Monday, March 23, 2009

Krupa, and Bernstein

Since posting the Gene Krupa video, below, I have watched it again, several times.

The video, which I love, has put me in mind of Leonard Bernstein.

Both Bernstein, in his conducting, and Krupa, at the drums, threw themselves, bodily, into their work; the physicality was striking, electric, beautifully expressive.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gene Krupa

Here’s an enjoyable bit of film of Gene Krupa—the sensational and brilliant drummer, and bandleader (1909-1973).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Big Band Jump"

“Big Band Jump” is an excellent syndicated radio show—originating in Atlanta, and heard on a great many stations in the United States and Canada. The show airs weekly, for two hours, and, as the title suggests, features music from the big band era; the program also provides interesting information about the featured songs and performers. The host of the program is broadcast veteran Don Kennedy.

The show’s “Big Band Jump Newsletter” is published six times a year; the cost of a yearly subscription is $24.95. The March-April, 2009 issue—the first issue in the newsletter’s 21st year of publication—includes a brief piece about The Lucky Strike Papers. The book, the newsletter observes, “takes us inside early TV to let us in on the confusion, uncertainty and thrill of performing ‘live’ in a black and white world before videotape…”

To find a station in your area which carries “Big Band Jump” (or to find out how to listen on-line), please go to: The web site also includes information about subscribing to the “Big Band Jump Newsletter.”

(Above right: "Big Band Jump" host Don Kennedy)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Frank Ford

On Tuesday, Philadelphia lost one of its best-known—and finest—broadcasters. Frank Ford, who worked for decades as a Philadelphia radio talk show host, passed away at age 92.

His wife, Lynne Abraham, is Philadelphia’s District Attorney.

In the 1980s, Frank was the co-owner of Philadelphia all-talk station WDVT-AM, which was also known as “Talk 900.” He was also the host of an afternoon talk show on the station.

The station went on the air in 1985, and went out of business in 1988. It was a relatively small station, one which was heard only during the daylight hours, and which had less-than-stellar ratings.

It was also a terribly exciting place to work. I am guessing that most of the people who were part of the station—a mixture of radio veterans and radio newcomers (I was in the latter group)—would say the same thing.

I admired Frank, and always took great pleasure in watching him work, and in listening to him work. Philadelphia was very fortunate to have been the beneficiary of his considerable talent.