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.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I know that followers of this blog are not vast.  They are, however, meaningful. In thinking of that I thought this might be a good time to think about the various programs I do or have done and the folks that have either been on  them or their recordings.   I suppose it is a good thing to do when you have some time off---as I seem top have for a few weeks.  

TABLETALK--a program I did for over 6 years until I found the producing of it too much for my personal schedule.   I will always recall all the wonderful people who came over for conversations---just a few: Michael Oren (Israeli ambassador), Myra Alperson(Nosh Walks), Zora Neal Hurston's Bio author, A ride up the Hudson on a Fireboat and a chat with the captain,  John Forster,and ever so many more.  
                     My thanks to them and to so many others for all their conversation and interest in coming over to WFDU and myself for some really interesting conversation.  It has always made me feel we were on an equal level with so many more prestigious outlets than this humble place.

SUNDAY SIMCHA---What can I say about this program?   I have learned much from my audience via their requests.   I have also been honored by having some great iconic talents on the program.  To name drop a few---Theo Bikel, Zalman Mlotek, Mike Burstyn, Fyvush Finkel, the Producers of Shlomo,the musical,and, you know---the famous many others.  As to my audience.   I do love them and their requests that teach me about things I knew not of.  No names mentions but---Hackensack is a hot spot for that.  So  is Bronx, NY.
TRADITIONS---What can I say  other than it is, to me, the treasure trove of what I like to call "meaningful Music" and hope that it stays that way .  Over 20 years now.    A few guests to mention of the many I have had the pleasure and honor of having on the program---
 Dave Carter/Tracy Grammar, Kate Campbell, Buskin/Batteau,Mary Gauthier, Carolyn Hester, Judy Collins and ever so many more.   I could tell stories about so many of them and our great conversations.  I did forget one memorable one--Noel Paul Stookey.    There was only on interview in over 20 yrs that ended with each of hanging up the phone on each other in anger.   Nuff said there.   You will have to figure that out since all the rest is positive and that is how this should be received.As to meaningful music.  Let us hope it will continue as it always has on TRADITIONS.   It will, as far as I am concerned.  Musicians that I may agree with or disagree with will still get the airplay that a free society deserves.

As to nostalgia---hard to believe that so many years have passed over the bridge (and no tolls---hooray) ---some 20 years now.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Might as well start with what is on my mind at this time.  I am thinking back to the era of Joe McCarthy.   I, truly, never knew what a subject of his vendetta was and felt like.  On a very small scale---a very small scale I now understand it.    Listen to this piece of music from a very talented performer (not me in the pic) who has made some wonderful documentary films espousimg the situations of needy and ignored people in 3d world nations.   Listen to the piece but do realize there was commentary by me after it aired.  Without that you may not realize what it is about. BUT if you do listen you will figure that out on your own.   Sadly, some "sort of " listeners to WFDU and TRADITIONS do not.  They write letters.  Letters that miss the point because they do not understand the metaphor---or do not want to.  Granted, you do have to hear my commentary afterwards which the letter writer did.  WFDU did not and did not hear the song before banning me from the air for 2 weeks.   Let us now think  back to the first sentence.  

As to the letter writer---to whom I responded as I do to all our correspondents.   Seems he escalated it to the station management after that reply.   Sadly, they never listened to the song or the comments afterwards prior to issuing their McCarthy like decision..

Well,. at least I am in good company. Think back to Pete Seeger and The Smothers Bros.  If you are to young there is always Wikipedia and Google.

See you in June on TRADITIONS again in June---Phil Ochs will be played proving this point once again---Love Me I'm A Liberal.   Hypocrisy , sadly, in this world abounds.    Best to close this now since there are so many other issues that one could comment on---one I would truly love to discuss---

How did we become the nation and power we are given all the controversies we spawn on any subject.  

Locally, Nationally, and Regionally.  

By the way--Locally.   Have heard a few of the issues in Orange County NY regarding Kiryas Joel.  Do not get me started on that.   One comment--Rockland County  and school districts in Ramapo.  Enough said.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Recently one of my colleagues at WFDU who has a wonderful program at that nice place on the left side of the long gone dial(s)----The Vintage Rock & Pop Shop posted a note on Facebook regarding wrestlers.   One in particular.  It brought to mind my very first TV and why the family acquired it.  So, some nostalgia follows,

I guess it was around 1950 (give or take) and wrestling was a big deal then.  I know that it is a staged piece of fraud with some good physical actors but there were those (including an older relative of mine) who really believed it a sport.  Me--I loved 2 of the stars of this.   Gene Stanlee (Mr. America) and Antonin Rocca (The Argentine Backbreaker).  As actors or comics of today they each had a "shtick".   Stanlee---wiping his brow and throwing his sweat into the crowd.  Rocca---spinning his opponent in the air in preparation for breaking his back (well, not really).  

