He just drifted into town and stayed all alone

A couple of programming notes:

I’ll have an all-new show on Saturday (March 25) but I will be pre-recording it. If you have a request, “queue up early,” as Phil Musick used to say. You can leave a request on the studio hotline voicemail at 412-385-7450, email jaythurbershow@gmail.com, or post it in the comments section here.

I’ll be at the Arsenal Bowl on Sunday night (March 26) for our monthly Sunday night oldies party, spinnin’ the hits that give you fits in the Burgh of Pitts, to quote Jack Bogut. Someday soon I’d like to start bringing some vinyl with me and playing 45s. I have a suitcase turntable and I need to get it working one of these days. For now, we use those new-fangled compact discs.

Did you see, by the way, that in 2022, vinyl records outsold compact discs for the first time since 1987? It’s true:

Continue reading “He just drifted into town and stayed all alone”

Breaking news

In a solemn ceremony this afternoon outside FCC headquarters attended by the executives of the top radio companies in the United States, the music of Perry Como, Andy Williams and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was laid back in its crypt, where it will remain in stasis until next Nov. 1, when all-Christmas formats return. More news any moment.

Top complaints about “Wonder Woman 1984”

(Warner Bros. Entertainment)

“Wonder Woman 1984,” the second movie installment starring Gal Gadot in the title role, debuted last week in theaters and on HBO Max. Although eagerly awaited by fans, many are reporting their disappointment and frustration.

What are some of their complaints about “Wonder Woman 1984”?

  • Adaptation is very unfaithful to the source material, George Orwell’s classic novel

  • Not a single song from Van Halen’s album on the soundtrack

  • Fans dislike Wonder Woman’s new catchphrases, “whoopsy-doodle” and “whatchu talkin’ about, Steve Trevor?”

  • Gene Hackman’s role as the villain in the first movie has been reduced to a tiny cameo

  • Celebrities popping out of windows as Wonder Woman scales the side of a building include Bill Cosby, O.J. Simpson and Bernie Goetz

  • Scenes where Wonder Woman can fly, run faster than Mach 1 and turn her plane invisible are believable, but losing a fight to the Target Lady seems unlikely

  • Blooper reel at end featuring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise feels forced

  • Where were Debra Winger and Lyle Waggoner?

  • Product placement for Reebok Pumps, Trapper Keepers and Cabbage Patch Kids is tiresome

  • Far-fetched subplot about how a failing, amoral, lying businessman with a stupid name is able to gain control of the United States just because he had a successful TV show

We’re taking steps to protect you, our valued listener

You may be wondering how the entire Radio 9 organization is responding to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Rest assured, we are taking steps immediately to protect our host and you, our valued listener, from exposure:

  • Jay Thurber has been wrapped in a protective layer of Saran Wrap, with a double layer over his mouth.
  • All music is being brought to a rolling boil before broadcast, and then held at 160 degrees F before we serve it piping-hot to you.
  • The oldies “Boogie Fever,” “Rock’n Pneumonia & Boogie-Woogie Flu,” “Breathless” and “Dizzy” have been removed from the playlist as “insensitive.”
  • Jay Thurber also has requested that we no longer play “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” by Frank Zappa, for what he says are “personal reasons.”
  • Record needles now administer vitamins B12 and C to boost immune system response.
  • All staff have switched from a competing cigarette to the smooth, filtered taste of Chesterfields, which 4 out of 5 doctors agree causes no harmful throat or lung irritation.
  • A Lysol wipe has been inserted between the first and second audio amplification stages of our transmitter, to filter germs from the broadcast signal.
  • Our microphones have been covered with non-lubricated, reservoir-tip prophylactics.
  • We are sanitizing all frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. If the disinfectant runs out, we have already purchased a flamethrower.
  • We are using our feet to press all of the buttons and handles in the studio. Although this has caused a number of serious technical foul-ups, listeners are not likely to be able to detect any difference in the quality of the show, such as it is.


The Who Mourns for a Piece of Yesterday’s Christmas Incident

I’m envisioning an episode of “Star Trek” where they visit a planet whose civilization is based entirely on Hallmark Channel Christmas movies….


(ON-SCREEN: Enterprise in orbit around Earth-like planet)

KIRK (V/O): “Captain’s Log: Star Date 6712.24. We received a distress call from Mistletoe IX, a Class M planet in the Yuletide system.”


