Sunday, February 19, 2017

It SIMMS nobody is talking about the father of Paul Simon

Only here, at the blog of less renown, do you hear about Lee Simms.

To be honest, it's because this is a peculiar place, and Mr. Simms has no reason to be considered more than an odd footnote in music history.

When Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had a fluke hit as “Tom and Jerry,” singing an Everly Brothers-type tune called “Hey Schoolgirl,” his label had another Simon issuing a 45 rpm. It was Paul’s father Louis, who was billed as Lee Simms. Whether it was to smooth over any paternal concern about his teenage son signing a label deal, or a sincere belief that Louis had talent, nobody seems to recall.

Louis Simon/Lee Simms led a dance band that was capable of standards and jazz. He also played bass. Mostly he and his group worked minor area nightclubs and halls, but thanks to his son Paul, he got to release a lone single featuring the instrumentals “Blue Mud” and “Simmer Down.”

Back then, there was a blurry line between pop and jazz and between edgy teen tunes and middle of the road music. Alongside The Beach Boys or Little Richard or The Coasters, Billboard might point to Acker Bilk’s “Stranger on the Shore,” Louis Armstrong’s “Hello Dolly” or even Mitch Miller with the “Colonel Bogey March.” Simms' "Blue Mud" sounds a bit like a Hugo Winterhalter 45 played at 33. As for "Simmer Down," you can't say it was that hot, but the gag is that it plays on Lee's last name. Har har.

Lee Simms didn't seem to ever play on his son's fame. His journeyman band did well for a while, and that was that. I think Lee Simms eventually became Louis Simon again, and took up teaching. He used to tell his son Paul that this was a much nobler profession than music. Even when Paul Simon was one of America's most important songwriters, Lou was figuring that one day, Paul's fame would wane, and he'd go into teaching.

There was a Father and Son reunion of sorts when Lee Simms' single was added onto the bogus Pickwick album, "The Hit Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel." To fill out the album of old Tom and Jerry recordings, and Paul's Jerry Landis solo singles, the label included "Blue Mud" and "Simmer Down," both credited to L.Simon/Prosen (that's Sid Prosen), and now re-titled “Tijuana Blues” and “Simon Says.”

For extra fun, the album also had “True or False,” a faux-Elvis number Lou Simon wrote that Paul recorded as Jerry Landis. Look out below. It's your chance to sample Simms, and be an educated consumer. (Oh, the clothing guy spelled it Syms...nevermind...)

TIJUANA BLUES LEE SIMMS and his ORCHESTRA

SIMON SAYS LEE SIMMS and his ORCHESTRA

BARBI BENTON: HUGH HEFNER, ROMAN POLANSKI - “HE’S A REBEL”

Any good news in 2017?

Well…PLAYBOY announced a return to nudity. They seem to have decided they don’t want to be Millennial assholes like Maxim. They also know that nothing is going to help or hurt their newsstand sales, so better to have a big-boobed bitch fall on her shield when the mag bites the dust, than to say, “We desperately tried to be like a shitty lad mag.”

Hefner has been trying to sell his mansion, has seen a lot of changes since he bravely launched Playboy in the 50’s, and he’s withstood the sniping that involves kicking a man when he's down and old. Several ingrate siliconed sillies have gossiped about what life is like living with a very old sex magazine editor. One cunt even wrote a book about it. Be glad to be in the presence of a legend, you bitches. He’s a rebel, and YOU’LL never ever be any good.

I thanked him once, not just for the centerfolds, which included some women who went on to greatness (one married Dick Martin, one married and divorced Mort Sahl). The bigger picture beyond the three-page centerfold, was that this guy paid good money in support of an incredible list of important writers and cartoonists, and his Playboy clubs helped nurture so many great stand-up comedians and jazz artists. I thanked him for bringing us and helping out Shel Silverstein, Kliban, Dick Gregory, Mort and Lenny, Gahan Wilson and many more.

He paid big bucks just to get Nancy Sinatra to pose naked, and yep, I stood on line to get an autographed copy from her. I took a moment to mention how much I liked one of her un-critically acclaimed albums, "Nancy." It had what might be the definitive version of "Son of a Preacher Man" on it. She was hoping it would be re-issued on CD, and pretty much held up the line to talk about the album with me. Thanks Nancy. Thanks, Hef! (“Can I call you Hef??” Felix Unger)

Another bit of news: Roman Polanski has once again tried to deal with the law-assholes in Los Angeles to get all charges dropped, after ALL THESE YEARS. Yeah, beloved L.A., where his pregnant wife was butchered. L.A., where a plea-bargain was reached and a sneaky judge let leak that he was gonna lock up Polanski and through away the key, instead. PS, the girl involved has said long ago, it’s time to leave the little bastard alone. Did he ever offend again? Not that we know. Did he contribute a lot of art to the world since then? Yes.

