June 24, 2017

When I reached my teen years I made it a point to try to cover every square inch of my

bedroom with newspaper and magazine photos of my idols: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel,

Walt "Clyde" Frazier and Willis Reed, Thurman Munson, Ray Charles, etc.  My mom was

always upset...

June 18, 2017

"The ancient book of changes, the “I Ching,” says, 'Music releases the obscure emotions of the heart.'”


If I associate any musician with this period, it would have to be Donovan, the single-named singer from Scotland who transformed himself from folksinger of pr...

June 15, 2017

During the last week of May, 1967 history was made. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely

Hearts Club Band was released and nothing was ever the same again.  That's

the impact one LP had.   Music hadn't sounded like this before.  The jacket

cover was discussed for weeks.  The songs'...

June 11, 2017

In May of 1966, the Beach Boys released Pet Sounds, their eleventh album, and by far their

most ambitious work to date. In fact, the Beach Boys were not thought to have been

ambitious in their music at all, regularly churning out wonderful harmonies about surfing,

cars, a...

June 7, 2017

This should be about the extraordinary impact of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,

the iconic Beatles album that changed our musical world in the summer of 1967 and

the Number 1 album of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine. But in retrospect,

we probably sho...

June 1, 2017

There was nothing quite like it.  The Summer of Love wasn't just the summer of 1967. You

could argue that the phenomenon began in January of that year in Golden Gate Park at

San Francisco's "Human Be-In". To become a part of the revolution, hundreds of thousands

of high-s...

May 31, 2017

This is the first in a series of places I've visited with family or friends or students over the years.
It was my task back in the day (for a paltry sum of course) to drive to the East Orange Library
during the summer months and screen films (literal 16mm films--not vi...

July 9, 2016

DF:  Okay.  Okay.  These headlines are getting out of hand!
TTB: That's what lots of hip hop songs look like on the charts.  Plenty of secondary artists. No real names!
DF: Whatever. Why do we have two new people in this discussion?
TTB: Well, Dougie Fresh is...

July 8, 2016

As I mentioned in my last entry, when I was fairly young in my teaching career I took the
initiative to see if I could replicate my experience with Broadway actors for my own students nearly
twenty years later. What inspired me was the performance by James Earl Jones i...

June 20, 2016

To celebrate fifty years of theatre going, I am highlighting the backstory of some of
my more memorable trips to Broadway or London over the years. Few productions
had as much an impact on me as  did the one on my return to the Alvin Theatre (where
I saw my very first...

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July 12, 2019

April 20, 2019

February 14, 2019

September 14, 2018

June 22, 2018

April 23, 2018

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Back in 2011, a school administrator asked me if I'd like to start a blog.  I thought it was an intriguing offer that would give me the opportunity to discuss cultural questions that I couldn't necessarily work into class discussions.  Plus, it offered me the chance to discuss many of the wonderful experiences I've had in more than forty years in and out of the field of education.  I have enjoyed sharing my views with my students and have learned from their responses.

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