Saturday, July 14, 2012

Things Rightfully Live On

July 14---today---it the anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie.  Who would ever imagine that a wandering (as it turned out) troubador (minstrel as Gilbert and Sullivan have it) would become one , if not the greatest, of influences in our musical history and, perhaps, in the nation's patriotic history.  Given his life and his adventures it also lead to the true definition of brotherhood, empathy, and understanding.

I am happy that my co-host, Ron Olesko, will be airing an interview he did with Marjorie Guthrie so many years ago.  A real coup.   Next week I will be remembering Woody just briefly given all the commemorations to date and on Sunday Simcha on 7/22 I will be featuring some of the wonderful music that has been re-worked and newly found in a Jewish mode.  By the Klezmatics.   On Traditions I will, as said, briefly be recalling him with some music from some rare old recordings featuring him and also Cisco Houston and Leadbelly.

Now---the legacy of Woody Guthrie continues through so many of our wonderful artists of today and, also, through the ongoing interest in his work and his persona.  One of the disciples is a person I have had on my program---TRADITIONS---is Rik Palieri.   Rik travels the world playing all kinds of music and has written a wonderful book which I had the honor to proof read.   For Woody's 100th commemoration he post this on Youtube (what is not there today?)  I think it something worth seeing---it is what Woody Guthrie was about.  Can you imagine what he would have done with the internet?

Please feel free to share this---as if I could stop you--with friends, relatives, and enemies---they will be uplifted.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

THURSDAY--Another Edition of--

A flip of the fedora, as always, to Jimmy Cannon

An aside this week to those of you who may not know who Jimmy Cannon was---a great sportswriter who had other interests and came up with this column idea for the NY Post---when it was THE NY Post and not what my dead fish get wrapped in.


1)                Let me see if I have this right---Mayor Bloomberg was not supposed to have another term but he got around that law and now is playing the “mommy” to the public with his edicts.  Be it the teachers, the consumers, you name them.  Mayor Lindsay (damn, nostalgia is great and so was he) just tried to do his best idealistically and the trashbin of history was his reward.  There must be a moral in there somewhere.

2)                 I loved the Garrison Keilor bit about Mayor Bloomberg and his well stocked limo---a few punchlines but the one I really liked---   "well stocked mini bar with no bottle larger than 6 ozs."   Good for you Mommy Mayor

3)                Why does someone with quite a few large homes want to change NYC zoning to allow for 300 sq. foot apartments---a large walk in closet?  It is consistent with the soda idea---smaller bottles for smaller apartments.  Good for him and consistency.

4)                But the piece in the NY Times about privatization of people on probation really struck a chord—Probation was a judicial decision—when did some private companies get involved to profit from the poor inductees of this comedy  of errors?  And, why is it allowed?

5)                The ads for TED are intriguing and, kids should avoid it. I want to see “Brian” (Family Guy) resurrected as a Teddy Bear.  Frankly---having seen the trailer---not even close.  Creativity can go just so far.

 6)   Speaking of “trailers” .   This summer there will be a documentary coming out about the song “Hava Negilla” (joke is, of course, have two—they are small) do not miss it. Faces and voices you do not expect to see in this wonderful film which is truly enlightening and enjoyable about this great piece of music.   We will be talking of it and playing some samples this Sunday on Sunday Simcha.

6)                Shakespeare and his humor and his tragedies with all their insights have lived on for over 400 yrs.   Other than Arthur Miller is there a playwright that one can name that might be in that category---and even Arthur Miller may not be there.

7)                 Between the “Stop & Frisk” issues and the issuing of summonses (tickets) for drinking (beer/soda –it turns out) in public even though on one's own stoop one has to think the NYPD is truly overstepping and is quite insensitive to the public.  An essay could follow this but, suffice it to say, I do respect their professionalism as compared to the average suburban overpaid police person given the lesser pay of the more risky work and discipline of the NYPD.   If you want the essay send some notes---I will oblige.

8)                Next week on TRADITIONS (7/22) we will remember Dave Carter and Harry Chapin who, sadly, passed away during this time frame.   I will be playing an interview I had the pleasure and honor of having with Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer.  Unfortunately I never interviewed Harry Chapin---but there will be some interesting and memorable moments. Also a brief reading by me of a wonderful tribute to Harry I received the other day from a true aficionado.

9)                I am truly delighted in retiring from the local library board after some 40 years there and knowing that we have the best director now that anyone could wish for, a board that is responsible and creative, and most of the extensive renovations are behind us.  Now if only our town elders (who are not that old or that wise) would allow us the “privilege” of renovating the auditorium so that is not the embarrassment it is compared to other facilities.  I am sure the artists that we book would also be delighted. I know I would be.  Sort of like having guests in a shabby home even though you have a very nice entryway.

10)        I was truly intrigued by the lead article in the NY Times today about Doctors, Rxs, and the doctors selling them to patients rather than giving scrip for a pharmacy---at exorbitant costs.  Seems the gov’t is picking up the tab for this since it is mostly MDs who deal with cases that involve some gov’t---Workmen’s Compensation, etc;  There is a moral here.   Arrest the 3 card monte hustler in the street and reimburse the hustler with a degree.  Better to prosecute him.  Madoff needs company.  He is lonely.

11)        You do have to believe that as technology in TV gets better the content just gets worse.  Seems the only live things of quality left are sports (I am not a fan).   Escapism with quality drama is gone but Reality TV is here even though we are trying to escape the reality of the day from the mundane everyday things we deal with.