The First Moonwalk

Posted April 1, 2017 by Jerry
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“Hi di Ho” Man Cab Calloway was a legendary jazz bandleader and heppest cat of his generation. He pioneered many things that were to become part of the music, dance and fashion culture until today, including the Moonwalk, the zoot suit, and scat.

“The audience is everywhere,” he once said. “I don’t care where it is. When I go to entertain people, boom, that’s it! I give. That’s all there is to that.”

Its Jerry Time Releases New ESL English Course

Posted March 25, 2011 by Jerry
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Its Jerry Time! announces the creation of Its English Time!, an entire eCourse, which teaches English as a second language (ESL) based on the twenty episodes from our hit web series.

Its English Time! was created and is being distributed by ESL Instructor Diana Tower. The course takes our 20 animated episodes, and transforms them into 20 interactive and challenging English self-study sessions.

Each unit focuses on one of the episodes and allows students to learn new vocabulary, expressions, phrasal verbs and much more in 8 simple steps. Students will challenge their listening skills by watching the videos (with and without subtitles) and studying additional audio recorded by Diana herself.

What makes this course one of a kind, is that it takes real English and transforms it into an effective tool to improve one’s English.

“It’s English Time” is valued at $275 (197€ ) but, for a short time only is available for $190 (137€), exclusively on Diana Tower’s website.

In February, Its Jerry Time! released IJT Special Edition, the comedy background music soundtrack to the series, which is selling on Amazon, iTunes and other online retailers.

Its Jerry Time Releases Special Edition Soundtrack CD!

Posted January 31, 2011 by Jerry
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Its Jerry Time! proudly announces the release of our brand new official soundtrack, called Its Jerry Time! Special Edition.

The album is now available on Amazon as a CD for $9.95 or downloads and on iTunes for 99¢ per download, and all over the web.

The new CD gives both fans of Its Jerry Time! as well as fans of good-time piano music the background music from the show, including the Its Jerry Time! theme song Cornbread. All the songs were composed and performed by Jerry, who plays piano and narrates the series. Orrin, who animates the series, did the spectacular cover, pictured above.

The new CD features 19 piano and instrumental tracks, including two vocals. Some of the notable tunes include B Train Blues, The Avenue, The Hypnotist and The Naked Swim. The vocals include The Peck-Peck Song, sung by Chicago vocalist Wendy Warnimont and Put the Butter in the Fridge, which we’re planning for an upcoming single.

This collection of retro background comedy music and vocals from the series was recorded at Stable Sound Studio in Newport, RI from 2009-2010. It took a year and a half to finish. The album was engineered and mastered by Steve Rizzo, who also added instrumental accompaniment. Old friends Paul DeLuca, David Grimes and Tom Madden contributed other instrumentals..

Here’s a limited special offer on the album.

And here’s a free sample of B Train Blues from the album:

Go get yours now and put the zing back into your life!

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Posted December 17, 2010 by Jerry
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Back in the day, my Social Studies teacher wheeled in the old 16mm projector and showed us a short film that I never forgot.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is one of the great short stories by the bizarre satirist Ambrose Bierce that was made into a equally great short film by director/writer Robert Enrico that won many international awards, including Best Short Subject at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962 and the Academy Awards in 1963.

The mystical Civil War vignette is presented on youtube in three parts: Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here. (Part 1 is above)

The vivid 28-minute French film features virtually no dialogue as well as the uncanny fantasy sequences of a Southern spy about to be hanged. Time slows down as the noose is placed around his neck. He dreams about his wife at home, who smilingly approaches, offering him a dish of sweets, with his daughter slowly swinging on the family swingset in the background.

The music in the film features a haunting ballad called Livin’ Man by Henri Lanoe.

The film, which is shown here edited for television, is introduced by a personal favorite, Rod Serling in a Twilight Zone episode from 1964.

the peck-peck song

Posted November 11, 2010 by Jerry
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Here for your entertainment is the first of a series of music recordings from Its Jerry Time! This music video is called the peck-peck song. It’s a Thanksgiving sing along for kids.

