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Brothers, sisters, and Johnson.

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Well, sometime in the next month or so there’s gonna be another dime-a-card mail day. Some real mutts in this one. I look forward to introducing them to you.

Inspired by Caitlin Flanagan’s piece in The Atlantic, I am doing my absolute damnedest to stay off Twitter. How’s it going so far? I’ve cut down quite a bit, but not all the way.

Last night I discovered that the Internet Archive hosts a collection of programs and news footage collected by the University of Baltimore and it’s a gold mine of ’60s and ’70s aesthetics. Fun to page through. There’s a regional accent there, too, that I’m not too familiar with and can’t yet capture in words, but it’s there.

Among the most noteworthy of these programs is a 1979 show that brings together the Doobie Brothers, the Pointer Sisters, Earth Wind & Fire, Richard Pryor, and … Raymond J. Johnson Jr., who sort of acts out his novelty single “Dancin’ Johnson” while the Pointer Sisters sing backup for him. It’s about as bad as it sounds. (Not everything in the archive is a Baltimore production; this must surely have been a network special that somehow landed in the collection.)


It’s worth noting also that the complete programs (as opposed to the collections of news footage) often have inexplicable and incomplete snippets of other shows at the end. The Doobies-Pointer Sisters-Ray J. show, for instance, closes with about 30 seconds of a local current-affairs program called “The Bottom Line,” whose jazzy theme song will stick with me until I figure out what it is, and a couple random seconds of the game show “Name That Tune.” Who was making these tapes?

Another one of the news-film compilations includes a minute or so of Baltimore Blast indoor soccer and now I have a yen to watch Eighties indoor soccer. Wonder if any is on YouTube?

On the personal front, I managed to run 10 miles last weekend for the first time in a while, and once I get off this machine I’m going to try to do it again.

Last weekend I went to a library booksale for the first time in what seemed like forever and it was a tremendous pleasure. Lots of books on folding tables in a school gym — and, remarkably, a few of ’em weren’t the Twilight series. My most noteworthy purchase was History: America’s Greatest Hits on used CD for $1. So many hooks; you know them all. I have wondered for quite a while if their albums hide any similar mellow-gold classics that didn’t get released as singles, and I am freshly resolved to look into it.

The surprise pick-hit of History so far is “Woman Tonight,” which I wasn’t as familiar with when I bought the CD, since it wasn’t as big a hit as most of the other songs.

It’s usually a bad move when a pop band gets clever and tries to play games with the downbeat, but I like it here. The one, in places, is harder to nail down than the Baltimore accent:

Last night we ate Indian takeout to celebrate my younger son’s good fourth-quarter grades, and that was great as always. And Tropical Storm Elsa, while a soaker, was limited in other impacts, so I am home this weekend relaxing (and doing chores) (and, eventually, running) instead of having to work.

And that is massively appreciated.

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