Barbi Benton? The former Barbara Klein recently celebrated her 67th birthday, on January 28th. Thanks to you too, lady, for being another of those all-American babes that happily got naked. She wasn't a bad singer, either. Who’s a rebel today? Kanye West, wearing his dresses and his fur coats and pouting his anus-like mouth because he isn’t taken seriously as a fashion designer? Who’s a rebel today? Trump? Who’s a rebel today? Some football player taking a knee but keeping his slave name? Who’s a rebel today that could’ve been in those vintage pages of Playboy with Norman Mailer, Shel Silverstein, Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce?

Barbi Benton HE'S A REBEL Instant download or listen on line, no ads, no pop-ups, no Zinfart password.

Grammy dis of Jimmy Webb (Pocketful of Keys - Thelma Houston)

What was the big news at the Grammy awards? Low-class cow Adele won a “Best Album” award and instantly brayed that it should’ve gone to the tacky, ridiculous Beyonce. Oh, the racism! The head of the Grammy show also had to defend the show and tally up how many nominees "of color" there were, and contrast it with the number that won. Meanwhile, isn't it a fact that rap and R&B get so much time on the show that entire categories are ignored, and classical artists almost never get to perform? Hasn't Jay-Z been the host more often in the past years than anyone else?

One thing that was not addressed was why black artists have legitimized stealing. It’s called “sampling.” Or, heh heh, “sharing.” These days it’s hip (hop) to take somebody else’s melody and vocoder it a little and say it’s uniquely yours. It’s cool and legal to grab a sound effect somebody worked hard to achieve, and use it on your own song. Yo, be like Kanye the Genius - steal a third of a Jimmy Webb song, call it “Famous,” get Grammy nominations, and shrug when Webb isn’t nominated.

Since the media is too busy kissing Beyonce’s ass (how many people worked on her "Lemonade" album...dozens), and Kanye’s ass (17 people credited on "Famous") they sure as hell ignored old Jimmy’s complaint. Jimmy is a member of an unfashionable minority group. He's one of those antiquated singer-songwriters who don't rely on a committee of people or a dozen different producers to put out a product. Ageism is ok, while we cry about how Black lives matter and no other group. Not the Native Americans who tried to block a polluting pipeline. Not even the Latinos being literally walled out. Not older musicians who can't get label deals or any respect from companies that pay more attention to twits like Ariana Grande and twats like Beyonce.

Webb's attempt at seeking publicity and justice turned out to be just another hapless grumble on somebody’s Facebook page. HIS. Yes, reduced to muttering to his fans on Facebook about it, Jimmy pointed out that “More than 35% of ‘Famous’ is rooted in my song ‘Do What You Gotta Do.'”

Kanye West’s “Famous,” was nominated for Grammy awards in both the Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance categories. Webb has had a long, long career and written dozens of hit songs and dozens more that are excellently crafted works of art. How many Grammy awards do you think he has? Three. And, (shiver), his “Song of the Year” Grammy was for the horrible “Up Up and Away” sung by the black group The Fifth Dimension. Some of his most obscure songs ("Laspitch," "Friends to Burn") beat the entire Rihanna catalog.

Today, most performers rely on a formulaic bunch of producers and writers to give them the BEATS and EFFECTS to ride mediocre music and lyrics into the ears of moronic Millennial listeners.

Jimmy: “There are twelve writers on ‘Famous’ nominated to win Grammys, each responsible for about 5% of the song. And I, Jimmy Webb, AM NOT a nominated songwriter for ‘Famous....'So why am I being denied a nomination? Grammys ‘do not credit writers of sampled material or interpolated material in any of our song categories’. This is not a mere sample and it is more than ‘interpolated material’: ‘Do What You Gotta Do,’ with a new recording of Rihanna singing, is the first thing the listener hears, and what draws them in on West’s ‘Famous’ – it is the face of the song. The use of my chords and melody throughout becomes the backbone. And there it rests on the great Nina Simone singing ‘Do What You Gotta Do’ at the end. ‘Do What You Gotta Do is what the listener is left with, it is the foundation of ‘Famous.’ ‘Famous’ doesn’t stand without ‘Do What You Gotta Do.'”

