Another Way to Skin a Cat
I'm reacting to the decision by the grand poobahs of JTV to remove the channel header. Today, I put up a new background for the Off the Charts channel page. I tried to make the channel name visible for as many viewers as possible. BetterJTV users will see "Off the Charts with Gil" vertically down the left edge of the channel page. Those who don't use BJTV will see the channel name horizontally above the video window in addition to the vertical text.. (BetterJTV repositions the video window so that it hides the horizontal text.) I think it looks pretty good on my desktop monitor in both Firefox and Opera, with and without BJTV, in various window sizes. Let me know what you think. If it looks bad on your device, send me a screen shot and maybe I can tweak it some more.
If I'm reading the forum right, JTV will start running ads during a cast, completely interrupting whatever is happening in the cast at that time. See forum thread "Pro Acct. advertising on top of video". Last night, one of the OtC viewers was saying something about seeing an ad during the show. I'm sorry I don't recall who that was right now. I didn't really get what he was talking about, but he might have been seeing the first test of this.
I'm going to pay close attention to this in the coming days, and I hope we can discuss it during the next show. At this time, it appears that there are a couple of options to avoid the ads. First is for all of you viewers to purchase a JTV Pro account for $9.99/month or $79.99/year. If you watch JTV a lot, this might be a good deal. If you don't watch JTV all that much, the cost per viewing hour might be unreasonable. Second, perhaps the usual ad-blocking options will prevent these ads from interrupting the stream. I don't know. I hope to find out.
I'm completely aware that JTV, like any other company, is not a charitable endeavor. They have to turn a profit at some point or they close up shop and go home. However, no company has carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want. If they push the envelope too far, their customers will leave. I think placing preemptive ads during casts pushes the envelope too far.
You all know I do my very best with my limited resources to present a top quality cast according to what I think is important. The video component of the show is pretty low tech and unexciting, but for what I'm trying to do with the cast, it's adequate. Since the music is a central focus of the cast, excellent audio quality is a must. Way back in 2009 when I started dabbling with casting I decided if I couldn't put out a high quality audio stream, I wouldn't do a music cast, and really I probably wouldn't have cast at all. At the time, there were too many music casts with crummy audio and I wasn't going to be one of them. I still feel the same today. Having unavoidable random interruptions to the Off the Charts cast is unacceptable to me as I'm sure it is to you. If there is no satisfactory resolution to this, I don't envision continuing to cast Off the Charts on JTV for very much longer.
For what it's worth, I predicted about 9 months ago that JTV in its then current form might have a remaining life span of 18 months. My prediction was based on a couple of observations that I won't go into right now (but nothing proprietary). I thought JTV might simply go away. Instead, it looks like it might (attempt to) morph into something rather different than what is has been historically. Folks, we all knew this wasn't going to last forever. I'm not going to make a rash decision, but the writing seems to be on the wall. Get mentally prepared and let's talk about it next Monday.
Update: Now there is another forum thread on the same topic. Entitled "Help Me Understand the New Ads", it's a very well written and entertaining post by Crash_. I recommend you take a look. He's been writing some good stuff lately in the forum.
I got a response back from Dylan on the problem of not being able to update the Chat Message. Here's the exchange, with my report below and his response above:
The time stamp is GMT. I actually sent this at 8:41pm on May 20, 19 minutes before the scheduled start of the show. It's good that there is an opportunity to report problems and it's good they're going to look into it. Dylan has always been pretty good at responding to Contact Form communications that are worthy of being responded to. Fixing problems... that's another matter, but that is out of Dylan's hands. It's nice that he offered to do a manual update for next week.
Also, after the show I sent a report on the problem where we couldn't see Kingsdown63's name in the Viewer List even though we could all see him chatting. Here's the exchange on that:
This problem is mostly just annoying. I know I've reported it before. We'll see if anything comes of it. I'm not holding my breath.
