~~~

  • President Jimmy

    Truly sad to hear that President Jimmy Carter, now 90, has liver cancer that has spread. He’s had a long life, a good life by almost every possible measure, and I wish the best for him, as I always have.

    I met him twice when he was running for President and became a lifelong fan.

    Over the years, I’ve had a couple of other chances to shake his hand and talk with him.
    Although President Carter was a victim of bad luck regarding the hostage taking in Iran, when the US Embassy was overrun, and the Middle East oil crisis, he was, and is, a truly great person, as his post presidential life these past 35 years has shown; having been the world over, promoting fair, honest elections, primarily in Africa and both Central and South America. But he has also spent significant time wherever freedom needed his assistance. Jimmy’s efforts with Habitat For Humanity show yet another example of a life dedicated to helping others.

    All the best to him. – Harry>

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  • FIXING THE RED SOX. A MID-SEASON COURSE CORRECTION

    SOXHere are the fifteen things, regarding the Boston Red Sox, that I would do immediately, charting them on a better, a new course

    1. Fire John Farrell as the club manager.

    2. Fire Ben Cherington (club GM) and Bill James.

    3. Go out and get multiple frontline starting pitchers.

    4. Fire some scouts and talent evaluators and replace them.

    5. Hire John Farrell as the club general manager.

    6. Retire the song “Sweet Caroline” and never play it at Fenway.

    7. Bring Jackie Bradley Jr. up from AAA. Make him your permanent CF.

    8. Move Alex De Aza to LF. Move Mookie Betts to RF

    9. Bolster the bullpen. Trade Breslow.

    10. Platoon Hanley Ramirez / David Ortiz, one being the DH, the other playing 1B. Both start but have Alan Craig in the wings.

    11. TRADE: Sandoval, Porcello, and Victorino. Release Mike Napoli.

    12. Send Eddy Rodriguez (P) back to AAA for more seasoning.

    13. Have Brock Holt play 3B on a daily basis and bat lead off.

    14. Hire a new manager, maybe Ozzie Guillen, who is a little feared, a little crazy, and who will bench anyone who isn’t hustling, playing fundamental defensive baseball, making good base running decisions, and can’t successfully drive runners in and/or move them along. Maybe Ozzie, maybe not.

    15. Hire me as a team consultant.


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  • CRITICS CORNER

    THOUGHTS ON FOX SPORTS’ TV COVERAGE OF THE US OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT

    There are three golf analysts who unfailingly speak the truth: Johnny Miller, Paul Azinger, and Brandel Chamblee. All have their critics, but no one can deny they say what they think and are quick to point out shortcomings of players, courses, even themselves. To a much lesser degree, Nick Faldo can sometimes be an honest analyst, not consistently as unafraid as Miller, Azinger, and Chamblee are.

    Without one of these three, any important golf event is much more vanilla. Knowing what the players are really saying about the course conditions, behind closed doors, is the difference between reality and something less than that.

    Fox was pretty terrible compared to the three major networks or ESPN. What Fox thought that Steve Flesch, Tom Weiskopf, or Brad Faxon would bring to the tournament was a huge overexpectation on their part. Greg Norman wasn’t going to make waves and seemed coached to some degree. Weiskopf can be ascerbic, but certainly wasn’t with Fox.

    David Duval was surprising in his reticence to speak without a voice in his ear telling him to say the sweet nothings that popped out of his mouth. I know Duval can do a lot better and perhaps he can become the truth teller that Fox needs in order to bring great golf commentary to important events.

    I’m no great fan of Joe Buck, nor am I a great detractor either, but suffice to say that from my perspective he was generally pretty good.

    Chambers Bay was a beautiful place and a pretty cool layout, but the greens were woeful for a US Open. Brandel Chamblee on the Golf Channel’s air, was forthright in his criticisms. Fox could not bring itself to criticize either the USGA or Mike Davis and both deserved a whole heap of grief for the conditions of the putting surfaces. Mild mannered Ernie Els said, post event, that the greens were mostly just dirt.


