Thursday, December 11, 2014


It certainly has been a while since the last mostly unappreciated or redundant commentary that you care about.  But, if you are reading this I do appreciate it.

Let me start with the change of venue in my life.  It has been a source of great upheaval and depression for me.  Hard to give up 50 years of an area that was, to me, home with beautiful surroundings,  acquaintances, and scenery.   I am now in Long Island---South Shore.  Not to denigrate it since many people abide here and, surely, love it.  To me;   An awful place that is totally without charm or scenic beauty.   Interestingly, most people who as where  I came from ask me "why"---they all seem to comment of the beauty of my former place.     I have the answer but even that makes me realize that one can make big mistakes (and irreversible ones) in one/s life.

Now; on to more positive things.   The good thing is technology.  Yep, technology.  Where I was able to get to the radio station  (WFDU)  in about minutes this is no longer possible.  Yet, technology allows me to record my programs at home.  I miss the live inter-action with listeners but e mail does supplant that problem.  So,  the shows will continue with your wonderful support.  The interviews will also shortly  proceed.   Speaking of interviews.  If you ever want to hear some of the older ones from  TRADITIONS (some fascinating artists when they started---and Dave Van Ronk---not when he started but, rather, comments of thing that were surely misrepresented in the Coen Bros. film_ ) 

 One or two final things.   Some recent films I have to mention which I may have commented on the program----

Love Is Strange---not to be missed.   For ever so  many reasons not the least are the brilliant performances by the featured actors and the whole subject matter.

Elsa & Fred---what a delight.  I related to the first half and not to the second half, which I truly enjoyed on its own.

All In The Family---a bit off the beaten track on this subject.  Having heard the interviews wit Norman Lear recently I decided to revisit some of those episodes and, as he said, they were not only wonderful but truly classic TV.  They changed the landscape of television with their topicality and wit.  While, in the interviews, the names of the actors never came up I am so impressed by the talent of Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton(who,to me, stole the show).  I am always amazed now Mr. O'Connor went on to create a whole new persona as a Southern Sheriff  after the disaster of his doing a truly awful coda to the earlier success with "Archies Place"

Well, as they say---whoever they are ---see you on the radio.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I do admit that this blog is on an irregular basis but the playlists are, hopefully, fairly current.  Many bloggers feel the need to post their daily thoughts, their constant activity (even, I suppose, their bowl regularity or irregularity), and much else.   Seems Facebook has such people as well and I approve since that activity keeps their interests and time well occupied.  For them.

Today, not to he guilty of my last paragraph's comment, I just want to mentions a few items.  Most are quite positive.

My Co-host on Traditions presented a truly wonderful tribute and memorial to a wonderful artist we have lost (as so many others) at a tender age---Danny Quinn.   Truly a warm, sensitive and talented artist.  My compliments to Ron Olesko and my condolences to the family and friends of Danny Quinn---and my own sadness in losing such a warm and wonderful talent.

In that same mode may I also mourn the loss of a loyal listener to so many programs on WFDU and a loyal supporter of so many of them in financial ways.  But, more important to me, in her personal contact, about the programs.  She never made requests (though infrequently in correspondence) and had some wonderful insights and suggestions about performers in her correspondence with me.   I will make mention and honor her at the start of TRADITIONS on 11/16---along with a few of her favorite artists that I gleaned from here rare requests.

In a more positive mode now I have to say that I have some truly interesting people of late.   Perhaps things are, as it is said, generational.   If I had been at a function---some people say "affair" but that sounds like an immoral assignation---and met people who jus love Rap the conversation would have been over.  Generational, I suppose.  Yesterday my table companions at a "function"---still no "affair"--sorry---were Phil Ochs fans and also Bela Fleck.   I was told of their birthdates.   Perhaps it is, as I said, generational.

I do not know if any of you recall the original title of this Blog (which was stolen and accredited to Jimmy Cannon (sports columnist for the NY Post before it became a rag to wrap dead fish) Nobody Asked Me But.....   So --
....Do we need 24/7 coverage of Ebola over just the brief, sad facts?
...Why are there hundreds of channels on TV and nothing to watch that is new.
...Why is it that the older TV programs had more substance (OK forget the likes of FatherKnows BEst and that ilk)
 ....Norman Lear created quality programming and Carrol Oconner --talented as he was---should have known that when the show ended it ended and not tried his disaster.  In fairness, he did create or perform a whole new character in has later series.  He was a great actor.

I end by hoping that you will be tuned in this coming Sunday to WFDU for all the eclectic programming that will be offered---Sunday Simcha, Vintage Rock & Pop Shop, and at 2 PM I will be with you again with TRADTIONS and have, hopefully, a program worthy of your interest---you radio afficianodos (as myself)

Saturday, October 18, 2014


It has been a while since the last post and a lot has transpired during that time.  Many of you probably know that the Sunday Simcha programs have been "encore" presentationsFancy term for repeats.  But we are now back on schedule for both Simcha and Traditions.   Traditions will, once again, have my presence on 10/26 and Sunday Simcha on 10/19 and the usual schedule returns.

On a personal note.  The reason for the hiatus was my moving from Rockland County to Nassau County.  More about that in a moment.    It created electronic problems that precluded my presenting the programs. Thanks to the staff at WFDU all these issues are now resolved and I am able to continue with the programs and hope for your e mail input.   A whole new and wonderful electronic world.  I, also, have to thank my co-host on Traditions  for his gracious coverage during all this time.

As mentioned earlier I would comment  on the move from Rockland County to Nassau County.   OK.   Brief thought---don't  leave heaven for something better.  It does not work.  My move was for the right reasons (having to do w/family and aging).  I know that people who have lived here are delighted with their surroundings.   Rightfully so.  But a few things to think about---costs, surroundings, and community.   Prices for everything (from taxes, food, etc;) are a fraction in Rockland County.   The views in S. Rockland (I can only speak for 0rangetown) are spectacular compared to  LI South Shore-=--there I had Clausland Mtn. and here I see Mt. Garbage---some dump they have converted into a hill covered w/ grass.   Supermarkets and taxes.  Nuff said about that.     

I could now write a whole riff on the "gated" community where I  now reside . I felt just as secure in my  former house and, frankly, who would want to enter this area that reminds me of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World".   

Enough of that as I now plan to leave my unlocked abode to find any activity availale in the new version of an Aldous Huxley novel.

On the bright side I have had the support of my daughter in this transition and that of the the folks at WFDU in helping me set-up all the electronics to permit me to continue in the radio moments I love and hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Random Ramblings

Some random ramblings of , as the song says, these things are on my mind.  OK, I purloined the line from Pete Seeger on a much bigger issue---"These Three Are On My Mind", This is the anniv. of Freedom Summer and it will be duly noted and remembered on TRADITIONS on 7/6.

Back to the random rambling.   I finally did my second garage sale in 40 years---the first netted about $20 and about 2 shoplifters.  I promised myself never again.  Today I succumbed to clean out the garage and I do believe we live in affluent times for some folks.   Opening at 9 AM the 1st person showed up at 10:30 and purchased a butterfly net for $2---should have kept it and used it so someone would commit me for this inanity.   My 2d patron (and his mother) came about 11:45.   Truly a sad case or I am the sucker of the day.   He asked me how much I wanted for a beach chair I had---I said $2 and we settled for $1 which is when I realized he seemed to have no money since his mother  (he was in his 40s, it seemed) paid.  He then wanted some 75 feet of electrical wire I had(heavy duty) and he offered $1 and did not have enough change---I let him have it anyway and gave his mother a gift of some baskets I had.   That ended my disaster of a sale.  Never again.   I do wonder if he was good at pleading poverty while driving a fairly late model van.   Yet, I felt for the man and tried to do a little good.

Everything now is at the curb FREE for the taking and even there no takers. There was a time---oh well.  Monday the trash (sanitation folks for proper nomenclature) will, hopefully, take it all away.

 For a few more ramblings---
    Dick Cheney on Charlie Rose.   Charlie Rose did better than I have ever seen him do given the Cheney intransigence.   The Jon Stewart characterization of him is even more true to his image than a characterization should be . 
    Not that I want to make recommendations for people to contact for Real Estate agents or contractor I do have to say that I have run into some people who truly care about the "client" even when there is not a thing that will benefit them but just care about how "you are doing".   On request.
    Back to the programs---a truly funny (by request) Sunday Simcha on 7/6 and on Traditions that day we commemorate the holiday in a comical way along with the usual features and some brilliant new material.    Don't miss Hour 2 (3 PM now) for some remembrances of your favorites---again, more requests.
    One last thought about Sunday Simcha.   I hope many of you viewed the CBS show on Sunday a few weeks back.  What a wonderful segment on Fyvush Finkel and how delighted I was to have had the honor of having him on the program and also of driving him home after a show in his honor.  A real gem of a gentleman who is still going strong w/ great talent and humor.
     So, of course there has to be a final thought about Traditions and the fact that back in 1999 Mary Gauthier was my guest.  I found her to be the most honest and open person in our interview which started with her recording of "Drag Queens & Limousines".  Biographical.   I saw her a few years later in Rockland County and I asked her to stay over at my place to save hotel bills. She did.  Now she is a huge success and I am so delighted.  I just heard her about a week ago on WNYC on Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross---still honest and open.  A delight.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


There are some wonderful new artists in the genre that I claim to write of and I will get to them in a moment.  First, though, a personal reading recommendation.  If you are of a certain age and from a certain area you will enjoy this well written memoir by Avery Corman----"My Old Neighborhood Remembered".   Avery Corman, you will recall, wrote Kramer v Kramer, Oh God, etc.   My surprise is that he and I are just about 2 years apart in age and grew up within in 10 blocks of each other in The Bronx.  Same schools, same activities, and so much more that is now gone from the city landscape and the city's ---shall we call it morality?   Times change, mores change, rituals change, and growing up in a time of plain old simplicity and safety change.   Growing up in that wonderful bubble of time was a joy.   Read the book and re-live it if you are of that generation and if not, read it and see what life was like in that simpler time.

