Sunday, April 22, 2012


NIJI Entertainment released April 21-  Rainbow's (with Ronnie James Dio) "Long Live Rock n Roll" album as a special limited edition Deluxe 12 inch vinyl picture disc on Record Store Day. This very special release with be numbered and limited to just 2,500 copies.

As other Dio limited edition picture discs it is going to sell out quickly. Get your order in......

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Dick Clark died today (Wednesday- April 18) of a heart attack in Santa Monica, Ca (near  Los Angeles) at age 82. Born in Mt Vernon, New York, Clark attended A.B. Davis High School and then moving on to  Syracuse University graduating in 1951. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and also worked at SU campus radio station WAER. He obtained his first professional broadcasting position at WOLF Radio AM-1490 here in Syracuse (1950 to July 1951). At WOLF, Clark started working weekends and soon became a full time WOLF staffer where he played the music of Eddy Arnold, Gene Autry & Marty Robbins. Clark was hired by WOLF  program director Ham Woodle and started working the "Sandman Serenade" at the rate of $1.00 per hour

Dick Clark has a star on the Syracuse Walk of Fame in front of the Landmark Theater and received a  Lifetime Achievement Award from the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) in 1993.  He went on to work at WRUN Radio (Rome, NY) and later became Dick Clay on Utica's WKTV  television. He hosted a country & western show as Cactus Dick & Santa Fe Riders

It was then on to American Bandstand in Philadelphia (replacing Bob Horn on WFIL TV) and later Los Angeles. Dick Clark's "Rockin New Year Eve"became a fixture to all of us on December 31 live from Times Square.  Dick Clark is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. And the rest is Rock & Roll.

His famed "Caravan of Stars" tours started in 1959 headliner by Paul Anka  & Annette. These show visted Syracuse many times featuring the likes of- Gene Pitney, Bobby Vee, Supremes, Tom Jones, Peter & Gordon, Bobby Goldsboro, The Crystals, Brian Hyland, Freddie Cannon, Herman's Hermits, Shirelles, Orlons,The Dovells, Dick & Dee Dee, John Tillotson,  Lou Christie, Gary Lewis & The Playboys. Little Anthony and the Imperials,  Dixie Cups, The Hondells, Round Robin,  Reparata and the Delrons, Mel Carter, Billy Stewart, Ronnie Dove, Billy Jo Royal, Bobby Freeman,  Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans and many-many- more throughout the years.

Dick Clark was also heard on radio syndication here in Syracuse first on WOLF Radio from 2-4 PM afternoons in 1963

Dick Clark a rock and roll giant was a friend to many of us in Central New York. He will be deeply missed - Ron


Lloyd William Baskin from New Jersey when on to graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design, but he turned to music as his profession in 1966. Lloyd was first seen in CNY as the keyboardist for Otis (Smith) and the Headliners. After a name changes they became Otis and the All Night Workers (Billy Elmiger, Steve McCord, Herb Flowers, Otis Smith & Baskin). This very popular band played clubs like the Fayetteville Inn and the Brookside in 1964-66.  Lloyd Baskin sang lead and played his Wurlitzer 140B electric piano on their regional hit "Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket" recorded  in New York City by producer Jerry Vance (Pickwick International) and released on the Round Sound Record Label.

Eggs  hit #1 on WOLF Radio in December 1965. The flip "Why Don't You Smile" was co-written by Steve Mc Cord's early ex-SU roommate Lou Reed  while he was employed as a writer for Pickwick. To the best of the bands memory, that was  Reed's only involvement. He did not play or sing on the track.

Next came their release "Honey and Wine" (Otis Smith lead vocal) on Cameo Record, followed by "Misery" for Mercury Records in 1967. The All Night Workers also became the backup band for former Boston Red Sox- Tony Conigliaro, who had a contract with RCA Records while performing on the Merv Griffin TV Show.

With the All Night Workers demise in New England, Lloyd joined the national company of Jesus Christ Superstar in Boston. Next Baskin joined the national group "Seatrain." Their first release was a self-titled album on A&M Records in 1969. A label change to Capitol produced the hit single "13 Questions". Lloyd is featured on both Capitol albums "Seatrain" (1971) and "Marblehead Messenger" 1971).

Other releases include- Orphan's Lp "More Orphan than Hot" (1974) and Martin Mulls' album "Days of Wine and Neuroses" (1975). Lloyd would later return to Syracuse teaming with Mark Hoffmann, Gary Goal, Tommy Neuman and his wife Sanda Lee to form the (late 1970's)  band- "Baskin, Hoffmann & Lee". Baskin then returned to his home base of Los Angeles and was seen in the motion picture "Bugsy" (1990) playing a Ciro's singer. More recently Baskin played keyboards, clavinet and added vocal to Patricia Rushen's album "New". Lloyd Baskin currently resided in Southern California.


