Monday, August 29, 2005


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

September 14 broadcast will address disaster resistance and recovery, 2005

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - My prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Katrina. But there's far more I can offer than that.

Help and advice:

I googled "hurricane assistance" to see how I could help and to find useful links to post here, such as The result: a legion of listings - national, regional and local - that is too comprehensive and unfocused to published here. It is preferable for readers to customize their own searches. For example, one might enter "hurricane assistance New Orleans" in his or her favorite search engine. Other good resources to search are ISP portals and news outlets.

Then what? In my case, stay tuned. I will host several subject matter experts in a discussion of disaster resistance and recovery in the September 14 "SCORE Radio" broadcast (at 1:00-1:30 pm, Eastern Time) and part of the "Lisa Tolliver Show" broadcast (which will follow at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time).

Join us!

Listen live at New York Radio AM 1460 or, or phone our call-in line at (01) 914.636.0110 to share and hear from anywhere.


I invite emergency service providers and those requiring assistance to share your stories, tips and resource referrals. Email them to or post them at


Friday, August 26, 2005

What’s in a name? (Should Diddy's dropping the P. inspire Lisa to add the T.?)

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Madonna does it regularly, in numerous fashions, always like it's the very first time. J-L0, Liz and Roseanne do it with husbands. Demi does it with hair. Halle and Meryl do it for movie roles. Oprah does it with diets. Jacko pays plastic surgeons to do it for him. And Diddy just did it with his moniker. Again. Without missing a beat.

What is it? Grabbing prime media attention by making periodic changes. High profile vicissitudes - whether artful ploys to boost marketability (a la Madonna-Electronica and Diddy) or undesired fallout from their glass-house celebrity status (in instances like power-couple breakups and celebrities' weight fluctuations) - keep the media magnets and has-beens who experience (or engineer) them in the headlines. The changes need not be especially noteworthy to get spotlighted. Notice how changing diet plans, botoxing and moving violations garnered tabloid spreads (and spike search engine rankings) for the likes of Jennifer Anniston, Melanie Griffith and Matthew Perry?

Most recently, P. Diddy announced a name change during promotional rounds for next month's MTV Music Awards, which he's hosting. He is dropping the "P." and will hearafter answer to "Diddy."

Whoa...scratch the record! Didn't recent above-the-fold coverage spotlight his earlier string of aliases (from given name "Sean Combs" to "Puffy" to "Puff Daddy" to "P. Diddy?"). My Ivy League professors and white shoe consulting firm instructors had hammered home the importance of choosing--and remaining loyal to--a strong brand identity, and the risks associated with changing it. But what do they know? They, and most of us "intellectual" shmucks who invested time and money in expensive, prestigious academic degrees, don't earn what Diddy spends in pocket change. Rather, the creator of Bad Boy Entertainment, Sean John fashions and (some say) the meteoric ascendancies of Mary Jay Blige, Jodeci, and (by association) Jennifer Lopez/Jenny-Lo/J-Lo, obviously knows from branding. So much so that some media outlets (such as Yahoo! Top Stories and the national TV and radio news networks) reported the news of Diddy's name change alongside coverage of the War on Terror, Gaza Strip desettlement and Hurricane Katrina.

Who is the man encased under these layers of names? (Click here to read "Q&A With P. Diddy" on VH1's "Say it Loud.") The rapper-mogul was born in New York City in 1970 and hoisted himself by his bootstraps, Horatio Alger-fashion, from paperboy cum hustling events promoter (who tragically over-booked a 1991 City College event where nine people died in a stampede) to millionaire by age 19. He's now a highly regarded entertainment industry impresario and acknowledged maestro of several high profile arenas: food, fashion, Broadway, the silver screen, and glamorous women. Continued allegations of going gangsta (administering beatings, intimidation and shootings) and welshing on obligations (not delivering the memoirs that Random House advanced him $300,000 to write or fulfilling child support commitments with his ex, Misa Hylton-Brim, for 11-year-old son, Justin) have invited slings and arrows but apparently have not crippled his A-list cachet.

Well-known for his brilliant creativity and business acumen, Diddy remains widely heralded as the most influential force in the multi-billion dollar rap industry. Like a Teflon Don Juan, he apparently works his assets well. They were sorely tested recently in a sordid trial that some pundits feared could send him upriver. The upshot: acquittal on gun charges in 2001. Afterward, the media energetically reported Puff Daddy's quest for a fresh start, symbolized by his new label: "P. Diddy" (reportedly coined by Notorious B.I.G. before he died).

Diddy offers various justifications for his latest incarnation. One, "Because I can," is arrogant but true. Other rationales are kinder and gentler, seeking to simplify his cluttered namescape and leave no fan behind.

"I feel like the "P" is getting in the way of me and the public. From now on I will simply go by 'Diddy'," said the multi-named one.

"Nobody knew what to call me," he said. "I'd notice that people were uncomfortable when I'd meet them for the first time, and then they'd ask me what they should call me.

"I even started to get confused myself - and when I'd called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was. Too long."

Hence the solution: to be known as simply "Diddy. "Five letters, one word, period."