KIRK: “Mr. Spock. Analysis?” ·

SPOCK: “A curious atmosphere, captain. About two-thirds of the planet is covered in water. Most of the land seems to be covered in snow. And yet based on the lifestyles of the inhabitants, the temperature rarely drops below freezing.”

Continue reading “The Who Mourns for a Piece of Yesterday’s Christmas Incident”

Facts revealed in the new Mr. Rogers biopic

The new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” stars Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, beloved Pittsburgh icon, influential children’s television programmer and one of the best-loved American personalities of all-time.

Here are some of the startling facts depicted in the movie, which opens this week:

  • “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” originally debuted on network radio as “The Johns-Mansville Asbestos Hour Starring Ed Wynn.”
  • “Lady Elaine Fairchild” was not, as most people believe, a puppet, but an actress named Gladys Pryzebelich from Wilmerding who had a rare growth hormone deficiency. When she died in 2014 at age 94, she was buried in a New Balance shoe box.
  • In a 2001 referendum, residents of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe rejected as “too expensive” a proposal from then-City Council candidate Bill Peduto to add bike lanes.
  • Since retiring, X the Owl works occasionally as a docent at the National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side. In his spare time, he enjoys catching voles and other small rodents.
  • For an April Fool’s Day prank in 1973, two PBS staples, Fred Rogers and William F. Buckley Jr., hosted each others’ shows. But the episodes never aired after PBS executives concluded that while Mr. Rogers vastly improved the quality of “Firing Line,” Buckley was easily outwitted by Daniel Striped Tiger.
  • Until budget cuts during the Reagan administration, the Neighborhood Trolley ran along the Parkway East and U.S. 30 to Rogers’ hometown of Latrobe, making the round trip in 28 hours and 14 minutes.
  • Fred Rogers’ red zip-up cardigan sweater, handmade for him by his mother, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His sneakers were purchased by Dr. Scholl’s as a laboratory standard and are used to test all of that company’s various orthotic products.
  • Stay seated until the closing credits to see scenes from the next thrilling installment in this new Marvel Comics franchise.

What to expect during the impeachment hearings

Impeachment is a congressional investigation into alleged misconduct by the President of the United States. At the end of the process, the House of Representatives refers any evidence that has been gathered to the U.S. Senate, which then holds a trial.

In the history of the United States, only two Presidents have faced impeachment — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before formal impeachment proceedings began.

Here’s what to expect as Congress begins impeachment proceedings against President Trump:

  • Each day’s testimony introduced by the “Let’s get ready to rumble!” guy
  • Members of House of Representatives will be trying out catchphrases, like “That’s-a good-a testimony!” and “The indictments don’t stop ’til we reach the top!”
  • “Baby Trump” balloon bouncing around in the gallery like a beach ball at a Phish concert
  • Administration officials holding oversized fedoras in front of their faces to avoid photographers wielding Speed Graphics and giant flashguns
  • Witnesses trying to come as close as possible to describing a crime without going over, then risking it all on a “Daily Double”
  • NPR’s Mara Liasson and Susan Davis on the red carpet outside the Capitol, describing who’s hot and who’s not
  • A free small “Frosty” at participating Wendy’s locations if any of that day’s witnesses present evidence that Trump is a Russian operative (limit one per customer)
  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a neutral corner, getting ready to throw in a towel if proceedings become too violent
  • Kellyanne Conway becoming so enraged that she stomps her right foot into the ground, then rips herself in two trying to pull it out
  • An overwhelming sense that the end of American democracy is getting closer and there’s sweet f-ck all that we can do about it

Jeb! He’s a complicated man

I was so inspired by Jeb Bush’s new campaign logo that I wrote a song for him.

(There’s no need to thank me, governor.)

Who is the man who will cut aid for mothers with dependent children?
(JEB!) You’re damn right.
Who’s the cat who won’t cop out, when there’s ISIS all about?
(JEB!) Right on!
He’s a complicated man, and no one understands but David Brooks.
(JEB!) Jeb Bush.
They say that cat Jeb! was a bad f–kin’ governor …
(Shut your mouth!)
But I’m talkin’ about Jeb!
(Then we can dig it!)

Also, I’ve created my own new logo: