Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “Have no fear, even though it’s hard to hear…”

You had to have been trapped inside a cave the past couple of weeks not to know America’s grandmother Betty White died on New Year’s Eve, just shy of her 100th birthday. She suffered a stroke on Christmas Day.

“Having a sense of humor is the key to a long and happy life, she said last year. “Just looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside. [It] takes up too much energy being negative.”

White, of course, is best remembered for playing the lovable Rose Nylund during the run of The Golden Girls from 1985–92. Rose, from St. Olaf, Minnesota, was the widow of Charlie Nylund.

Just out of high school in the early 1970’s Andrew Gold sang and played guitar on many Linda Ronstadt recordings.

Then in 1978 it took him about an hour to write this song. But it took 40 takes to get it just right in the studio. Take #40 was selected for the 45 that debuted several years before Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia hit TV screens.

The single peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Gold developed renal cancer and died in 2011. He was 59.


Ronnie Spector has died.

God I wish I had a Time Machine.

Friday night Forgotten Oldie: Baptized

Let’s see. There was Advent. Christmas. The Epiphany.

And this Sunday on the Catholic calendar…


The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

John the Baptist lived in the early first century AD. A Preacher, prophet and second cousin of Jesus, John used baptism in his ministry. He even baptized Jesus.

According to the Bible, before Jesus began his earthly ministry, John the Baptist was God’s appointed messenger. John had been traveling around, announcing the coming of the Messiah to the people throughout the regions of Jerusalem and Judea. 

Until this time, Jesus had spent most of his earthly life in quiet obscurity. Suddenly, he appeared on the scene, walking up to John in the River Jordan. He came to John to be baptized. At first, John wasn’t sure, but eventually consented.

After Jesus was baptized, as he came up from the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. God spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

John always emphasized that the Messiah was coming, and the Messiah was Jesus. To prepare for God’s judgment, John urged people to repent and be baptized.

One of my favorite groups, “Blood, Sweat and Tears” had a gigantic self-titled album released in late 1968. It went multi-platinum four times.

There’s no way they could get any bigger and they never did, even though they’ve been successful ever since.

From their gold album, “B S & T 4″ an unusual mix of jazz, rock, and Biblical tale.
John the Baptist

John the Baptist was considered by the people to be a great prophet. They flocked to hear him speak and baptize.

He would be imprisoned by Herod about the time Jesus began his ministry. The ruler of Galilee, Herod took John into custody as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip). Herod wanted to kill John because he said Herod couldn’t marry Herodias, that it was against God’s law. But fearing a riot if the popular prophet was killed, Herod kept John locked up.

At a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’ young daughter, Salome performed an erotic dance for the inebriated Herod who had vowed to give her anything she wanted if she would perform. Salome, upon her mother’s urging, demanded the head of John be brought to her on a platter. Regretting his promise, Herod still didn’t want to go back on it, so he ordered John be beheaded.

Disciples informed Jesus of John’s death. Soon, Jesus would also be arrested. Roman Governor Pontius Pilate handed him over to be crucified.

The Baptism of Christ by Saint John the Baptist.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Tires and Sammy


New Year's Eve 2020: Pictures From Around the World - The New York Times

I’ll get to the above title in just a bit. But first, New Year’s traditions with a focus on the beloved Irish.

There’s more.

In Ecuador, many citizens set fire to scarecrows filled with paper at midnight on New Year’s Eve, as well as burning any old photographs that represent bad memories. The thought is doing so helps to banish any ill fortune or bad things that have happened over the last 12 months.

In Denmark unused plates that have been saved up throughout the year are thrown at the front doors of family and friends for good luck. The more plates you find outside your house, the more luck you’ll have in the New Year. In South American countries there’s a superstition that the color of your underwear can determine what the New Year will bring. Those who want to find love wear red. Those hoping for wealth choose yellow. If you’re just looking for peace, wear white.

In Italy locals throw old soft furniture items out the window to symbolize a fresh start for the upcoming year.

At New Year’s it’s important to realize it’s still Christmastime, all over the world.

In 1965 one of the world’s largest tire companies recorded another in a series of Christmas albums.


For its 1965 addition to the “Great Songs of Christmas” holiday series, Goodyear and Columbia Special Products produced nearly three million records.  As with years past, Goodyear’s retail stores sold each and every album. As with the previous four releases, Goodyear compiled a collection of wonderful performances of classic Christmas songs by popular artists of the era.

From the album’s back cover:

One song is brand-new; it was commissioned by Goodyear especially for this album, and is our special Christmas gift to you.

“Golden Boy” Sammy Davis Jr. brings a special new excitement to our album series.  He recorded the song which was written especially for this album, and is heard here for the first time.  “It’s Christmas Time All Over the World” was written by Hugh Martin, who also wrote “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,”, “The Trolley Song,” “Meet Me In St. Louis,” and numbers of other hits.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: A Lawrence Welk true confession



When I was a kid there weren’t 3,652 TV channels to choose from. You had ABC, CBS, NBC, an independent station, and public TV. Thus your choices were limited.

