BACK to Blog Posts

April 23rd, 2009 thurs
April 23rd, 2009

Question: People talk about Brainwashing. Where did that come from? Have you ever been brainwashed..?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Who were Murray the K and Cousin Brucie?
History for 4/23/2009
Birthdays: William Shakespeare, President James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple is 80, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee,Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 69, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 55, Herve Villechaise- da plane ! da plane!

This was the ancient Roman Feast of the Vinalia, the feast of the first grapevine plantings.

This is the Feast of St. George.- George of Nicomedia was a native of Illyria (Croatia) who went up to the Emperor Diocletian’s palace and tore up his edict banning Christianity. Then Diocletian had George torn up. In the old tradition of borrowing from pagan myths, the Coptic Christian monks took from the Ancient Egyptian religion the famous battle between Horus and his evil uncle Seth, God of Sandstorms, often represented in temple art as a weird dragon-like animal.

1014- BATTLE OF CLONTARF- Irish High King Brian Boru defeated the Vikings and drove them from Ireland. Boru himself was too elderly to fight, so he was praying in a church when a renegade group of Danes surrounded the church and set it on fire.
Oh well, at least he won...

1348- The Order of the Garter created in England.

1374- The King of England grants the writer Geoffrey Chaucer a pot of wine daily for the rest of his life. What more could a writer ask for !

1500- Explorer Pedro Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1538- Protestant theologian John Calvin was asked to leave his ministry in Geneva for being, uhh, well.. too Puritan. Geneva went party wild. Two years later the city fathers called Calvin back to clean up the town.

1616-After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty second birthday.

1784- Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s plan to extend government to territories west of the Appalachian Mountains but reject his suggestion that ten states be organized with classical names like Metropotamia and Polypotamia. Some of his suggestions for Indian names like Michigania and Illinoia sounded better however.

1789- President-elect George Washington and Martha move in to their temporary U.S. capitol of New York City. Traveling from Virginia up to New York every town he passed through greeted him with huge parades and celebrations. When moving through Philadelphia the artist John Singleton Copley had designed a triumphal arch that as Washington moved under it sprang a strange mechanical device that plopped a gold laurel wreath on his head. Annoyed, the startled statesman tore it off.
Once set up as President, Washington realized that the first Presidential residence Franklin House had no furniture, and Congress was broke. He had to pay out of his own pocket for all the furnishings and dinnerware, large enough for state dinners of thirty or more. When he left office in 1796 he offered to John Adams to sell him his furniture. When the frugal New Englander balked at the price, Washington left the new President of the United States an empty mansion with a few candle sticks and one crystal punch bowl.

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City.. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on and the future of film was nickelodeon machines. The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1900- A celebration held in Russian Georgia was addressed by a young revolutionary who had been expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary where he was studying to become a priest. Josef Dzugashvili was later encouraged by other revolutionaries to change his name so the Czar’s police wouldn’t pick up his family. He changed his name to Man of Steel- Josef Stalin.

1903- The first game of the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) baseball team. They defeated the Washington Senators, 7-2.

1945- As the Red Army was battling in the suburbs of Berlin S.S. Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler quietly contacted Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte and requests peace terms with the Allies. From his hiding place in Bavaria Hermann Goring was also trying to make peace as well. When Hitler found out from Martin Bormann, he was furious and ordered both of them under house arrest.

1951 -Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

1971- Vietnam veterans protest the continued U.S. presence in the war by ceremoniously tossing their service medals over the White House fence. One angry soldier who tossed his medals was future Democratic Senator John Kerry. Meanwhile Lt. George W. Bush was in the Texas Air Guard, tossing his cookies.

1985- Coca Cola introduces New Coke. It's reception by the public is so overwhelmingly bad that the company returned to the original formula 90 days later. The chairman of rival Pepsi Cola exulted: " We've been eye to eye for decades and I think the other guy's just blinked ! New Coke became a symbol for large scale executive incompetence, well…uh… until this year.

1998- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced Windows 98 to a 4,000 industry leaders. When he ceremonially opened the first window, the system immediately crashed-.Doh!

2003- Boston area Catholic priests began to get busted for child molestation and the coverup by the Archdiocese was exposed. One priest, a Father Shayne was a registered member of the Man-Boy Love Society (NAMBLA). Outraged parishioners demanded the eventual resignation of Cardinal Law of Boston. Instead Cardinal Law was recalled to Rome were he was made pastor of the Church of Maria Maggiore. Pope Benedict XVI in America in 2008 apologized for the scandal and met with the victims.
Yesterday’s question answered below: Who were Murray the K and Cousin Brucie?

Answer: Murray Kaufman and Bruce Morrow were local New York City radio DJ’s who filled the vacuum when Alan Fried fell from grace in the Payola Scandal. Murray the K gained a national audience when he was the first American to get exclusive interviews with the British phenomenon the Beatles, when they landed in NY for their first tour. Cousin Brucie introduced them at their first concert, and was close to Elvis Presley. Tom Woolf called Murray the K the “original loud crazy rock & roll DJ”. ( Maybe in NY, but out in- LA Wolfman Jack might dispute that..) Murray the K coined terms like “ A Blast from the Past”.

Murray the K died in 1982, but Cousin Brucie still is on the air on Radio XM.

More info from reader P.A.-

Anyone who spent a day in New York in the late 1950s and into the '60s knew those two. Murray was the top rated rock jock on the airwaves (and, ultimately, the top DJ in all formats, toppling John Gambling on WOR-AM). When WINS sold out to Group W in 1965 and went all-news-all-the-time, Murray pioneered the first FM rock station on WOR-FM, working as both the prime time evening DJ and program director and bringing Scott Muni and Rosko to the roster.

Bruce, who was the first to succeed Alan Freed at WINS, was quickly replaced in that slot by Murray and moved to WABC, where he ruled as the top jockey for a predominantly white, middle class demographic. Bruce also took over the Palisades Park rock shows that Murray had hosted in the '50s, often parading around in leopard print suits that were, well... not flattering. Yet the man has incredible staying power and even "appeared" in such unlikely places as Dirty Dancing as the voice on the radio.

In his 1958-1967 heyday, Murray held vaudeville-style rock 'n' roll extravaganzas three or four times a year at the Brooklyn Paramount (with Clay Cole) and the Academy of Music on 14th Street in Manhattan before settling in for six years at the Brooklyn Fox. Often running from 10 am to midnight, those six or seven-show-a-day bills featured the top performers on the charts... and introduced acts that Murray discovered before they got national notice, including Wayne Newton, the Lovin' Spoonful, and his one-time band leader, Bobby Vinton. When he moved to the RKO 58th Street theater in Manhattan for his last show, the roster featured the Who and Cream (in their first US performances) along with Simon and Garfunkel, Mitch Ryder, Wilson Pickett, and more.

Murray died in 1982, but his work reappears from time to time in clips from his groundbreaking 1965 CBS special It's What's Happening, Baby which was the pre-cursor to MTV -- fifteen years before MTV.