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This is a music mix like nothing you’ve even heard (unless you’ve been here before). It’s created by radio professionals who went beyond the “oldies” mentality to provide a blend of the best music from the dawn of rock & roll right though today. You’ll hear greatest hits as well as some gems you might never have heard before from the biggest rock stars of all time.

Give our unique music blend just 60 minutes, we know you’ll be hooked because if you’ve been looking for Rock & Roll Heaven – you’ve found it!

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As we age, many of us develop cataracts. However, many of us aren’t even aware it’s happening. Here are a few tips to keeping your eyes healthy:

1.) Cataracts most typically become a problem for people in the 60s and 70s, but doctors say they can develop much earlier, so be mindful of that once you get past 50.

2.) Because cataracts develop slowly, most people don’t realize how cloudy their vision has become. Make sure your see your optometrist regularly.

3.) One of the key symptoms that indicate you may have a problem with cataracts is if you see halos around lights. Again, always check with your optometrist.

Finally, cataract surgery has made tremendous strides in recent years. It is not painful. It may feel a bit uncomfortable because we’re hard-wired not to like anybody messing around near our eyes, but 4 out of people who’ve had the surgery say it was easier than they thought it would be.

The True Story of the Shangri Las

The early sixties saw the rise of what are now called “the girl groups.” These were usually trios or quartets of female singers, tyipcally working in a R&B vein. The Shirelles are perhaps the prototype, but they were joined by groups like the Blossoms, the Crystals and the Ronettes.

But there was one girl group whose public image was a little more dangerous. They were the Shangri Las.

The girls were all students at Andrew Jackson High School in Queens when they started performing together at school dances and other functions. The act consisted of two pairs of sisters: Mary & Betty Weiss and Margie & Mary Ann Ganser (who were identical twins).

The girls caught the attention of recording entrepreneur Artie Ripp who signed them to the fledgling Kama Sutra label. It was only after being signed that the girls decided to name themselves the Shangri Las (reportedly after their favorite Queens restaurant). There first few recording sessions produced nothing memorable and their first attempt at a single was a flop.

At this point a gentleman named Shadow Morton enters the picture. Morton had once been the boyfriend of Ellie Greenwich, who by 1964, had become a hit songwriter with her new boyfriend, Jeff Barry. When Morton dropped by Barry & Greenwich’s office one day, a rivalry between Barry and Morton was created in an instant. Morton told Barry that he, too, was a songwriter. Barry called his bluff and asked him to come back in a week with a song. 

Morton had never written a song in his life. But he went right to work and soon had come up with a tune he liked. Somehow, he convinced the Shangri Las to record a demo version of the song with Morton himself serving as producer. A then-unknown Billy Joel was also recruited to play piano on that demo. When Morton played the demo for Barry, the rivalry was forgotten. Barry liked the song and agreed to put it out on his Red Bird record label. But Morton would have to re-record it with a better group of studio musicians. Morton agreed and soon “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” was rocketing up the charts in both America and the UK.

The follow-up, “Leader of the Pack” was an even bigger smash, going all the way to #1.

At this point, one of the Shangri Las, Betty Weiss, dropped out of the group temporarily to raise her daughter. So, the other 3 continued to record and tour. They went on the road with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Drifters and James Brown (who was surprised to find out that the girls were white). It is from these tours and the many photographs of the group taken at this time that the Shangri las are primarily remembered as a trio.

The girls followed up their first two hits with several other records that were also successful – like “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” “Give Us Your Blessing,” “Out in the Streets” and “I Can Never Go Home Anymore.”

While Betty Weiss eventually returned to the group, by 1966, they were a permanent trio as the twins, Margie and Mary Ann took turns replacing each other in the group’s line-up.

The girls’ thick New York accents as well as the themes of many of their songs got them labeled as “bad girls.” The fact that they had grown up in a very tough neighborhood in Queens had made them a little harder than some of their feminine contemporaries. The girls have credited their reputation with helping them avoid come-ons from over-eager male fans and the musician they traveled with.

Most likely because so many of their singles dealt with maudlin subjects and teenage death, the hits stopped coming when music shifted in 1967 to the more complex psychedelic style.

The Shangri Las disbanded in 1968.

Sadly, Mary Ann Ganser died of a heroin overdose just two years later.

The surviving members reunited on a few occasions for oldies concerts and last performed together in 1989. The group’s lead vocalist, Mary Weiss continues to record and perform as a solo act to this day.

Boston Blackie began life as a jewel thief and safecracker in a series f pulp stories written by Jack Boyle. He reached his greatest fame in a series of mystery movies produced in the 1940s by Columbia Pictures. In the movies, Blackie was now a reformed jewel thief, who nonetheless is always suspected by police inspector Farraday of being the guilty party in the mystery of the moment.

Portrayed on the screen by Chester Morris, Blackie was the engaging, witty rascal, always one step ahead of the police. He was drawn into solving these crimes in order to clear his name and get the cops off his back. A strong undercurrent of comedy ran through the popular series.

The film series (14 in all) led to a concurrent radio series beginning in 1944, initially also starring Morris.

It was inevitable, then, that Boston Blackie would get the call in the early days of TV. However, several changes were made that probably doomed the character to a short run. Blackie’s criminal past was hardly ever mentioned. Exactly what he did for a living was never explained, but he definitely was not a private eye. So, why he spent all his time solving other people’s mysteries was the biggest mystery of all. He wasn’t a cop. He wasn’t getting paid. And he wasn’t suspected by the police. He was just a buttinsky.

Blackie was portrayed by Kent Taylor on the TV series. Lois Collier was cast as Blackie’s ever-present girlfriend, Mary with Frank Orth playing Inspector Farraday as an even bigger blockhead than he was the movies.

Produced by Ziv Television (who also gave us Bat Matterson, Sea Hunt & Highway Patrol among others), the series was only in production for 2 seasons (1951-1952) and was sold directly to local stations through syndication. Despite the low number of episodes, many stations continued to rerun the series until color really took hold and series with far more episodes made Blackie a thing of the past.

The series is remembered to day only because its lead gave Jimmy Buffet the inspiration for his song “Pencil-Thin Mustache” – an ode to several long-gone shows from TV’s earliest days.

As the series has passed into the public domain, there are several video collections of various episodes available for the home video market.

Some things to check before you downsize to the retirement condo you think might be perfect:

  • Check if the condo association dues have increased from year to year
  • Determine if most of the units are owner-occupied and not rentals
  • Ask about any plans for any big infrastructure projects planned for the future – and how they’re supposed to be paid for
  • Ask if they have a reserve fund and how that fund is invested

Okay, what are they putting in that V-8?