THE JONATHAN SCHWARTZ OF IT ALL
While not technically a talk show host (which is the obsessive pursuit this blog has been devoted to over the past month or so) (and yes, there are serious grammatical issues with the previous parenthetical sentence but I haven't the energy to fix it), Jonathan Schwartz--a legendary New York D.J. specializing in music from the 'Great American Songbook (i.e. Berlin, Porter, Gershwin, etc.) ... what was the subject? Ah, yes. While not technically a talk show host, Jonathan Schwartz talks to himself quite a bit on the air between records and thus I'm giving him a little space. I say "to himself" because that's kind of the charm of his act. His monologues are delivered quietly, with wry amusement directed at an audience seemingly of one--himself. Indeed, he resembles Jean Shepherd in certain ways--you frequently don't realize that he's already launched into an anecdote and before you know it you're hanging on his every word, wondering where he's going and what the purpose of the story is that he's telling. Like him or loathe him (he inspires very strong reactions for some reason--I hasten to add, though, that I'm in the former camp) (and yes, there are also quite serious grammatical issues with that parenthetical aside as well but screw it), he's one of a kind and his anecdotal moments are pithy, enjoyable and perversely opinionated. He once said the following sentence and refused to elaborate on it. It has left me puzzled for years. Ready? "There's an incredibly stupid essay by one of our finest living writers, E.L. Doctorow, about the popular music of the past." That was it. Not a word about what was said in the essay, not even a hint as to where the essay could be found (I've looked and never found it).
Below is a mini-monologue that Schwartz delivered in which he discusses WNEW morning man Ted Brown, who he labels "one of the seven worst men I've ever known."
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 1:17 PM