Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Today's Lisa Tolliver Show topics: Black Music Month. Hip Hop. The BET Awards. Safety Month.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - It's still June: Black Music Month and National Safety Month. And today's the 4th Wednesday: and at 1:30 pm, Eastern Time the Lisa Tolliver Show airs on New York Radio WVOX AM 1460 and Two guys named Reilly, Chris and Jeff, will help us celebrate.

For Black Music Month:

Guest Chris Reilly of CR Media Group is a hip hop music producer. Email Chris Reilly.

We'll ring out Black Music Month by discussing the following topics:

  • What is Black Music Month and why is it important?
    Working up a black sweat: winners of the 2006 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards.
  • Hip hop: its evolution, Chris' role, artists he works with and the role of hip hop in popular culture. We'll illustrate some the discussion by sampling Chris' work.
  • Black music : what is it? Music traditionally associated with people of African descent (e.g., Caribbean, jazz and R&B) are often adopted by mainstream musicians and culture. Consider the success of "cross over" artists Michael Jackson and Eminem and the remakes by groups of various cultures of each others' songs. Moreover, white artists often contribute behind the scenes to works associated with black performers (e.g., as I shared in, "Two things bug me about the upcoming anniversary of the bikini," Paul Vance has written and produced songs for Luther Vandross). On top of all that, great black musicians and performers (such as opera singer Leontyne Price) have made major contributions to music not considered to be "black."

For National Safety Month:

Jeff Reilly of the Westchester Emergency Volunteer Reserves- Medical Reserve Corps (WEVR-MRC) will share Emergency Preparedness Tip #7: FIREWORKS SAFETY. He will also bear glad tidings from the White House. The Surgeon General contacted him to say we were doing a great job with the Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips blog.

You should check it out. The tips provided there can mean the difference between life and death in a disaster or emergency.

To contact WEVR-MRC (Westchester Emergency Volunteer Reserves - Medical Reserve Corps), phone The Volunteer Center at 866-VOL-CALL or visit or

Upcoming shows on WVOX AM 1460 and

Wednesday, July 12 :


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Two things bug me about the upcoming anniversary of the bikini

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Here's the skinny.

My first complaint is rather shallow.
Bikini season is upon us and I'm not ready! For the first time, I can almost pinch an inch. Avoiding indecent exposure has meant wearing no bikini this Memorial Day weekend and submitting to a bikini boot camp-like regimen to shape up by July 5. That's the date that is erroneously but popularly being touted as the 60th anniversary of the minimalist two-piece swimsuit.

Happy birthday, bikini! According to history, barely there swimwear reached the beach long before 1946, when French automotive engineer-turned-fashion designer Louis Reard unveiled the first skimpy two-piece called a "bikini" at a Paris fashion show. As reveals:

Drawing evidence from 300 A.D. Roman mosaics, historians point to the bikini as the swimsuit of choice for ancient Roman women. The history of the bikini, however, may begin nearly 2000 years sooner than even ancient Rome! Minoan wall paintings from approximately 1600 B.C. also depict women wearing the seemingly quite popular two-piece bathing costume.

In 1946, World War II had ended, the world was working to recover from its devastating effects, and two French designers were engaged in a race somewhat different from mine. Mr. Reard (who produced the bikini for his mother's lingerie boutique), and Jacques Heim (another fashion designer who owned a beach shop in Cannes), were competing to be the first to introduce a revolutionary two-piece swimsuit.

Mr. Heim got on deck first. Early in the summer of 1946 he introduced the Atome (named after the particle) at a beach in Cannes. As noted in "BIKINI TRIVIA: History of the Bikini,"

Heim sent skywriters high above the Cannes sky, proclaiming the new Atome to be "the world's smallest bathing suit."

Not to be outdistanced, Mr. Reard fashioned an even more risque suit. To herald its introduction in July, he hired a skywriter to inscribe this announcement above the French Riviera: "The bikini - smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world." Reard named his creation after a tiny South Pacific atoll (in the Marshall Islands), where the USA conducted nuclear tests in the 1940's.

