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deaville81316TWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS!

Two Funny Philly Guys starring the amazing Joe Conklin and Big Daddy Graham
is once again coming to the
Deauville Inn
201 Willard Road, Strathmere, NJ
on Saturday August 13 at 8PM.
This show always sells out!
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

throwdown thursBIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

If you are a music lover and you haven't been listening to BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely, then check it out!

Every THURSDAY at 8 PM. Listen live at http://wildfireradio.com/big-daddy-graham. By the way, all you have to do is click on that wildfire blue line and the most current show will AUTOMATICALLY begin to play,  Just give it a moment

This week on BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN? 

10 BEST CAR SONGS! (part 2)
 

Check out last week's  10 BEST CAR SONGS (part 1) BTW, you'll be able to call in to the podcast when you listen live and I encourage you to do so. Don't miss!

 

avagrahamhoursm

 

Check out Ava's podcast THE AVA GRAHAM HOUR on Wildfire Radio live every Thursday at 5:30 PM.  It's really funny and of course being a podcast you can listen to it anytime you want.  Just click here to check it out

 

 

 


TRIVIA AND QUIZZO...

MONDAY ~ Pour House in Sea Isle City at 9PM

TUESDAY ~ PJ Whelihan’s in Maple Shade at 7PM.

WEDNESDAY ~ Crest Tavern in Wildwood Crest at 9PM

AVA QUIZZO

My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite every every Monday at 7:30pm at ROCCO'S in Wilmington!   And now at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly! That's a busy schedule!

Big Daddy Graham-Marc Farzetta & John Conklin taking a stab at Sinatra's "Summer Wind!" Click Here

phillyvsnewyork

Each night on my 94WIP show, in alphabetical order, we will try to come up with (for example) the best Phillie whose last name begins with "A" going up against the best Met whose last name begins with the letter "A."  Remember, all that counts is how that player performed with his Philly or NY team.  What they did with other teams counts for NOTHING.  Here's what we have so far.  (BTW, what's it say when WE have R-Diddy representing us and The Donald repping NY?)

 

A

 

Richie Ashburn
(Winner!)

vs

Tommy Agee

Eric Allen
(Winner!)

vs

Jesse Armstead

Ron Anderson

vs

Carmello Anthony
(Winner!)

Barry Ashbee
(Winner!)

vs

Tony Amonte

 

B

 

Jim Bunning
(Winner!)

vs

Carlos Beltran

Chuck Bednarik
(Winner!)

vs

Tiki Barber

Charles Barkley
(Winner!)

vs

Bill Bradley

Bill Barber
(Winner!)

vs

Andy Bathgate

 

C

 

Steve Carlton
(Winner!)

vs

Gary Carter

Harold Carmichael

vs

Harry Carson
(Winner!)

Wilt Chamberlain
(Winner!)

vs

Bill Cartwright

Bobby Clarke
(Winner!)

vs

Neil Coville

 

D

 

Ed Delaehanty
(Winner!)

vs

Ron Darling

Brian Dawkins
(Winner!)

vs

David Diehl

Darryl Dawkins

vs

Dave DeBusschere
(Winner!)

Gary Dornhoffer
(Winner!)

vs

Cecil Dillon

 

E

 

Del Ennis
(Winner!)

vs

Kevin Elster

Herm Edwards

vs

Jumbo Elliot
(Winner!)

Julius Erving
(Winner!)

vs

Patrick Ewing

Pelle Eklund

vs

Phil Esposito
(Winner!)

 

F

 

Turk Farrell

vs

Sid Fernandez
(Winner!)

Irving Fryar
(Winner!)

vs

Ray Flaherty

Lloyd (World B.) Free

vs

Walt Frazier
(Winner!)

Bob Froese
(Winner!)

vs

Bill Fairbairn

 

G

 

Tony Gonzalez

vs

Dwight Gooden
(Winner!)

Mike Golic

vs

Frank Gifford
(Winner!)

Hal Greer
(Winner!)

vs

Richie Guerin

Claude Giroux

vs

Rod Gilbert
(Winner!)

 

H

 

Ryan Howard
(Winner!)

vs

Keith Hernandez

Wes Hopkins

vs

Sam Huff
(Winner!)

Hersey Hawkins

vs

Allen Houston
(Winner!)

Mark Howe

vs

Harry Howell
(Winner!)

 

I

 

Raul Ibanez
(Winner!)

vs

Jason Isringhausen

Mark Ingram

vs

Mark Ingram
(Winner!)

Allen Iverson
(Winner!)

vs

Darrel Imhoff

Gary Innes

vs

Earl Ingarfield
(Winner)

 

J

 

Willie “Puddin’ head” Jones

vs

Howard Johnson
(Winner!)

Seth Joyner
(Winner!) 

vs

Brandon Jacobs

Bobby Jones
(Winner!)

vs

Larry Johnson

Kim Johnsson

vs

Jaromir Jagr
(Winner!)

 

K

 

Chuck Klien
(Winner!)

vs

Jerry Koosman

Bucko Kilroy
(Winner!)

vs

Jim Katcavage

Johnny "Red" Kerr

vs

Bernard King
(Winner!)

Tim Kerr
(Winner!)

vs

Dave Kerr

 

L

 

Greg Luzinski
(Winner!)

vs

Al Leiter

Randy Logan

vs

Carl Lockhart
(Winner!)

George Lynch

vs

Jerry Lucas
(Winner!)

Eric Lindros

vs

Brian Leetch
(Winner!)

 

M

 

Sherry Magee
(Winner!)

vs

Tug McGraw

Tommy McDonald

vs

Eli Manning
(Winner!)

Moses Malone
(Winner!)

vs

Earl Monroe

Rick MacLeish

vs

Mark Messier
(Winner!)

 

N

 

Ron Northy

vs

Jonathan Niece
(Winner!)

Al Nelson
(Winner!)

vs

Hakeem Nicks

Paul Neumann

vs

Wilie Naulls
(Winner!)

Simon Nolet

vs

Petr Nedved
(Winner!)

 

O

 

Al Orth

vs

Jesse Orasco
(Winner!)

Terrell Owens

vs

Bart Oates
(Winner!)

Kevin Ollie

vs

Charles Oakley
(winner!)

Joel Otto

vs

John Ogrodnick
(Winner!)

 

P

 

Jonathan Papelbon

vs

Mike Piazza
(WInner!)

Pete Pihos
(Winner!)

vs

Jimmy Patton

Tim Perry
(Winner!)

vs

Bud Palmer

Bernie Parent
(Winner!)

vs

Brad Park

 

Q

 

Paul Quantrill
(Winner!)

vs

Omar Quintanilla

Mike Quick
(Winner!)

vs

Jesse Quatse

NO Q!

vs

Brian Quintett
(Winner!)

Dan Quinn
(Winner!)

vs

Stephane Quintal

 

 

 


libertybellbank-logoHey! If you need any mortgage work done whatsoever
get hold of my main man Ken Miller at
856-830-1131 or 609-238-3293
kmiller@libertybellbank.com
NMLS #152270

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RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS...7/10

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey Mag...

ALI

Muhammad Ali.

Hate.

By now, you have read a dozen tributes saluting the amazing, complicated, ten-act life of Ali, but I doubt if you read any article that had the word “hate” as the third word.  However, as much as I was a huge fan of the man right from the very beginning, I had to confront many people in my own neighborhood, and my own Father about Ali and what he represented.  And often it got ugly.

Dr DonnBefore I even begin, let me point this point out that many, many residents of Southwest Philly, the area I grew up in, were kind and decent people who did not harbor ill will towards anyone.  I would not trade my early childhood years with anyone else’s.  It was a fun, vibrant area to spend your youth in.  (And there is a South Jersey angle to this article that we will get to later)

For me, being ten years old was playing street ball and getting water ice on my Phillies tee shirt.  That was the extent of any drama in my life until the Beatles and the Vietnam war came along.  Then I started noticing a strange, dark side to the human condition and Cassius Clay was at the center of it all.

Let’s start with race.  God, I even hate discussing that word, because who the heck am I?  Just a big dufus in a bowling shirt trying to raise my kids and enjoy a meatball sandwich.   If there is someone that you hate for no good reason whatsoever, well, there’s nothing I’m going to be able to write here that is going to change your feelings.  So I am not going to even try.

But here I was,  a snot-nosed kid, when all of a sudden I started hearing a lot of ugly words.  “Who did this uppity #@#$% thing he is?!  All brash and cocky.”  Men like my Dad wanted their black champion to be like Joe Louis.  Quiet and dignified.  Who did this mouthy Clay think he was? 

At this point in my life it was all rah-rah-rah for the home team.  Everything positive.  Oh, we booed when someone struck out, but that was different.

This felt like real hate and I had never experienced that before.  And over who?  To me and a lot of my buddies, Clay was funny and a devastating boxer on top of it.  And he was beating Sonny Liston, who was not exactly a choirboy.  Liston was truly a bad man in real life.  So what was everyone getting all upset about?  I didn’t get it.  Still don’t.

At about the same time the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan.  An exhilarating historical moment, right?  Four fun dudes performing great songs.  Nothing but positive vibes to take out of this, right?

Wrong again.  To my Dad, they were nothing but a “bunch of long hair #$%^’s.”  And you know the slur word for homesexuals that I am referring to here.  I cannot begin to explain to you how much my old man hated any man with long hair.  His veins would literally pop out of his neck.  Looking back on those old photo’s of the completely harmless Beatles on Ed Sullivan, it’s hard to explain to a high school student today how in hell they could have enraged that many men. 

But they did.  And when that photo of Clay and the Beatles came out?  It was a wonder my old man didn’t jump off the Walt Whitman Bridge.

So know we have two different types of hate swirling around Clay.  The old reliable race card and a brand new type of hatred for “long haired hippies.”  It didn’t matter that the Beatles were primarily singing about love.  And at that time, Clay was just a fantastic athlete who recited poems and boasted he was “The Greatest” to sell tickets.  He barely knew who the Beatles were when he met them.  But oh boy, did that picture set some morons off. 

We’re not through here.  Not by a long shot.  Then Clay changes his name and converts to the Muslim religion.  He’s now Muhammad Ali!  My neighborhood was 99% Catholic.  What the heck was a “Muslim?”  And the only time anyone ever changed their name in my parish was when a woman got married.  No one changed their name.  If you were born Tommy Boyle, you died Tommy Boyle.  End of story.  And when Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, half of my street had a collective heart attack.

bdg armen pink caddy smallAnd again, over what?  We now have a President whose name is Barrack Obama.  And he was voted in.  Twice.  Once more, if you tried to explain to a 15 year old how Clay simply changing his name to Ali caused such conniptions, they would laugh at you and say, “what the heck was wrong with you people back then?” 

So now we’ve added religion to this mess along with race and the generation gap.  Wait, there’s one more.

Vietnam.  Ali refused to go.  Now you could add “draft dodger” to his list of so called “crimes.”  This one I truly couldn’t grasp because at least half of my lower middle-class blue-collar older friends were doing everything in their power not to go also.  What was Ali doing that was so different?  Why is Creedence’s “Fortunate Son” still a powerful song?  Because it’s lyrics are dead on.

My brother fought in Vietnam.  He didn’t want to.  I wish he hadn’t.

Most of the Dads in my neighborhood fought in World War II (including mine) and saw and survived horrible atrocities.  You then would have thought that these same Dads would have been at the forefront of protesting this terrible, useless war, but for many of these Dads, it was the complete opposite.  Ali, and anyone else who didn’t sign up to fight was a “coward” and much more.

Again, go figure.  Now I want to make it very clear that I am immensely proud of my Dad and brother’s service to this country.  But mostly, and particularly of the many people I knew who fought in Vietnam, I am happy that they made it home.

tunes logoAll I’m doing is reminding any younger readers who only knew Ali from that historic and heart wrenching moment when he lit the Olympic torch exactly what it was he went through.  What he battled and had to overcome because I was there.  I heard the hate and it affected me because I was so young and hadn’t experienced anything like that before.  Geez, who am I to sound so heavy, but in the end, love won.  When he died, we loved him and that in itself is a crazy journey.

Speaking of journeys, Ali briefly lived in the Voken Trect section of Cherry Hill back in early 1971.  Go ahead look it up.  You might also find this story when you do.  That when Ali rope-a-doped and defeated George Foreman in Zaire in one of those most improbable victories ever, no one could find him after the fight and he was expected at major parties with important dignitaries.

Where was he?  In a small village performing magic tricks for kids.  My man!  Here’s to one of the most talented and funny and nervy and complex human beings ever.  I’m glad I was on Earth the same time you were.

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 6/20

Here's my latest article for the South Jersey Mag...

HITCHING A RIDE!

It’s June.  Baseball’s in full swing.  School’s out.  Summer’s here.  Jersey Shore time.  Barbeques.  Graduation parties.   Time to stick the old thumb out and go hitchhiking.

big daddy dinerHuh?  What’s that?  What the heck am I talking about with that “hitchhiking thing?  Let me explain.

Hard to believe Harry, but back in the sixties and seventies, it was extremely normal for Americans to hitchhike and pick up hitchhikers.  The road was full of them.  Come to think of it, I should take a moment here because there may be people reading this who have no idea what hitchhiking even is.
You would stand about ten feet from the curb or shoulder of the road you were on and stick out your thumb when a car would approach and attempt to look as friendly as possible.  That was it.  Simple as that. 

And, as difficult as this is to comprehend, someone would inevitably pick you up.  The car would pull over a little bit ahead of you and you would hustle up and let yourself into the car. 

“Hey man, where you heading?” they would ask. 

“Cherry Hill Mall” you might reply and then they would tell you where they were going and how far of a ride they could give you.  “Can you drop me off anywhere Rt. 130? “ you would ask.   A very primitive human version of GPS would develop, as you would work out how to get you where you were going without taking them far out of their way.

It was fun and a true adventure because you never knew who was going to be in that car when you opened that door.  Now today most people reading this would go “fun?!”  What if there was some demented serial killer (are there any other kind?) behind the wheel?  But the truth is you just didn’t think along those lines back then even though I know that my boys and me were hitchhiking regularly into the mid-seventies.

I grew up without a car.  I’ll let that sink in because I know that’s particularly difficult for South Jersey residents to comprehend.  Now before you think I’m crying poor mouth, let me explain they I grew up in a particular time and rowhome community where most folks didn’t own a car, so that was no big deal.  In fact, I ended up being the first one in my family to even own a car.   A $400 two-door white 1966 Ford Galaxie 500.  She was beautiful, rusty bumpers and all.   I named her “Legs” and she ate oil like Governor Chris Christie devours Big Macs.  But she was mine.  All mine.

I was 21 and now was able to say goodbye to the method of transportation that I had become most accustomed to over the years.  My thumb.

And what a great thumb it was.  It was free to own.  You didn’t need to get it inspected.  It never ran out of gas.  And my thumb was responsible for me seeing more square miles of South Jersey then I would have seen if I had helicoptered over it.

447PMMARCH 5TH, 2015Because the huge percentage of time I was hitchhiking from Southwest Philly to Wildwood and rarely would you get one ride that would take you there in a straight shot.  So there wasn’t a small town in South Jersey that I didn’t end up getting stranded in until the next ride came along.  Wenonah.  Blackwood.  Hammonton.  Name the town, I hitchhiked through it.

Oh, and the stories that I would tell for years to come.  I was once stuck on a corner in Tunersville while it was pouring rain on the other side of the street and sunny on mine and that phenomena never happened to me again.

A buddy of mine and I were going to catch blues great Taj Mahal at Glassboro State College (before it was Rowan) and on the way to his show we actually picked the man up himself thumbing a ride to his own gig.  That’s a fact.  What’s the chances of you picking up Bruce Springsteen on the way to Citizens Bank Park?  But it really happened.

Now bumming a ride was always more of guy thing than a chick thing, but women most definitely hitchhiked.  But usually only when they were thumbing it with another guy.  And always in the summer.

My buddy Mark and I picked up two girls and a guy hitchhiking to the movies a million years ago.  Mark and I knew the guy and the one girl, Patrick and Haley. The girl we didn’t know turned out to be Haley’s cousin in from Ohio for a week.  Today, Mark and Debbie have been married for twenty nine years with three kids.Those three kids of Mark and Debbie’s?  My two kids?  They have never hitchhiked.  My wife would freak out on them if they ever did.

“Call me!  I’ll come get you!” my wife would scream.  In my wife’s mind, the first car turning the corner if my daughters hitchhiked would be driven by Charles Manson,  even though he’s been imprisoned since 1969.

So what happened?  I can’t seem to come off with a cutoff year.  One summer everyone was hitchhiking and the next summer no one was.  What happened?  I’m just a dufus in a bowling shirt, but there is some sort of sociological thing going on here, right?  I’m not going to go as far as saying that a society without hitchhiking is not as rich as a world with one, but I kind of feeling like saying that.  The fact that no one hitchhikes anymore says something about us.  I’m just not sure what.  Have we lost trust in each other?  Maybe that’s it.

So here’s the deal.  On Wednesday, June 22nd, at around 6pm, I’m going to be driving down Route 45 on my way to the Harrison House Diner in Mullica Hill to get a ham and cheese omelet with home fires.  If I see anybody with their thumb out (even Howard Eskin), I’m going to pick them up.  So get ready.

I’m personally bringing hitchhiking back!

 

********************

HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...

 

NewYorkSkyline2

 

You can take an inexpensive tour  of RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL that's well worth it.

Check out MASH ARMY & NAVY on 8th Ave between 45 & 46th streets.  A blast from the past!

Folks are always asking me about piano bars in Manhattan.  There's two I would recommend and they couldn't be any bit different.  DON'T TELL MAMA is on 46th St between 8 & 9th Avenues.  It's a comfortable narrow long bar where you either sit at thee bar or at a table.  They have a singing piano player and every fourth song or so a member of the bar or serving staff will get up and sing a three song set.  And sometimes a member of the audience will get up at the mic and sing. And they have awesome food also. It's a really fun joint, but completely different from MARIE'S CRISIS CAFE which is at 59 Grove St in the Village.  (Make sure you have the address handy before you get in the cab.)  MARIE'S is a tiny hole in the wall basement club where there is a piano player but no professional singer.  YOU are the singer.  It's insane.  People (like my nutty wife) go there TO sing.  There's no microphone and literally 150 people or so will be singing at the top of their lungs to some Broadway tune  Which, by the way, IS ALL Marie's does.  They don't mix in pop tunes like MAMA does.  The two couldn't be any different from each other and any more fun if a piano bar is your bag.

A HOTEL TO STAY AT?   We always use some hotel site and often stay at one of these two hotels which I would both recommend.  THE BELVEDERE on West 48th St is clean with a nice lobby and it's very convenient to Broadway and many clubs and bars.  THE WARWICK is pricier, but still affordable when you go through Expedia.  It's at 54th & 6th and many famous folks (like the Beatles and Liz Taylor have stayed there.

IT'S ONLY A PLAY is hilarious with an amazing cast.

As obvious as this sounds, you can spend a couple hours exploring Central Park and never get bored.

Lincoln Center has a free SINATRA exhibit running till September 4th which has some pretty neat artifacts from his Hoboken days.

LEXINGTON CANDY SHOP on Lexington between 82 & 83rd St. has been opened since 1925 and is a don't miss trip.

THE METROPOLITAN ROOM on 22nd St is a very cool, classic NY cabaret room where we have seen many cool acts at a very affordable price.

BIG ONION WALKING TOURS are a lot of fun and reasonably priced.  I have taken many of them and they never disappoint.

54 BELOW on 54th St. is literally the basement of the famous Studio 54 disco. It's a terrific place to see anybody. Top notch club.

Finally made it to BIRDLAND for one of those CAST PARTY shows. What a great time and the sight lines are excellent.  Legendary jazz artists perform there and if you ever thought about seeing one of them at BIRDLAND, do it.

 

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