Today’s trivia question: I’ve recently heard three different instrumental versions of this song on the radio—on WZUM (1550/101.1) and Eric O’Brien’s “Smooth, Relaxing & Easy,” which airs Saturdays on WRCT and Tube City Online Radio, following my show.
If you’re a child of the 1970s or ’80s, you probably know the tune. But can you recognize it from the seldom-heard lyrics? Here they are:
Got a feelin’ it’s all over now
All over now, we’re through
And tomorrow I’ll be lonesome,
Got a feelin’ the sun will be gone
The day will be long and blue
And tomorrow I’ll be cryin’
There’s a faraway look in your eye
When you try to pretend to me,
That everything is the same as it used to be.
I see it’s all over now—
All over now, we’re through,
And tomorrow I’ll be startin’
Do you recognize the tune? Answer at the end of this column.
Show Notes: Saturday’s show (April 29) will be pre-recorded. If you have a request, queue up early, as Phil Musick used to say. Leave a message on the studio hotline at (412) 385-7450, email me at email@example.com, or post a comment here.
Jerry Springer: I was sorry to hear about the passing of Jerry Springer. I had become a big fan of his podcast, “Tales, Tunes and Tomfoolery,” which was a mix of interviews, left-wing politics and folk music, recorded in a coffee shop in Ludlow, Ky., across the river from Cincinnati.
I actually tried to get tickets to a taping the last time I was in Cinci, but was unable. (I said, “But I’m a big-time radio star in Pittsburgh … OK, would you believe I know big-time radio stars in Pittsburgh? … OK, would you believe I own a radio?”)
It was totally unlike anything I’d heard Springer do on television, and I was sorry when it came to an abrupt end in December. In retrospect, I guess his health was failing. We also saw Springer in 2017 when he came to Pittsburgh as the surprise “mystery host” of a live version of “The Price is Right.” He was wonderful — self-deprecating, funny, quick with an ad-lib, an absolute raconteur in the best sense of the word.
Prior to hosting his syndicated talk show, Springer, of course, had been on Cincinnati city council, mayor of Cincinnati (until he was caught paying a prostitute — with a personal check), and a TV news anchor and commentator. He had a law degree from Northwestern University and had worked as an adviser to Robert F. Kennedy during his 1968 presidential campaign. He was born in England — actually, in a London subway station — to Polish immigrant parents who had fled the Nazis. (Both of his grandmothers were not so lucky, and died in concentration camps.)
All of that back story took a back seat to “The Jerry Springer Show.” It’s now known by most people that a lot of the outlandish guests were actors, or at the very least playing grossly exaggerated versions of themselves. From listening to his podcast and reading interviews over the years, I think Springer came to be deeply embarrassed by the show, although not too embarrassed to keep cashing the paychecks for 27 years.
So Springer was a child of Holocaust refugees, RFK adviser, public official, TV news anchor and podcaster, but if he’s going to be remembered at all, it will be for that stupid, stupid TV talk show. It’s like the old joke about Angus. “… and I built 1,000 miles of brick road, but do they call me Angus the Road-Builder? Nae. But ye fook one sheep!”
A real-life question sent by a real-life reader to Rob Owen’s TV column in the Greensburg Astonisher:
Question: Just wondering why on WPXI-TV they call Stephen Cropper “Pittsburgh’s Chief meteorologist?” I would think he is WPXI’s chief meteorologist. Or does their designation mean that all the other stations’ meteorologists report to him?
Be honest: You people are just pranking him, right? These are questions sent as jokes, just like the guests on “The Jerry Springer Show.”
Maybe I should start answering your TV-radio questions here. Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and Uncle Jay will answer them.
Question: Just wondering why on WPXI-TV they call Stephen Cropper “Pittsburgh’s Chief meteorologist?” Does their designation mean that all the other stations’ meteorologists report to him? — A Reader
Answer: Yes, Stephen Cropper was selected as Pittsburgh’s Chief Meteorologist during a Black Mass held at the stroke of midnight on Television Hill last Friday the 13th. All other meteorologists in the Pittsburgh Nielsen Ratings Area must now obey his commands. On the 13th of every month, Pittsburgh’s Meteorologists gather in a cavern below WTAE on Ardmore Boulevard with an intern selected at random from Channels 2, 4 and 11. The intern is sacrificed to please the Weather Gods, and the Meteorologists then derive the forecast for the next 30 days by reading the intern’s entrails. — Uncle Jay
Social Media is Doing Great Dept: I got this real-life advertisement on real-life Facebook.
