Friday, October 26, 2007

Tipping of the Unworn Hat

I never wear a hat. If I did I would tip it to the fellow you can see in the video by clicking on the right side of the page. A tear in my eye that we have replace Modern Man for a time, but their presence can be seen locally very shortly.

While many times there are critiques of artists there are also positive critiques. That is the definition---critique. Opinion. Positive or negative. This entry has to do not with a critique or an opinion. Merely a tip of the, as the title implies, the hat I never wear.

A brief history or bio, if you will. Some 14 years ago I joined the staff of WFDU. How that came about might be of interest. Ron Olesko invited me on board and said that before that would come to pass I would have to meet with the Program Director (Barry Sheffield). Putting on a nice jacket and slacks I proceeded to go to the station and meet with him---not knowing who he was.

OK. There I am in a sport jacket and slacks---unlike my usual attire--

Opposite me is sitting the then newscaster Jack O'Shea. A brilliant and delightful man---dressed in rags. A great story about him another time.

After a time the Program Director arrives. I do not know that is who he is but he asks what I am doing here. I tell him I am waiting for the Program Director and he tells me that is exactly who he is--and, hey, welcome aboard---let me know the phone numbers of your next of kin if you drop dead in the studio. At this point I have to say that years later I made the comment to him that I never realized we went to the same tailor (honesty here---his leather is not inexpensive)

That all transpired some 14 years ago. Time flies. It seems like 14 weeks. Which brings me to the point of this brief history. The studio was something that one would not recall were one to see it today. Any of the studios---The Air studio, Studio A or Studio B and now Studio C--The Atomic Underground.

Not to neglect the most loyal and devoted person, Carl Kraus (who has been written of earlier) the creativity and technical skill of Barry Sheffield is to be applauded. My two hands cannot do the job so help is needed.

At this point it is best to steer you to the link that will allow you to see the facilities---OK---Major Armstrong was a visionary---but we all are in our own ways. Barry Sheffield is no exception.

Hopefully you clicked on the link to the tour of the station. You will be impressed. It takes about 5 minutes and in that brief time period you will see what "radio" is about and what it was about for all these years. Eclecticism, Variety, and personal contact with the listener.

Back to the hat I never wear. Though as host of Sunday Simcha I probably should wear a "kippah". Oh well, another image is shot. Yet, I am happy many of you are enjoying the program. Let us always stay together on that.

My thanks for the loyal and wonderful support that is given to me, to all my programs, and for the creativity of the people at WFDU. All of them. Whatever the "format" they know their stuff--as the expression goes. Hopefully, the expression, notwithstanding, I can just say that I appreciate them, their talent, and the opportunity for radio to be what it should be. That is WFDU. You know---as Ronnie Gilbert says---putting the emphasis on left (when recorded her) ---"...the right place on the LEFT side of the dial". So true!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Bit of Trivia

Below you will see a list of programs and what will be presented on them in the next few weeks.

Since TABLETALK is a pre-recorded program the only communication we can have is via e- mail Now for the trivia query mentioned in the title.

You will see that on November 18 you will be hearing a conversation with David and Susan Siegal about their latest book Radio & The Jews. As noted earlier the conversation covers a range of topics from long gone programs, anti-semtism on radio in the 1930s and 1940s, and a host of other items.

The trivia question is this: There were 2 series that used a character named "David". One was "Uncle David" and the other "Papa David". Can you name which character appeared on which series? The prize for the first two correct e mail answers will be a randomly selected CD from either the TRADITIONS programming or SUNDAY SIMCHA programming. Your choice---merely e mail the answer with your address and your choice from which program's music you want a CD.

REMEMBER--Only 2 winners and PLEASE--no Googling. Its the honor system.

You are left with the classic line of Minerva Pious aka Mrs. Nusbaum on Allen's Alley---" were expecting may Lauren Bagel or Dinah Schnorer?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Program Notes and Thanks

Since this page is about the programs---while THE ALMOST DAILY ROOSTER covers more general material and THE PLAYLISTS PAGE (click on the right) is self explanatory--let me start with thanks to our loyal listeners of yesterday's TRADITIONS program for all their kind calls of appreciation for the afternoon's program. Also for checking in with their vote on "satire". The home team is well ahead.

It is a given that humor, as most things, is something that will appeal to some and be anathema to others. Subjectivity. I do, however, believe two things (of the myriad that I have an opinion about--honesty) --Satire has to be light-hearted and put the subject of the satire in a foolish light. Number two would that any artist has to accept criticism. This includes your never humble correspondent. If you put yourself on a virtual stage you have to allow for negativity along with all the positive comments.

A few updates now for the various programs:

TABLETALK: Nov. 11 will be a wonderful presentation of the quarterly broadcasts by THE CAPITOL STEPS

Nov. 18 An interesting conversation with the authors of

It is hoped that part of this interesting interview will also find its way to SUNDAY SIMCHA. Here you will find out about The Goldbergs, Father Coughlin and Anti Semitism, Jewish Humor on the air--from Mr. Kitzel on the Jack Benny program to some rare radio cuts forgotten over the years.

SUNDAY SIMCHA: A few surprises are in store. We include some Jewish music as performed by the multi-faceted artist Oscar Brand and some rare radio cuts from the book mentioned on TABLETALK.

TRADITIONS: We are nearing Halloween so some fright is in store as is a visit to those people we have not heard in a while. Kate Wolf has once again been requested and if you have any requests for this or the Steve Goodman or Country Western segment please leave a comment or e mail