See an update to this journal: 4:44 pmMichael_Jackson_Talk_RadioThursday, September 17, 2009Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapital lost a handful of friends this week; they died, each of them having lived full and long lives They were men of varied accomplishment. To mention two, Dominick Dunne, "Nick" to his friends, was a one-time movie producer and a struggling author who was struck by tragedy when his daughter, Dominique, was strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend. Tina Brown was, at the time, the editor of Vanity Fair and she suggested that Nick keep a journal of the murder trial. He did and it was published in 1984. His account of this horrendous trial relaunched him as a best-selling author, specializing in sensational crimes and trials. The criminal who strangled his child served very little time behind bars.

We'd speak on the air very frequently over a period of some 15 years while he covered the high-profile trials ranging from William Kennedy Smith, the Menendez Brothers, Claus vom Bulow and, of course, O.J.Simpson, and several others. He nearly always showed sympathy for the victim. I've only known him to have been inaccurate in his assessment of a person; it was California Congressman Gary Condit. The congressman won an apology and a settlement from Dunne for implicating him in the 2001 disappearance of Chandra Levy.

I listened again to some of the tapes ...airchecks...of conversations we've had over the years. He lived a most dramatic life and relished talking about it -alcoholism and drug abuse hurt him for many years. He died rid of those problems, survived by a couple of sons, still utterly convinced of OJ's guilt. We share that conviction, as does much of the world.

For fully a quarter century he profiled some of the major celebrities of the world for Vanity Fair.

I read in the LA Times (and this is something he never brought up in our conversations) that he earned a Bronze Star during World War 2.

He was a star. An elegant writer.

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalnd then there was LARRY GELBART. Another of a vanishing breed in Hollywood: a talented gentleman. Truly a creative force in television, films and theater; he gave the world M.A.S.H, "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum", "Tootsie". He won many Tony and Emmy Awards and Oscar nominations. His wit was caustic and clever. Larry was the son of a barber, born in Chicago who had a funny mind to match his modest acceptance of his career achievements. He wrote gags for people like Jack Paar, Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor and dozens of other legends of the entertainment world. I think his first showbiz break was getting a chance to write for Danny Thomas while still in his teens. Then there was Red Buttons and Sid Caesar. This evening Alana and I have planned to watch his "Oh God" again, the film he wrote for George Burns and John Denver.

Our hearts go out to Patricia Marshall Gelbart who was married to Larry since 1956.

A personal note. After my wife, Alana, had her stroke and was bed-ridden, he arranged for a group of our funniest friends to come over to the house and make her laugh over a raucous and wonderful evening. An amazing man I feel privileged to have known.

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalhis week! Singer Kanye West grabbed the microphone away from singer Taylor Swift at the Video Music Awards. Bad mannered and dumb. There's been a spate of high-profile outbursts, all inappropriate. Republican Congressman Joe Wilson shouting out "You lie" at the President of the United States during his address to Congress and the nation. It appears to have helped this nitwit's career; hundreds of thousands of dollars were sent to his political war chest overnight. Is it coincidental or "a manifestation of a deepening social dysfunction?" Believe me, it is only encouraging the loud-mouthed to sound off. What a stinking example tennis super-star Serena Williams presented when she argued a foot-fault call at the US Open championship. The profanity was followed by a light-hearted apology and she was permitted to play in the doubles final the next day. She won.

capitalust a couple of hours after our webmaster had posted the current journal, another friend died. What a unique and talented woman, who chanted to, and enchanted audiences for decades. Nice thing is, her voice will be heard and she will be remembered for as long as recorded music is played. What style, what a voice and what a truly nice human being; Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. My first encounter with the trio dates back to the late 1950s. Peter, Paul and Mary were earning, I believe, something like $170 a week, performing for hours at the Hungry I in San Francisco. Topping the bill at the time was Mort Sahl and across the street at The Purple Onion were The Smothers Brothers and Phyllis Diller. I remember, one evening, before going on the air for my all-night radio show (12.00am to 6am, six days a week) I was visiting with Mort in his dressing room when the door swung open and there stood this honey blonde, statuesque woman, the deep throated Mary Travers, who burst out the news that the trio had signed their first recording contract. They became world renowned soon thereafter and stayed that way ever since. I must have interviewed them several times a year, through the Vietnam war and many, many issues that concerned the nation. Their music was always memorable.

I could say so much about the trio's achievements, but I think their music says it all.

I've got myself thinking about the Hungry I ... The names that come readily to mind include Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, The Kingston Trio, Orson Bean, Shelley Berman, Father Malcolm Boyd, Tom Lehrer, Travis Edmonson and Godfrey Cambridge. I'll remember them al l... even the unkempt brilliant lunatic, Professor Irwin Corey. A performance I was unable to attend, Barbra Streisand having begged the proprietor, Enrico Banducci for a chance to perform, sang there, at the age of 15 one evening. Right thereafter that New York kid became as big as anyone in showbizz.

(I broadcast first on KYA, "The Boss of the Bay", playing music from the top forty chart, until I got fired and then began my talkradio career at KEWB.)

Question, sincerely meant.
Should I write a book? I've got one in me, I know it.

Thank you Mary Travers for everything you did,

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