The other night at Duffy’s, my friend Buzz Braman (pictured right above) and I were talking about one of the greatest movies ever made, “Goodfellas.” One of our favorite scenes was when Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and Henry Hill (Ray Liotta pictured on top) were at a restaurant along with a bunch of other gangsters at a table having dinner.
Tommy is telling stories, and everybody at the table is laughing hysterically until Ray says, “Tommy, you’re a funny guy.” Tommy then stops everything by saying, “Funny how, funny haha, or funny like a clown, here to amuse you?” From there the conversation quickly spirals down as all the gangsters look at them in astonishment and Buzz told me that he heard that Pesci had ad-libbed the whole scene. (See the scene by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page)
Now just so you know, Buzz is part of the Braman Family who owns car dealerships all over South Florida that sell everything from Mini Coopers to Rolls Royces. Although I would suspect that Buzz is kinda the black sheep of the family because he didn’t get into the car business, he coached in the NBA for 20 years where he was known as the “Shot Doc”. However, he is now back in the fold, and while he was at their Porche store recently, he received a panic call from the Bently dealership just down the street, telling him that he was needed there immediately. When he asked what had happened, they would only say that he needed to get over there as quickly as he could. Fearing the worst because just a few weeks earlier a guy had walked into one of their showrooms and keyed two Rollers, Buzz was there in a few minutes. When he hurried in, the sales guy immediately took him over and introduced him to Ray Liotta who was there buying a Bently for his sister.
Everybody at Braman knew that Buzz loved “Goodfellas” so the moment Ray had walked into the dealership, they called Buzz. When introductions were being made, the sales guy happened to mention that Buzz had coached in the NBA for 20 years and Ray lit up like a Christmas tree. “Where can we talk” Ray wanted to know so Buzz excitedly took him into a spare office where he planned on asking Ray about the “funny how” scene at an appropriate moment. Ray was full of questions about Shaq, Penny, Jordan, and Dr. J which Buzz answered as quickly as he could with his finger up. About the time Ray started to run out of questions and Buzz was all set to ask his own, Ray’s sister walked in pointing at her watch and saying, “Ray, we’ve gotta get out of here.” Buzz then said, “Hey, I’ve only got one question which will only take a minute.” They replied, “Sorry, we’re on the clock” and just like that they were gone, leaving Buzz sitting there with his finger still in the air.
Why do the people who live in New York and LA think they’re smarter than everybody else? I’m not sure what San Fransisco, Oakland, San Jose, and San Diego think, but I do know that the folks who live in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, and countless other cities beg to differ.
Only when you become a parent do you realize just how much your parents loved you.
By caring enough to hate someone, you’ve just put them in charge.
Living in an on-demand world, sometimes we forget to do the things we love to do because we can always do them tomorrow.
Artists have changed the world a lot more often than any politician ever has.
There’s always a catch.
Being of mixed blood, (English and Scotch) after seeing a bunch of movies and documentaries about the English, the more I feel myself becoming Scottish a little more every day.
Overqualified is code for, “You’re too f**king old.”
There’s a lot of smart people out there, but fortunately, most of them don’t know what to do.
When I was a kid dreaming about becoming a recording star, I never imagined that I’d be the only person in my neighborhood who would have his own records hanging on his wall.
I think if they figured out how to build the charger into the car so you could charge it anywhere, the electric car would soon become a reality.
The dumbest thing about a smartphone is the phone.
Even the wealthy agree that most rich people are assholes.
When Phil beat Tiger half the bar at Duffy’s, clapped and shouted except for the black people.
Being a Centrist, I understand what being “Stuck In The Middle” is all about as I get pushed at from both sides.
Much easier to stay physically young than it is to become as wise as the elderly.
Rich people must be smarter than the rest of us because only they can understand why Canada who has more oil than they can ever use, still imports it.
An Action is not an accomplishment.
Just because you do what you think is right don’t make it right.
The distant future arrived a few years ago.
