A Baby Boomers’ Guide to the 2019 Grammy Awards

musicDoes the name Suzy Q sound more familiar to you than Cardi B?

When you hear the name Kendrick, do you picture Eddie Kendricks, an original member of the Temptations, instead of the rap star Kendrick Lamar? Continue reading


Is the Tradition of Delivering an Annual ‘State of the Union’ Address Obsolete?

sotuThe government shutdown has ended. So too has the uncertainty remains over when the president will deliver the 2019 State of the Union address.

But the debate over the timing of this year’s State of the Union raised a question about what function these types of events serve in the 21st Century Continue reading

That Time When Barack Obama Became President and I Did Live Commentary for a TV Station in India

indiaTen years ago today, Barack Obama’s took the oath of office and became the nation’s 44th president. Not only was it a historic day for America, it also turned out to be one of the most unusual days of my career.

On the morning of the inauguration, I was home with plans to watch the ceremony on TV. For me, the big story had been the historic 2008 presidential campaign and election. The inauguration was just a ceremony – more pageantry than news.

Then my cell phone rang. Continue reading

Some Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas Songs Stand Apart From the Usual Holiday Fare

holidayRock ’n ’roll is old enough to have its share of Christmas classics. You know it’s the holiday season once you start hearing John and Yoko’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and any of the tracks on Phil Spector’s classic Christmas album.

But rock ’n’ roll also has produced some terrific Christmas songs that exist under the radar. Continue reading

Did New Jersey’s 1988 U.S. Senate Campaign Lay the Foundation for Today’s Political Climate?

Check election records from 1988, and the numbers will tell you that New Jersey voters re-elected Democrat Frank Lautenberg to the U.S. Senate by a comfortable margin of 8.4 percentage points.


But the numbers don’t tell the full story of Lautenberg’s victory over Republican challenger Pete Dawkins. The contest profoundly impacted the nature of future electoral campaigns by setting a disturbing tone for political discourse, which continues to play out across America today. Continue reading

On the Radio: Warren Zevon, more than just an excitable boy

2301_1089440800857_8134_nWarren Zevon’s “Werewolvesof London” always gets a play when I do a Halloween show on WSBU-FM 88.3 the Buzz.

This year, because Halloween is on a Wednesday and my show is on Thursdays, I won’t be doing a Halloween program. But I will be playing “Werewolves” and plenty of other Zevon songs as part of the “Talk to Me” series I am doing for this semester’s radio programs. Each week, I am devoting my one-hour show to music and stories about the recording artists I interviewed when I covered rock’n’roll in the early 1980s. Continue reading

On the Radio Today – Grateful Dead

I am resuming my weekly radio show today with an hour of music devoted to the Grateful Dead.

As I announced in September, each one of my radio shows this semester will focus on a different recording artist I had the privilege of interviewing while I covered rock’n’roll in the early 1980s. So along with the music, today’s show will include stories about my conversations with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, as well as other personal recollections about the band.

The show airs today from 3 to 4 p.m. on WSBU-FM and is streamed online at http://player.listenlive.co/37351.