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Instrumental Invasion, 12/28/22 December 29, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Christmas, Computer, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, New Year, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The December 28 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 17, my 41st birthday, and 18, followed by pickups and remixing. An additional pickup was recorded on the 19th.

The playlist was the third of three created between November 7 and 9. I created it solely on November 9, started annotating on the 9th and finished on the 12th, with the talk break script drafted on the 15th and 16th.

For the second year in a row, I played Christmas-adjacent songs the week after the Christmas show. “December Dream” by Fourplay was originally in mind for last week, but I replaced it to allow for a longer third song in its intended segment.

For the second show in a row, I played two versions of the same song, ending each hour with “Auld Lang Syne“; first by Kenny G, then by Jessy J. Yes, I know J is technically not her last initial, but for poetic license, it was in this show.

All of the last three shows have had segment gaps filled by songs less than three minutes long. And speaking of last initials, I searched my blazers for a suitable (no pun intended) nickname to go with “Armani B” by Brian Simpson. Jos. A. Bank made the most sense; ergo, “Joseph A. Bank M.” By the way, I bought a CD copy of Closer Still just before publishing this post.

Busta Move” by Julian Vaughn was originally played on August 17.

I’m still not finished listening to my iTunes Christmas music playlist, which I’ve been listening to incrementally since early November. I got through big portions of it during a Christmas Eve party and then on Christmas Day at home, but there were over a hundred songs left. I’ll update this paragraph once I finish. 1/2/23 UPDATE: I finished this morning.

Mid-November Mike (another nickname) could not have foreseen a historic winter storm, an explosive cyclogenesis (“bomb cyclone” in media hype lingo), when he included “Black Frost” by Grover Washington, Jr. to fill out the first segment. Crazy as the storm and aftermath were here on Long Island – southwest winds ushering in cold air?! – it was much worse elsewhere, particularly in Buffalo! Here, temperatures plummeted from the mid 50s (Fahrenheit) to the single digits! That meant there was black frost ice on the roads, and patches of ice on the sidewalks, from floodwaters brought on by rain and coastal flooding. I haven’t talked to Ryan “A Ripping Good Time” Grabow since the storm, but I know from its Wikipedia entry (first link) that Central Florida – where he lives and works for the Orlando Fox affiliate – had a period of sleet and snow flurries in on Christmas morning! (Okay, enough exclamations.) Christmas also marked record cold highs for Fort Lauderdale and Miami: 49° and 50°F, respectively. Reading that took me back to similarly cold Christmastimes in 1989 and ’90 in Crystal Beach, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area; not to mention how cold it was outside LaGuardia Airport before flying to Tampa in ’90. Maybe weather conditions are cyclical.

I’m further reminded of a video I watched on YouTube five years ago that exemplified the cold Christmastime in ’89: the start of NBC Sports coverage of the Miami Dolphins’ Christmas Eve regular season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at then-Joe Robbie Stadium in not-yet-incorporated Miami Gardens. As you’ll see in the video below, the game time temperature was 39° with gusty northwest winds. No wonder it was dubbed The Miami Ice Bowl.

Yes, that was “Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller (from A Fresh Aire Christmas); yes, that was Charles McCord announcing (“NBC Sports presents…”); and yes, John Tesh‘s “Gridiron Dreams” was the NFL on NBC theme song.

Anyway, click here to download the last scoped Instrumental Invasion aircheck of 2022, or listen below:

See you in 2023!

Instrumental Invasion, 10/26/22 October 27, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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The October 26 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded in sequence on September 17 (four segments) and 18 (two segments).

The playlist was created on September 9, following a production hiatus while assembling and setting up my new computer and drafting the subsequent blog post.

As noted in the October 5 post, going forward, annotations are made in a separate Microsoft Word document, from which the talk break script is drafted in its usual document. I never share the script, but since annotations are an extension of the playlist, I will share those. This week’s annotations were made on September 13 and 14 with the script drafted on the 15th.

This is also the first week with 18:05 segments in mind, and a desired total duration of 1:48:30. Segment 1 of hour 2 was exactly 18:05, the first exact duration since segment 2 of hour 2 on October 5.

I used the phrase “leadoff hitter” to describe the first song – “There’s No One Else” by Robben Ford – in honor of the World Series, which starts tomorrow night. I wish the Mets were the National League representative, but I’m proud of all their other accomplishments this season. (I wrote that presumptuously on September 20. On October 26, I’m writing that I’m glad the Phillies eliminated the Braves in the NLDS and Padres in the NLCS. The Mets blew the NL East lead to the Braves and lost their NL Wild Card Series to the Padres.)

