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2015 in review December 30, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Weather.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com. Scroll down for my editorial.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 was an on-and-off year for MikeChimeri.com. But when we were on, there was plenty to write about: eight jazz shows, five WCWP events, five winter storms (plus more that I didn’t post pictures from), this website’s 10th anniversary, and a bit more. Check the archives (screen left) to see what I posted by month.

There will be more to write about in 2016. Until then, have a happy, healthy, and gainful new year.

Expanding my Christmas album collection again December 17, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Christmas, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, Personal.
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2014 Christmas presents prior to unwrapping

Two years ago, I wrote about my love of Christmas music, which I incorporated into an extensive iTunes playlist. I listed all the albums I had compiled prior to 2013 and the albums I added that year. Last year, I updated the original post:

12/21/14 UPDATE: This year’s additions to my collection were A Smooth Jazz Holiday compiled by Nu Groove; Grover Washington, Jr.’s Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection, and A Soulful Christmas from Brian Culbertson. Tracks from those three albums, plus additional tracks from albums I already had, increase the duration of my iTunes playlist to 13 hours and 34 minutes!

This year, three new Christmas albums came out and I didn’t hesitate to pre-order either of them on Amazon.com. A pair of men named Kim released their albums in October. Kim Pensyl’s Early Snowfall was released on October 2 while Kim Waters’ My Gift to You came out two weeks later. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band released A Big Phat Christmas WRAP THIS! on November 6. I added to the Christmas Music playlist three tracks from My Gift to You, eight from …WRAP THIS!, and nine tracks from Early Snowfall.

But that wasn’t all. About a year ago, my girlfriend Kelly gave me several Dave Koz albums, including A Smooth Jazz Christmas (Dave Koz & Friends) and December Makes Me Feel This Way. I didn’t take the time to listen to those albums until March. There were plenty of gems to be found, including a Hanukkah song (“Eight Candles”). Six songs from those albums were added to the playlist.

And just yesterday, I bought the instrumental tracks from David Benoit’s 2 In Love and Believe albums. I added “Guaraldi Medley” from Believe to the playlist.

Those 27 tracks, along with more material from the albums I already had, added another four hours and two minutes to the playlist; 17 hours and 36 minutes overall.

So far, the only person to hear my playlist this year is me. Since Thanksgiving, whenever I’ve gone for a run, or when I want to drown out music I don’t like in a store or restaurant, I listen to the playlist on either my iPod or iPhone. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ll share my playlist with family and friends, as I do every year.

Merry Christmas to all.

2015 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2016 Hall of Fame Announcement October 11, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Video, Weather.
7 comments

Earlier recaps: 2008, 2009, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012, 2013, 2014

Earlier 2015 Homecoming Weekend posts: FM 50th Anniversary Celebration, First few hours of shows on Friday

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my pre-recorded Homecoming Weekend show that aired early this morning. To see and hear my live show on Friday, click here.

Yesterday was my third day in row on the campus of LIU Post: Homecoming Day.

I arrived about an hour earlier than previous years. When I made my way to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium, the LIU Post Pioneers and Merrimack College Warriors were in the second quarter of their game.

On the way to Bronko Piersall Field, I shot pictures from the carnival and signs in the parking lot:
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The annual press box shots…
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Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks were back in the lower booth calling the game. Jeff’s wife Pat is to his left (screen right) and Joel Feltman is to Neil’s right (screen left).

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Pat photographed Jeff and Neil before kickoff:
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Unfortunately, the Pioneers did not score while I was by the field:
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They did, however, miss a field goal:
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Disappointed, I walked to WCWP, where I spent the rest of the day.

The Pioneers would trail the Warriors 3-0 at halftime, but score 20 unanswered points in the second half. The Warriors got back within 3 twice and had two chances to regain the lead. They couldn’t, and the Pioneers hung on to win 27-24.

Now for the WCWP portion of the day…
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The Studio 1 clock:
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Maura “Bernie” Bernard’s show followed the football game:
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Pete Bellotti announced the two 2016 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame: the late Ann Gaffney…:
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…and Joe Honerkamp:
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Bruce Leonard called in – speaking with Neil Marks, initially – and spoke with Bernie on the air following the announcement:
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Jeff Kroll chimed in on Joe’s induction:
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Jay Mirabile and me:
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Pete Bellotti, me, Jay Mirabile:
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Pete Bellotti, Bernie Bernard, Joe Honerkamp, Dan Cox, Bobby Guthenberg:
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The inductees:
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John Zoni in Studio 2:
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Bernie made way for Mike Riccio and Bobby G.:
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Back in Studio 2, Bill and Debbie Mozer:
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Bernie Bernard and me:
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It was a fun few days of Homecoming festivites for me. It’s always great to catch up with my fellow alumni. The compliments I received for my multimedia work – pictures, video, and audio – have made this year extra special.

