Black Cracker Presents

Tales of Times Square: The Tapes

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

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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.

#6: The Peeps

LIVE NUDE GIRLS 25¢. Peep Shows were a phenomenon as common to Times Square as slot machines to Las Vegas. Live Nude Girls became the neon community catchphrase. We visit Roger K as he creates the technology in his private laboratory at Show World.

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#7: King Heroin

THE TOAST OF BROADWAY. A lightweight contender in the 1920s, Manny Rosen worked in the kitchen of the Stage Delicatessen for 32 years—in charge of making toast. But he also wrote “King Heroin” for James Brown, after losing his daughter to heroin. He became the right-hand man of Bob Anthony, “Mr. Burlesk,” in the Melody…

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#8: Holy Cross

Josh Alan Friedman, Tales of Times Square

The Catholic Church Vs. Times Square.
Three priests of Holy Cross Church witnessed the rise and fall of Times Square. Father Robert Rappleyea, pastor during the era of porn, saw the human condition reach bottom. He put up a bold front.

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#9: Oh Susanna!

Tales of Times Square

COPPING A FEEL IN TIMES SQUARE. Show girls, moonlighting nurses, pickpockets and members of a fake marriage ring. Live Nude Girls 25¢ was the neon community catchphrase, and it was all about fast cash.

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#10: Uncle Lou’s Scrapbook

Innocent victims of adversity. That’s how Uncle Lou, a geologist turned chauffeur, saw many of the girls in Times Square, who affectionately called him Uncle. His scrapbook documents an era of burlesque queens and porn starlets, whom he remains loyal to decades after their careers ended.