadium in Oakland needs to be updated while the park in St. Petersberg needs to be more centrally located.  Those two cities should be given an ultimate for planning a new stadium constructed by a specific date.  This way MLB can move forward with specific expansion plans.

Jim Bowden, a baseball writer, suggests in The Athletic (subscription required) that the National and American Leagues be abolished and MLB have an eastern and western conference with divisions based on geography.  Each league has a very rich history with unique hitting and pitching records.  This should be preserved.  He also assumes that Charlotte and Nashville will get expansion teams.  These cities are also be considered in future expansion:

  • Montreal
  • Las Vegas
  • Portland, Oregon
His article is totally speculative.  Below is his proposal,

Eastern Conference

East Division
Boston Red Sox
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies

North Division
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Guardians
Detroit Tigers
Toronto Blue Jays

Mid-Atlantic Division
Baltimore Orioles
Charlotte expansion team
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals

Southeast Division
Atlanta Braves
Miami Marlins
Nashville expansion team
Tampa Bay Rays

Western Conference

Midwest Division
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins

Southwest Division
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals
Texas Rangers

Pacific Coast Division
Colorado Rockies
Oakland/Las Vegas A’s
Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants

West Division
Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres

Monday, February 6, 2023

Lillian Walker of the Exciters has Passed Away


2023 has been a bad year for the passing of entertainers.  Louise Murray reported on her Facebook page the passing of her good friend Lillian Walker who performed with the Exciters whose big hit was Tell Him in 1963.  Lillian appeared at the 2017 Oldies Meet and Greet.  

 Teddy Smith interviewed Lillian on WPAT in 2015

Sunday, February 5, 2023

They're Coming to Take Me Away by Napolean 14 should not be played on the radio as an oldie

 Last night Cousin Brucie honored the request of a listener by playing They're Coming to Take Me Away by Napolean XIV.  I posted my disapproval on the Fans of Cousin Bruce page on Facebook.  Several people who wanted to hear this bashed me personally.  Thus, I deleted the thread.  People can disagree with me but did not have to make personal attacks.

I found this comment on the WABC of July 19, 1966:

SPECIAL NOTE:  "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" by 
Napoleon XIV (on the Warner Brothers label) generated massive 
amounts of protest in New York and elsewhere.  The protests mostly 
came from mental health professionals, advocates for mental 
health, and families of those afflicted with mental illness or 
psychological/psychiatric disorders.  Both New York Top 40 
stations (WABC and WMCA) banned airplay of the song; WABC doing so 
in the middle of this survey week, when the song reached its peak 
position.  WABC acknowledged this on the air, continued to list 
the song on the survey in subsequent weeks, and its position was 
noted on the air during Cousin Brucie's Top 20 countdown on 
Tuesday evenings, but it never again received airplay.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Chuck Berry Tribute Show at Flushing Town Hall


Lee and I ventured out in the cold last night to see a Chuck Berry Tribute show at nearby Flushing Town Hall.  This event was part of their Black History Trilogy.  Keith "The Captain" Gamble was the group leader who covered many of Chuck Berry's hits in the concert's first half.  He had a very impressive backup band.  In the second half, they covered several soul music hits.

Keith Gamble

Friday, February 3, 2023

American Pie by Don McClean - For the 64th Anniversary of a Tragic Plane Crash


It is hard to believe that 64 years ago today there was a plane crash in Iowa that killed Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), and Richie Valens.  I discussed this tragedy on its 50th Anniversary so it's not necessary to repeat it.  I will say that the expression "The Music Died" is not appropriate and has been overused by Don McClean and others over the years.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Charlie Thomas of The Drifters Passes Away at 85


Since the beginning of 2023, several entertainers have passed away.  Yesterday we found out about the death of Charlie Thomas one of the lead singers of the Drifters.  That group had many personnel changes over the years, Charlie sang lead on Sweets for My Sweet which peaked at #16 on the Billboard chart.  May Charlie rest in peace.
Personal-Journals blog