Friday, January 31, 2014

my kind 'a town (take 2) kind ‘a town!

Yesterday I told you about Peter Bolger just taking over the programming at WLS chicago.
It Happens that Pete “loves” this blog so that made my day. Now Pete if you’ll only hire me...we can set the radio world ablaze since I’d be the oldest guy in talk radio history making a comback!
All this Chicago stuff reminds me of my days at Marine City on the river there in the loop.
You all know Marina city...the two towered things that are seen in ANY movie shot in the Windy City.  I lived on the 52nd floor and spent a lot of time waiting for elevators in each direction!
I had a bachelor bedroom...but my pull down sofa offered a view you can’t imagine.  
I looked east...down on the old Sun Times building (gone now)...the Wrigley and Tribune buildings and a bit of Lake Michigan and a lot of Michigan Avenue.
There was only one other drawback living there (aside from the elevators).  Whenever a cop or fire siren went thru the loop (and there were lots of ‘em) the sound was amplified off the river and turned into stereo blasts into the apartments!  Something the architects didn’t consider.
I ended up at Marina City because I used to live next to Jackie-doll out in Mt. Prospect and had to make the long...really long drive at 3AM each morning and find a parking place near there and cross the Chicago river about 3:45AM each day to sign on WJJD on Michigan Ave at 4am.
I have never felt cold like that...crossing the bridge with the arctic blast coming at me from the lake. It was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life and I’ve been around.
So Pete...button up...don’t face the wind unless you have to...and just keep humming “My Kind Of Town”...and you’ll make it!

Oh yes...a bachelor pad in Marina City.  I could write a book about gotta believe!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dr.Pepper Cherry,Chef's Cupboard Mashed & Mill Stream soup

some other choice goodies....

Several posts ago I plugged some products which I particularly enjoy consuming...Tastykake coffee cakes & fruit cake when available...Honeycomb Cereal...and Tampico Juice (Island only).

       Here’s three more...

Dr. Pepper CHERRY cola.  Not Coke...although it’s good too but Dr. Pepper wins this race in an sprint.  Taste is delicious and the color is extraordinary. Sounds like I’m wine tasting doesn’t it.
Where are the best instant mashed potatoes?  
You’re gonna say Walmart or your favorite supermarket...but I’ve got a surprise for you.
I’ve fixed and tried them all and by far Aldi (el cheap-o markets) have the best: 
Chef’s Cupboard buttery mashed cannot be beat.  Forgot those Idahoan things...just get to Aldi...but remember to bring your own plastic bag...they don’t give you one.  And don’t follow the stupid instructions on the package...just boil the required water and then stir the stuff in like you do with the others.  It’s so good it’ll knock your socks off.  Better than Mom used to make!  (sorry Mom)
Chef’s Cupboard stuffing is good too.  Happy holidays.


Dear Mr. Major: 

Thank you for contacting us to compliment our Instant Mashed Potatoes.  We appreciate your positive feedback. 
We sincerely strive to provide our customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices, and this type of feedback lets us know that we are succeeding. 
ALDI greatly appreciates your business, and we hope our stores will continue to serve you well in the future. 

Kindest regards, 

Marcy H. 
Customer Service Representative 

       Great Soup (if you can find it!)

This soup was in Big Lots...(been gone for awhile).
It's MILLS STREAM tomato soup with orzo pastas and it is really good.  
I toss a few Cheese nips in it and it's great. No MSG...just add water...makes about eight servings.
If you find it anywhere please let me know.  I can’t.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bolger's cold & Rush is?

 some notes....

