Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bette, talkin' with the 'Cuz, today at 5 on Sirius 103

I once had the chance to meet Cousin Brucie. It was about 10 years ago, at the Tower Records on Broadway, down near NYU, and "the 'Cuz" was standing near the doorway, cheerily chatting with folks. I wanted to go up to him and say something, but I didn't know what to say - frankly, I was star-struck. I've met a few fairly famous people, but Brucie... I mean, he was part of my childhood. He was - is - a God. A goofy God, certainly a cheerful God, but a God nonetheless. (Murray the K was apparently in full swing when I was a kiddie, doing his "fifth Beatle" bit with the submarine racing and everything, but I don't remember him at all. I guess my older sisters Maggie and Cathie weren't WMCA Good Guys fans. Cousin Brucie was IT.)

Years later, Les Marshak - one of the best voice-over guys I ever had the pleasure to work with, a super nice guy and one of Brucie's closest friends - told me I should've gone over to him to say hello. He told me he likes and appreciates fans... and when you hear the guy, his niceness and genuineness indeed seems real. So, if I ever get a chance again, I will try to muster up the courage.

Meanwhile, today at 5, you can hear Cousin Brucie, cheerful as ever, on his "Talkin' with the Cuz" show on Sirius Stars channel 103 - chatting with Bette Midler, who's promoting her new album of Peggy Lee covers. Bette credits Cousin Brucie for "breaking" her first record, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," in 1972. (Remember that one? That was in the heydey of '30s retro, when art deco was becoming a big deal, and when a record like Norman "Hurricane" Smith's "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" could become a number one hit. That was when I started getting interested in the '30s, in the whole era of depression-era New York - which I still envision in my mind as a Hopper-esque "Nighthawks" nightscape, and the rise of the first "Golden Age of Radio"... I think I was trying to find a way to connect to my father... but I digress. Sorry.) (But aren't such digressions what blogs are for? But I digress further. Oh, never mind.)

Meanwhile, here's a complete, classic WABC Cousin Brucie aircheck from September 9, 1968.

1 comment:

KAT said...

Mr. Cumming:

I love the 9/9/68 aircheck. I taped it and play it occasionally on fishing trips. Well, more than occasionally. I heartily recommend it.

I am an aircheck fan and love old WABC. Yes, I do know their playlist was slender compared to other stations and WABC would not play some songs that would prove very popular. But they had enough tunes and more than enough charm to do the job well.

Also catch Mark Simone's oldies show replete with WABC chimes and words about old times.