The inclusion of “Spring High” by Ramsey Lewis preceded his death on September 12, but that was acknowledged in the annotations and script. With “After Chicago” by Ronnie Foster coincidentally included, I called back to Ramsey’s Cabrini-Green upbringing.

In all the years I’ve heard “Schmooze” by Eric Marienthal, I’m reminded of longtime WFAN host Steve Somers, a.k.a. The Schmoozer, a.k.a. Captain Midnight (a la the radio serial). I dialed down my impression of Steve, limiting it to his name and removing his phraseology at the start of the talk-up (i.e. “Eric Marienthal on a Wednesday night on WCWP Brookville”). This was the WCWP-FAN jingle hybrid I made:

I made sure to fade out ASAP, lest listeners think FAN is simulcasting on 88.1, even though it’s from a retired jingle package.

Then, there’s Fourplay‘s “Little Foxes,” evoking Festrunk Brothers lingo (the “foxes” part). It helped that most of the backing vocalists were women, hence my “adult foxes” tangent. Here is one such Festrunk Brothers Saturday Night Live sketch:

Air date: April 22, 1978 (source)

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 9/21/22 September 22, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Film, Game Shows, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Western.
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The September 21 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 24 (third and first segments) and 25 (all the rest) with a pickup on the 26th.

The playlist was created simultaneously with last week’s show on July 17. Annotations followed on the 19th and the talk break script was drafted on the 22nd. I didn’t realize I had put so many blank-and/n-blank songs in the playlist until drafting the script.

I made another cartoon reference this week – to Freakazoid! – while talking up “Primal Scream” by Maynard Ferguson. The “Candle Jack” segment of episode 2 starts with Joe Leahy announcing that the cartoon would be “presented in SCREAM-O-VISION.” The excerpt leading into “Primal Scream” had Jeff Bennett as the prompter – “scream” in deadpan – and Tress MacNeille as the screamer. The day after I recorded that segment, I learned that David Warner, voice of The Lobe, had died of cancer. Paul Rugg – writer, producer, creator, and voice of Freakazoid – reminded his social media followers of The Lobe’s musical turn in episode 14, “Dexter’s Date.” In the spirit of “Hello, Dolly!,” Lobe, Freakazoid (as Louis Armstrong), and ancillary characters (including Jeff Bennett) sang “Bonjour, Lobey“:

Regarding the Dancing with the Stars tangent I went on in the third segment, a premiere date for season 31 hadn’t been announced when this week’s show was recorded. That date ended up being earlier this week – Monday, September 19. It’s their first season on Disney+, and that platform’s first live show. As noted last night, there are two hosts again, but the dynamic has shifted. Tyra Banks remains in the lead host role originally held by Tom Bergeron with Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19 champion) in the secondary role last held by Erin Andrews. Jessy J had a tenor sax solo during one of the dances!

In a similar vein, playing “Treasure Hunt” by Dan Siegel allowed me to refer to the two iterations of the game show Treasure Hunt. The New Treasure Hunt had a great closing theme: a jazzy rendition of Elmer Bernstein‘s “Main Title” piece for True Grit.

For the second week in a row, songs made their return appearance:

In between the two songs, I played “Don’t Stop” by Paul Brown, leading to my early Mike Chimeri Show anecdote. Go to the 2:13 mark in “anecdote” for my “wouldn’t you know it, they stopped” quip. Jay Mirabile also brought it up at the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony in June.

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

For airchecking, I scheduled timer records in Audacity on my computer and the one in the guest room. The loopback recording on my computer was flawless, so I deleted the alternate guest room recording, loaded what I kept into Adobe Audition, and went through the usual post-production process.

Instrumental Invasion, 8/17/22 August 18, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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The August 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on June 27, along with the first segment of next week’s show, the most segments I’ve recorded in one day. Coincidentally, this came five days after the previous show recorded in one day aired. June 22’s show was recorded entirely on April 18, but whereas that was the last show produced before the Smooth Jazz for Scholars hiatus, this was the first show after the WCWP Hall of Fame hiatus.

The playlist was created on June 21 while I was in the early stages of what turned out to be an ear infection. COVID-19 was ruled out by two negative home tests (that day and on the 23rd), and a doctor trip on the 24th showed it was an ear infection rather than my fallback assumption of a cold. Since my voice was compromised, albeit slightly, I chose to start working on next week’s show, annotating and talk break script drafting simultaneously with the intent to record them both once I was better. (I still sounded nasal while recording.) This week’s show was annotated on the 23rd with the first two segments of the next show, and the talk break script was drafted on the 25th.

