Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sentimental Cinderella

I'd forgotten all about this record until today when I was moving some boxes on my old dirty porch. This is hands down my favorite version of the tired old Cinderella story. Written by one of the women pioneers of radio Madge Tucker. She was the director of NBC's children's programming department, and also produced a program entitled "Coast to Coast on a Bus" from 1937 to 1941. Music is by Molly Donaldson. This version just zips along telling the full story in six and a half minutes and manages to squeeze in six new songs. My favorite I think is "Who's Gonna Wear The Little Glass Slipper". It's a toe tapper and will stick in your head all day long.

Although obviously made for children, the songs are sophisticated and the harmonies of the singers reminded me of the Boswell Sisters. I have no idea what year this is from. My guess is the late 1930's.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This video from the band Weezer has already gotten 3 million views in 4 days, so I'm sure you'll see it everywhere. However, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. It's a fantastic video using everyone's favorite characters from youtube over the past few years. It's sort of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World for the youtube generation. Love it.

via Towleroad

Monday, May 26, 2008


Summer is finally here, so I've been trying to clean out the porch. I've been hanging on to old paper sleeves for 78's thinking someday I'll match them back up with records with the same label. Instead they've just been baking then freezing on the porch becoming more crumbly. I think I'm finally going to let them go, but before I do, here are some images pulled from the rotting paper.

These are from an Atlantic record sleeve. Interesting naive art representations of their artists that look like they were drawn with a magic marker.

Edison Records had the most awkward slogan I have ever heard. "Comparison With the Living Artist Reveals No Difference" What a mouthful.
From an RCA Victor sleeve. I think this one is tee-shirt worthy.
Columbia Records always seem to be worn out. I don't know if it is because they were cheaply made or popular. The illustrations on their sleeves are similar to their typeface. Deep sharp lines, all in red. The artist signed the drawings, but I can't make out the name.

Mercury Records, a local Chicago label that had popularity in the 50's, gives us these drawings that are filled with whimsy. (I've always wanted to say that something was filled with whimsy.)

If you've ever broken a 78 record marked as unbreakable you've seen the mysterious 'core'. Basically a piece of cardboard. I feel like I'm holding something substantial when i pick up a 78 RPM record. I've only seen Magic Brain Victorola's at expensive flea markets. Could the makers of the magic brain even comprehend our ipods holding days worth of music?

Well back they go in the 'what to do with this crap' pile.

Side note: The weather suddenly changed this evening from balmy 85 degrees to a chilly 60 with blustery winds. All the sleves that I had piled next to my computer were blown all over my apartment like autumn leaves.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I know it's a commercial, but somehow this slipped by me...

Monday, May 19, 2008


This weekend was the annual Ravenswood Manor Garage Sale. This is where my neighborhood turns into one giant sale and all the neighbors move their junk from one house to another house down the block. Really though, it's a great sale. I've gotten some pretty good bargains and have found some fun things over the 15 years I've been in this neighborhood. However, nothing could prepare me for this find. Stuck within a stack of children's books and Agatha Christie mysteries was this gem.

At first I thought it must be some joke book; but then I saw no it was a pre-murder O.J in 1991 guest starring on some children's show. I stared at it for a moment and the woman who was selling said, "I think you need to have that..." I've heard of moments when angels will tell people just what they need to hear at that moment or stop them from walking in front of a bus. I think this was in the same category. So for .25 I am now the proud owner of some of the most horrific photos of O.J Simpson and a scary giant rabbit right out of Donnie Darko. Looking at them, I'm speechless.

This reminded me that years ago when I was singing with a jazz group and doing the whole "Sinatra/Lounge Act" parody thing, I covered White Rabbit and probably sang it more times than I care to remember. In honor of this gem of a book, here is my version from around the same time as these photos.

Random Blog Filler... The Sequel

I found some amazing things this weekend... but until I post them watch this....

Friday, May 16, 2008



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Betty Feezor - The Voice of Today's Woman

This morning this video popped up in my e-mail from my TV archiving friend Dan. I can't tell you how it made my morning. I'm sure every city had one of these women who came on during the morning and gave helpful household hints. In Chicago our woman was Lee Phillips. She practically invited the genre and I'm sure was one of the many inspirations for Sue Ann Nivens from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Looking back these shows were really important in the development of women in television. Lee Phillips was one of the first shows I remember that touched on social issues, homosexuality, breast cancer, and how to get that horrible coffee stain out of the sink.