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  • On Jordan Spieth

    JORDAN SPIETH – THE GAME OF GOLF HAS A NEW SUPERSTAR
    “He is a walking extension of the traditions of this game.” – Brandel Chamblee, The Golf Channel
    Chalk another one up for the good guys. This humble kid, just 21, is in full possession of all the requisite skills to end up in the pantheon of Golf’s greatest players ever. He’ll need to keep up the good work, and I fully expect him to, for the next 15 years or so, to equal and surpass the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones, Old Tom Morris, and Phil Mickelson; but the sky is the limit for Jordan Spieth.
    The Kid, as I will from now on call him, (a not so subtle reference to the baseball legend, Ted Williams, who was known throughout his Hall of Fame professional baseball career as “The Kid.”) turned pro in late 2012. This is his third season on the PGA Tour where he has played in 75 tournaments, made the cut in 62 of them, and has now won four of them, including the first two majors of 2015.
    For non golf fans, there are four majors every year, and they are: The Masters Tournament, The United States Open, The British Open which is also referred to as the Open Championship, and the PGA Tournament. That is all there are. Four events that every great player in the world wants to play in and win.
    In a time when Tiger Woods’ star seems to be descending, from almost out of nowhere comes this fresh faced, self effacing, young pro who has a star that is ascendance, to say the least. There is only Northern Ireland superstar, Rory McIlroy, as the other young golfer who plays and wins regularly at the Majors. McIlroy is now in possession of four Major titles, at the ripe age of 26. Rory turned pro in 2007 and has won 11 of the 95 PGA tournaments he has played in. Rory is a world golfer and has now played in 151 European Tour events, taking first prize eleven times. Overall, Rory has played in 26 major tournaments and has won four of them.
    In my lifetime, Arnold Palmer arrived on the golf scene, taking the reins from Ben Hogan. Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, and most especially Jack Nicklaus, universally given credit as the greatest golfer of all time, came to prominence in the second half of the 20th century. And those great major champions gave way to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. That brings us to Rory McIlroy and to Jordan Spieth, who as a self professed “amateur golf historian” understands better than most what he has accomplished and the historic golf company he is keeping.
    In about three weeks, the great golfers of the world will tee it up at St. Andrews, the “Home of Golf,” at The Auld Course, for the 2015 British Open, which is the third of golf’s four majors. Then in August the PGA will be played, this year along the shores of Lake Michigan, at Whistling Straits, in Kohler, Wisconsin. Tiger will be there, Phil Mickelson too, and Rory and Jordan, and all of the best players, each trying to win golf’s next major, and carve their name in golfing history.
    Going back a ways, my favorite golfers were Payne Stewart and Paul Azinger. For the past ten years or so, I have exclusively been for Phil Mickelson, now 45 years of age, with his meter running on his chance to win another major or two, before Time erodes his skills.
    From this point going forward, I will be rooting equally for Philly Mick and Jordan Spieth, and I promise to telepathically will putts in the cup for both of them. They say nice guys don’t finish first, but whoever thought that one up, doesn’t know a thing about either Phil or The Kid. –
    Harry Lipson
    6-22-15


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  • LESTER HOLT

    LESTERCongratulations to Lester Holt for being named the permanent Anchor of the NBC Nightly News.

    photo by Harry Lipson


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  • THE JUDGE: a movie reviewed

    JUDGEYeah.  Hell yeah.  The best movie I’ve seen in a good long while.   THE JUDGE.  Brilliantly acted, drilled right down with a nearly perfect script.  I love good writing.  Robert Downey, Jr. was better than I have ever seen him.  Vera Farmiga was tender and wise and she nailed it.  And then there is Robert Duvall.   Son of a Bitch can flat fucking act.  He is as close to pure as an actor can be.

    I heard that Nicholson turned down the role and, while we all love Jack, I’m most appreciative that he said no, because the role was tailor-made for Robert Duvall.  And then there is Mr. Thornton.  Ol’ Billy Bob.  Everything he does is good and worth savoring.  Small town Indiana never looked so good.  Let me ask you, can a movie be as bittersweet as can be and also be about as sweet as a piece of homemade pie.  This movie is a paean about family and love and loss and grief and it’s a lot about anger and jealousy.

    Directed beautifully by David Dobkin, with cinematography by Janusz Kaminski who made great use of light, space, and a handful of drones that slowly rise just to make a point, which is what good film making is essentially about.   Well done, gentlemen.  And in a cookie cutter age when movies have to be two hours or less, Dobkin and his editors end up with 2 hours and 22 minutes.  Thanks for not leaving it on the cutting room floor just to satisfy industry timeframes.

    I hope this movie wins awards, for two reasons, first so it will attract a wider audience; and lastly, because it might bring more scripts, more well acted roles, more lovely visuals.  THE JUDGE is one of the best movies in the past ten years.  Just my opinion, what’s yours? –  Harry Lipson, 6-7-15.


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  • Tom Brady and Deflate-gate – My Take

    TOM BRADY and Deflate-gate MY TAKE

    nflHere is what I think. Tom Brady’s game footballs were, whenever possible, slightly deflated by a a pound or two. This, I believe, from all that I have heard and read, is common throughout much of the NFL.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Quarterbacks like their balls to have a particular grip and feel, and air pressure is one of the factors in getting a game football to a quarterback’s liking.
    – – – – – – –
    The NFL rule that says footballs must begin the game inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch; a rule that, as far as we know, has never been enforced by the NFL in the six years that it has been in the rule book.
    – – – – – – – –
    Is that cheating? Let me ask you, when you drive 40mph in a 35mph zone, are you speeding? That’s what we have here, rules violation wise. Most quarterbacks do it and nobody’s been pulled over and given a ticket. Until Brady.
    – – – – – – – –
    What I am upset about is Tom Brady’s reputation. When mid October rolls around and the suspension has been served, the draft picks docked, and the million dollar fine paid by New England, what is left is Tom Brady being forever labeled a cheater and a liar. They can’t take it all back or make it go away.
    It’s a relatively minor offense that he committed, and yes, I think he knew about it, and somewhere in the distant past (Brady has been the starting QB since 2001), Tom had a discussion with some equipment guy for the Patriots and the balls were subsequently “attended to.”
    The fact that Tom didn’t deflate the balls himself is not the issue. It was done at his behest and he was okay with them diddling with the pigskin. That makes him guilty of the violation, but it does not remotely rise to the level of spousal abuse (Ray Rice and his wife in the elevator). It does not remotely or vaguely rise to the level of pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, as another Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, did in 2000, regarding the murder to two men in Atlanta. It does not remotely rise to the level of Richie Incognito, a veteran lineman for the Miami Dolphin who engaged in horrendous hazing of rookie teammate, Jonathan Martin.
    Tom is technically guilty of violating a rule has never been enforced and is regularly broken by lots of other teams in the NFL. TB got caught but the price he is paying is far to steep. A man should not lose his reputation for this.
    When it’s mid October and this suspension has been served, where does the greatest QB in NFL history go to get his reputation back?
    All those kids who wanted to grow up to be like Tom Brady, have a hero with an asterisk, a backstory, a black mark, something parents will long be telling as a cautionary tale. From most accounts, Tom Brady is a guy who basically never takes a shortcut, who has never done drugs, who always does the right thing and is unfailingly polite and humble.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Had this sting operation not been bungled from start to finish by the NFL and Roger Goodell, the league’s best player would still be just that. Look, I am a diehard New England Patriot fan and a big Tom Brady guy; still I candidly admit Tom Brady’s associative guilt and subsequent foot dragging during the Wells Investigation regarding what is a relatively small infraction that had never once been enforced, that has now morphed into a public flogging of Tom Brady and his legacy, due to the thoughtless and careless way the NFL has handled this somewhat tragic sports story.


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  • Rioting in the Streets

    I very well remember 1968; the days after the Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  Gunned down on a motel balcony.  The ghettos of America erupted and there were riots in every major city in America.  The frustration and anger that was all pent up in Black America boiled over.

    Baltimore, D.C., Hough in Cleveland, Roxbury and Mattapan in Boston, Watts in L.A., in Indianapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia, NYC, and essentially every African American ghetto had uncontrolled rioting.

    Watching Baltimore re-live the bitterness, fear, resentment, alienation, and despair is heart rending.  The same socio-economic conditions exist.  Today gangs are far more prevalent than back 50 years ago.  I would be angry too if I lived in those conditions.  I’d be protesting and maybe even joining the rioting.  I would hate to live in near or actual poverty, without an interesting job, without feeling safe and respected.  Our Society has addressed some of these issues but while many may be the beneficiaries in 2015, it is quite clear and obvious that we have failed, as a society, to provide opportunity and hope to a lot of Americans, of all races and religions, all ethnicities.   Baltimore may be in for a long hot summer, as the expression would go back in the late 1960s.  “A long hot summer.”

    We have so much wealth that is concentrated in such a way that the chances of happiness and success are limited for a significant portion of the American population in 2015 America.   So tonight on the streets of Baltimore and on the street of Ferguson, there are a lot of voices with a lot of questions, and unfortunately, there are too few answers and no easy, quick fix to a societal problem that truly must be addressed.  I can’t help but think of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “If I Had A Hammer.”  The lyrics ring true today just like they did in 1949 when Lee Hays and Pete Seeger wrote it. –  Harry on April 29, 2015


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  • Celtics Defeat Cleveland ?

    Well I was wrong. We got swept.

    But, however, nevertheless, in spite of this, say what you will, such is the case, Se la vie. And so it goes…

    You have to hand it to the Boston Celtics. This team is unselfish. They move the rock. Every night they are busting their butts for each other. The scrappy Celtics seem to listen to their young Coach, Brad Stevens, in his first foray into the pro ranks. If all that weren’t enough, these guys are almost always out-hustling their opponents. Diving for balls. Grabbing rebounds. Stealing basketballs. Making the extra pass. Plus, they seem to check their egos at the door. Those are adjectives that describe a Winner. This team fits that description.

    Many teams wear down from the long regular season, Not these kids. The reason for mostly fresh legs is depth. They play a lot of guys every night. The minutes are spaced out between them. Brad Stevens is lucky that his team has so many interchangeable parts, due in fact to their lack of a star on the team. Late in games, the Celtics seem to usually find a way to win. This may all be a big surprise to NBA fans. We kind of sneaked up on everybody. For a team that wasn’t expected to win many games, our record ends up at 40 wins and 42 losses.

    In the last 36 games of the regular season, the Celtics were 24-12. That’s almost the last half of the season there.
    I think the Celtics will beat the Cleveland Cavs. Not too many people believe that is going to happen. It’s just my opinion, but I think every member of the Boston Celtics team expects to actually win the series. I’m going out on a limb, but I say Boston will beat Cleveland, and advance in the NBA playoffs. LeBron James is going down!

    Harry, 4-17-15


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  • 2nd Anniversary

    rosesToday is the 2nd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    4  died, 3 at the scene.  Several hundred were maimed.

    Boston Stronger.


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HarryShotsRadioIcon

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Here’s To A Wonderful 2012 !!!

I want to wish you, my readers, the happiest and healthiest in 2012.  May those dreams you wish for,  come true, and be everything you always imagined.  May those dreams you keep to yourself add interest and meaning to your life.  May you find things working out in your favor.  If I could grant wishes, I would like you to all find satisfaction and contentment in the new year.  Laughing and crying make us better people.

Be brave. Be courageous.  Be forgiving.  First and foremost, of yourself.  Show kindness and patience to those closest to you.

Kick up your heels once in a while.   The writer Tom Robbins said, in  Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, that “taking small excursions when invited out of the blue, is God’s way of having angels ask you to dance.” (I paraphrase)

Let’s worry less.   My wish, my resolution, my hope is that we will be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.  I look back asking for forgiveness.  I look forward with guarded optimism asking for all good things.  I hope the world finally recognizes your genius and mine.  I hope we rise to all occasions and notice when angels are inviting us to dance.  Happy New Year everyone.     HL

Boston Convention Center

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

“Sing Sing With A Swing” by Benny Goodman

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One of the greatest big band jazz tunes is Benny Goodman doing one of his signature instrumentals, a variation of the great “Sing, Sing, Sing,” here is Benny and the Band doing “Sing, Sing, With A Swing” which is today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  Enjoy.  HL

December Morn

December Morn

Sugar Maples

Sugar Maples

“Pachelbel Canon” by The Canadian Brass

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Today’s post Christmas, HarryShots Song of the Day is The Canadian Brass performing “Pachelbel Canon in D.”  Enjoy.  HL

 

Light on the Lake

Light on Water

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to All

Mark E.

I found a name in the obits that jumped out at me last week.  It took me back to my freshman year in college at the University of Alabama where I was a new freshman pledge in a fraternity.