The car of the future will be a computer on wheels.
The top 10 count down of my most read Blogs during 2018 will begin Christmas day.
Are there any skinny ladies out there with large breasts, not living well?
Why must things go wrong before they go right?
I wonder if the soldiers in the middle east are able to explain why they’re there?
Speaking of why? I still don’t understand what the hell we were doing in Korea, let alone Viet Nam?
Besides a “Magic Carpet,” have the Arabs invented anything?
I wonder how many of our industry leaders could get a job at their local radio station?
Do you teach a growing child how to deal with the world or do you shield them from it?
Has Hollywood ever made a movie where the banks are not the bad guys?
Is it true that after President Lincoln won the civil war, he had ships standing by to take the slaves back to Africa but they wouldn’t go?
For a sneak peek at some upcoming Geo’s Media Blogs, go to GeorgeJohns.com. To see a brand new Blog Bob Christy and I are doing together about radio today, google “Writing Radio’s Wrongs.” On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.
Jim Harper: This is the most productive and potentially “golden” advice any morning jock could ever expect to receive. And it’s free! Then again…generous. Old Pros do that…never when asked, but when you least expect it, and they sincerely want to help talent. I hope the jox realize that Bob’s phone call script/outline should be stolen and produced with a killer-close…tomorrow! And George’s break-by-break then repeat-outline is a million dollar secret. Nice work, Gentlemen.
Geo:Jim was commenting on a new Blog called “Writing Radio’s Wrongs” that Bob Christy and I are doing about how radio sounds to us today. For a peek at it, Google, Writing Radio’s Wrongs.
Doug Herman: A significant part of Gordon Zlot’s long-term success is on you, George. A top of the line owner with top of the line input from somebody who’s made a bunch of stations #1 is a can’t miss situation. Congrats to both of you! Keep it going!
Geo:Thank you, Doug, I thought it was very gracious of him to mention me in his acceptance speech, but also very Gordon. However, the best part about his speech was the standing ovation he got after he gave it.
Bruce Walker: Excellent blog George. It’s great to see that people like Gordon Zlot still exist. Glad you had the opportunity to help him and his gang out. You must have learned many lessons from him and he from you. Good going.
Geo:He’s a great guy Bruce, and one of the many things I learned from him was that it is much better to fly to meetings in his Jet than it is to go commercial.
Dave Spence: George, I don’t know who Hollis Duncan is, and he certainly doesn’t know me or the story he attaches to me. While I was there, we never charged for parking. What he is referencing was when we went up on the cost of cold drinks (5 or 10 cents as I recall) from the “Coke” machine. The note was on newsprint which was only used in the- wait for it – newsroom. I agree that Andy was a great newsman. Very well educated, expansive vocabulary, and voice inflection that left no doubt what side of the story he was on.
Bill Gardner: I remember hosting a KVIL morning show in the late ’80s and wondering at 6.15 about our scheduled 6.20 newscast since Andy McCollum had yet to arrive. When he walked in about 6.19, I hit the intercom and asked if he wanted me to scrub the 6.20. He said, “No, I’ll be ready.” I introduced him as my song faded at 6.20, and Andy proceeded to do a newscast that sounded every bit as good and prepared as all the rest! An amazing guy and fun to work with. Saw Andy last at one of our KVIL reunions, and like Bob Morrison who you mentioned, and even the legendary Ben Laurie, miss them all personally and professionally.
John King: Geo, about Shakespeare’s oft-quoted line, it has been explained: “Shakespeare’s exact line ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,’ was stated by Dick the Butcher in ‘Henry VI,’ Part II, Act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.”
Hollis Duncan: Andy was paired with Ben Laurie while I was at KVIL and & he & I enjoyed several lunches and many good conversations. Andy was so confident in his intelligence that he felt no need to prove it to anyone, so our conversations (with me mostly listening) consisted of stories that showed a high level of knowledge & understanding paired with deep insight. When we were sitting in a Deli in University Park, Andy taught me the proper pronunciation of Gefilte Fish. When KVIL started charging for parking, Andy left the memo on Dave Spence’s door with the typed note: “Thank you for helping KVIL make another million.” Spence went around to all of the typewriters to find the culprit. Andy was a great newscaster and a very good guy.
Greg Byers: Hi George, This is T.J Byers, son. Yes, he dealt with depression for many years.we as a family did everything we could to get him better, but it was not in the cards.we are so glad people are talking about suicide more open. Dad always had good things to say about you and Jim Hillard and Mr.fairbanks.
Geo:Greg, your Dad and I produced a lot of award-winning promos back in the day. I remember him fondly.
Doug Thompson: Geo wrote: Why don’t they have production people in the Radio Hall Of Fame? What was better on the radio than the promos Jack McCoy created and voiced for the last contest?
Agreed George, Jack McCoy certainly deserves his place in the Radio Hall of Fame…and why isn’t radio writer extraordinaire Bill McDonald in as well? The Beatles Story, The Evolution of Rock, The Elvis Presley Story and many more radio specials that he wrote plus all those award-winning commercials working with Chuck Blore. Even Chuck Blore isn’t in the Hall of Fame. Travesty.
Geo:Then there’s Doug Thompson, Dougie, he’s the best and is also not in there. I think all these Hall Of Fames are rigged, hell, even the one in Indianapolis funded by a trust from the former owner of WIBC/WNAP, Richard M Fairbanks has had very few inducted from those great stations, even though we ruled the town for a couple of decades. I may be biased, but I think Texas may have the best HOF, and deservedly most of the staff I was honored to have worked with at KVIL, are in there.
Jed Duval: In 1972, at Indiana University’s Radio-TV journalism courses, the standard was 75 five-letter words-minute, with all numbers spelled out in words. I have always tried to adhere to that standard ideal. Fast-talking seems to be the standard today. Then, if it does not fit into a: 59-1/2-second time frame, the production people digitally-process the voice track to make it fit, which speeds up the delivery after the pitch of the voice is corrected! Can you imagine enforcing WIBC’s Fairbanks Broadcasting / Chuck Riley production standards in the electronic media world today? As I learned from you, George, less copy (but more colorful, descriptive, picture-painting words) is much, much more. Then the best voice in the station can shape and create an image…something you can’t do when you’re trying to “beat-the-clock”!
One additional comment: The only time I would “rush” the copy would be the times the station had to air the full attorney-approved contest rules disclosure announcement, which usually aired only once per day at carefully selected times at the end of the last stop-set just before going into the news. We did not have websites then, so we had to essentially read the rules on the back of the direct mail piece to satisfy Mike Bader and Dick Fairbanks. Did any of the stations either of you gentlemen managed or consulted ever receive complaints about the contests and the rules?
Geo:Jed, as you well know, I dreamed up so many wild and crazy contests that the only way our FCC attorney Mike Bader, could handle me was by saying no. When I finally threw a hissy fit in Mr. Fairbanks office I was given John King as my own personal lawyer and his job was to find a way to say yes to me. He did, and I still adore him for it. As far as complaints go Jed, does the Mayors of a bunch of cities calling the radio stations I was involved with, to demand that we stop our on air promotion immediately, count Jed? I guess they were a little upset thatwe blew out the city’s phone system.
Duane Zimmerman: Love the new email format. Much more engaging. Makes me want to click n look immediately.
Peter McClain: JackMcCoy…….remember RAM? Recycling the quarter hour, etc. etc. It was over when “branding” replaced call letters.
Geo: I think a few of those old tricks may work wonders on the PPM devices that they’re currently using to harvest ratings with, Peter.
For some sneak peeks at some upcoming Geo’s Media Blogs, go to GeorgeJohns.com or google Writing Radios Wrongs for a brand new Blog that Bob Christy are doing together about the state of radio today. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and comments like those above are greatly appreciated.