Pity poor Peter Bolger!
Pete was our Program Director in Miami for many years then he bid us farewell and went to San Antonio for the past decade or so.
Pete was just named Program Director at WLS Chicago!
Right...The windy and frozen city.
Pete...always the warm weather guy... hit town just in time to enjoy the coldest temps they’ve had there...maybe forever.
When’s the last time you saw snow Pete?
Anyway...good luck!
(Pete just told me on Facebook that he is from home!)
Let’s blame Rush?
I don’t know if we can blame Rush for this but it’s fun trying...when my live all night show was at its peak with over 100 plus stations...I played some comedy bits on the show...but only from albums I could actually buy so they seemed safe to use.  I couldn’t use comedy stuff that was sold to stations because that was exclusive.
Paul Shanklin was funny...and put out a lot of good comedy stuff about the Rush picked up it it for sure.
I had been using Paul’s stuff and called him one day to get his new album.      He said I couldn’t use it...and I said
“say what?”
He said Rush was using his stuff and “they” didn’t want it used on my show anymore. 
Now I ran into this exclusivity crap with Art Bell who wanted Jim Marrs the JFK Ass. to stay off my show.  I never found out if that was an edict by Bell...he seems to kind of creep who would do that....and I don’t know if Rush had anything to do with Paul’s refusal to send me his new album (which I could buy on Amazon.)
          So I could have ordered the album and played the stuff because there was no way to stop that...but being the good guy that I am...I didn't do that. 
         Say "thanks" Rush!
         Just thought you all should know.  If it was Rush was he really bothered by me despite his colossal success?
We’ll never know....I guess

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

my colossal screwup!

A big “lack of communication” problem

I’m a bit embarrassed to mention this but I screwed up (along with some others) right in the midst of my highly successful national overnight talk program .
The USA radio network was a huge organization primarily furnishing top of the hour news 24 hours a day to a very large number of radio stations across the country.
Sometime in the mid 90’s I wanted them to pick up my show.  I figured we’d get a huge boost in stations who would enjoy just staying on their satellite after their hourly news ended...stations that would like to have live overnight talk.
We negotiated by phone...agreed to this and that including revenue sharing etc and a start date.
We were coming down to  the wire on the date for the switch from my current syndicator to the USA Network when I called the guy who was in charge and ask him about the production setup for the broadcast of my show. I wanted to speak with the board operator and discuss the phones and commercials etc and was shocked when the man told me
“What production...what control room operator?”

“Wait a minute...what are you saying here?” I replied
“ Stan, we thought all we had to do was just carry the show...that you would be responsible for the phones...spots...etc.”
I cringed.....we had suffered a colossal “lack of communication.” 
I just took for granted I could broadcast from my Miami studio to their network and they would handle calls for the show and commercials I had already sent them.
The switch was due in just a few days and promos had run on the network all ready...but we immediately put it on hold and the next day had a very short conference call with the big brass...who said we’d have to cancel the arrangement as they were not prepared to go to the trouble or expense of staffing for my show at their end.
A real life business experience of the kind I hope you never have to go through!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

stinky Don Draper on Mad Men

just wondering......

My son got me hooked on the Mad Men series.  After watching seasons 1 thru 6...I am left wondering about the marvel of Don Draper never taking a shower in six seasons.  Even after having sex at all hours of the day and night with every female that came within a mile of him?  Still no shower?  Nope...just a clean shirt.  Don Draper...award for the best stinker on Mad Ave!
     Or as Peggy would say:
     "So many little time"! 
       Right Don?


The best looking car on the road this year is the new Ford Fusion...but only in the “pearl white”.  The second best is the KIA Optima SDS (or something like that) but not in black.
And I’m wondering what drives you to drive a new car?  There are generally three reasons one buys a new car:’s looks...and color
2.....the inside & gadgets
3.....engine and all that jazz.

I pick the outside looks and the color as my most important aspect in selecting a new car.
I’m wondering what your opinion is.
You can E-mail me your choice of the above and I’ll print a few with no names or addresses so the car salesmen leave you alone. 

come on...let’s hear from you! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Perry Mason, Bob Hope & the candy stripe

Perry Mason, Bob Hope & Neil Armstrong!

               Perry Mason the war tourist!