Long story, short; I was hazed, nearly every day, for the duration of my freshman year in college.  Mark E. was the Hazer in Chief.  There was Animal House-ish hazing, but plenty worse than that.  Mark E. liked to get in my face and shout, up close and personal.  He played the part of the drill sergeant in the movie that was my life back when I was a freshman pledge.  I was warned repeatedly that If I touched him once, I would be blackballed.  He  got a kick out of downgrading me in front of everyone.  The hazing was both verbal and physical.  I duckwalked the halls of my frat house on a regular basis, to his amusement, and that of others (at age 55, I had two total knee replacements).  I was paddled, hard, on occasions.  There were the usual push-ups.  They got pretty imaginative.   I provided entertainment to a few upperclass assholes.  Most of my pledge brothers were hazed in a slightly amusing, once-in-a-while way.  Not me, I got the full metal jacket hazing.  This “Brother” (upperclassman), Mark E. was the one who died last week.  It was his name that I read in the obituaries of the Birmingham News.  It said he was 65.

With the hazing, I suppose that I could have de-pledged and quit the fraternity.  I heard that from him, and many others, all the time.  I was their whipping boy.  It was not just Mark E. who hazed me, but he was the worst.

But I stuck with it.  I kept my anger in check and dealt with it all.  No one in the fraternity ever intervened on my behalf, or stopped it from happening.  A number of upperclass Brothers privately spoke with me, some saying that I should quit for my own good.  They said “why take it.  Just quit.”

I never waivered, never strongly considered leaving.  Also, I never told my family.  I didn’t tell anyone.  Everyone in the fraternity saw it go on.  A handful of my pledge brothers had my back and did what they could to help me through it.   I decided that I was in for the long haul and a long haul it was.  I was humiliated on a regular basis and I could not fight back.  It was ritual hazing 1950s-1960s style.  But I endured and hung in there.  Should I have stayed, I think yes.  Would I put up with it now, not for five minutes.  But I was seventeen years old, a freshman in college, and I toughed it out.

At the end of the year, on the night of Initiation into the fraternity, every pledge was secretly voted on by the Brotherhood.  As pledges, we were in the basement and were brought upstairs, one at a time, blindfolded.  There was a widespread belief that I was going to be blackballed.  One down vote by a Brother was all it would take.   I had no idea if I would get in or not.  The Brothers had hung that over our heads all year.

I was blindfolded by two Brothers who led me up the stairs, one holding onto me under each arm.  I was marched into the Chapter Room.  Even though I was blindfolded, I could tell the lights were off or very low.  I was spoken to by the chapter president, Alan A.   He was standing right next to me, and he asked me how bad I wanted in. Then I was  jostled and there was a lot of shoving and yelling.  I heard them all yelling that if I wanted in, I had to “go through” Mark E.; literally take him on.  Someone removed the blindfold, I saw I was surrounded by all the Brothers,  and I looked around and found him.

I charged him wildly with all the pent up frustration of the whole year of hazing.  I was scared, enraged, unbelievably angry, and I really went after him.  It took a bunch of them to hold me back before I got to him.   There was a lot of cursing and shouting while they were trying to hold me down.  Finally I heard them telling me over and over that I was IN.  It took a moment for me to realize they were laughing and clapping me on the back and telling me I was a Brother and that I had made it.  They let go of me and asked me shake hands with Mark E., which I did hesitantly and reluctantly.

After my freshman year, I had a truly wonderful time in the fraternity. I knew I had earned respect for taking it and being strong through the hazing. It turned out to be a great life experience. Looking back at college, I laughed a lot, I had lots of friends. It was the time of my life. I would not trade it for anything. That was in the late 1960s, in Alabama, where the Greek fraternity system was the center of social life on our campus.  I totally related to the frat house dances in  Animal House.  I partied to a bunch of Otis Days.

So Mark E. died last week.  I never spoke to him or saw him after college.  Obviously, I never forgot him. I can’t forgive him, but I have not had malice toward him for decades.  I know who he was.  My bitterness faded away a long time ago.

Reading his obituary, I was surprised to learn he served in the Vietnam War. He apparently had no wife, kids, or close family.  The paper said his closest relative was a cousin.  They didn’t say much else other than he loved Bama athletics, Broadway shows, and horse racing.

