Good, Erm, Hunting, Saturday, April 29, 2023: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library

Gentle reader, yesterday was half-price day at the Friends of the Library book sale, so I wandered back up north with my oldest son. Mainly, I wanted to hit the tables of cheap DVDs again, especially as they were going to be fifty cents each (!).

So I did. And I bought a bunch.

Look at that haul. Coupled with the couple of bundles of chapbooks I got on the dollar books side, I spent $20.

The movies include:

  • A Cary Grant videocassette that seems to contain three films: Charade, Penny Serenade, and Amazing Adventure. I am pretty sure I have Charade already, which means I spent 12.5 cents each on the other two.
  • Hondo with John Wayne, of whom I have a very thin collection.
  • The Sacketts, a two videocassette set. C’mon, man, that’s got to be based off of Louis L’Amour books, ainna? To be honest, I didn’t look closely at the videos as I was trying to keep it relatively quick. My boy at almost seventeen has more patience than he did at six, but he’s still no Buddha.
  • Medea Goes to Jail. The library had several of these. I’ve never seen a Medea film, but they were pretty popular, ainna?
  • National Lampoon’s Barely Legal, a National Lampoon-badged film as apparently I’m a fan (see National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie, National Lampoon’s Adam and Eve, National Lampoon’s Black Ball, National Lampoon’s Vacation, National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon I, and so on, and so on….).
  • Death Trap which I saw part of in high school (but I missed the second day of for some reason). I read the play in 2020.
  • Cloverfield.
  • Avengers: Endgame. A library copy, but it was fifty cents. I think we’re missing a lot of the later half of the first phase of the MCU films.
  • Discoveries… America: Wisconsin, a documentary about my favorite state.
  • Borat, something my son tucked into the stack.
  • A Man For All Seasons. I think I read something about the film in a The New Oxford Review recently.
  • About a Boy since I’m on a Hugh Grant kick. Well, not so far, but I did recently watch a movie based on a Nick Hornby book, so it’s almost the same thing.
  • D.O.A., the original from 1950 and not the later remake with Dennis Quaid (1988). It’s probably due for a reboot, ainna?
  • Knocked Up, a Seth Rogen movie. To test if he really annoys me all the time (as he did in The Green Hornet. And note that I picked up this film and I picked up National Lampoon’s Barely Legal, I passed over Zach and Miri Make a Porno. Why? I dunno.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I’ve seen this before, but not in the theaters.
  • Stand Up Guys which looks to be a mob movie.
  • 50 First Dates, an Adam Sandler film that I have so far missed.
  • The Men Who Stare At Goats, a George Clooney film I saw in the theater.
  • Shopgirl starring Steve Martin based on his novel (novella?) which I read in 2006.
  • The Forbidden Kingdom, a foreign film which might or might not feature action.
  • The Return of the Pink Panther. I have seen bits of these films as a lad (and I was probably disappointed they did not actually feature the Pink Panther cartoon character). I wonder what I will think of them as an adult.
  • Return of the One-Armed Swordsman. Another foreign actioner.
  • Finding Forrester starring Sean Connery, but not an action film, and to my knowledge he does not wear a futuristic speedo.
  • Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone. It only now occurs to me as I type this that it might be included in the four film set I bought that includes Demolition Man. Oh, well, if so, the Lutherans for Life are accepting donations for their summer garage sale.
  • Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Perhaps I am only on a Hugh Grant movie buying kick, although I did pass over Bridget Jones’ Diary and on a later table its sequel.
  • The Out of Towners, the 1999 remake with Steve Martin and not the 1970 original. Perhaps I am also on a Steve Martin kick. Or at least a Steve Martin movie buying kick.
  • The Reader which is that movie where Kate Winslet takes off her clothes artistically. No, the other one. Maybe.
  • Rocky Balboa, one of the later Rocky films. Maybe I am on a Sylvester Stallone buying kick, although I did recently watch Demolition Man and The Expendables.
  • The Bad News Bears, the remake with Billy Bob Thornton.
  • The Best of Gallagher Volume 2. I watched his Showtime specials back in the trailer park an awful lot.
  • Mission to Mars, one of the two or three films that came out about the same time about missions to Mars.
  • Little Miss Sunshine.
  • The Departed.
  • The Italian Job, the remake. I bought the original at the same book sale on Thursday. For twice the price, though.
  • 21 Jump Street, the comedy film. My son added this to the stack, proving that he was amusing himself at the sale tolerably well, and certainly more frugally than his father.
  • The Jade Warrior, a Chinese film.

