Radio died for me. Once again. But this is big time.
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Every once in a while I take a minute to write about personal items that don’t involve television. Some times they’re focused on the industry that got me started in the media business at 16 years of age.
The radio business has changed dramatically over past 20 years. Radio companies like Clear Channel completely fucked up the business. Totally fucked it up. Radio used to be local. Local news, local issues, local involvement in the community.
That was radio back in the day.
Today it’s all about syndicated shows. Shows that are aired over many markets. No local groove. They try but listeners aren’t stupid. Local is local. Period.
Joe Tamburro, “Butterball” at WDAS Radio in Philadelphia
Growing up in Philadelphia as a kid who was in to urban music…there were several stations and they were on the AM dial. Yeah, I’m that old. AM radio was king. And two of the top radio stations playing black music were 1340AM WHAT and 1480 AM WDAS. And WDAS AM & FM were legendary. The ”guy with the goods” Georgie Woods. Carl Helm. The Bishop of Soul Jimmy Bishop. Jocko Henderson. “Jocko, Jocko where you been, I got RC Cola and I’m back again!”
And Fast Butter in the City. The legendary Butterball.
He was the coolest white boy in black radio. South Philly born Joe Tamburro. One of the smoothest voices on Philly radio and quite frankly the radio business country-wide.
Butterball was amazing.
I can’t tell you what he meant to me as a radio broadcaster when I first got in to radio. He was one of those radio deejays that we as kids in the business all wanted to be.
Butterball. “The kind of guy that can satisfy,” he would rap. He would open the top of his radio show with “hey hi everybody, welcome in to the wide wonderful world of Butterball.”
Other cool lines from Butter…”tall, tanned, talented and terrific, one, two, three, Four Tops,” he would introduce or do an outro on the group.
“I drive my women like I drive my cars, hard and fast,” he would rap during his legendary “Sex Machine” rap that was one of the most incredible radio diatribes ever.
I wanted to write about the passing of Butterball. He was 70 years old. He was overweight. Lived a rough life of parties and clubbing. He was always sick toward the end of his life. But he was always, and I will say again always the first to step up and shake my hand when I was in his presence. Always.
I wanted to write but it was hard. It’s hard to write about people who had a major influence on your life or your career. Butterball had that presence. He will be missed. He was legendary in the radio business. And I will always, always, mimic his incredible lines that he used on WDAS=AM and FM back in the day.
“You get choice not chance when you make it to a Butterball dance!”
He’s the latest superhero. No we’re not talking about Batman in Dark Knight Rises or anything. No way. We’re talking about the Bionic Man in this year’s summer Olympics who is about to become the world’s rising star, that being runner Oscar Pistorius who has won over lots of us interested in this year’s games.
Yeah, yeah that fella Michael Phelps won a few more medals. right? Yeah he’s now at the top of the list in more medals won by any Olympian and sure it’s a big deal. But Oscar Pistorius has faced and beaten challenges like no other.
Yep, that picture of him with prosthetic limbs on both legs is how runner Oscar Pistorius is competing in this year’s summer Olympics. And he’s kicking butt.
Oscar Pistorius lost both of his legs in 1986. Six months after he was born without a fibula in both of his limbs. His parents made the decision to remove them after a doctor in Oscar Pistorius’s South African country told his parents that Oscar Pistorius would have an easier time learning to walk with prosthetic legs.
Little did they know that Oscar Pistorius would not only learn to walk…but run in to Olympic history.
These are the times you like to really watch the Olympics. Gotta say I haven’t personally cared much about the Olympics in the past. But there are stories, plenty of stories all over these games that you just have to follow. The story about Oscar Pistorius is surely one story that truly engaging.
He ran the 400 meter contest in 45.44 seconds. That is amazing. John Leicester from the Seattle Times phrased Oscar Pistorius’s effort “how absured it is to think of him as disabled.”
Today we will see if Oscar Pistorius can finish his personal journey. Clearly he is taking the “dis” out of “disabled’ and throwing it under a bus. Clearly it is time for those of us who whine and moan about small injuries and issues with our bodies can look at Oscar Pistorius and be still. And quiet. What Oscar Pistorius has done in his life is simply amazing. Let’s hope he can move on to the next round.
Welcome to the new world order. Couple meets, bumps the inevitable nastys and decide to do the dumbest thing in a world of stupid people and make a sex tape.
Then the ignorance takes a wrong turn as a career takes the right turn.
Minka Kelly just became a victim of boyfriend gets back at former girlfriend by trying to sell a sex tape as one of her exes is shopping the video content to the highest bidder, all according to TMZ.
Yes, we can always rely on TMZ and Harvey Levin to come up with such content. And that’s why he and the people over at TMZ.com are in big business as the web-site and television show says Minka Kelly’s ex has a one on one event between him and the actress back in 1998.
