So Important: The Interview Podcast!


January 21, 2019

Hello everyone, 

I had so much fun putting this episode together!  I chatted with Stacy Godfrey, a long-time fellow fan of the band Genesis, and a co-host of the terrific podcast, Tabletop Genesis. Listening to her podcast, it became obvious to me that she would be fun to chat with. Why? Well, we both came to Genesis in very different eras of the band's history (me in the progressive 1970s, Stacy in the more pop-focused 1980s). Yet both of us spent time discovering, and learning to appreciate, all of the band's music and I knew that would be fun to talk about. It  was!

And...we make some recommendations! I recommend some great Genesis songs from the 1980s that old stalwarts like me might appreciate. Stacy, in turn, highlights some of her favorites from the 1970s for those mostly familiar with the more pop-focused version of the band in the 1980s. And as a special Awesome So Important! Bonus, here's a link to a spotify playlist with almost all the songs we discussed:

Stacy and Monte's So Important Genesis Playlist!

And here's a link to the Tabletop Genesis Website as well as the Facebook Page - highly recommend you check it out!


Thank you again, Stacy!



Thank you Stacy, and I hope everyone enjoys our conversation about one of the all time greatest bands in the history of music!



December 22, 2018

Hello friends! A new year is upon us...and as the holiday season proceeds, it's hard not be a bit reflective. Is there more we can be doing to help bring folks together, to encourage tolerance and patience, and respect for each other's feelings? I think there is, and for this special episode, I went right to the source.

Karen Struble Myers is the Associate Director and Director of Development and Communications at the Fred Rogers Center For Early Learning and Children's Media, on the campus of St. Vincent's College in Latrobe, PA. Karen and I talked about how the Center is implementing Fred's vision through a number of programs dedicated to Fred's vision; we talked about Fred's legacy, and we talked quite a bit about the relevance of Fred's message today. it was an inspiring talk and I am so pleased to share Karen's great words and insights. Fred has an inspiring message and maybe we can all take a minute to reflect, and think about what Fred teaches us today.

There is a link to the Center below. It's a wonderful website and I encourage you to take a look.

I want to thank my loyal listeners and welcome new ones. I hope you are enjoying all the great guests and I promise you there are more to come. Please help spread the word about the Podcast. This would be a GREAT episode to share and of course, a kind word and rating on I-Tunes is always appreciated. Anyway, best to everyone, happy holidays, and have a great new year. See you soon!




December 1, 2018

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Monte A. Melnick, the former tour manager of the legendary rock band, The Ramones. For over 20 years the Ramones toured the world playing to adoring and loyal audiences; but it is only now, over 20 years after their retirement, that their contributions to music are fully appreciated.

Monte was there throughout the duration of their career and brings a unique perspective to what made this band tick  through think and thin, good times and bad. It was an honor to talk with Monte about the legacy of this legendary band. 

Monte has written a classic book about the band and his time with them, and I highly recommend it. The book, On The Road with The Ramones, is a great read and can be found here:

For those who would enjoy seeing a little bit of the Ramones in action and at their best, here's a little clip. 14 songs in 26 minutes! It doesn't get better than that!

And finally, here's a great way to get familiar with their songs - a classic collection of hits. If like me, you prefer to hear actual albums, you can't go wrong with their first or third. But this collection will get you started:

Thanks again to Monte, and I hope everyone enjoys this episode of So Important!




November 10, 2018

Hello everyone! I talked with Tosh Berman, an influential and beloved member of the Los Angeles literary scene, on his new book entitled, Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World. This book is a masterful story of growing up as the son of the well-known artist Wallace Berman, who is often referred to as the creator of Assemblage Art and was a beloved figure in the early "beatnik" or hippie scene in California. Tosh recounts his unique childhood and talks openly about the cavalcade of luminaries that visited his home, his father's influence in the art world, and the impact of Wallace's untimely death on the young Tosh. 

Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World is published by City Lights books, and is a beautifully written, honest, and endearing memoir of a unique upbringing. The book will be available on Amazon and directly from the publisher. You can learn more about Tosh's book, and Tosh himself, here:

Thank you, and enjoy the show!



Jonna Murphy on Mental Health Awareness.

Jonna Murphy on Mental Health Awareness.