Guys, that’s 37 or 38 films on physical media for about $17. You can’t beat that with a stick.

So I wrote my first check for $20 and sent my boy to the car with the box of DVDs while I went to the Better Books section.

Where I did some damage.

First off, in my defense, they had a number of audio books and courses that were reasonably priced to begin with and were half off on Saturday. Some years, the volunteers have priced the audio courses at $20 or so, but most of them this sale, at least the ones available on Saturday, were $4, $5, or $8 list price (and half off of that).

So I got a few:

These include:

  • Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist Movement.
  • The Science of Mindfulness.
  • How to Make Stress Work For You.
  • Patriots: Brotherhood of the American Revolution.
  • Meaning from Data.
  • Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language.
  • The World Was Never The Same: Events that Changed History.
  • The Genius of Michelangelo.
  • How to View and Appreciate Great Movies. Although to be honest, I probably could use a course on how to watch middling or bad movies.
  • Unqualified by Anna Faris.

Most are on CDs, but some are on DVD (which play in our primary family vehicle without the video). We had thought about driving to Florida for vacation this year, but backed out of it. Now, I’m a little sad we’re not going to spend thirty or forty hours in the car.

Records? Well, the Better Book section generally only has a couple of crates’ worth, but I found a couple of things.


  • Black Satin by the George Shearing Quintet. Yes, I know I already have it. But this cover might just be slightly better. Funny story about this record. Not long after I got the first copy of it, my youngest son saw it and was SCANDALIZED because he didn’t know how to spell Satan. So he thought this record was “Black Satan.” Perhaps they call the devil “Old Nick” at his Lutheran school. I don’t know. But when I picked the record up this time, I showed it to my oldest and said, in my best Church Lady impression (which, undeniably, is not very good) “Could it be…. SATIN?” And my oldest had no idea what I was talking about because that skit is, what, 30 years old now?
  • About the Blues by Julie London.
  • Good King Bad by George Benson.
  • Let Me Be Your Woman by Linda Clifford, a 1979 disco/funk 2-record set that not only features a pretty woman on the cover (PWoC), but also a centerfold (where she is wearing more clothing than the cover itself).

Oh, and books? I did pick up a couple of those as well.

I got a couple of art monographs and a couple bundles of chapbooks mostly. The haul includes:

  • Lyrics of Lowly Life by Paul Laurence Dunbar. I know, you’re thinking I just bought (well, just two years ago bought) Dunbar’s complete poems. Why do I need this book? Well, need is not the word, but this is a handsome 1914 edition of his third collection originally from 1896.
  • The Tao of the Jump Shot by John Fitzsimmons Mahoney.
  • Jack Rogers: Cowboy, Fighter Pilot by Marion H. Pendleton. For some reason, the name sounded familiar.
  • Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream by James Morgan. Not a monograph; looks to be sort of similar to Travels with Epicurus maybe.
  • Auguste Rodin: Sculptures and Drawings. It’s been a couple years since I reviewed any Rodin.
  • Masaccio: The Complete Paintings by the Master of Perspective by Richard Fremantle.
  • Mom at War: A Story of Courage of Love Born of Loss by Todd Parnell. Not a monograph. Pleased to see I haven’t bought it before. I did pass over several copies of Privilege and Privation. Which is good since I apparently bought copies both in 2021 and 2022.