I continued the new habit of recording segments out of sequence to determine which to shorten, accommodating for ones that run long.

It was the second week in a row with only two songs in the middle segments of each hour. The “Shim Wha” gag came to mind while listening to The Dave Brubeck Quartet‘s Time Changes album on the way back from the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Marlins at Citi Field on June 18. I combined all the photos I took at that game in a slideshow that’s part of this blog post. I hope to have the slideshow of photos from last Wednesday’s game finished before October.

The “Cahla” gag for “Carla” by Peter Horvath had been in mind since watching every episode of Cheers on Netflix over a few weeks in March 2017.

Speaking of 2017, with a lack of music to play from new releases, I replaced the first 2017-present segment with another 1984 and earlier segment.

Click here to download this week’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

The aircheck includes a new promo I recorded on Tuesday.

9:10 AM UPDATE: It’s been a while since I made a mistake that went unnoticed until after airing, but I made one here. Jay Beckenstein did play soprano sax on “Captain Karma” by Spyro Gyra, but his solo was on alto.

Instrumental Invasion, 7/27/22 July 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Boating, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The July 27 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fourth show in the last five with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 30, three on May 31, and two on June 1. Pickups were recorded on June 3, 5, and 9.

The playlist was created on May 28 and annotated on the 29th. The talk break script was drafted before recording on the 30th. I made a timing error in the last segment of the show, requiring a condensed script for the last talk break and ten extra seconds, the first time I went over 18 minutes since May 11.

Speaking of that last talk break, a week after referencing John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off, my sign-off this week referenced Chet Huntley‘s at the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report. And speaking of the first, this imperfect Google translation is what led me to assume “Dinorah, Dinorah” by Ivan Lins (covered on the show by George Benson) was about a love affair with a teacher. I listened to the original for reference and to confirm the pronunciation:

And here’s a mellower 2017 duet in a lower key:

Despite obsessive listening, I said “gene-orah” instead of “gin-orah” in the initial first segment recording before going on a boat ride with my family. I redid any references to the song when I got home. I didn’t have a boat ride in mind when I added “Boat Ride” by Jay Rowe to the third segment, but it helped that I did (recap here) because it gave me talk break-padding material. I did away with some of that padding on June 9, shaving off four seconds, to make up for going over in the last segment.

A running gag established while recording – that I missed while drafting the script – was “thing/things” and all the songs written for someone. “Our Thing” by Jazz Funk Soul has made me think of the Mafia ever since More Serious Business arrived at my door 6 1/2 years ago. (Yes, the link goes to the MP3 version.) I sincerely believe the title of Jeff Lorber‘s composition is coincidental, and that’s why I always get a kick out of it.

The June 3 pickups were recorded after learning that my friend Pete Bellotti was named WCWP’s new director of broadcasting. I came out of Earl Klugh‘s cover of “If I Fell” with a liner that Pete recorded in 2020 while only working for CBS Sports Radio. Pete is still with CBS Sports Radio, but it didn’t feel right using a liner where he only identifies from there. I replaced the liner with one Game Dave recorded, giving new significance to my Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection reference. I said the low viewership was a humbling experience, but Game Dave reminded us of the big picture last July:

I clipped the relevant portion.

Playing off what Game Dave said, I performed in front of between 43 and 190 people, depending on the Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection video (as of June 3).

The expanded talk break meant I had to move the Bernie Bernard liner up one segment and put John Commins’s liner in her place.

Just this week, Dave posted a video chronicling his month-long weight loss journey with the help of exercise video games:

The June 5 pickup was recorded after learning new information from this interview Brian Pace conducted with Ivan Lins during his 2016 Blue Note engagement:

Click here to download this week’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 7/20/22 July 21, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Aviation, Internet, Jazz, Media, Military, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV, Video.
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The July 20 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP (120 on 7/20) was recorded from May 25 to 27: two segments on the 25th, three on the 26th, and one on the 27th.

The playlist was created on May 23 after completing production of the previous two shows, with annotations on the 24th and 25th, followed by the script draft.

I had to cut portions of the first and last talk breaks of the second hour to keep them from going over 18 minutes.

