I dedicate this post to Aanglagard1!
The band War was famous for its socially conscious lyrics and the unusual musical paring of harmonica and saxophone to provide the melody lines. They recorded the song “Slipping Into Darkness” in 1971. YouTube says this episode of Soul Train aired in 1972.
I got so wrapped up in entertaining a gentleman (phone) caller last night that I didn’t have my blog post ready first thing in the morning. This whole “having a life” thing is going to be harder than I thought!
“Steppin’ Out With My Baby” was composed by Irving Berlin for the 1948 musical “Easter Parade.” Tony Bennet had a hit with the song in 1993 and today’s video apparently got quite a bit of air play back in those ancient times.
Because I am a hopeless romantic (or, more likely, because I’m a glutton for punishment), I’ve decided to throw my hat back into the dating arena. I’d love to regale you with hilarious dating horror stories but, I’m sad to report, there haven’t been any. I’ve just had a couple of nice conversations and a tentative coffee date. It’s hardly suitable material for the juicy tabloid style blog posts you’ve come to love around here. Still, it’s only been a week so far. Maybe it takes a fortnight before all the really good nut jobs come popping out of the woodwork.
As promised, we went out and got a strawberry plant seedling. We put it in a pot with the dirt from the Mother’s Day cup (for extra love) plus lots more potting soil. Here’s hoping it grows!
Today’s clip comes from a 1958 recording of “Art Ford’s Jazz Party.” The song is “Ace In The Hole.” It was written by Cole Porter for the 1941 musical “Let’s Face It.” It’s performed here by Maxine Sullivan who I’d never heard of until I found this clip. In 1937, she had a hit record with a jazzy version of the Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond” and she enjoyed a fairly successful career as a big band vocalist through the 40’s. In 1958, probably soon after this film was made, she retired from show business and took up a career in nursing. She made a comeback in 1966 and she recorded several well received albums.
Alberta Hunter, one of my favorite blues/jazz vocalists, also retired from music in the 50’s and took up nursing. When I lived in LA in the 90’s, the bus driver who took me to work every day was a former member of a one hit wonder band. I saw Haywood Nelson who played Dwayne on the 70’s sitcom “What’s Happening” hawking long distance phone plans to businesses at the mall where I worked. I also recognized one of the tellers at my bank from his 70s/80s TV appearances. I suspect LA is full of mundane “After They Were Stars” stories and I really want to say they are just as interesting as the crash and burn “True Hollywood” variety but I doubt that’s true. I’m sure, if asked they’d all say “Hollywood stopped calling but the bill collectors didn’t, so I updated my resumé.” Still, I’d love to hear them anyway. Maybe I could write a book about them all. I’d call it “Tiger Beat To Telemarketing: Teen Idol Transitions.” Someone call Oprah. I’m ready to kick off book tour!
NOTE: Here’s the second and final movie review for Cheesy Movie Review Weekend. Check out Revenge Of The B Movies to hear how the pros do it.
“Sextette” is a 1978 film adaptation of the play “Sextet” which was written by Mae West. Mae plays sexy American movie star Marlo Manners. Her leading man, Sir Michael Barrington, is played by Timothy Dalton. At the time the film was made Ms. West was 84 and Mr. Dalton was 32. The song they are singing is “Love Will Keep Us Together” (Sedaka, Greenfield 1973). The best known version of the song was recorded by The Captain and Tennille in 1975. This is a remake and it’s… a remake.
Okay, this is a terrible, terrible movie. The music is dreadful, the plot is ridiculous and the jokes are so old they’re dusty. I gotta tell you though, I love it completely, unconditionally and unreservedly! I laughed out loud at Mae West’s recycled one liners, I bopped along to the terrifyingly disco-rific soundtrack and I LOVED the idea of an octagenarian sex symbol!
People get squicked out by the notion of elder sexuality but it’s a reality we’ll all face someday if we’re lucky. Besides, why should we put an upper age limit on being intimate and feeling attractive and desirable? Since we as a nation are (sorta) working towards ending other senseless bedroom taboos, we might as well add this one to the list. I hope all the sassy seniors out there who are willing and able are trussing up those hips and bringing sexy back!
Even though her shows always sell out here in the states, Dame Shirley Bassey is technically a one hit wonder in the US (Goldfinger 1964). In the UK and several other countries, however, she has an impressive catalog of chart topping hits. In fact, in 1991, in recognition of her career longevity, the British Royal Family made her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. France gave her its top honor, the Legion d’Honneur, as well. Shirley had her own BBC show in 1976 but here are two fabulous, “true diva” performances from other shows.
The first clip is from “BBC Show Of The Week” which ran from 1965-1974. The song is “You’d Better Love Me” written by Timothy Gray and Hugh Martin.
The second is from a 1968 series called “Showtime.” The song is “Come Back To Me” from the 1965 musical “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.”
I miss variety shows! They weren’t my favorite types of shows when I was a kid because, well, cartoons existed. But they were something I could always watch. I was never not in the mood for a variety show. Carol Burnett was my favorite but I watched them all, even “Pink Lady And Jeff.” (Bless me common sense and good taste for I have sinned.) I wish they’d make a come back, but with today’s reality show and on demand entertainment culture, I doubt that’ll ever happen. But on the bright side, nowadays we can go to You Tube and make a variety show starring anyone we want. Heck we can even make one hosted by Shelly Berman and sponsored by Pepto Bismol… with special guests Pink Lady and Jeff!
Nancy Wilson began her singing career at the age of 15. She had her own local TV show called “Skyline Melody.” When she finished high school she spent a year in college pursuing a teaching degree but the desire to perform was too strong so she dropped out and joined a band. She met Cannonball Adderly in 1959 and he encouraged her to move to New York to further her career. Within a year she had a recording contract with Capitol Records. She recorded a string of hit records and did guest spots on numerous TV shows She even hosted her own variety show during the 1966-67 TV season. Here she is singing Jerome Kern’s “Dearly Beloved.” This is actually one of my mother’s favorite songs.
I’d never heard this song before but it’s another Jerome Kern number. It was first introduced by Irene Dunne in the 1937 film “High, Wide and Handsome” and Peggy Lee did the most popular version in 1957.
I just love love songs! I bet it’s almost impossible to consider yourself a music lover if you don’t love love songs. Almost every song ever written is about love in one way or another. I also love how, when you’re in love, it seems like every single love song you hear must surely be about you. That’s ridiculous of course. They can’t all be about *you* since they’re all about ME! Just listen to the words of these two tunes and you’ll clearly see I’m supposed to end up with a divinely crafted guy who will build me a house on a hill. That’s right I’m going to marry a carpenter sent from heaven… Oh God… Nancy Wilson wants me to be a NUN!!!!