I also picked up a couple of bundles of chapbooks/pamphlets for $1 per bundle. Included in the bundles were:

  • Three Hallmark Treasures titles, The Magic of Children, In Quiet Places, and What Is a Friend. Basically Ideals magazine, but smaller.
  • Three Salesian Mission booklets that you got for a mail-in donation or as a come-on for the same: Golden Moments, The Way, and Love Everlasting. Kind of like Hallmark Treasure titles, but they fit in a #10 envelope. Will I count each as an individual title in the 2023 reading log? Given how fast I’m knocking out books this year, probably!
  • Letters from July by Nicole Simone. This is a 2021 title, so relatively young to be in a bundle at the FOL book sale.
  • Heirarchy by Jeremy Daryl. The POD date at the end is 2022. Perhaps a local literary magazine donated books sent in for review.
  • With Ridiculous Caution by Susan Stevens. From 2013.
  • Shin Splints by Dorothy Stroud.
  • Songs for the Grandaughters published by the Friends of the Lincoln-Lancaster Commission on the Status of Women. Oh, boy. Poetry by commission. I can wait.
  • The Best of Wheat and a Little Chaff Number II by Leah Lathrom Wallace. And just like that, I am the biggest collector of Leah Lathrom Wallace poetry in the country (since I also got the first volume in a similar bundle some years ago and read it in 2018.

Whew! That’s quite a catalog.

I have to admit that I had the same giddy feeling after making this haul as I used to when I’d get paid on a Friday night, cash my check at the courtesy counter of the grocery store where I worked, and take the bus to the mall and blow it all. I’d get home, unpack the bags of video games, cassettes, books, and movies onto my bed, and anticipate all of them and savor choosing where to begin.

Now, clearly, I have chosen to share the bounty with you, gentle reader.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Good Album Hunting, Thursday, April 27, 2023: The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

Well, gentle reader, I did take a little time today to run up to the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale and run through the records. I’d hoped I’d get premium selections being that it was the second day of the sale, but to be honest, it was not that different from the pickings one would find on Friday or Saturday.

Which is not to say that I did not find anything.

I got:

  • Posh Patrice Rushen. I was pleased to discover that I bought her album Now in 2019 and not a duplicate of this album.
  • 1100 Bel Air Place Julio Iglesias.
  • I’m Leaving It All Up To You Donny & Marie Osmond.
  • Tall Tales The New Christy Minstrels. The first of three I bought as peace offerings for my beautiful wife.
  • The New Christy Minstrels In Person The New Christy Minstrels. The second of three.
  • New Kick! The New Christy Minstrels. Boy, I hope she likes the New Christy Minstrels and not just their Christmas album which she remembers from her youth. Not that I’m saying she’s old now, mind you.
  • Boots and Stockings Boots Randolph. The saxophone master’s Christmas album.
  • Something Festive, an A&M Records sampler.
  • Peace in the Valley Ace Cannon.
  • It Must Be Him Vikki Carr.
  • Dino Dean Martin. Which I did not have.
  • Here’s Eydie Gorme Eydie Gorme. Which I also did not have. It’s always a treat to find a new Eydie record.
  • Music To Remember Her By Jackie Gleason. I already have it, but I think this has a better cover.
  • The Second Time Around Henry Mancini. I think I have it, but this cover is pretty nice.
  • Golden Saxophones Billy Vaughn.
  • Billy Vaughn Plays Billy Vaughn. I got the impression he was a saxophone player, but there’s not one on the cover. He might be a band leader. (Apparently so.)
  • Dionne Warwicks’ Greatest Motion Picture Hits Dionne Warwick.
  • The Songs I Love Perry Como. I might have it, but for a dollar, I’ll make sure.
  • King of Swing with the All Time Greats Benny Gooddman.
  • Christmas Is The Man From Galilee Cristy Lane.
  • Breezin’ George Benson. My hopefully recently ended seemingly unending quest to find one that does not skip.
  • Velvet Carpet George Shearing Quartet with String Chorus.
  • Greatest Hits Boots Randolph. I might already have it, but for a dollar, I’ll make sure.
  • The Greatest for Dancing George Evans and His Symphony of Saxes.
  • We Got Us Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. I had it already, but this is likely a better cover.
  • Hooked on Classics III. I’m pleased to see that I’ve not mentioned buying this before, which means it’s probably not a dupe.
  • Colours of Love Hugh Montenegro. Love songs by the guy who scored The Man With No Name. Should be interesting at worst.
  • Country Gentleman Henry Mancini.
  • Greatest Hits Volume 1 Dean Martin. Already had it, but this has a nice cover.
  • Dionne Dionne Warwick.
  • Brook Benton Sings Brook Benton with Charlie Francis. Who’s this guy? Ask me after while.
  • More Solid & Raunchy Bill Black’s Combo. C’mon, it has raunchy right in the title. And it’s apparently the second. (Research indicates this was an early bassist, and Ace Cannon is on the sax).