While traversing the streets in downtown Saigon I had noticed a gentleman whose face I could not place on several occasions.  I think I even nodded a “hello” on occasion.   
After I returned to the states, I read where actor Raymond Burr was a war “freak” and spent a lot of time hanging out in Saigon.  To bad...I would liked to have lunched with Perry Mason!
  Bob Hope comes to ‘Nam...again
  Hope and troop were in country for his 1969 Christmas Show
for NBC.  
  I got to Cu Chi...home to the US 25th Division, just in time to see the last half of his show and to do some interviews backstage with Neil Armstrong...first man on the Moon...singer Connie Stevens...who flattered me by following me around...and others.  
  After the show I met Bob Hope just outside the big Army hospital at Cu Chi and did a ten minute interview for NBC Radio’s Monitor...our long form news program heard weekends.  He then invited me to follow him into the hospital and I recorded another long segment of Bob chatting with injured soldiers and the medical staffers.  It was quite extraordinary.  
Little did I know that  I would see this portion on almost every special dedicated to Bob Hope.  It obviously became a favorite of the Hope producers...and was used many times over the years since 1969.
Here's the Bob Hope interview I did mor NBC's MONITOR 


The Candy Stripe  
       In early 1970 President Nixon’s “Vietnamazation” program was well underway and New York assigned me to do a bunch and  do mean a bunch of short interviews...about 50 total... on the progress of this campaign. 
      Of course I had to get out of Saigon so I took a two day trip down to the Delta section of the country...home of some of the most beautiful and productive rice fields in Asia and some of the toughest fights...especially near the border with Cambodia.
  When I was interviewing an Army Colonel...the enemy began firing mortar rounds from across the border. Luckily there aim was bad...the officer said it was mostly just a nuisance... but the interview with the background noise was fairly dramatic.
  As I was bidding the Colonel of his officers arrived to ask him if they were going back “across the candy stripe” that night.  Since I was wearing my Army fatigues and had my back to the Captain ..he couldn’t see the “NBC News “ i.d. on the front of my the Colonel was a bit put off by the question in front of a newsman.  Army units weren’t supposed to cross the border into Cambodia!  They both quickly recovered me goodbye...and I moved out to a waiting helicopter knowing one of the military’s biggest secrets about the war.  
Little did I know that the CIA was already plotting a government takeover in Cambodia...and that I would be one of only two american reporters in that country when it happened!

Friday, January 24, 2014


I LOVE Vegas  (re-post)

            Vegas in the late 50’s was THE hot spot on the planet.
       Sinatra and The Rat Pack at the Sands filming Oceans Eleven...
            Don Rickles in the lounge at the Sahara...for the price of one beer, I might add....but be careful what you want to be nondescript or he’ll spot you and do ten minutes on the way your dressed. 
            Harry James in the lounge at the Flamingo and his wife Betty Grable sunbathing each day at the Flamingo pool....and still looking very good!
            Franks’ buddy Hank Henry at the Golden Slipper nightly where you could eat the best buffet (all you wanted) for a buck!  Walter Winchell liked that...he was coming out when I was going in one night. 
      And then you had the infamous Howard Hughes locking himself away from the world in the Penthouse atop the Desert Inn.

        I answered an ad about a job at a radio station which was actually located in the Flamingo on the strip.  They hired me over the phone and I was on my way.
   Vegas was old hat for me even then.  When I worked in Beverly Hills I would jump in the car weekends and drive all night to Vegas.
      I’d play the the out of dough and get back in the car to head back to LA.
      I had a routine doing this for a few months...about every other weekend.  Getting there was no problem with coffee...and all the free drinks and good food made the return trip late at night a burden.
     To get back to LA I headed NORTH out of Vegas on highway 95 until I neared the Nevada test site...where they WERE testing the bomb.  I’d pull off the road and sleep in the car for an hour of so and then about dawn I’d continue on that highway until the turnoff for Death Valley. 
        I’d stop at the famous hotel there...Furnace Creek...aptly named as the temps were always over 100....pushing 110-120 at high noon.
       I had befriended the security guy (it was summer so the hotel was closed) who allowed me to take a dip in the massive pool to cool off.
      Then I’d dry off and be on my way back to LA.
     So Vegas was not new but I still marveled at the famous names playing the hotels and the sounds of slots paying off...and some did...pretty good.