I will award a solid-brass figlagee with bronze oak-leaf palm to anyone able to tell me what that word-salad is supposed to mean. And Smith Jonathan Michael paid good money to put that into my Facebook feed.
Speaking of social-media, a few listeners have asked if I’m really off of Twitter. Yes. I’ve looked back in at it a few times and it’s starting to remind me of Century III Mall, circa 2015 — places closed or half-empty, and graffiti and garbage everywhere. I maintain a few Twitter accounts for work, and the quality of the interactions is way down, ever since Leon Mush let back all of the Nazis and trolls who had previously been kicked out.
I continue to experiment with Mastodon and Post.News, and my experience hasn’t changed much since the last time I mentioned them. It’s hard to find people on Mastodon, because it’s a bunch of independent servers, but the interactions are more fun. Post.News is more professional and much more like Twitter, but it still seems buggy and a bit stodgy.
Anyway, if you decide to try for yourself, you can find me at:
Oh, Deer Me: Pittsburgh City Paper reports on something I noticed upon returning to Oakland—the white-tail deer are out of control.
Graceful, yet skittish, with big eyes and voracious appetites, the deer that live in Pittsburgh’s parks and green spaces are eating their way toward ecological disaster. And with recent winters being milder, and no natural predators in their urban oases, the deer populations are only growing faster and more unfettered.
While this problem is not necessarily new, it does, at the very least, appear to be approaching a tipping point, after which it will become nearly impossible to keep them from living, eating, and breeding in our parks and neighborhoods, and wiping out our urban forests as we know them.
“High populations of deer can have severe and long-lasting impacts on our urban forest’s ecosystem,” Alana Wenk, director of advancement at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, tells Pittsburgh City Paper.
They have no natural predators, other than Buicks and Hyundais.
This is why I proposed re-introducing live panthers to Panther Hollow. Besides controlling the deer over-population, they’d also help CMU and Pitt students work off that “freshman 15.”
Trivia Question Answer: The lyrics at the top of today’s post are from the tune “Remembering You” by Roger Kellaway, better known as the closing theme to “All in the Family”:
A cover version by Ray Conniff and His Orchestra was used for the spin-off, “Archie Bunker’s Place.” That’s the version Eric O’Brien uses on his show, “Smooth, Relaxing & Easy.”
Carroll O’Connor, who played Archie, wrote the lyrics. Here are Kellaway and O’Connor performing it on “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour”:
My question is, was O’Connor’s decision to write lyrics to the closing theme purely artistic, or mostly financial?
I may be wrong about this, but I think that if you write a lyric to a song, you’re entitled to a share of the royalties whenever the song is performed … even if it’s just an instrumental version. Presumably, O’Connor (or his heirs) continue to see a tiny royalty from the use of his lyrics — even though they’re not heard — every time someone streams an episode of “All in the Family” or “Archie Bunker’s Place,” or every time someone performs the song “Remembering You,” which has become a minor jazz standard, especially for keyboard players.
The most notorious example of writing lyrics to an instrumental just to collect royalties may have occurred when Gene Roddenberry, the creator of “Star Trek,” wrote lyrics to the TV show’s theme song especially for that reason.
Alexander Courage, who wrote the original “Star Trek” theme (sans lyrics) didn’t know he would sharing royalties with Roddenberry, and was angry when he found out. Roddenberry supposedly replied, “Hey, I have to get some money somewhere. I’m sure not gonna get it out of the profits of Star Trek.”
Roddenberry certainly didn’t make as much money off of Star Trek and its many spinoffs as, say, the CBS-Paramount-Viacom empire has, but otherwise — aside from the ethics of the move — that’s got to be one of the worst showbiz predictions ever made.