I also got three boxed sets:

  • Benny Goodman Sextet on 78rpm records. I’m not sure if my current record player can handle them. But I have plenty. 4 records.
  • A Treasury of Dean Marting, a Longines Symphonette Society collection. 5 records.
  • Modern Chinese: A Basic Course, a 3-record set. Which brings the total of record sets to teach one’s self a foreign language up to four or five, none of which I’ve listened to.

That’s 44 records total (although sets count as a single unit for pricing). A lot of saxophone. I passed up a lot of Slim Whitman titles, which I am sure I will come to regret if Mars attacks.

I also noted an extensive spread of $1 DVDs–about a whole row, so six or ten tables’ worth. I only breezed over a couple of tables before hitting the records, but I still gathered a couple:

Watch for these films to come to a movie report near you soon:

  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Snitch, a Dewayne Johnson film
  • Domino
  • Taxi Driver. Finally, I will know if he is talking to Travis Bickle.
  • 300
  • The Italian Job, the original with Michael Caine
  • House of Blues Beginner Keyboards. Maybe if I cannot learn guitar, I can return to keyboards, which I tried to teach myself in college.
  • Bad Boys. I am pretty sure I have Bad Boys 2 around here somewhere, and I recently held up my son from watching it because we had not seen the first.
  • The Family Man with Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni. I saw this in the theater with my beautiful wife.
  • Road to Perdition, the Tom Hanks movie. Which means I can go on a Tom Hanks kick if I watch it close to Catch Me If You Can.
  • The Minority Report

Looking at the list, I’ve seen five of them in the cinemas (Catch Me If You Can, 300, The Family Man, The Road to Perdition, and The Minority Report). Which means they all came out in that relatively brief period of time (say, 1990 to 2004) when I went to more than one movie a year in the cinemas. Man, that was a brief time that seemed to be lasting forever until I later realize it ended.

At any rate, the total was $44, which means the book counter miscounted. I don’t feel too bad about it, as we are members of the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library, and not at the entry level tier.

I might go back on Saturday. Normally, I would stick to the Better Books section on half price day, but I might take a closer look at the then-fifty-cent DVDs. Because all of a sudden, I’m thinking about Mars Attacks! (1996). Which I saw in the theater.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

I Thought It Was Clever

This is a bit of a Recycler post, but it’s pretty fresh, gentle reader.

I posted this yesterday on social media:

All I got for Valentine’s Day was the blues.

But that’s what I asked for.

Which is true: When my beautiful wife asked what I wanted for Valentine’s Day, I mentioned that I’d added a number of Keb’ Mo’ CDs to my Amazon Wishlist.

WSIE plays “Soon As I Get Paid” a lot:

However, “Tell Everybody I Know” is more Valentine-themed:

I haven’t been buying many CDs these days–the last would have been a couple of Christmas CDs, although I did recently get a digital album with Amazon credits, and the musical balance is a little off kilter from my normal jazz songbirds and metal. Of the four most recent acquisitions, three are blues and one is funk. Maybe I am mellowing.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Now It’s Time For Our Short Distance Dedication

A listener in Missouri writes:

Brian, we recently adopted two little boy kittens, almost twin brothers, who are the cutest things. We decided not to declaw them, and they’re growing up nicely, but they have one habit I’m not fond of: They sleep all day, curled up in a chair next to each other, but when their internal clocks strike midnight, they’re very playful, pouncing on each other in the bed, bringing their favorite cat toys into the bed and batting them around, and pouncing on any part of me that I move under the blankets. I am getting up way too early to hide from them, or at least to put myself in a more defensible position for their rambunctiousness.

Can you play a song for us, preferably a feline lullaby?

