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.

#13: Mel Shestack: Magazine Management Trickster

AN EDITOR’S EDITOR A legend among his peers at the old men’s adventure magazines, Mel Shestack made people believe the impossible. And anyone who fell for his “gentle cons” felt privileged afterward. Episode Links Weasels Ripped My Flesh Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos It’s A Man’s World

#14: The Fall of Al Goldstein/Part 1

Screw Magazine Cover illustration of Al Goldstein

THE GREAT PORNOGRAPHER GETS SCREWED With the creation of Screw and Midnight Blue, Al Goldstein liberated sex from the shadows of shame and illegal obscenity. He had no idea what it would lead to today. But in his era, the sexual revolution was a cry for liberation and the laws against sex came tumbling down…

#15: The Fall of Al Goldstein/Part 2

Screw magazine cover, photo of sailor kissing nurse

FROM PARADISE TO THE GUTTER The Great Pornographer went from Upper East Side family man/pornographer-next-door to Bowery bum. The First Amendment hero became destitute. But he never lost his appetite for pussy and pastrami. Episode Links I Goldstein: My Screwed Life, by Al Goldstein and Josh Alan Friedman When Sex Was Dirty, by Josh Alan…

#16: Doc Pomus Comes Back/Part 1

THE EARLY STIGMA OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL After a dormant decade, the great songwriter Doc Pomus was back in business by the late 1970s. I became his sidekick, entrenched in Doc’s late-night rock ‘n’ roll whirl, where he held court like a Buddha. He was amazed that so many of his songs became iconic anthems…

#17: Doc Pomus Comes Back/Part 2

THE GREAT BLUESMAN TELLS IT STRAIGHT Doc Pomus no longer had to cater to the teenage rock ’n’ rolll market. He wrote sophisticated songs for adults. In his final years, he mentored dozens of singers, discovered bands like Roomful of Blues and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and wrote the best lyrics of his life. Episode Links…