Dan is from North Carolina and I asked him to give some of his memories of Betty:

Betty Feezor was the queen of local TV where I grew up in Charlotte, NC. All the kids called her Betty Freezer because of her kitchen proclivities. WBTV was one of the first color stations in the south and their broadcasts reached into Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina... it had a class and polish to it that left all the other stations looking like amateurs.

She really had the perfect talent for that job, which is a lot harder than it looks. It's the equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your stomach half the time. Plus she had that perfectly modulated personality that was neither too rural or sophisticated, yet always very smart. You had to pay attention to keep up with her. My mother worked but whenever Betty had a special show that she could watch, we didn't even think of changing the channel or she'd swat us with her hand-made fly swatter (with decorative cozy, of course).

I'm glad that her son is posting some of her videos on-line so we can all enjoy her. So have your paper and pencil ready.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So You Don't Want to Wake Up.

Cute... some language NSFW or sensitive viewers.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Funny, it was just yesterday that Eddie Arnold's name came up. Randy is doing a Mother's Day program on his morning show and asked me if I had a copy of MOTHER. Not Lennon's Mother, but the "Put Them All Together They Spell..." song. Which I learned was written by the same man, Howard Johnson, who wrote 'We All Scream for Ice Cream". (You got to love the Internet.) I also found out that Eddie Arnold had a number one country hit with it in the 1950's. I made a note to see what Eddie Arnold was up to these days. I half remembered him putting out a new album a couple years ago. This morning I found out he had just died.
I've always loved Eddie Arnold's voice, it immediately brings me back to driving in cars with the AM radio on. He was called the Bing Crosby of Country Music and I tend to agree. Everything he sang sounded smooth and easy. I'd put him in the comfort food section of male singers.

I know all the tributes will be highlighting "Anytime" or "Cattle Call" but these songs are two of my favorites: "San Francisco Is a Lonely Town" and "I Started a Joke" written by the Bee Gees.

(Note: There is a problem with the sound files. They are playing too slow. I'm looking into why this suddenly happened. Check back)

San Francisco Is a Lonely Town

I Started a Joke

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


My brother and his wife are crazy cat people and up until a few months ago they had nine cats. Two recently died. I've a mild cat allergy myself. I can never visit them in the winter because the dander is so bad that I immediately start to have an asthma attack.

If I ever think of getting more cats I'll just watch this video of this Russian woman with 130 cats.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Odds and Ends
Thought I'd catch everybody up on some things that are going on or just some thoughts buzzing around in my head.

BROTHER: A lot of you have asked about how my brother is... thank you for your kind words and prayers. He received my second bag of stem cells (Insert Baa-Baa Black Sheep Joke Here) Things are not so dire; he is feeling a little better and is taking small pleasures in just being able to sit outside. Usually when we talk I've learned not to ask how he is feeling or 'what happens next'... I try to steer the conversation to be about nutty things my father did this week.

CAT: I'm still at odds with my cat Dinah. She can be so adorable at times, but last week we fought quite a bit. She's taken to trying to wake me up by biting my feet at 3 in the morning. All the cat training books and web-sites say that the worst thing you can do is to yell at a cat when they do anything bad. Yeah, try that when you've just been attacked in the middle of the night. The attacks are random and sometimes come out of nowhere. I'm probably at fault; I know I don't play enough with her and she's just going nuts being home all day by herself. I've even thought of a second cat, but I'm not sure if my cat allergies would handle it. I think this would be better if I had deep feelings for her, but she's not been the coziest kitten. It's like having a roommate that doesn't like me very much.
Oh and get this story. So a couple weeks ago I was in my kitchen, probably on the computer, and I hear this horrific scream from the living room. I assume Dinah was up on the windowsill trying to get a better look at the birds that perch on the building next door, and she got her leg caught in the blinds. I made it in there just in time to see her to be crouched in the middle of the floor, in attack mode, hissing. I'd never seen her so violent. She crawled and limped to the bedroom and hid under the bed. I would call her and she'd come out only to hiss and moan. In her mind it was my fault she got caught up in the blinds. After a half hour of 'Crouching Kitten, Hiding Owner" I decided that this was 'bad' and I'd have to somehow get her into the travel cage and to the Vet Emergency Room. Ten minutes of hissing, biting and crawling under the cabinets, I just left the cage open and I sat across the room. She walked right in and I slammed the door.

