Michael The Molar Maven is Michael J. Mand, D. D. S. He is a dentist with a practice in Brooklyn, NY. Michael inherited his love of music from his parents who filled his childhood with music from Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, the songs of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, show music and, always, the blues. Although he was already a fan of The Four Seasons, a defining moment of his musical appreciation came on February 9, 1964, as he sat on the floor at the foot of his parent’s easy chairs, watching the only television set in the house – a black and white Zenith without remote control – mesmerized by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Much of his early teen years were spent with a transistor radio listening to Top 40 AM radio, either WMCA – The Good Guys (570), or WABC – The All-Americans (770). Usually, it was WMCA. He still wears a reproduction of the WMCA Good Guys sweatshirt which could only be won through station contests. Admittedly, he never won one.
In his later teen years, Michael graduated to a more sophisticated radio format found on the fledgling FM radio dial. It was a progressive free-form style programming exemplified by the influential WNEW-FM (102.7). He was hooked. The only question was whether radio would be his vocation or his avocation. The allure of a steady income pointed him in the direction of dentistry, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, the latter of which began the office in which he still practices, in 1919 – one hundred years ago (as of this writing).
Michael did his undergraduate studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He was active at the university radio station WRGW as an on-air personality, eventually becoming the Assistant Station Manager during his senior year.
Although he continued his interest in radio, both as a listener and as an amateur historian, dental school and a subsequent 40-year career as well as familial obligations sidetracked his participatory desires. That is until Michael was able to turn an unfortunate accident into a serendipitous opportunity. In 2009, he was on his roof fixing his Sirius/XM antenna when the ladder supporting him, with insufficient security of its own, came down with him still on it. He suffered multiple fractures of his right foot, heel, ankle, and leg. His injuries kept him out of work for five months. But inactivity and shpilkes (an ability to sit still) led him to apply to take courses at a local college, SUNY Old Westbury, in Westbury, LI, NY.
His application was accepted and he became a student once again. At the college, he applied to do a show at the college radio station, web-based OWWR (Old Westbury Web Radio). His audition was accepted and he became Michael The Molar Maven. He calls his show St. James Infirmary and it “webs” live every Friday afternoon, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time. The show is in its 10th year. He cites as his radio influences as Pete Fornatale, Jonathan Schwartz, Vin Scelsa, Jonathan “Weasel” Gilbert (WHFS, Bethesda, MD) and talk show host, John A. Gambling.