On Saturday nights one selection at our house was clear where we watched as a family: The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC. Almost 30 years after Welk’s death his reputation remains solid. The champagne music maker was the king of corny.

Every December Welk’s Christmas show was a family affair. Spouses and children of the cast not only appeared, but performed.

True confession:  I’m a sucker for this on-air segment.

Maybe it’s because I’m German.

Or it’s the whole father daughter deal.

Or I’m much older. Or I’ve softened and I’m not so critical of Welk’s program as I was a long time ago.

Probably all of the above.

This is from a special program reliving some of those Christmas shows featuring to start, Myron Floren and daughter.

There’s a lot of video here. Personally, I recommend sticking it out until at least the 26:00 mark after JoAnn Castle ends her wonderful assault on the piano keys.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: He’s Polish American. She’s Puerto Rican. They fall in love in NY.

On September 26, 1957, “West Side Story,” composed by Leonard Bernstein, opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.

The winner of just two Tony Awards, for choreography and set design, “West Side Story” was still successful enjoying a maiden run of 732 performances.

In 1961, a film version starring Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno and Richard Beymer was a big hit, and took home 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Opening one week today in theaters across America…

Steven Sondheim, interviewed in 2020 in the above segment, wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story.” He died last Friday at the age of 91.

In case you’ve forgotten some of the marvelous compositions from this legendary production, here’s the Marcin Józef Żebrowski School of Music Symphony Orchestra in Częstochowa, Poland, performing in 2014.

Here's Everything You Need to Know About "West Side Story" | InStyle

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “Why do you fly upside-down?”

Vince Guaraldi - Concord

Vince Guaraldi

Yes, a day early this week.

Would love to dig into that vault of classic Thanksgiving music, but such a collection simply doesn’t exist.

There are some turkey nuggets, though. Just think Charlie Brown.

Normally that would conjure up thoughts of the young lad’s quest for a nice Christmas tree or Linus’ touching soliloquy about the true meaning of Christmas. But Charlie’s a multi-holiday kind of a guy, and that includes Thanksgiving.

Alas, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” already aired this past Sunday on PBS.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is currently only available to stream on Apple TV+ only (with a subscription or free 7-day trial. For $4.99/month subscribers can access the Peanuts catalogue in its entirety.

Here are some clips from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving soundtrack. And yes, that is Vince Guaraldi singing “Little Birdie.”

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Put your glad rags on and join me, hon’

Well that sort of gives it away, doesn’t it?

Ringo Starr, now 81 years old, is our featured guest. His latest extended play is “Change the World” and a single from the recording has just been released.

“Yes let’s rock! This track takes me back – rock and roll memories from when I was about to turn 15. I’d been in hospital with tuberculosis for a year or so, where I’d already spent my 7th and 14th birthdays, and I didn’t want to spend another one there again. I was doing well, so my mother talked to the doctors, and they agreed to let me out,” said Ringo.

Ringo heard the song when his grandparents took him to the Isle of Man to see the film “Blackboard Jungle” for his 15th birthday.

“I’m sitting there, I’d been in the hospital, don’t know much about what’s going on lately, and they ripped up the cinema! They just threw the chairs and went crazy. I thought, ‘WOW this is great! I remember that moment like it was yesterday, it was incredible. And the song just rocks. So when it came to choosing tracks for this EP I thought of doing ‘Rock Around the Clock’ for all these good reasons.”

This video that also features Eagles icon Joe Walsh was shot at Ringo’s Roccabella West studio. 


A new trailer released for the upcoming Brian Wilson documentary, “Long Promised Road,” features Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and more.

The trailer sees Elton and Springsteen expressing their love for The Beach Boys.

“Long Promised Road,” directed by Brent Wilson, is scheduled to arrive in theaters and video-on-demand services on November 19.


Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Les Paul guitar? SOLD!

Les Paul was born on June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

“Your boy, Lester, will never learn music,” one teacher wrote his mother. How did Paul respond? As a young boy he taught himself the harmonica, guitar and banjo.

In 1941 Paul designed a solid-body electric guitar in 1941, and the guitar was mass produced by by Gibson in 1952. His creation became the favored guitar of many rock guitarists.

Recently CBS correspondent Anthony Mason broadcast a report previewing the upcoming auction of a famous Paul guitar.

So, what happened at the auction?

“Guitarists have the ability to slur, slide, hammer, pick up and down, finger, tap, bend, whammy, vibrate, play with your palm, play with your teeth, use a slide and play with so many types of dynamics and articulations that they can’t be replicated successfully. These are the things that make guitarists so special.”

Check back at 7:00 tonight for this week’s mega-music blog.