Sacramento Bee Fashion Writer Leigh Grogan and illustrator Margaret Spengler describe Mr. Reard's Brazilian style thong bikini in History: Birthday suit" (see image, top left):

Reard, who was working with a mere 27 1/2 inches from a bolt of cloth, took his design a step further -- dropping the bottom half of his two-piece suit below the navel.

What separated his suit, said Mr. Reard, was the fact that a two-piece was, "not a bikini unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

Does the box the model is holding contain a ring or a bikini? *

* These black and white images of Michele Bernadini are from "The First Bikini" at Bikini Science.

Such explosive promotions and the associations between their swimwear creations and atomic detonations brazenly exposed Heim's and Reard's goals to make a splash on the fashion front. However, Reard's navel-baring suit was so skimpy that no mainstream model would sink so low as to wear it. He resorted to hiring Michele Bernadini, a cheeky exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris (where Josephine Baker also performed), to sport the garment on the poolside runway.

Bombshells wearing bikinis made quite an impact. According to Bikini Science:

RĂ©ard's famous fashion statement changes the world; like the bomb, the bikini is small and devistating. Vogue editor Diana Vreeland calls the bikini "the atom bomb of fashion," and a Paris fashion writer suggests it is the image of a woman emerging tattered from the blast. Perhaps the shock of seeing the Marshallese islanders in the nuclear age enable the Technologists to discover seeing themselves in the tribal age. And to enjoy it.

Source: 1945-1950: The Very First Bikini

This blog post inspires a riddle:

Q: If Batman and Robin were bikini-wearing women, what would they be called?

A: Flatwoman and Ribbon.

Not funny? Neither is the sweat equity required to become beach-worthy. That is one situation wherein contemplating one's navel can actually inspire productive, vigorous action.

The other bee in my bonnet relates to the song: Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. I'm sure you've heard it in recent Yoplait fat free yogurt commercials. According to Wikipedia, "The song was a smash hit, reaching #1 on the American charts," when Brian Hyland released it in August 1960. Dalida also recorded a French version entitled, Itsi Bitsi Petit Bikini, to popular acclaim that year and many other artists have covered the song since then.

Here's the problem. Some of the articles commemorating the bikini's splashdown incorrectly cite Mr. Hyland as the song's author. In actuality, the dynamic songwriting/music production duo Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss penned the tune.

In future posts, I'll wax on more about the bikini, Mr. Vance and his itty bitty ditty. Ray Aydelott and I had planned to interview Mr. Vance on the Lisa Tolliver Show during Black Music Month. (Mr. Vance wrote songs for many black artists, including one of my favorite crooners, Luther Vandross.) However, we scuttled those arrangements when Mr. Vance's wife was injured in a vehicular accident and Ray's father died on June 12 from complications related to a ruptured brain aneurysm. Ray and I eagerly anticipate Mrs. Vance's recovery and we look forward to interviewing her husband in the near future.

Surely by then, I'll have reclaimed my bikini abs.###

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Flavor Flav celebrates Black Music Month on air with Lisa Tolliver and pays final respects to Ray's father, Charles Douglas Aydelott, Sr.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - I'm operating on C.P. Time by posting today this roundup of the June 14 SCORE Radio and Lisa Tolliver Show broadcasts. That's ironic, since Ray Aydelott's and my celebrity guest was the clock-wearing multimedia star, Flavor Flav, and his manager, Greg J. On the other hand, their appearance was right on time to celebrate Black Music Month and at least one month before Flav's new projects will premier later this summer.

Flav's new projects include season 2 of the record-breaking VH1 hit reality series, The Flavor of Love; a new CD entitled Flavor Flav: Rise, Fall, Rise, and the go-live date for However, as we discussed on air, Ray's father - Charles Douglas Aydelott, Sr. - had died two days before (from complications associated wtih a brain aneurysm that burst) and since then, I have been attending to matters related to the Aydelott family as well as honoring the memories of my Aunt Frances and father - Robert Shaw Tolliver, Sr. - who died less than a year ago.

Flav (who Ray and I called Rico when we all lived in Freeport), was a good friend of Ray and his family, and was clearly touched by the news of Mr. Aydelott's demise. As Flav said, the show was like a family reunion. He expressed his heartfelt condolences on air and Ray played excerpts from that portion of the show during his father's homegoing services.