Incidentally, while recording the third segment of the first hour, which ends with “In the Sky Today” by Ken Navarro, the Navy Blue Angels were rehearsing for the upcoming weekend’s Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach. They were too high up to see from my bedroom window as the skies clouded up, but I saw one plane flying low and slow as I walking back from a supermarket trip:

My friend Karl Schmidt informed this plane was the Blue Angels’ C-130 Hercules, a.k.a. (or hey, hey, hey) Fat Albert.

If I had my DSLR camera, the resolution would be higher, but my phone only has a 2x optical zoom and that’s all I had on me.

I did take DSLR photos during the Sunday air show:

Further incidentally, I played “In the Sky Today” 52 weeks after playing the title track to Ken Navarro’s All the Way album and “The Test of Time” by Shilts three months after playing the title track to his 2012 release, All Grown Up. It didn’t occur to me until annotating the playlist that Shilts and Bill Steinway incorporated Big Ben‘s “Westminster Quarters” into their composition.

My “bye-bye” after repeating the title of Gerald Albright‘s song – “By My Side” – was an homage to political commentator John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off. Here is a compilation I found of 18 bye-byes between 2007 and 2015:

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 4/6/22 April 7, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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The April 6 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days in mid-February: the first hour on the 14th (Valentine’s Day), one second hour segment on the 15th, and the last two on the 16th when a pickup was also recorded.

The playlist was created on February 12 and annotated on the 13th. The talk break script was drafted before recording on the 14th.

A few days before work on this show began, I finally took the plunge and bought the Kaotica Eyeball microphone isolation shield. Since my remote location has minimal room echo, the Eyeball is for home recordings. It only took two days to ship from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Here’s how it looks from my chair:

It’s as big as my head, a challenge for Zoom meetings and for reading text on the right side of my monitor, but it works! Room echo was practically gone from any talk breaks I recorded at home. You will have to lower the pot (potentiometer) on your mixer. The Eyeball isolates background audio so well that more of the mic is picked up.

Thank you to actor and impressionist Jim Meskimen (son of Marion Ross) for recommending the Kaotica Eyeball in one of Mark Evanier‘s 2020 voice-over panel livestreams (cued to the relevant portion) and then jogging my memory about it in an Instagram post a few days before my purchase.

This wasn’t the first show with talk breaks recorded through the Eyeball, due to pickups I recorded for March 16.

After acquiring new music releases in the weeks leading up to this show, and the Friday after, I re-instituted two 2017 to present segments for the second hour. I included “Feet First” by Rick Braun unaware that it was the first single off his eponymous album. I did know that “Sun Princess” by the Jeff Lorber Fusion and “Out to Lunch” by Oli Silk were on the smooth jazz radio charts. So, I worked them in. Due to time constraints in the last segment, I couldn’t remind listeners about the accelerando at the end of the Bob James Trio arrangement of “Westchester Lady.” That same arrangement was part of their Blue Note set in November 2018, a month after Feel Like Making LIVE! was recorded. I said of the Blue Note performance:

This song had a call and response between the trio and ended with an accelerando that led me to polka dance [in my seat].

“The Big Windy Cat” by Nick Colionne was played 52 weeks after the previous cut from No Limits, “Headin’ Wes Before Dawn.” “Rippin’ n Runnin'” by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, from That’s How We Roll, was played exactly six months after “Howdiz Songo?” We also went exactly six months between tracks from the Jeff Lorber Fusion’s Space-Time – “Louisiana” and “Sun Princess” – and between the last track to date from the previous Bob James Trio album, Espresso, and the first off Feel Like Making LIVE! The Espresso track was “Mister Magic,” which was also recorded for the new album.

Little did I know my inclusion of “Swingin’ for the Fence” by Nelson Rangell, and addressing personnel as “heavy hitters,” would coincide with the delayed start to the 2022 Major League Baseball Season, and appear in a show preceded by the baseball edition of The Rock Show. And it slipped my mind that an unusually late blizzard affected the New York metro area 40 years ago: April 6, 1982. You can watch WABC-TV‘s Eyewitness News coverage of that storm here.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Audiobooking 7 March 26, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Audio, Audiobooks, Baseball, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Drama, Film, Football, Health, History, Internet, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Rock, Sports, TV, Video, War, Wrestling.
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Another year of audiobook listening is in the books. I’m still an Audible member and use each month’s credit on a new book, but throughout my membership, there will come a time where I pay $35.88 to buy three extra credits. I listened while exercising, running (or walking) errands, doing household tasks, and at bedtime.