The Grammy jerks told Jimmy that he could “submit a proposal” to alter the “rules.” Right. The rules are rigged and they won't change. They favor the NEW power, where record labels are bastard children to Spotify, Amazon and iTunes, and ego jerks such as Beyonce and Kanye are royalty. For all the whining about blacks not getting their fair share, those two, and a lot of rappers, outsell Paul Simon, Paul McCartney and Elton John. Guys like Jimmy Webb or Randy Newman are lucky to be on a label at all." The situation would be less painful if the work was "art." If it was GOOD. It sucks. Ed Sheeran sucks. Taylor Swift sucks. As for Beyonce and Kanye, they are even more annoying, as they parade around in Goddess gowns or flaunt gold-plated toilet seats. Queen Bey poses pregnant like she's the newly crowned Queen of Sheba. His Lordship of the Leather Skirt and Fur Coat, Kanye West, sinks into a glower if people don't bow down to him, or acknowledge his shit-eyed fat-assed Kardashian porn-video-leak-whore as beautiful and talented.

That’s the “sea change.” That’s the “paradigm.” That's having the power to ignore Webb's plea for fairness.

Back in the day, black artists recorded Jimmy Webb’s songs and he got paid. It was that simple.

They didn't "sample" something. They respected the artist, and sang the lyrics as they were written. Back then, it did not seem to matter if a white guy wrote the song a black artist sang, or vice versa. Yes, the music biz was corrupt, with its Payola and its power struggles, but people got paid. Maybe Webb and Donna Summer got a lot, with “Macarthur Park.” Maybe the royalty check wasn't so much when Thelma Houston recorded “Pocketful of Keys.” It was a better system back then. The latter song is your download. It's worth noting that back then, there wasn't a lot of racial cliche shit going on. Thelma Houston didn't buy into the cliche of singing nothing but soul songs. She wanted to cover a very thoughtful character study from Mr. Webb, and she did. No wonder it's so obscure it gets mentioned here. Good songs are rarely popular, huh? And the “songwriter” is more endangered than the manatee.

Pocketful of Keys Thelma Houston

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Stan Boreson - Just Doesn't Look Good Dead

No, no, that's NOT one of my Photoshop jobs. That actually is Stan, in a moment from his music video for "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore."

Irwin Corey lived to be 102. Stan Boreson lived to be 91. For most of us, we can rationalize, "well, they lived a long life." But you can bet they would've wanted to live longer. This would be especially true of Stan Boreson, who was not only a very functional 91, but still had the company of his beloved wife Barbara.

So, all grim humor aside, you can be sure he didn't look good dead, and didn't want to be dead. He would've wanted to go on performing novelty songs, one of the last of the comic jingle-guys.

But "ordinary" novelty songs isn't what made him famous. It was Swedish dialect stuff.

Musical ethnic comedy? Back in the 50’s and early 60’s, there was tons of it on vinyl. You wanted Italian stupidity? Lou Monte. You wanted Jewish idiocy? Mickey Katz. Any accent, from Irish to ‘Negro,’ was hilarious, and singing in that dialect even more fun. As Jose Jimenez, Bill Dana got huge laughs from bleating a Latino-accented version of Hildegarde’s “Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup.”

Generally, members of the ethnic group being "insulted" laughed the loudest and wanted more. As offensive and nasal as Mickey Katz's schtick was, the Jews bought it. And in places where Scandanavian immigrants were plentiful (especially the states of Washington and Minneapolis), the record stores had plenty of Swedish accent comedy from Yogi Yorgesson (born Harry Skarbo, who also performed as Harry Stewart and even sang Japanese dialect as Hari Kari) and the team of Stan Boreson and Doug Setterberg, who began by covering Yogi's "Yingle Bells" Swedish Christmas parodies.

Ultimately, it was the solo Boreson (May 5, 1925- January 27, 2017) who became the “King of Scandanavian Humor. Boreson was also a big favorite on local TV in Seattle. He was still active even as CDs began to eclipse vinyl. On his website, you could order all of the classics, both the stuff with Setterberg and the solo albums, from “Yust Go Nuts at Christmas” and “Stan Boreson Fractures Christmas” to “Those Swedish Meatballs” and “More Scandihoovian Hits.” Fans were delighted when there would suddenly be a new novelty song from the old master.

Stan was married to his wife Barbara for 64 years, and she reports that the end “was peaceful.” After dinner, he collapsed. It was a stroke, and he didn't survive much longer after the attack.

Unlike Jewish dialect or many other ethnic dialect comedy, the market for Swedish goofery wasn't that large, and the Grammy award people didn't come nominating. The early albums with Setterberg and the later stuff on CD didn't exactly go Gold. Still, there was always the sliver of comedy record collectors who bought anything for the collection, and the larger swath of fans in Washington who loved him and his Swedish accent. Though not seen too often on TV, Boreson did get some recognition beyond local media. King Harald V of Norway presented him with the St. Olav’s Medal in 2005. Which is pretty impressive for anyone who knows what it is.