It combines the supreme efforts of my friend, the wonderful vocalist Wendy , along with the art of Mrs. Moyers’ 1st and 2nd grade classes at John D. McGovern School in Medway, MA. We recorded the song at Stable Sound Studio in Newport, RI, where the upcoming Jerrytime music album is getting the finishing touches.

Actually, the song has been on youtube for the last three years already as The Turkey Song an original tune I recorded at Blue Box Studio in Franklin, MA.

Please help make the peck-peck song The National Thanksgiving Day Song and spread it to every person or organization you know of with young kids! Let’s get ’em all singing! You can download the song on itunes for a mere 99 cents.

MAD in Trouble

Posted July 26, 2010 by Jerry
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In the past few years, I bought MAD subscriptions for my nephews and this year I thumbed through the Yearly Issue at a Barnes and Noble. The first thing I noticed was no subscription card. Then I found a feature called “Celebrity Piss.” Now, I thought, this wasn’t the MAD I once knew.

I wrote them asking if they were planning on publishing more features with foul language in the headlines but I never got an answer.

Today I was browsing The Daily Cartoonist, an industry website for and about cartoonists, and I read a story that said that starting with Issue #500 in April 2010, MAD was going from a monthly to a quarterly magazine. MAD Editor John Ficarra said, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we’ve decided to just publish those.”

So where are MAD Magazine’s“Usual Gang of Idiots” when you need them most? Of all the original members, which included Don Martin, Sergio Aragones, David Berg, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and Al Jaffee only Jaffee remains at the magazine.

Was the Gulf Oil Spill Deliberate?

Posted June 3, 2010 by Jerry
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It finally dawned on me that the Gulf Oil spill happened on April 20, Hitler’s birthday, a date that lives in infamy. It’s a date that’s celebrated by millions and a date that is punctuated by a string of horrific man-made tragedies including Oklahoma City, Columbine, Waco and Virginia Tech. Could the April 20 Gulf spill be an extinction level event that was deliberately set?

We’ll never know. As George Carlin once said, “They never investigate themselves.”

Other disturbing details are also surfacing. It was reported that Goldman Sachs and others sold millions worth of BP stock just prior to the oil spill. Gulf area crops are dying from a perplexing plague. And there’s the recent appearance of a Bollywood dance by Transocean President and CEO Steven Newman.

Despite the nightmare scenario, BP has remained in charge. This unprecedented environmental catastrophe happened and our government basically turned it over to a corporation. The government’s job seems to have been cover-up and spin control. I don’t think they did enough and now it’s out of control with no end in sight. Well, at least we now know who’s really in charge, the corporations.

I think it’ll be wise to start stocking up, folks.

Top 20 Tearjerker Songs

Posted April 26, 2010 by Jerry
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Sad tearjerker songs stick in the memory forever.

The song that stands alone at the top is… Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O’Sullivan. It has a great title, self-pitying lyrics, whiny vocal and an infuriating catchy tune (which forms the basis to any true tearjerker) all with the backing of a lush orchestra.

Three of my top four choices are sung poignantly by one hit wonders. (Gilbert O’Sullivan, Eric Carmen, Terry Jacks) There are others that are sung by truly tragic figures. (Karen Carpenter, Roy Orbison, Maurice Gibb) And there are maudlin offerings by some of the top artists. (Beatles, Elton John) Plus there are some truly touching melodies. (Vincent, Faded Love, Are You Lonesome Tonight?)

So here are my Top 20 cringe-worthy, teeth-curling, fingernails-on-the-blackboard, depressing, heartbreaking, ripe, maudlin, sentimental, self-pitying, self-serving, irritating, tasteless and sad anthems of the Me Generation.