October 27, 2018

Hello all, 

As I mention in the introduction to this episode, this podcast is a little bit different than the norm, in that we don't just focus on one topic, but we focus on people. My goal is to give all kinds of people the opportunity to talk about something interesting, or important, to them. 

Often our topics are lighthearted, perhaps biographical, perhaps cultural, perhaps chatting with a respected teacher about his philosophy, or a musician about their craft. But sometimes we tackle serious issues, such as Poverty. Or, as in this episode, mental health awareness. 

Jonna Murphy is a remarkable individual. She has had to deal with mental health issues in her own family, and she had made it her mission to become an authority on this topic, and to help others find the help and expertise to find help for themselves or a loved one, if there is a need. She has great insights into mental health and I think we all benefit from hearing what Jonna has to say. I salute Jonna's bravery for talking about such a difficult issue, and I thank her for sharing her great, and very practical knowledge about this topic. 

I encourage you to share this episode with any and all who may find it inspiring, or who may be looking to take a first step toward addressing this difficult issue. And Jonna, thank you again. 

If you'd like to connect with Jonna, please contact me at In the meantime, Jonna has shared some key links and I am happy to share them with you, below. 

Thank you for listening and thank you, Jonna. 

From Jonna Murphy: 

Here are some very educational links related to serious mental illness - specifically bipolar and schizophrenia. 
Over the years both NAMI and NIMH have provided us with a wealth of information.
This is just a start, there are many other links as well.

Barrence Whitfield on HIS MUSIC!

Barrence Whitfield on HIS MUSIC!

September 22, 2018

So, this one is special to me.  I first saw Barrence Whitfield and the Savages perform in the 1980s and I have loved Barrence and his music ever since. Led by Barrence and long-time guitarist Peter Greenberg, the Savages put on a full-assault rock and roll attack every time. Describing their sound is never easy. The Savages build their sound on a garage band foundation, adding old-time rock and roll, hard rocking rhythm and blues, soul, and whatever else works to create the classic Savages sound. And at the heart of it all is the Savages full-throated, no-holds-barred lead singer, Barrence Whitfield.

There's nothing like the Savages sound, and we discuss their sound extensively in our discussion.

It was a great privledge to have the chance to talk with Barrence - a consummate musician and performer whom I have admired for so long a time. 

You can learn more about Barrence at his website:

Or visit his facebook page:

And of course, the music of the Savages is widely available on Amazon and elsewhere, including from Bloodshot Records at:

The songs you'll hear on this podcast are Pain and I'll be Home Someday, from the Savages' most recent release, Soul Flowers of Titan, as well as Mama Get The Hammer and Bloody Mary, two Savages classics. Because a great part of appreciating Barrence is the live experience, I went with the version off of the great Live Emulsified album - check it out at:

I hope you enjoy my conversation with the great Barrence Whitfield!





Edwin Heijmen on FILM NOIR - THE B-MOVIES!

Edwin Heijmen on FILM NOIR - THE B-MOVIES!

September 1, 2018

Hello everyone! Had a fun conversation with Edwin Heijmen on one of my very favorite topics - film noir! And we talked about the B-Movie variety - the films made by the major studios to fill out double features in the 1940s and 1950s, or the films made by the so called "Poverty Row" production houses. Made on a dime, cheap sets, no-name actors...all these challenges often led the film makers to find innovative ways to get around these constraints, often resulting in some absolute classic films.

And just for you, Edwin and I give a shout out to some of our favorites!  Check them out, and I hope you enjoy our conversation. I did!

Edwin has a blog, entitled Reviews From the Bottom of the Barrel, where he writes about all things film noir. Great reading! You can find it at:

And just remember: sometimes fate, or some  mysterious force, can put the finger on you or me for no reason at all!




And hey...see you at the movies!

Jeannie Brand on OSCAR BRAND’S LEGACY!

Jeannie Brand on OSCAR BRAND’S LEGACY!

August 18, 2018

Hello everyone! 

I so enjoyed talking with Jeannie Brand, the daughter of the legendary folk singer Oscar Brand, on the great legacy of her beloved father.  Oscar Brand was not only a prolific song writer and performer in his own right; he also played a critical role in helping to launch the careers of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and countless other great performers. Here's Oscar's story - from one who knows it best!

