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« His Critical Condition: On F. R. Leavis [by David Lehman] | Main | Violoncello [Dovid Hofshteyn - Trans. by Lera Auerbach] »

May 12, 2023


Wonderful post, Alan. Murray the K, as you bring the name to life, returns me to a whole area of nostalgic consciousness -- the gab of disc jockeys, the pop songs that preceded the Beatles ("Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Johnny Angel"), and other such stuff that was in my mind, too. Me-You-Zarry is how I imagined it pronounced. Do you rememebr Bob Morrow or Bill Mazer, the articulate radio talk show host who was a human encyclopedia of sports?

David, The DJ floodgates are open. Do you mean Bruce Morrow aka Cousin Brucie? At 87, he's still doing a Saturday night show on WABC (last I looked). In the late 60s WNEW FM became the haven for new personas of the likes of Scott Muni (I remember him explicating the lyrics to the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home"--"'She's leaving home after living alone.' See, she was 'living alone' even though she was home"); and John Zacharle (formerly a TV ghoul host known simply as Zacharley). And there was Alison Steele aka "The Night Bird"; and Rosko who threw in some poetry and went off on monologues (I remember one that ended with something like "Not all letters that are written need to be sent." And of course Bill Mazer on Channel 5--nightly and "Sports Extra" on Sunday. There was a local sports guy (can't recall the name) who, reporting on a boxing match said, "He beat him to a pulp. Then he beat up the pulp."

How I could have messed up the first name of Cousin Brucie is beyond me. Thanks for the memory; I do remember Scott Muni, not to mention Herb Oscar Anderson and Dan Ingram, whose favorite song of the year was, he announced dramatically, "Stranger on the Shore" (Acker Bilk) because "it's sentimental, and I'm a sentimental guy." I have warm memories of Howard Cosell, whom it's fashionable to dislike, but his voice had a lot of drama in it that I found irresistible.

Howard Cosell’s radio flagship was "Speaking of Sports" but he went beyond sports, adding “Speaking of Everything” to his lineup. To this day, part of Cosell’s legacy is that "Saturday Night Live" concludes every cold open with “Live from New York it’s Saturday Nighght!” (thank you, Aram Saroyan) because when the show debuted it’s official name was indeed "Saturday Night"; "Saturday Night Live" was taken by Cosell’s short-lived variety show. He had such a distinctive persona, as embodied by Eugene Levy is this classic SCTV sketch:

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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