I wish JTV made their bug tracking public. A few companies do this. Most don't. Those that do demonstrate their openness and level of customer commitment. Those that don't... they demonstrate the same things, or I guess you could say the lower level thereof.
It seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves last night as we played songs about Babies of one sort or another. Good songs, good chat, good people, and only one little troll toward the very end... can't beat it. Thanks to all who attended for making the show great.
Sometimes after the show, usually the next day, I go back and review what people asked for that I couldn't play. Often, it's a good indication that there's a hole in my collection that I ought to fill. Right off the bat, PD brought up "Punk Rock Girl" by the 80's group the Dead Milkmen. Today, I see that I did have that song at one time. Way back when (2009-ish and earlier), I was a lot more judgemental about what I kept in my collection and what I got rid of. At the time, the Milkmen didn't make the cut. Sometime in 2010 I decided that was a shortsighted approach, not to mention time-consuming, so I backed off the active gatekeeping. Disk drive prices were coming down and cost of storage ceased to be an issue. Now I use the mp3 Ratings tag to indicate how much I personally like or dislike a song. Bear in mind, I don't intentionally seek out music I don't like. That would be dumb. But I've learned that my tastes change over time or even from one day to the next depending on my mood of the moment. Also, doing the show in its current format requires me to have some music available that I don't necessarily care for. Regarding "Punk Rock Girl", it looks like I'll be able to get my hands on it again before too long.
Another track we didn't hear was "Baby Come Back" by Hall & Oates per Nismo. I didn't have it, and I learned today that they didn't record it. Instead, "Baby Come Back" was done by a sound-alike group Player. As it turned out, later in the show Jake brought up the same song, this time identifying Player as the artist. For some reason, I confused myself and thought I didn't have the song when I really did. I hate when I do that: think I don't have a song when I really do. Oh well. I messed up. It happens.
By the way, I don't blame viewers if they get the song or artist information wrong. We're just here having fun. I like it when everyone joins in. Perfection is not required. We'll either figure it out or not. No big deal either way.
A few others: Tinkr sugggested "Sock It to Me Baby" by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. That's one I'd like to have and expect I will have by next week's show. Ditto for Stebkat's idea for Simon & Garfunkel's "Baby Driver". DFAC came up with "Up All Night" by the Talking Heads. That one was tougher. I came up empty at the time. I now see a 2005 release called Up All Night: Jammin' to the Talking Heads, a tribute album with new artists doing their versions of TH songs. I also see David Byrne as the songwriter for "Up All Night", performed on the Jammin' CD by Dark Star Orchestra. (Thank you, Allmusic.) But I can't find the Talking Heads actually doing that song themselves. However, I do see a song "Stay Up Late" on the 1985 TH album Little Creatures. I think that's what DFAC was after, because the lyrics talk about a baby. As it turns out, I don't have that song ripped, but I do have it on vinyl and could have played it. Whew! Maybe next time.
Finally, at the end of the show we had a request from a new viewer Maxwell who was looking for Ben E King's "There Goes My Baby". Not knowing enough about Ben E King and the Drifters, I didn't put two and two together to realize that the Ben E King version of the song is the one by the Drifters (King sang lead), and we had already played the Drifters earlier in the show. I further learned that Ben E King's birth name is Benjamin Earl Nelson, and it is under that name that the songwriting credit appears. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) The other songwriters of "There Goes My Baby" are George Treadwell (the Drifters' manager), Lover Patterson (King's personal manager), Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller.
So, you can see that sometimes doing requests really well can be kind of complicated. It's not always as easy as typing in the song and artist and then queuing it up. Sometimes one has to dig deeper. What I like is that I learn something new almost every week, and I'm happy to share it.
See you next Monday night!
As of today, there is a new "References" section in the sidebar of the Tidbits blog page. This section has links to some of the sites I have found to be helpful when researching my music.
