Fast away the old year passes: Dan Fogelberg, “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980)

(Above: How many New Year's Eves were spent.) This is a series of stories in a few parts that all sort of fit together - it's like "Love, Actually" without the pretty models.   New Year's Eve used to be my favorite holiday. We would all gather together with a lot of alcohol and a … Continue reading Fast away the old year passes: Dan Fogelberg, “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980)

12+ Blogs of Christmas: Just Like The Ones We Used To Know

(Above: The author, exactly 45 Christmases ago.) Nostalgia is Christmas, and vice-versa. What happens when the family gets together for the holidays?  As Andy Williams put it, "the tales of the glories of Christmases long ago."  So much of the Christmas celebration is tradition.  Normally I am opposed to "we've always done it that way," … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: Just Like The Ones We Used To Know

12+ Blogs of Christmas, Airing of Grievances Edition: Bob Rivers, “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” (1988)

(Above: "I gotta lot of problems with you people..." Say the word "festivus," and most people with a handle on popular culture of the 1990s will know exactly what you mean.  The holiday, first introduced to the lexicon by Seinfeld (a show that added such phrases as "double-dipping" and "not that there's anything wrong with … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas, Airing of Grievances Edition: Bob Rivers, “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” (1988)

12+ Blogs of Christmas: We’ll Muddle Through Somehow

(Above: Bummed Out Christmas (Rhino), one of the pieces of my collection.) "What came first - the misery, or the music?" This question, asked by Rob Gordon in High Fidelity (one of my all-time favorite films), is appropriate today. The Christmas season is not all snowflakes and candy canes for everyone.  Depression escalates for some, … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: We’ll Muddle Through Somehow

12+ Blogs of Christmas: Mona Abboud, “The Pretty Little Dolly” (1966)

(Above: Johnny's not sure what he signed up for.) 50 years ago tonight - December 15, 1966 - a classic Christmas moment took place on The Tonight Show. Mona Abboud, an actress who performed children's voices in commercials, got her chance to sit on the panel with Johnny Carson. She performed a song about the … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: Mona Abboud, “The Pretty Little Dolly” (1966)

12+ Blogs of Christmas: The Les Tucker Singers*, “Hardrock, Coco, and Joe” (1951)

(Above: It's not Christmas without these puppets.) You can take the boy out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the boy. Get in a discussion with anyone of a certain age about growing up in Chicago, and the discussion inevitably turns to local television, especially for kids. It's amazed me how many … Continue reading 12+ Blogs of Christmas: The Les Tucker Singers*, “Hardrock, Coco, and Joe” (1951)

Stop the presses: The Lemon Pipers, “Rice is Nice” (1968)

(Above: The December 12, 1991 Southtown Economist, framed and in my office. Students sometimes ask about "all the 8-tracks.") 25 years ago today, my hometown newspaper did a feature on me.  I had left 97X in Davenport, Iowa a few months earlier, and was toiling away doing mornings at WLLI in Joliet. In one move … Continue reading Stop the presses: The Lemon Pipers, “Rice is Nice” (1968)