Happy birthday to the man whose face beams with pride near the bottom of the right sidebar out the driver's side window of his 1996 Corvette, my brother John Mackey.
The Corvette Challenge pages, webmastered by Edgar Perez, detail John's involvement with a Corvette race series held at intervals throughout the year at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. Known to drag race fans as E-Town, Raceway Park is one of the top drag tracks in the country. If you've got a Vette and can cough up the modest entry fee, come out and race with John and his friends. (Be sure to show up on the right day, however, or you might find yourself tyring to outpace, f'rinstance, Angelle Savoie, the fastest woman on two wheels in the world!)
Please stop overplaying newstape of such "caught on tape" news stories as the mother beating up on her kid and the baseball coach being assaulted by fans. Replaying more than a few times renders their newsworthiness into ratings-grabbing sensationalism. Please stop. That means you, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and ESPN's family of channels.
Here's one to start some debate at the dinner table. A radio industry trade paper listed the top 25 radio talk hosts of all time. Their list:
1. Rush Limbaugh 2. Howard Stern 3. Don Imus 4. Larry King 5. Sally Jessy Raphael 6. Bruce Williams 7. Laura Schlessinger 8. Barry Gray 9. Barry Farber 10. Joy Browne 11. Michael Jackson 12. Art Bell 13. Ronn Owens 14. Jerry Williams 15. Neil Rogers 16. Bob Grant 17. Long John Nebel 18. David Brudnoy 19. Arthur Godfrey 20. Bill Ballance 21. Neal Boortz 22. J.P. McCarthy 23. Jean Shepherd 24. Gene Burns 25. G. Gordon Liddy
Granted, comparing a Howard Stern to the likes of Barry Gray and Long John Nebel - radio talkers from a generation long departed - is apples and oranges. The real shock is why Dr. Laura, sex-obsessed sensationalist, is so high on the list, and Jean Shepherd, humorist and storyteller, is so low.
And where's Brad Crandall?
Well, at least some personal faves made the list, like Don Imus (whom I first listened to as a kid in the 70's despite the well-meaning resistance of my mother) and Barry Gray. And aforementioned Long John Nebel, who was actually said to invent the radio call-in format, and, from what I always heard, may have developed one of the first delay devices by moving a playback head on a tape machine way ahead of the record head - the birth of the Seven Second Delay! The website Radio Free New York has a page full of Long John Nebel/Candy Jones prank phone calls in RealAudio from WMCA's days as a talk station, before they reverted to a Christian format.
Today I am the Mouse Terminator! I was running the work vac around the basement and there he was, the little bastard I've heard scrabbling around the ceiling tiles above and to the right of my desk. Instinctively, I sucked up Mr. Mouse and ran the shop vac out to the street. The critter was already dead, so we held a brief service before setting him adrift in the depths of the Robo-Can.
When last we left WNEW, the FM talk station had fired its potty mouth PM Drive team and sent its AM Drive jock talker packing. They have now begun to rebuild by making a logical move. Infinity Broadcasting owns both WNEW and WFAN, so why not co-brand the WNEW morning show as a WFAN show, particularly since WFAN doesn't have sports in the morning (opting instead for Don Imus). They have brought in Richard Neer to host this show, and there are several reasons why this works.
Neer is a throwback to WNEW-FM's classic rock days
Neer has been with WFAN for 14 years
Neer is a very intelligent and informed sports talk host and now hosts pre- and post-game shows for New York Giants football games
Friday the 13th is as good a time as any to plug an album that, four years after its release and maybe three years after the "swing craze" of 1997-1998 died down, still occupies space in the various CD players in my house. The Contender is from Royal Crown Revue, one of the groups that sort of bubbled under the radar of more renown groups such as the Brian Setzer Orchestra and The Cherry Poppin' Daddies (remember "Zoot Suit Riot"?) Featuring the vocals of Eddie Nichols and a group of solid instrumentalists - guitarist James Achor, bassist Veikko Lepisto, drummer Danny Glass, saxes Mando Dorame and Bill Ungerman, and trumpeter Scott Steen. The level of musicanship on this album is unmatched. In fact, RCR's subsequent release, "Walk On Fire", was a major disappointment. So I keep going back to this album.
The songs are top notch. The title track, "The Contender" opens the album with a burst of energy. There's a remake of "Zip Gun Bop", yet another cover of "Stormy Weather" (a tune which RCR revisited several times), the ponderous "Port Au Prince (Travels With Bettie Page)", the stunning "Everyone Knows You're Crazy", and the whimsical "Friday The 13th", which brings us back around to the reason I'm talking about this in the first place.
Black cats, they don't bother me, I smile in bad company I'm cool as the day is long
We try desperately to steer away from blogs that take excessive liberties with language as I am, after all, a teacher of very small children who should not be exposed to bad language. A bad word once in a while isn't going to kill an otherwise entertaining blog. However, should one of these blogs ever turn into a filth-fest, it will be removed... and it has happened in some cases. Just be warned, fellow bloggers. Language originating from this blog will be always on the safe side. Thanks... --DM