Thursday, November 19, 2009

THURSDAY--Another Edition of......:

And the weekly flip of the fedora to Jimmy Cannon

Nobody Asked Me But:

1) I am still amazed how Theodore Bikel does it---85 years and moving, memorizing, and writing like a 25 year old.

2) NYC parking rules are truly convoluted. Not safe parking unless you have a Thesaurus in hand.

3) Did Sen. Schumer ever pass a microphone or camera he did not love and can you recall a day or an issue on which you have not seen or heard him?

4) My heartfelt thanks for all the submissions of music and ideas for Sunday Simcha.

5) A grand opening night for Sholom Aleichem---Laughter Through Tears with some great talents in attendance---Fyvush Finkel, Sheldon Harnick, Alan Alda, Buck Henry, and many more—to view a really grand performance and then an ample festive table in the lobby. It sure was not “chopped liver”---which, sadly, was not served.

6) I still cannot find out how the strange scoring system in tennis came about.

7) Just when you think some artists have created their best work they top it with something else---find out more when we do our year-end review of meaningful moments in recordings this year on Traditions.

8) Just when you think there is nothing but trash (a mild word) on TV you find some channel (by accident) that has some classic programs you wonder why they are not still in production. Homicide—Life on The Streets is one I just found and feel that I can see some quality programming again---albeit old.

9) If every year the President symbolically pardons one Turkey why kill all those others. What did they do to you?

10) Thanksgiving is the one holiday everyone can celebrate without any religious or ethnic overtones and just have your fears of sitting with some family members you cannot abide confirmed.

11) I will never forget the Thanksgiving scene in the film Avalon. Lou Jacobi---the late Lou Jacobi stole that scene. He was sentenced to life with humor.

12) It is said that you can not re-live the past---or go home again. So why is all I hear in Shoprite are the same 1950s songs over and over and over and---------

13) Some things that I have to be thankful for this year in no particular order:
One year anniversary since surgery with no bad effects:

A wonderful and supportive family
A radio station that allows free-wheeling programs and programming. There is a difference
The comments and views of so many listeners to both programs
The wonderful guests who have honored me with their presence----too many to name.
The good health and on going “good” life of those I know, those I care about, and those I don’t know personally but are what are termed “mensch”.
For my Tennis compatriots who play across all age brackets and amaze me each time.

14) Why is it that every year we give thanks around Thanksgiving time for things we usually take for granted the rest of the year?

15) Why are people nostalgic for the old “Underwoods” when typing on a keyboard into a computer is simpler, easier, and erasable electronically? That is my final thanks, I suppose, Keyboards and Computers replacing typewriters---and I still cannot understand how they work. As a teacher once told me---“...not your concern. You don’t look under a hood to figure out how the brake on the car works---you just use it. Use this”.
Words to live by. Bill Gates did not and look at him now---he looked under the hood.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Views and Reviews

Let's start with some brief announcements:

A little early for the seasonal songs of social insignificance---yet there are some that do hit a curmudgeon's heart. A bit early in the season but this is from a brilliant satirical group and the Little Drummer Boy will never be the same---nor will his "fahrcackede drum".

The Capitol Steps ---and their Alpha Female will be my guest on Sunday Simcha on Nov, 22 and again on Nov. 29 on Traditions (sharing the afternoon with Buskin and Batteau of musical and comedic fame).

The Capitol Steps will be appearing in Morristown, NJ at the Mayo Ctr. on 12/6--no time to hold the mayo that night and Buskin and Batteau will be at the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club (Fairlawn, NJ) on December 5.

For a wonderful FREE concert let me urge you to call The Orangeburg Library to reserve you seat for Gathering Time on December 6 at 2 PM---seating is limited. The number is 845 359-2244.

As to the link to this piece from the Capitol Steps. A satirical Holiday piece was requested last Sunday and this was what I had from an advance copy of Barackin Around The Christmas Tree---topical and witty as always. Check it out---you deserve a laugh.

You can also check this site for more notes about some new recordings and items of interest---sort of like the FBI's "people of interest" but I never book anyone and most of those people want to be booked---well, for a paying gig.

