|Articles||Go Fund Me||All-Species List||Hot Spots||Go Fund Me|
|Web Epoch NJ Web Design | (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.|
[Posted Sun. p.m., prior to Astros-Red Sox; Chiefs-Patriots...cuz I gotta move on, sports fans...]
NFL Quiz: The great Green Bay running back Jim Taylor died this weekend at the age of 83. Taylor rushed for 8,207 yards and scored 91 touchdowns in his nine seasons with the Packers from 1958-66. He was the first Lombardi-era player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976.
Taylor played his college ball at LSU. Two other LSU players went on to Pro Football Hall of Fame careers. Name ‘em. Answer below.
--Friday, the Brewers held on to defeat the Dodgers 6-5 in Milwaukee in Game 1 of the NLCS as once again, Clayton Kershaw had problems in the postseason, after a sterling start in the NLDS against the Braves.
Kershaw gave up 4 earned in just 3 innings as the Brew Crew jumped out to a 6-1 lead after seven, before L.A. rallied back in the eighth and ninth innings to make it close, Corey Knebel striking out Justin Turner with the tying run on third to nail it down (Turner fanning a career-high four times in the game).
[Milwaukee’s Josh Hader did his job in relief, three scoreless, a career-high 46 pitches, before those who came behind him struggled mightily, but Hader’s 46 made him unavailable for Game 2.]
It wasn’t all Kershaw’s fault, as he had three errors behind him (the Dodgers committing four in all), including two by catcher Yasmani Grandal, who also had two passed balls.
But Kershaw also yielded the game-changing home run to relief pitcher Brandon Woodruff!
So he falls to 8-8, 4.26 ERA, in the postseason for his career.
In Game 2 last night, a terrific affair, the Dodgers came back from a 3-0 deficit thru six to score two in the seventh and two in the eighth, the latter a two-run blast by Justin Turner, the Dodgers then hanging on to beat the Brewers 4-3...sweet payback for Turner after his failures the night before.
But it was also clear that Milwaukee starter Wade Miley, who had allowed just two singles in 5 2/3, while throwing only 74 pitches, should have been allowed to stay in the game a bit longer, Brewers manager Craig Counsell overusing his bullpen in the first two games.
Out to L.A. for Game 3 Monday.
--In the first game of the Houston-Boston series in Beantown, the Astros’ Justin Verlander did what aces do, six innings of two-run ball, Houston breaking it open with four in the top of the ninth for a 7-2 triumph, Verlander the win. The guy is now 13-6, 3.08 ERA in the postseason, a big part of his Hall of Fame resume.
For Boston, Chris Sale struggled with his control, walking 4 in four innings, allowing 2 earned and throwing 86 pitches. Joe Kelly ended up with the loss in relief of Sale.
--Not only did the Yankees lose their division series to Boston, 3-1, but they learned a few days later that shortstop Didi Gregorius needs Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, and it is expected he will be out until at least July, seeing as the estimated timetable for return ranges from 8-10 months.
So suddenly, will the Yankees view this as a situation requiring a radical move, such as going after free-agent-to-be Manny Machado, or will they just come up with a stopgap solution until Didi comes back? They do have pieces such as Gleyber Torres they could shift to shortstop, and re-sign Neil Walker and/or Adeiny Hechavarria to play second and short, respectively.
I’m guessing the Yanks look to stay under the luxury-tax threshold, which in 2019 is set for $206 million, seeing as they can get by with what they have until Didi returns, say in August.
What every Yankee fan is screaming for, after all, is starting pitching! That’s where the money needs to be spent.
College Football Review
[Comments written prior to release of latest AP Poll...]
And there will be another shake up in the Top Ten for sure....
But first, No. 1 Alabama continued to roll, 39-10 over Missouri (3-3) as Tua Tagovailoa tossed another three touchdowns without an interception, giving him a stupendous 21 and zero in those two categories on the season.
No. 2 Georgia, however, was taken out in Death Valley in decisive fashion as 13 LSU whipped the Bulldogs 36-16, outgaining Georgia 475-322, the Bulldogs normally reliable QB Jake Fromm with two interceptions.