I even listened to one book on YouTube rather than Audible. Find out which one as I list the audiobooks I listened to since last year’s Audiobooking post:

  • Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen – It’s sad that the abundance of Woody haters made him feel compelled to passionately, and rightly, defend his character through most of the book.
  • Talking to GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard by Jim Gray (with guest voices including Bob Costas, Vin Scully, Tom Brady, and Snoop Dogg) – GOAT is an acronym for “greatest of all time.” – Vin was recorded over the phone while Bob and Tom were on Zoom via their webcam or phone. You can tell by the audio quality. – I remembered where I was during the moments Jim recounted, especially the Pete Rose interview. Jim didn’t deserve the grief he got. I’m glad he and Pete are on good terms these days
  • Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (read entirely by Robert Petkoff) – This was certainly enlightening. I had no idea the mob’s tentacles ran so deep, or that they had a boss in Tampa, of all places.
  • On the House: A Washington Memoir by John Boehner (“bainer”) – This was one of three books I returned. – The early stages of Speaker Boehner’s book were more of, apropos of the previous book I listened to, hits on his enemies. I mean verbal ad hominem attacks, not murders.
  • Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross with Paul O’Brien (read by Jim; Vince McMahon’s foreword and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s afterword read by R.C. Bray) – I bought this with my On the House return credit. – Both Slobberknocker and Under the Black Hat have an instance of “at the end of the day.” I had yet to encounter that in Black Hat when I published last year’s post. – I watched many WWE documentaries on Peacock in my first two months as a subscriber (before “at the end of the day” fatigue made me quit watching what was left). I now realize that for all WWE-sanctioned media, you are required to say “-E” instead of “-F,” even when referring to the WWF days. Only clips can show the old logos and utterances of “-F” or “Federation.” Slobberknocker didn’t have that requirement, but Black Hat did. – I met Jim and Jerry Lawler at New York Comic Con in October.
  • How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan (or should I say Leslie Alan Jordan?) – How can you not love Leslie? – I saw little of him on Will & Grace, but enjoyed him on The Cool Kids and enjoy him on Call Me Kat. – He’s worth following on Instagram.
  • Just When I Thought I’d Heard Everything!: Humorous Observations on Life in America by Charles Grodin (1934-2021) – Compilation of radio commentaries, but newly read (in 2013) for the book. – Wow, was this poorly edited. So many flubs were left in. I don’t know how I made it to the end
  • Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life by Julianna Marguiles (“margh-u-leez”) – I have seen little of Julianna’s work outside of the 1997 live episode of ER, but I enjoyed learning about her. – I was watching Friends on HBO Max at the time I heard her book, and it was neat seeing her older sister Alexandra (referenced in the book) recur on that show.
  • Mayor Kane: My Life in Wrestling and Politics by Glenn Jacobs (a.k.a. Kane) – Like Talking to GOATs, I remembered where I was at the time of some of the events Glenn recounted from the period when I was a wrestling fan. – “-E” instead of “-F” – In pro wrestling terms, I was a mark early in my fandom and Isaac Yankem, Glenn’s first WWE character, genuinely scared me. So, I was surprised that he hated the character – The Fake Diesel angle began on Monday Night Raw on September 23, 1996, two days before my sister’s bat mitzvah. – Early Kane scared me, too. – Glenn’s position as mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, would be known as county executive in most other regions. I was unaware of county executives going by mayor until I heard a public address announcement by the “mayor of Broward County” in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on March 5, 2019, while waiting in the JetBlue terminal for a flight back to JFK. (See photos from my trip here.) – I didn’t enjoy Glenn’s libertarian commentary toward the end, but at least it’s on my side of the political aisle, and he didn’t attack anyone like Boehner did.
  • Five Minutes, Mr. Byner: A Lifetime of Laughter by John Byner with Douglas Wellman (read by John) – I had better luck with John Byner than with John Boehner. – Long Island represent! Byner grew up all over Long Island, including Bohemia and Merrick. (Since Bill O’Reilly’s book, and Brian Kilmeade’s later, aren’t memoirs, I didn’t/don’t acknowledge they are also from Long Island. Bill’s from Levittown and Brian’s from Massapequa.) – I forgot John’s last name at birth was Biener. Unlike the Biener Audi folks, the phonetic spelling John legally adopted is how his family said it; like my last name, people kept mispronouncing his, calling him “Beaner” or “Beans.” – I don’t remember if he brought up playing Gurgi (and Doli) in The Black Cauldron, but I watched it on Disney+ a few weeks ago, as I work my way through (most of) Disney’s theatrical animated releases in chronological order. – Just as I prepared to published this post, I learned of The Super Bob Einstein Movie documentary on HBO Max. Bob created Super Dave Osborne for The John Byner Comedy Hour and would later appear on John’s Bizarre series and his own show, Super Dave.