Having outlived him and knowing that his life is over, I am not exactly sure how I feel about it all.  The best I can come up with is that I finally feel sorry for him.  Maybe that is payback enough.  HL

Nature’s Christmas Card

Nature's Christmas Card

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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Back again with the Mormom Tabernacle Choir, except this time it is the Mormon Tabernacle Hand Bell Choir with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

The Promise

The Promise

“Suo Gan” by John Williams, from the movie soundtrack of Empire of the Sun

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Click here to download the mp3 of Suo Gan, by John Williams, from the sountrack of Empire of the Sun, via Amazon.com

The greatest living composer, John Williams, adapted “Suo Gan” for the sountrack to the Spielberg movie, Empire of the Sun.  There are many versions of Suo Gan.  To my ear, none rival or compare to this moving version of this incredible song.  I give it my highest recommendation and it is today’s Harry Shots Song of the HoliDays.  Enjoy.  HL

Autumn in Massachusetts

Autumn in Massachusetts

Christmas Medley by Placido Domingo

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Placido Domingo at his very best, pours himself into this Medley of Christmas Carols.  Included in this song are Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wencelas, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and the 1st Noel.  Enjoy the Christmas Medley as today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  HL

 

The End of the War in Iraq/ Now What Next?

American combat troops crossed into Kuwait last night, and the War in Iraq officially came to an end.   I am profoundly struck by the quiet, “ho-hum” nature of this news.

The Iraq War was among our nation’s longest.  The cost was incredibly high.  Far too high in lives lost, lives destroyed, and in “treasure” as they say.  Lies, and the aggression of the Bush 43 administration, including George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney boldly and with malice aforethought, deceived the American people and the world, in taking us to war.

The War, and the manner in which we entered into it, was Topic One for years in the American dialogue.  Our leaving last night barely seemed to be noticed.  No agate type headlines, no breaking news bulletins interrupting our football games, and TV re-runs.

Most of the “democracy we established” in Iraq will largely evaporate.  Iran will fill the void.  Bombings and regular acts of terror in Iraq will become commonplace.  Kurds will try to reassert their independence.

We are working/hoping for regime change in Iran.  Israel and/or a Western Coalition/United States will, at some point in the short term, strategically bomb numerous Iranian nuclear facilities.  It will ignite the region in anti-Israeli/anti -American fervor.  It may lead to another Arab-Israeli war.  At the very least, Israel will come under withering criticism, rocket attacks, and acts of terror.  The Arab “street” will erupt in bitterness toward Israel and the U.S.

The War in Iraq was a great failure.  The next chapter will be far more important in determining meaningful long term peace in the entire Middle East and beyond.

True peace, honest self governance, equality, safety, security, and the chance of a decent life are goals to which most in the Middle East aspire.  Someday Peace will come.  That is a very long way from where we are as 2012 begins.

Nevertheless, tonight the War in Iraq officially ends and that, for damn sure, is very good news.     HL

 

 

Sky Flyer

Sky Flyer

“Last Month of the Year” by the Tarbox Ramblers

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Click here to download mp3 of “Last Month of the Year”, at Amazon.com         

The Tarbox Ramblers originally came out of the Cambridge, MA music scene.  They have a raw hard blues sound which is fairly primitive and harkens back to Otha Turner, but as a bues rock band, if you can imagine that.  I love their hard driven “Last Month of the Year” an old African-American church/gospel hymn.  Done here like no other, it is the HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Check it out.  HL

Closing for the Winter

Closing for the Winter

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by John Starling

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John Starling is a fine artist and his version of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” from the album, Sugar Plums:  Holiday Tunes from Sugar Hill, is today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

Wind Powered Tall Ship

Wind Powered Tall Ship

“The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting by An Open Fire) by Mel Torme

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The Christmas Song” was co-written by Mel Torme, who made this his signature song.  Back in 1944, Mel wrote this with pal, Bob Wells on a scorching summer day in Southern California.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  They were trying to think “cool thoughts” and came up with the whole song in less than an hour and a half.  Not bad.

