Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Class Trip Band

I know two-fifths of this band. They're the guy and gal at the flanks of the top row. Jesse Frack and his wife Mary Buck have been colleagues of mine in a little band I play with once in a while called The Brass Tacks, and they have been playing out for ages. Check out their site then go and see them sometime!

Friday, April 25, 2003

Blanche The Singing Bartender

As regular readers of this blog doubtless know, my father-in-law died rather suddenly a few months ago. One of his great joys, and one which he has passed down to at least one of his children, was frequent visits to Atlantic City, and Al regarded the Tropicana Casino and Resort as one of his favorite haunts.

While in A.C. on other business, I visited the Tropicana for the first time in several years and was pleasantly surprised at some of the changes - and some things that have stayed blissfully the same.

When the Mackeys were regulars at the Tropicana, the management discovered a young vocalist who was singing while tending the bar at a local nightclub, so the wisdom was that this was a good thing and Blanche Travis Morro began her run as Atlantic City's Singing Bartender at a small bar built for her at the Tiffany Lounge in the Trop. She gained great fame doing this culminating in a national TV appearance on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show". About a year or so into her run, Blanche was taken out of the bar and onto a little stage. It wasn't the same. By the time we switched alliances to Caesar's, we had written off Blanche as a failed noble experiment. Apparently there was some sort of contretemps with a labor union over what she was doing, but that seems to have been settled in Blanche's favor.

Happily, my recent visit to the Trop found Blanche back where she belonged, behind the bar, serving beers and singing as she has for the past five years. You can visit Blanche at her official website, or better still, catch her at the Tropicana.

While some newer slots have been added, the Trop's video poker offerings remain as they have been, using mostly older-model IGT and Sigma machines (part of the place's charm is that they still hang on to these older machines - which still work quite well). The progressives remain where they have always been, but one bank of poker progressives seems to have disappeared for good. New areas have been added with a new hotel tower on the way.

Al would have loved it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

New Home For Coolest Showbiz News

Now this IS cool news!

Mark Evanier, a veteran comedy/comics writer and showbiz observer, has relaunched his newspage (now a blog) features that previously appeared under a variety of other web addresses, at the new address (News From M.E.). He usually updates several times a day when fancy strikes, but look for the can of Campbell's Cream Of Mushroom Soup that indicates that Evanier is on deadline for one of his many projects and won't be updating the site. One day he had 3-1/2 of them in a row. He must have really been working that day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Get A Horse! Or A House! Whatever!

I get the weirdest spam. I got one today that said I could get a loan for my HOURSE or car.

My house or my horse?

At least I have a new word I can pop into my Spam Filter. (I do have one. I'm not bothered by those pesky e-mail attachments that are actually spyware or worse - I just don't accept E-mail with those type attachments any more.)

Monday, April 07, 2003

Y107 Bloc Is No More

Once upon a time, there was a quartet of radio stations in the New York City area all calling themselves Y-107, first simulcasting a country format, then, at the failure of the country format, a Spanish language format. All broadcast on 107.1 FM.

Those days are now gone.

The Y-107 group has been officially broken up by new owner Nassau Broadcasting (former owner of several Jersey Shore stations including WJLK, WADB-AM, WOBM, etc. now part of Millennium Radio Group). Two of the stations are carrying the signal of other existing stations - the one in the Hamptons is featuring WLIR and the one in Westchester is featuring WSPK-FM Poughkeepsie - but for now the Long Branch Y-107 and the one in northwest NJ are silent. Nassau may be selling the two New York stations and holding on to whatever stations it still has in NJ.

Whatever format the Long Branch Y-107 takes, they may need to look for new office and studio space. Their old headquarters at 156 Broadway are currently being renovated into more modern office space. (The station originally occupied the second floor of a building that also housed a luncheonette and a thrift store on the first level, both of which went out of business during my four-year tenure at Y-107 in the late 1980's.)