  • Past Imperfect: The Autobiography by Joan Collins – Originally published in 1978, revised in the mid ’80s to include her Dynasty work, recorded in 2021. – Maxwell Reed was her husband, but I came to hate him just as much after listening. – I thought back to Slobberknocker as Joan referenced Bill Watts, obviously not related to Cowboy Bill.
  • Tropical Attire Encouraged (and Other Phrases That Scare Me) by Alison Rosen – Free with my Audible membership – Each chapter ended with an impromptu commentary by Alison and after finishing the book, there’s podcast-esque commentary by Alison and her husband Daniel Quartz. – I became a fan of Alison during her days as a guest on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, proudly supporting the original livestream (UStream) incarnation of Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend. It was an honor to be the Fan Phone Call one Sunday evening in 2010; I listened to some episodes of the podcast version that continues to this day, but haven’t heard an episode in quite a while. – I’ve since gravitated toward podcasts by Gilbert Gottfried (with Frank Santopadre) and Ken Levine. – Listening to this book made me nostalgic for the halcyon days before politics drove a wedge into everything.
  • My Inappropriate Life: Some Material Not Suitable for Small Children, Nuns, or Mature Adults by Heather McDonald – Written and read in the days of Chelsea Lately, which again, I didn’t see much of, but I knew of the regular panelists and staff, including Heather.
  • The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism by Tucker Carlson – I can’t stomach his Tucker Carlson Tonight commentaries anymore (too dour, goes after right-wingers I like), but I was willing to buy The Long Slide. – After an introduction lamenting the way things were at the time of publication (summer 2021), the rest of the book is made up of past columns with present-day prologues. To that end, it was edited better than Charles Grodin’s audiobook.
  • You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success by Al Roker – I’ve been a fan of Al’s since his days at News 4 New York (WNBC), and thoroughly enjoyed his journey. – “You look so much better in person” was a well-meaning, unintentionally backhanded compliment someone gave him in Rockefeller Plaza one time on Today. Don’t ever tell anyone that.
  • Parenting for the Digital Age: The Truth behind Media’s Effect on Children and What to Do About It by Bill Ratner – There are occasional references to Bill’s career, but it’s mostly parental help, as the title indicates.
  • Oh, Nothing…: An Audio Collection of Stories and Memories from Alan Sues by Alan Sues (“sooz”) (1926-2011) – Since the book’s price was $9.79, I bought it that way rather with a credit that costs an additional $1.17 if bought with three ($11.96 x 3) or $5.16 with the monthly credit ($14.95). – Again I say as the title indicates, this is less of a book and more of an interview or one-on-one conversation. – There was so much more to Alan than his days on Laugh-In.
  • The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone – I felt deep empathy for Sharon as she recounted all that she’s endured. – Left-wing politics comes up throughout, but I made it to the end.
  • Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo by Jo Koy – “Josep!” – Jo’s brother reminded me of my late uncle Carmen, who also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
  • After Mixed Plate, I encountered the second book that I had to disappointingly return for left-wing political reasons. I prefer not to name it or its author (and co-author), but I will say that they were also born and raised on Long Island.
  • Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography by Billy Connolly – I started listening just after I had finished watching Billy in the final season of Head of the Class on HBO Max, and earlier this week, I heard him in Pocahontas on Disney+. – Like Jimmy Johnson, these days, Billy lives with his wife in the Florida Keys.
  • Bad Republican by Meghan McCain – Double entendre: “bad” because she’s not conservative enough and she and her family hate [the 45th president], and “bad” merely as a Republican. The latter “bad” is how her former co-hosts of The View perceived her. – Three audio clips are used: two of her father Senator John McCain and one of her impassioned eulogy at his memorial. – One “at the end of the day”
  • God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life’s Best (and Worst) Moments by Hannah Brown – Vocal fry galore! – Felt nothing when she won her season of Dancing with the Stars and didn’t get along with her dance partner Alan Bersten (only referred to by his first name) – That admission, with about an hour left in the book, let me to make my third return of the year. I was so distraught, having wasted my time supporting her (even though I thought she didn’t deserve to win that season!), I couldn’t finish my workout on the morning I heard that part.
