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.

#11: The Man Who Booked the Movies

The Man Who Booked the Movies From Cagney to Kung Fu.
Martin Levine, president of Brandt Theaters, booked most of the movies across 42nd Street for 50 years. His office reflects the faded glamour of a once mighty theater empire now reduced to kung-fu, grindhouse and porn flicks.

#12: The Princess of 42nd Street

The Princess of 42nd Street
Fanny Gold ran her family’s 42nd Street newsstand as an eight-year-old girl in 1915. Living in poverty one block away, she was enchanted by Times Square’s aristocratic era. And was mugged six times there as an old lady.

#13: The Hooker Bus

A SAFE SPACE FOR SISTERS OF THE NIGHT. Girls from all over the country gravitated to NY to make more money in street prostitution than anywhere else. Missionary Arlene Carmen ran a mobile van that gave them a respite from the cops, the tricks and their pimps.

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#14: The Life

TIMES SQUARE CLEANS UP FOR PORN REBORN. No sooner than the neighborhood rid itself of filth, pimps and whores came dancing back into the hearts of Broadway. Composer Cy Coleman and writer David Newman discuss their hit musical in 1997.

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#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.

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