         I was offered the job as the morning man at a radio station hidden in the back confines at the Flamingo Hotel.  To be a morning air personality in Vegas is something else.  Nobody gets up until noon!  One time I forgot to flip the "on" switch and did the whole show for myself.  The guy who followed me came in and said "you forgot something" and flipped the switch.  No one had called to see why we weren't on the air!
      But it was an quite an experience because of the era. 
      Pearl Bailey was the main act at the Flamingo Hotel and every night I’d chat with her as she ambled with her pearl handled walking stick thru our back building to her bungalow.  Pearly May was a gas and a lot of fun.  
      Harry James and Betty Grable...Miss Pin Up of WWII...had a couple of daughters including a young teen named Jessica who hit it off with me pretty good.  Her nickname was Jesse...and I loved to have her paged at the Flamingo.  Everyone would hear the announcement all over the hotel grounds..."paging Jesse James...will Jesse James please contact the hotel operator”.  She would scream at me for that, regularly. She never introduced me to her Mom dammit!
      A couple of my coworkers and I couldn’t wait for Rickles show at the Sahara lounge every night.  All the “in folks” in Vegas made that scene...but there were a few rules.  Don’s whole act was picking on people in the you had to wear something he would not zero in on and sit in the back where he couldn’t see you...or you could be utterly destroyed in a very short period of time.  Every night...for the price of a beer...we watched him do his thing.  
     Then we’d catch Harry James last lounge show for a little music appreciation...for the cost of another beer, of course.
     Las Vegas was different back then.  The flavor of  Ocean’s Eleven (the original) was the scene and it was great.  Each hotel had really big names headlining not only their main room but their lounge.  Just at the Sands I got to see Dean Martin and Nat “King” Cole.  Rich Little had just hit it big at the Desert Inn.   Johnny Carson topped the Sahara during his vacation from the Tonight Show.  There were a raft of others I can’t think of right now but suffice to say it was headlining in its heyday.  
When Frank Sinatra played the Sands just the invited guests and high rollers got in to see him.  And each show was sold out.
         Later...In 1970 when I got back from my NBC News tour I stopped in San Francisco and rented a car and headed for Vegas.  
      I just love driving out west.  There’s something about the desert that recharges your batteries fast...and after my experiences in Nam and Cambodia I surly could use the R & R.
      I had no reservations so I just cruised the strip to see who was playing and found Elvis at the Hilton.  I checked in and hit the sack.
     Some twelve hours later I ambled down to the casino and had breakfast and then played some slots (my favorite).  When the coins ran out I went to the entrance of the main room and asked if there were any tickets for Elvis’ show.  I was told they were all sold out for the entire run.
      I returned to my room...picked up the phone and ask for the Presley Suite.  They didn’t put me through there...but I did get someone in the entourage...connected to Col. Tom Parker...Presely’s manager. I introduced myself...explaining that I had just returned from Vietnam for NBC news and wondered if there was anyway I could see the show.  They called back in about ten minutes and told me I was Mr. Presley’s invited guest!
      That night I went through the invited guest line (no charge by the way) and was ushered right down front to a table up against the stage. (I got a great seat...within hand shaking of “E” on stage...but I forgot to tip the maitre d'!  I had a lot of money so that wasn’t it...I was so excited sitting so close to the King I just completely forgot the tip!) 

Elvis opened the show looking thin, well and refreshed and after a few numbers started shaking hands and kissing women near the stage.  
        He shook my hand and actually said: “ah...thank you man...thank you very much”.  Sounding just like Elvis.  Even for was a thrill.  I watch the taped 1970 concert at the Hilton from time to time...and it seems like a carbon of what he did that night.  

       Back to the earlier years...Mac Richmond...owner of the Las Vegas radio station flew out and for some reason chose me to drive him around.  Mac was a rich man who still had the first dollar he ever made.  He used to have code calls set up with his secretary at his Boston station and bragged about the fact that he could make long distance business calls all day and never get charged!
      Mac’s presence in Vegas became apparent when we drove out to the transmitter site in Henderson and he shut the station down.
      He had fired staff before leaving the Flamingo. But he gave everyone a nice going away check.
      He offered me a job doing a jock show at his Washington DC station which I accepted immediately and prepared to make the drive back.
     His shutting down the station would cause a problem for him in the coming months.  Before you can do that you have to notify the FCC...Federal Communications Commission...and get authority for such a move.  Apparently Mac didn’t even tell them until later and then they came sniffing around for me and I had to go into the FCC offices and cover for Mac...understandable as I was working for him at his DC station.  So I covered his ass on that and he seemed I later ended up at his big Boston station WMEX which was huge in ratings and success during the 50’s and 60’s.  I’m the only guy who ever worked at all three of Mac’s stations. I'll write more about the FCC visit to me in the next post.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

finally, something good about South Florida

Broward County librarians.  They are so great they must be from another planet!