When I was living in San Diego, occasionally I would travel to West Bank in Canada to visit my Mother. West Bank which is located in beautiful British Columbia and while there, I’d usually take my Mom and a bunch of my relatives who lived nearby, out for a fancy dinner.
After doing this on several occasions, my Mother became annoyed and said, “Son, have you ever noticed that one of your cousins always orders the most expensive thing on the menu even if they don’t even know what it is?” “Of course, I have,” I told her, “But I don’t care, I’m having a great time and they have to live with it, not me. Long ago, I discovered why Santa is always smiling and laughing, he has a secret. The reason that he’s so happy at Christmas time even though all he ever gets is milk and cookies, is because he knows that you get more joy from giving than receiving.” “Mom,” I went on to say, “The world is full of secrets and in fact, every successful business has one. The fun part is, every time you discover a new one, it makes you happier like the day a young lady taught me what Victoria’s Secret was. However, it’s not the kind of thing you can get into with your Mother so I’ll just finish by saying, It’s all good Mom!”
You can’t keep singing “Our Day Will Come” while hoping for the best; at some point, you’ve got to bring the day.
Ignorance and arrogance both have the same unhappy ending.
If you’re breathing, you’ve still got time to dream a new dream.
Winning isn’t everything, having the will to win is everything.
Show ’em don’t tell them.
Even a change for the better is still inconvenient.
When the message is too long the lesson is soon forgotten.
It doesn’t matter if you know how to do it if you don’t do it.
If you’re professional and interesting you’ll get all the listeners you’ll ever need. However, if you want to be syndicated you’ll also need to throw in a little entertainment.
I find it strange that even though over 90% of the population still listens to the radio, the media has decided that it’s dead?
Anyone can play your music mix but nobody can say what you say the same way you say it.
A little attitude mixed with emotion always lights up the airways and the phones.
Remember when we used to get tapes of the all great stations so that we could emulate them? What stations would you want tapes of today?
The PPM devices always find the great sounding radio stations.
The real problem with real news is simple; nobody wants to watch it.
POLITICAL & POLITICALLY INCORRECT.
I find it mildly amusing that social media refers to Fox news as being right-wing but MSNBC as only left-leaning.
Even though black entertainers headlined shows in Vegas, they weren’t allowed to stay at the hotels where they performed. One man changed all that when he said, “If Count Basie and Quincy Jones can’t stay here, I ain’t singing here.” His name was Frank Sinatra.
I wonder how many politicians are really Republicans or Democrats? Maybe that was just the slot that was open when they decided to run for office?
Whenever you hear a liberal and a conservative discussing something, I find it hard to believe that they’re talking about the same thing.
I wonder how France feels about its open borders today?
How do you explain to your political daughters that the politicians from both parties are owned by the very wealthy?
Ego is overdressed insecurity.
You want to become only that which you can see.
You always struggle when you know not what you do.
It amazes me that we spend billions on Jet fighters and aircraft carriers but do all our fighting door to door just like it all began.
Have you noticed lately how many Uber drivers also drive for Lyft?
You never know when what you’re about to do may be the thing that makes you or breaks you.
The only acceptable form of average is above average.
Talking is easy, walking the talk is hard.
If Elvis were alive, he’d still be relevant, but the Colonel sure wouldn’t be.
The people at the top are not reasonable.
QUESTIONS? Does anybody still think that the Dolphins have a real QB?
Is the, “Do you want to unsubscribe” the new scam?
Where are the statues of all the great businessmen?
Isn’t it amazing that even though the Dallas Cowboys haven’t been to the Superbowl in over twenty years, their GM is still employed?
Isn’t overachieving another word for underestimating?
Who do you like in the Super Bowl, I like New Orleans.
For a sneak peek at some new Blogs, or those you may have missed, go to GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. You can also google, Writing Radio’s Wrongs to see a brand new Blog that Bob Christy and I are writing together about radio today. Sharing and commenting is much appreciated.