Time to tell of the first TV and how things do not change with your offspring.   My father could not care less about TV and I truly wanted to see these to alleged gladiators in fake combat.  My father agreed to go with me to purchase a set.  Talk about giving in and spoiling a kid.  Now, I suppose, my grand kids are in the same situation---you know--"..;.whatever Lola wants (fill in your favorite name) Lola gets.."   I digress and need to see a professional about my digressions.

We went to purchase the set.  In those days everyone sold them.  That includes barber shops, shoe stores, and you name it.   Being the techno Luddite that I was and still am I pointed out to my dad that we should buy one that has a dial that works like a radio dial and not those that click into a channel.   Brilliant.   Unfortunately that was not the wave of the future.   We sure did a lot of adjusting on our U S Television.   Bet  you never heard of that wonderful console that was great furniture and  lousy TV.   I did get to see the two protagonists in the "championship" "match".  Stanlee relieved himself of his sweat and Rocca did not break anyone's back.

Thinking of the past days of early TV and how it has evolved.  We did get some exercise in days of  yore by having to arise from the couch to change channels, to change the antenna settings for the higher or lower channels (there were only 7---and a few UHF ones later).   Now we have hundreds and it takes some time to find even one that has anything on it that is not equal to the defecation of some producer's idea of a quality bowel movement.   

Technology has advanced so rapidly that we all have to be truly impressed by the picture quality of today's TVs.  Think back to the days of CRT sets and changing tubes.  We have come along way technically.   Now we have to think if the case before the Supreme Court about the Aero case and the possibility of not being saddled w/ cable bills for channels we do not watch. I know that I am not a sports fan and resent the surcharge on my cable bill for sports.   I won't editorialize on why only sports fans should pay that.  I will just rest on the nostalgic comments and recall when life and technology was simpler.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

More Current Ill Affordable Brain Droppings

It has been a while so I thought some random thoughts--well, more than random but, rather specific ones were due after all that gestation in this aging thing inside the skull.

I am not linking this on Facebook but, rather, mentioning it there if anyone wants to visit---no snacks are served here.   Too much interconnection and lack of privacy in this new electronic age.  An age which, I believe, seems to evolve faster than any techno evolution over the years.   Hard for me to believe I still can just turn off a machine and start it again and it has fixed itself.  I recall testing tubes and hoping to find the right one that was broken.

In the "life was simpler department"  I do have to recall a few things.   Years ago when you purchased a home you talked with the seller (or broker) and looked it over.  Now prices are ten fold of what they were in the years I speak of and the buyer brings in inspectors (at his expense) and then one negotiates.   The sad part is that the prices are ten fold and the product is aged and will need (should a buyer desire) re-modelling or renovation.   A multi million dollar property on the ocean (or , can you believe it, a NYC apartment) eyes do not blink at the expenses.    The song was right---What a Wonderful World.   I would change the title to What A World We Live in .  Check the Sunday NY Times Real Estate for the "Big Deal" of the week---talk about the Bill DeBlasio's "2 cities" slogan---probably more like 3 or 4.   One could do a whole riff on slums of yore that now rent as "...chic studios (450 sq ft)  in hip (rundown) neighborhoods ..." for over $1,700/month.

Segueing from that to a friend in Texas who lives in a fine facility that provides him an apartment, amenities (personal trainer, gym, food, barber, etc;) for a cost of $1,700/month and purchase price of$160,000 (refundable when he leaves or dies and has not used the amenities).   The business is opening such a facility in NJ (which he told me about and sent the info)---prices are higher here in the NE---1 Bdrm aptmt---$450,000 and monthly charges $3,500 (approx).     If you have a reasonable pension or income---move to Dallas.  If not.   Stay here with us overpaying heirs to PT Barnum's definition of us.   I did not kow we came along every minute.   Seriously, though, hard to pull up roots and leave family behind but, as my Texas pal says in his drawl---"...hell, let em visit or faghged about em'/..."  Easy for him---his kids live 3 blocks away---though, in honesty, in Texas that could be miles since they keep bragging how big it is.    Some other time I shall relate his comments on the church of St. John the Divine in NYC when he visited with me a while ago---complimentary in a Texas way.

Time once again, as that old radio cliche goes, to go back to a programming theme and some comments about the programs.   Sunday Simcha,, for those of you who are sharp, is a encore (fancy word for re-run) of a show from 2008.   Passover has not changed so why should the show.   Elijah did not show up that time and still hasn't---so I, also, did not for 2014.    We did,however, celebrate the occasion.   As to the show---well, Dayenu---it would have been enough and so why overdo it.