Flav and Greg phoned in from LA, announcing their presence with Flav'strademark greeting, customized for the show: Liiiiiisaaaaa Liiiiis! Flav shared some little known facts about his career, fielded audience questions and seemed genuinely pleased to hear from another old friend who phoned in (Darius Myers, CEO of Sports Cart Media and friend of the Lisa Tolliver Show).

A great sport, Flav participated in the final 15 minutes of the Lisa Tolliver Show, when Jeff Reilly and Marianne Partridge of the Westchester Emergency Volunteer Reserves - Medical Reserve Corps celebrated National Safety Month. Flav and I shared our humorous, but true-life earthquake survival stories and Marianne dispensed some earthquake preparedness & safety tips. Details are documented in "Flavor Flav Celebrates National Safety Month" at and in "Lisa Tolliver Show guests Flavor Flav and WEVR-MRC celebrate National Safety Month and serve up 'Flavorful' tips for emergency preparedness & safety" at Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips.

The following excerpts from those articles are updates on participants in The Flavor of Love .

What's on Flavor's Plate and how might WEVR-MRC come to the rescue?
Flav's new affiliation with WEVR-MRC could come in handy when Flav is pitted against rapper Lil' Jon on VH1's Celebrity Showdown 2 on June 22 and when the fur begins flying on season 2 of VH1's hit reality show, The Flavor of Love. Viewers of Flavor of Love 1 saw their share of catfights among some of the 20 women who vied for a custom dental grille and the affections of the Public Enemy hype man/comic foil. Witness the photos, videos and articles on the VH1 Shows: Flavor of Love Website. (Flav starred with some drama mamas in two other VH1 hit specials, as well: The Surreal Life 3 and Strange Love.)

Skeptics of how serious crossing a drama queen, er, reality TV contestant, can become should heed what happened yesterday with Flavor of Love 1 winner, Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander. According to reports, she was arrested in Dearborn, Michigan for allegedly assaulting a police officer who was investigating a noise complaint at her home. Three cops were required to cuff her.

Nicole said she was being unfairly harassed by neighbors, who she claims have fetched the fuzz to her house six times because her family and house guests are "mostly black." In her statement (excerpts in "Reality TV Star Arrested in Dearborn"), she describes herself as being victimized when an officer grabbed her as she was voicing her own complaints about feeling harassed. She said:

He walked up, took the door, opened the door back up. Grabbed me by me [sic] neck and I just remember flying down these steps. While I’m falling, I gripped [sic] on to him and we fall. Now we wrestling [sic] and two more cop guys come and jump on me.

More information about Flav:
In today's show (and other media coverage), Flav has had only generous, gallant words about Hoopz. He is positive, upbeat, and clearly focused on what's up and coming (pun intended). That is why Flavor's stellar re-ascendancy outshines his past legal scrapes, leaving them light years in the past, where they belong. That permits him, critics and fans to focus on several exciting projects Flav is launching this summer on multiple frontiers. You can catch the star on VH1's Flavor of Love 2 (beginning in early August), on the CD entitled, Flavor Flav: Rise, Fall, Rise (release date to be determined), and online at, where the current welcome page will be replaced by a full-featured Website with e-commerce capabilities (some time later this summer). You can also track these and other developments in Mr. F.'s orbit now at "The official Flavor! Flav!! myspace!!" and at VH1 Artists A-Z: Flavor Flav.

You can click the following links to read more about my coverage of Flavor Flav at Lisa Tolliver On Air & Online and other media outlets that carry and cite those feeds. ###

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Be Safety Smart" - Be there!

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - At the Cross County Mall, that is. Click here to get the details at: Come and "Be Safety Smart" on June 11, 2006 at Cross County Mall in Yonkers. Join Westchester County, Radio Disney, Marianne Partridge - who authors Emergency Preparedness & Safety Tips from WEVR-MRC, and a gazillion other folks. I'll be there. Hope you will, too!

When: Sunday, June 11 from noon-5:00 pm, Eastern Time
Where: Cross County Mall in Yonkers, NY 10704###

June 10, 2006 is a big day for small cities and towns

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - June 10, 2006 is National Small Cities and Towns Day. This year's theme is "The Power of We--Building Inclusive Communities." Cities and towns with populations less than 50,000 across the country are encouraged to schedule activities to commemorate this special day.

Small Cities and Towns Day is a national event organized by the National League of Cities (NLC) to recognize the importance of America's small cities and towns and to honor the service of elected and appointed officials in those communities. NLC President Jim Hunt and the Small Cities Council urge small municipalities to:
  • Highlight your community's commitment to inclusion by passing a resolution and joining the Partnership for Working Toward Inclusive Communities.
  • Bring attention to your community's effort around affordable housing, race and ethnic relations, equal citizen participation in community decision-making and programs for the disabled.
  • Share valuable insights, experiences and lessons learned. You may wish to utilize your local cable television media to host a dialogue on what it means to be an inclusive community.
  • Recognize, publicize and celebrate the work of elected and appointed public officials and individuals in your city who have helped to make your city an inclusive community.

    To assist in that effort, the NLC provides a number of resources:

    1. Everyone knows everyone else, so your kids have to behave better!
    2. Going to the grocery store can turn into a mini town hall meeting so be prepared to stay awhile wherever you go.
    3. If you double park for five minutes, no one honks the horn.
    4. Citizens really get involved so you can actually accomplish something.
    5. Everyone feels like they have a stake in "MY town."

    Need more ideas to commemorate the day? Read about the town profiled in my Blog Critics article, "06-06-06 is a Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day," and Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online posting, "Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day 06-06-06 is an occasion for fetes, not threats." Although the municipality is not on the NLC membership list, there isn't a snowball's chance in Hell that that unincorporated Michigan hamlet (pop. 266) wouldn't know how to optimize a high profile promotional opportunity.

    Woman at work: You'll soon read more about these works-in-progress here soon


    Radio Programs on NY Radio WVOX 1460 AM and

    Screen and multimedia projects:

    • A film short, tentatively entitled, Tea Time
    • A multimedia Veterans History Project (FYI, 360 MERIDIAN is a VHP Official Partner in New York State)###

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day 06-06-06 is an occasion for fetes, not threats. Don’t believe it? Check out the hellions, hell-billies and Mayor from Hell

    WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - The signs are unmistakeable. Today is bound to be a helluva day. It is the sixth day of the sixth month of year six of this millennium and at 6:06 this morning, the temperature ranged from 60 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the New York Metro area.

    I am all fired up because 06-06-06 is a Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day. If you are wondering, "What the H-E-double-hockey sticks is a Bonza Bottler Day?" read "Feedback on Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online: May 5 is Cinco de Mayo (an historical holiday) and this month's Bonza Bottler Day (a marketer's dream)" at Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online or "Cinco de Mayo and Bonza Bottler Day" at Bonza Bottler Day was founded by Elaine Fremont, who died in a car accident in 1995. Her sister, Gail Berger - who is now the Bonza Bottler Day sponsor - explains that:

    When the number of the year also coincides with the number of the day and month (July 7, 1997), there is reason to have a bigger celebration (more food, more friends and more decorations). We call this a Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day. Bodacious means "extraordinary, impressively great in size, or enormous." A baby born on a Bonza Bottler Day is known as a Bonza Bottler Baby which makes those birthday celebrations doubly special.

    Days like 06-06-06 occur only once per century and, for better or worse, this Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day has particular significance. Heather Whipps explains the brouhaha in a May 25, 2006 LiveScience article entitled, "06/06/06: Another Date with Para-Science:"

    The number 666 is used to refer to the beast in the Bible's Book of Revelations:

    "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666."

    Purveyors of pop culture, such as the filmmakers responsible for making and marketing Omen (2006), a.k.a. Omen (666), have capitalized on the day, turning "evil into gold," as Tony Allen-Mills of the Sunday Times - Britain observed. In contrast, the advent of June 6, 2006 struck a note of dread in some people. For example, Allen-Mills reported in, "Mothers expect Damien on 6/6/06" (April 30, 2006, Sunday Times - Britain), that the prospect of giving birth on today sufficiently terrified some parents that they took pains to rush or delay their babies' arrivals to avoid "spawning devil children on Armageddon."