                –Induced Insomnia in Battlefield

Well, II, all I can recommend is that you take those little boys to the vet to get tutored which will calm them down and make Brook and Amy Dubman happy. In the meantime, here is “Needles in the Dark” by Pretty Maids to get you through the long day and onto another sleepless night of cat games.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Good Album Hunting, Saturday, December 17, 2022: Ozark Treasures Antique Mall

Ah, gentle reader, you know how I operate: I go “Christmas shopping” at a local antique mall and end up with a stack of records.

Well, this year was going to be different. It’s not so much that I’ve straightened up as I’ve run out of space to store records as well as new books–so I skipped the autumn Friends of the Springfield-Greene County library book sale. We have one or two boxes of sixties folk records that we herited when my mother-in-law downsized that are under the desk in the parlor. I have a box of records in the store room yet, my sainted mother’s pop hits of the 60s and 70s. And I moved the two boxes of books I received from my mother in law into my closet so it’s out of sight until I can clear space on the to-read shelves. Friends, reading paperbacks is not making that space. I shall have to read bigger books in 2023.

So I was minding my own business, dragging a bored teenager, when I found a box of $1 records at a booth. A booth which was having a 20% of sale. These records were eighty cents each. It seemed a moral imperative that I take them.

I got:

  • Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen. (Discogs marketplace price: $5.11)
  • Silk Degrees by Boz Skaggs. I confused him with Ricky Skaggs for a long time; however, WSIE plays Boz Scaggs since he’s not a country singer, so I got this, my first of his. (Discogs: .18)
  • Command Performances by The Ray Charles Singers ($1.00)
  • Golden Rainbow: The Original Broadway Cast Recording. I’m not going soft on you, gentle reader: This is a Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme record. ($ .50)
  • The Year of the Cat by Al Stewart. Fun fact: When I heard this on the radio, I thought it was the Pet Shop Boys. So it’s the second in four bullet points so far where I’ve confused the artist with someone else ($ .43)
  • Doris Day Sings Her Great Movie Hits by Doris Day. For a guy who listens to death metal, I sure have a lot of Doris Day records. ($1.00)
  • Doris Day’s Greatest Hits by Doris Day. And I have even more now. ($1.00)
  • Friendship by Ray Charles. A lot of Ray Charles in the two bins I looked through. ($ .95)
  • Get Closer by Linda Ronstadt. ($ .50)
  • Hometown Girl by Mary Chapin Carpenter. You know, gentle reader, I have seen her in concert (with Shawn Colvin) within the last decade. When I showed this album to my beautiful wife, she said, “Thank you.” So I am not in trouble for this set of records. ($ .99)
  • Can’t Buy a Thrill by Steely Dan. My beautiful wife already has several Steely Dan albums, but not this one. ($2.51)
  • Great Jazz Pianists of Our Time. Includes Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, and Art Tatum. ($9.48)
  • Hey There! Here’s Fran Warren! by Fran Warren / arranged by Marty Paich. No idea who this is, but Pretty Woman on Cover. ($1.22)
  • The Genius Sings the Blues by Ray Charles. ($7.51)

So the dollar pricing tracks pretty closely with the Internet prices for the records–the jazz pianists and one Ray Charles album were the big scores. As we went to other booths, I pointed out to the youngster why I felt compelled to look through these bins. Here are $20 records, here the prices start at $5 for bands you’ve never heard of, and so forth. I have to wonder if the records at antique malls are priced for the casual collector who doesn’t go to discogs and who isn’t serious but is a casual or fashionable collector. That is, someone following the fad of liking vinyl. The kind of person who buys new records for $25 when the CD is $15. Ah, what does it matter–I am not a collector, I am an accumulator, and I favor accumulating records from an era where the records were the only format available and hence have lots of copies, and they’re from an era not really enjoyed by the casual collector, who wants vinyl renditions of things they hear on the 80s, 90s, and now radio stations.

I won’t listen to this batch until after the holidays–we’re on all Christmas records here, and the two Nogglestead radios are tuned to the Christmas music station, but in a little over a week, we will be back to regular programming, and I will listen to these records whilst I read my many adopted hometown newspapers.

Although who knows whether I will buy other records in the interim. After all, the trip to Ozarks treasures did not yield all the gifts I need to yet buy.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Citation Provided

Yesterday, Stephen Green asserted It’s Time to Rehabilitate ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’.

Last night, my boys’ high school band had their winter concert, and it featured a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with just a hint of bowdlerization–removing references to alcohol and cigarettes–but with the interplay and flirtation intact.

So whatever this next generation is going to be called, it’s already over the Gen Z/millennial crap.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

The Songs That Bring Me Back

As you might be aware, gentle reader, a myriadic plethora of radio stations play the modern equivalent of the “Jack” format, billing themselves as the best of the 80s, 90s, and today, but their playlists are really only an inch deep and reflect whatever catalogs of song rights are cheap at the moment–and they tend to play the same songs from the 1980s year after year, and have for a long time.

Suffice to say that none of those songs that I’ve heard, if not constantly since the 1980s, at least in the last decade or so since the 80s hits have taken over the airwaves again. I mean, Bon Jovi’s catalog from the Slippery When Wet era gets heavy rotation on both the Jack and the Classic Rock stations, so they’re not pinned in my memory to the time. Or Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” from the Breakfast Club soundtrack. That runs regularly on the radio.

But the 1980s programs like the American Top 40 replays or Nina Blackwood’s syndicated program play songs that were on the radio all the time in the 1980s but have not been on the radio all the time since, so those songs pin me like a butterfly on a display board to the moments when I was young and wishing that the DJ would stop talking so I could record the whole song from the radio even though they were talking in and talking out to keep me from recording on the radio.

I recognized one such song on the radio during one of the aforementioned radio programs, but not enough to identify it. Apparently, it was Simple Minds’ “Alive and Kicking”:

It pulled me back to the 1980s when I heard it even though I could not name it. My beautiful wife could, as she had (or maybe has) the record.

Yeah, “Jesse’s Girl” doesn’t do that. “Jesse’s Girl”, who is on Medicare now, has been a staple through the decades. Which makes it common. And not evocative of the time of which it is the product.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

They See Me Coming

Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks to perform at Arrowhead Stadium

Things I would have thought it impossible to say twenty years ago: It’s been over twenty years since I saw Billy Joel in concert. Which is true: It was his 2000 Years tour. Back when I was a technical writer and worked at DRA. He played at the arena in St. Louis, Savvis Center I think it was called then.

But 20 years have passed, and I’m not sure how keen I am to drive three hours to sit in a stadium to watch him. Which is more a testament to my aging and getting to be nearly a senior citizen in that time.

Of course, all bets are off if Herb Alpert comes within a three hour drive of me. But that would be at a more intimate venue. I think I’m just out of the age of stadium concerts. Not that I’ve ever been to a concert in a big stadium anyway. Perhaps I never was of that age.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Hidden in Plain Sight

Some Facebook entity wants me to click through to a quiz of some sort:

Obscure 80s lyrics, these?

She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman
That I’ve ever seen

AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”, obscure?

The song is still on heavy rotation on the radio, both on “80s, 90s, and Today!” stations and the classic rock stations.

Oh. On the radio. Where the kids today don’t hear it because they don’t listen to the radio.

When I wanted actually obscure, I could listen to the replays of American Top 40 from the 80s, with Casey Kasem. The top hits still pop up on the radio when they’re part of a cheap rights package for radio stations, but when you get down to the 20-something hottest song from July 1985, you’ll hear songs you haven’t heard since then.

But AC/DC’s biggest song? Not obscure.

Also, why is 80s music “World History”? Oh, because we’re a shallow and foolish populace in the 21st century. Never mind, I did not ask.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories


Amongst the music-themed sponsored posts I see on Facebook, I have learned that David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd and solo projects, is apparently a Dallas Cowboys fan:

Well, he’s British, so maybe he thinks Dallas is really America’s Team.

Here’s the last song on his 1984 album About Face–my favorite of his solo albums. I got it on cassette, about wore it out, and now have it on CD. The song is entitled “Near the End”:

I quote it a lot. Well, relative to other songs.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Another Entry in the “Is That The Name of the Song or the Band?” List

I briefly mentioned a thought game four years ago to think up bands who have songs that are another band’s name.

Back then, I had such suggestions as Fozzy’s “All That Remains” and Alice Cooper’s “Poison”.