1. Alone Again (Naturally) Gilbert O’Sullivan
2. All By Myself Eric Carmen
3. Vincent by Don MacLean
4. Seasons in the Sun Terry Jacks.
5. Where Have all the Flowers Gone? Kingston Trio (wr. Pete Seeger)
6. At Seventeen Janis Ian
7. Eleanor Rigby Beatles
8. Goodbye to Love The Carpenters
9. Honey Bobby Goldsboro
10. Faded Love Patsy Cline
11. My Eyes Adored You Frankie Valli
12. Patches Clarence Carter
13. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? Bee Gees
14. Without You Harry Nilsson
15. Are You Lonesome Tonight? Elvis
16. Candle in the Wind Elton John
17. Crying Roy Orbison
18. Fire and Rain James Taylor
19. Green Green Grass of Home Tom Jones
20. Mr. Bojangles Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (wr. Jerry Jeff Walker)

Other similar lists include Spinner’s Top 25 Exquisitely Sad Songs and the Top 25 Top Sad Country Songs from About Country Music.

If you have any I missed, please check in!

Sports Team Curses

Posted April 14, 2010 by Jerry
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Famous baseball curses include The Curse of the Bambino, (Red Sox) The Curse of the Billy Goat (Cubs) and The Curse of the Angels, whose stadium is built on old Indian burial grounds, a phenomena which turns out to be both palpable and well-documented.

The Angels’ tragic history includes the January 2010 death of 54-year old Angels broadcaster Rory Markas, last year’s death of 22-year old pitcher Nick Adenhart, killed in a drunk driving auto accident, the 2008 death of scout Preston Gomez, who was hit by a truck at a service station, the 1989 suicide death of pitcher Donnie Moore, who gave up the game-winning home run in the 1986 pennant game, the 1978 mistaken identity drive-by shooting death of Lyman Bostock, as well as earlier Angel players Minnie Rojas, Chico Ruiz, Bruce Heinbechner, and Mike Miley who were all killed in tragic car accidents.

More recently, a couple of Angel players witnessed a New York resident jumping to his death off the roof of Le Parker Meridien Hotel, where the Angels were staying for a series against the Yankees. And on 5/29, the Angels’ Cuban star Kendry Morales fractured his leg after hitting a walk-off grand slam against Seattle. He jogged around the bases and celebrated the game-winning hit by jumping high on home plate. His teammates all tackled him at the same time.

Other stadiums built on ancient Indian burial grounds include Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the seemingly cursed Buffalo Bills, Three Rivers Stadium, former home of the team with a 16 year losing streak, the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as persistent rumors about the new Citi Field, home of “the worst team money can buy,” New York Mets, who saw their first-ever pitch in the ballpark sail over the fence for a home run against them.

Note to Angels’ owner Arte Moreno and Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson: Get new stadiums! (not built on burial grounds)

Hockey Crazy

Posted April 4, 2010 by Jerry
Categories: Uncategorized

Riddle: What’s even better than hockey?
Answer: More hockey!

As you saw in my goon-afflicted Episode #7, The Brute, I’ve been playing street hockey since I was eight. When I was 23, I joined organized dek hockey leagues. I was mostly on very bad teams. I remember one Sunday morning, our last place team got pasted 33-0!

But there were enough successes (scoring is fun!) to keep going and after years of eating dirt, I finally lucked into getting on a championship team called “The Nutbags” at age 39. Then I quit and joined the rag-tag forty-somethings who play in pick-up (aka “Glue Factory”) dek leagues because I simply got too old to keep up with the youngsters. But after awhile, each game my body felt like a train wreck, and there were fights and other types of BS going on, so I started to teach myself rollerblading. I struggled mightily, but I got my reps in as a basis and in July 2009, I met Coach Dennis Chighisola, a genuine old-school hockey coach from Boston who has taught hockey to people in the thousands, from mites to NHL players.

“Coach Chic,” as he is called, took me on as a project to serve as a test case on his hockey website. He’s been writing about my progress for his coaches and players as a learning tool and some of the awkward video clips he took of me are truly comical. But I’ve made great strides and now I’m playing in pick-up roller hockey leagues. There’s still some BS going on but not as much as the dek leagues, and thanks to Coach Chic, I’m enjoying the game more than ever.