Throwback Thursday 41

At this time of year more than 40 years ago, I began my senior year of high school. I have been thinking about that academic year since writing this post.

As one would know if they read the comments (and you should!), David Banner (not his real name) and I attended the same high school. More than that, we were in the same class, or section as our school called them, all eight semesters. Anyway, here is a picture of my class in my senior year of high school, when I thought more about cars than about sports, which meant I thought A LOT about cars.



Trying to be as objective as possible, this was an extraordinary group of high school students. The average SAT score of the entire class was 1300, in the days when the maximum score was 1600.

One person in this class is the COO of a large energy company. At least two people became doctors, “David Banner” being one of them. I don’t know the exact number, but I do know this class produced multiple Ph.D. awardees.

Then, of course, there’s me. Although all of these facts have glanced off the collective skull of the world, I am a pioneer of sports analytics, one of the fathers of “Moneyball.” I wrote a book that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written. Of course, that review will get me breakfast at McDonald’s, as long as I also have six dollars.

In these posts I have often looked longingly at my childhood as a time when almost anything seemed possible. That still seemed true to me as I graduated from high school.


How many of you are aware of BMI? No, I’m not talking about Body Mass Index. I mean Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) They are one of the major performing rights companies in the United States. BMI collects license fees from businesses that use music on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed.

In order to know how much to collect and to distribute, BMI collects data on how often specific songs have been broadcast/performed on TV and radio. According to BMI, what was the most performed song of the 20th century? I have long thought that “Yesterday” by the Beatles was the answer. I was wrong, but not by much. From the linked story, here are the Top Ten and their composers:


1. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ Barry Mann, Phil Spector, Cynthia Weil
2. Never My Love Donald & Richard Addrisi
3. Yesterday John Lennon & Paul McCartney
4. Stand By Me Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
5. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio
6. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Steve Cropper & Otis Redding
7. Mrs. Robinson Paul Simon
8. Baby, I Need Your Loving Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland & Eddie Holland
9. Rhythm of the Rain John Gummoe
10. Georgia on My Mind Hoagy Carmichael & Stuart Gorrell


In 2009, Phil Spector was convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson and given a sentence of 19 years to life, but that’s another story. So, according to BMI how many times was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” performed? More than eight million…

As I have written before, I strongly believe that the phrase “current American music” is an oxymoron. Am I just an old fogy? As time progresses it doesn’t follow that everything progresses. No human being is perfect and no endeavor of human beings is perfect. New paradigms can be, and often are, severely flawed.


Going back even further in time than my senior year of high school…


See the source image


From a picture of a 1961 Buick Skylark convertible. The link above is to a Hemmings story about the introduction of General Motors’ first compacts, the Y-Body cars introduced in 1961. These cars were the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans, Buick Special/Skylark and Oldsmobile F85/Cutlass.

Like the hashtag reads, so many cars just one life.










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8 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday 41

  1. So to say that class was exceptional would be an understatement. The four years of critical thinking and brotherhood made Renaissance men of us all. As Hans Gruber once said, “We could talk men’s fashion or world politics all day long…” How many teenagers knew about Patek Philipppe watches, much less had seen one due to their high school teacher’s habit of repairing them in his bathrobe?
    Re BMI: one of my former patients was a member of Earth Wind and Fire and wrote many songs including “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. He used to tell me how at first rappers used to sample his songs for gratis, but ultimately he would get credit/cash for his tunes. He said he enjoyed walking to the mailbox and collecting his checks, checks which allowed him to have a very comfortable life back in Los Angeles after he was diagnosed with cancer. The music business can be very lucrative, even without a 1300 on one’s SAT.


  2. ” looked longingly at my childhood as a time when almost anything seemed possible”

    Back in the days before life jumped up and slapped us upside the noggin. Work, marriage, bills that HAD to be paid each month, all that fun stuff. Myself, I graduated high school before my 18th birthday, some 45 years ago, and 3 days after graduation left on a trip with 2 friends. We had spend the winter rebuilding a 1941 Chevy sedan and went on a 2 month adventure to see what we could of the country, with about $400 between us. Had to each get some part time work at times to make a little cash, in the times when minimum wage was IIRC $2.25. After we got back I spent 2-3 weeks at my parents house before leaving to live with 3 friends in a big country house, still before the age of 18. Over the next few years, marriage, night school, full time work, divorce, a move 1/2 way across the country and most of what seemed possible had been left by the wayside. I’m not disappointed in the way my life turned out, it’s just different than I had envisioned, while looking thru the rose colored glasses of youth.


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