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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: History

Oh what a tremendous service Turner Classic Movies provides for the civilized of this nation! Earlier this week TCM ran The Magnificent Yankee, an MGM production from 1950 starring Louis Calhern as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and Ann Harding as his wife of 57 years, Fanny Bowditch Holmes. I had never seen this rather obscure film […]

I read a quote this afternoon from best-selling suspense novelist Scott Turow that addressed a concern I’ve expressed more than once during this baseball postseason. Turow wrote, “It’s character-building, when the Cubs stomp on your heart, and you have to put it back in your chest,” he says. “What will it be like for all […]

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A short time ago I listened to Vin Scully call his last half-inning of his last Dodgers-Giants game ever. I have no idea how many contests he’s called over the years between these two rival clubs but it’s got to be close to 1500. It may not sound like much but that was just the […]

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Julius La Rosa is not well-remembered these days and that’s a shame because he was one of the greatest of all the vocal interpreters of The Great American Songbook. Not only that but he was also one of the most knowledgeable vocalists when it came to the history, backgrounds and accomplishments of the great songwriters […]

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Still recovering from “Sinatra – 100 Very Good Years,” the 24-hour marathon of Frank Sinatra’s music that I hosted yesterday on member-supported Jazz 90.1 in Rochester, New York. First conceived a few years ago, given the green light about 1 year ago and after months of hard work, recording, editing, interviews , t-shirts, social media […]

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The big 24-hour Sinatra Marathon on Jazz 90.1 FM in Rochester, New York begins in less than 12 hours. At Midnight tonight, “Sinatra – 100 Very Good Years,” hits the airwaves and internet with Yours Truly at the helm. Those outside of the signal area can listen in via our live web stream at the […]

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Well, the deed is done. Dave is gone. But the situation may be more serious than just losing Dave. I watched David Letterman’s final “Late Show” last night with at least 12 million other people and like Dave, I got emotional but never cracked. It’s almost too sad and scary to just shed tears over. […]

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Dan Epstein has quickly become the authority on the history of our American pastime during the swinging ’70s. In fact, his first book was entitled, “Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s.” It was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable baseball books I’ve ever read […]

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After I posted my piece about “Inherit the Wind” yesterday, I received an e-mail and article from my good friend Dr. Tim Madigan, professor of Philosophy at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Dr Madigan, being a far more learned and intellectual man than I, had previously written about the play, film and […]

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