While it might be argued that Yogi Yorgesson’s name should come first, since he pioneered Scandanavian novelty songs and wrote many of them, Boreson was more prolific. As times changed, he wisely varied his act to include more than just dialect stuff. That includes your download below, a self-parody that most any elderly person could relate to. What makes it funny is hearing the self-deprecating Boreson make the sad reality into comedy. Comedy is when Stan sings about it. Tragedy is when it happens to you!

Stan Boreson, sans Swedish dialect… I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore

Springtime Cometh...Irwin Corey Goeth

He was "The World's Foremost Authority," and may be "The World's Longest-Lived Comedian." Professor Irwin Corey died at the age of 102. That beats George Burns. 102 is beyond being a ripe old age. It's pretty rotten.

I don't know in what state of infirmity Irwin spent the last two years of his life, but, happily, he was still spry when he hit 100. A party was held for him, and he offered up a few lucid jokes for the cameras. The only signs of age were a few missing teeth, and a gruesome cataract in one eye. He also was missing his wife, who had died a few years earlier. Their life together was the subject of a TV documentary.

Corey (July 29, 1914-February 6, 2017) was often described as "puckish." The little guy developed his persona as an eccentric, windy lecturer. Just as his contemporary Brother Theodore would come out garbed in black, and fully in character, he would arrive in a long frock coat, mussed hair, seemingly dazed and confused, the very picture of an oddball academian. He had the guts to ignore the audience, make them wait, and maintain a long silence while he pulled faces and seemed to be trying to think of the right way to begin his talk. He'd then utter a emphatic "However..." as if he'd already been on stage for 10 minutes. The crowd loved it. They loved him.

Corey had a strong, strong personality, and his sly wit and satire, snuck in under the guise of confusion, was a great gimmick. As the years went on, he became a very radical and outrageous comedian. From mainstream humor, he followed Lenny Bruce into political and religious jokes. The more he was asked to tone it down, the wilder he became. The hilariously rambling guy would keep right on pontificating on Steve Allen's show, while Steve cried out for a commercial break. He became a bit too uncompromising for network TV. You just weren't sure what he was going to say.

"Is there life after birth?" the seemingly innocuous and confused professor would ask. "Well, Richard Nixon...he's an example of afterbirth!"

He became pretty bitter when the TV talk shows stopped booking him, and he'd end up on SCREW's cable show "Midnight Blue" instead. Like so many older comics he admired, including Sahl and Winters, Corey wasn't getting the stand-up work he craved. The comedy clubs that booked Seinfeld, Emo, Tenuta or Kinison just didn't book the older stars.

Fortunately Corey was also a pretty good actor, and he could find some work in movies and on the stage. I don't know that he sang often, but one musical item survives: "Springtime Cometh," from the failed musical "Flahooley." This show, actually, was on the boards when Corey was a rising comic, not at all controversial. The show was a can't miss, with a wild cast that included an exotic sensation named Yma Sumac.

I actually saw a revival of the show, and it made no sense. I think it had something to do with a genie (played by Corey). It wasn't too musical, it wasn't a comedy, and the name of the show made it seem like it was a variation of "Fiorello" and about an Irish politician. I remember being pretty bored, and wondering if it would've been saved if the original cast was doing it. Below, you will find it, for your morbid curiosity. And to satisfy the blog's requirement that it BE a music blog, and no entry be an exception.

Corey was, as you might imagine, a very eccentric guy in real life. Married to the same woman since the 40's, he could seem quite normal, stable, and friendly. But he could also be irascible, feisty and stubborn. New Yorkers were sometimes startled to recognize him, in his 90's, seeming like a homeless man, selling used magazines to strangers. He simply didn't like to see the discarded magazines in his building go to waste, and with nothing much better to do, enjoyed hawking them at half price, or whatever, with the proceeds going to charity. His idea of a charity was sending it to the Cubans. Hey, Castro wasn't all bad.

The last time I saw him was when he performed in a revival of "Sly Fox." The guy who was known for mad ad-libbing and refusing to let Steve Allen break for a commercial, was an absolute pro in what was a small but running-gag role. He didn't "break the wall," wink to the audience, or put any excess "Professor" spin on his lines. He played it absolutely straight, and got huge laughs every time.

Irwin didn't quite make it to Springtime or to the summer that would've brought him to Jiminy Cricket's hoped-for age of 103. But he did reach a feverish 102, and he was a legend in his own time as well as, of course, in his own mind.

Irwin Corey sings... Springtime Cometh

Lyrics to "The Newlywed Game Theme" via Eddie Rambeau

Yeah, the blog does have a lot of "obits with music." So...here's a celebration of THREE guys who are STILL ALIVE.

