Wednesday, August 25, 2010

748 The Elevator Music Shark

748 The Elevator Music Shark

It's like a pool shark, only you can play sitting down. The most famous of these, Rudolph Wanderone, was known as Minnesota Fats, even though he was born in New York and didn't take on the pseudonym until the early 60s from the Jackie Gleason character in the movie "The Hustler."

A pool shark plays lousy on purpose and sizes up his opponent. If the foe is so-so, the shark then plays his real game, taking the other player for every possible penny. An elevator music shark knows all the song titles, often on the first note, and certainly with in the first 12 bars. If you're one of those, you can win a fortune from people who like music but aren't as close to this genre as you are.

Of course, it's tough to find what we used to call "semi-classical" or "beautiful" or "easy listening" music these days. Tough, but not impossible. The cable TV has a channel that plays it. So do the satellite TV services. Sirius/XM has a channel. And you can get all kinds of CDs and MP3s by mail.

But once you find the music, you're in the chips, even if you haven't heard the stuff in years. We former Beautiful Music disc jockeys will find this is like riding a bicycle. It's easy to recognize maybe 80% of the songs. Those titles are buried in your head. They'll come out on first listening. The ones you don't recognize by name will still be familiar. And once you glance at the screen for the title, you'll never forget them again.

So you turn on cable channel 13,238 and let the music play. Your guests have to listen, after all, it's your house. You intentionally mis-guess three or four out of the first seven selections. Then they put their money down and you clean up.

Just don't widen your game to include artists. No one can tell the difference between the Living Strings and the 101 Strings. And after all this time, it's easy enough to confuse James Last with Percy Faith and Ronnie Aldrich with Ferrante and Teicher.


Shrapnel:

--Please welcome a new link to the "blog list" on the right side of the page, Jessica Moore's NY Resident Tourist. Jessica is a former anchor and writer for Bloomberg Radio, a writer of fiction and non fiction alike, with a sense of irony, a sense of the ridiculous and the sharp eye of a seasoned observer and reporter. She'll be telling us about the secret places and things to do that only someone with this combination can find and describe.

--The cable rates went up... again. Now it costs over $100 a month to get 500 channels of crap of which we may watch maybe 400. Comcast is putting our pennies in the jar to save up for the purchase of NBC, one of the greatest pending disasters in the history of television.

--When you're used to digging in the Long Island sand, digging in the Pennsylvania clay is a whole new world. It takes an illegal quantity of dynamite to start a hole big enough to plant one little bush. And hours of post explosion digging, not to mention morning after back and shoulder pain.


I"m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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