Fingers With Lightening Speed


Rachel Barton Pine, Courtesy of Lansing State Journal.


It is not often to attend a classical presentation, and I get the feeling of jumping out of my seat. It is not often that at such a dignified presentation of renaissance music I can be brought to tears. Often for standing ovations, it is a copycat act, so as not to look out of place, or show your ignorance of what was just presented to you, one would stand and join the ovation, this time it was genuine.

I am sitting in a 100 year old theater, feeling the magic and majesty , when introduced to our audience a figure that seemed out of the annals of Shakespeare, RACHEL BARTON PINE, an American violin prodigy.

Having just been mesmerized by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Elizabeth Schulze, I had no idea what I was about to see.

Elizabeth was magnificent, even the orchestra members were awestruck as she produced sounds that seemed to coming from two, not one violin.

The orchestra is celebrating its 35th year, and the fingers of lightening brought the house down with her classical rendition of HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I plead with you not to miss the next event, with Rachel on the card.

When AM Black Radio Was King


In the 1960’s, Baltimore MD. was emerging as one of the major cities on the East Coast to take advantage of the new civil rights act. WWIN, Radio 1400, took advantage, and went black in their musical line-up. Riding this musical wave, came  some sweet talking, smooth talking, DJ’s (disk jockeys), thus many will remember, the “pimp” of them all, FAT DADDY. I also made my contribution some time later as a commentator, using a three minute vignette, I called THAT’s LIFE.

So I am sitting in the basement of a Catholic Church in East Baltimore on York Road, and it is a cabaret, straight out from the epoch of the times, with the theme of the evening, “Before The Lights Go Out”.

They came, with wheel chairs, walkers, canes, oxygen. They wanted to relive the times when their kind of music was king. They swayed, screamed, ate, drank, and wore the fashions that made them feel loved. No recorded music, all live performances.

I never knew of the Baltimore group THE BLEU LIGHTS, but it was touching to see of the original four, one is still here, and singing.

This was a night for many to sway away the results of the general election, and not even pay attention to the passing of Fidel Castro, the Cuban E


The original BLEU LIGHTS of Baltimore Maryland. Picture courtesy of the promoters, including Milton A. Dugger, Jr.

l Presidente. Doctor “Doo Wop” who is recovering from a stroke, made an appearance, with his traditional long coat and velvet tips, to compete with the MC. This night’s theme was so appropriate, for who knows how many will return next year, if their lights were to go out, at least they shared in the moment, when AM Black Radio, was King.