Snickering Bob Eubanks, who hosted "The Newleywed Game," and wrote his autobiography is still around. The book is called "In the Book, Bob," a play on "In the BUTT, Bob," which was a famous reply on that game show. Asked for the most unusual place she'd ever made love, that's what one newlywed replied.

The Newlywed Game had nothing to do with Anthony Newley. He didn't write the theme. The theme was actually written by Chuck Barris, who had a hit for Freddie Cannon with "Palisades Park." That one was pretty much a two minute commercial for a New Jersey theme park.

Barris is still with us. This, despite embarrassing and often ridiculous ways of shooting himself in the foot and wanting people to kill him. This includes that autobiography claiming he was a paid killer. Chuckles knew how much money a TV theme can be worth, so he snuck in his own tune, sans lyrics.

The original was called "Summertime Guy," and was waxed by Eddie Rambeau (also still alive, and pictured in his prime teen-idol days). Most people don't know the infamous game show theme had lyrics. Most don't care. And that opinion won't be changed by listening to the download.

SUMMERTIME GUY, music later used as... The Theme for the Newlywed Game

Listen on line or download. No "turn off your adblock" crap, no pop-ups, no Zinfart password ego games.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

"Touched" By MIKE CONNORS (Tightrope and Mannix)

The passing of Mike Connors (August 15, 1925-January 26, 2017) wasn't a heavy topic in the news. Not with everyone still mourning Mary Tyler Moore. He was also 91, while Mary was 80, and Mary was still sometimes in the news, or receiving a "lifetime achievement" award. I'm not sure if "Mannix" is even in re-runs on some cable network somewhere.

I didn't realize he was THAT forgotten until I happened to mention him to a woman in her late 40's. She gave me a mildly blank cow-expression and asked "Mike Connors?" And I said, "He was Mannix. It was a 70's detective series." "Oh, she said, that was so long ago..."

Well, then, bitch, no point in me mentioning "Tightrope," then.

To be fair, "Tightrope" didn't last long, circa 1960, and I didn't see an episode till I was doing VHS TV show trading on the Net. But to not know "Mannix?" Time does pass, along with people. But yeah, SEVERAL GENERATIONS have been added to the planet since "Mannix" was in the Top 20.

I can understand not caring too much about the show. It was just filler, something to watch, and it featured a likable middle-aged guy in Connors, who lacked the pathos of David Janssen, the sophistication of Vaughn, or the eccentricities of his contemporary TV detectives like fat William Conrad and old Buddy Ebsen. He was just a throwback to the typical action hero who had a good voice, an average-handsome face, and no outstanding abilities in terms of brain or brawn. Mannix could get beaten up and he could also get baffled.

Mike Connors made it look easy. Season after season, "Mannix" stayed on the air while a lot of snappier shows with more charismatic stars failed.

Mike didn't get into the papers much. He was kind of boring; he was married to the same woman, Marylou, since 1949. About the only eccentric thing about him was that early in his career, when he had to do his share of goofy sci-fi films and rock-and-roll exploitation films, he was billed as "Touch Connors." This was the studio's way of pushing him into the same fan mags that were running photos of Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter.

No doubt the Huelbigs who nerdfully shuffled to his memorabilia table were as prone to ask him to sign a movie still from "Shake Rattle and Rock" or "The Day The World Ended" as a portrait shot from "Mannix" or "Tightrope."

"Tightrope," as a theme song, is pretty solid fare. The "Mannix" theme is a bit too lilting. Does it really sound like a detective theme, or something that could've opened "Love on a Rooftop" or "Bridgit Loves Bernie" or some other silly romantic sitcom from 40 or more years ago?

"Tightrope" is credited to Johnny Gregory, while "Mannix" appears on an album by Chaquito, which isn't an alias for Gregory himself. It's for the band. Chaquito recorded a lot of Latin stuff, to be bought by the same people bought Cugat and Esquivel lounge music. "Mannix" is on "Chaquito Plays the Themes From TV Thrillers," and the liner notes pointedly give Gregory credit as the producer and arranger. The trumpet solo on "Mannix" is credited to a guy actually named Albert Hall. John, born in 1928, is still with us. Thank you for your many albums of TV theme music and other exotica, and for doing your reliable job of stretching a quick 30-40 second TV theme past the required two minutes for an album track.

TIGHTROPE written by George Duning and waxed by Johnny Gregory and his Orchestra

MANNIX written by Lalo Schifrin and waxed by Chaquito (Arranged and Conducted by John Gregory)

HALE and FAREWELL - One of the stars of the Classic TV era: Barbara Hale

The blog salutes Barbara Hale (April 18, 1922 – January 26, 2017) one of the nicest stars in Hollywood.

Here she is, with Raymond Burr, as he finds new and startling evidence about the single bullet theory.

