You must be joshing

Mysterious note

josh /dʒɒʃ/ (v.): (1.) To tease someone in a playful way. “You must be joshing me.” (2.) To make or exchange good-natured jokes. (n.): (1.) Primarily North American. “He loved to josh and joke.

I found this note on the studio door today. Who’s “Mr. Josh”? And why did it take a year for the note to show up? (It’s dated 2022.)

All these mysteries will be explored, along with Pittsburgh’s favorite oldies, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. today (Jan. 28) on Pittsburgh’s very independent WRCT-FM (88.3), owned and operated by the students of Carnegie Mellon University, and McKeesport’s very Internet-only Tube City Online Radio, available on Streema, TuneIn, RadioGarden, Alexa, Siri and Echo, or at the website.

Requests: 412-385-7450 or send me a message on Facebook, Mastodon or Post.


In 1965, the Tradewinds asked the musical question, what do you do when your woodie is outside covered in snow? Because I think we all know how painful that could be!

Keep your woodie inside today and listen to the best darn #oldies show in Pittsburgh. 12 noon to 3 on WRCT 88.3FM and

Requests: 412-385-7450 or @ me here

Someone painted ‘April Fool’ in big black letters on a ‘Dead End’ sign

“Dead End” by Drew Maust via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons BY NC 2.0

I was reading a story in The New Yorker about the pending threat of a strike against United Parcel Service by their Teamsters drivers, and this paragraph brought me up short:

Twenty-six years ago, the sort of friendly rapport that he and many UPS drivers have with their customers helped fuel public support for UPS’s workers when they went on strike with their union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

I thought, well, wait a minute, that can’t be right. I covered the last UPS strike, and it couldn’t have been 26 years ago. I was working at the McKeesport Daily News and photographer Wade Massie and I went out to take photos of scab drivers crossing a picket line in Pitcairn.

Continue reading “Someone painted ‘April Fool’ in big black letters on a ‘Dead End’ sign”

Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

If you heard Saturday’s show (repeated Sunday afternoon) you heard a bunch of soundbites from Bert and Ernie of “Sesame Street.” (As opposed to Bert and Ernie of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”)

I don’t mean to disillusion you, but they weren’t in the studio with me — the magic of radio! theater of the mind! — and they also weren’t exclusive to me. Not hardly. They were part of a video series that Elle Magazine has created called “Song Association,” in which celebrities are given a vocabulary word, and then have 10 seconds to think of a song that includes the word.

You can view Bert and Ernie’s entire appearance on YouTube (it’s actually a load of fun — they also sang “If I Had $1,000,000” by Barenaked Ladies, as well as “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman) and check out the other celebrity videos at the hashtag #SongAssociation. Billie Eilish, Adam Lambert, Olivia Rodrigo and Meghan Trainor have all participated in the long-running series.

Continue reading “Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?”

Jay Thurber’s Lo-Fi Christmas Eve

My wife has often mentioned that one of the things she liked best about Christmas growing up was “scratchy Christmas carols on AM radio.” So, this Saturday from 12 to 3 p.m. on WRCT-FM (88.3) and Tube City Online Radio, the two of us are going to re-create the sound of scratchy Christmas carols on AM. It’s Jay Thurber’s Lo-Fi Christmas Eve! Join us!

Pittsburgh Symphony ticket winners

Thank you to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for giving WRCT two pairs of tickets to see Randy Newman with the PSO on July 30.

Winner of the first pair of tickets, given away on “Radio 9” on Saturday, July 18, was Yolanda from Mt. Washington.

Winner of the second pair of tickets, given away by Kenny Joe on “Pinckney Hall” on Friday, July 24, was Scott from Highland Park.

Thanks for listening to WRCT!

What do I say at the end of the show?

Somebody asked me about the litany of things I say at the end of the show.

For the record, here’s what I say, and where I got it from:

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s a whole lot more important to be nice.[1] You can lead a horse to water, but nothing smells worse than a wet horse.[2] A bird in the hand makes one hell of a mess.[3] No matter where you go, there you’ll be.[4] Don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things.[5]”

  1. Zeke Jackson, WARO/WWCS radio, Canonsburg
  2. Unknown, but Google suggests I heard it on “Hee Haw” (!!!)
  3. Unknown
  4. Larry Richert, KDKA radio, who apparently got it from “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!”
  5. Tom Snyder, “The Late, Late Show”

The music I play is “Bring Me Sunshine,” sung by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, two British comedians who used it for many years to close out their TV shows.

(And, also for the record, the theme at the beginning of the show is called “Studio 69” by Alan Hawkshaw, and was the theme song of Irish comedian Dave Allen.)

Happy Harry’s Do-it-Yourself Corner: Valentine’s Day edition

Happy Harry Harrison has a big sale at his hardware store for Valentine’s Day, and he’s got a lot of activities planned for couples who want to work on projects together. Originally aired Feb. 14, 2015.

(I learned after this bit aired that there used to be a store called “Herminie Hardware”! Obviously, this bit has nothing to do with the real store and Harry Harrison is a fictitious character … as is his store! I just liked the alliterative sound of “Happy Harry’s Herminie Hardware.”)