Past Sammy winners hope to start a new Halloween tradition
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In celebration of the centennial birthday of composer Johnny Mercer (born on Nov. 18, 1909), Clint Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions has commissioned the entertaining documentary Johnny Mercer: The Dream’s On Me, a 90-minute stroll down musical memory lane that airs in November on cable’s Turner Classic Movies.
Wack Pack wow: Beetlejuice gets his own series on Howard Stern’s pay-cable on-demand channel.
• WFBL-AM 1390, where vintage old-school rock from the 1950s and 1960s reigned for an 18-month period, has returned to the gabfest format as CNY Talk Radio, a result of the Leatherstocking Media Group’s acquisition of the Central New York station cluster from Buckley Broadcasting. WFBL now airs syndicated, mostly conservative rants from the likes of Dennis Miller, Laura Ingraham, Jim Bohannon and Fred Thompson, plus professional puffballer Larry King, with local live wire Jon Alvarez taking time from his realtor duties to host a lunchtime hour. WFBL’s lineup vies for whatever right-wing ears that are not listening to WSYR-AM 570’s red-state roster of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the meltdown-prone Glenn Beck, although in a state that is proudly blue on the electoral map as New York, you’d think some local station would have already taken a chance on Air America’s lefties. The former oldies format that WFBL offered since April 2008 has now been rerouted to WSEN-AM 1050. Leatherstocking likes to make other changes, too: The company grabbed longtime Oneida station WMCR-FM 106.3 earlier this year and reformatted it as a 24-hour slice of ear candy with hits from the 1980s and 1990s.
• Ex-program director and morning mike Nick Caplan, last heard in February 2008 co-hosting a dawn patrol slot with forever perky co-pilot Marlene Belge on the former WOLF-FM (now WMVU) 100.3 (Movin), has resurfaced. He’s on WUPE-FM 100.1 (Whoopee) in Pittsfield, Mass., fielding a classic Top 40 format for listeners in the Berkshires and the outskirts of Albany. No Eddie Cantor jokes, please.
Dubbed as a “psychedelic noise project from the United Kingdom” (how’s that for a come-on?), the Flower-Corsano Duo checks into The Redhouse, 201 S. West St., on Thursday, Oct. 29, for a 9 p.m. show. Michael Flower, master of the stringed shahi baaja, teams with drummer Chris Corsano for their electric aural assault. The evening also features Ashtray Navigations, with Phil Todd and Melanie “Ocelocelot” Delaney handling the electronic wizardry. Admission is $15, with students and seniors paying $12. For information, call 425-0405.
Mike Price again dons his cape to play the comical sawtooth Baron Daemon in a new 60-minute special airing this week on WSYR-Channel 9’s digital spinoff 9.2, which can also be found on Time Warner Cable’s channel 890. Baron Daemon’s Fright Fest recycles lots of material culled from previous specials produced by WSYR’s Tim Fox, along with what precious footage remains from the Price-Daemon heyday in the early 1960s. And the music video for “Transylvania Twist,” still the best-selling local record of all time, is a baby-boomer blast, with vintage clips of Price hamming it up combined with a live performance during the mid-1990s. The show airs on 9.2 on Friday, Oct. 30, 11 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 and 11 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m. Baron Daemon also hosts a screening of the 1992 horror yarn Bram Stoker’s Dracula on Channel 9 at midnight on Saturday, and earlier at 9 p.m. on 9.2, with Price’s shtick sure to be more entertaining than watching the movie’s star, Keanu Reeves, act clueless.
A Times Table Pick in the Oct. 21 Syracuse New Times claimed that Stevie Wonder, who rocked the house at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s Event Center on Oct. 23, last played the area back during a 1974 concert at the Onondaga County War Memorial. Au contraire, reports eagle-eyed reader Shari Washington, who states that Wonder actually returned to the venue as part of his Square Circle tour on Sept., 19, 1986, then two weeks later played in Binghamton on Oct. 2, 1986. Thanks for the belated history lesson!
The lion sleeps tonight: Joseph N. Lotito, the late founder of Salt City Center, in a 1998 shot. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO