Monday, September 29, 2008

Paul Newman

1925 - 2008

Creative actor and director. Handsome movie star. Charitable gentleman. Adventurous guy. He bore both his blessings and his troubles with uncommon grace. He will be honoured and missed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good for what ails you!


Music therapy is of undisputed assistance for many ailments and disorders. My story will not add to this scientific fact, however you may not be aware of the healing powers of Joe and Eddie. I was feeling poorly - aches, chills, the yuckies - but one listen of There's a Meetin' Here Tonight and darn if the miseries didn't disappear.

Joe Gilbert (tenor) and Eddie Brown (baritone) were both born in 1941 and brought up in the southern US. Joe in New Orleans, LA and Eddie in Norfolk, VA. Their families relocated to Berkeley, CA in the 50s and it was at Willard High School, in the A Capella Choir that Joe and Eddie met and teamed up for a High School Talent Show. They won first place. Naturally, they decided to pursue show business and the good looking, talented folk/gospel duo won many fans. Record albums, television programs and night club appearances across North America kept them busy. A 1966 car accident claimed the life of Joe Gilbert. Eddie Brown can update you on his story at http://www.joeandeddie.com/

Here is a link to Joe and Eddie's performance of Children, Go Where I Send Thee on The Danny Kaye Show. I'll wager it will trump any other favourite versions you may have of the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UozDAfeEa-c

While you're in YouTube land, check out the other Joe and Eddie posts from fans. They are scant in number, but mighty in talent. Take special note of their take of Phil Ochs That's the Way It's Gonna Be (bless his hippy heart). It's a dandy! The amazing Janet thinks it should be a movie theme. Her idea leads to the thought that many a performer or song from the past enjoys a revival when placed in a current movie by some backward looking director. If I may presume to speak on behalf of the Joe and Eddie fans, the gentlemen are overdue.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Politics in the movies

During September the inestimable Turner Classic Movies is presenting a series of movies related to politics. It's a grand lineup featuring everything from The Best Man to The Great McGinty to Gabriel Over the White House.

Today I consider my little corner of the blogosphere an adjunct to TCM's series. Years ago I formed a number of opinions regarding the goings on in the nation's capital. During my John LeCarre phase (spy thrillers) I came to the conclusion that Pierre Trudeau was a Communist mole. I had pretty much dismissed that early fantasy until Castro showed up at his funeral!

Some years ago it suddenly struck me that Parliament was just a job and sometimes a game. The ruling party puts forward a motion and the opposition opposes it. That's how things get done. Checks and balances. Reporter shmoozing is followed by a beer at a local pub. I came to this conclusion back in the 80s when those hail and hearty middle-aged Cabinet Ministers Jean Chretien and John Crosbie would show up on the CBC to discuss some matter of current import. Without saying the exact words, they would (in their distinctive and delightful regional accents) call each other and their opposing parties idiots or bastards depending on the particular issue at hand. They put me in mind of that great cinematic team, Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. Therefore, for your entertainment and edification, please enjoy Double or Mutton.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLWiKuDpbks

Monday, September 8, 2008

Shining a light

The Paralympic Games in Beijing opened on September 6th, 2008 with the most awe-inspiring and humbling moment I have ever witnessed on television.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kciyrz_ZCkY&feature=related

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mr. Melendez

Jose Cuauhtemoc "Bill" Melendez
November 15, 1916 - September 2, 2008


If you're ever watching an old Warner Bros cartoon from the 40s and note a credit for animator J.C. Melendez, that would be the young fellow who started out at Disney in 1938, moved to Termite Terrace and in 1964 won an Emmy and a Peabody when, under Bill Melendez Productions he combined forces with a certain "Sparky" and Lee Mendolson to bring us A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Writer, animator, producer, director and actor (the voice of Snoopy), Bill Melendez was the original Joe Cool.

For more, check out this amazingly cool (what else?) site:
http://www.billmelendez.tv/