December 12, 2009

Post #2567 – 20091212

In the late 1970’s, I was a cab driver in New York City. On Friday night at midnight a guy on WBIA would read from a Science Fiction book of yours that had a drink called “Pheligics” sp in it. All the time he was reading it the music from Lawrence of Arabia was playing in the background. This went on for weeks,if not months. The only other radio show that the fares asked “What the hell are you listening to?” was Joe Frank on Sunday evening on WNYC. Both you and Joe made many a memorable night for me and I thank you for it, pre posthumously. Your way out west amigo who also lived in Rhinebeck for a while- Tim the Taximan

Daniel replies:

That was the great classical music DJ, Bill Watson, who along with Jean Shepherd, made radio works of genius in New York city for so many years. The classical station he worked for belonged to one William F. Buckley, who ultimately did the conservative/capitalist thing and sold his radio station to an outfit that intended to make it yet another rock outlet, thus putting Watson, who shared Buckley's values and philosophy, out of a job. He worked briefly at WQXR, the one remaining classical station in New York, but couldn't adjust to the playlists and potted-palm formality there. At last he was taken in by non-commercial free-speech left-wing WBAI, which is where he did that reading of Alan Mendelsohn the Boy from Mars.