They run against the grain...contrary to most people here in South Florida who are a bunch of creeps just looking out for themselves and could care less for anyone else existing unless they want something from them.  
These include the too-slow drivers in the left lanes and and the punks who drive too fast everywhere and badly need good mufflers on their old automobiles...and probably car insurance!
These are some of the folks who work at my favorite libraries... in particular Phillip (the cheesecake guy from an earlier post) at the Tamarac the rest of the great staff there....Charles... (I call him Charlie) at the big, really huge, North Regional Library at Broward the staffers there also...on both floors and last but certainly not least in my book are the nicest ladies you’ll ever encounter the North Lauderdale Library.  That would include Kati and my favorite...Helen (the Voice) who comes closest to my voice “goddess” from Tampa...Jade.  I called once and Helen answered the phone and I could not believe that voice...she should be on every answering machine in the country!  I’d like to be her agent!
I don’t know where they get these wonderful people.  I have a feeling most of them were from someplace other than this area originally because they have manners...are helpful to an extreme and smile while doing it.  And did I forget efficient?  They are the very best.
And let me mention some other libraries around that have equally nice folks...Northwest Regional in Coral Springs...West Regional in Plantation...Weston and of course the Main Library in downtown Ft. Lauderdale.  That place will boggle your mind and they are as helpful there as the others I mentioned.
Sometime ago (maybe it’s still running) the library system had a “who made your day” thing or something like that...meaning which librarian did something to please you.
I say...all of them...they are just a terrific bunch of people and a welcome respite of what you get once you leave their company and hit the road again.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ice water from the tap & McLitter

some & there

I’ve lived in South Florida since about 1987 or so...a few years, right.  One of my gripes was I could never finish my showers with a burst of cold water to get me going. The cold water down here is luke warm for those of you who don’t know.  
The other day...after all these years I accidentally discovered how to get icy cold water to come out. Listen up.
You’ve turned the tap all the way to cold and it ain’t very cold (Florida & other states).  Now...the trick turn it back toward hot slowly...and if yours works like mine you can feel the cold water starting...but a warning:  It doesn’t last enjoy it before it starts to get warm again. 
You’re welcome!
I walked into my local McDonalds to get my four burgers for two bucks this evening and as I stood at the counter ordering I noticed two things...a Mac employee was entering behind me and before her in two different places where she had to walk there were used napkins on the floor.  She ignored them and walked into the back.
The gal in charge was waiting on me so I mentioned this to her...but she mumbled something and turned her back on me...possibly upset that I even brought the litter up.
It all stems from the top doesn’t it?  If the top one don’t care...I’m sure the others don’t either.


      Someone in an SUV in front of me at a stop light had paid extra money for one of those special plates.  This plate said: 
Alien 1
Now who would do that?  Any suggestions...I mean Art Bell, the original alien still lives in Nevada(I think) and others who might be from another planet live in D.C.(alot of em).
Any guesses?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