Traditions has not been "encored" at all and each week, while presenting new material, I truly believe that, while there are many wonderful new pieces that are presented  to me and are incorporated into the program the old favorites, the features are what the audience (I hope that is you) want.  The wonderful new features--if they are that wonderful---will soon become old favorites---to mention a few---Brother Sun, Gathering Time., Kate Campbell, Christopher Brown, and so many more.

You know I feel a bit selfish if I were to say I am sharing them with you since I am not really doing that.   If I sent you a copy of one of the recordings I would be doing just that and when we have giveaways ( that is what I am doing---other than that I am merely a presenter and a conduit of some great talent.  The address linked above is where you can send comments, queries, request, etc;  Love to hear from you.

A few last items----
Your opinions are being solicited==

Years back it was assumed that we all would work less (shorter hours, etc;) with all the new technology.  How has that worked out for you?
Medical Insurance was affordable and easy to purchase (or rcve).  How has that worked out for you?
LBJ has been villified for Vietnam but did other things of benefit to the nation(by the way --he did not get us into Nam).  How  has that marked your thoughts?
Letterman retires, new host is chosen but wars and horrors occur around the planet.   What should a good news source be focused on?    (OK---I cannot resist---check the front pages of the NY Daily News and the NY Post for their priorities.  Nuff said.   How much does "rag" cost per pound these days?)

Monday, March 24, 2014


The first thing is to mention a wonderful concert that the BORDERLINE FOLK MUSIC CLUB put on in New City NY on 3/23 that featured the most amazingly talented group with the greatest stage presence you could imagine---BROTHER SUN.  I had the privilege (and that is the correct word) of introducing them and I appreciate all the kind words they said about me but, honestly, they are the talent.   I always feel a bit guilty when hearing those kind words from the artists since I am merely a conduit from radio or other places to spotlight the artists.  I thank them for the words and thoughts as I sit in a small studio and hope that people will recognize great talent that I don't have but the artists have in abundance .

Having written the last paragraph I will, not to be totally negative. I always wonder why other radio hosts are so delighted to be the focus of events they are part of but are made by the talents they present.   In all honesty I do admit to enjoying the laughs from the audience from my intros but that only preceded the important thing---talent.

 In thinking back on some of the radio programs I do and have done I always recall some wonderful conversations on  TABLETALK which I stopped doing a few years back.   I could list many a memorable one and still think of the program when I listen to WNYC and Terry Gross having had equally important people on the program.  I would do it again(in the blink of an eye) if given the opportunity---in a financial way.  Realism of life's financial needs is important.

All of the above leads us to the final philosophical meanderings that come in a very brief version.   I rcvd an insightful comment from a peer ( on the tennis court) aged 91 (amazing player) who said that he always followed his father's advice---take a risk.  He did and his father did and they both had losses but persevered.   I told him that my father had he opposite view and  I went that way.   Well, there is more to that tale and my mother's risk taking but, suffice it to say, my 91 year old friend made a valid point and he lives handsomely due to that advice and his own ability to build on that.   And, his genes.



Saturday, March 15, 2014


OH,  how many more droppings before the damned thing is totally empty?  It already feels a little light on the supply side.    On Facebook a person posted something about the hospital he visited recently and it was quite negative.  I had a similar experience there a while back and told him I would post this on my never so humble blog along with some other comments.  You know that there always other comments.

OK--libel threats be damned since truth is always the best defense.   Nyack Hospital is the facility the person commented about in his negative opinion.   I agree fully.   A short while ago I went there for some tests and they had to be re-done (if that is a term) because, as the technician administrating the test said---"...sorry about that but we are short of money and this is some really old equipment..."   There is a confidence builder.   By the way---the admissions people did not even know where the dep't was where I was supposed to go and when my apptmt was.

Later I contacted the administrator of the place and told him of this and also added that my wife worked at Nyack Hospital until her death.  It was, in my view, a wonderful place then.  In fact, we donated a large (all relative---I am not Bloomberg) to a plague in her honor to the place.   Totally gone.  I told the administrator about this and he said he would look into it---OR---would I like my money back.   I'll leave the expletives deleted.

From a wonderful local facility it has devolved, to me, into a 2d rate (if that) operation.   I will say, however, that I have heard nothing but good things about their Cancer care facility.

