As for the name — c d kaplan — it’s real, albeit a literary affectation. Thank you e e cummings.

Culture Maven is self proclamation. Maven is a Yiddish word that roughly translates as “know it all.” In today’s terminology it is a “brand.” Which I mention to confirm I’m more contemporary than you think. Even if less so than I would boast.

Take the moniker — Culture Maven — for what it’s worth: shameless self aggrandizement.

Way back when — sometime in the early to mid 50’s — I was sitting in Bernie Rosenthal’s den. He’d just received some 78’s from Randy’s Record Shop in Gallatin, Tennessee. One of them was Johnny & Joe’s “Over The Mountain.” It struck a chord. I’ve been a slave to rock & roll since. If you go here at youtube, you can watch J & J lip sync the classic.)

I was 4th grade spelling bee champ at Longfellow Elementary. In college — there were two, one in Virginia, one in Kentucky — I earned a B.S. in political science. I was going to attend grad school in something or another, perhaps Humanities. But went to a basketball game instead on the day of the Graduate Records exam. (My beloved Louisville Cards won on the home court of their most heated rival at the time, the Cincinnati Bearcats.)

Instead I took the Law Boards a few weeks later, matriculating afterward to become a barrister.

I was with Legal Aid Society in the halcyon days of the early 70’s. We practiced law hard during the day, partied hard at night. The office softball team was aptly named Fear & Loathing in Louisville. The office was the object of derision of most of the town’s legal community at the time. Those barristers did nonetheless attend our kickin’ Christmas parties.

Subsequently I haphazardly practiced law privately for awhile, specializing in nothing really. Then spent a couple decades as a Juvenile Court prosecutor.

I’ve been writing since 1990. I was hit by a car while jogging. Having survived reasonably intact, I figured if I had something to say I’d better start saying it. (Actually I had a letter published in the 8/29/74 Rolling Stone. About that softball team mentioned above with reference to Louisville’s favorite son, gonzo pariah Hunter S. Thompson. But, as brilliant and succinct as that missive was, it doesn’t really count on a resume, does it?)

For a good while, I’ve wrote for LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer). First it was music reviews. I’ve also done film reviews there. For a decade more or less, I wrote regular columns, one on sports, one on the passing scene called “The Culture Maven.” Sound familiar?

I’ve also written feature stories on politics and sundry matters of import to the community where I live — Louisville, Kentucky. For years, I was the ‘zine’s sports blogger.

Now my daily sports musings can be here at Those are specific to my beloved University of Louisville Cardinals can also be found at

Several pieces of mine have been published in Relix, a national music ‘zine, as well as others in the Courier-Journal. I published a 2008 Day Planner, which included daily historical factoids. Which were reasonably accurate, moderately pithy and hopefully entertaining. Didn’t sell a lot of copies, but it was way fun to do. So, hey, I got that goin’ for me.

I used to appear regularly with James Bickers (RIP) on Saturday mornings at 11:30 on WFPK 91.9.  I’ve been on radio in Australia, talking about rock & roll. I post film reviews of all the cinema I see right here at this site. And, of course, you can reach me through Twitter, and on Facebook, where I have both a personal and a Culture Maven c d kaplan page that includes links to all my internet output.

Outside of college and professional life, I’ve also majored in B S. Among my favorite things are University of Louisville Cardinal sports, New Orleans JazzFest, “The In-Laws” (the original with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk), the village of Bourdeilles, France, Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti,” “Body Heat,” Impellizzeri’s Pizza, Gaudi’s Casa Battilo in Barcelona, Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks,” my fast and agile VW GTI, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin On” (the best album ever recorded), the Mississippi Delta, Mosca’s Chicken a la Grandé, and Abbey, the wacky rescue beagle whom I share custody with my ex-, the Film Babe.