Feb 7-9, 1941                Louis Armstrong                           RKO Keith's Theater

Apr 18, 1941                 Howard Thurston (Magician)       RKO Strand    

May 9-11, 1941             Count Basie                                  RKO Strand

May 23-25, 1941           Sally Rand                                    RKO Strand

June 16-18, 1941            Vincent Lopez Orchestra             RKO Keiths

June 20-22, 1941            Bill "Bojangles" Robinson           RKO Strand

June 22, 1941                 Gene Krupa                                   Sylvan Beach

July 17, 1941                  Tommy Dorsey Orchestra            Sylvan Beach

Aug 24, 1941                  Kate Smith                                    N.Y.S. Fair

Jan 6, 1942                      3 Stooges (Curly, Larry, Moe)      Strand Theater

Apr 13, 1942                   Gypsy Rose Lee                             Strand Theater

Dec 31, 1943                   Judy Garland                                  Loews State

July 16-17, 1943             Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey Circus- McCarthy Island

Nov 24, 1945                  Benny Goodman Orchestra             Jefferson St Armory

Dec 8, 1944                    Duke Ellington                                 SU Kappa Alpha Tao Frat

Nov 12-19, 1945             Chris Powell & Original Blues Flames    Clover Club

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Irving Kaufman was the youngest of five sons (Jack, Phil, Charles, Harry & Irving) born to Isadore Burnet A. Kaufman a Russian immigrant in Syracuse on February 8, 1890. Brought up in a musical family where his father and two uncles sang in a local synagogue. At age five Irving started singing for money passing the hat when he performed on street corners, hotels, street cars, trains and even in bars. When he turned eight Kaufman sang for Soldiers leaving Syracuse for the Spanish-American War. That year he and his brother Phil were signed by a booking agent to sing with Vaudeville personality Jenny Eddy Trio touring across Upstate New York and New York City. After two years traveling with the Trio, Irving joined the Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Circus singing with the Merrick Band some 50-piece string. He traveled with the Circus for two seasons and after its closing was offered a job singing by John Ringling. Kaufman only appeared once with Ringling Brothers Circus in Denver before heading back to Syracuse.

While in Syracuse he worked various jobs including elevator operator and greeter with the L.C. Smith Typewriter Company. Now age 14, Kaufman obtained a $10 a night position singing at a local motion picture show. Then it was on to New York in 1911 gaining employment pushing songs for $35 a week for Leo Feist Music Company Inc. one of New York City's largest sheet music companies.

In 1913, Irving Kaufman headed to Vaudeville landing in the comedy act "The Avon Comedy Four". Tours in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England followed. September 21, 1915, he married his childhood sweetheart Syracusan Sara Lazarus and settled in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Soon after joining  the Avon Comedy Four Irving attracted the attention of the (Thomas) Edison Recording Company as a solo singer. The Edison Company was located at 75 Fifth Avenue where he went to make his test recording. In 1914 Edison Company issued Irving Kaufman's fist recording on Blue Amberol Cylinder titled "I Love the Ladies" (Edison #2328).

Irving then moved to Victor Records in April 1914 and then to the Columbia Records studio in 1916. The Avon Comedy Four appeared in Flo Ziegfeld's melodrama "Why Worry" with Kaufman playing the role of Dubin opening in New York in July 1918.

After his departure from the Avon Comedy Four, Kaufman worked in  the Shubert Brothers (Syracuse natives) production of "The Passing Show of 1918." He left the show after the untimely death of his brother Phillip who fell victim to the flu epidemic. Phillip was one-half of the singing group "The Kaufman Brothers' along with Irving's other brother Jack. Jack & Irving then teamed in a new Kaufman Brothers in 1919. This partnership lasted through 1923.

Irving rejoined the Shubert's in "Passing Show of 1919" playing at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. In September 1919, Irving, Jack along with band leader Arthur Fields (The Kaufields) signed a three-year recording contract with Emerson Records. Kaufman next appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920, then it was back on the Vaudeville road with Keith's Theater circuit in 1921.

Irving Kaufman's amazing recording career lasted from 1914 through 1974 (cylnders, 78's, 33 1/3 & 45's). In those sixty year his voice was heard on over twenty different labels (hundreds on recordings) such as- Edison, Apex, Banner, Bennett, Bell, Cameo, Columbia, Conqueror, Diva, Diamond, Domino, Emerson, Gennett, Harmony, Okeh, Paramount, Perfect, Regal, Silvertone, Star, Sterling, Velvet Tone, Vocalion and Victor "His Masters Voice"  recording under ten different names. His radio broadcast names included "Happy Jim" Parsons, "Lazy Dan" and Johnny Prentiss.