As part of her ongoing efforts, Jeannie has written a wonderful memoir, The Folk-Singer's Daughter, about growing up the daughter of a famous celebrity. I loved it and urge you to give it a read. It's at Amazon at:

Oscar Brand's YouTube site is highly recommended - full of great videos from all facets of his career. It's at:

I hope you enjoy this episode. If so, please like on I-Tunes, maybe give a good review, subscribe to the podcast on your favorite carrier...all those good things. Thank you Jeannie, and thank you, dear audience, for giving a listen!



August 11, 2018

Our guest is Mr. Jim Wilson, a Los Angeles-based musician who has played with any number of artists, ranging from Emmylou Harris to Anthrax, with Henry Rollins and many others in between. Jim is also a gifted solo artist and he just put out a new album entitled Now Playing that frankly, I can't stop listening to, and I urge you to give it a spin! We talk about the making of the album and the great guests who appear on it, and we also features many great cuts from the album!

As if that wasn't enough...Jim also talks about his hobby - collecting records! He has a massive collection of LPs (you'll have to listen to find out how many), and Jim talks about his passion for this pursuite and why it is so important to him. Lots of fun! 

Jim's album is widely available at all the usual places, including his great website, which is here:

and of course, there's his facebook page:

Check it out!

Hope you enjoy this episode and don't be shy about sharing it, giving the show a little review and rating on I-Tunes, all that good stuff. As we say to our new listeners who are tuning it to hear Jim, Listen to the episode, stay for the show! Follow the show on your favorite carrier and listen as we talk to all kinds of people about something important to them!

Michael Tanner on FIGHTING POVERTY!

Michael Tanner on FIGHTING POVERTY!

July 17, 2018

Our guest today is Michael Tanner, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute who has devoted many years of life to the study of poverty in America, and to developing innovative solutions to this enduring challenge. Michael seeks solutions that transcend the political back and forth of the day, and he can serve as an inspiration to all of us that strive for the day when people of all political stripes come together in search of common solutions to pressing problems. Michael's forthcoming book on the topic, "The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America's Poor," will be available soon. 

For those listening to hear Michael, welcome! We are glad to have you, and hope you'll become a regular listener to the show as we explore many topics with many interesting people. Thank you!



July 1, 2018

Hello friends, our guest today is Mr. Gary Graff, noted popular music journalist and critic. Gary has published extensively on popular music, and his highly acclaimed book on Bruce Springsteen is considered a seminal work. Gary is talking with me today about how the music industry has evolved, some of his concerns in that regard, and what can be done to get things back on track. This is a great opportunity to hear from a keen observer of the music scene, and his words important! Thank you Gary for being on the program!



June 16, 2018

Adam Pohl is the play-by-play announcer for the Bowie Bay Sox, the Double A affilitate of the Baltimore Orioles. Here he talks about his journey in broadcasting, his philosophy underlying his approach, and why he enjoys doing what he does. And he's a great guy!

Cantor Lindsay Kanter on her CANTORIAL JOURNEY

Cantor Lindsay Kanter on her CANTORIAL JOURNEY

June 2, 2018

Lindsay Kanter is the Cantor at Temple Emanuel, a reform congretation in Kensington, Maryland. She was kind enough to speak about her Cantorial Journey, her passion for all manner of traditional Jewish music, and what she seeks to achieve when constructing a service. Best of all, Cantor Lindsay shared her beautiful music with us, and it is featured on this episode. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to like the podcast and follow it, which can now be found in I-Tunes. And please do share. Thanks!



May 6, 2018

Master RJ Lee is the chief instructor at the Black Belt Martial Arts Center in Kensington, Maryland. Master Lee is committed to teaching the martial arts and other forms of physical fitness, and has thought long and hard about why teaching is so important to him, and how to put his philosophy into practice. He shares his thoughts on this podcast!

Moshe Engelberg on SPIRIT!

Moshe Engelberg on SPIRIT!

April 22, 2018

Welcome to the premiere episode of So Important, a podcast dedicated to talking to people about something that is so important to them! To start things off, we'll talk with Moshe Engelberg about spirit - and what spirit means to him!

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App