One last point now---not about Nyack Hospital.  Let us now critique the one hospital that advertises itself as the best cancer care anywhere.  Nice rhyming.   What do they say in Bklyn---faggedaboudit.   Some years ago I had, sadly, occasion to go there with my late wife who was recommended to go there and see a particular MD for her cancer.   The person who urged her to go there was her boss at Nyack---and well intentioned.   We went there and the result was ---you have a serious problem and we will get back to you.   4 weeks later she called and was told by the chief of radiology that if she cannot wait for treatment it would be best she go elsewhere since we are very busy and, hey, whatever happens--happens.   That was a fairly accurate paraphrase.  We did go to a great facility that truly cared for her and the MD who handled her case could not have been more competent and caring.  To this day I still admire him and am happy to say that I go to him for any issues (in Otolaryngology) I may have.   The facility is Westchester Med. Ctr. in Valhalla.   As to the doctor---contact me if you want to see him.

Perhaps, as I have done, it is best to find a facility and a practice that can best fill your needs.   My solution has been inconvenient but worthwhile----L I MDs and Winthrop Hospital.   I don't know if they have a slogan but any slogan is more truthful than the pomposity and error ridden one of Sloan Kettering---and they have no free parking which is so important to the next of kin  that bring their patients for their exit door to the world---I could not resist one last jibe.


Saturday, March 8, 2014


Since it has been a while I do want to start with some comments about the 2 programs I am privileged to do on WFDU---SUNDAY SIMCHA  & TRADITIONS.    So, first the positive comments about that most eclectic radio station---WFDU.   We play whatever we decide within our genre of material.   There are no mandated playlists as there are on so man, allegedly, public or community stations.  Both on the left side and the center of the dial.  Well, no one has dials anymore anyway.  

On the subject of WFDU (  if you like streaming) I want to bid a truly fond farewell to the General Manager of WFDU who has announced his retirement.   My respect for him and his loyalty in adjudicating  issues that may have arisen. Be they content or any other matter.

This all brings me to Sunday Simcha and its content.   I thank you all for your support for the program over the years and in the recent fundraising efforts the station had.   In doing the program I have to say, in all honesty, that much of the material is being repeated.  I know you appreciate it but I urge you to send me any material (which I have rcvd. over the years) you might want to share with our mutual audience.

My thanks to the loyal audience to  TRADITIONS and also for all the nice comments when spoke on the phone recently during our fund raising month.  You made my day(s).   I know many of you did not want premiums and I thank you for that.  However,  some gifts, if you will, are already on the way to you.   My thanks, too, to the artists that have supplied them.

Now some comments about Facebook and how it has invaded all (or most of) our lives.   I see the benefits in spreading news you want promulgated (there is a SAT word they may eliminate) but why oh why do people have to post personal medical, marital, and legal issues there?   Are there not certain things that are meant to be  kept private and not promote them when the authorities (NSA) can find them out without your advertising them.    Geo. Orwell was just a few years too early in his book----we have now arrived.  With our help and Facebook.   Mark Zuckerberg is rich and we, happily, give up privacy and get unwanted ads (which is only a tip of an poisonous iceberg) after having our DVRs skip ads.


Sunday, February 23, 2014


It has been a while since the last posting and it has been a busy time with  the radio programs---Sunday Simcha and Traditions. For that reason this will be brief.   

If you check the playlist page you will find what is planned even though the playlists wee suspended for a brief fund raising time.

So---one thought I want to share that has nothing to do with folk music---but I do have to thank all who have supported both Simcha and Traditions with their hard earned pledges in this economy. OK the thought----I will leave my opinion out of it but you will pick up on it---
Gov. Cuomo has a wonderful plan to offer college educ. to inmates to get degrees.  The system now offers training in trade skills (to some extent).  So, let me see if I understand--this will prevent recidivism  and those who are not serving jail time cannot afford college or are burdened with loans more horrendous than home mortgages.    The dear Gov. might think of this---best people (youths) rob a convenience store and go to prison for their education---no student loans, free room and board, and you graduate prison with a degree---and if, luckily, it is Sing Sing, you have attended Harvard on the Hudson.    Sounds like a plan to me that equalizes college opportunities for those hard to repay student loans.    A forward thinking politico---he is that.  Not a statesman.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