As "Della Street" she didn't do much, but she did it very well. The show ran for over 200 episodes, from 1957 to 1966, and between 1985 and 1995 there were an additional 30 made-for-TV moves. That's a lot of Street walking. Through it all, Barbara as Della made the most of the knowing glance and the concerned stare.

"Hi beautiful," was Paul Drake's consistent greeting to her. But, no, she wasn't exactly beautiful. She wasn't exactly sexy. She just was a good-looking comfortable presence. Nobody would have the temerity to suggest that she was more mistress than secretary to Perry Mason, nor would they have any reason to think that she had any great ability to give the great lawyer any legal advice. Barbara Hale simply made everything better just by being around.

An irony is that Barbara really was sexy early in her movie career. HOW sexy was she...

She padded her career (didn't need padding elsewhere) with B-movies. She was a spunky cowgirl in "The Falcon Out West," and co-starred with Robert Mitchum in "West of the Pecos." Also in the cast was Bill Williams. He was the lucky one, and married Barbara. Bill would later gain fame among baby-boomers as "Kit Carson" during the 50's "Western craze" that saw dozens upon dozens of "oaters" filling up prime-time and Saturday mornings. Bill Williams' real last name was Katt. He never officially changed it, and his son with Barbara, was "William Katt." He played Paul Drake Jr. in some of the "Perry Mason" made-for-TV movies.

Barbara considered me a pretty big fan of both herself and her husband. She gifted me with a couple of odd autographed photos. One was of herself with Raymond Burr, signed by both of them, and the other, a photo of Bill as "Kit Carson," and signed by him. I can choose to think she had a small stash of these around and gave them to very special people, or that she had a bigger collection and had some fun forging Raymond Burr and Bill Williams.

Either way, I treasure them.

Real Barbara fans would also point out that she played Jolson's wife in the sequel, "Jolson Sings Again," and was a big enough star to snare the lead as that attractive cookie "Lorna Doone" (1951). She was back to Westerns in the next few years: Last of the Comanches, Seminole (get your mind out of the gutter, that's an Indian tribe), Houston Story, The Oklahoman and 7th Cavalry. But then came the "Perry Mason" years, and...yes...that famous theme song.

It was a dignified, dark and moody theme song and it conveyed an aura of mystery But...

....if you listen to the music without conjuring up an image of Raymond Burr, you might agree that the original title, "Park Avenue Beat" is appropriate...and this is actually some pretty sexy R&B jazz. It's the kind that could be played while a stripper performs, or in a nightclub as hip couples grind against each other with their full bodies (and full bodied couples grind against each other with their hips).

Let Fred Steiner describe the origins of this double-named tune:

"The original title was "Park Avenue Beat," and the reason for that was I conceived of Perry Mason as this very sophisticated lawyer; eats at the best restaurants, tailor-made sutis and so on. Yet at the same time he was mixed up with these underworld bad guys, and murder and crime.

"So the underlying beat is R&B, rhythm and blues. In those days, jazz, R&B whatever, was always associated with crime. Those old film noir pictures, they've always got jazz going. It's like whenever you see a Nazi (in a film) they play Wagner. It's kind of symphonic R&B, that's why it's called "Park Avenue Beat," but since then it's been known as "The Perry Mason Theme."

"It's gone through several changes depending of the timing…they would change the main titles year in and year out. " Mostly, the changes have been in tempo. There's one big difference in the Perry Mason theme used for the 1980's made-for-TV movies: after the ominous introduction, there's a cymbal crash before the main theme begins. You get that version as well as two of the many vinyl cover versions released back in the day.

First up, Johnny Gregory's take, which does add some kind of weird instrumentation just for added color. Thankfully, it wasn't a zither. Johnny did try, as usual, to liven up to two minutes + a theme that originally lasted for half that time.

Yes, Hatch is the guy who was behind so many Petula Clark hits of the early 60's...and he radically changes the tempo to make this more of a teen dance number, that frug-head.

I wonder if Perry Mason ever heard "Park Avenue Beat" and imagined Della Street stripping to it! OK OK, that remark is "irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial..."

The Perry Mason Theme…. Johnny Gregory

The Perry Mason Theme…. Hatched by Tony

THE MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE THEME VERSION OF… The PERRY MASON Theme

DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY - BOB HOLIDAY

An irony is that Bob Holiday died not long after Dick Gautier. As far as Broadway is concerned, both were forgettable hunks, each known for merely supplying some beefcake for a musical hunk of hash.

Gautier died January 13th, and Bob Holiday died on January 27th (he was born in Brooklyn, November 12, 1932).

Bob Holiday was the 4th guy to become famous as Superman. There was Bud Collyer on radio (and in the theatrical cartoons), Kirk Alyn (in movie serials), George Reeves (on TV) and then, on Broadway, Bob Holiday.