Now the Vet ER on a Sunday has to be the saddest place in the whole world. Everyone there looks stressed. The staff was amazing. The woman who admitted us couldn't have been sweeter. I don't know how they do it every day. Can you imagine? In a way it's got to be worse than a people emergency room. Unconscious puppies, limping Greyhounds, puking Australian Sheep dogs.
Long story, short. Dinah was fine... she just scared herself and pulled a muscle in her leg. They gave me some pain medicine and a $400 bill. I told the nice receptionist, "The pain medicine is for me, right?" That evening Dinah was jumping about like nothing happened. Ah the drama. I don't know how people have children.

BODY: So I'm on my 3rd full month of being at the gym. I've been trying to go at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4. I've lost a total of zero pounds. Although, I did seem to firm up a bit in the waist. A pair of pants that wouldn't even button before were button able, but unwearable. This last week was really bad for going to the gym. Every night I seemed to have something to do, and it involved eating a ton of food and drinking beer or wine. After 8 days of constant eating and drinking I want to do a bit of detox this week. Nothing but salads and water. So what did I have for lunch? A Big Mac. But I did have it with the McDonald's bottled water. Which I found out contains salt! Salt in the water. If you didn't get enough salt with your fries, wash it down with some salt water.
But I swear I'm back to the gym tomorrow. I've going to try to do the Climb the Hancock race next February. I missed this year. I've been doing the StairMaster and I'm up to 20 floors in 7 minutes. After which I gasp for air and point to the nearest defibrillator. The only thing that keeps me going to the gym is the sauna and the whirlpool... I'm addicted. I like the sauna when it's quiet; I think that people shouldn't talk when they are in a sauna. This is my personal time to sweat. But I did hear a funny conversation recently. Two Middle Eastern guys were talking.
Man One: Did you get a job yet.
Man Two: No. I may start to drive a cab.
Man One: Are you crazy? Driving a cab is for people who come here but who can't do anything else.
Man One: I don't know what else to do, I need money to start a business.
Man Two: If you start driving a cab you will never stop. It's an addiction. You'll see how much money you can make and then you'll keep driving looking for more and more fares. I know many men who said that they would drive only for a couple of years, and 25 years later they are still driving. Promise me you won't start.

I had no idea that cab driving was such a problem.

SOCIAL LIFE: As I said, it seemed like every evening last week I was out. This Saturday I did something very interesting. I got invited to a play reading party. It was at the home of a co-worker of a friend, Gloria. The party was made up of four couples who have been doing this for 43 years! We read a Noel Coward play called "Hay fever". It was one of those rollicking English country manor farces with a crazy family. I played a young boxer who was smitten with the lady of the household, a famous stage actress. It was all very droll. Later we had a wonderful dinner, which I stuffed myself for the eighth day in a row.
Afterwards, Gloria and I went to the famous Pump Room at the Ambassador Hotel. I can't believe I'd never been. It was awesome! The photos on the walls are worth the trip. Durante, Sinatra, Don Knotts, Tom Bosley... everyone you can think of has their photo up there. It was a great people watching place. Old dames in their best dresses, purchased in 1969 and just taken out of the plastic for the evening, danced with their rich husbands to a jazz band.

A couple sat next to us, the woman must have been in her seventies. She had way too much work done on her face. Have any of these women ever seen "Brazil"? They got up to dance with her husband and the thing that I noticed was just how nice her ass looked. Over 70, no matter how much you do yoga you're asses won't point up. I felt like saying, "I don't know who did that, but good job."

BLOGGING STRESS: It gets harder and harder to come up with ideas for posts. After a year and a half, I've just about exhausted my magazines. Although I still have a bunch left to scan. I might try doing more theme days. Years ago I was dating someone and after telling a funny story that I had told a million times before, I stopped and said, "That's it, I having absolutly nothing else to tell you... I realized I'm out of stories..." The Kitten Wednesdays are fun because if I find something on the weekend I just put it in my holding bin. I've got posts ready for the next month. I was maybe planning on adding on doing an essay type post on Sundays. Longer, more words than pictures. Maybe Tuesday could be music days. I'm trying to find ways to put the fun back into this. Although I love it, sometimes it starts to feel like just another diversion to cleaning my apartment, which by the way is a complete mess. But how do people find the time to do this every day?

Thanks for reading. Talk soon...