It's amazing how much new material flies into the ever open transom when you are off for a few weeks from TRADITIONS---SUNDAY SIMCHA continues on unabated with the music the audience seems to like the most---and I shall stick to it more.  Let us say it is generation oriented.  For TRADITIONS, as said, that open transom let fly in some wonderful new material and artists.  For example ---Jackie Morris, The Warren G. Hardings, Paul Sachs, Abe Loomis, Job Potter, Linda MaCraeand some not so new but with new releases such as John Flynn and Red Molly.   All them can be heard this coming Sunday (June 8) when we will also visit with some old favorites (as always), pay a brief tribute to the wife of Tom Paxton (more on 6/22), and recall (musically) the amazing date of June 5, 1944.   I also hope  you tune in for the "remembrance" segment as we remember topical and protest singers who are no longer with us.  We will also have a set of guitar songs---songs about guitars that are not metaphorical.  Sometimes a guitar is just a guitar a guitar as sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.   No one can possibly be offended by these non metaphorical pieces.  One of them will be performed by Gathering Time prior to the creation of  their newest work.  A wonderful piece compose by Stuart Kabak.   Not to be missed.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


 The Blog does state that Folk music was the main topic. So it shall be.  But, given my disease of regression I do move into other topics since Folk Music can not be the entirety of one's being.  We'll get to that "main" topic in a moment.

On Sunday, May 18 I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful concert at the Borderline Folk Music Club (New City NY) and the honor of introducing GATHERING TIME who do not need an introduction given their climb --rightly deserved--in popularity.   I have mentioned this before.  You find the mos talented artists and material at local venues at a fraction of what you will find in the arenas and at a fraction of the price.   This is not to denigrate major Bway. productions.  That is a whole different can of worms (well, venues) than arenas and over the top shows at fantastic prices for music you cannot really hear given the mega sound.

Let's now talk of some philosophical items regarding music and air-play.   I hope you tune in to SUNDAY SIMCHA on May 25 (well, I hope you always tune in).  A perfect example what was gentle humor in years back and what upsets people today---Comedy Corner will feature Allan Sherman (on the subject of the Draft) and Phil Ochs (same subject) in a whole different mode that might be offensive in our new overly sensitive listenership, society, and  random-listeners who tune in and do not wait for commentary.  They really should stick to Sirius---no comments, just bland music.   Way to go.

Since these are random brain droppings let me throw out a few non-musical thoughts--
1)  Gay Marriage.    A semantic issue nothing else.   Why do females call their partners Wives and the males call their partners Husbands?   Call me old fashioned but there are two terms. There is  a great compromise that works for all---Hetrosexuals, etc;----"Spouse".  Nice neutral term that even Hetro folks can use.
       Let me add a nice "folk" note to this now---Eric Bogle's "Silly Slang Song".   Check out the lyrics of this brilliant satirical song.  You have heard it when I am on TRADITIONS.

2)  Speaking of lyrics.   A talented musician gave me a wonderful idea about bleeping out the word that might have offended an irate listener a few weeks ago.  It would have been a good idea had there been offensive words.  There were none.  Just in the mind of a mindless letter writer who seems to be listened to by "the powers that be" ala the McCarthy days that I thought were behind us.   In all honesty I cannot blame the "the powers that be" since they were following a communication addressed to me that was forwarded to them by the erronious receiver of said communication and knew not what the item was about.  They never heard the piece in question.  Yet, ala the McCarthy era, jumped to fearful comnclusions.
     The wonderful thing about Folk Music, aside from the "traditional" is the topicality that it engenders.  We put protest songs (ala Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, etc:) in the "folk basket" so to speak.  Well, there are current singers who also are in the mix.   

     I am always surprised ( in this day and age and the looseness of morals on media) that ONE irate listener gets his annoyance with an ignorant interpretation of something played taken seriously to my detriment.  My detriment is not even the issue.  It seems we have not really left that time when one irate person can hurt many from his rumors and interpretations of events.

    On a brighter note let me add that I will be back at the old stand (as Henry Morgan ---1940s --used to say) on June 8.  Trust me there will be no slack in topical songs, traditional music, the features, and in our Remembrance section I shall remember for us some protest singers---and starting w/ Phil Ochs.  Afix your seat-belts.

3)  The final item has to do with a truly light and slight subject.   A few days ago there was a wonderful film on TCM.  "The Subject Was Roses".   Just wonderful.   What surprised me after not seeing it all these many years was that Judy Collins sang the background music (Where Does The Time Go).  The film is now over 50 years old and her voice sounds the same today.  Hard to believe and yet wonderful to enjoy. 

4)   SUNDAY SIMCHA is ongoing and as far as TRADITIONS is concerned you will have me back at that old stand on June 8---as said we shall do a segment in our Remembrance segment on protest singers.   As you may, or may not, know Mr. Worthy died this week and Phil Ochs has a song about this journalist---you will hear this rarely played piece amongst others.   One last thought--Do not let fear or people who have developed fear change your point of view.