“Reefer Man,” as far as I can tell, is a Cab Calloway original composition. Unfortunately there’s not much information on the song out there. This particular video is from the 1933 film “International House” Which starred W.C. Fields and Burns and Allen. It’s a pre-code film and I’d totally love to see it some day!
I’ve never smoked weed but I’m glad they made it legal in a couple of states so maybe I’ll get to try it someday. Cannabis is not the point of my post today. The point of my post is 12/21/12, the date I first heard this song. I’m sure you’ll remember that 12/21 is also the day we perished in the fiery apocalypse. Up until then life had been going rather well. I worked, parented, played, dated, ate (a lot), watched some movies, went on some trips, and kept up with lots of my lovely forum friends on other social media. Then we all died which was sad. But then Christmas came and everyone turned on lights which totally thwarted the cockroach uprising. Plus I got a really nifty new Kindle. Here’s hoping everyone else out there is also having the merriest End Of Days ever!
Gerald “Gerry” Rafferty (16 April 1947 – 4 January 2011) was a Scottish singer and songwriter best known for his solo hits “Baker Street (song)” and “Right Down the Line”, and “Stuck in the Middle” with the band Stealers Wheel. He died at home on 4 January 2011, of liver disease.
RIP Mr. Rafferty
Leon Thomas began his career as a vocalist for the Count Basie Orchestra in 1961. His distinctive singing style included grunts, groans and yodels. He claimed to have developed it when he broke his teeth one day before an important concert. He is best known for his solo work and his work with Pharoah Sanders but he also recorded albums with Santana and Archie Shepp. Here he is from the 1979 Warsaw Jazz Jamboree singing “Let The Rain Fall On Me” which is from his 1969 solo album “Spirits Known and Unknown.”
I have decided to start a new movement to make all future songs include some form of precipitation. This song is just more evidence that rain songs are ALWAYS brilliant! Though, and not to cast any aspersions on the character of the late Mr. Thomas, but judging by the droopiness of his eyes and the mellowness of his manner, I’d say this particular storm was more of an acid rain. But hey, it takes all kinds of weather to give life color. Just look at all the pretty, pretty colors…
“Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls” is a 1970 cult classic movie. It was co-written by director Russ Meyer and young Roger Ebert. It’s been on my Netflix queue for a while but I haven’t seen it. I bumped it up though so it’ll be coming up next! All the comments I’ve read seem to all agree that it’s a terrible movie that everyone absolutely loves!
Apparently in the late 60s and early 70s LA was a place where absolutely everyone was naked and high all the time. I know that because every single movie aimed at young people back then said so. I didn’t move to LA until the 80s when when Nancy Regan’s war on drugs ruined everything! Nowadays though it appears that the City of Angels is trying to make a return to the glorious Doll Valley Days with the decriminalization of marijuana. Naturally this comes more than a decade after I left the Golden State. It’s a shame because I have been “pot curious” for a while now. I’ve never actually tried it because I’m way too chicken to risk criminal charges over something so trivial. But I’m here to tell ya, if CA does legalize it I will definitely heading into town and straight to the local Reefery for one of their finest doobies. I’m prepared to “Tune in, turn on, and drop out” for upwards of two hours if necessary!
I am a hard core lyrics person. I love the poetry of well written lyrics. I love the hokey charm of silly, humorous lyrics. I even love lyrics that are just plain dumb but fun! When I hear a song with words I get so wrapped up in analyzing the meaning that it’s hard for me to even focus on the other messages that might be conveyed by the melody or the performance. Lately I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to step back and take in other aspects of songs to see what else I can learn. Of course it’s probably not wise to completely ignore the lyrics either. Witness today’s video from The Lawrence Welk Show!
The Lawrence Welk Show was on the air from 1951-1982. When the show went into syndication in 1971, Lawrence attempted to add more contemporary hits to his standard music fare to attract a younger audience. Clearly no one at the show ever actually talked to any young people or this HILARIOUS bit of television history would never have happened:
You just know that after this show aired, someone’s grandma (possibly mine) was pushing a cart around the A & P, stocking up on Hostess snacks and Doritos (or munchee food) for the grandkids, and singing this about toking with the depth of feeling that only a grandma can give to a “modern spiritual.” Priceless!
Here’s a fun clip from a 1976 Bob Hope special. It features Sammy Cahn, Harry Ritz, Marty Allen, and Jan Murray.
Here is a Sammy Cahn composition called ‘Time After Time.” This is the first time I’ve ever heard this beautiful song. It was first introduced by Frank Sinatra in the 1947 movie “It Happened In Brooklyn.” Sammy Cahn also wrote “Three Coins In A Fountain” and “My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)”
Chet Baker sings it beautifully. By the time this footage was shot in 1964 the effects Chet’s of addiction were already quite evident. He’s not looking terribly sober here and, at 35, the hollow look of his cheeks makes me think a lot of his teeth were probably already gone. I love his music but yeesh, just say no kids!
Today as I sat down to write this post I proclaimed that my body was worn out! That’s because, on top of my normal “keep ahead of the squalor” chore list, I also had to assemble a dresser for my daughter’s room. Many of my daughter’s friends here in the conservative “traditional family values” heartland were quite surprised to learn that women are allowed to purchase and operate hand tools without male supervision in this state but I assured them it was so. It was a pretty easy project but it was fiddly and time consuming which was why I declared that I was worn out when I sat down.
Of course my little Allen wrench fatigue is nothing like having a truly worn out body. Here is what Chet Baker looked like after 30+ years of heroin addiction:
I hope Chet’s getting a spa day in jazz man heaven!
“Well Did You Eva” was written in 1939 for a Broadway musical but it was added to the 1956 movie “High Society” at the last minute because Bing and Sinatra didn’t have a number together. I have never seen the movie but according to IMDB it’s based on “The Philadelphia Story” which I also haven’t seen. The person who wrote the IMDB synopsis seems to have loved “The Philadelphia Story” and HATED “High Society!” I can’t find either one streaming online and that’s seriously bumming me out! Apparently it’s a love triangle (well square really with three men and a little lady). I really wanna know who Katherine Hepburn/Grace Kelly picked. If I had to make a guess I’d say it was almost certainly Cary Grant/Bing Crosby. I’m sure Google would give me the answer but where’s the fun in that?
You may find this hard to believe but there are some who consider me a bit of a drama queen. I know, I was shocked to hear it too! I’m sure no one who reads this staid and somber thread would ever get the impression that I have a flair for the dramatic! Okay, perhaps I am a tad “colorful” at times. The sad thing is, even with all this fabulous dramatic flair, I have almost no acting talent. I say “almost” because there is actually one thing I do pretty well. Like Sinatra in that clip, I’m told I do a pretty good fake drunk. In fact it’s my standard show stopping party piece (meaning I did it at a party once and some people laughed). My point in mentioning this (and if you’ve been reading this thread at all and you’re still expecting a point I pity your frustration) is that because my talent matches his in this one, admittedly limited area, I now feel confident in telling everyone I meet that I am every bit as talented as Frank Sinatra!