To these I should like to add Bad Company’s “Shooting Star”:

In the early 1990s, listening to AOR on QFM in Milwaukee, one would also hear the band Shooting Star, generally “Last Chance”:

I bought greatest hits collections on cassette by both bands, Shooting Star on the weight of the song above and Bad Company’s based on “Feel Like Making Love” which I’d first bought as a cassette single.

Bad Company might win this game, as the band also has a song “Bad Company”:

I am not sure you can get more recursive than that.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

The Clues in the Songs

One does not have to go all The Da Vinci Code or National Treasure to find clues that will lead to some treasure. I have discovered some sort of conspiracy or puzzle in popular music across the generations.

So a recent (2019) song from Four80East, “Cinco Cinco Seis” has played a bunch on WSIE and DirecTV’s smooth jazz station many, many times:

In it, they repeat like an electro-jazz numbers station, “Uno dos tres quatro cinco cinco seis.”

Yesterday, on the radio, I heard “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)”, the 1998 hit from The Offspring, and it, too, says that number:

1-2-3-4-5-5-6. What does it mean? Some people might say it’s counting to get the beat before starting music, but the music has already started.

It’s coordinates. Or something.

Does the number 480 and the direction East mean anything?

The beginning of “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy” samples the beginning of 1983’s “Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard:

According to the official account (if you can believe the “official” story), this made up bit of German-sounding language was, again, designed to be the count for the music to begin–in this case, the music does begin after the words.

But are the words a pass phrase? An indicator that one must start at some point in Germany (a rock?) and go east 480…. something? Is 1234556 the password, proving that the people who have hidden vast treasure in Germany or Eastern Europe were as bad at passwords as people on the Internet?

The clues came out in 1983, 1998, and 2019. Will the next clue come out in a little over 20 years? I cannot wait that long.

If anyone needs me, I will be in a room in the basement, posting photos and text and drawing arrows between them until I solve this mystery.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Wherein Brian J. Gets Confused by the Smooth Jazz

Ya know, when I hear Bona Fide’s “Coupe de Ville” come on WSIE, I think, “Ah, that’s ‘Minneapolis, 1987’.”

Here’s Bona Fide:

Here’s Brian Bromberg doing “Minneapolis, 1987”:

I guess Bona Fide is sampling Brian Bromberg.

Which is weird, because Brian Bromberg has a song called “Coupe de Ville” on Thicker than Water, the same album as “Minneapolis, 1987”:

Is Bona Fide mashing up the two Bromberg songs/riffing off of “Coupe de Ville” with the sample from “Minneapolis, 1987”? I don’t know.

But in researching this post and listening to the two songs, I’m pleased to learn I’m not crazy or that musically challenged. It’s not like when I confuse two singers who sound nothing alike.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Soon, We Will Not Think The Modern World Is Creepy

On May 28, I posted The Jazzy Pajamas of Nogglestead and mentioned KHTR, which was Top 40 radio in St. Louis until it switched over to oldies one night. I mean, we went to bed listening to the radio on Sunday, and on Monday morning we awakened to oldies. I thought it was a gag or something on the morning show. Oh, but no. I am pretty sure that the oldies station is gone–I see on an Internet search that it’s now like all the other radio stations that play 70s, 80s, 90s, and now–omitting, apparently, 20 years of crap, although today’s music is tomorrow’s crap.

But Facebook showed me a photo from a group or page it thinks I might be interested in, and it’s the KHTR top hits report, presumably printed in the Post-Dispatch, although the Globe-Democrat was still wheezing along in 1984:

I can actually still recollect most of those songs. The ones I do not remember are:

  • “Love Somebody” by Rick Springfield
  • “Tonight” by Kool and the Gang
  • “Breakdance” by Irene Cara
  • “A Fine Fine Day” by Tony Carey
  • “Illegal Alien” by Genesis
  • “Show Me” by the Pretenders

Of course, if I heard them, I might remember them. It helps that the local 70s, 80s, 90s, and now stations are replaying the hit countdown programs from the 1980s. No fooling; although I did not hear Casey Kasem within the last week (the Springfield station shifted American Top 40 to Sunday evenings instead of Sundays returning from church time), we did hear both Shadoe Stevens and Rick Dees replayed at different times on our trip to and from Wisconsin.

