Archive for March, 2011

My Vinyl – Loleatta Holloway

One…two…one, two, three, hit it! My “children” (aka my Disco record crates) are weeping in memory of an original “disco diva” from the 1970s, Loleatta Holloway, who left the physical world yesterday at only sixty-four (64) years of age.  First impression?  Again – we never know how long we have on Earth…

My Holloway vinyl library consists mainly of  special DJ 12″ pressings (which play at the speed of 45rpm) and 45rpms with the long versions of her classic disco hits that the record companies bestowed up me, the “baby DJ” when they ran-out of the bigger platters.  A neighbor gave me this one that somebody was going to throw away, of all things…

Of course I first heard of Ms. Holloway when the late Frankie Crocker introduced her over the airwaves of the then number one music station in the nation, New York City’s WBLS, 107.5 FM, “Loleatta Holloway…that’s ‘Hit and Run…she’s a Diva…”  The eleven minutes of 1977’s “Hit and Run” is the disc that I can always put my hands on first as I’ve kept it cataloged in the same crate.  Listening today for this post, I dusted off my Hustle steps with my invisible dance partner, Nina! (I’ll have no problem teaching it to her, lol)  That’s the dance that was popular during the Holloway heyday.

I have two “Love Sensations” and to listen to the video below, I am reminded how Crocker and another programmer of the day used to speed-up the pitch of the music we played on the air so as to make our “sound” livelier than the competition –  pitch control on turntables was “new technology” back in the ’70s – an it worked! This version sounds a bit labored.

Loleatta is one of those classic club music singers like my acquaintance Jocelyn Brown, who had that throaty, church- Gospel kind of yell that they used to accent the song’s situation.  She added that accent more after her days as an R&B singer on the Aware record label, no-doubt.  The only hit I own from those days is “Casanova”…played during my young-adult days on NYC’s WWRL AM and Newark’s WNJR AM, it still resonates and retrieves those memories here, now


that I dug it out of the old 45 box; there was a bigger hit from those days, “Cry To Me” but I didn’t like that one as much, nor do I have it, and for a long time I didn’t make the  connection between those Atlanta days and the disco jams.

“It’s all ova, Casanova, It’s all ova CasaNOVA…”

Teaming-up with Salsoul Records head man and producer, Vince Montana, and his Salsoul Orchestra gave Loleatta the opportunity to shine on their second album, 1977’s  “Magic Journey” with the midway on side one the hit  “Runaway”.  My only other Holloway appearance is on Dan Hartman’s 1980 floor-filler “Vertigo/Relight My Fire album.  That is one l-o-n-g intro and Loleatta’s voice stands out among the chorus, “Strong enough to walk on through the night!” Yeah! 

 Once Holloway blessed the DJ booth of the Garage in NYC while I was there visiting Larry Levan after my overnight radio show on WBLS.

What is your favorite disco memory from 1977?  “Ok, now let’s do the album version…” lol


When I grew up playing in the playground parks of NYC, drinking from those cement-encased public water fountains (remember those?) without a second thought, the water of New York City was, as advetised and even bottled, some of the best H2O in the world! In fact, somebody had the bright idea to bottle and sell it!  That water was cold and refreshing most of the time, and there was never the thought of parasites or other unclean entities being in it.

Somewhere along the way in  the late 1960s or early 1970s, I remember my Dad coming home with a gallon of Deer Park mountain spring water, and that was the first time we ever heard of such a thing and knew it was available in retail grocery stores.

I’ve lived near rivers and larger bodies of water all of my life.  There was the mighty Hudson River, famous for “rainbow” trout upstream and legendary in that when frozen-over the Indians (native American brand) and early settlers could walk across it to New Jersey from Manhattan.  I doubt it freezes that solidly these days! lol  The bridges that traverse the East River in New York City seem to enhance its grandeur.   “Water, water everywhere!”

I enjoyed the back bays of southern New Jersey, with the salty sea air that kept me hungry for seafood constantly, and always thought, “Where does tap water come from….?”  Well it is a variety of sources, depending upon where you live.  Is it clean?  That depends upon your definition of “clean”.  As I said earlier, I choose not to drink from any faucet anymore..

My ears perked-up when I heard on the radio that Republicans in the current U.S. Congress want to take away funding for “water projects” last night. They always want to “take away” something we are used to and that helps the masses.   If available clean water becomes a political issue in America, it will be a bad situation-gone-worse because many countries in the world do not have the best clean water.  We are all guilty of, at some point in our lives, taking it for-granted – especially in historically developed countries like the United States, the former Soviet Union and Europe. However, if you step-back a minute and look at our globe, those nations are using a large percentage of an increasingly smaller available supply of the clean watershed worldwide (CWW). 

That is one of the reasons I fired-up the campaign,  and I believe, though nations will not go into combat over clean water (yet), the status quo will only deteriorate, adding to the nervousness over H2O.  I think that you will find that you and your organization of donation will like to be part of the pro-active solution that ensures an earthly clean water supply and well-drilling for it.  My plan is a method of communicating this solution, coordinating funding efforts, entertaining-through-the-pain and holding hands during times of natural disasters that deny and magnify the fragile nature of available clean water to take a shower in or have a drink of. I also reference chapter 4 of the great new book: ‘The World In 2050″ by Laurence C.  Smith 

So,what are your water concerns, if any?  Yes, I ain’t to proud 2 beg that you contribute to our unique campaign referenced up to the right of this article on your screen. Do it and let’s GO! Cheers.

We hope you like it “inside” the Pajama Bar…THEE “theater of the mind” radio show left on Earth.  This show is from this time two years ago.  Who knows if we will ever open the “doors” again atop the broadcast tower, DJ booth suspended over the multi-colored dance floor and lowering the “tip bucket” from time to time to take care of the staff and the DJ… but the book will be released very soon.

“…Jameson’s Irish, that is”… is what this t-shirt, that I somehow lost along the way, said.  I bet I left it up in my old room at Mum’s house upon one visit, and instead of her washing it or leaving it alone in the corner until the next time I came back, she threw it OUT!!  “Arrrgh!” You’ve undoubtedly had a similar parental experience, eh?

That shirt was a “classic”! Since my nickname is rather similar to “Jameson” I’ve developed an affinity and a “taste” for it at this time of the season.  Therefore,  last year I wrote to Jamesons requesting a replacement for the one I lost, and all they could tell me was that they “don’t make that shirt anymore” – very weak.  How could they not continue such a great slogan?  I hope their promotion person got his walking papers after that decision! lol  I must have procured it upon a promotion at one of the Top 40 radio stations that I jocked at in the 1980s or at an Irish Pub whose bar I tended, and I still look for it every year at this time as if it will materialize miraculously.  The back of it simply looked like this:

I could call this post, “my Shamrock T-Shirts” because I still have two that are rare St. Patrick’s Day-related that I will never let out of my sight – or trunk – as I only wear them once-a-year.  The are both from 1999 and bartending-related.  One at the top of this post from when I became an “Official Toastmaster” as Guinness Stout went from pub-to-pub on the mission of setting a “Guinness” world record for pints toasted, and the one at the bottom which simply celebrates my favorite St. Patrick’s Day lager beer, Harp.  The best bodied beer that I only drink once a year – mainly because it is expensive! lol  

Since my Dad was born on St. Patty’s Day (a posthumous happy congratulations, Pop!) and dubbed the “Rastamon Leprechaun” I have a special fondness for this true first day of spring each year.  Jameson’s is the best Irish whiskey, in my opinion, and I love it in Irish coffee with whipped creme atop, or as a shot to back-up a brew – as in boilermaker – a trick I leaned from an Irish detective in Worcester Massachusetts who was a fan of my overnight radio show once upon a time.  He would insist that I join him “for a shot” after I got off the radio at six A.M., and being a solo black guy in that neck of the woods, I figured that “you never know when you might need a friendly constable” to help get out of a jam.

By the way, the lady in the Green Hat was a great friend and Irish bartender on Long Island, New York, by the name of Nancy. May she rest in peace.

I love this “holiday” because of its sheer revelry, fun spirit and camaraderie of beverage.  If you choose an Irish Coffee, then the “Top O’ The Mornin’ To ya!” Growing up in New York City, with its considerable Irish population, tons of Irish bars and fantastic traditional Parade on THEE Fifth Avenue, I believe that I am part Irish…Jameson’s Irish. Although, during the past five years, I’ve come to fancy the smoother Tullamore Dew after one of my Irish brothers turned me on to it! 
The luck o’ the Irish to you today (St. Patrick’s Day) and I hope that we both find our “pot-o’gold” at the end of the rainbow very soon.

What is your favorite St. Patrick’s Day beverage, recipe, parade or luck-inducing tradition?  Don’t forget the corned-beef and cabbage!


This is my first “guest post”, and it is in honor of International Women’s Day or maybe at this point, “month” and the anticipation of positive changes for the mass collective, that will come to fruition sooner rather than L8R – so that I can see the look of pleasure on her face when she finally tastes one of my  culinary delights later this year, okaaaaay?

Now all the way from mother Ukraine, my lady sends you:


  Whip: 1 cup/160 gramme Sugar and 2 eggs to consistency

Add: ½ Cup Olive oil, butter or Sunflower oil

Add: 1 cup/160 gramme of flour

1 tsp baking powder/”soda”

Prepare and add: essence of 1 lemon and 1 orange (skin of both), finely ground

add juice of both lemon and orange w/o pulp to flour/sugar blend

prepare1 cup carrot (grated) on the side to add soon
1 TBS raisin

1 TBS ginger,

1TBS cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl
And then pour into form

Heat stove to 180C/350F degrees,

Bake for 30 minutes.

Cake turns out very tender.

Let cool and remove from form

she adds: I Love (One love I guess – ed.)

Enjoy! (I added that – ed.)

‘spah-see-bah’, Inna!       

My Honey waves at you!


First I am surprised that there is security,

Going through a woman’s bag ahead of me;

As if we are getting on a plane!

Just a few steps from that humiliation,

A desk clerk inputs into a computer,

Much more than your name;

Then asks me to sign it not on paper,

But with some electronic writing implement.

“What are you here for? She asks.

“A prescription refill for my inhaler”, I reply.

The first false promise is,

“A nurse will be right with you.”

I am directed to wait where the chairs are.

Just a few more steps to the uncomfortable area,

Strewn with bodies with faces etched in pain.

Wheelchairs, crutches, groans and moans.

I don’t want to touch anything,

I can almost hear the germs crying out at me.

Finding a chair away from most,

I try not to make eye contact as I take out my reading book.

Gently I place my water bottle on the table next to me;

Guarding it closely so none will touch it.

Hanging from the ceiling,

A television picture with poor quality.

Suddenly a loud thump and bump.

Some dude fell-out of his wheelchair!

The bump was his reddened bald head on the floor.

He is quickly surrounded.

“Don’t move. Stay still.” the large cop standing over him says.

One hour passes and then two going on three;

I’m getting restless and don’t know what to do.

Having been back to see the triage nurse,

Experienced the questions of intake too.

More false promises of not having to wait for long,

I decide to take action and flag-down the first nice nurse I saw.

The man who fell-out is now very chatty,

“You can waste a whole day here”, he says to me.

I am thinking he staged his episode for the attention,

It still hasn’t gotten him in the seeing the doctor direction.

I am thinking when I am again working i must get a regular doctor,

When suddenly the nice nurse reappears to bring me in;

“We’re gonna get you outta here, ‘Man!” says the Doc,

Moments later I am with prescription and again free!

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