    Not everyone is worried today, though. As Dan Nailen of the Salt Lake Tribune reports in "666 - for many, today's a devil of a good time:"

    Theories on what the number means are numerous and contradictory in the collective mind of pop-culture enthusiasts, historians and theologians, and today's date - 6/6/06 - means different things to different people.

    Nailen provides balanced coverage of the doomsday theories, assurances not to worry from Evangelical Christian Pastor Mark Hitchcock - an expert in Biblical prophecy, and additional examples of how various people and organizations are leveraging this hellacious marketing opportunity. The latter category includes Amy Adams and Jason Harris, owners of a Murray, Utah store called Redrum that specializes in horror- and serial killer-related items. The couple, Nailen wrote, "considered getting married last Halloween until they realized the 'once in a lifetime' chance to get married on 6/6/6."

    Filmmakers, folks in Utah and Bonza Bottler Day followers are not the only ones who will celebrate today. As and AP publicized in a June 3, 2006 article entitled, "Party in Hell Planned on 6-6-06," today is certainly going to be a hot time in Hell. Hell, Michigan, that is. Mayor from Hell, John Colone, and his fellow hellions or hell-billies - as residents are sometimes called in the unincorporated hamlet approximately 66 miles west of Detroit - will celebrate today with costume parties, sales of deeds to one square inch of Hell, gift shop items specially priced at $6.66 and newly erected Gates of Hell. In an interview with CBS-News this morning, Mayor Colone issued the following invitation: "Hope you have a hell of a good day and spend some time in Hell while you can enjoy it."

    I would go to Hell today, without hesitation, if I could. In Michigan, I might even stay at the Dam Site Inn. But other paths could lead to Hell, Norway; Hell, Grand Cayman or Hell for Certain, Kentucky. Only today I'm giving out a scholarship at a high school awards ceremony and will celebrate with the lil' devils there. We'll surely have a wicked good time. Maybe another day I will go to Hell and back, descending from Paradise (a Michigan town a few hundred miles north of Hell) and reemerge to chill out at Paradise Island, Bahamas.###

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    June 5-9 is Driving Safety Week. Take the National Safety Council's Injury Facts Challenge Right Here, Right Now!

    WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - June 5-9 is Driving Safety Week. Click here to find safe driving facts and tips at the National Safety Council Website.

    Take the National Safety Council's Injury Facts Challenge
    Image at left: Does not click through to the challenge. Instead, click here.
    The National Safety Council's Injury Facts Challenge will help you find out how much you -- and yours -- know about common hazards at work and at home. The more you know, the safer you'll be! Test your knowledge and take the Injury Facts Challenge. Throughout June, National Safety Month, NSC will post two Injury Facts Challenge questions per week. To participate or obtain the script to challenge visitors on your Website, click here.###

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    July 12 SCORE Radio Show hosted by Lisa Tolliver will feature motor cycle drag race champ Debbie Knebel

    WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - I met Debbie Knebel on Memorial Day when I responded by phone to her feedback on the following related articles: "Cinco de Mayo and Bonza Bottler Day" (published on May 06, 2006 at and "May 5 is Cinco de Mayo (an historical holiday) and this month's Bonza Bottler Day (a marketer's dream)" (published on May 05, 2006 at Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online). You can read Debbie's comments on (click here) or On Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online (click here).

    As a good businesswoman should, Debbie includes her contact information and URL - - in her email signature. (All but the URL have been removed from her posted comments). The link in her signature fueled me to coast to her drag racing Website, to steer part of our discussion to her family business and plans to update, and to ultimately issue an invitation to participate in the July 12 SCORE Radio broadcast.

    I hope you'll join us too on WVOX AM 1460 and on July 12 at 1:00-1:30 PM Eastern Time. Listeners can also hear and share by phoning our call in line at (01) 914 636 0110.

    SCORE Radio is produced and hosted by a rotating team of business counselors who volunteer with SCORE Chapter 306 in White Plains, NY. Click here to visit the and here to visit my SCORE profile on the organization's national website. ###