Christmas carols don’t have to be old to be great (unless you consider 1944 old, which it certainly is not).  So here is Mel Torme singing his original song which is the HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

 

 

Almost Christmas at Walden Pond

Almost Christmas (at Walden Pond)

Reflecting: Walden Pond

Walden Pond

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by Faith, Family, and Friends

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Not sure where I ran across this group, but I’m glad to have found them.  I am unsure if they are a group in and of themselves, or a larger group effort from various musicians.  Here is a great version of the wonderful Christmas carol, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” and it is today’s HarryShots.com Song of the HoliDay.  Check it out.  HL

Christian Science- Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy

The Brussel Sprout Kid

The Brussel Sprout Kid       (EXPLORE)

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Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

“The Holly and The Ivy” by The New York Choral Artists

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The Holly and The Ivy” is believed to have been written and first performed in the early 1700s.  No one knows its author, but it was published in England, which makes sense because this song is of Gaelic/GBR roots.  I am told that holly and ivy were both worshipped as long ago as The Druids, which is going back a long way.

This version, today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay is sung by the New York Choral Artists, from their album “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Enjoy.  HL

 

“Silver Bells” by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely

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Margaret Whiting was a very popular singer in the 1940s and 1950s.  She died this year and I pay homage to her by making her version of “Silver Bells” our HarryShots Song of the Day.  Interestingly, Margaret’s father was a well known songwriter (“Hooray for Hollywood”) and she was performing for Johnny Mercer at the age of 7.

Silver Bells” was first heard at the movies.  Bob Hope sang it on the big screen.  Bing Crosby was the first to record “Silver Bells” and it is now a Christmas classic.  Enjoy  HL

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O. Lantern

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O. Lantern

Roanoke Road

Roanoke Road

“Sleigh Ride” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops

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Well it becomes the Christmas Holidays when Arthur Fiedler is on the old turntable leading his beloved Boston Pops in Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”  Anderson, a Cambridge native, and Maestro Fiedler had a special working relationship over the years, and it was many a Leroy Anderson piece that debuted with the Boston Pops.

Sleigh Ride” is a great picker upper and crowd pleaser, and it is today’s HarryShots Song of the Holidays.  Enjoy.  HL

Tough to Tackle

Tough to Tackle

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by Jerry Douglas

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Not only is this one of my favorite Holiday songs, this version is by Jerry Douglas, the finest dobro player this side of Timbuktu.  The entire album is one to cherish, and it is hard to pick one song from the record.  That being said, here is today’s HarryShots Song for the Day, Jerry Douglas and “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”  HL

The Three Pumpkins

The Three Pumpkins

“Go Tell It On the Mountain” by Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops

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Well, here we go with the first of our twenty-four Holiday Songs running from December 2 through December 25.  We are starting out with Erik Kunzel at the

baton, directing the wonderful Cinncinnati Pops that Maestro Kunzel was so instrumental (pun intented) in bringing to prominence.  One of my favorite conductors and one of America’s most energetic during his long career, I honor Erik, the Cincinnati Pops, and the great Afro-American spiritual that is “Go Tell It On theMountain,” today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  Spread some holiday cheer, y’all.  HL

In December The HarryShots Songs of the Day Will Focus On Superb Holiday Music

For December, the HarryShots Songs of the Day will be exclusively featuring wonderful holiday music.  I have chosen my favorite songs to share with you and I hope it brightens your season.  Some of the songs are well known and popular.  You’ll here the best version of those songs.  Some of the songs are not so well known and again I will choose the good stuff, that I hope you will enjoy.

We cover a lot of musical ground here at HarryShots and the holiday music will be varied as well.  The daily song selection will come from such artists as the Morman Tabernacle Choir, Margaret Whiting, Buddy Clark, Patty Loveless, Dan Crary, John Starling, Jerry Douglas, Yo Yo Ma, Robin Petrie, Bryan Bowers,  the Philadelphia Brass, Leroy Anderson and the Boston Pops, the Harlem Parlour Musicians, Peter Rowan, John Williams, Stile Antico, The Elizabethan Singers, Celtica among others through the month of December, which will conclude with a daily variation of “Auld Lang Syne” between December 26 and New Years Day.

I hope that you will each drop by daily during December for a taste of my favorite holiday music.

