Radio is one of those elusive, magical places where you can turn what you love into what you do for a living.

The young Phil in his early WKCR days. From the WKCR website.

Phil Schaap spent his life spreading the gospel of the music he loved, which was jazz, and while he didn’t make his living from radio, radio was one of his most valuable and enduring pulpits.

Schaap, who died of cancer Tuesday at the age of 70, grew up in a jazz-loving household in Queens and spent his life in the deep end of the jazz pool.

He taught jazz studies at Columbia, Princeton, Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard…


The 2001 New Britain Rock Cats were a really good baseball team.

As the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Rock Cats’ roster included, among others, Michael Cuddyer, Dustan Mohr, Justin Morneau, Juan Rincon and Grant Balfour, with a cameo by Papi Ortiz.

They finished 87–55. They were exciting to watch. When they beat the Norwich Navigators in the playoff semi-finals and were facing the Reading Phillies for the Eastern League championship, my friend Mark and I bought tickets to the opening game.

It was a Tuesday and I was working at the Daily News in New York, so…


The naked baby swimming toward a dollar bill on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album is now, 30 years later, trying to score a couple of million dollars by suing everyone involved with distributing that image.

Somewhere the late Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, is unable to suppress a smile.

The top part of the “Nevermind” cover.

Spencer Eiden was four months old in 1991 when a photographer paid his parents $200 for a shot of an unclothed Spencer floating in a pool.

Noting that Nevermind went on to sell something like 30 million copies, Eiden now says he was exploited and he wants to be…


I have vivid memories of my father raging against all the time he thought I wasted as a teenager by listening to rock ’n’ roll.

Not alone among parents of his generation, which had grown up with the strictures of the Depression and World War II, he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t understand that these years should be spent preparing for the hard world into which I would soon be slammed.

Our conversations — well, not exactly conversations — flashed through my mind this week when the Chinese government drastically curtailed the amount of time anyone under 18 can legally…


By the dawn of the 1970s, as he turned 40, Ed Asner had built a career as one of the solidest character actors in Hollywood. That’s no small deal.

Then he met Lou Grant, and by the time he turned 50 Ed Asner had become one of the best-known and well-liked actors on television.

Ed Asnwer as Lou Grant

That’s a bigger deal.

Asner would continue working pretty much right up to his death Sunday, at the age of 91. He played a slaveship master, a pope, Warren Buffet and an owl. He played Santa Claus more times than Santa has reindeer.

He got all…


Assuming the Rolling Stones finally roll out their long-delayed tour this fall, perhaps there will be a disclaimer on the tickets saying this is actually a performance by the lead singer and the lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones.

That can produce a terrific show, given that lead singer Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards have always been the creative engine of the band, writing and performing some of rock ’n’ roll’s most powerful and exhilarating songs.

Mick and Keith and Ron Wood with a team of very talented backup musicians, however, is an ensemble performing Rolling Stones songs.


If Chuck Berry’s guitar and Elvis Presley’s hips propelled rock ’n’ roll off the launching pad in the middle of the 1950s, that wild and dangerous new sound was powered no less by the sweet vocal harmonies of Don and Phil Everly.

Don (left) and Phil Everly in 1957.

They played lively guitars, but what was most striking about their records was the voices, evoking a timeless swirl of love, loss, heartbreak, adoration, kindness, cruelty, rejection and hope.

They sang stories that could be as stunning as a fatal airplane crash or as simple as getting home late from a date because a dull movie put you…


Tom T. Hall wrote a lot of songs, some terrific and a few that were, frankly, terrible.

The good ones outrun the bad ones, and when Hall died Friday at his Franklin, Tenn., home, age 85, he was properly hailed as one of country music’s ace songwriters.

Tom T. Hall singing “The Year Clayton Delaney Died.”

He was also a successful recording artist, scoring a half-dozen number-one hits like “A Week in a Country Jail,” “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wind” and “I Love.”

He called himself a reluctant singer and stage performer, but on a purely personal note, one of the most memorable concerts I ever saw was…


Back in 1977 the late Steve Goodman wrote a song called “Video Tape,” which despite its allusion to an ancient format still speaks to the social media age.

“You could replay all the good parts and cut out what you don’t like,” Goodman sang. “Wouldn’t you be in great shape, if your life was on video tape.”

Laying aside the fact it should say “were,” not “was,” Goodman envisioned exactly what has, in the social media age, become an art form: curating your life.

Read most Instagram or Facebook posts and you see incredible lives. Everybody has armies of joyful…


I had a brother at Khe Sanh / Fighting off the Viet Cong / They’re still there, he’s all gone.

--Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the U.S.A.”

As we glance at or obsess over images of what’s happening now in Afghanistan, it really comes down to one question: What exactly did we expect would happen when we left?

The start.

I’m not an expert here. Never been in the military, no special expertise in the socio-political nuances of the Middle East. I’m a civilian who reads the news, print and digital, and watches some television.

And yet from the moment we effectively launched…

David Hinckley

David Hinckley wrote for the New York Daily News for 35 years. Now he drives his wife crazy by randomly quoting Bob Dylan and “Casablanca.”

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