3 Ohio State got off to a tough start against Minnesota, the Buckeyes leading just 17-14 at the half, as the Golden Gophers’ freshman running back Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns for the game.
But that was the all the offense Minnesota could muster and Ohio State eventually won 30-14 in advancing to 7-0. Dwayne Haskins piled up the numbers again, a second consecutive 400-yard effort thru the air, 33/44, 412, 3-0, and he now has a nation-leading 28 touchdown passes with just four INTs.
The Heisman is already down to Haskins and Tagovailoa.
No. 4 Clemson was idle, but No. 5 Notre Dame will move into the top four with Georgia’s loss, the Fighting Irish once again having to fight to the end to defeat pesky Pitt, 19-14, the Panthers 21 ½-point underdogs.
Incredibly, in 11 of the past 12 meetings between these two the margin of victory has been in the single digits, Pitt winning two of them.
Pitt’s kicker Alex Kessman, who nailed two 50+ yard field goals last week in the win against Syracuse, failed twice down the stretch.
I do just have to add that sometimes a broadcast team really stands out and yesterday for this contest, Mike Tirico and Doug Flutie did a terrific job.....I admire how you could tell Tirico really did his homework.
Last chat I wrote, “6 West Virginia at Iowa State is a trap game, the Cyclones better than their 2-3 record,” and indeed it was for the Mountaineers, Iowa State with a decisive 30-14 win in Ames, the Cyclones outgaining WVU 498-152! Heisman Trophy candidate Will Grier is a candidate no more after throwing for just 100 yards and getting sacked seven times.
And another in the top ten went down...No. 17 Oregon beat 7 Washington in Eugene, 30-27 in overtime, a big win for the 5-1 Ducks, the Huskies falling to 5-2 and officially bye-bye come the CFP. Washington kicker Peyton Henry could have extended the Huskies’ postseason hopes, but he missed a 37-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
8 Penn State was our fourth casualty in the top ten to fall, 21-17 at home to Michigan State (4-2), which just isn’t that good, the Nittany Lions once again failing to close the deal, the victims of a Brian Lewerke 25-yard TD pass with just 0:19 to play.
9 Texas, following its big win over Oklahoma the week before, was due for a letdown but they held on to defeat Baylor 23-17.
And then you had No. 10, and undefeated, UCF. Playing at Memphis, which is just so-so this year, the Tigers jumped out to a 30-17 halftime lead as the amazing Darrell Henderson had 172 yards on the ground in the first two quarters! Last year Henderson averaged 8.9 per carry. This year he’s at 10.3.
But then UCF brilliantly made adjustments on defense at the half and the Knights held the Tigers scoreless, Henderson gaining just 27 more yards on 10 carries, while UCF came back with two touchdowns for a 31-30 win that, despite the naysayers, will have UCF climbing a few more notches in the poll and they have to be in the CFP conversation.
Critical for the Knights was No. 23 South Florida coming from 14 down in the fourth quarter to beat 1-5 Tulsa on the road, USF now 6-0. UCF and USF meet at the end of the season, and a loss by USF would have been horrible for UCF in the eyes of the Selection Committee.
In other games, No. 12 Michigan continued its comeback from its opening loss to Notre Dame, winning its sixth straight, 38-13, over Wisconsin, the Wolverines holding the Badgers’ Jonathan Taylor, a one-time Heisman candidate, to 101 yards on the ground, while Michigan’s ground game racked up 320.
So Jim Harbaugh’s boys will be back in the top ten this week, with Michigan State and Penn State up next, and then Ohio State down the road. Yes, win the next two and they are solidly in the CFP conversation.
Another pretender, 19 Colorado, which was 5-0 as it faced off against USC in Los Angeles, fell 31-20 to the Trojans, as freshman QB JT Daniels had three touchdown passes (and two picks), while CU quarterback Steven Montez had to throw 47 times to pick up just 170 yards. Trojan wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. had a fine game, 5-144-2.
Finally, I can’t help but note Rutgers, now 1-6 after a 34-7 loss at Maryland (4-2). Rutgers quarterbacks were a combined 2-for-17, 8 yards, five interceptions. You are reading those numbers right. Freshman Artur Sitkowski once again showed he should have stayed in high school for more seasoning...2/16, 8, 0-4.