It has been awhile since I dropped of these from this ever brain.   Let's start locally with an event that is of no interest to anyone outside this NE area.  It is being called Bridgegate--NJ Gov. Christie ( not be confused w./ another more idealistic Gov of NJ who's first name was Christie) has managed to put himself into a truly awkward position. No jokes now about how hard that must be for him in a doctor's office or elsewhere.  Here is a person who claims he is on top of every situation (and he usually is) and nothing gets by him.  His claim now that he was not advised or informed the problem in Ft. Lee and the GWB does not seem plausible.  He claims that his closest assistant started this fiasco and he immediately (well almost immediately) fired her.  Besides wondering how she allegedly did not inform him one has to ask why he fired her and not try to get to the bottom of what he claims he knew nothing of.  Does  not sound like great Presidential timber to me.   I don't know if Rachel Maddow is correct in her views but they sure make a lot of sense.   Think about it.   Why would the Gov. want to alienate (punish) a mayor he claims to not know when the Port Authority(the NJ half) could, at the Gov. behest, punish an opponent of his not directly involved with Ft.Lee.  It ill behooves one who claims to be on top of everything too now say how contrite he is and to not know what is going on around him via his own appointees.

I know that no one in the rest of the nation will care about this---what they will care about is his persona when makes appearances.   Nixon famously said--",,,I am not a crook.."  The good Gov. has said "...I am not a bully.."   Wait till the rest of the country gets a load of him.  That won't do well in Iowa--among other places.  

Perhaps I should give him the benefit of the doubt and blame it all on his hearing while in his office and he told his loyal (now fired appointee) to "close the Frig"---an easy mistake to think he meant Bridge.   Well,  positive side, for NJ politcos it is not another corruption or fraud scandal.  Better that they endangered lives and inconvenienced the public.  

Here is a bumper sticker I would like to sell you--reasonable prices----CHRISTIE FOR NEVER PRESIDENT.

Since this site is supposed to be for "program notes" let me just add that on Jan. 19  I welcome 'GATHERING TIME" into the studio and we will, certainly, have a great blend of music and conversation.   My thoughts on the film Inside Llewen Davis are well know by now but do let me recommend NEBRASKA--what a winner this is. 

Finally, for those who cannot rcve. the programs (SUNDAY SIMCHA  --  TRADITIONS) over the air at 89.1fm  we are streaming on the web where they are archived for 2 weeks-- 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


The new year is once again upon us and, of course, many wishes for joy, happiness, good health, and all the other cliches I should be heaping on this annual event.  Yet, a few thoughts occur to me that I am sure were expected---

Let's start with Secty of State Kerry and the Isaraeli/ Palestinian issue.  Truly complex and fairness and justice is needed.  One thing all have to remember is that given the issues in 1948 the fact that Israel is "Jewish" state (homeland) cannot be disputed.   All other things should be negotioable.  On can only hope that Mr. Netanyahu also realizes that simple fact.   Times and situations change.  We have come along way from, 1948  and later times. They
 need later solutions and, yet, Bravo, for the events of that time

 Skipping to another pet peeve.  Have you ever wondered why Theater prices are so astronomical.  My guess is that you think the rents or the money paid to performers just kept upping the costs.   Think again.   Do you know that an average "stagehand" (with that strong union) rcvs approx. over $400,000 annually.  Picture this---Carnegie Hall, no scenery, standing up music stands and chairs. I bet many of you have done that for a HS concert, let's say.   $400,000.   I wish.  The recycler  who picks up the matreial from my place gets a pittance for all his / her hard work. Sure, there are some more complicated shows to work with.  But, still, over $400,000 dollars---they certainly do not get the kind of play that the performers receive.   Sure beats coal mining and other endeavors and all below the popular and nonsensical radar.   Now---there is a union and they certainly know how do what they have to do.  Too bad the UAW and the UMW and all the others have not taken a page from their book.   Enjoy your next overpriced show and think of these struggling workers.

I am so touched by Mayor Bloomberg's valedictory ( as reported in the NYT).   This  I love--" then swiped his senior metro card on a subway station and headed home..".  Right.  To his limo and then to his mansion.  Please.  It's so hard to be poor and humble when you are rich and arrogant.

A personal thought about New Years Eve.   Over many years---too many to even remember--they were always spent w/ friends.  How delightful that, for many years now , they have been spent with family.  By that I mean children and their kids and their friends.    As to New Years Eve.  No sense getting into another day where people seem to be delighted to show---on TV--how moronic they are and how, like the morning TV audiences, they look like trained sheep being led to who knows what.  Best to have the good memories of years gone by and uniting with family and friends and not watching strange folks thinking that being on the "boob tube" makes them meaningful.

OK--now is the time to remind you of some upcoming shows and programs--On 1/5 you cannot want a better New Years gift than my  conversation with David Buskin and Rob Carlson during the TRADITIONS program.  Do join us and then make sure you go on1/18 to the Acoustic Cafe in Park Ridge, NJ ( )  

Finally, and for you happily, I end with my sincere wishes for a very Happy---and most, importantly--Healthy New :Year.