I always hated Cousin Brucie (a New York DJ who began 200 years ago). He spoke too fast; he lacked the essential coolness Murray the K had–to me at twelve. When I was ten and had my first transistor radio, I fell asleep to Cousin Brucie. My parents took the radio away, and I was secretly glad. Parents did things like that then. But they gave it back to me two weeks later, so I could continue learning life lessons from Murray the K–he should have his own category.
Today I heard that CBS suddenly changed formats to something named Jack, and Cousin Brucie’s out of a job.
CBS-FM was never my station. It was an oldies one and I used to be a closet listener. Then one Saturday when I had nothing left to prove, and only 400 Cd’s to listen to I put it on and probably let everybody in my building know. Weekends only because WFUV is weird during weekend days. FUV being the “wrong” NPR station, according to the carpenter who is now a cabinet maker, thanks in part to the incredible wall unit he built for me. Lucia designed it from my concept.
Some people think it looks Swedish; others Japanese; others could just look at it forever. Sidetracked–sorry–anyway the carpenter kept on telling me that FUV because it plays music and not “the Prairie Home Companion,” and all those other things is wrong, and a person like me should refine her intellect on stuff of more substance.
Sorry but I love music–just heard a Boz Scaggs song that had me going so back in time I couldn’t really concentrate on my writing. But it’s very hot, out and I turned the AC to low last night as I was too cold. Woke up this morning and it was boiling hot–that’s the expression that gives away my New York roots more than anything. It’s summer! Summer and old rock music belong together. Summer’s all about freedom, and old rock makes me feel freer than free.
I like good 50’s and early 60’s music. It’s rock history, and up until kids are about six they love being taught the history of rock, and listen to many songs you almost wouldn’t be caught dead listening to without a kid around–Johnny Angel, Shelley Fabreres, actually the entire soundtrack from Mermaids and things you want on a desert island–some great a cappella music, do wop. And Lieber & Stoller wrote some of the greatest classics in the history of music–I just really like The Coasters–the original, not the 300 groups pretending to be. One of my favorite songs “DW Washburn,” not one of their most popular, is amazingly non-preachy-tell-it-like-it-is.
Okay I have four small(ish) shelves filled with pre-Beatle music. When kids become real teenagers and come over without parents or friends, they run to the shelves. The music reminds of their childhood, they claim. I can tell that they really like it. As they’re knowledgable about Motown they get to appreciate soul, R&B and see Rap in a more historical context. Of course I’ve told them all about Mohammed Ali when he was Cassius Clay and wrote some of the best poetry ever.
For my birthday one year my sister gave me a CD of death songs. I was totally into them when I was eleven. “Leader of the Pack” is one of the great rock songs; and The Shangra-la’s one of the best girl groups ever. I listened to that CD every day for almost two months, and then 9/11 happened. Haven’t listened to it since but plan on it one day soon.
The new format at CBS FM is something called Jack and concentrates on 70’s and 80’s music. Used to be a suckers bet to guess what the number one song of all time as decided by you the listeners would be on WNEW’s summer contest. “Stairway to Heaven,” always with “Brown Sugar” (Stones) and “Layla” (Eric) changing the two and three position each year.
I’ll never get tired of “Brown Sugar,” or “Layla,” but if I never listen to “Stairway to Heaven” again–actually I rather like it, but Led Zepplin ain’t The Stones. Oh just put me out to pasture now. Yes Little Luce you can find me a room at the cheap nursing home today.
Over the years Cousin Brucie mellowed. Think he slowed down his delivery a lot, or I became used to it. He’s not Murray the K, but he’s a New York legend. There’s just something about music that’s not on the Internet or downloaded…oh god Little Luce find me the home right now!