Sitkowski now has a staggering TD/INT ratio this season of 3-15! You can’t make this stuff up. This has to be historically bad for Division I. I was watching the local NBC newscast and the sportscaster was breaking down the low-lights for Rutgers when anchor David Ushery summed up another lost season for the Scarlet Knights and its faithful... “Yeah, that’s Rutgers for you.”
--In Division I-AA play....
Colgate is 6-0 after a 31-0 thrashing of Cornell...Go Pete M.!
Princeton is 5-0, 48-10 winners over Brown, and thus solidifying its No. 1 position among New Jersey’s football programs...Rutgers sliding to No. 22 behind DeVry Institute and Betty Brown’s School for Typing. [The Giants, by the way, are now No. 5 in the Garden State, technically, behind Montclair State.]
One more...Delaware upset Elon, kind of, 28-16....sorry, Shu.
And now...your new AP Poll!
1. Alabama (60) 7-0
2. Ohio State (1) 7-0
3. Clemson 6-0
4. Notre Dame 7-0
5. LSU 6-1
6. Michigan 6-1
7. Texas 6-1
8. Georgia 6-1
9. Oklahoma 5-1
10. UCF 6-0...huh, thought they’d move up...I suck....
12. Oregon 5-1...quack quack...Duckwear stirring in sports drawer...climbing over Beaverwear....
13. West Virginia 5-1
14. Kentucky 5-1
16. North Carolina State 5-0
18. Penn State 4-2
20. Cincinnati 6-0
21. USF 6-0
29. Appalachian State 4-1...if you carry out the votes...Go Phil W., who took me to an App State game years ago...still got a great pic of Phil and I and the.....oops, never mind....
--I saw a note in the Wall Street Journal that NFL teams were averaging 24 points per game coming into today, an all-time high and an increase of 2.3, or 10.6% over a year ago.
It’s also kind of interesting that teams have been passing on first down 51.7% of the time, the first time this has been over 50 since 1991, the last year Stats LLC has such data. Knowing how the game has evolved, it’s probably the highest rate ever.
My Jets are now 3-3 after a 42-34 win over 1-5 Indianapolis, rookie Sam Darnold continuing to progress, bit by bit...24/30, 280, 2-1, 113.9. Jets kicker Jason Myers had a franchise-record seven field goals! As Ronald Reagan would have said, ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’
Washington beat Carolina 23-17, both teams 3-2.
The Falcons picked up a win, finally, 34-29 over the Bucs, to get to 2-4. Julio Jones hauled in 10 passes for 143 yards for Atlanta, but mysteriously has now gone 11 games without a TD reception. Jameis Winston threw for 395 yards and 4 TDs for Tampa Bay.
Le’Veon Bell might be returning during Pittsburgh’s bye week, but today the Steelers took care of business without him, 28-21 winners over the Bengals (4-2), on a 31-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown with 10 seconds left when Pittsburgh was just trying to get into better field goal range.
James Conner, who has been subbing nobly for Bell, had 111 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
Pittsburgh (3-2-1) is now 16-2 at Paul Brown Stadium, and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is 3-12 against the Steelers.
Miami, playing without quarterback Ryan Tannehill, slotted in Brock Osweiler and he threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns (plus two picks), while the ageless Frank Gore rushed for 101, Miami advancing to 4-2 with a 31-28 win at home against the Bears (3-2).
Cleveland played its first real poor game of the season, losing to San Diego (4-2) 38-14 to fall to 2-3-1, as Baker Mayfield had a rough day.
But I have to admit, I only cared about this one for a very parochial reason.
I’ve been talking about kicker Mike Badgley for a long time, having seen him kick for my high school alma mater, Summit, years ago. Badgley then ended up at Miami, had a very good four years, but if you followed him as I did, kind of disappointing senior campaign. [It was the form, not the stats, necessarily.]
So, as I wrote, the Colts signed him, he went 5-for-5 in field goals in the exhibition season, but Indy has Adam Vinatieri and, you know, Badgley didn’t survive cut day.
But his solid exhibition performance earned him a look (as I also said would be the case) and sure enough, L.A.’s kicker, Caleb Sturgis, who hasn’t been real good thus far, suffered an injury, and the Chargers signed Badgley on Thursday. The kid was perfect in his first game...a 44-yard field goal and 5-for-5 on extra points.
Regardless of what happens from here, not only can Badgley tell his kids he played in the NFL, but he’s bound to find a home for a while...somewhere....
The Cowboys are 3-3 after a 40-7 demolition of the Jags (3-3) at Jerry’s Place.
The Rams advanced to 6-0 with a squeaker, 23-20 over the Broncos (2-4), Todd Gurley with 208 yards rushing and two touchdowns, a most impressive Fantasy performance.
But I have to admit, I only cared about this one for a very parochial reason.
--Thursday, the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning were godawful in a 34-13 loss to the Eagles; Manning 24/43, 281, 0-1, but the yardage is deceiving, 99 coming from Saquon Barkley on nine receptions, including a brilliant 55-yard run off a screen pass. Manning’s interception on the second play of the game set the tone for the night.
Barkley was the lone bright spot, with 130 yards rushing as well, including a 50-yard TD run when the game was long decided.
But in a sign of the times, Odell Beckham Jr. had just six receptions for 44 yards, Beckham heading to the locker room prior to the half.
But back to Manning, Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger wrote of “a simple truth about the NFL in 2018: You better have a quarterback who can make plays on the run, because few teams can count on consistent offensive line play. Yes, the Giants have a bad one, but it is unfair to blame that much-maligned unit for all of Manning’s struggles.
“Manning doesn’t stretch the field any more. He misses open receivers when he bothers to throw to them at all. He settles for so many check downs that even head coach Pat Shurmur was caught on the sidelines yelling a sentiment that so many fans share.
“ ‘THROW THE BALL!’ Shurmur appeared to say....
“Manning, helpless again under heavy duress, was made to resemble a shot fighter, Ali at the end without the rope-a-dope, looking as if he would rather have been chopping it up with Lil Wayne than being suffocated and dominated by the Eagles....
“Odell Beckham Jr. was deflated and so dehydrated he walked off the field into the tunnel that leads to the locker room with two seconds left in the half and one meaningless pass for Manning to throw.
“This is one devalued $95 Million Man....
“Manning one day will be a gold jacket guy long before Barkley gets to Canton. But on this night, Giants fans trudged to the parking lot depressed that their beloved quarterback looked more like an old jacket guy, battered all night and thoroughly beaten.”
Yes, the Giants needed to draft a quarterback of the future, not Saquon Barkley, as good as he is, with the No. 2 overall pick. But as I’ve written countless times, Manning convinced management, namely owner John Mara, he had another few good years left and there was no urgency to replace him. Wrong.
As for OBJ...Mark Cannizzaro / New York Post:
“Odell Beckham Jr. was supposed to be better than this.
“He promised he was going to be better than this.
“More maturity, he vowed. Less drama, he insisted.
“And yet there he was Thursday night, before a national TV audience and a full house at MetLife Stadium, curiously walking off the field toward the Giants locker room as his team trailed the Eagles, 24-6, with two seconds remaining on the clock before halftime and the Giants with possession of the ball for one more play.
“As far as ‘bad looks’ go, this was pretty close to textbook – particularly on the heels of that controversial ESPN interview that resembled a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit with Lil Wayne sitting alongside him nodding as his ‘yes’ man....
“ ‘He had an...an IV...just dehydrated again...’ Giants coach Pat Shurmur said.
“ ‘Some guys’ bodies dehydrate quicker than others, so we’ve got to keep looking for ways to make sure he stays hydrated,’ Shurmur said....
“Except that it felt like it was more than that. More than we were being told after the game.
“The Giants are, after all, so sick and tired of the extracurricular drama that has engulfed this lost 1-5 season of theirs, the last thing they wanted was more Beckham drama. Was Shurmur protecting Beckham? We may never know....
“Could Beckham, who did not show any signs of laboring as he walked to the locker room, have stayed on the field for that final play? It sure looked like it.
