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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#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.

#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.

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.