item 1 >>> Re “No L” at thewholething.podbean.com…I forgot to mention, the obvious follow-thru on these Christmasy non-Christmas instrumentals is for someone to come up with lyrics. I’ve already got the titles…in order: (1) “Peppermint Kisses and Tinsel”…(2) “Have Bell, Will Jingle”…(3) “The Blue Yew”…(4) “The Shoppers’ Waltz.” OK, maybe it isn’t really a waltz per se…sue me.

item 2 >>> Speaking of Christmas, you know how you have Christmas Day, then 7 days later, New Years Day? Believe it or not, the year I was born, 1951, Christmas and New Years were not a week apart. How was that possible? Answer tomorrow…

item 3 >>> Bill O’Reilly on Boston TV? Geez, I got a lot of catching up to do. But yeah, he interned at Channel 4 WBZ in 1973 while working on a Masters at B.U,  was a weekend anchor at Channel 7 (then WNEV) in 1982-83, and was on Channel 5 WCVB in 1986…here’s a clip with Chet Curtis & Natalie Jacobson: http://ravensu.blogspot.com/2010/03/news-anchor-flashback-bill-oreilly-on.html   (Why are some links I put in clickable and others aren’t? I’ll figure it out eventually…like I always say: No computer’s gonna make a monkey out of me. Not to be confused with what Ralph Kramden used to say: Don’t steam me, Alice, cuz I’m already steamed!) …and from the Cross Promotion Dept…old old photo of Mr. Bill on my other blog yesterday at http://stolf.wordpress.com. (See why is that clickable?) Oh, and also WFSB in Hartford 1979-80.

item 4 >>> Was reading about the history of the Salem Willows, and Patrick “Blind Pat” Kenneally who introduced “double-jointed Spanish peanuts” to America around 1906. His famous cry: “They’re double-jointed Spanish peanuts all the way from Barcelona. Try ’em before you buy ’em.” There are 4 main types of peanuts common today. Most that you buy in the shell are Virginia peanuts. Spanish peanuts are used for salted nuts, peanut brittle, and peanut butter. Been trying without success to find out what “double-jointed” means, as it appears all peanuts have 2 at least in the shell…what’s the record? Here’s a contender…

item 5 >>> Point is, Salem Willows used to be a lot bigger than it is today, a full-fledged amusement park, with a famous Restaurant Row. In fact, in days gone by, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong played there. At the Willows? You betcha, and that’s some major chops, I don’t care who you are.

item 6 >>> Oh, and I don’t know how to break it to you, but Salt Water Taffy is not made from salt water. It does contain a pinch of salt, and by now I’m sure someone has gotten the bright idea to make that “sea salt”…except it’s not a salty confection, so how would you promote the sea salt? Water straight from the ocean, “sea water,” does not meet FDA regulations, big shock. I wonder if rainwater does? The story goes that in 1883, David Bradley’s taffy stand on the Atlantic City Boardwalk was flooded during a storm, soaking his wares. When a girl asked for taffy, he joked “We have Salt Water Taffy” and the name caught on. Another story suggests people at first picked up on the joke, and would ask for “Ocean Wave Taffy,” “Sea Foam Taffy,” etc. When asked how many names it had, Bradley answered “We let them call it any old thing!”

item 7 >>> Oldies But Gone-ies? The radio format appears to be on a decline, and the PC mentality has even re-named it…what’s 104.9 call ’em, Good Time Favorites? And the irony is, more music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s is available today than even was when it was new…remember the Beatles “Anthology” series? But everywhere you turn, alternate takes, unreleased tracks, demo versions…when the LP and 45 versions of a hit were different, today you can usually scrounge up both. Back in the day, 100s of records would be released every week, Billboard might highlight 20, stations would add maybe 3 or 4. But today, most of those 100s are digitally available, plus tons of other stuff that never made it to wax. And “the radio” is afraid to play it. Well, more for me then…

item 8 >>> And one of the most amazing things to me is that listening to the old stuff today, with the perspective of 30, 40, 50 years, I “get” stuff I didn’t get at the time. Like when someone was obviously trying to copy somebody else’s sound. It’s so transparent today, but I guess back when it was new, we didn’t think in those terms. This happened a few years ago, I was listening to a Paul McCartney solo cut, don’t offhand recall which one, but it occurred to me: he’s making fun of John Lennon’s style, damn! Question is, why didn’t I hear that then? Here’s another one…the Steve Miller Band, the funky late-60s version, not the slick mid-70s incarnation…the song “Go to Overdrive”…is that a spoof on Bob Dylan? I’m just saying’…

item 9 >>> On a personal note, after years of listening to this stuff on crappy headphones or lousy studio monitors, in mono of course, even when we were broadcasting in stereo, sheesh, I’ll hear something on my home stereo, not cutting edge audiophile by any means, and it’ll sound good, like something I’ve never heard before. Happened the other day with Cliff Richard’s “Devil Woman”…whoa, that was nice production, never noticed it before.

item 10 >>> And while I’m thinking of it, let me ask you this: is there any major artist or group that you’ve heard everything they ever recorded? I mean every LP cut, every 45, every odd B-side, the whole schmeer? Despite being in the radio business all these years, I can only honestly cite 2: Beatles and Tijuana Brass. Maybe the Beach Boys, up to a point. I think I might be close on the Grass Roots. A few weeks ago I decided to try to “complete” the Rolling Stones, but until there are 32 hours in a day, alas…

Wicked Ballsy

I mentioned Louis Prima & Keely Smith yesterday among my favorite comedians, and I was serious. Plus rocking music to boot! Here’s a rare picture of Keely prior to her signature short hair cut. Wasn’t sure what to call it, Page Boy? Prince Valiant?  Pixie Cut? In an interview I found, she called it simply a Bob.

shameless juicy plugberries…

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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