Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some Upcoming Events---Radio & Otherwise

Just a few brief upcoming dates for some of the performers that will be in the area and should be of particular interest to readers of this venue and also listeners to SUNDAY SIMCHA and TRADITIONS

October 11: Turning Point Cafe, Piermont NY Rev. Billy C Wirtz / Robert Gordon Band
October 16: Tom Chapin at Our Times Coffeehouse in Garden City, NY
October 18: Jonathan Edwards on TRADITIONS w/ Bill Hahn
October 24: Milton at Acoustic Cafe, Park Ridge, NJ
October 25: Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mt. Boys at McFauls Environmental Center-- Wycoff, NJ
November 6: Jonathan Edwards at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ
November 7: Cheryl Wheeler at Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fairlawn, NJ
November 8: Theodore Bikel in limited run at Folksbiene for Sholom Aleichem

That is a brief update of some of the upcoming appearances by people I would hope are of interest to you since, it seems to me, that some of the best shows are by people you may not hear of in the ads for the large venues.

The old saw says that "you get what you pay for" and another that says "the best things in life are free". These are not exclusive of each other. How many times have you gone to a local concert and had an even better experience than a large venue as MSG or Meadowlands and also contact with the artists you admire and enjoy?

While I surely want to update you on the programs---SUNDAY SIMCHA and TRADITIONS --that has been done in previous notes and will continue on newer ones---I do want to add a few extraneous thoughts about some items and people.

Some of you may recall that last week I played a new CD by Janet Bates. Musically it was wonderful. I have, since that time, had e mail contact with her and am ever so amazed by her talent, bravery, and honesty in fighting a really tough disease----cancer. She also never mentioned that, besides her great talent, she is also a physician (as is her husband). We corresponded about our mutual situation with regard to that disease and the support that is offered by kin---and, I am sure it is not an invasion of her confidentiality, she writes: (paraphrase) "...I as you have no close friends---my husband is my support and best friend". I applaud her and her husband. I also told her that her music stands alone---and is just wonderful. Janet Bates has a blog and if you click on it you can read of her comments on her fight and her life. This is separate from her website.

As to a few thoughts off the top of my head that probably should not be on a public forum and only one that is "private"---like this blog:

1) WNYC in NYC has acquired WQXR and that is a truly good thing. The sad part is that they changed their own schedule and put some shows back that the only comment can be "who cares".
2) WQXR had to move to another frequency and is much lower in power than it had---nothing higher than a local college station. I have heard the difference. Sad
3) WQXR now has new (and a few) hosts. Sad.
4) Enough comments about the difference between what were and are commercial stations and those that are still non-commercial. Read between lines on that one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

THURSDAY--Another Edition of:

With the weekly tip of the hat to Jimmy Cannon

Nobody Asked Me But:

1) One cannot fault the younger generation(s) for not ever knowing of records and turntables since we cannot recall Edison Cylinders.

2) We cannot fault the current and older generations for not “getting’ the mean sounds of hip-hop and rap---that is subjective.

3) Mozart and Beethoven are still appreciated. Will Jay Z, Five Dime (where do those names come from?), or whatever be remembered and heard years ahead?

4) Letterman is of no import at all but one has to admit that his comments were witty and honest. Especially “...there is a fall chill in the air---nice—even a bigger chill in my home...”. Still---who cares

5) Why can’t cell phones just make phone calls? Period.

6) It seemed unimaginable that property that sold for the 25,000s in the 1960s now sells for the 900,000s .

7) My Real Estate Prof. in college was right---invest 1960 dollars and reap 2000 plus profits. Hope he is rich now and followed his own advice. Wish I did.

8) Some people love radio the way it was done so many years ago---live and personal. The current generation and kids only think of TV and, yet, there is still that kind of radio left on some segments when going to the left side of the dial. The key word is “some”.

9) What a delight to have had some young Girl Scouts come into the studio for a tour and discover the magic of radio.

