10/13/2010

HALF  STOLF

item 1 >>> Do you miss Our Music? Do you miss the days when WBZ, then later WMEZ and WRKO debuted their new Hit-Bound tunes and updated the Top 40?  No need to miss it, my friend…because the fact is, and for any number of reasons, you missed a ton of music that came out back in the day. And why not? They only played 40, you didn’t have unlimited bucks to buy every record that looked interesting, and maybe you just weren’t that into it then. But there’s something I call New Oldies, different for everyone of course, the stuff I guarantee you’ll get a real kick out of discovering, or rediscovering. For example, do you like, say, Herman’s Hermits or the Grass Roots? Heard everything they ever put out? Probably not, but between CDs and the internet (YouTube surprisingly) it’s all out there for the listening.

item 2 >>> …and then there are New Oldies that slipped thru the cracks…off the top of my head I can recommend “Stop, Get a Ticket” by the Clefs of Lavender Hill…”Daytime, Nighttime” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich….”Brainwashed” by the Bossmen, David Clayton Thomas’ old group before Blood Sweat & Tears…”Bubble Gum” by Kim Fowley…and, oddly enough, “Contact” and “Harley Davidson” by Brigitte Bardot!

item 3 >>> As Hallowe’en approacheth, I’m thinking of Bobby “Boris” Pickett, famous of course for “Monster Mash,” but he recorded tons of cool stuff, like “Skully Gully,” “Sinister Stomp,” “Transylvanian Twist,” “Werewolf Watusi,” “Me and My Mummy,” and that Xmas favorite “Monster’s Holiday.” He was born in Somerville, MA, and growing up, his father managed a movie theater.  Boris died in 2007.

item 4 >>> I’m guessing you don’t pay much attention to current music…the White Stripes got my attention a while back, but I didn’t really follow thru…too busy researching Teddy & the Pandas, Royal Air Coach, and A Group Called Boston (“Ode to Bobby”…that’s Bobby Orr.) In fact, the closest I get to today’s music is what I hear on commercials…2 good ones out now are “Evolve” by Kermit Quinn for Gatorade, and “That’s Logistics” for UPS by Nadia Ackerman.

item 5 >>> And since I’m on a music kick here, I’ll mention Chevy Chase, real first name Cornelius, nick-named by his grandmother. Born in Lower Manhattan, attended the Stockbridge School in Mass., then Bard College, where he played drums in a group called the Leather Canary. Other members were Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, later of Steely Dan fame. Chevy’s next group, the Chameleon Church, got caught up in MGM Records’ Bosstown Sound hype, and they recorded one LP in 1969. No truth to the rumor it was titled “Jane, You Ignorant Slut,” because that was Dan Aykroyd’s line.

item 6 >>> You might be a Baby Boomer if…you never ate at the International House of Pancakes because your mother was opposed to the whole concept…”You want pancakes? I’ll make you pancakes.”

item 7 >>> But I’ll bet you did eat at Howard Johnson’s…Simple Simon was their logo, with the Pieman for the restaurants, with a Lamp-Lighter for the Motor Lodges, remember? Today, 3 restaurants are still operating, in Bangor, Maine, and Lake George and Lake Placid, NY. Quick, how any flavors of ice cream? 28 is correct.

Item 8 >>> Mickey Mantle was once asked who was the best center-fielder, Willie, Mickey or Duke…and he said Willie. But it might have been Mickey if not for what happened on October 5, 1951. It was the Mick’s rookie season, and Joe DiMaggio’s last. During a World Series game, the Yankee Clipper called Mickey of a ball he was chasing in the outfield…he took a misstep into a water drain outlet, and tore up his right knee. It’s said that from that day on he never played a game without pain. 536 home runs later, one wonders what might have been.

item 9 >>> Since you probably said it every morning as a kid at school, here’s the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892: I pledge allegiance to my flag, and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Various changes over the years brought it to the version we have today. Amazingly, in the 1920s the Pledge was often accompanied by a stiff-arm salute, but this was stopped with the rise of Hitler and the Nazis.

item 10 >>> …and the Pledge replaced an earlier recitation, called the Balch Salute: I give my heart and my hand to my country; one country, one language, one flag. Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minster who worked at the Youth’s Companion magazine, felt it was juvenile and undignified, and wrote the current Pledge as part of a suggested program schools could use for the commemoration of Columbus’ s 400th anniversary.

Wicked Ballsy

I dig maps, can’t help it. Love this one, altho I pine for the days when the telephone set-up was simpler.

shameless plug and replug…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and  https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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