Archive for November, 2010

Thanksgiving Tradition According to Freberg

November 24, 2010

It’s been told and retold, year after year. We’ve all heard it from childhood — how the Pilgrims prepared a feast to honor their survival in the New World and its native inhabitants who helped them survive — but what about the menu? Why was turkey the main dish, a dish that remains the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving feast to this day? In 1961, Stan Freberg gave us the answer.

If you aren’t familiar with “Stan the Man” I strongly recommend it. I was introduced to him and to his great album, “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America – Volume 1” by Mr. Cool himself — Parkville H.S. band director Ivan Bowser. It made a lasting impression.

Freberg was one of the original Mad Men … an advertising executive of singular creativity and great renown. Baltimoreans in particular (those of a certain age) should remember him for his unique radio and TV ads for Esskay meats. He also did comedy albums, building them on the same humor that fueled his advertising.

But enough of that. It’s Thanksgiving, and here is the story, according to Mr. Freberg, of how turkey became the entree of choice. I hope your turkey is delicious, and that it is accompanied by all of the warmth of family and gratitude that the first Thanksgiving represents.

Them Changes …

November 14, 2010

Recent events have spurred some updates, upgrades and new additions at Here’s the rundown:


We were contacted recently by Markela Mihalos, daughter of Hollywood Park and Club Venus owner, George Mihalos. Mark has a collection of photos and autographs that her dad collected over the years, from most of the musicians and other performers who worked at Club Venus. It’s a pretty interesting compilation of history that fits B’Jam like a glove. She is generously contributing these images for addition to the website … they are in the process of being scanned.

In preparation for this new material we created a new section for the site headed “Venues.” This has been a missing piece in the Baltimore music puzzle for a long time. Without the places to play the music and musicians would have remained in a collection of basements and garages scattered around the Baltimore area. We show our recognition of this fact every time we hold a Jam, from the old Alcazar Ballroom, to Overlea hall, to Bobby B’s Palace on Turkey Point Road that we all remember as a club called Hoffman’s. Please check out this new section at and help us fill in the blanks with photos, stories, and the places you remember.


We have added a flash music player to the site to make it easier to post and play music on the website. There is a collection of sample music in this new player now on the Home Page, and a column of links to bands that already have music available on the right side of the Bands Page. As time goes by this player will be incorporated throughout the site, and new music will be added. If you have digitized music to share, send it along.


Don and John Armstrong of Hocus Focus Productions in Baltimore produced a nice video of the very first reunion Jam held at the Alcazar in 2001. VHS tapes were made available to all the musicians who attended. Now, with the digitizing help of Don Barto Sr. of Soundriven of Baltimore and Washington, DC, this video is available on YouTube in 3 parts, and we have the links embedded at the website. Part 1 is posted temporarily on the Home Page, and all 3 links will remain available on the J101 Page.

We hope you enjoy this new material and find it interesting enough to bring you to the website often. Your comments are always welcome, as are any additions of music, photos and information. Ours is an all-volunteer effort. The wheels of progress may turn slowly, but they never stop turning.