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BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

throwdown thursIf 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 GREATEST MUSIC PRODUCERS EVER! (part 1)
with special guest Dave Rogers

Check out last week's  10 GREATEST WHO SONGS (part 2) 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!

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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

 

 

 


surfboardTRIVIA AND QUIZZO...

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

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!)

 

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RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 3/28

My latest column for South Jersey Mag.

APRIL FOOLS DAY

Dr DonnNo, the title of this article is not a practical joke in itself.  I know you’re reading this in March.  You haven’t lost that much track of time. 

But I wanted to remind you that this important day is right around the corner and give you a few tips on how to have some laughs with it.  Because it is a cool day.  A day that celebrates being stupid and childish.

Now I’m not going to suggest any prank that’s ridiculously hard to set up.  That’s my 94WIP co-host Al Morganti’s specialty.  Nor am I going to advise you on pulling a trick on someone that might result in you getting punched in the face.  (Come to think of it, I think I did kick Al in the shins once)

Unfortunately, some jokes, like simple phone jokes aren’t as easy to pull off anymore anyway. There was a time I would get a get an on-air call that would start off sounding like a real call.

“Big Daddy?  Love the show, man.  What do you think of the Phil’s chances this year?”  You would then carry off a civil, even thoughtful conversation for a few minutes.  Then right at the end of the call you would get this.  “Hey, Big Daddy?  One more thing. Would you please #$%&?”  Now you would “dump” that call and nobody listening would hear it.  (However, callers who are on hold hear it and that’s the reason why the next call or two would begin with the caller chuckling.)

But not only does the phone number this moron is calling from pop up on our screen, the computer keeps track of such calls and the end result is very few of them get on the air anymore.  Your Smart Phone also has caller ID, the works.  So phone jokes are so much harder to pull off these days.  It’s the same with turning back clocks.  Most of us look at the time on out phobe before we glance at a wall clock.  Those damn smart phones have ruined everything.  But here’s a few April Fool’s Days that are easy to pull off and won’t get you beaten up.

THE CAR WON’T START    Pick a pizza joint that’s not too far away, but one you still have to take the car to get too.  Which in South Jersey is pretty much every pizza joint there is, right?  Make an order that you’re going to pick up.  Take the kids along to heighten the soon-to-be-faked emergency.  When you get there call your wife and tell her you’ve picked up the pizza, but now the car won’t start and all you think the car needs is a jump and the cables are in her car.  (Make sure of that before you leave)  “I know you’re not dressed.  Just drive on over and you don’t even have to get out of the car.”  I pulled this on my wife in the parking lot of Naples Pizza and both my daughters have not stopped talking about it since.  Of course my wife wasn’t that thrilled with it at the time but eventually she smiled and now remembers the day fondly as well.  (I hope!)

FAN BELT     I know absolutely nothing about cars.  I’m a standup comic.  I can’t fix anything.  I’m from the “Seinfeld” school of when a car breaks down I open the hood and hope there’s an “on/off” switch.  So lord knows what a fan belt was doing in my garage to begin with.  We hadn’t lived in Mullica Hill that long so I assume it l was left over from the previous owner.  About a month earlier my wife had seen a garden snake in the garage, so when I saw the fan belt I went with it.  There was a broom leaning against the wall and I scooped up the fan belt with it.  I then yelled for my wife who I knew was in the kitchen.  “Hey babe, you sure you want me to throw this out?”  I knew that would get her up.  When she got to the garage doorway, I screamed “Is that a snake?!” and with the broom handle flipped the fan belt towards her.  Her scream was heard in Blackwood.  Cruel, but effective.  (For the record, the “garden” snake that had been earlier spotted could have been the most poisonous snake in the world for all I know)

IT’S GOING TO SNOW TOMORROW     My wife wasn’t overly thrilled with this one since she believed it kept our kids up an extra half hour, but I would wait till the kids were going up the steps and I would shout out “Hey, KYW just reported it’s gonna snow tomorrow.”  The kids would light up like an arcade game.  I would give it a pause and then dryly add “in Alaska.”  Worked like a charm every time.

bdg armen pink caddy smallREMOTES     My wife has an ongoing war with remotes.  I can’t tell you how many times my wife has called me screaming “The Real Housewives of Pennsauken” is coming on and I can’t get this stupid TV to go on.”    My response is always to tell her to get one of my daughters on the phone.  Then when both my daughters can’t get anything to work either and all hell has broken loose, I let them know I took all the batteries out of the remotes and yell” April Fool’s Day!”

DISNEY WORLD!     I have done a practical joke topic on 94WIP and I must thank David Blatt.  He gave me the germ of this idea and I ran with it.  Wait till you see you see your neighbor’s kids playing in the backyard and call them over and ask them if they are excited about going to Disney World next month.  Trust me, their parents will love you for it.

In closing, there used to be a comedy club in Palmyra called Mitchell’s.  I loved the club and it’s owner, Joe Donato.  Unfortunately, Joe left this planet way to soon, but not without leaving this great April Fool’s Day joke.  This is very elaborate and unlike the others I have written about above, impossible to pull off unless you run a comedy club.  But it’s too good of a story not to tell and it actually happened on an April 1st in the early 90’s.  Now a normal show at a comedy club usually consists of an MC, a “middle” act, and a headliner with the average length of a show running an hour and a half or a little more.  Well, Joe had just gotten the late show seated, food and drinks had been ordered, when the lights went down and the MC was introduced.  The MC thanked everyone for coming, told one joke, and introduced the middle act that told about two minutes worth of jokes, then said goodnight.  The MC came back on and introduced the headliner who told two jokes and said goodnight.  The MC came back on and thanked everyone for coming, the lights came up, and the checks were given out.  The entire show lasted about five minutes.  The audience just sat there stunned, not sure what to do, when Joe the owner came up to the microphone and said “April Fools everyone!”   Then the MC came back on and an entire show was put on. 

Good one, eh?   Listen to me.  We take ourselves way too serious.  Plus it’s an election year making matters worse.  So don’t let April Fools Day pass you by.  It’s important to laugh.  Just make sure your victim has the same sense of humor.

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 2/17

My latest column for South Jersey Mag.

NEW JERSEY AND ME!

I always try to match up my South Jersey articles with what is one of the more important features of the given month it appears.  Mother’s Day with May.  Father’s Day with June.  And the day I got my first kiss with Halloween and October.  (She told me years later it was a nightmare for her.)
This is my third year of February articles for this mag and I believe I have covered the deep love and affection I have for my wife Debbie rather well.  However, love comes in all shapes and sizes.  I have loved record stores like the Jersey based Tunes.  I have loved my quilt that I bought in Richwood and have now owned for almost twenty years.  I worship my dog Beau like very few people I have met.
So I thought I would take this year to express what I love best about South Jersey.  It might be a locale, a store, a person, a thing, or a particular type of food.
Let’s get started.

447PMMARCH 5TH, 2015MANCO & MANCO     If I wanted to I could make this entire piece on the great foods of South Jersey, but that will be another article for another time.  So you would think picking just one edible item would be an extremely difficult decision, but it wasn’t at all.  That’s how much I love Manco & Manco (or whatever it’s called these days).  I can’t tell you how many days me and my wife leave the house heading to the movies.  We shoot down Rt. 322 coming from the antique area heading towards Rt. 55, which would take us to either the Deptford or Cherry Hill AMC.  As we approach Rt. 55’s entrance ramp, my wife will give me a look and simply say “hungry?”  And I know what exactly that means.  That we will continue straight on 322, skipping 55 altogether, heading for the AC Expressway and the road to pizza heaven.  The 9th St. Manco & Manco, which is open year round.  Now we need enough time to do this, but we were allowing that much time for a movie, weren’t we?  And how many times has a movie let you down? Uh, and how many times has a Manco & Manco pizza let you down?  NO CONTEST!

TREE LIGHTING CEREMONYS    My daughter Ava hosts the Mullica Hill tree lighting ceremony and it’s such a beautiful night.  It’s straight out of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  Here I am, less that a half hour from the fifth largest city in the United States, enjoying the absolute best that small town America has to offer.  And there are tree lightings and Fourth of July fireworks scattered throughout all the South Jersey towns and municipalities.  Support them.

WAWA GAS STATIONS   I’ve written before about how amazing it is that South Jersey gas is so inexpensive plus you’re not even allowed to pump it.  That’s just fantastic.  I have also shared with you that if my wife ever left me or got stuck in a mineshaft, I would live in a Wawa.  I love them that much.  (Come to think of it, I haven’t shared that.  Editor alert; future article!)  But to be able to pull up, shout, “Fill her up” to the gas jockey, and then go in and grab a Jumbo Hot Dog?  That’s getting gas “South Jersey style.”

BERNIE PARENT     I realize he’s from Montreal, but is there any other superstar more associated with South Jersey than Bernie?  From Rexy’s in Cherry Hill to the Skate Zone in Voorhees to his houseboat in Wildwood, I think we can safely claim him as one of our own after all these decades.  And a nicer guy you will never meet.  In fact, I would make the argument that Bernie is in the Top Ten of Philly Superstars from any sport and there’s nobody more down to earth.  Go ahead,  make that list in your head.  Who’s more approachable? 

PARKING    I still love going to downtown Philly, but you have to admit that virtually everywhere you go in South Jersey, you pretty much pull up, park, and go in.  It took no time at all to get used to that South Jersey benefit.

ROUTE 55   Can you “love” a highway? Well, I sure love this one.  I might even mail it a Valentine’s card.  It makes me feel good whenever I get on it.  Hopefully you have a road like it in your life.  A “comfort” highway.  When I’m coming home from 94WIP, it signifies that the nutty Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Rt. 42 South part of my journey is over and it’s smooth sailing from here on in.  When I’m coming home from the shore, Rt. 55 means that the treacherous Rt. 49 (laden with deer and speed traps) segment of my ride has ended.  Now I’m about to jinx myself by confessing to you that I have never been pulled over on Rt. 55 in twenty years.  Twenty years!  I put my cruise on for eight miles above the speed limit and it has never let me down.  It’s a clean road and I never once have gotten stuck in traffic on it, except where it ends at Rt. 42 and because of my hours, that’s rare.  But not once, in over two decades, have I ever faced bumper-to-bumper between it’s beginnings and ending.  There’s not too many roads you can say that about.

big daddy dinerSCOTTISH RITE AUDITORIUM      I’ve written in the past about Pitman’s Broadway Theatre and what a gem it is.  Just as unique, but in a completely different way, is Collingwood’s Scottish Rite Auditorium.  The building itself dates back to the late 1800’s and it’s amazing.  It houses stained glass windows from Florence, Italy and original mohair seats dating back to 1931.    (Your keister will never feel more plush.)  Seriously, I have performed there many times for acts as diverse as Robert Klein, the Temptations, Al Jarreau and many, many others.  There’s not a bad seat in this thousand seat house and the acoustics are amazing.  Collingswood should be really proud.

THE BRIDGE THAT CONNECTS SEA ISLE CITY AND AVALON   I’ve been to Malibu.  South Beach in Miami.  Hawaii.  Pennsauken.  And I’m telling you the view from the top of this bridge on a sunny day in July (or even February) never gets old.  Beachgoers complain about the $1.50 toll, but who wants to go into Avalon anyway?  Do what I do.  Ride your bike to the top, take it all in, then turn around and go back down into Sea Isle.  It’s a better town anyway.

Well, that’s it for this year, but I tell you what.  I think I really want to wrote that “Best Foods of South Jersey” column.  Send your suggestions to bigdaddy295@aol.com and I’ll see you soon at the Broadway.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/6

My latest column for South Jersey Mag..

GET HAPPY!

The decorations are down.  The unwanted presents returned.  Your pants are considerably tighter.  You’ve cleaned up after all the parties.  January’s here and it’s time to face the grim reaper of a bleak winter. 

They say the suicide rate is at it’s highest during the holidays and that may be true, but that regular garden-variety depression starts sinking in the second you throw your tree to the curb.  My wife has always said the two saddest moments of her year are the ride home from the shore the Monday of Labor Day Weekend and the moment that final box of ornaments goes up to the attic.

So what to do?  Life goes on, right?  Now I know the obvious move is to book a vacation to Aruba or some other warm, exotic locale.  But many of us are tapped out when those credit card bills arrive and simply can’t afford such a vacation.

So here’s a few “happy” tips form Dr. Big Daddy (and I graduated “magnum cum lade” from Gus’s Air Conditioning School on Rt. 38) that will not break the bank or take a lot of time to pull off and just might get you through the impending gloom.  These always work for me.  I’m leaving out food and well, you know, that other “thing” that even when it’s not great, it’s still pretty good.  They are too obvious and besides the last thing we need at the moment is more food!

tunes logoWATCH “MOONSTRUCK”        The absolute perfect romantic comedy never fails to put me and my wife in a good mood.  There are plenty of other films (“When Harry Met Sally” “Dumb And Dumber” ” “Ted” “Superbad”) that fit under this suggestion also.  The key is not to watch any flick with a beach plotline because that can possibly bring you down and make you long for the Jersey Shore.   Action-adventure films like the “Bourne” series can also work, particularly ones with European locations.  When is the last time you’ve seen James Bond stuck at the Rt.42/295 junction?  Now that would bum you out immediately.  (That is the worse current construction location out there!)  The point is movies can help a great deal.

CALL A FRIEND    I hope you are fortunate enough to have a few “100% friends” as I call them.  These are guys and gals that every time you see or talk to them they put you in a good mood.  And I mean every time.  I’m not a religious man, but I am convinced that someone put these kind souls on earth so we wouldn’t all be lined up to jump off the Tacony-Palmyra bridge.  (It’s cheaper)  The trick is you have to possess enough self-awareness to know that you are not one of these people, because you can’t call the same people every time something is bumming you out.   I guarantee you that a simple phone call to one of these “100 per centers” will change your day dramatically. 

ALWAYS HAVE A GREAT JOKE HANDY      Sometimes I call a friend, tell them a joke, it gets a big laugh, and I then say ”that’s all I got” and hang up while they are still chuckling.  They feel better, you feel better, and it never fails.  Now I know some of you can’t tell a joke, so the secret is to keep it really short so you can’t screw it up.  Here’s one that, believe it or not, Ray Didinger recently told me, that’s simple and always gets a laugh.

 A 75-year-old woman yells downstairs to her 75-year-old husband.  “I want you to get upstairs and make love to me!”  The 75-year-old husband replies, “well, I can’t do both!”

DAY TRIP   So you can’t afford a Vegas jaunt or a four night stand in Jamaica.   There are plenty of day trips you can pull off in January that are affordable and easy.   Take the Big Apple.  I’m in Mullica Hill and it only takes forty-five minutes to get to the NJ Transit Hamilton station stop where you can hop a train into Manhattan for $32.50.  $14.50 if you’re 62.  Throw in $7 for parking and no matter how old you are, you’re into a city that people come from around the world to visit for under $40!  Once you’re up there you can do nothing more than walk around and you’ll have a great time.  DC is also a snap to get to and is another fun “walking” city with so many sights.  How about visiting the infamous crack houses of Baltimore featured in HBO’s “The Wire?”  (OK, maybe that’s a better summer trip)  None of these destinations will have you tanning on the beach, but they are just that.  “Destinations.”  Something to do.  Something to plan for.  Anything to take your mind off the fact that it’s January.

WORK OUT       Now I realize that this is something you’re supposed to do all year round, but it’s more important to pull off in January than it is any other month.  First of all, you gained weight in December.  That’s a fact.  But secondly, sweating is good for mental depression.  It’s been proven.  (I’m not a doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night)  Sure, who feels like jogging or walking when it’s twenty-two degrees, but that’s what gyms are for.  Can’t afford a gym?  Don’t have a treadmill or a stationary bike?  Walking up and down your steps is a really fantastic workout that’ll leave you soaked.  Live in a ranch house?  You’re screwed.BUY A PAIR OF HUNTING SOCKS        Nothing bums you out more than shivering when you’re under the covers or putting your feet down on a cold bathroom floor in the middle of the night.  My wife’s tootsies are always freezing.  I swear they’re like ice cubes.  So about ten years ago, as a joke, I bought her a pair of hunting socks.  “Guaranteed to keep your feet warm at 40 below!” was how they came advertised.  And you know what?  It was her favorite present and now she goes to bed wearing them all through the winter.  They end up toasting your entire body and your dreams get warmer.  Try them out, they really work.

GET DRUNK, BLAST ACDC’S “YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG,” STAND ON A COFFEE TABLE AND AIR GUITAR       Never fails.

 

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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