Black Cracker presents

Tales of Times Square: The Tapes

By Josh Alan Friedman

This podcast presents voices of strippers, old fighters, burly-Q men, peep show girls, hustlers, cops and the priest who tried to save them.

I’m Josh Alan Friedman, reporting to you from Times Square in the ’70s and ’80s. The people you will hear—now ghosts of Old Broadway—spilled their souls for my book, Tales of Times Square.

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Get our free email series with 3 mini-episodes delivered to your inbox. My way of saying thank you for listening, and hold on to your hats for season two. --Josh

Listen to the Latest Episodes

#17: Josh in Times Square

So long, Sucker. Old Times Square was at the brink of extinction and my job was done. The finale of this podcast series.

#16: Old Flesh Agents

FROM SELTZER BOTTLES TO IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME. Irv Charnoff and Jess Mack were the last remaining vaudeville/burlesque booking agents in 1984. They mourned the decline of wholesome American show-biz, as it devolved into pornography.

#15: Gentle with the Girls

FREEING THE NIPPLE FROM SALES TAX. Al Kronish, one of the Melody Burlesk’s owners, was the first CPA to do tax returns for porn stars. Under constant legal harassment from the city, he kept Times Square’s last bastion of old burlesque open and spread-eagled.

About the podcast

Writer-guitarist Josh Alan Friedman was born in New York City in 1956. He was Senior Editor of Screw magazine when most of these cassettes were made on the fly. In a city of 50,000 writers, Josh was nearly the only one covering the Times Square beat, for the men’s magazines of the era. (His parents might have preferred he work for The New Yorker, but he also wrote for National Lampoon, Soho Weekly News and New York magazine.) By 1987, he’d had enough and followed his wife to Texas, a year after Tales of Times Square—the subject of this podcast—was published.

About the music in this podcast

The intro to this podcast uses Josh’s acoustic guitar cover of “Theme From Shaft,” from his new album, Sixty Goddammit.
Incidental music appears from Josh’s albums throughout the podcast: Famous & Poor, The Worst!, Blacks ’n’ Jews, Josh Alan Band and Sixty Goddammit.