Happy Holidays,

Harry

A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault“.   –  John Henry Newman

Sunlight in the Forest

Sunlight in a Forest Woods

“Love’s Old Sweet Song” by Thurl Ravencroft and The Mellomen

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“Love’s Old Sweet Song” is what my Mother sang to me as a bedtime lullaby when I was a little tyke.  I remember this song with all of the fondness and all of the nostalgia my heart can hold.  It is one of my favorites for purely sentimental reasons.  “Love’s Old Sweet Song” was probably the first song I ever heard for obvious reasons.

Today would have been my Mom’s 91st birthday.  Sadly, she passed away in 1971.  So this one is for you, Mom.  Happy Birthday.  Today’s HarryShots Song of the Day is “Love’s Old Sweet Song” sung barbarshop quartet style by The Mellomen with Thurl Ravencroft.  Oh my.  HL


The Quotes of "Whatever"

  • How can the world end in 2012 when I have yogurt that expires in 2013?

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • pigProcrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday

     

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • rainbAn economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s” – Will Rogers

     

     

    from the harryShots.com “Quotes of What”


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  • In an understatement, he said, ‘I ain’t no rocket surgeon’

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever




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  • Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.” – William Arthur Ward




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  • It’s kind of a masterpiece, man. It’s like The Godfather – I see it on the tube and I think I’m just going to watch a couple of scenes, but I end up watching the whole thing.” – Jeff Bridges, “The Dude,” regarding The Big Lebowski




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  • What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant.” – Bobby Kennedy




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  • My wife tells me one day, ‘I think you love baseball more than me.’ I say, ‘Well, I guess that’s true, but hey, I love you more than football and hockey.'” – Tommy Lasorda




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  • brightMay the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most

     

    from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair, legendary oil well fighter

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever




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  • Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil!” ― Golda Meir, former Israeli Prime Minister




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  • Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington




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  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein




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  • Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out“. – Coach John Wooden




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  • Being invited to travel roads less taken, is like the gods asking you to dance.” – Tom Robbins (as recollected)

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • The Past may not be your fault, but the Future is your responsibility alone” – Gene Cruz




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  • Time is but the stream I go a-fishin in” – Henry David Thoreau

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • Madison Avenue figured out how to sell us what we didn’t know we needed, but had to have.” – Harry Lipson III




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  • Imagination rules the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte

     

     

    The HarryShots QuOtEs oF wHaTeVeR


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  • I learned the first night that IHOP’s not the place to order fish” – Larry David

     

     

    the HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • There is a time for departure even if there is no certain place to go.” – Tennessee Williams, playright




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  • Sign: – We Buy Junk and Sell Antiques

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash


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  • Sometime the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss




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  • Well done is better than well said” – Benjamin Franklin

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • Don’t drink coffee in the morning. It will keep you awake until noon

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” – Eric Hoffer




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  • Electricity is really just organized lightning” – George Carlin

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


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  • Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see Mark Twain

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of “Whatever”


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  • The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” – Louis Brandeis




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  • There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise” – Gore Vidal 1925-2012

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance – a sharp, vindictive glance.” – James Thurber




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  • Just saying ‘no’ prevents teenage pregnancy the way ‘Have a nice day’ cures chronic depression.” – Faye Wattleton

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.” – Joan Rivers




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  • Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” – Coach Lou Holtz

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed with what is right in America.” – Bill Clinton




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  • You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think” – Milton Berle

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.” – Andy Rooney




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  • hudI laugh so hard ’til the tears run down my leg a rare Delta Blues joke, from the seminal blues tune, Silverado in My Pathway

     

    …from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.” ― Aung San Suu Kyi




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  • The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ― Mark Twain




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  • The way you remember the past depends upon your hope for the future” – Story Musgrave, astronaut




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  • A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” – Will Rogers




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  • Men that are bald have simply grown too tall for their hair.” – anonymous




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  • Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.” ― Woody Allen




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  • Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.” ― Lily Tomlin




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  • If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – General George Patton




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  • The best comedy I ever did was when people didn’t know who I was.” – Chevy Chase (I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not)




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  • Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway




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  • Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – Coach John Wooden




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