Smiley: Jukebox legends

The background music for my teen years was provided by Chuck Berry, Big Joe Turner, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford — icons from the very earliest days of what would later be called rock ’n’ roll.

In Baton Rouge, the Montalbano brothers, S.J. and Mickey, were quick to latch on to the new music.

Montel Records introduced the world to such local artists as Dale & Grace, and they promoted touring rock acts from Ray Charles to The Who.

In recent years the brothers have brightened our Saturday afternoons with their “Jukebox Legends” oldies show on WBRH/KBRH, the Baton Rouge high radio stations.

While they play all the old rock stars, they’ve especially emphasized such home-grown talents as the late John Fred and Big Luther Kent.

So I was saddened to learn that Saturday the brothers will preside over their last show.

Dr. Winston Day and Mike “Beachball” Russell, described by S.J. as “two Baton Rouge High legends,” will take over the show.

I’m sure the new guys will do a fine job, but I’ll miss S.J. and Mickey’s brotherly banter — it was as much fun as the music they played.

I guess the brothers have earned some time off, but I still hate to see them go.

As Fats would put it, ain’t that a shame …

Ancient history

Mariano Hinojosa says, “My neighbor Woody Wilson was having a conversation with his young grandson, who was proudly showing the $5 bill he received from the Tooth Fairy.

The youngster asked his grandpa, “How much money did you get from the Tooth Fairy when you lost a tooth?”

Woody explained that when he was a boy there was no Tooth Fairy.

The grandson exclaimed, “Grandpa, are you telling me that you are older than the Tooth Fairy?”

Special delivery

“Ms Paula,” of Ethel, recalls the time her mother, Nellie Devine Trapani, lived with her and her family on Moss Side Lane at Perkins Road.

She says her mom received mail from her grandchildren in New Orleans addressed to “Grammaw Nellie, Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, La.”

Special delivery II

Lynn in Metairie thanks The Advocate’s delivery people:

“I had two missed deliveries on my paper.

“I called the office, and not only did they credit my account, but each and every morning I find my paper right next to my door.

“I have never seen the delivery person, but I would like to say thanks.

“I would like to add that I love The Advocate and hope it never changes.

“As I read it I get a warm and friendly hometown feeling.”

A gift of books

George Irwin says on his twice-weekly drive to New Orleans he listens to audio books — some borrowed from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library and some purchased:

“On a recent visit to the library, an elderly lady was checking out a goodly number of audio books.

“She explained that her eyesight was so poor she could no longer read the paper or watch TV.

“Here’s a good deed tip: when we are finished with audio books we own, we should consider donating them to the library rather than letting them sit on our bookshelf.”

Photos finished

Bill Janney answers readers wondering about the photos shot at Jan’s studio:

“Jan’s was on Laurel, and was started by my aunt, Alice Janney Richards.

“She ‘painted’ the black and white photos, and was a very good artist.

“Her son and my cousin, Bob Richards (ask any 80 or older Bocage tennis player about Bob), was the photographer and ran the business.

“After Aunt Alice died, Bob continued Jan’s for many years.

“He ultimately retired to his tennis life and sold the property on Laurel.

“Sad to say, a couple of years before he died we joined him in going through his photos and all were personal, none business.”

Special People Dept.

Virginia Aubin, of Flannery Oaks Guest House, celebrates her 95th birthday Thursday.

Initial reaction

Larry Dreher, of Centreville, Miss., continues our series on workplace pranks:

He says that in the early 1950s he was in Korea with the 1st Marine Division, in communications.

There “we learned early about sky hooks, etc.,” as well as a special terminology for telephone poles.

Larry says when he was asked to procure a “TR Double E,” he wasn’t fazed:

“This old country boy from Louisiana knew what a TR Double E was, and responded with, ‘Will that be a pine or an oak?’ ”

Peace, love and roux

“Speaking of T-shirts that make us smile,” says Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, “I have seen two that did that for me.

“One said, ‘Thank God I Am Not The Man I Used To Be.’

“The other one was from the great local eatery, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s, and it said, ‘Make A Roux, Not A War.’ ”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.