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The angry Hallowe'en organist

This guy's a monster!

Listen to what he does to these hymns for an All Saints Day service (Buzz does not have to explain that Hallowe'en means All Hallows Eve, or the Eve of All Saints). He is improvising!! No music. Zowie!

Now .... watch what he does at right about 6:27.

That gesture makes sense when you read the rant attached to his video on YouTube. Here is the slightly edited version:

For all of you critical You Tube arm chair critics with pen and pad in hand to note when someone has missed a note, or used a stop that you don't like, you know who you are, the I don't have a video uploaded myself gang of idiots who MUST offer their unsolicited opinions as though they're effen experts, to you folks imparticular you in some of my other videos have made it a point of scolding me for my timing WHEN I'M NOT LEADING A CONGREGATION OR A CHOIR in those particular videos, especially when my response has consistently been that I play at any speed that I wish ESPECIALLY since it's just me practicing alone and not leading voices. I've had members of that crowd say "Oh, that's not how to lead a choir!" when there isn't a choir there in the video to lead. Well for you #$*&#s, this video is how I lead a choir and/or congregation when I have to, and perhaps this ought to shut you critics up.


Happy Halloween from the monster organist!

100 years ago, news of the "great beyond"

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I am getting kind of into following the news of a century ago. It is kind of fun! If you do not like the current events of today you can always go back to 1912 and what was going on then.

100 years ago today there was sad news. The Vice President had died!

This was William Howard Taft's vice president, James Sherman. Sherman, I see, came from Utica ...

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... and so Utica, and by extension Buffalo, was plunged into mourning. That is how Western New York is. Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Buffalo etc. are constantly at war with each other but when something this happens we put the wagons in a circle.

It is appropriate that on Halloween we do a few closeups to notice how newspapers used to describe death. In the first sentence, you read of Utica that "her principal citizen passed on to the great beyond."

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Notice the mention of the telegram from Roosevelt. It was just a matter of days before this that Roosevelt had had his close call, remember?

It was quite a year, 1912.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Cluck here for the chicken wing hip-hop


As a chaser to today's spicy piece of journalism in The Buffalo News on Toronto hip-hoppers Abdominal and the Obliques, and their new ode to the chicken wing, we invite you to listen and learn.

Click here -- scroll down to "A Brief History Of the Chicken Wing," and you are cooking.

Buzz suggests this song be put into rotation at local Zumba classes, as we attempt to burn off our excesses!

To be viewed with a six-pack


Our friends at Forgotten Buffalo posted this on the 'Net this morning.

"Home due to storm? Sit back and enjoy," they write.

The video is courtesy of WBEN's Steve Cichon, whose is a trip through Buffalo nostalgia, and we mean a real trip.

This video has great glimpses of Jimmy Griffin, not to mention terrific vintage footage of other prominent Buffalo personalities and politicians. One classic scene shows Griffin in his house being interviewed. "You won't come in this house again," he tells the reporter. "In fact, get out right now."

Check it out.

And, as Jimmy Griffin once put it, "Have a six-pack handy, so you can enjoy yourself."

Disaster preparedness, 1912 style

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The Buzz blog likes to look back 100 years ago today in The Buffalo Evening News, and this ad seemed very apt.

Alas, J.N. Adam, who besides running the great department store was mayor of Buffalo from 1906 to 1909, is long gone (and buried in Edinburgh, Scotland).

But the Buffalo winter?

It lives on!

Shane, Brother Shane's plans for the storm

"Well!!! Looks like we're all going to be inside for a while! What say we get the whole damned bunch together for a Party!!!! I'll play the records, Wheelie and the boys'll rock around the clock, we'll all party like it's 1999! Who's in?"

That is Shane, the great deejay and Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee, broadcasting on Facebook from Virginia, where he now lives. He included that classic photo. Wheelie is Big Wheelie from Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps. That is Wheelie on the right, and Shane with his arm around him.

