R & B High School (Pem-Day)

Two weeks ago, the New Yorker ran an excellent article about Pembroke-Country Day School, an all-boys private school in Kansas City (later to be merged into a coed school now known as Pembroke Hill). The author, 1973 Pem-Day graduate David Owen, tells the story of how primarily white senior classes from the 1960s booked rhythm and blues acts to play at their proms. Owen also adds context related to race and segregation in music and schools in those times. Click here for the article, but you may hit a paywall.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #75 – Bill Shapiro and Cyprus Avenue – 40 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll


My thanks to those Hot Stove readers who got through my three (long) installments on baseball collusion. Despite the best efforts of my editor/wife Rita, I still often drift to posts that fit the dreaded TLDR designation. I had not heard of that term until last week when Hollis Hanover filled me in. It is internet shorthand for “Too Long. Didn’t Read.”


So I’m going to make a change. This long post will be about rock ‘n’ roll.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #36 – Chuck Berry and Lonnie’s Jukebox

Image result for john lennon chuck berry

Rita and I were in Phoenix last week to visit friends of long standing, Larry and Diana Brewer. Di has been my friend since before high school and Larry was my Sigma Nu fraternity brother at college. I introduced them and most of the time they thank me. Di and I also had lunch with fellow 1959 Van Horn grad Jan Clemens, another Arizona transplant from KC. Long ago, I danced at teen-town with Di and Jan. To Chuck Berry. When those songs were originally released. This past weekend, Chuck Berry died at the age of 90. So I just have to take a break from baseball posting and talk about Chuck. I’ll be back soon to talk about the Royals free agents and TV money in baseball.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #29 – Leonard Cohen – Rita’s Story

Image result for leonard cohen

I hope you don’t mind, but I am interrupting my baseball posts to share a story about singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen who passed away earlier this month. For a good brief piece on Leonard’s career, click on the arrow at the top of this NPR report, (3:25).

Many of you on the Hot Stove mailing list were also part of Rita’s village in 2012-2013, and so you will be familiar with part of this story.

Continue reading

Hot Stove #15 – Prince of Baseball


Prince of Baseball: The death of the music artist Prince this past week was widely noted, including on baseball diamonds. Prince songs were played in many stadiums and several players changed their walk-up songs to honor Prince. Alex Rodriquez used a different Prince song for each of his four at-bats (0-2 and 2 walks). Over the years, Prince’s hometown team, the Twins, have welcomed new players with a ritual where the player sings excerpts from Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” (click here, 39 seconds). The song is about a one night stand with a fast woman (she being his “Little Red Corvette”) – my generation’s version was Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” (“why can’t you be true…”). General Motors ran its own tribute ad:

Continue reading