Of course I make frequent use of Wikipedia and Allmusic. Both are excellent, but each has its drawbacks, and neither is 100% complete. Allmusic is a better source of album art and sometimes is better at providing track listings and other information about an album. However, Allmusic often gets the composer of a song wrong by listing people that were NOT among the songwriters. Sometimes Wikipedia is really good but is kind of hit-or-miss, as you would expect given how Wikipedia gets its information. Sometimes you get a LOT of information about the artist or album or song, and sometimes it's pretty sparse. In the case of albums, sometimes all you get is the name of the album. By the way, I'm an occasional Wikipedia editor and content creator myself.
Discogs and 45cat are both very good for songwriter info, for release info (year, label, and catalog number), and for label scans. Marv Goldberg's site has tons of doo-wop and R&B artist bios. Soulful Kinda Music is great for discographies of R&B and Soul artists. YouTube, somewhat surprisingly to me, is a valuable resource for information on all sorts of singles and album cuts, plus you can hear what many of them sound like. I'm indebted to all the people who make videos of records being played, and especially those who give a good clear look at the label before it starts spinning.
I know there are other links I'm forgetting to include right now. As I find them again, I'll add them to References.
This is a follow-on to the January 1, 2013 webcast. Time didn't allow us to hear something by every music industry person that left us in 2012, but we were able to acknowledge each of these folks at least once during the show.
A: Richard Adler (Broadway composer & lyricist), Toni Arden (singer, "Kiss of Fire")
B: Fontella Bass (singer, "Rescue Me"), Bob Birch (session musician and touring member of Iron Butterfly), Chuck Brown (known as "the Godfather of Go-Go"), Dave Brubeck (jazz pianist, "Take Five")
C: Earl Carroll (Cadillacs, Coasters), Elliott Carter (composer), Ed Cassidy (Spirit), Jimmy Castor (The Jimmy Castor Bunch), Dick Clark (American Bandstand), Ray Collins (singer, Mothers of Invention), Don Cornelius (Soul Train), Pete Cosey (guitarist, session musician, played with Miles Davis), Lol Coxhill (saxophonist)
D: Hal David (lyricist), Kay Davis (a singer for Duke Ellington), Michael Davis (bassist, MC5), William Duckworth (composer), Donald "Duck" Dunn (studio musician, Booker T & the MGs, the Blues Brothers)
F: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (opera singer)
G: Robin Gibb (Bee Gees)
H: Greg Ham (saxophonist, flautist, Men at Work), Marvin Hamlisch (composer, conductor), Major Harris (Delfonics), Levon Helm (The Band), Hans Werner Henze (composer), Whitney Houston (singer, actress)
J: Etta James (singer, "At Last"), Davy Jones (Monkees), Jimmy Jones (singer, "Handy Man", "Good Timin'")
L: Jon Lord (keyboardist, Deep Purple, Whitesnake), Louisiana Red (bluesman)
M: Tony Martin (singer), Dorothy McGuire (McGuire Sisters), Ilhan Mimaroglu (composer)
O: Johnny Otis (band leader, composer, multifaceted entertainer)
R: Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt (Iron Butterfly), Herb Reed (a founder of the Platters)
S: Earl Scruggs (Flatt & Scruggs), Ravi Shankar (sitarist), Donna Summer (singer, known as "the Queen of Disco")
W: Doc Watson (guitarist, songwriter), Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac), Bert Weedon (guitarist, awarded the OBE), Kitty Wells (singer), Andy Williams (singer)
Some other notable decedents in 2012 included:
Actors & Entertainers Ernest Borgnine, Frank Cady, Harry Carey Jr, Richard Dawson, Phyllis Diller, Michael Clarke Duncan, Gary Collins, Charles Durning, Chad Everett, Ben Gazzara, Don Grady, Andy Griffith, Larry Hagman, Sherman Hemsley, Caroline John, Kathryn Joosten, Jack Klugman, George Lindsey, Herbert Lom, Jerry Nelson, Ron Palillo, Elizabeth Sladen, Victor Spinetti, Mary Tamm, William Windom
Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride
Athletes Hector "Macho" Camacho (boxer), Gary Carter (Hall of Fame MLB catcher), Paul Cyr (NHL left wing), Alex Karras (NFL defensive tackle, wrestler, actor)
Authors Ray Bradbury, Steven Covey, Art "Mr Food" Ginsburg (author, TV chef), Maurice Sendak, Gore Vidal
Journalists Andrew Breitbart, Dan Dorfman
Politicians Daniel Inouye, George McGovern, Warren Rudman, Yitzhak Shamir, Arlen Specter
Others involved with sports include Ron Caron (NHL GM), Lee MacPhail (AL President), Marvin Miller (MLBPA union head), Steve Sabol (NFL Films producer), Carroll Shelby (race car driver, sports car designer), Bert Sugar (boxing writer & historian)
And these folks: Robert Bork (jurist), Helen Gurley Brown (publisher), Judith Crist (film critic), Rodney King (attacked during LA riots), Sun Myung Moon (religious leader), Joseph Murray (surgeon who performed the first successful kidney transplant), LeRoy Neiman (artist), Eugene Polley (inventor of the wireless TV remote), "Stormin'" Norman Schwartzkopf (general), Tony Scott (director), Zig Zigler (motivational speaker)
As I reviewed this list a few things jumped out at me. The list includes:
Three actresses who played the role of "companion" in the classic Doctor Who TV series: Caroline John ("Susan", first Doctor), Mary Tamm ("Romana I", fourth Doctor), and Elizabeth Sladen ("Sarah Jane", third and fourth Doctors).
Two people who were involved with the song "Rescue Me" - the singer Fontella Bass and the guitarist Pete Cosey.
Two members of Iron Butterfly, Larry Reinhardt and Bob Birch.
Two members of the Andy Griffith Show cast, Andy Griffith and George Lindsey ("Goober").
Two TV music greats, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius.
Marvin Hamlisch, who deserves special mention as the only person besides Richard Rodgers to have won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. Hamlisch also won two Golden Globes.
Gil is the host of the "Gil's Channel" webcast on Vaughnlive.tv.
These sites are particularly helpful when it comes to learning about and tagging music. Some are blogs. Others are labors-of-love reference sites. And to be complete, I'm including the well-known sites I use often.
45 RPM Records of the Ohio River Valley
45cat (7" vinyl database)
45worlds (non-7" singles db)
The "A" Side (informative blog)
Album Liner Notes (reference)
ASCAP Repertory Search (db)
The "B" Side (informative blog)
Billboard Hot 100 (historical)
Blues & Rhythm (magazine)
BMI Repertoire Search (db)
Both Sides Now Publications
British Dance Band Encycl'p'a
Bullfrogs Pond - #1s by Date.
Bullfrogs Pond - Artists.
Bullfrogs Pond - Yearly Chart.
Classic Jazz Online.
Classic Urban Harmony.
The Cosimo Code.
The Database of Popular Music.
Dave's Music Database.
The Dead Rock Stars Club.
Donald Clarke's Music Box.
The Doo Wop Society of So Cal
FAU Recorded Sound Archives.
Garage Hangover (60s 45's)
HeyPally's 78 rpm Page.
It's Psychedelic Baby (blog)
The Jazz Archive Site.
Jazz Downloads (1917-1955)
Jeff's 78 Labels
Lyrics.net (searchable lyrics)
Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebook
Music VF (US & UK hits db)
Noal Cohen's Jazz History
The Online (78) Discog. Project
Rhythm & Blues 50s Oldies Man
Rock & Country Encycl & Discog
Second Hand Songs
SESAC Repertory Search (db)
Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Hvn
So Many Records, So Little Time
Songbook (Doc's Songbook)
Soulful Kinda Music
Spirit of Rock Webzine
Tony's Rock & Roll Links
Traditional Music Library (ref)
Tredwells Music Centre
The Vocal Group Harmony Site