Now, here’s video from some of Bernie’s show followed by the start of Mike and Bobby’s show:

There was one part of Bernie’s show that I missed: Ted David called in. Here’s how that sounded:

That’s what I meant by the compliments I received. Thank you very much, Ted.

At 2:00 this morning, the second of my Homecoming Weekend shows aired: a bonus edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri. I recorded the show two weeks ago. Naturally, I have pictures to show for it:
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Here are airchecks from the show:


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And the playlist:
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I’ve been listening to the rest of the WCWP Homecoming Weekend throughout Sunday.

2015 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first few hours October 10, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
2 comments

I was honored to kick off this year’s WCWP Homecoming Weekend with a live edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri yesterday at noon.

I went right to bed after getting home from the 50th anniversary celebration on Thursday night because I had to get up at sunrise yesterday morning. That allowed me time to edit pictures and video that you saw in the above post before getting a ride from my father up to WCWP at around 8:45.

As a result, I arrived 2 1/2 hours early, which gave me plenty of time to set up. I took a few pictures when I entered Studio 1:
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The next six pictures were taken while my show was on the air:
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Joel Feltman took this shot:
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LIU Post/WCWP alumnus Tom Murphy caught some of my show on 88.1 FM. When he heard it was Homecoming Weekend, he decided to drop by the station. He was complimentary of the music I played.

His fellow alum Dan Cox requested a picture, and I was more than happy to oblige:
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Tom wasn’t the only one complimentary of my show. Jeff and Pat Kroll, and the aforementioned Joel Feltman, were equally laudatory.

After my show, it was Jeff Kroll’s turn:
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He’ll be on plenty this weekend.

Jeff’s setup:
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Next on the schedule was Joel Feltman:
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On my way to the bus stop, heading for home, I noticed a familiar name on the LIU Post Alumni Walk: Fred Gaudelli. This sign was posted by Pell Hall:
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There’s also a Ted David sign by the Great Lawn, which I took a picture of two weeks ago:
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I’ll be back later today for Homecoming itself and the announcement of the 2016 WCWP Hall of Fame class. (10/11 UPDATE: Click here for the recap.) I’ll conclude this post, no pun intended, with my show’s playlist:
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…along with video and audio of my airchecks, which includes the beginning of Jeff’s show:


10/9/15 Aircheck

WCWP-FM 50th Anniversary Celebration: October Edition October 9, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Media, Personal, Photography, Video.
2 comments

Previous 50th Anniversary Celebration: March 2015

Homecoming Weekend at LIU Post began Thursday as WCWP’s FM station once again celebrated 50 years on the air. This time, the celebration was on campus in the Great Hall at Winnick House.

As usual, I had my camera at the ready. Here’s what I shot:

Scott and Janet Perschke, Jeff Kroll, Jay Elzweig, Alan Seltzer:
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Dan Cox, Pete Bellotti:
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Janet Perschke, Alan Seltzer, Scott Perschke:
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Jay Elzweig, Bernie Bernard, Melissa Bernard:
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Pat and Jeff Kroll, Joe Honerkamp:
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Bobby Guthenberg joined in for the next shot:
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Me, John Zoni:
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Pete Bellotti, Beverly (née Koondel) and Jeff Bolnick:
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About a half hour in, Jeff Kroll and WCWP Station Manager Dan Cox addressed attendees.

Jeff spoke first:
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Then, it was Dan’s turn:
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After dinner, Dan’s daughter Emily presented him with a birthday cake:
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Pat and Jeff Kroll, Mike Ferrari, Scott Perschke, Bernie Bernard, Bobby Guthenberg, Jay Elzweig:
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Scott Perschke, Alan Seltzer, Bobby Guthenberg:
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Scott and Janet Perschke:
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Naoko and Perry Holst:
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Dan Cox with his wife Nancy, daughter Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend A.J.:
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Here’s to 50 more years of WCWP 88.1 FM!

We leave you with video of Jeff and Dan; a guest appearance by Dr. Kimberly Cline, President of LIU Post; and Dan receiving his birthday cake:

Click here to see sights and sounds from the first few hours of WCWP Homecoming Weekend.

Two WCWP Homecoming Weekend shows September 28, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Phone, Radio.
3 comments

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I’ll be doubling my pleasure on WCWP’s Homecoming Weekend as Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri will air twice. The first show kicks off the weekend next Friday, October 9, at noon Eastern. It’ll be my first live homecoming show since 2009. The second show will be pre-recorded, as my previous four shows were, and will air Sunday, October 11, at 2AM Eastern. The above picture is from the end of my pre-record session a few days ago.

You can listen locally on 88.1 FM or at WCWP.org. You can also listen on the TuneIn app. Just search WCWP.