“At the time, he had just two catches for 12 yards on four targets. Was he angry and frustrated that he didn’t have more chances in that first half? We’re left to draw our own conclusions on that – just like we are about that curious premature halftime exit.”
And back to Eli again...as Steve Politi points out, the Giants are now 27-43 with Manning since the beginning of the 2014 season. They are 4-19 in their last 23 games with him.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have serious injuries all over the place, having lost running back Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL last week, and then losing two tackles on the O-Line, Pro Bowlers Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. And there are others on the sidelines.
I was ten years old in ’68, wrapped up in the turmoil of that year as I was already a news (and sports) junkie, and so I was watching ABC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics from Mexico City, and the likes of “Jimmie” Hines winning the 100, Lee Evans the 400, Kip Keino the 1500...I swear I vividly remember the winning men’s 4X400 team of Evans, Vince Matthews, Larry James, and Ron Freeman.
And you had Dick Fosbury, with his historic gold in the high jump, Bob Seagren (Mr. Wheaties) taking gold in the pole vault, and of course Bob Beamon’s historic long jump.
And then America celebrated George Foreman, winning gold in the heavyweight division of the boxing competition, George bowing to the crowd on all four sides, with a little American flag.
But then there was the 200 meters, and Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos winning gold and bronze, respectively. That wasn’t unexpected. It was what took place on the medals podium that stirred things up. Smith and Carlos raised gloved fists in the Black Power salute of the day during the playing of the national anthem to protest violence and poverty among African-Americans.
Boy, that didn’t go down well in certain circles and the next day, the International Olympic Committee stripped the two of their medals and sent them home.
Yes, the times were different back then....or are they?
[I may have more on the above next chat.]
--Marc Leishman handily won this week’s PGA Tour stop in Malaysia, the CIMB Classic, by five shots over Emiliano Grillo, Bronson Burgoon and Chesson Hadley. It was the Aussie’s fourth career Tour victory.
--Golden State hoops star Steph Curry is going to be hosting a PGA Tour event next fall, probably at a public golf course in Alameda, Calif., named Corica Park.
--The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson duel, “The Match,” on Nov. 23 at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas will only see sponsors and VIPs in attendance. The masses have to watch on pay-per-view.
There were stories that at least part of the match may be contested under the lights, but the Review-Journal reports the entire show will be played in daylight, the sun setting in Vegas the day of the event at 4:28 p.m. local, which is 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
As for who is going to shell out an undetermined amount to watch this...I know I’m not.
--The NBA season begins on Tuesday...yeah, it’s Golden State...yawn....
But us locals only care about the Knicks and Nets....yours truly really not giving a damn about the latter, but want them to do well if it’s what I have to watch rather than Fox News and CNN on a cold winter night.
My real team, the Knickerbockers, are due to have another awful season...BUT...I like the new coach, David Fizdale...it’s just a long process. If we go 35-47, but are entertaining, I’ll be tuning in.
I can’t help but add, though, that the Knicks jettisoned (waived) Joakim Noah, he of the incredibly stupid four-year, $72 million contract, for which in the first two years, Noah played all of 53 games and sucked...plus he was suspended 20 games for a drug violation. Hit the road, Joakim. [The Knicks owe another $37.8 million the next two years...goodness gracious.]
--Aric Almirola picked up his first win of the year (second of his career) at Talladega, the next to last race before another NASCAR Cup cut, in the race for the playoffs. Next up Kansas, where we get down to 8 drivers for the final four races.
Hats off to the Monster Energy Girls for their usual yeoman’s work....ahem ahem....cough cough....
--No Premier League action this weekend.
--Lindsey Vonn announced she’ll retire after the 2018-19 World Cup season, the four-time Cup champion and three-time Olympic medalist with 82 career victories, four shy of Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86.
Vonn, who turns 34 next week, had said at the Pyeongchang Olympics that she was “not going to quit until I get that record....no matter how much pain I’m in.”
While the World Cup season starts earlier, Vonn will begin her campaign at Lake Louise (Nov. 30-Dec.2), where she has had huge success in the past. You go, Girl!
--We note the passing of 96-year-old Tex Winter, the innovator of the “triangle” offense used by teams that won 10 of the last 19 National Basketball Assn. championships.