This amazing American Recording Pioneer died on January 3, 1976 in Indio, California at age 85.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


John Kane is widely known as one of Central New York's all-time greatest musicians. This Syracuse Music Hall of Famer is a 1960 Cortland High School graduate who played saxophone in Cortland's High's Dance Band, Senior Band and School Orchestra between 1957-60. Note- John was Cortland High's Senior Ball King crowned by Class President Ronnie James Dio himself.

John's first band was a dixieland dance band and then  for a short time he joined  Ronnie James Dio band the Vegas Kings where Elvis Presley songs (Jailhouse Rock) were featured during most of  1958. He then shifted style and appeared with an early version of Donnie (Don Barber) and the Dukes (1960-61) another one of CNY's musical greats. 

John's major influences at this time were rhythm and blues players as Dave "Fat Head" Newman a sax player with Ray Charles and the Texas R&B style of Stanley Turrentine.

Then it was on to Syracuse to join with The Dynamics (late 1961) who had just changed their name from Jeff & The Notes. The Dynamics included Jeff Chappelle (guitar), Nick Russo (drums), Ray Smith (bassist), Brian Sanders (guitar) and John Kane on sax (who replaced Doug Mancabelli) who left for military service).

The Dynamics played such hot spots as- Sorrentos, Albee Hotel, Masonic Temple, Parquet Lounge and the Pavillion in Auburn.. They also played the famed Three River Inn Nightclub appearing with such nationals acts as Paul Anka, Freddie Cannon Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Chiffon's and The Marvelettes. Before their breakup in 1963, the Dynamics were featured on Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars Tour that played the Syracuse War Memorial. They also sang  the popular radio commercial "City Opticians Have It For The Eyes" that aired in this market about 20 years.

Bobby Comstock in need of a  horn section while on a national tour asked John Kane (sax) and  David "Rock" Feinstein (trumpet) to join him on the road to play at Geauga Lake Park near Cleveland on August 4, 1965 to back up such stars as Sonny & Cher ("I Got You Babe"), Bobby Vee, Johnny Tillotson & Barbara Lewis also playing that evening was Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Following Vegas Kings,  Donnie & The Dukes and The Dynamics, John Kane also performed in the following groups- Soul Brothers, Music Incorporated with Art "Legs "Robins, Spiegle Wilcox Band, Jazz Minds (Mark & Bobby Doyle), Danny D'Imperio, Sox Tiffault, Slow Burn (1977), Toots Revue, Dave Hanlon's Funky Jazz Band (1976- Eric Miller. Joe Jewell, Jack Holton, Dave Hanlon and John Kane), Charlie Bertini's Applejazz Band (included Dave Hanlon, Larry Arlotta, Dick Chave, Dave Gannett and guest Joe Whiting), Skip Murphy's Out of the Blue and Dave Hanlon's Cookbook (Mark Copani, Eric Miller, Emededin Rivera, Rafael Oritz Jr, Dave Hanlon & John Kane). The latest version of Cookbook included Ava Andrews, Edgar Pagan, Lee  Tiffault, Bill Dicosimo, Dave Hanlon and John Kane)

John has also appeared on the recording of many of the area's top talent  such as Out of the Blue Cd (1997), Jimmy Cavallo, Kim Lembo (Mama Lion), Todd Hobin (Keepin the Dream Alive), The Kingsnakes (19 Lucky Strikes), The Mind's Eye, Joe Whiting (Strong Love),  Billy Piranha & The Enemies, Billy Stephens (San Remo),  Tom Townsley (Blue Roller), Mark Tiffault (Zinc's Palace), Dave Hanlon's Cookbook (Live from the Dinosaur Bar B Que) and Charlie Bertini and the AppleJazz Band (Apple Sass) to name a few. I'm sure I forgot a few.....

John Kane also appeared and played at a private party fund raiser for Hillary Clinton at the home of Duke Kinne in Syracuse. President Clinton and Hillary came on stage with John and the Todd Hobin Band the president declined  John's offer of a tenor sax (borrowed from Joe Whiting) so the president could sit in. That's a Hall of Fame career topper for this superstars musical career.. PS- And a great guy to boot.....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The FlashCubes -  (Gary Frenay, Arty Lenin, Paul Armstrong & Tommy Allen) returned to Japan this week for an eight-day, five date tour (April 6-11). The Flashcubes have a new Cd coming out to coincide with the tour. The Cd "Sportin' Wood" features the Cubes playing the songs of Roy Wood. It will be available to Central New Yorkers upon their return.

The FlashCubes Japanese Tour opened at the G-Side in Hamamatsu (6th), then moves to the Shinjuka Jam in Tokyo (7th), Jittoku in Kyoto (8th), Hall Spiritual Lounge in Sapporo (10th) and concludes back in Tokyo at the Shinjuka Jam (12th).

The FlashCubes also had a very successful tour of Japan back in 2002