The live show will include Ken Navarro, Brian Simpson, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, and two by Nelson Rangell.

The pre-recorded show is dedicated to songs from albums released between 1965 and 2015, sans 1970. Expect to hear Vince Guaraldi, Return to Forever, Ramsey Lewis, Bobby Lyle, and many more.

Outside of those two shows, I’ll be at the WCWP-FM 50th Anniversary Reception at LIU Post’s Great Hall on Thursday, October 8, and at Post’s various Homecoming activities on Homecoming Day, Saturday, October 10. Late Saturday afternoon, the 2016 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame will be announced. I look forward to catching up with my fellow alumni.

I hope you’ll listen to WCWP all weekend long. Homecoming Weekend shows begin at noon next Friday with me and end at midnight on Sunday (early Monday morning).

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX at The Cutting Room again July 2, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
2 comments

I returned to The Cutting Room last Friday night to see Chieli Minucci & Special EFX perform.

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I last saw them at that venue in January 2014. I arrived close to show time and missed out on a good table. This time, I showed up before the doors opened to ensure better results. The plan worked. I sat at a small table right next to the stage.

Special EFX was led by co-founder Chieli Minucci on guitar:
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With Jay Rowe on keyboards:
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Jerry Brooks, who’s about to tour with Journey, on bass:
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…and Lionel Cordew on drums:
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Plus, special guest Alan Grubner on violin:
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SET LIST
1.
Courageous Cats
Originally heard on: “Jewels,” 1995 (Chieli solo album)

2. Speak to Me (preceded by Chieli’s intro)
Originally heard on: “Masterpiece,” 1999

3. Crazy Eights
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013

4.Till the End of Time
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013

5. George Can’t Dance
Originally heard on: “Catwalk,” 1994

6. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
Originally heard on: “Renaissance,” 1996 (Chieli solo album)

7. Cruise Control
Originally heard on: “Butterfly,” 2001

8. Your Smile, My Heaven
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013

9. Kickin’ It Hard/Spain
Kickin’ It Hard” originally heard on: “Night Grooves,” 2003 (Chieli solo album); “Spain” is a Return to Forever cover

#2 and 9 featured occasional vocalizing from Chieli.
#8 and 9 featured special guest Alan Grubner.

Various shots of Chieli:
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Vocalizing on “Speak to Me”:
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Jay Rowe’s “Speak to Me” keyboard solo:
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Jerry Brooks’ “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” bass solo:
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Lionel Cordew’s “Speak to Me” drum solo:
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Alan Grubner’s “Your Smile, My Heaven” violin solo:
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Wide shots from “Kickin’ It Hard”:
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The last note:
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The end:
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It was yet another superb set. Until next time.

Triple Crown, at last! June 6, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Horse Racing, Media, Personal, Sports, TV.
2 comments

363 days ago, a day after California Chrome fell short at the Belmont Stakes, I bitterly suggested a Triple Crown retool. This was my plan:

Horses that win the Kentucky Derby should not be allowed to run the Preakness Stakes.  That will avoid future heartbreaking Belmont Stakes.  If they can’t run in the Preakness, they can’t possibly win it to set up Triple Crown talk.

It’s [a] ridiculous suggestion, I’m sure, and one that is born out of sour grapes, but I would love to see it happen.  The days of Triple Crown winners ended in 1978.  I don’t see it ever happening again.

I hereby retract my plan. Under an hour from posting this, American Pharoah did what seemed impossible: he won the Triple Crown! Larry Collmus’ triumphant call, which was heard inside Belmont Park and on NBC, went like this:

And here it is: the 37-year wait is over! American Pharoah is finally the one!!! American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!!!!!!

American Pharoah is the 12th Triple Crown winner. After years and years of near misses, this win was very, very sweet. It was much sweeter for jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert, and owner Ahmed Zayat. Congratulations and thank you.

I’ll conclude this post with several video links via nbcsports.com:
American Pharoah ends 37-year Triple Crown drought
Watch Larry Collmus as he calls the Belmont Stakes
Bob Baffert on ’emotional’ Triple Crown win
Justin Zayat ‘can’t believe it happened’
Belmont, Triple Crown trophy given to American Pharoah team
‘Third time’s a charm’ for Victor Espinoza
Bob Costas: No fan can forget American Pharoah’s rare feat
Bob Baffert: ‘I was prepared for a loss’

Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour at Westbury recap May 3, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Theatre, TV.
2 comments

According to WordPress, this is my 350th post at MikeChimeri.com.

Last night, for the first time in four years, I was at NYCB Theatre at Westbury to see Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller. This time, their tour had a new name: Don’t Be a Pinhead.

My dad and were seated in Section B, Row H.