So let’s do the math. Minka Kelly who we all met on Friday Night Lights and is the ex of baseball superstar Derek Jeter, was only 16 years old when the act took place in New Mexico. And what does that mean? The low-life ex is shopping and trying to sell kiddie porn.
Let’s hope they arrest this Jerry Sandusky looking ex of Minka Kelly before he actually finds some low-life porn producer to buy the tape.
Now unfortunately Minka Kelly was a willing contributor to the session that was filmed as both were aware a camera was present.
Minka Kelly is set to star in The Butler in the role of the incredible Jackie Kennedy.
So I had this barber back in Philly where I was born and raised. “Muslim Bob” is what I called him. He was the coolest old school guy on South Street in Center City Philadelphia as I used to go to his shop there just to hear the old school stories about the lives of black entertainment in the City of Brotherly Love.
Sherman Hemsley was one of his topics.
Back in the day there were these spots old school African Americans used to hang out. they were called speakeasies. Yeah, speakeasies where black folks used to party and drink. Listen to great music. None of these places had what are called liquor licenses, provided by the state to serve alcohol legally.
Yeah it was all undercover and the cops knew all about speakeasies.
Sherman Hemsley got his start at speakeasies. In Philly.
Most know him from The Jeffersons, the Norman Lear produced comedy on CBS. Most in Philly saw him as a performer at clubs in Phlly before he became George Jefferson which was his classic role.
Sherman Hemsley died at the age of 74 today in El Paso, Texas. The classic George Jefferson who got a spinoff show from All in the Family will leave us with a ton of memories. Today I’ve received a lot of emails about his work on The Jeffersons.
This is so exciting. So very exciting. One of my favorite cop/hero/kick the ass of everybody on the screen TV characters is coming back to live. It was Edward Woodward who starred in the television version of The Equalizer which ran on CBS from 1985 to 1989. He was this old white dude that used to help people in need and for men it was the best of the best. It was the 80′s look-a-like to the CBS show Person of Interest that was a smash hit in its first season this year.
Denzel Washington is Now ‘The Equalizer’
Now we have the movie version coming for The Equalizer in the form of Denzel Washington who will re-make the role of Robert McCall, the retired covert operations officer who took to the streets of New York kicking ass.
OK so if Will Smith can play James West in the movie version of The Wild Wild West, why can’t Denzel Washington play Robert McCall?
I’m so happy. Knew this was coming but never thought producers would cast Denzel Washington. What can you say about Denzel Washington except perfect in selection of the Oscar winning actor.
Smack around them hoodlums Denzel! Or should I say Robert McCall.
This is one I will personally be waiting for as The Equalizer is back. As they used to say on the CBS show “The Equalizer will continue in a moment!”
Production begins on The Equalizer in April of 2013.
So who is going to watch the new baby? Oh yeah, that’s right these two people are loaded and can hire a nanny or a manny, whatever the heck the want, to take care of the kid while Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon go their separate ways.
Oh no, not that.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Mariah Carey is now on her way to the hit television reality show American Idol as a new judge for the upcoming season. With the departure of Jennifer Lopez announced recently, Mariah Carey will be the female replacement on the new round of reality programs.
So that’s gotta tell us all that judge Randy Jackson isn’t going anywhere as he reps Mariah Carey and reportedly got her more money in Mariah’s contract at a higher number than Jennifer Lopez’s agreement. “I can’t wait to get started,” the 42 year old pop star said after inking the deal with FOX.
Next up…Steven Tyler’s replacement where the big boss over at FOX says he’s in negotiation to announce that name sometime soon.
Also a report today that producers want to end the drama of judges on American Idol by bringing in new names every year.
Yes it’s time to get the law firm of Rabinowitz, Rabinowitz and the other Rabinowitz as Archie Bunker used to say on the CBS show All in the Family. First the real Southern section of California has to deal with San Diego being the home of a mass murderer who tore apart lives in Aurora, Colorado. Now the sleepy little city of Anaheim, California is about to become a hotbed of negative activity as police there took aim with bean bags and cop dogs to control an out of control situation in that city.
Of course, cameras were rolling on all of the action and KCAL 9, the CBS owned TV station in Los Angeles, was there recording all of the police activity.
It’s not good.
Cops did one of those chases you see on a version of the old COPS television show on FOX and the outcome did not go the way Anaheim cops nor the person chased wanted it to end. Meaning that the suspect decided to run rather that chat with the responding officer. For the record, police in California are in pretty good physical condition these days working out regularly and eating salads instead of cheese steak hoagies for lunch as cops do in Philadelphia.
You can’t outrun California cops.
The chase ended bad. The guy who was chased was shot and ended up dying and the community there is up in arms, so much that cops in riot gear ended up shooting bean bags, beating up residents and finally a K9 dog got loose grabbing on to the arm of one of the residents out in the crowd.
