Sunday, August 28, 2005

More of the "10 Books That Made Me What I Am, For Better Or Worse"

My last post got me thinking about what the other nine books would be for my list. Generally they are books I read between the ages of 10 and 20, most of which I haven't read since I was a kid. Here are Nos. 2-5 (listed in order of remembrance):

2. Lillian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia - If I read it today I would probably be embarrassed that it formed so much of my outlook on rock music, but in my pre-teen years it opened up a world of music beyond the Top 40, and led to my continued desire to read about music and take a chance every once and awhile on an band or an artist that might be a little off the beaten path (although unfortunately many of those paths are becoming increasingly well-worn).

3. Robert Metz, Reflections In A bloodshot Eye - A critical history of CBS circa 1975, it was the first book I read that provided insight in the entertainment business as well as a concise history of radio and television, which continues to fascinate me to this day.

4. Unknown 1973 NFL Preview Magazine - I don't remember the title or the editor, but this magazine, printed on glorious black & white newsprint, included a complete summary of the 1972 season, on a a team-by team basis, recaps of the playoffs and the Super Bowl (including the "Immaculate Reception" and the Dolphins' 17-0 run culminating in a 14-7 win in Super Bowl VII over the Redskins), as well as a preview of each team for 1973 (the Norm Snead Era for my New York Giants didn't quite pan out as predicted). To an 11-year-old this was the printed equivalent of watching an endless loop of the old "This Week In Pro Football" TV show.

5. Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle In Time - Quite simply, this was my Harry Potter.

More book titles to come later.

One last thing for today. As part of the of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers 1955 championship team, the L.A. Dodgers' TV broadcast on FSN this afternoon started with two cameras in black & white and then gradually improved to the current technology. I caught the first few innings of the broadcast and while it was not as well done (or historically accurate) as a similar broadcast the Fox network did for their national game a few years ago, what made this really special was that Vin Scully was behind the mike, just as he was in 1955. Scully is one of the last of the great mid-century baseball broadcasters still active, and he is uniquely positioned to provide his audience with a first-hand account of what the television broadcast was actually like 50 years ago. Truly amazing! Some university should fund a researcher to sit Scully in front of a video camera and just have him give an oral history of his remembrances as soon as possible. I'd be happy to volunteer for the gig.


Mister Ray


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