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May 30, 2008

Martin, Pollack, Korman: RIP

What a week for passings. Among them: Dick Martin of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," which made me laugh when I was a kid; director Sydney Pollack, whose films, such as "Tootsie," I so enjoyed; and now, Harvey Korman, whose stint on "The Carol Burnett Show" was legendary.

May 29, 2008

Song of the Day #894

Song of the Day: The Andy Griffith Show ("The Fishin' Hole") (audio clip at that link) was composed by the late great Earle Hagen, who passed away at the age of 88 on May 26, 2008. It's a charming TV theme written by a guy who gave us such great tunes as "Harlem Nocturne." Listen also to an audio clip featuring Andy Griffith himself!

May 24, 2008

Happy 125th Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge!

Today marks the 125th birthday of one of my favorite spots in all of New York City: the Brooklyn Bridge. I was there in 1983 when New York put on one amazing fireworks spectacular to commemorate the centennial; this year's Grucci display was lovely but didn't have the scope of the centennial (which featured cascading waterfalls of fireworks and rockets launching from the top of the cathedral towers). Still it was a sweet tribute to a grand span.

The city is celebrating this magnificent structure all weekend with concerts, walking, bike and water taxi tours, and a sparkling lights display from 9 pm to 11 pm every night through Memorial Day. If you're around this town, come join the party. More information is available here.

May 23, 2008

American Idol 2008: Postscript

As a follow-up to my last post, check out two different views of the "American Idol" finale, one from Stephen Holden at the NY Times and the other from Jim Farber at the NY Daily News.

As most observers know, both contestants end up "winning" in the end. As Chris Daughtry has shown, one does not have to be the actual winner in order to win big... in award-winning albums and sales. Both Davids have the promise of wonderful careers ahead of them. But congratulations to David Cook, who won the 97-million vote finale by 12 million votes over David Archuleta.

Now that the competition is over, I'm turning my attention to the next Fox competition, one of my favorites: So You Think You Can Dance.

May 20, 2008

American Idol 2008: A David Will Win!

Don't ask me; I have no clue who will win tonight's "American Idol" finale. But it's David Cook vs. David Archuleta. Cook's take on "Billie Jean" remains, for me, the most memorable of the performances among either finalist. But I think Archuleta's young teen following might just put him in the winner's circle. We'll soon see!

May 15, 2008

Louis M. Spadaro, RIP

I learned today that Louis Michael Spadaro, who was the founding dean of the Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration, died on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at the age of 94. I met the warm-hearted Professor Spadaro many years ago at New York University at one of the weekly Austrian colloquia, and thanked him for having edited (and written the introduction to) a collection of essays that genuinely excited me as an undergraduate: New Directions in Austrian Economics. The book included thought-provoking essays by Israel Kirzner, Ludwig Lachmann, Mario Rizzo, Gerald O'Driscoll, Roger Garrison, and others... most of whom I ended up studying with at NYU.

My condolences to Professor Spadaro's family and friends.

May 14, 2008

Song of the Day #893

Song of the Day: Secret Love, music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul-Francis Webster, was a #1 Oscar-winning Best Song from the 1953 novie "Calamity Jane," in which it was performed by Doris Day (audio clip at that link). Listen also to audio clips from renditions by Connie Francis, Tommy Edwards, Nancy Wilson, Billy Stewart, Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, pianists Brad Mehldau and Dave McKenna, Mel Martin and the Benny Carter Quintet, and the Jack Cortner New York Big Band with a super Marvin Stramm on trumpet. Finally, check out an audio clip of Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle (and a YouTube video too); Sinatra passed away ten years ago on this date. My love of Francis Albert is not so secret: he was and still is the Chairman of the Board.

May 01, 2008

Song of the Day #892

Song of the Day: Schindler's List ("Main Theme") (audio clip at that link), composed by John Williams, is from the shattering 1993 Oscar-winning score for Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning film. To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, this track features the magnificent violinist Itzhak Perlman. Take a look at a fantastic YouTube video clip of Perlman, with John Williams. And check out the other John Williams (the great classical guitarist) playing John Williams.