why DRUDGE is so important


        Like him or hate him or not (you should)
       Matt Drudge and the “cronies” who work for him are the balancing trick that the liberal media read and despise. 
Several times in the past month I’ve noticed that Drudge stuff shows up on cable news channels...after he’s posted it.  And not just on Fox news.   
Fox and Drudge are like co-joined twins at times...both spend most of their time and in Drudge’s case space trying to get rid of Obama. 
That, of course, forces folks like MSNBC and even CNN more to the left of center as they defend Obama in almost everything he does. Then there’s also the influence on the big news departments at CBS,  NBC and ABC...who end up in the middle of this tug of war and look the worse for it at times.
This whole thing would be fun and a great ongoing comedy if it wasn’t for the demise of newspapers and their abilities to investigate anything (not even the reasons for their on demise!) If you don’t believe that...where are Woodward and Bernstein when we need them? Appearing on the cable news shows which have no weight with the people.
So Drudge just keeps at it day after day...and seems to be having some results....which means influence that a dude with a keyboard should not really have.
But if you go back into the history of the print media who do you remember most...the Wood-Stein duo....and the likes of Walter Winchell...Drew Pearson...Jack Anderson and even Hedda Hopper in Hollywood had their go at Presidents and personalities almost at will and at time the results were tragic.
Those powerful people are gone...having given way to young Matt Drudge.  
Is that as scary to you as it is to me?
So those who care about this great country need to read Drudge...keep an eye on the ramifications of his disclosures (which by the way if you don’t know all started with the name Monica Lewinsky.) 
Watch and wait.  See if he accomplishes his agenda.  If he does...we are in more trouble than I imagined.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

great songs make great movies!

Much in the realm of what I posted about in the change in music business....

Another list. (Oh no!)

    Single songs that have made a movie much better!

FOOTLOOSE...Almost Paradise....Anne Wilson / Mike Reno
CONSPIRACY THEORY..Can’t Take MY Eyes Off Of You..Frankie Valley
BOTTLESHOCK...China Grove....Doobie Brothers
JUST LIKE HEAVEN...Colors....Amos Lee
MAD MONEY...Rich Woman...Robert Plant
THE BOURNE (TRIAD) ...Extreme Ways....Moby
NOTTING HILL....Gimme Some Loving....Spencer Davis Group
GOLDFINGER....Goldfinger....Shirley Bassey
ARMAGEDDON....Don’t Want To Miss A Thing...Areosmith
FLASHDANCE.....I’ll Be Here Where The Heart Is...Kim Carnes
BRIDGET JONES...I’m Not In Love.....10CC
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER...Jive Talking....The Bee Gees
THE LAKE HOUSE..Cant Seem To Make You Mine..The Clientele
TWO WEEKS NOTICE....Nearness Of You...Norah Jones
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE..Make Someone Happy..Jimmy Durante
YOU’VE GOT MAIL..Somewhere Over The Rainbow..Harry Nilsson 
NOTTING HILL.....She.......Elvis Costello
AMERICA’S SWEETHEART...Gravy Train...Mark Knopfler
RUNAWAY BRIDE...Never Saw Blue Like That...Shawn Colvin
CHANCES ARE....After All.....Cher / Peter Cetera
ARTHUR....Arthur’s Theme...Chris Cross
SPEECHLESS.....No  Se  Tu.....Luis Miguel
CITY OF ANGELS....Angel....Sarah McLachlan
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE..A Wink & A Smile...Harry Connick, Jr.
FRENCH KISS.....Someone Like You.....Van Morrison
LOVE ACTUALLY...Here with Me...Dido
THE NET.....A Whiter Shade Of Pale...Anne Lennox
HOPE FLOATS...To Make You Feel My Love...Garth Brooks
MISS CONGENALITY...Mustang Sally....Los Lobos.
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE...No Mermaid....Sinead Lohan
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME...Nobody Does It Better..Carly Simon
        PRETTY WOMAN....Oh, Pretty Woman...Roy Orbison
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER....Staying Alive....The Bee Gees
EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS..The Tender Years..John Cafferty
MISS CONGENALITY....One In A Million....Bosson
CITY OF ANGELS....Iris....The Goo Goo Dolls
SPEECHLESS....House Of Love....Amy Grant / Vince Gill
RUNAWAY BRIDE....You’re The Only One For Me....Allure
LOVE ACTUALLY....The Trouble With Love Is...Kelly Clarkson
NOTTING HILL....When You Say Nothing At All....Ronan Keating
CITY OF ANGELS....Feeling Love....Paula Cole
LOVE ACTUALLY.....Turn Me On....Norah Jones

some of the great songs from movies that made them better!