“It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman” didn’t last very long on Broadway. The music and lyrics were from Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, who reached their peak with another pop musical some years earlier, “Bye Bye Birdie,” with Dick Gautier.

Unlike Gautier, who managed to stay in show business, Holiday didn’t hang around all that long. Realizing that there was no shortage of rugged and handsome stage singers (from John Raitt to Robert Goulet and back), and knowing there was a limited amount of time for him to play Prince Charming or Lancelot, he formed his own business, and did very well for over 30 years.

Bob was only five when he first appeared in a talent show. It was up in the Catskills, a tedious 3 hour ride from Brooklyn. He sang “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” He later tried “The Ted Mack Amateur Hour,” and then after Army service, worked nightclubs. His good looks got him work singing and being a stooge for Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren, both attractions in nightclubs. A neat bit of trivia: Bob once worked as an MC for “The Colony Club,” owned by Lee Harvey Oswald assassin Jack Ruby.

He parlayed a role in “Fiorello” into the part of Superman, and was almost larger than life (6’4”) on that Broadway stage. As you’ll hear below, there was room for both the Zap Bang Wallop camp of a singing superhero, and the angst of a lonely guy with an alter ego. The show arrived in March of 1966, so yes, you’ll hear in the music a dash of campy “Batman” antics, and almost cliche-type action music in the overture.

While the show didn’t last on Broadway (just 129 performances) there was enough curiosity for him to take the show on the road, and play Superman in summer stock productions. He turned up in Los Angeles for a production of “Promises Promises,” but eventually found a lucrative business as a home builder in Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania. Quite a few home owners got a kick out of being able to say, “Superman built my home!” And Bob got a kick out of the original cast album still being around, and Superman fanatics begging for his autograph. He even made some appearances at Superman memorabilia events.

There’s more info at Bob’s website, SupermanBobHolliday.

BOB HOLIDAY Overture and 2 SUPERMAN songs

Mary Tyler Moore is someplace in "Carolina in the Morning" with Dick Van Dyke

I don't know...I really can't bear to hear the fucking song again. But did the lyricist specify whether nothing could be finer than to be in NORTH or SOUTH Carolina?

I think North Carolina was the fictional home to Sheriff Andy Taylor and his Mayberry dingleberries. They were such an adorable bunch. BUT...South Carolina was where the "Swamp Fox" bedeviled the British troops during the American Revolution. The state is still swampy, and loaded with insects, but it does have some good history.

Then again, "Carolina" could be the name of a woman. Isn't that the beauty of lyrics? You can interpret them in so many ways.

Both North and South Carolina, and the rest of the nation, loved Mary Tyler Moore, no matter where she was in her TV world. "The Dick Van Dyke" show took place in Manhattan and New Rochelle, yet everybody watched. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" took place in Minneapolis, and yet it was as strong in the ratings in the South as in the frozen North.

Mary had an apartment right across from Central Park. It was well known to the birders, because it wasn't far from the nest of "Pale Male," the famous hawk. "Pale Mail" would swoop into the park and make off with a starling or a mouse or whatever, and bring some food back to his mate (of the year) and any offspring. Building residents were irritated that people in the park would set up their high-powered telescopes and binoculars and cameras to look at the birds and, egocentric prats that they are, "them." As if you could see into a window that high up from ground level. Mary was high profile in her support of "Pale Male," and in leaving the nest alone.

Mary was buried today, but not in a New York City location, or up in Woodlawn, the Bronx resting place for many famous eople. She was buried in a cemetery in Connecticut, which was immediately festooned by flowers and signs, thanks to whatever local Huelbig (German synonym for fanboy, or asshole) thought this would be a neat photo opportunity.

Maybe she'll rest in peace in a week or two, when the Huelbig assholes of the world stop their gawking.

Aside from the forgotten stage musical failure “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Mary Tyler Moore rarely had a chance to sing a solo song. I’m not sure if she did it much on her short-lived variety show (the one that had an ensemble cast that include a very embarrassed David Letterman trying his best to sing and dance).

Simply put, Mary is such an icon, so beloved, that despite this being the avowed “blog of less renown,” it was important to somehow get her in. Not that anyone cares about whether she’s on the blog except you and me. So…she was an underrated singer. How about that?

Below, one of her many duets from “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” If I had unlimited bandwidth, I might’ve added “I am a Fine Musician,” from one of the Christmas shows, only because Mary sings as a piccolo player and, in true Mary-fashion, gets a laugh by suddenly finding herself all alone on stage, and rushing away in charming high-pitched distress. “Deedle-deedle-dee!”