Dear Shane, Brother Shane. It is fun to have him on Facebook. It is like having him on the air!

And as for that party ...

Buzz is in!

Mayor announces parking free-for-all


There are 10 minutes left to Jackie Jocko and Joe Peters Day in the City of Buffalo!

It was proclaimed this evening at the Hyatt. Mayor Byron Brown made the proclamation, and  it was a handsome proclamation, with many a "Whereas." This was at a big dinner organized by Judge Sal Martoche and friends, celebrating Jackie Jocko, lounge pianist at the Hyatt, and his longtime collaborator, Joe Peters.

The clock now says 11:50 p.m. For the next 10 minutes we may all park wherever we want. Or maybe it was just that Jocko and Joe could park wherever they want. Whatever, Buzz is sure we may all take advantage of this offer.

"Today you can park where you want," the Mayor declaimed. "It's your day."

He added: "Tomorrow you get a ticket."

It was a multi-Mayor event! Here is a picture of Jocko with former Mayor Anthony Masiello on the podium. Jocko and Joe are seated to the right of the mayor.

Jocko mayor

And now excuse us. We are going to go out and park the car!

How about them Bulls?


The question has none of the stress it would have if you asked it about the Bills.

Win or lose, the UB Bulls are in fine form.

A dad we know -- OK, it's our brother George -- tells us that after the game, the players run in front of the front row, smiling and high-fiving the small fry. Kids love it, including Buzz's little niece and nephew, who go as often as they can get their parents to take them.

Bills games can be too rough for kids, but Bulls games, no problem! And the kids love it, win or lose. OK, full disclosure, last time the team played and lost, our kindgarten-age nephew, Georgie, somehow sensed the loss and began to cry. A high-five or two, though, and he was over it.

The Bulls are playing Toledo as we speak. Their next home game is noon next Saturday -- that's Nov. 3 -- against Miami. That's Miami, Ohio. Who knew that Miami University was in Ohio? But it is.

Go! Relax! And don't forget to take the kids.

The Champ


It's squash season! And Buzz is thrilled to report that last night, in the Hyatt lounge, we met, in person, world-renowned squash champion Barry Abelson. That is Abelson pictured above at one of his many competitions! He is in town from Toronto to compete in the U.S./Canada squash championships being held at Buffalo Tennis and Squash.

Apparently certain of victory, Abelson had given the slip to his friends, who were off at some other event, and was kicked back by himself enjoying healthful red wine and enticing lounge pianist Jackie Jocko to play obscure songs. He impressed Buzz by requesting two numbers we had never heard of, "Manhattan Towers" and "Yellow Days." 

Jocko played both.

"Hey, Toronto!" he kept yelling to Abelson. "Listen to this!'

Abelson is 76 but looks younger, which is what a lifestyle of squash and standards will do for you.

And his favorite squash?

"I like zucchini," he said. "And spaghetti squash with tomato sauce."

Ed Kilgore, the Bills and the billionaire's daughter


You can take a guy out of Ralph Wilson Stadium but you can't take Ralph Wilson Stadium out of the guy.

The Community Music School found that out last night when, in the midst of its cabaret blowout at Kleinhans Music Hall to celebrate distinguished alumnus Andy Anselmo, they brought out Channel 2 sports legend Ed Kilgore.

Kilgore --  whose talented wife, Debby, had studied with Andy -- had ditched his oft-discussed turtleneck for a dapper suit and tie. But he retained his inimitable way with words.

He smiled at the big crowd of over 400, who filled the Mary Seaton Room.

"This is a bigger crowd than we're probably going to have at the next Bills home game," he said.

He turned to singer Caroline Jones, who was the evening's emcee. Caroline is the daughter of hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones and had flown into the event yesterday on a Lear jet. She sang several songs and displayed some amazing high notes.

"Caroline," said Ed, "you definitely have more range than Ryan Fitzpatrick."

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