10) Meeting some of the people you meet when doing a radio program is probably the best part of it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Before a few other comments and updates let's see what is scheduled for the two programs that I host or co-host---

SUNDAY SIMCHA: Sunday, October 11 I am delighted and honored to leave the full one hour format of music and comedy to devote approximately 30 minutes of the program to an interview I recorded a few years back with Michael Oren.

Some years back I produced and hosted the TABLETALK program on WFDU's Weekend Omnibus---more on that later---and one of my interviews was with Michael Oren after the publication of his brilliant and highly readable book---Six Days Of War.

We conducted the interview sitting on the back porch of his parent's home in New Jersey and it may well be, arguably, the best interview of all the TABLETALK interviews. There are so many wonderful ones over the years but this one was unique in its honesty, openness, and also the wonderful informality he displayed.

You are all probably aware by now that he has been appointed the Israeli ambassador to the U S. There is an interesting story behind that which I will be talking of on the program. I will also be mentioning his growing up in New Jersey, his pride in his parents and their accomplishments, and how and why he is living in Israel. Any further questions you can always e mail me at after you hear the program.

Admittedly,this interview is about one of his many books---Six Days of War. We will be covering his takes on some great historical figures. Abba Eban, Levi Eshkol, Yitzhak Rabin, and some others.

This is one not to miss.

TRADITIONS: Besides the interesting and eclectic material that will be coming up as always I am delighted that Jonathan Edwards will be joining me on October 18 for a short while so that we can listen to some of the wonderful music he has made over the years and will now be bringing to MEXICALI BLUES in Teaneck, NJ on November 6.

Jonathan Edwards, who you see here, is one of those rare artists---I do not use the word entertainer which connotes something much less intense and focused for good reason. Jonathan Edwards takes a stage and his presence is felt on a personal level by all in the audience.

This is a show not to be missed. As I said on the air last week---"...if you go to Mexicali Blues and have only one opportunity to go there in November---this is the one".

You may all recall he is the composer of "Sunshine"--the hit of the 1970s and there is a great story behind this metaphorical song you will hear on the program. He also is an eclectic artist that excelled in so many different areas. The bottom line to all this is that he will grab your interest on the program and electrify you at his local appearances in the area. Wear non-static shoes and clothing so you will not be shocked.

SOME OTHER UPDATES AND COMMENTS: I do hope that some of you are---well, all of you---are following the Thursday version of the idea created by the great columnist Jimmy Cannon---"Nobody Asked Me But...". A good opportunity to bring up some issues and you should feel free to respond. Pro or Con. Of course I expect that some of you are pros and pretty sure, given the odds, some of you are cons that have not been convicted as yet. Isn't English a strange language---harder to learn than Spanish and more informal than Deutsch. Ach!!!

Earlier I had said "..more on that later" while mentioning TABLETALK. This is the later. It was a delight to do that show for some 6 years and also a real honor to meet some of the people that I was able to get onto the program---authors, actors, statesmen, composers, and just, as they say now in police lingo---"people of interest". All good things have to come to an end and I felt with the other two programs this was a bit of an overload and retired from it. The pay was the same as the other programs (though I thinka few more Zeros were added for that one). It was done out of love for the subjects as all the shows on WFDU are done. The replacement shows are truly wonderful and are what radio should be about----wide ranging topics, theater of the mind, and my favorite word---"eclectic".

Anyway---how about some thoughts on the following which should not be on Facebook or other public venues. This is private---right?

1) Mad Men on TV. I have a story to tell you there.

2) Curb Your Enthusiasm and it new season on TV

3) University Radio Stations and University Radio Stations that become Public Radio Stations and have no students or volunteers.

And, finally, a mention of one of the artists that I have recently featured on TRADITIONS---Janet Bates. I applaud her honesty and her heroism in her struggle with cancer. Honesty in making it public on her new CD with pictures and links to her blog on that subject and heroism in her strength in the fight. Finally, I separate that from her great talent, as I told her in our last communication.