The show was scheduled to begin at 8:00, but didn’t start until 8:09. At that time, Bill got on the P.A. system and directed the crowd to “please greet Dennis Miller!”

Dennis’ first joke was “Hi, #Hello #GoodEvening.” Here are some of the topics of his 35-minute set:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • James Carville
  • Other potential Democratic presidential candidates
  • Bill Ayers
  • John Kerry
  • Potential Republican presidential candidates
  • John Boehner
  • Green hotel
  • Apple Watch
  • Weird sports day – “Floyd Mayweather won the Kentucky Derby”
  • Harry Reid
  • Obamacare
  • Pope Francis
  • Nancy Pelosi

After the last Pelosi joke, Bill walked toward the stage and exclaimed, “Dennis Miller, everybody!” Bill’s 35-minute set included:

  • Baltimore
  • His hard scrabble upbringing in Levitttown
  • Hillary Clinton
  • President Barack Obama
  • One poll on each of the two
  • James Carville
  • The previous two presidential campaigns (McCain, Romney)
  • Romney’s 2012 primary opponents
  • How Bill got the five living presidents to sign pictures of them to raise money for track chairs

Intermission was 15 minutes, after which Bill and Dennis returned to the stage for Q&A. Once again, they sat in chairs while the stage rotated. Highlights of this part were:

  • A question from Barry in Syosset led Dennis to joke “Barry’s got Syosset?”
  • “Volleyballtocracy”
  • Dennis’ nicknames for Vice President Joe Biden: “Jar Jar Biden,” “Plugs MacKenzie”
  • The Saturday Night Live parody of Hillary Clinton’s campaign launch
  • Bill and Dennis won’t endorse any candidates for 2016
  • Dennis’ stories of traveling with Pres. George W. Bush
  • Stories from Bill and Dennis’ trips to Iraq
  • A plug for the Rockin’ the Boat benefit on May 21
  • What is a pinhead?
  • The Killing books (Dennis’ book: Killing Lincoln Logs)
  • Bill’s infamous appearance on The View in October 2010

And with that, the night was over. Bill and Dennis left to a standing ovation. Dennis paraphrased Jackie Gleason by saying “Long Island audiences are the greatest audiences in the world.” It was certainly an entertaining two hours.

If you want to see the Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour, get your tickets fast because the shows sell out in a hurry. The next three shows in Cleveland and Memphis next month, and Atlantic City in August, are all sold out. I recommend watching the Miller Time segment every Wednesday on The O’Reilly Factor to see if new dates are added. So far, Atlantic City is it.

If any viewer e-mails from audience members are read on The Factor this week, I will update this post with those e-mails and Bill’s replies.

5/8 UPDATE: There weren’t any viewer e-mails from audience members this week, but dates were added to the tour this fall. You can find them here.

2015 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 28, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
5 comments

Previous Hall of Fame ceremonies: 2012, 2013, 2014

Saturday afternoon, the WCWP Hall of Fame inducted four more alumni in a ceremony inside the Goldsmith Atrium at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In order of induction, this year’s inductees were Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio.

It was the third year in a row where the ceremony coincided with bright sunshine outside, allowing for plenty of natural light to illuminate the atrium.

I arrived about 90 minutes early following a drive of the same length from the Hampton Inn in Milford, Connecticut, after attending the first night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Slowly but surely, the inductees, their families, and fellow alumni filled the atirum and the ceremony began.

You can watch the ceremony at the end of this post, but first, the pictures:
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WCWP station manager Dan Cox welcomed everyone and tossed to an introductory video narrated by Jim Cutler:
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2013 inductee Bernie Bernard was this year’s MC:
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The first inductee of the day was Jeff Kroll, introduced by Bruce Leonard:
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The view from my camcorder:
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The same view from a different focal point:
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Bruce and Jeff swapped places as Jeff introduced Bruce:
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Neil Marks came up to say a few words:
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Then came Bruce’s acceptance speech:
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Joel Feltman was next a few words of his own:
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Joe Honerkamp listened as Joel reflected on how they were introduced:
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The third inductee of the day was Bobby Guthenberg, introduced by Bernie Bernard:
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Finally, Bobby introduced Mike Riccio:
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Bobby’s gift to Mike:
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Mike’s acceptance speech:
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2013 inductee Bill Mozer was repeatedly referenced throughout the ceremony. He came to the stage after Mike spoke:
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2014 inductee Frank D’Elia’s turn at the mic:
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Bill returned with a few more words:
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Dan Cox returned to wrap of the ceremony, bringing along a copy of the Hall of Fame sign, as posted in the background, to be autographed by the four inductees:
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Jeff’s wife Pat bought a cake for the ceremony:
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The ceremonial cutting:
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Now that you’ve seen the pictures, enjoy the video:

Congratulations to Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio, the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame class!

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