Sunday, July 08, 2007

Off The Bench Flips Formats with Old Timers

Yep, three things combined into one title. Despite my attempts at a sabbatical, thus keeping me from saying the inflammatory things that are REALLY on my mind, I seem to keep coming by.

The buzz is all over the radio world about the return of oldies to WCBS-FM (101.1). The latest rumor to hit is that Thursday, July 12th is the big date, with approximately 4:58 PM said to be the flip time. If you care about such things (and I do), I would not take that info as gold. Honestly it could happen at almost any time.

The oldies fans hope that WCBS will return to what it was, and that's not going to happen - for the usual reasoning that "you can't go home again." The station might start out without DJ's, or play a wider selection of oldies (which will tick off the purists). In other words, everybody won't be happy. Regardless the oldies format was a dying breed, which is why Jack appeared in the first place. To make it work, WCBS can't go back to being what it was. It can't necessarily go back to the reverb sound and the classic DJ's. It would be great to hear Ron Lundy and Dan Ingram - the first two DJ's that taught me how to talk up a record - but Lundy (Hello LOVE!) is retired in Mississippi, and Ingram (Bye, Kimosabe) is questionable to ever return. The likes of Bob Shannon (a great DJ) are still available but at last check, he swears he hasn't been contacted.

My guess is that the new oldies will be something along the lines of post-Beatles (that's roughly 1964) to perhaps the early 90's. That is not what the oldies fans want. They want The Five Satins ("In The Still of the Night") and the "Duke of Earl" and on and on. The only way I see that kind of music (mostly 50's stuff) is if a special show highlighted those tunes.

This of course is why I'm not in radio management. I leave that to those who think they are Marconi and the other legends.

Also in radio, a late rumor from Neil Best indicated that perhaps Dan Patrick is in line to take over the Imus slot on WFAN. Would he be permanent or would he be a summer "intern?" Either way, it's not happening this week, as my favorite team of Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts will fill the slot. For me to say anything more would be too easy. My feelings are fairly well known on this subject.

OK, I'll say it - I'd rather listen to four hours of an Emergency Alert System tone, or, even worse, the old Emergency Broadcasting System tone.

Yep, four hours of Mets talk, combined with Benigno's horrible accent and Roberts' idiocy is enough to make me long for the old EBS.

Honestly, the EBS tones (which used to scare me on the radio or TV as a kid) still gives me chills.

So maybe this would be betterAh, the old test patterns. I was the kind of broadcasting nerd who would actually get out of bed to watch the broadcast day start - normally with the "Star Spangled Banner" and a bunch of legal-ease.

Once again, more proof of why YouTube is so great. There's plenty more of these kinds of things on there, and I know of one friend who would love this collection of old New York TV clips. He even has some of those old "Please stand by" clips. Mundane to most - treasures to us.

I digress.

So there is now a list of the new Seven Wonders of the World? OK, it made for good reading. But let's think about this for a moment. From what we know, ancient Greeks made the original list, and this list was compiled by voting from common folks? Sort of like an all-star team, right?

OK. Enough said.

By the way, the Statue of Liberty didn't belong on the list. It's gorgeous, and a monument to so many things, but a "wonder of the world." No - I think not.

Old Timer's Day was yesterday at Yankee Stadium. There was a time when every team tried to hold one - in conjunction with a sponsor. But let's face it - very few teams can do it because they just don't have the star power. The Cardinals, Red Sox, Giants, Cubs and Dodgers immediately come to mind, but it's not easy to pull it off.

Anyway, the big day in the Bronx was outstanding. First time old-timer's have been popping up lately, and the Yankees had several yesterday, including Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill, who each received huge ovations. I'll be honest, and probably not sound very manly, but I had to leave the room when Bobby Murcer was introduced. Not long after Christmas, I thought I might never see my favorite player again, and Old Timer's Day was a private goal I had. To see him introduced, doing interviews and even taking an at-bat made me choke up something incredible. We could have been there (oh well) but it's probably OK as I would've needed some tissues and that would have been embarrassing.

Whitey Ford was back after missing a year, and Yogi was there, along with Donnie Baseball, Darryl Strawberry (!) and the rest of the classic characters. Helen Hunter, Arlene Howard, and Diana Munson represented their husbands. Unfortunately Phil Rizzuto has likely made his last trip, but he was heard from via a statement read during the ceremony.

I miss Frank Messer doing the player introductions.

Oh, and Reggie's still an ass. Sometimes we make deals with the devil. As a Yankees fan, I think we made one when the Yankees signed Jackson in '77. Sure, the Bombers won their 21st ring that year, but the team was so insane that ESPN is doing a mini-series about them - "The Bronx is Burning." Reggie's pissed that he wasn't consulted.

We also made a deal with the devil in 2000. That's why there was the Game 7 meltdown against the Diamondbacks and, of course, 2004.

I haven't really heard much buzz about Live Earth. I watched and listened to very little of it - catching some of Crowded House, The Foo Fighters, and Ludarcis (I call him "Luda"). For some reason I just couldn't get into it. I have a few theories, but overall I just don't think people cared that much - certainly not as much as Live 8 in 2005 and nowhere near as close of Live Aid 22 years ago. There were some great acts at it but noticeably absent were U2, Paul McCartney and others who played Live Aid and 8. Even Bob Goldolf...excuse me...SIR Bob Geldolf denounced it.

So therefore I am sitting in my house typing away at my keyboard, while a fan keeps me cool and two air conditioners run in the bedrooms. Oh and there's a light on in the living room and we had hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner.

Guess we're not doing a great job of keeping the environment healthy.

Oh well, that's my inconvenient truth.


Jon said...

Wow, Million Dollar Move, WOR, WPIX, The 4:30 movie, Ernie Anastos, Joe Franklin, Eyewitness News, Bill Beutel, Roger Grimsby, Live at Five, WNEW, Tom Snyder, Kaity Tong, Crazy Eddie....the list goes on & on. Thanks there's some great stuff there!

Oh, and I'm reading The Bronx Is Burning right now. Good stuff so far. I haven't watched the mini series.

Rob Adams said...

I "TiVo'd" the mini-series and of course, the Home Run Derby ran well past the start time, so I got the end of the Home Run Derby and none of "The Bronx is Burning." It's supposed to be on again tonight, so we'll see.

Early reviews have largely been good, but I'm hearing about some inaccuracies and that will drive me nuts.