So sez he, and so it will be. At least for a while. In the wake of such media splashes and changes in course, the public tends to go with the flow.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But only if you believe. Fact is, perception can trump reality.

This random rant has inspired me. So much so, I might apply what I've learned: successful people can't live on bread and hard work alone. They require PIE (10% competent Performance with a 90% blend of Image and Exposure). Taking a cue for P. Diddy and others, like "Material Girl" Louise Ciccone/Madonna/Madge/Electronica/Esther, I see I'm long overdue for a major overhaul. Step one, drop "Lisa Tolliver" (it's passe). An easy replacement is "Lisa T." (for a time) and I could inject some pep in my step later with something like "Liddy." Couldn't hurt. And so what if it did? I could always bury the old and reincarnate, shiny and new, like a virgin, named for the very first time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

August 24, 2005 "Lisa Tolliver Show" stays in tune with vocal specialist / writer / arranger, Deborah Hodge

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - It was a hot and sunny day. Sometime between 11:30 a.m. and noon, I parked Dad's Olds in Pelham and jumped into her immaculate, shiny black late-model Saab convertible. It was fly and so was she: top down, flaunting the trademark flat top 'do that highlights her elegant widowÂ’s peak and graces her business card and CD cover; powerful stereo discreetly pumping the 98.7 KISS FM radio battle of the Ohio Players -vs- Parliament Funkadelics. In her French blue shirt, black summer pants and black shades, Deborah Hodge was all seven CÂ’ and a bag of chips: cool, calm, collected, confident, classy, captivating and chic. Like her music.

Before the show
We stopped by Best Buy to pick up a second copy of The Diary of Alicia Keys [Limited Edition w/ Bonus DVD] for her and package of blank cassette tapes for me. In the cool, air-conditioned store, I felt my tension begin chilling out. The day had started stressfully: with inquiries about getting Dad into a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering; investigating how my brother fared in the previous day's medical procedure; and canceling out of a two-day class I'd really wanted to attend in DC but could not, because my actual - rather than virtual - presence was required on a consulting project that's at a critical point.

Deborah's funk music nourished my spirit, reminding me of great times in days past.
Ow, we need the funk
We gotta have that funk

La la la la la
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, owww!

Source: “Tear the roof off the sucker (give up the funk),” from Tear the Roof Off - Parliament

And Deborah herself - whom I met last year through a mutual friend - is a soothing presence. Plus, I get a kick out of even the prospect of broadcasting my shows. (Click here to see Mom's theory about that.) I think it's because I get personally informed, instructed, intrigued and inspired when pursuing my "four-eyed" mission.

My dance with music
Some say music calms the savage beast. It's also energizing. Low-key or upbeat, music has always nurtured my soul. A musician-in-hiatus, I have sung in my church choir, K-12 choruses and the Harvard Radcliffe Kuumba Singers; played first violin in innumerable pit orchestras, recitals, chamber orchestras and full orchestras; dabbled with the various other stringed and reed instruments; and (regrettably, in retrospect) declined a scholarship to study music in college. But despite its being integral in my life, even I can't live on music alone; I need tangible sustenance, too. So Deborah and I grabbed a bite en route to Whitney Radio.

During the show
If you joined us at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 or, you sampled a delicious smorgasbord of original music from Deborah’s CD: Deborah Hodge (play list: “Is it Really?,” “Some One,” “Back in the Day,” and “If Your Heart”) and enjoyed tasty tidbits of her perspectives on the music of today, the music business versus the business of music, and what constitutes good musicianship.

Deborah knows from whence she speaks. The vocalist, composer, arranger, writer, music teacher and bandleader has performed internationally, at times with top “cats” like Stanley Turrentine, and in the camp of Alicia Keys, i.e., MBK (“My Brother’s Keeper”) Entertainment.

Listeners feasted on Deborah’s dish on Ms. Keys, presented over the backdrop soulful selections from The Diary of Alicia Keys [Limited Edition w/ Bonus DVD]. But first, my guest prepared listenersÂ’ palettes in anticipation of an upcoming artist Deborah praised as a must-hear. I can't spell her name or find her easily online, but according to Deborah, talented teen Karinna Passione (sp?) speaks multiple languages and boasts an imminent debut with the house of Jay-Z and Antonio "L.A." Reid (Island Def Jam/Universal Music Group). Deborah will review the CD in an upcoming "Lisa Tolliver Show" segment. Stay tuned.

Contact Deborah Hodge
RoMo & Associates, Mgmt.
Telephone: (01) 212.580.0613

Listen to upcoming shows on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and
September 14
1:00-1:30 pm - SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business
1:30-2:00 pm - Lisa Tolliver Show (featuring author Nina Foxx)

September 28
1:30-2:00 pm - Lisa Tolliver Show

If you’re listening, I’m listening. Talk with me!
Dial the call-in line at (01) 914.636.0110
Join my intranet at
Leave a voice message at (01) 309.279.7528
Write me c/o:
648 Central Park Avenue #405
Scarsdale, NY 10583 USA

1 Wolfs Lane, Box 655
Pelham, NY 10803-9998

Sunday, August 14, 2005

August 10, 2005 Lisa Tolliver Show: How Some Folklorists Spent Their Summer

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - How did you spend your summer? Many Americans spend summers barbecuing, enjoying outdoor sports, visiting new places and learning new skills. A select group of 15 participants in the intensive, three-week 2005 Field School for Cultural Documentation accomplished all that, documented other people pursuing those pastimes, and more!

Much more, in fact. Not only did they learn new skills, they applied them to conduct the ethnographic initiative, "Tradition Runs Through It: Environment and Recreation in Provo Canyon." This archive of tape-recorded interviews, photographs, fieldnotes and material culture (i.e., physical artifacts); associated exhibit at BYU's L. Tom Perry Special Collections; and presentations at the exhibit opening/reception on August 5 comprise the initial foundation for the Utah Heritage Project. Field School Co-Directors Kristi Young - Curator of the Wilson Folklore Archives at Brigham Young University, and David Taylor - Folklife Specialist at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, said the 2005 Field School cohort did the best work they'd ever seen in the decade Field School has been offered! Not a bad for a bunch of greenhorns.

Broadcast synopsis:

In today's follow-up to the July 27 Lisa Tolliver Show broadcast (which prominently featured cultural experts discussing folk life in general and how to preserve it), Young (far left in the photo on the left) and two of Tolliver's Field School classmates, Lisa Powell from Kentucky (second from the left in photo on the left), Steve Taylor from Pennsylvania (photo on the right) , and discussed their summer "vacation alternative" from the trainees' perspective. In contrast, the July 27 show more prominently featured descriptions of folklore in general and how to document it by Field School Co-Directors Young and David Taylor - Folklife Specialist at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center (AFC), Taylor's AFC colleagues Ilana Harlow and Guha Shankar, and documentary photographer Rich Remsberg.

Who participated in Field School 2005?

Alumni are adults from throughout the USA and various professions, who were interested in learning cultural documentation but lacked substantial prior experience. Successful applicants shared their rationale for attending Field School and plans for conducting future ethnographic projects.

What did they learn?

As the Field School website states:

The American Folklife Center, a leader in ethnographic field research for close to three decades, has developed a model for an intensive, three-week-long field school for cultural documentation, and then putting it into action through partnerships with educational institutions across the country. The Center’s field school, which was first held in 1995, offered hands-on training, for beginners, in such areas as research ethics, considerations for preliminary research, interviewing techniques, sound-recording techniques, documentary-photography techniques, ethnographic-observation techniques, fieldnote-writing techniques, the archival organization of multi-format ethnographic collections, and the development of public products and programs based on documentary material gathered in the field. The training, which is provided by members of the Center’s professional staff along with other experienced cultural specialists, includes lectures, hands-on workshops, discussions, and supervised team-based fieldwork with a carefully selected cultural community.

What did they document, exactly?

Field School participants organized into three-person teams to document five specific aspects of Provo Canyon's culture and environment. These included: fly fishing (Powell's team); Mormon dating practices (Taylor's team); the changing faces of Provo Canyon's environment, recreation and people (Tolliver's team); long-term Canyon communities Springdell and Wildwood; and long-standing local families, such as the Stewarts (who once owned substantial acreage in Provo Canyon, christened many landmarks with the family moniker, and continue to wield substantial influence locally).

To learn more:

To learn more about "Tradition Runs Through It," click here. To learn about applying to Library of Congress-sponsored Field Schools for Cultural Documentation, click here. To get ideas and assistance to conduct folklore projects click here.

Next broadcast:
Lisa Tolliver ShowAugust 24 at 1:30-2:00 pm, Eastern Time
New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 or
Call-in line: (01) 914 636 0110

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Tolliver presents "Virtual communities: What, who, when, where, how, why and ... why not?"

Provo, UT - Lisa Tolliver presented "Virtual communities: What, who, when, where, how, why and...why not?" at the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Speaker Series at Brigham Young University ("BYU") on August 5, 2005. Accidentally doubled-booked by BYU for delivery as an Omnibus Lecture on August 4 and rescheduled for the next day, the interactive, multimedia presentation included the unveiling of a virtual community Tolliver established for the target audience. The site is a place that provides a user-friendly treasure trove of tools, information and resources and a space for collaboration and information sharing among the subjects and geographically dispersed ethnographers who participated in the 2005 Field School for Cultural Documentation and Utah Heritage Project, "Traditions Run Through It: Environment and Recreation in Provo Canyon" ("TRTI").

In response to the venue change, Tolliver made her presentation more interactive and integrated contributions from Field School instructors and participants. For example, she invited fellow Field School participant/TRTI researcher Lisa Powell to present the five stages of group development (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning) and co-facilitate a discussion of how those stages manifested themselves in the Field School/TRTI community. Additionally, she demonstrated how easy it was to share photographs using a slideshow compiled by Field School Instructor/Library of Congress Folklore Specialist Guha Shankar, PhD.
Lecture details:

Date: Friday, August 4, 2005
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Location: DeLamar Jensen Lecture Room, 1130 HBLL