The list includes, what, four songs from the Footloose soundtrack (yes).

Also, Tracey Ullman would later be known as the comedy sketch show where the Simpsons first appeared. And then forgotten.

Holy cats, Generation X is really the last gasp for radio, ainna?

At any rate,

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Misremembering Leads To Errant Music Purchase

In April, I bought a Pat Travers Band album:

Crash and Burn by the Pat Travers Band because someone, I think it was Jack Baruth, posted about him once upon a time recently, although a quick search of his blog does not come up with a post about the band.

Today, while trolling through my archives (sorry, gentle reader: I do not write for you, but I write for me sometime in the future trolling my archives), while trolling through my archives, I discovered a different Pat entirely:

I guess the world wants me to look for Pete Metheny records at book sales.

Clearly, I need a Know The Difference post on these guys.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Thankfully, It’s Not Musical Theatre

As I have mentioned, gentle reader, I support friends’ and acquaintances’ artistic endeavours. I mean, I will buy books, I will buy CDs, and I will even go to see friends in musical theatre productions. I prefer CDs and book because I do not like musicals, and musicals tend to cost several hundred dollars instead of $10 or $20.

I mentioned I bought Connor Fiehler’s CD Generation Flee in 2020 because I used to work with his parents. When his mother posted on Facebook that he had a new band, I gave it a listen.

She linked to this performance:

Wow, okay, a soul/funk band with a horn section. That’s better than Generation Flee, and the one lead singer can really wail.

The band, The Pitch Pockets, has a single, “Out My Mind”, available on Amazon.

I have bought it, of course, and hope they’ll release more. They’ve got some other things on YouTube worth watching as well.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Wreckification of Names

So as I was driving to the dojo this morning, “The End of the World (As We Know It)” by REM came on the radio, and it struck me that the song names three people with similar names: Lenny Bruce, Leonard Bernstein, and Leonid Brezhnev.

And I thought, are those all forms of the same name?

Lenny is short for Leonard, of course, but apparently Leonid is not the direct Slavic equivalent–it comes from a shortened form of Leonidas. However, all three do derive from the Greek for lion (Leon). So is there any meaning in this within the song?

I have no idea; however, in reviewing the actual lyrics, apparently a fourth man is named, Lester Bangs, a rock critic who died in 1982. Lester, apparently, comes from Leicester, the English city, and referred to a person from the town. So I got nothing as far as a grand revelation. And I’m not enough of an REM fan to write a treatise on it.

(Name meanings from Behind the Name, the first result in a search for the meaning of Leonid. Hey, since its search engine optimization is on-point, you can take it to the bank.)

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

You Will Never Hear It The Same Again

Facebook showed me this ad, which spurred a revelation.

“Moon River” is a cult song.

So it really is about worshipping the moon and offering sacrifices to achieve one’s goals. I didn’t know it, but I know it now, and I’ll never here the song the same way again. Also, I will make a gesture warding against il malocchio whenever I hear Andy Williams from now on. Just to be safe.

Here is Émie Morissette doing her invocation:

Apparently, she is only 22 years old. So I checked to see if she is Alanis Morissette’s daughter. Because the math would work out, old man. But she is not. She must be part of the same Céline Dion cloning project that gave us Alanis Morissette. And Justin Bieber and Michael Bublé. I am pleased to see that the Canadian government is getting better, as Morissete2 is better than the others.

AND JUST LIKE THAT, instead of a single gag with a music video, this has turned into a “Know the Difference” post. During the course of the research in this post, which was mainly making sure I got the accent marks correct on the French Canadian names above (Fun fact: I am one-eighth French Canadian–it’s the second most pure line in my blood after German, which gets one-eighth on one side and smaller fractions elsewhere–but I never earned an accent mark in my name, and my surname is actually Welsh), as I was saying, during my research, I discovered a one-name artist Morissette:

Although she also goes by Morissette Amon, and probably now Morissette Amon-Lamar, her married name.

She falls between the other Morissettes in age and might be better than them both. More research is needed.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories