The Glorious Corner
IS THE NEWS REALLY OVER? — Conflicting reports this week regarding NYC’s 99-year old Daily Newsnewspaper; which was always subtitled New York’s Hometown Newspaper. It was reported that they were closing their newsroom, effective immediately; vacating their offices; and, that the remaining minions would work from home (24 writers were effectively let go).
By week’s end, reports said that the paper would continue in an online fashion only. Also, their subtitle was subtlety scrubbed from the front page.
The New York Daily News has had a rocky road of late. When Mort Zuckerman owned it, they were in a heated rivalry with the town’s other sheet, the New York Post. Zuckerman finally offloaded it to The Tribune, who has made it a regular practice to close papers.
How could such an celebrated newspaper fold? Many reasons. It was just reported that for the first time ever, readers of the esteemed old Gray Lady, the New York Times, were more digital, than not. If that’s true, it’s amazing it took this long. Face it, digital is much more efficient. Plus, you don’t overnight develop a pile of newspapers in the corner! Trust me, I know.
The News was a great, great paper and in their heyday, was a fierce competitor to the Post and Times.Their Rush/Molly column was simply terrific. George Rush and Joanna Molloy were terrific writers and got some of the best scoops ever. Truth be told, their column was/is right up there with Roger Friedman’s. Their Mike McAlary was a terrific reporter. Liz Smith was … well, Liz Smith. All much missed.
Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column was a terrific read and Dick Corkery’s photos were just terrific. Btw: Corkery was a true gentleman, a friend and great soul.
Also, the great Pat O Haire; David Hinckley; Don Kaplan; Jim Farber; Linda Stasi; Jo Piazza and, Billy Norwich must be remembered.
As a New Yorker, very, very sad.
BRUCIE IS BACK — Well, that didn’t take long. Hot on the heels of his exit from SiriusXM satellite radio, Cousin Brucie Morrow revealed this week that he will return to his roots hosting Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party”on 770 WABC in New York.
“Its part of one of the most amazing moves I’ve ever made in my life,” adds Morrow. “I was with SiriusXMfor 15 years, and they were good years, but I was getting the feeling that I should make a move. I should do something to finish my career circle. Not that I’m finishing — I’ve got plenty to go.”
The Brooklyn-born Morrow, 84, will launch the next phase of his radio career with his first show on Sept. 5, with a special repeat broadcast two days later on Labor Day. The show will be heard on 77WABC and sister station WLIR-FM 107.1 in Hampton Bays, New York. Both stations are operated by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, which will also make the show available to fans through its digital media platforms for streaming on phones, smart speakers and computers.
Until recently, Cousin Brucie was heard by paid subscribers tuning in to his Wednesday and Saturday night programs. Prior to that, he held stints at 1010 WINS, 660 WNBC, and 101.1 WCBS-FM. Many of his listeners go back with him to the 1960’s, when he introduced the Beatles at Shea Stadium — “probably one of the most amazing moments in my life,” he says. “I can still feel the electricity in my body.”
In an interview with Variety shortly after the news hit, Morrow shared his thoughts on the move, what fans can expect, and how much he’s actually missed commercials.
Q: Making this move from SiriusXM back to 770 WABC where it all began is major… the biggest radio personality news of the summer, for many people.
Morrow: I felt that I should get back into (terrestrial) radio. I missed the audience — the people who couldn’t pay the subscription. If you looked at my Facebook page, you’ll see. I think every other mention was WABC radio. Rock ‘n’ roll music in my career really started at WABC.
Q: How did John Catsimatidis orchestrate your return to AM?
Morrow: John is the gentleman who purchased WABC. He always listened to me on Saturday nights. He would drive in the car with his wife and listen to me. He used to request songs. So he and I became very friendly on the phone. A very major part of live radio is telephone… that is my connection to the audience. One thing led to the other, and eventually the son of a gun bought the station. And we started talking about “what if?” And then sure enough, one day we signed on the dotted line. So I’m very about this change. I’m going to rebuild my audience, and they’re very excited. It also has a national footprint; the radio station streams all over. So that’ll be a very important part of retaining what I’ve built over 50 years, and this audience in the tristate area is going to be treated to radio on WABC, which has been all-talk. Now on Saturday night, it becomes music radio.
Q: Tell us about the format.
Morrow: The format will be the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and anything else that anybody wants to hear, I can play. I have complete free reign. I program my own shows and the shows will be really a variety of a lot of great music, a lot of great talk and guests. You’re going to be surprised about what I am about to say now: I can’t wait to do my commercials again. I missed my commercials. I do a lot of live reads, and I make these commercials very much a part of what I do, and what I do is get very involved with my audience. I learned a long time ago that I become a part of my audience’s family, part of their lives. They’re in the shower with me, in the car with me, they shop with me, and I can feel it. And I’m very excited about getting it back again.
Q: If this goes well, could that open it up to other music in dayparts on the weekend?
Morrow: Absolutely. It would be an important decision for them to make, and they are doing pretty well with their talk format. But the music format will bring them a whole new audience. They will keep a lot of their audience, but there could be a crossover, and the idea of opening up the weekend to music would be a brilliant idea.
A few thoughts: Catsimatidis is an interesting character. I believe he’s tried to run for Mayor here in NYC, several times. He also owns the supermarket chain Gristede’s. He sort of lurks in the shadows and emerges ever so often. I’ve met him through James Edstrom and liked him a lot. This is an audacious play and if anyone can do it, Catsimatidis can.
Also, Morrow brings up a very interesting point. Terrestrial vs. Satellite. Satellite you pay for. In these COVID-times, everyone I know is cutting expenses and at the end of the day, satellite radio might be the one thing you cut. Having listened to radio my entire life, when satellite radio reared its head, I knew the playing field has changed. I wonder if Morrow’s return to terrestrial will be a sea change. I predict it will.
SHORT TAKES — Zach Martin on TIC Radio interviewed Vic Kastel on his new album Time Traveler. Take a listen:
… Whatever became of Honey West? The fabulous outfit featuring Ian McDonald and Ted Zurkowski. After a dynamite first album and a few stellar shows – Bowery Electric and Steve Walter’s Cutting Room … nothing, Management problems? I wish them well …
Just heard the opening to the hot, new Michael (Trump) Cohen book, Disloyal. Rachel Maddow read it last night on her MSNBC show and my first thought was, how did this guy learn to write so well? As shocking as the revelations are, it’s written terrifically well;. almost poetic … A friend of mine said the virus will be over right after the election. Harrowing for sure … Rockers On Broaday-creator Donnie Kehr working on his first solo album. In the 80’s, Kehr formed the band Urgent, which was signed to the much missed EMI/Manhattan Records. I heard several of the tracks exclusively, and they were just terrific. Stay tuned … U.K. DJ Greg Wilson in an interview, goes on to pinpoint the key difference between novices and masters: “Whilst the DJs now are more technically gifted, DJs back then had better programming skills. They were more adept at getting the right records at the right moment. They worked more towards the audience, whereas now DJs expect the audience to come to them” … TV legend Sally Jessy Raphael’s husband of 57 years Karl Soderlund has died at the age of 90. A close family friend said Soderlund passed away from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease on Thursday morning in Dutchess County, New York. They added: ‘He put up a courageous fight against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s for the past five years and he never lost his brilliant sense of humor.’ The two met in Puerto Rico and married in 1962, and Soderlund lovingly referred to Raphael as ‘red.’ Raphael is known for paving the way for women to host TV talk shows, but she credits Karl as ‘the architect of the career which made her a household name’ … Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam’s new album East Side Sessions is a major hit. Plaudits from all over are in the mix … RIP George Christy and Trini Lopez; Happy BDay Lisa Cuddy!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Angelo Babbaro; Vic Kastel; Randy Alexander; Freda Payne; Donnie Kehr; Bruce Lundvall; Ray K; Cori Gardner; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; William Schill; Robert Funaro; Joanna Bonaro; Lorenzo Battaglia; Zach Martin; and, Bella
The Glorious Corner
HERE’S BEKKA — (from Rolling Stone) Bekka Bramlett grew up around John Lennon and George Harrison, but nothing could prepare her for joining Fleetwood Mac in 1994, during one of the rockiest periods in the band’s history.
The Bekka Bramlett incarnation of Fleetwood Mac released a single album, 1995’s Time, before dissolving the next year to make way for a lucrative Hells Freezes Over-style reunion album and tour by the classic Rumours lineup. This period of the band may seem like little more than a footnote to some rock fans, but it was a pivotal time for Bramlett, and she looks back on it without any regrets.
“I knew my job was to get Stevie back,” she tells Rolling Stone from her home in Nashville. “I wasn’t a moron. I also knew this was a dangerous job when I took it. I knew I was facing tomatoes. But I didn’t want to wear a top hat. I didn’t want to twirl around. I wanted to be me. I even dyed my hair brown just so people in the cheap seats would know that Stevie wasn’t going to be here. I didn’t want anyone to be discouraged or let down.”
Joining Fleetwood Mac at 26 would have been a shock to the system of most singers, but Bramlett had been living in close proximity to rock stars her entire life. When she was very young, her parents toured and recorded with George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and many other A-list rock stars, winning renown as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Those artists also spent a lot of time at her mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
Bramlett didn’t realize any of this was unusual until she boarded the school bus one morning gripping her Disney Princess lunchbox. “This other little girl had a Beatles lunchbox,” she says. “I said to her, ‘I know him. He’s on our couch right now.’ I pointed to George Harrison. ‘I know him too.’ I pointed to John. She started hitting me since she thought I was lying. I was petrified and confused. I thought they were just Daddy’s friends that had accents.”
When she was just four years old, her father recruited Bekka and her sister Suzanne to sing background vocals on his song “California Rain.” “My mom had to get some gaffer tape to keep the headphones on my head since I was so little,” she says. “I used to hate the way it sounds, and now I love it so much. It’s so endearing.”
Right around this time, her parents split up, and she went to live with her father and grandmother. “It was weird, since mostly the moms got the babies back then,” she says. “But my parents were alcoholics. My grandmother never even smoked cigarettes or said cuss words. She brought us to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Monday. We were in safe hands with our grandmother. I think both of my parents trusted that.”
Delaney and Bonnie both struggled to find solo success in the Seventies, and they dealt with significant substance abuse issues, but Bekka inherited their talents, and she knew from a young age that she’d devote her life to music. “I briefly thought I’d be a lawyer, but I thought I’d be a singing lawyer,” she says. “Then I wanted to be a jockey since I love horses, but I thought I’d be a singing jockey. Music is just what I’m good at.”
As a teenager with a fake ID in the early Eighties, Bramlett spent many nights checking out bands on the Sunset Strip. “I remember standing on the side of the stage as Guns N’ Roses played,” she says. “Seeing it up close, I was like, ‘This is why you never try heroin.’ But then I’d go into the audience and be like, ‘This is why you join a rock & roll band!’”
SUCCESSION — (via Deadline) The Roys are back with a vengeance. The Season 4 premiere of Succession drew an audience of 2.3M on Sunday across HBO Max and linear telecasts, which is a series high for same-day viewers. Total viewing for Sunday night was up 62% compared to Season 3’s premiere viewership of 1.4M in October 2021. At the time, that marked the best premiere night performance of any HBO original series since HBO Max launched in May 2020. Sunday’s viewership is also up about 33% from the Season 3 finale’s 1.7M. Season 3 averaged about 7.2M viewers per episode, according to HBO.HBO also says that all previous seasons of succession saw a 4x increase in viewership in the week leading up to the Season 4 premiere, compared to the week prior.
The Roy family saga picks up as the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) looms. The prospect of the seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys: patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck). A hopefully Roy-esque power struggle will ensue as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is threatened.
Succession has 13 Emmys including Best Drama Series wins for its Season 2 and Season 3, the latter of which premiered in 2021.
We had mentioned earlier that most of the advance reviews said the writing was the star of the premiere episode and I definitely agree. Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote it and delivered just a stellar job. The episode began with a grumpy-Brian Cox at his birthday and took a few moments to develop into the powerhouse it has become, but it was very, very enjoyable.
Sure some of the dialogue and plot harked back to earlier episodes, but it’s so good, you hardly noticed. And the ending with Shiv and Tom, alone at at home and contemplating their futures, was just splendid and reeked of the amazing emotion the show almost always conjures up. A class act all around.
Variety confirmed this week, that the locale of the next White Lotus, from Mike White, will be Thailand. Now, if we could only get Jennifer Coolidge back … Congrats to New York Independenteditor Keith F. Girard on his second novel –
just out: The Curse of Northam Bay …PR-pasha David Salidor was interviewed by Charles Rosenay for Monkee Mania Radio … Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer open July 21 and it is indeed 3 hours.
It stars Cillian Murphy and the trailer looks rather stupendous. Check it out here:
The Mayor of Times Square Meets One of the World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivors
I arrived to a packed lecture room at a Library in South Florida. This lecture caught my eye weeks prior and I made sure to have it in my calendar. After all, how many more times will I get a chance to hear a 99 year old survivor tell his remarkable story of inconceivable hell, survival and ultimately impressive success? What I heard in the room that day was hard to fathom it wasn’t part of a Spielberg movie with some creative liberty thrown in to embellish an already unbelievable true story. This was the real deal. A vivid description of hell on earth. What I couldn’t understand is how did this survivor go on to create a vibrant family and a very successful business career and not be bitter every day of his life? Equally remarkable is how someone his age could tell a story from 85 years ago as if it happened yesterday and with energy and charisma of someone half his age. He spoke for 45 minutes without a break. Little did anyone in the audience know that, just prior to arriving at the Library, he fell and injured himself, making his perseverance in even making it to the Library even more heroic. This is no ordinary man. I approached the stage after the lecture, patiently awaited my turn to speak with him and asked if I could interview him for my podcast. I am pretty sure he knew little to nothing of what a podcast was, but he agreed as you are about to learn why telling his story over and over is his divine mission.
Sam Ron bears personal witness to the greatest atrocity in human history. He is one of the only remaining Holocaust Survivors his age who survived four concentration camps…and a Death March. He turns 99 in July. His story is remarkable…and he himself is equally as remarkable.
Here’s what you will learn when listening to this World Exclusive interview on The Motivation Show podcast:
-Where did Sam grow up and what was life like before the Germans invaded his country
-How life changed once the Germans invaded and how long did the changes take
-Why and when did Sam and his family decide to go into hiding and where did he hide
-How did Sam end up in the Krakow Ghetto, how was it different than the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, and what took place in the Ghetto
-When did Sam first realize that the Germans were not just transporting Jews to what they disguised as labor camps, but were actually killing them.
-How many times was Sam transported in cattle cars and what was that like
-Which concentration camps was Sam in & what were they like
-What was life like in the concentration camps and why did they move Sam around to different camps
-What is a Death March, why and how did that happen and how did Sam survive it
-What lessons should listeners take away from Sam’s experience
-What does Never Again mean to Sam and why is it so important for him to share this and other Holocaust lessons
You can listen to this interview on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3KBPe9jhTdYw1iA9UN7UiK WARNING: This interview is GUARANTEED to move you to tears!!!
Inside The PR Brain
For PR-guru David Salidor, late-February proved to be as hectic a week in his 40+-year career as ever. With client Micky Dolenz in tow; Monday night was The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon; Tuesday held four different interviews at SiriusXM; later that night was the premiere for actor Willem Dafoe’s new movie Inside; and, Wednesday held an early spot back at NBC for NY LIVE with host Sara Gore.
For the music industry veteran, it was the latest chapter in a career that was sealed back in 1967 at Long Island’s Lido Beach Club when he saw a new group, The Who: Says Salidor, “My father who worked for Decca Records asked if I wanted to accompany him and go see a new group the company had just signed. Believe it or not, it was The Who, playing around the club’s swimming pool. It was unlike anything I had ever seen; Keith Moon with day-glow drumsticks and Townshend literally destroying his guitar at the end of the set. For me, that was it, this business was for me.”
Salidor also worked for the legendary My Father’s Place club in Roslyn, New York, that launched everyone from Bruce Spingsteen, to Todd Rundgren and Hall & Oates. “If The Who whet my appetite, My Father’s Place solidified my journey,” Salidor adds.
His first job out of college (where he was music director the college-station) was for the much-missed London Records. “All of a sudden, I was working with the Rolling Stones and Moody Blues, Al Green and Gilbert O’Sullivan. I was the new kid in town, but learned about everything all at once. I was doing ad layouts, writing press releases and taking the artists to radio stations. It was a trial by fire for sure, but I loved it,” adds Salidor.
He went onto to work for other labels like Atlantic and the PR-firm the Howard Bloom Organization, which at the time was the hottest pr-firm in the country, with clients including Billy Joel; Prince; Genesis. Genesis stands out for him. “It was right when Peter Gabriel left the band and there was a tour which I went on. Imagine every night not only seeing a terrific show, but also a dazzling visual show. No question, they were the tops at that point,” he says.
He also formed a relationship with Tom Silverman – then running a very influential tip-sheet called Dance Music Report. He and Silverman, who was also his first and only partner for a spell, went onto create the New Music Seminar, which became a focal point for all the new labels and artists to network. Adds Salidor, “That first event was held at SIR Studios in NY and everyone who was anyone attended. It’s funny now to recall that we started it because we couldn’t get properly accredited for the Billboard Music Forum, which was then the featured industry event in the business; but really neglected the up-and-coming acts and labels.”
A two-year stint with indie ZE Records was also a fascinating run. “This was during the burgeoning new-wave/no-wave movement and I just loved it. Kid Creole & The Coconuts; Cristina; Material; Suicide ; james White and the Blacks and it introduced me to the The Mudd Club, which became an instant favorite.”
A life-long association with August Darnell and his Kid Creole & The Coconuts began as well. “August is without a doubt one of the most creative artists I’ve ever worked with, Totally unique.”
He decided to start his own firm in 1984. He adds, “I learned very quickly that working for someone else is a double-edge sword. If a good campaign happens, the head of the firm gets the credit; if the campaign doesn’t work, you get called on the carpet.”
His first success via his dis Company was with Profile Record’s Run-DMC. “Profile was an amazing label back then. Cory Robins was one of the premiere music guys and had a prescient nuance. Together we got Run-DMC on the cover of Rolling Stone and made them a major marquee attraction. They started the whole urban, hip-hop era. I know it was a long time ago, but they were the first along with Kurtis Blow. No question.”
The next big project to come his way was with a 15-year-old from Merrick, Long Island, named Debbie Gibson. “This was something I had never encountered before; a performer who wrote her own music; produced it and had just an engaging personality. Needless to say, she was a smash. Tours, videos, hit singles followed. Totally engaging and creative. I remember being in Bremen, Germany, when I sat with her at a piano and she played me her entire second album … that hadn’t even been recorded or released yet. Totally amazing talent,” adds Salidor.
Also, a life-long association with celebrity-scribe Mark Bego began. Called the “prince of pop bios” by Publisher’s Weekly. 62-books later, their relationship continues to this day. Bego will be releasing a bio on Joe Cocker later this year via Yorkshire Publishing – also a client.
Bego would go on to pen several books on Salidor’s clients; including Debbie Gibson and Madonna. Also, Bego wrote the authorized bio on Micky Dolenz (I’m A Believer) in 1993 and Salidor set up a launch party at NYC Hard Rock Cafe. That was the first time Salidor met Dolenz,which foreshadowed a Dolenz/Salidor PR-connection down the road.
He was also involved with Madonna in her early stages. “Madonna was always a star. You could just feel it. Repping her then boyfriend and producer John Benitez was key. She and I would constantly discuss pr and together we accomplished a lot. Signing her to Seymour Stein’s Sire was a major move for her.”
Salidor also recalls repping a number of prominent DJs turned producers as well, including Jim Burgess; Arthur Baker; Shep Pettibone and Mark Berry. Remembering, “It was an interesting time; people today forget the amazing contributions they made to music. Pettibone’s production and writing of ‘Vogue’ is still a gem to this day.”
Amid so much success, Salidor also recalls the low-points of a career. “When a client leaves after so much success, there’s certainly a mourning period, but it’s also part of the business. Loyalty is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but is not as evident as one would assume in this business. I just read where a major music personality personally delivered tour bonuses to his road crew. In all my years, I’ve never heard of something like that happening … never. Loyalty and professionalism are rare, rare traits.”
Gibson and Profile would eventually leave his purview; although he worked for Gibson on many of her other endeavors.
In 2004 Salidor met Micky Dolenz and they began working together. “No shade to former clients, but Micky is the most professional client we’ve ever had. Certainly, growing up in the family business, as I had, had everything to do with it. Last year Dolenz did a sit-down with CBS Morning’s Anthony Mason which was sensational. Mason, a fan, did a no-holds barred interviews that was universally embraced by not only Dolenz’s huge fanbase, but by other PR-persons as well, which is always an interesting development – having other experts compliment you!” Salidor recalls.
“When you set a campaign up, three things can happen. #1, everything goes well and it’s a smash. #2: It doesn’t go well, and, #3. It happens, but there’s no feedback. The reality is that sometimes, even bad feedback is good. It’s a funny business, but your reputation, contacts and experience is key.”
Regrets … he’s had a few: “There was a jazz/rock/fusion band that made some terrific records, on SONY of all places and though they had a #1 jazz album, they just did not get the respect that they should have had. I love jazz and watching them perform live was just great. The powers-that-be there had their own ideas, which weren’t at all realistic.”
And, “When Debbie Gibson was a hit, every parent that had a child who they thought could sing called us. 99% of them didn’t have it. Talent, success, know-how … it’s something that I’ve always been able to recognize. We’ve worked with several young female-singers, but they just didn’t have the right people in place. One from New Jersey had her father paying for everything, but doing exactly what he wanted and he just didn’t have any idea about the business. He installed solar heating panels!”
Continues Salidor, “Management is key and finding the right one is often not easy; there are a lot of people who profess to be a manger and they’re clearly not. Organizing a campaign is a lot of meticulous work; knowing what the client is capable of is key too. Being a PR-person is akin in some ways to being a closet-psychiatrist – you’ve got to know your limitations. That NYC-week with Micky Dolenz was prodigious because I knew exactly what would work and I knew how well he’d perform.”
Salidor is also currently repping involved writer Terry Jastrow (Anne Archer’s husband); Donnie Kehr’s Rockers on Broadway and writer C.W. Hanes.
What does Salidor see in his future. “Certainly, more of the same. Identifying the talent and trying to develop it to the point of releasing it in the most effective way. Many of my peers say the music business has changed and not for the better. I disagree as there are more opportunities for music and musical artists than ever before. bring it on!
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