  • Dear Hartley: Thoughts on Character, Kindness, and Building a Brighter World by Jedediah Bila – Speaking of former hosts of The View, Jedediah’s Dear Hartley is a series of hopeful letters (chapters) to her currently-toddler son. – Each “letter” ends with “I love you more than life, Mama.”
  • Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure – One “at the end of the day” – Hey, three The View ex-pats in one year! – While Candace spoke positively of her co-hosts in the book, since she was still on it in 2018, she has since admitted her experience was as bad as Meghan’s.
  • Based on a True Story: A Memoir by Norm Macdonald (1959-2021) – Yes, the first “d” is lowercase. – This is not a nonfiction memoir, but a fictional novel “based on a true story.” – It’s the story of egomaniacal Norm and his timid sidekick Adam Eget (“e-ghit”), intertwined with confessions from the supposed ghostwriter of the book, voiced “splendidly!” by Tim O’Halloran.
  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) – Before my animated theatrical journey began on Disney+, I watched all nine episodes of Star Wars (the Skywalker Saga) in episodic order. After finishing the original trilogy, I watched Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a documentary produced by Carrie’s brother/Debbie’s son Todd, on HBO Max. Then, I decided to buy this audiobook and three of the next four below. – Left-wing politics, but through a 2008 lens
  • Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) – A chronicle of Carrie’s experience with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatments – It includes another hater-facilitated defense, this time of Michael Jackson. Good.
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – She talks about her experience making the original Star Wars trilogy and shares diary entries written during filming of the first one (Episode IV). – The diary entries are read by her daughter Billie Lourd. – Ends with modern-day dramatizations of fan encounters at conventions, which Carrie referred to as “celebrity lap dance(s),” a term she also used in Bright Lights.
  • The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron and Clint Howard (foreword written and read by actress Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron’s daughter) – This is a real memoir about Ron and Clint’s youth and the lives of their parents Rance and Jean Speegle Howard. (I thought it was “Spiegel” as I listened since I have a friend with that last name.) – I’ve since heard Clint in The Jungle Book and two Winnie the Pooh shorts, via The Many Adventures of…, on Disney+. – This was temporarily the longest audiobook I’ve ever listened to, surpassing I’ll Be Back Right After This by Pat O’Brien.
  • My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher – Todd’s memoir and point of view of the events chronicled in Carrie and Debbie’s books, which are occasionally excerpted – Todd says “two thousand and” for 2001 and beyond, even for 2010 and beyond. – He kept saying “in the end,” but I’ll take a million of those over one “at the end of the day.” Bravo, Todd. – Only five minutes shorter than The Boys
  • The Masked Man: A Memoir and Fantasy of Hollywood by Tom Wilson – This is the book I listened to on YouTube. Tom posted chapters to his channel daily over three weeks in January. – Like Norm’s book, there’s a fictional aspect (“and fantasy of”). You don’t really think Clayton Moore followed him around like a shadow, do you? – I made a playlist of all the chapters, but you may buy on Audible if it’ll clear your conscience.
  • The President and the Freedom Fighter: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Their Battle to Save America’s Soul by Brian Kilmeade – A book about the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass
  • But Enough About Me: A Memoir by Burt Reynolds (1936-2018) with Jon Winokur (read by Burt) – Burt lists many of the people that helped shape his life. – I don’t know if it was the frailty of age, but Burt’s delivery was mostly whispered. – I’m thankful to Burt for reminding me of Sally Field’s verbatim acceptance speech when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, her second, for her role in Places in the Heart, and how it alluded to her previous win for Norma Rae. Read about that in her Wikipedia entry.
  • I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This!: and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny by Bob Newhart (abridged) – The book is from 2002, so Bob’s speech was still clear and his voice wasn’t high. – Bob’s signature routines are sprinkled throughout. – I’ve since seen Bob in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under on…guess where?
  • Coreyography by Corey Feldman – Empathy strikes again as my heart ached for what he and Corey Haim endured as children. – I have a hunch I’ve heard his father Bob Feldman on some David Benoit albums, but maybe it was a different Bob Feldman. – Corey, too, set the record straight on Michael Jackson. – Yeah, he was in one of those animated theatrical films I saw on Disney+ (that’s where): The Fox and the Hound.
  • Who I Am by Pete Townshend (“town’s end”) – Even longer than The Boys: 17 hours and 56 minutes. I still have around four hours left, but it’s quite an adventure. – The title is a play on his song “Who Are You?” for The Who.