I had wanted to put something up on the side bar from Buskin and Batteau but Googleness has prevented that for a time---you did not want to see some inane videos of people proud of their rather cute and inane toddlers. So here is a bit of the Brilliant Duo---just like Batman & Robin---well, one is Robin:

Now a few reviews---very briefly since life is short and one has to spread unwanted opinions in so many areas.

Seriously now. There are some CDs (recordings, if you will---pieces of art and creation, if you will) that I really want to submit to you for your enjoyment and appreciation of the creativity of pieces that should be in your collection---if you have such a thing. If not--well, just enjoy them on the air--well, the air which I send forth on alternate weeks-these will be brief and concise commentaries on a few new CDs and are only my opinion which, hopefully, you feel has some worth:

LIVE IN "65 ---The wonderful re-creation or presenting of a concert that Pete Seeger did in 1965. Whoever said you cannot go home again is wrong in the aural sense. What a delight to live, once again, a live concert with the "master" or audience involvement and a virtusoso on the instruments he plays. Those instrumetns inlude his voice and his persona.

UNTOLD -- This is a brilliant new 2 CD Set from John McCutcheon which I featured on the 11/15 presentation of TRADITIONS. While I the time was not available to play the stories from the WORD portion of the set we were able to play from the SONG section. Both of these CDs are ones you will not want to stop listening to. Dangling participle aside I have to add the WORD portion will have you mesmerized in his great story telling abilities and talent. My favorite--and they are all good--Robbery.

WE CAME TO SING -- I cannot say enough about this CD. What can you say when your favorite anthem writer, her talented companion, and one of your idolized artists get together and perform on a stage and a CD comes from that. I speak, of Emma's Revolution (Pat Humphries/Sandy O) and Holly Near. Topical, Traditional, and just great musical sounds are the thing that I would say is the reasoning behind having this CD---also, the meaningful material that will reinforce your beliefs if that is what they are and if not might make you think about them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


My thanks for all the calls today with answers to Traditions Trivia questions (and glad you will receive some great CDs) and also for the nice comments---and 3 callers did ask an interesting question---was the show live and if so how come I was not at the N E R F A shindig. An answer in a moment.
First an answer to the Traditions Trivia queries--

1) The Steel Drum piece was Shake Shake Sonora ---which a listener got. Big hit for Belafonte years back. This was by Bob Lyons in Florida and just on the Pan. Check the Playlist

2) El Shadai---It is another Hebrew name for God as promulgated by certain groups. For more information you can search the web, call St. Thomas Aquinas college (in Rockland County) or listen to some great Pan music from an Evangelical group called El Shadai.

3) Mickey Katz---yes, to those who called and did not believe it, he is the father of Joel Gray.

My apologies for the short times on the phone---2 hands, one brain, and lots to do---OY I need a producer so badly. That is an inside joke.

For more information on today's program do check the playlist by clicking above.

Finally, to answer, as best I can the queries---well, 3, in fact, about N E R F A and me. Sounds like a song title===NERFA and Me. Would be a sad one, I suppose. So let me give you an honest and still a general answer.

I had attended for many years and---this is the honest part--each year they asked for volunteers for judging (among other things). Each year they told me that they had people from this area. This is the "being frank" part---they took offense to some blog comments and created a bit of a "to-do" to put it mildly. Given that and also given the economics of it---an expensive few days where the talent pays (who can ill afford it) and some of the attendees in media and presenting don't (who can afford it) I found that I can be just as effective with the submissions via mail, internet, and other media for talent as I could be there. My playlists will attest to that. Further honesty---aside from the philosophical differences I find it a little rich for my blood to pay the freight to attend something that I feel I can accomplish without attending. That said, I will admit to missing the camaraderie of old acquaintances and to not being the in the financial position to shell out the dollars for this weekend---when I know others do not.

Best now to check the playlist. Some great new material there and some great old material as well---and, also, do not forget to see, if you are in the NYC area, Theodore Bikel in his one man show. If you are in NJ don't forget 12/6 The Capitol Steps in Morristown at the Mayo Center.