March 17, 2019

here comes...

...your 19th Nervous Breakdown. I thought I was done at 18?

March 10, 2019

roller rinks

During my early teens, the roller rink in the next town was one of my favorite haunts. Rollerskating AND blasting music? Okay.

My aunt and uncle met at The Wal-Lex in Waltham, Massachusetts in the early 1950s. At that time, organists supplied the music.

Jones Beach on Long Island, NY had an outdoor rink in the 50s.

I find the above video very soothing – like looking at a fish tank. Now I'm jonesing to put on some skates and head to Boogie Wonderland.

March 3, 2019

the cowbell

I recently learned that several people I know are clueless about the meaning of "more cowbell." Here's the origin. It seemed that it was a trend among "hair bands." My favorite cowbell song, however, is You Can't Do That by The Beatles. It's not played in their live performances, but check it out in their recording of the song:

February 23, 2019


In the 1st grade I really wanted a lunchbox even though I always bought a hot school lunch. While decluttering I happened upon my thermos from the Hot Wheels lunchbox I received for Christmas. I never used it, so my mom hijacked the box for her curlers. As adults, I shocked my friend Sally when I told her that she had a purple Road Runner lunchbox in the 4th grade. The kids who brought lunchboxes lined them up against the wall at recess after lunch. I would walk along and look at them as though I were in an art gallery. One of my favorite shows at that time was The Road Runner Show. Many girls owned The Partridge Family lunchbox. When the bell rang, I would often watch who picked up their boxes. Road Runner belonged to Sally. I also reminded her about her baton-twirling routine to Boogie Fever in our 5th-grade talent show. My performance was Paper Roses on my clarinet. I was 10, for crying out loud. Learn about lunchbox history.

February 16, 2019

World got you down?

Nobody makes me laugh harder than Kristen Wiig. Give it a shot.

February 3, 2019

Super Bowl Sunday

If you're a football fan, you'll enjoy watching these vintage plays
from the 1940s and 50s. Below, is the 1944-45 football team from Hopkinton, Massachusetts shivering in the cold. My dad is number 19. Click on the pic to enlarge. My father liked the full-on contact of football and said that sportsmanship and being courteous was important.

January 27, 2019

Turn On Your Love Light

Some songs are re-recorded because they're just plain AWESOME. If you're a Deadhead, you know this version. If you don't know the original, you may know this version. Here's an instrumental from a 1967 demo tape. Ruth Brown and Solomon Burke chat about the Neck Bone and Chitlin' Circuits. Early Allman Brothers and The Young Rascals wail. Them (featuring Van Morrison) recorded it in 1966. And finally, the definition of blue-eyed soul: The Righteous Brothers perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in November 1965.
If you enjoy listening to two hours of the same song sung by different artists, then you'll dig Subject to Change on WMBR. Try it. You might be surprised. I like to put it on when I want people to leave my home.

This is the original 1961 version by Bobby "Blue" Bland.

January 20, 2019


I miss the good ole days when I would dance for my biker friends.

January 12, 2019

give me those good vibrations

Here's an inside peek at the creative process behind the iconic song by The Beach Boys. Hal Blain, the drummer, and other musicians playing were part of The Wrecking Crew. Love the stand-up bass.

January 6, 2019

Playboy After Dark

This syndicated tv program aired from 1969 to 1970 with lip-synched and live performances. These episodes are a hoot to watch with a strange mix of folks. The premise was that you're at an actual party at Heff's pad chatting with the celebrity guests and musicians. Solid, man.

Tina Turner   •   Two complete episodes   •   Three Dog Night
Buddy Miles   •   Steppenwolf   •   Marvin Gaye   •   Deep Purple
Sir Douglas Quintet   •   The Playboy Club in London

December 29, 2018

fascinating footage

My jaw drops every time I watch this video. The film speed was slowed and sound was added. Go here for more if it floats your boat.

Notre-Dame (1896)
Champs-Élysées Speedway (1899)
Passing of a fire brigade (1897)
A guy and his bike (1897)
Moving walkway at the Paris Exposition (1900)

December 21, 2018

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Christmas Show

My Christmas season shifted into high gear last night when I saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at my favorite joint. The best thing about Christmas for me is the abundance of holiday music. You gorge on the stuff and then it's gone 'til next year. No wonder these guys sell out by July. Fantastic, fun band with a horn section AND an upright bassist – who sang the Grinch song to perfection. Their rendition of the Snow/Heat Miser song got the audience groovin' with Xmas spirit.

December 19, 2018

sometimes you just know

All of my parent's high school years (1941–45) occurred during World War II. My dad, pictured left, had an older brother who was a flight navigator in the war. One day, my dad and his classmates were sitting in class when they heard the roar of oncoming planes. As they grew closer, my father jumped up and ran to the windows to watch them pass over. His teacher repeatedly ordered him to sit down until he finally turned to her and said "that's my brother flying over, I will not sit down!" This happened in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. My uncle confirmed that it was indeed him that purposefully flew over the school, pictured above. I love this story.

December 17, 2018

Hot Bulb

Years ago, my family and I made up a game called Hot Bulb
(based on Hot Potato) for my mom's last Christmas. Play this and
I guarantee it'll make your Christmas more memorable and fun.

Here's how to play:
1. The dj plays music with his/her back to everyone.
2. The "hot bulb" (a ball or crinkled-up wrapping paper)
is tossed around randomly. Giggling ensues.
3. The dj (with back to everyone) stops the music.
4. Whoever is holding the "hot bulb" when the music stops,
tells a Christmas memory. Try it, you'll like it.

December 15, 2018


Check out this intriguing and somewhat sad video of a photo series.
The pics were inspired by a book of matches from the 1960s.

December 9, 2018

1965 Wurlitzer jukebox

Thanks to one cool hombre, a 1965 jukebox has been lovingly restored and has come back to life to continue to blast out grooviness.

December 2, 2018

Martha and the Vandellas

A great find for me is a live tv performance that I didn't see the first time around. Often, groups/singers lip-synched or lip-synched to a live recording. If you dig Motown/Soul, you're going to love this 1966 performance. There's even a Hammond and a Leslie speaker.

November 24, 2018

Dolly want a cracker?

What do you mean the 70s were tacky at times? I'm not seeing it.

November 17, 2018

Mean Woman Blues

In the 1957 film Loving You, a hideous creep gets what he asks for. Right on Elvis. I mean, violence is never the answer. A packed juke joint and the jukebox isn't even playing? What's wrong with these people? If you can listen to Roy Orbison's 1963 version and not move your body, you might be dead inside. You may want to check on that. Just sayin'.

Mean Woman Blues, Roy Orbison, 1963

November 10, 2018


I think this glam band was inspired by Mrs. Brady. That's Sweet.

October 27, 2018

please don't kill me

Trick or treat yourself to a good ole scary movie. Happy Halloween!

October 20, 2018

Take a left

Gladys Knight and the Pips entertain the housewives making dinner LIVE on The Mike Douglas Show in 1968. Below, is Marvin Gaye's superb version of The End of Our Road as well. Soul at its finest.

ROCK HISTORY GEEK TIDBIT: When Casey Kasem's syndicated radio show American Top 40 premiered during the weekend of July 4, 1970, the first song to be played was Marvin's The End of Our Road because it was #40 on the list. The show started with song #40 and counted down.

October 13, 2018

let's twist

Just 2 presses on the jukebox starts a party. Get out the crab puffs.

September 26, 2018

Vintage Fiats

The highlight of a recent trip to Florence, Italy was bombing into the Tuscan countryside via a 1960s Fiat. For many a passersby, seeing a caravan of vintage cars and Vespas elicited constant waves and smiles. Arrivederci! VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

September 16, 2018

raise your hand...

...if you want to hear Tom Jones and Janis Joplin wail. My neck!

September 7, 2018

Beatle wigs

Thanks to WMBR's John Funke, I now know a 1964 Coaster's song about a guy in a Beatle wig. Because I need to sing along with it, I needed the lyrics. Since I couldn't find them on the net, I did it the old-fashioned way – by listening to the song 500 times. No need for the lyrics now. I know you're thanking me. How was this fun tune not a hit?!

Wild One, The Coasters, 1964

Because of Ringo's upcoming concert at the Boch Center/Wang Theatre, I've had Beatles on the brain. Check out Cher singing a Beatles novelty song about Ringo from 1964 as Bonnie Jo Mason.

Ringo, I Love You, Bonnie Jo Mason, 1964

Above is Cher's 1959 mugshot for driving without a license at 13.

September 1, 2018

George Harrison... his younger, Beatle-self sing This Boy. Neat-O.

August 25, 2018

whatever I want, I get... buy me a Schlitz already honey. Swing it man. Me craaaaaazy.

August 19, 2018

Dave Mason and Steve Cropper

I was fortunate to see two legends at the lovely Cabot Theater Thursday night and it was a very memorable evening. It also happened to be the day that Aretha Franklin passed away. Singer Gretchen Rhodes belted out Chain of Fools in her honor and it was spectacular. If you have a penchant for this type of music, see this tour! Steve Cropper was the guitarist and prolific songwriter for Booker T and the MGs, Stax Records' house band. Besides his solo career, Dave Mason started out in the band Traffic along with Steve Winwood.

Steve Cropper interview, 1984
Booker T and the MGs, 1968
Only You Know and I Know, Dave Mason
We Just Disagree, Dave Mason
Feelin' Alright, 2018
Paper Sun, Traffic, 1967

August 10, 2018

The Spencer Davis Group...

...boogie down the river in 1966's The Ghost Goes Gear. GROOVY!

July 26, 2018

portable record player

I love everything about this, especially the song. Let's go for a bike ride and dance in a field. Okay, let me change into my dress and shoes.