Saturday, August 8, 2009




Sadly, Mike Seeger passed away on Friday at the age of 76. A man with a wonderful and diversified musical history.

I will be offering a brief musical and oral (aural for semantic purists) remembrance in the 4 PM hour on TRADITIONS on Sunday August 8. You may also hear the program on the web at and it will be archived for a period of 2 weeks at that same site.

This promises to be a very full program but it surely would not be complete without a remembrance of this historical figure in musical history.

If you will check on the right side of the screen there are some videos of Mike Seeger courtesy of You Tube.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

THURSDAY--Another Edition of:

(tip of the hat as always to Jimmy Cannon)


1) the release of the N. Korean detainees was pre-arranged and Bill Clinton was the messenger. It was a good thing===Bolton and Fox not withstanding

2) the lady who drove the vehicle that crashed on the Taconic Pkway. (NY) was deemed drunk and high and I would like to see more evidence since it is so hard to believe. But, sadly, it is probably true---a fact I, an many, try to deny.

3) I hope David Buskin packs lightly for his trip to Avalon Festival in PawPaw, Va. for good reason.

4) I still feel that Branaugh is the defining interpreter of Shakespeare in this generation

5) It was nice to see Sotamayor confirmed and have to wonder why a, supposedly, judicial and neutral body is now defined by the gender and ehtnicity of its members.

6) Why was Thomas approved when it seemed merely a racial balancing act and he does not hold a candle to another "Black" member---Marshall.

7) I am surely looking forward to seeing Julia and Julie---Meryl Streep is an amazing actor---yes, actor---leave gender out of it.

8) Why does the NYC police department act in a professinal manner (generally) and suburban-- overpaid police departments act as if they own their town.? Perhaps they do. Their pensions of over 250,ooo for some reflect it. To the taxpayer's detriment and burden

9) Does anyone recall when you paid .25 on the East River crossings in NYC and .50 (and they sold coupon books) on the PA crossings?

10) Who remembers the Grand Concourse in the Bronx in its prime and the premier theatre that was there?

See you next Thursday for another edition:

Sunday, August 2, 2009


The first comment I have to make is that we did lose a treasure of the "Folk Community" in Sandy Paton and I compliment my co-host, Ron Olesko, on a wonderful tribute to this person who helped keep traditional music alive and vibrant at great sacrifice to himself and his family. The nice thing is that he succeeded.

The second comment is to wish peace and tranquility to Mike Seeger in his final days and his decision to stop his treatments for cancer and await what portends to be the end of a truly fruitful and wonderful life.

Moving on to the header now---Program Notes and Suggestions. It occurred to me that so many times there is a wonderful song out there and it becomes a big hit because someone with name recognition recorded it---and did it well---but many a time it was recorded earlier by someone that does not have that name recognition and to my subjective way of thinking is, actually, a better version. The writer is happy with the hit and does not forget who introduced it so well. I know for a fact that Julie Gold feels that.

Bette Midler made this a huge hit and to me the Nanci Griffith version is still the unequaled interpretation (don't you hate "cover"?) of this song.

Many of you have heard me play Kate Long on TRADITIONS and with special interest to her song "McNamara's Tear". I know that Nanci Griffith had a copy of it from an inside source. Unfortunately this great piece is not on her newest CD. If you feel the spirit please do contact Nanci Griffith at her website and request that she record this piece. The same way Christine Lavin gave Julie Gold's beautiful composition to Nanci Griffith and it was picked up by Bette Midler I am hoping that some groundswell for this meaningful song will also move things along. I also know that Julie Gold backs me on this----AND if you ever want to hear once again the interview I did with Julie Gold (some 12 years ago now--go figure) which included some 15 or so versions of From A Distance (not to fear it is not that long---we excerpted the various languages) just let me know and it shall be scheduled on TRADITIONS.

That, by the way was the suggestion in the header---contacting Nanci Griffith.

This coming Sunday on TRADITIONS I shall be doing a few songs that were huge hits by some name people but were introduced to the world by people I thought had a better version. You know the old cliche---you get what you pay for. Does not always work that way. Think of the other cliche---less is more.

The upcoming Sunday on TRADITIONS will also feature some really great new recordings---yes, you heard a few today with Ron Olesko this past Sunday and you will hear more of those--including the brilliant Jonathon Edwards-- but there is a bevy of wonderful material that has come in over the always open transom---including one group that I featured on SUNDAY SIMCHA and are a truly universal folk ensemble---Beyond The Pale.

Another item for TRADITIONS this Sunday is something I wrote about above that put me in mind to play some songs and then the parodies of them. You know when a song becomes very popular there is sure to be a great parody. See if yuo can figure out what they will be---only 3 or 4 which translates to 6 or 8 if you count the parody after the original. If you have any you can think of future reference please do e mail me or leave a comment here.

Not to leave SUNDAY SIMCHA out of this missive let me say that next Sunday we have a rare comedy appearance by the pre-cursor (I suppose) of Andy Kaufman---or, at least, in the same vein along with some wonderful new material from the Canadian group---Beyond The Pale.

THE ALMOST DAILY ROOSTER has not had a new entry in a long time since it seemed more germane to put things on this site. I am hoping to add a few things in the next week of a non-folk, non-music, and more topical and personal nature there.

Please do check out the videos on all three pages since there are some new ones that, I believe, will be of interest and, certainly, worthy of your attention. Or---watch the damned things and either laugh or cry.

Nest week the Nobody Asked Me But... column will be posted---your input is always welcome.