Winter coached at Kansas State from 1953-68, and would spend nine seasons with the Lakers as an assistant coach and consultant. He then joined the Chicago Bulls in 1985 as an assistant coach and began a decades-long partnership with head coach Phil Jackson, who guided the Bulls to six NBA championships, and then Winter went with Jackson to Los Angeles, where the Lakers won four more titles.
Both superstars Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant initially ridiculed Winters’ offense, but had to admit “the triangle does win championships in June,” as Kobe once put it.
Winter wrote a 320-page book on the intricacies of the offense, gaining a reputation as a basketball whiz, a professor with a clipboard.
He claims to have earned a basketball-related paycheck for 63 years of his life.
--Sports betting is beginning to take off in New Jersey. Since it began in mid-June, it has attracted over $336 million in bets in the state, with New Jersey keeping just under 8 percent of the amount bet as earnings after winning bets are paid out.
The extra money from sports betting helped lift Atlantic City’s nine casinos to $272.2 million in revenue in September, an increase of 15.5 percent from a year ago.
Nevada’s sports books handled $286.5 million in June and $244.6 million in July.
Of the $336 million in sports bets made in New Jersey so far, $210 million was placed online as opposed to at a casino or racetrack. DraftKings and FanDuel are more or less splitting the receipts, with FanDuel running the sports book at the Meadowlands Racetrack, while DraftKings is partnering with Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts Casino. Of course the other casinos are beginning to cash in in one form or another.
--Nine climbers died when a violent snowstorm destroyed their camp on a Himalayan peak in Western Nepal.
A five-member South Korean expedition team and four Nepali guides were at the base camp of Mount Gurja when the storm struck, police said.
A helicopter was dispatched to the scene and confirmed seeing eight bodies in the ruins, but was unable to stay due to bad weather. When it returned, it found the ninth body.
Local media is reporting that among the dead is South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, the fastest person to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.
Imagine the strength of the storm...the bodies were scattered all over, the BBC heard from a local official.
According to the Himalayan Database, no-one has stood on Gurja’s summit since 1996.
Only 30 people have successfully climbed to the peak of Gurja, vs. more than 8,000 who have reached the summit of Mount Everest.
--A mountain lion showed up at the El Paso (Tex.) Zoo on Friday. Really, as the New York Daily News reported, a mountain lion showed up at a zoo, which was forced to close for the day after the wild animal was spotted roaming around the park.
As of Saturday, officials had not been able to find the big cat.
In case you’re wondering, the El Paso Zoo does not have any mountain lions in its exhibits, and it’s likely this one came from a desert area nearby.
--Brad K. passed this bit along from the New York Post:
“A deer smashed into a New Jersey woman during a half-marathon and knocked her to the ground – but she still managed to make it to the finish line.
“Christina S. was 10 miles into the 13-mile Jersey Shore Half Marathon at Sandy Hook last Sunday when a large buck with antlers jumped out of the woods and knocked her over onto the pavement, according to the Asbury Park Press. “It was just a blur of brown and white fur,” said Christina. “Out of nowhere the deer came running out of the woods. He just hit me kind of head-on.”
--From the BBC: “An Australian wildlife caretaker has suffered a punctured lung as she and her family fought off a savage attack by a kangaroo at their property.
“Linda S., 64, and her husband Jim were feeding kangaroos hit by drought conditions in Queensland when the 6-foot grey turned on Jim.
“The couple and their son fought off the attack, said by wildlife officials to be rare, with a broom and a shovel.
“The animal hopped off into the bush before emergency services arrived.”
Linda suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs, abrasions to her arms and legs and other internal injuries and underwent surgery on Sunday. Her husband suffered multiple lacerations, while the son suffered minor injuries.
I’ve told you before of my one encounter with kangaroos at a wildlife park in Tasmania and I was scared to death of them.
--Marc Myers / Wall Street Journal
“By the time he died in 2003, at the age of 58, Barry White had been reduced to a caricature. A 6 foot 3, heavyset soul singer with a basso profondo voice. White dressed flamboyantly on stage and sang effusively about love and making love. Along the way, his name became a disco-era punch line; critics mockingly called him ‘Fat Barry’ and ‘The Walrus of Love.’ He was a performer who visually summed up the period’s excesses and rococo gaudiness.
“But listening to White’s 1970s recordings today, it’s clear he was unfairly characterized and artistically shortchanged. The essence of his appeal can be found on ‘Barry White: 20th Century Records Albums 1973-1979’ (Mercury/Ume), a 9-CD box of his remastered solo recordings due out Oct. 26. His caressing, intimate vocal style pioneered romantic soul – an R&B genre that flowered between 1972 and rap’s arrival in 1980. White’s music also helped shape disco in the early 1970s, giving the emerging genre a more luxurious and symphonic feel.
“White’s success was helped greatly by his crossover appeal. Between 1973 and 1996, 19 of his songs as a solo artist became Billboard pop hits. Six reached the top 10, including ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby,’ ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe’ and “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything.’ Virtually all of his albums charted, and he won two Grammys....
“Along the way, White’s music helped to redefine the sound of masculinity. His soulful emotionalism paved the way for romantic-soul groups such as Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Stylistics and Blue Magic. Many male balladeers, from Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross to R. Kelly and John Legend, have been inspired by his tender approach....
“To his credit, White insisted on controlling all aspects of his music. He composed, arranged and produced many of his hits and albums, and he owned the publishing rights to his music – a rarity then. He also formed and produced Love Unlimited, a female vocal trio, and the Love Unlimited Orchestra, one of the disco era’s earliest and most ambitious 40-piece symphonic soul ensembles, which backed him and recorded 10 albums on its own.
"Most remarkable, perhaps, were White’s prodigy-like abilities as a self-taught instrumentalist and orchestral arranger. ‘Many people thought he was just a singer with trained musicians doing all the heavy lifting,’ said orchestrator Jack Perry, who first met White in 1968 and produced his 1980s albums. ‘The opposite was true. Barry was involved in every aspect of his music. He even played piano on all of his recordings.’
“Though White wasn’t a formally trained musician, his arranging skills came from listening to his mother’s classical records....
“White formed Love Unlimited in 1969 with three female singers. One of them, Glodean James, would become his wife. When their record of White’s song, ‘Walkin’ in the Rain With the One I Love,’ hit #14 on the Billboard pop chart in 1972, White recorded demos of his other songs.
“But after listening to the tapes, White decided he would record the vocals himself, rather than look for another male artist to sing them.”
As Jack Perry said, “He discovered himself by accident.”
Barry had all kinds of success in the 70s, and continued to record in the 80s and 90s, but as Marc Myers of the Journal put it: “At White’s peak in the 1970s...his music put women and men in touch with their erotic feelings. His pillow talk was designed to seduce women, but it also became an unintended instruction manual for men new to love.”
--Singer Michael Buble suddenly said he was retiring from the music industry at the age of 43. In an interview with the Daily Mail, published Saturday, Buble said, “This is my last interview. I’m retiring from the business. I’ve made the perfect record and now I can leave at the very top.”
Buble, who’s new album, “Love,” is set to be released in November, discussed the trauma and hardship he endured while his son, Noah, suffered from liver cancer after his 2016 diagnosis.
“I don’t even know how I was breathing,” he said, adding that Noah’s time in hospital changed his mindset and priorities. “I didn’t question who I was, I just questioned everything else.”
Somehow ticket sales were no longer all that important. Of course it helps that he has been incredibly successful and can afford to just walk away.
I’m guessing we’ll see him again on stage in Vegas and elsewhere in about five years.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/13/79: #1 “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson) #2 “Rise” (Herb Alpert) #3 “Sad Eyes” (Robert John)...and...#4 “Sail On” (Commodores) #5 “My Sharona” (The Knack) #6 “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” (Dionne Warwick) #7 “Pop Muzik” (M) #8 “Dim All The Lights” (Donna Summer) #9 “Lonesome Loser” (Little River Band) #10 “After The Love Has Gone” (Earth, Wind & Fire...this last one is great...but we’re heading back to the 60s...)
NFL Quiz Answer: The other two NFL greats to play their college ball at LSU and then make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, aside from Jim Taylor, are Y.A. Tittle and running back Steve Van Buren.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.