As I crafted this post, adding one book at a time, I had no idea how many books I had listened to: 34, plus three that I returned! That far exceeds the amount of books in earlier posts.

Until next year’s “Audiobooking” post, happy listening.

Instrumental Invasion, 1/12/22 January 13, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Art, Audio, Comedy, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Philanthropy, Radio, TV, Video.
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NOTE: This post concludes with remarks on the passing of Bob Saget.

The January 12 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from November 23 to 25, 2021. The first segment was recorded on the 23rd, the next three on the 24th, and the last two on the 25th, Thanksgiving. Pickups were recorded on the 25th, 27th, and 28th, with an additional pickup on December 14 to accommodate a shortened final segment. The other five had no wiggle room and remained 18:30 in length.

The playlist was created on November 21 and annotated on the 22nd, followed by the script draft.

I had South America, particularly Brazil, on my mind after watching a documentary on Disney+ called Walt & El Grupo about Walt Disney’s 1941 trip, with a group of studio artists, to South America. Then, I watched the two films inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. The combination of watching those and listening to a DAT transfer of an extended of “Life is Like a Samba” by David Benoit, which was on a 7″ EP, are the reason I played the album version of the aforementioned song, “Cabana Carioca” by Spyro Gyra, and Cedar Walton‘s cover of “Aquarela do Brasil,” a.k.a. “Brazil.” And while determining how to pronounce vocalist Jerri Bocchino’s last name, since she sang the “Life is Like…” refrain, I was led to her website where she goes by Jerri Bo Keno. That’s how: “bo keno.”

I continued my tradition of playing a different version of a song I played the week before. Last week, I played the original Nelson Rangell version of “Dancing with Ivy,” and this week, it was the song’s writer Jay Rowe‘s version on his debut album, A Dream I Had.

“Wayman” by Steve Cole, “Still In Love” by Marc Antoine, and “Just Can’t Resist” by Oli Silk were all played for the second time. The first two were singles at the time of recording while the third song, like “Chrome Explosion” last week, was used to fill out the segment.

This was the second week in a row where the first song of the show was from 1979 and by a guitarist, and where the third song was by The Crusaders.

I was unaware of bassist Will Lee‘s Uncle Will nickname until an Instagram post by Bob Saget on October 28. I first used it on the Christmas show a few weeks ago. The reason for this anecdote is the unexpected passing of Bob this past Sunday. I saw a post by him that morning, thinking nothing of it, and was blindsided when I saw this post from actress Khrystyne Haje at the top of my feed around 8PM. I was ready to go to sleep, but couldn’t for about two hours. How could I with shocking news rattling around my brain? How could anyone, especially those that knew him personally?

Bob’s media friends, like Rich Eisen, suggested fans donate to the Scleroderma Research Foundation in his honor. Bob became involved with SRF after the disease took the life of his sister Gay. I made a donation before airtime last night, and I’m happy to report that thousands more have done the same.

As for last night’s show, click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 11/17/21: 40th Birthday Special! November 18, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Basketball, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV.
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The November 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on September 29 and 30. I would have started recording on the 28th, but deferred to the next day due to insomnia the night before. Pickups were recorded on October 21 while remixing segments to 18:30 in length. (The first segment is still 18:40.)

The playlist was created and annotated, and the script was drafted all on September 27.

The format for this week would have been used in my Homecoming Weekend prerecord if I was also granted a live show. Instead, it fit right in on my 40th birthday. I had a great birthday, by the way, and will have a separate recap post at a later date.

I didn’t realize how many males named Kim were in the show until recording began. It was a fun running gag. I was also surprised to learn that Dave Grusin wasn’t the one playing George Gershwin‘s “That Certain Feeling” at the start of his The Gershwin Collection album. It was a player piano playing a roll punched by George himself! Also, the Bryant Reeves “Big Country” reference tied in nicely with a Wayman Tisdale song to follow. As noted, they played basketball at rival colleges.

I made sure to play “Remember When” by Dan Siegel since Ed Alton played bass on it. That way, I could refer to Head of the Class, a show Ed composed for, which I rediscovered on HBO Max two weeks before recording. The reboot premiered earlier this month. (5/13/22 UPDATE: It was canceled in December.)

My use of the phrase “knock on wood if you’re with me” was an homage to (at the time of recording) Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. About a week after recording, unflattering e-mails from Gruden’s past were leaked to the public, which led him to resign.

In case you missed it, this was the first show without a David Benoit song. Don’t worry. He’ll be back next week.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below: