Hot-Dogs, Apple Pie, Music and Humor!


Over the years, the slogan/motto for America used to be; “baseball; hot-dogs; apple pie,” but not anymore. Because of all the cheating in sports…it now becomes “hot-dogs; apple pie; music and humor! The American people are getting fed up with the cheating in sports, which in unacceptable, and not good for our kids. I rarely watch sporting events anymore because of all the cheating that goes on.

There can be no cheating in music, because if you can’t carry a tune…you’re finished. There can be no cheating in humor, because you’re either funny or your’re not. In humor…believe me…I have plenty of “egg on my face;” and I’ve put my “foot in my mouth,” plenty of times; and I’ve eaten plenty of “crow,” countless times during my lifetime. (yum-yum)


With respect to music…this generation has to be the most incredible generation to grow up in. With the sock-hops of the 1950’s; the street dances of the 1960’s; and the different styles of dances; the twist; the pony; the chicken; the even the Freddie, etc. Many of the songwriters and producers of that time, were only teenagers and in their early twenties…Amazing! And, many of the songs written and produced back then, are still popular in the year 2009. An incredible burst of talent during this generation!

I remember when I was in the hospital for over three months, and there was no music in my life. One of the first things I did when I was discharged was to turn on a radio, to listen to some music. I missed music so much, and the sound of it quickly soothed me, and was therapeutic for me, as it helped my to heal as well.

To have God-given talent, is not just in music, or in the arts and sports, etc. Talented people are in the medical fields and in the technological fields as well. Take Bill Gates of Microsoft, for example. He does not have a college degree, but yet he has managed to be so successful and the wealthiest people in the world. He is self-taught and is gifted with the ability in all those difficult fields such as math; engineering; physics and computer science, etc.

To be a successful songwriter, has to be one of the toughest tasks to do in life. After all, we’re talking about creativity…songs that have never been written before. In engineering and physics…there are limits…things that can and can’t be done! In creativity…there are no limits…it depends on what the mind brings to the table, etc.

God-given talent…that’s what so many people have, in so many fields, and they seem to do it with such ease…or at least it seems that way. Most of us couldn’t play the piano like Liberace; Jerry Lee Lewis or JoAnn Castle of the Lawrence Welk Show. How do they do it?

I can understand a tiny bit about how it works and what it means, because, for over 50 years, people have told me that I should have been a stand-up comedian. But, that will never be possible, because I suffer, from what many people across the country suffer from…stage fright! I could never get in front of a group and be funny…so because of this, I now have to settle for being a “sit-down” comedian and the computer on the Internet.

Robin Williams; Billy Crystal; and Bill Cosby are some of the funniest people in the world, and much of it is so spontaneous….without a script…how do they do it?

Other than telling jokes, which anybody can do…a situation happens in someone’s life…and there is an automatic reaction to it…and that reaction is funny…how does that happen? I have no idea! I promise one thing to the reeder…their will be no humer in this peace! (promise?)

That’s because this piece is not about me and humor…it’s about music and songwriting! Paul McCartney (Beatles) can’t read or write music…how does he do it? The extent of my songwriting career consists of two songs I wrote recently, and I hoped they would do well on the charts.

The first song, which turned out to be a bomb…was entitled, “I Left My Heart in Algodones.” People in the music business wouldn’t take it, because I was told it was too similar to the hit song by somebody named Tony Bennett, and his hit song, “I Left My Heart in San Fransico.” Who is this guy Tony Bennett anyway? What does he have, that I don’t have? Anyway…my first song went nowhere!

I was not discouraged…and for for my second song. I wrote a little piece entitled, “Won’t You Wear My Rope Around Your Neck.” The same thing happened with this song…the people in the music business, told me that it was too similar to the hit record by Elvis what’s-his-name…a hit song he recorded by the name of, “Won’t You Wear My Ring Around Your Neck.” How can can a person wear a ring around their neck? They must have an awfully skinny neck! Oh well…two songs…two failures. I thought seriously about giving up my songwriting career. (promise, Jer?)

In a 50 year explosion of music during the rock and roll era, I don’t know if anybody can list their top ten favorite groups and individual singers. There are simply too many to choose from, but I’ll try. Here is a list of my top ten rock groups;

1) Electric Light Orchestra; (ELO); I love this group’s music since I first heard them in the mid-1970’s. An English group, and arrived on the scene in the post-British Invasion era. With over 100 million records in sales, this group is unique, as they use string instruments, such as the violins and cellos in their songs, such as Evil Woman; Livin’ Thing; Hold On Tight; Strange Magic; Telephone Line; Don’t Get Me Down; Do Ya and many more. Their creativity and imagination shows with their ELO spaceship (stage) and it zooms in and all the colorful lighting, with lights blinking…simulating a spaceship. This group is so unique and different from all the others! High marks for this group.

2) Chicago; Over 40 years in the business for this group and still going strong. They, too, have their own style like ELO, only they use the brass instruments in their songs…like the trumpets and trombones. This group gets high marks from me in their music and their staying power as well.

3) Bee-Gees; (brothers Gibb); I first saw this group in 1969 on the Tonight Show. I was already familiar with the songs and harmony of the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons, but this group of brothers from England, was something else in their songwriting and harmony, etc. At one time, there were four brothers…but the younger one (Andy) sadly committed suicide. He had hosted Solid Gold for a short time.

The rest of my top ten look something like this;

4) Fleetwood Mac;

5) Moody Blues;

6) CCR; (Creedence Clearwater Revival);

7) Eagles;

8) Rolling Stones);

9) Four Seasons;

10) the Chipmunks

My favorite male singers include; 1) Kenny Rogers; 2) Gordon Lightfoot; 3) Fats Domino;

My favorite female singers include; 1) Anne Murry; 2) Olivia Newton-John; 3) Alice Cooper;

All these groups and individual singers are so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o talented!

“Do I play a musical instrument, you may ask? The only musical instrument I play is the radio…and I don’t even play that well, either!

Recently, I wrote my final song (hooray) and the same thing happened…the people in the music business, told me that it sounded too much by the hit song by ELO entitled, “Do Ya.” Just so you’ll know…the song was entitled, “See Ya” which means that I’m finished in the music business!


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