Friday, October 8, 2010

I'll Play The Carpenters; I'll Play Barry Manilow

TigerBlog has 1,129 songs on his I-tunes.

Of those, 130 are by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, followed in second place by Train with 45 songs and in third by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with 42.

TB isn't sure how the random-play function on I-tunes works, since it seems like some songs are played way more than others. In fact, there are six songs that have played at least 160 times each: "My City of Ruins," "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" and "The Land of Hope And Dreams" by Bruce, "Teenage Idol" by Ricky Nelson and "Don't Let Him Go" by REO Speedwagon are all on that list, which is led by Bruce's "Meet Me At Mary's Place," which tops the chart, so to speak, with 167 plays.

As an aside, TB-Baltimore, during his time in the next office here in the OAC, used to cringe everytime he heard "I got seven pictures of Buddha" and vowed never to listen to the song again after he left here.

There are a lot of different groups that have at least one song on the list, including 19 that begin with the letter "A" alone. Some are one-hit wonders, and others have a solid block of songs.

Included in the 1,129 songs are 10 by The Carpenters and three by Barry Manilow. If you're in TB's age range, you probably 1) love both and 2) would never admit it publicly.

The lead singer for The Carpenters was Karen Carpenter, who had an angelic voice and died from anorexia at the age of 32 back in 1983. She left behind a string of hits, including "We've Only Just Begun," "Close to You," "Yesterday Once More," "Top Of The World" and many more. Her brother Richard played the guitar.

As for Barry Manilow, he's still going fairly strong at the age of 67, with his familiar mega-hits like "Copacabana," "I Write The Songs," "Weekend In New England," "Even Now" and many others as well.

For some reason, The Carpenters and Barry Manilow weren't quite cool enough for the average teenager back then to admit that he/she was a fan. Also for some reason, though, everyone knew all the words to all of their songs.

The whole Carpenters/Manilow thing is captured perfectly in two television comedies. One was on an episode of "Family Guy," when Peter and his buddies hear the news that Manilow is going to be playing a concert in Quahog and begin by making fun of it, only to admit that they secretly love his music.

The other is from "WKRP in Cincinnati," which could quite possibly be the most underrated comedy in TV history.

Anyway, Dr. Johnny Fever was the top deejay at WKRP, a devoted rocker from the ’60s and ’70s. On one episode, when a bomber attacks the radio station's transmitter (where Johnny and Venus Flytrap had gone because they thought the station was the target), Johnny just gets out on time because he hears sirens coming and thinks it's the "phone cops," who know he just destroyed a phone (back in those days, the phone company owned the telephones). Venus chases Johnny out the door, just before the bomb goes off.

The two end up back at the station, where Johnny tries to hide from the phone cops. He screams to Travis (the program director): "I'll play The Carpenters; I'll play Barry Manilow."

If there is an equatable situation today, TigerBlog says it's with Miley Cyrus, beloved by the under 10 girls and, grudgingly, by their parents. Hey, go listen to "Make Some Noise" and come back and tell TigerBlog that that's not a great song.

Still, even TB was surprised yesterday afternoon, when he was on his way to the E-level storage room, located next to the Princeton Varsity Club weightroom, which was busy with activity. And the song that was blaring? "Party In The USA."

TigerBlog was down there to get the 1959 football roster to answer a question that had been asked. It turned out to be quite an educational trip.

The 1959 roster included 66 names. Here are your questions, to be answered in a paragraph or two:

* how many players weighed more than 200 pounds?
* how much did the heaviest player weigh?

The current Princeton roster has 81 players who weigh more than 200 pounds, 38 who weigh at least 250 and five who weigh more than 300.

Back then? Of the 66, 14 weighed more than 200 and nobody weighed more than 225.

Football players of varying weights will be playing this weekend on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium, beginning tonight with sprint football against Post and continuing tomorrow with the football game against Colgate.

As an aside, TB has always wondered how to transition from talking about sprint to talking about the other football team. Both are varsity sports, so you can't call one sprint and the other varsity. Former sprint coach Tom Murray used to call his team the lightweight team and the other the heavyweight team.

It's a big home weekend for Princeton Athletics, with eight games on campus between tonight and Sunday.

The sprint game is as intriguing as any, since the matchup is between the Tigers, who has lost 66 straight to CSFL opponents, and Post, who is 0-2 in its first year with a CSFL team.

The (other/heavyweight/Saturday) football game is the first of three straight home games, with Brown and Harvard due in the following two weeks. Interestingly, in Princeton's last 10 games, the home team has won nine (Princeton won at Dartmouth last year), and you know the Tigers can't wait to play again after last week's 42-14 loss to Columbia.

The women's volleyball team, fresh off its stunning rally from two games down to defeat defending Ivy champ Penn, hosts Brown tonight and Yale tomorrow.

There is also a soccer doubleheader tomorrow after football, with the men at 4 and the women at 7, both against Brown. The women's team is 2-0-0 in the league, tied for first with Penn, while the men won their Ivy opener last week in impressive fashion, 3-0 over Dartmouth.

The third-ranked field hockey team away today at No. 4 Virginia in a huge matchup, and then there is a quick turnaround for Sunday's 1 p.m. home game against No. 8 Louisville.

The men's water polo team is home tomorrow against Bucknell at 2.

Eight games in 44 hours, seven of which have no admission charge.

What's not to like?


Anonymous said...

One night at dinner my junior year (1981), I sat down near an older guy (defined at the time as "anybody older than 22"). He introduced himself as a writer for Rolling Stone who was on campus to sit in on a precept. I asked him what he thought of Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes.

He paused and looked at me with deep contemplation, as if I had just asked him a question about US foreign policy, then answered, "I think that the guitar solo [by Billy Rush] in 'Hearts of Stone' by itself qualifies Southside Johnny as having made an important, permanent contribution to American music. Anything and everything they do beyond that is a bonus."

Sure enough, the next year (1982), Rolling Stone voted the album "Hearts of Stone" onto a list of the top 100 albums since the magazine's founding in 1967.

Just a random story about the interesting people you meet in college.

Anonymous said...

Although Billy Rush played lead guitar on every other song on the album, the guitar solo in the title track "Hearts of Stone" was performed by Miami Steve Van Zandt, who also contributed the guitar solo in the song "Born To Run," which was of course written by Bruce Springsteen, who also wrote the song "Hearts of Stone." Small world, down there in Jersey.

Say what you will about Harvard and Yale, they don't got Springsteen and Southside.