All hell broke loose.
And the rest is going to be history. Just watch the video. Not pretty.
So let the games begin. And we’re not talking about the Olympics on NBC which is really what that network would like viewers to focus on as the London games get underway.
It’s the continuing decline of the network’s staple, foundational morning show called Today. Well today the ABC competitive program Good Morning America has found its way to upend NBC’s Today Show as the leader in morning news and entertainment programming.
Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer on NBC’s ‘Today Show’
And that race seems to have take it’s toll on new host Savannah Guthrie already according to the New York Post. “Migraine Misery on ‘Today’” screams the headline in last Friday’s version of the story in that newspaper. Seems the new co-host is having some significant medical issues in the form of migraine headaches which is apparently nothing new for Savannah Guthrie. But with her new duties as the third co-host with Matt Lauer after Katie Couric’s CBS Evening News debacle, the migraines just keep on coming.
An unidentified source told the New York Post “She goes to a doctor two days a week for treatment of the migraines,” this person said in an effort to stab Savannah in the back. “The pressure of taking over after Ann’s execution is taking its toll,” continued the source.
Well there the story continues. Ann Curry was tossed from the co-host chair after the ratings for Today kept dropping and dropping like Mitt Romney’s chances of becoming President. So after she go booted replacing Meredith Vieira Ms. Guthrie was cast the role which is nothing more than putting her tail in the hottest seat on morning television.
Maybe not a good career or health move.
Read more on this story from the New York Post link below.
I could sit back and watch the mess unfolding in Aurora, Colorado. When my three year old nephew is asleep or watching trains on my computer I can get an update on the tragedy Colorado is dealing with from the aftermath of another mass mess that will once again hold the media hostage for weeks to come.
Baby Isaiah and Brother Aiden
Or I could change the topic, at least on this blog, at least for now, and chat about something that will make us all feel a little better today. And maybe can help a family in my life city Los Angeles. Where a two year old is in need of medical care for an issue that affects 1/3 of all kid’s his age who develop pediatric cancers in America.
Baby Isaiah has High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Five words Baby Isaiah’s parents certainly did not want to hear from a doctor. I’m sure Baby Isaiah’s Mom and Dad asked for a deeper explanation of what those five words really mean.
That explanation would not be good.
What it means is now that the diagnosis of High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is confirmed, Baby Isaiah will need to go through several rounds of chemotherapy to begin the process of recovery leading to the rest of this two year old’s life.
Baby Isaiah “Always Smiling”
Here’s the real story.
This will not be easy. Going through chemotherapy at any age is not easy. And Baby Isaiah now will face the most difficult challenge of his early life.
So the battle begins.
And as I sit watching an another episode, yes another episode of many episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine this Saturday morning with my three year old nephew sitting on my lap, I can’t think of the battle and the emotion that Baby Isaiah’s parents will endure during this very difficult period of their lives.
This is not a good time for them. Bertha and Renzo need our help.
We will talk about how you can donate to help this family for their medical bills soon. Remember, just as a quick reminder, we live in a country where health care is a privilege for some and becomes a burden for others as this could be for Baby Isaiah’s parents.
But if we can grab some good news out of this diagnosis, here’s a bit. And I’m quoting this from MedScape.com, a web-site where I did a little research on High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. ”With improvements in diagnosis and treatment, overall cure rates for children with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia have reached 90%.”
Yes that’s a good thing.
Because a significant fraction of our society in this country feel giving health care to all without the risk of financial ruin is not what we as Americans should do, these parents, Bertha and Renzo Rios, are faced with what will probably be a lifelong effort to keep Baby Isaiah healthy for the rest of his life. So the family is in the midst of a fundraiser to generate $20,000 to help manage costs that their insurance doesn’t cover.
“We are starting with an ambitious goal…which could help them get through the first phase of chemotherapy,” say the words on GiveForward.com, a web-site designed to help families in need.
And therein lies the reason for ObamaCare. Not to get political here but since the full health care program is not in place this is a good time to think of Baby Isaiah, his mother, father and his newborn brother Aiden. And offer a couple of dollars as a donation for his difficult…their difficult journey.
And on this weekend tragedy in Colorado, as much as we pray for all of those people gone and hurt by a gunman’s senseless act, we should all take a minute, just a moment, to do something good in our personal lives. Help by giving to Baby Isaiah and his family at the link below.
So here are a few pictures. That’s Baby Isaiah and his brother Aiden. “Always smiling,” is the caption on one of his photos. Let’s keep him in mind this weekend and help if you can. And pray, real soon, that his parents will be sitting some Saturday morning soon with Baby Isaiah and Aiden on their laps, watching as I have, about 45 episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and enjoying every minute.