I was a Mary watcher, it turns out, before there was all that much of Mary to watch. Most Millennials have never heard of “Richard Diamond” (aka “Call Mr. D”). David Janssen (oh, the Selfie bunch don’t know HIM either) was a typical squinty, raspy-voiced detective and Mary played “Sam,” who took switchboard messages. You only saw her legs, and heard her sultry voice. Yes, remarkably enough, high-pitched Mary actually pitched her voice to be a little more Bacall, and pretty sexy.

Some very interesting dramatic roles followed and then came her breakthrough, playing the first sexy modern housewife in a sitcom. Everyone remembers the Capri pants she wore, in lieu of the traditional Donna Reed house dress. After "The Dick Van Dyke Show," Mary got her own long-running series.

Revisionist twats consider it a great example of “women’s lib.” Yeah? The show was written and produced by men. The theme song was written by a man. At the workplace, she had a male boss. Most of the comedy was based on her being timorous and insecure, not a feminist bitch. Mary wasn’t even that funny on the show, leaving it to an ensemble cast of kooks and weirdos to get all the laughs (same as comedian-turned-straight man Andy Griffith did with his Mayberry rubes a few years earlier).

The show was simply a good, charming sitcom, and it presented a realistic look at a single woman living on her own, but having a lot of vulnerable insecurities. The fact that we didn’t see her dating all that much, was simple enough: that shit ain’t funny. How do you get laughs watching a very bright and attractive woman going out with handsome hunks? Besides, we wanted Mary to ourselves. Guys wanted to spy on her in her home, ogle her at work, and NOT see her going out with too many handsome hunks. Female viewers would've been jealous of Mary having a social life (the sitcom was aired Saturday night, when anyone watching was obviously NOT on a date.)

Moore's show also kept Bob Newhart afloat for many many years. After you watched Mary at 9pm, you had nothing better to do than watch Bob, who came on to fill the next half hour. Bob was a lucky guy.

Mary want on to do some fine dramatic roles, and sparingly returned to the stage or to variety TV. The fact is, an attractive woman in her 50’s and 60’s is not going to get big laughs in the sitcom world unless she is a ridiculous horny “golden girl” or some kind of overbearing bitch (“Basil!”). Mary eased into semi-retirement, and then the uneasy battle with diabetes and other ills, including brain surgery. Yes, you wished for her the same serene joy of aging that her one-time co-star Betty White enjoyed. But life is…like that.

She was born in Brooklyn. There’s a statue of her in Minneapolis. It’s doubtful she would’ve wanted to be in “Carolina in the Morning,” but listen…she really was a Carolina songbird here. What a pretty, and clear voice she had.

DICK AND MARY CAROLINA IN THE MORNING

DICK GAUTIER - HONESTLY SINCERE

Dick Gautier (October 30, 1931-January 13, 2017) sang “Honestly Sincere,” and lived by those two words, at least in describing his rather humble career. He had a lot of humility, acknowledging that some of his most memorable roles had a down side. He played Robin Hood in a very short-lived Mel Brooks sitcom. Another sitcom, "Get Smart" only used him a handful of times. And despite having the title role in Broadway's "Bye Bye Birdie" he was denied the film version.

Dick made the most of his odd attribute: good looks that were too good to be true. He was almost a parody of a dashing leading man in his first (and I think last) Broadway role. The download below is from the “Bye Bye Birdie” original cast album. The show was an overlong musical sitcom based on Elvis Presley going into the army. Thanks to some good (at the time) tunes like “Put On a Happy Face,” even adults who hated Elvis music went to the show, which mostly featured MOR tunes. Theatregoers especially enjoyed the ebullient Dick Van Dyke (like Gautier, getting a huge break having been almost unknown) and a newly discovered stand-up comic named Paul Lynde. Lynde played the father of a star-struck Birdie fan. His lizard face and feverish grimaces of chagrin made him seem more neurotic than gay. He was of course, both.

Two members of the cast were NOT in the movie. Chita Rivera was deemed too ethnic (replaced by Janet Leigh) and Gautier was replaced by some guy named Jesse Pearson. As you’ll hear below, Gautier was not really the greatest singer in the world, but maybe that was the wicked aspect of the parody…that teen idiot girls would not only fall for a genuinely good singer like Elvis, but a bad one like Fabian. The show's producers apparently lumped Conway Twitty into the "not great singer" collection. Twitty (who had a slight Elvis moan on his hit "Only Make Believe" had the dubious honor of his silly name parodied as “Conrad Birdie.” Sure, the lead character could've been Elvis Pretzel or something like that. But "Birdie" put a little lawsuit distance between the show and Presley, and make it seem like all pop stars were being tweaked.

Of course the big deal a few years after “Bye Bye Birdie” was Gautier parlaying his wooden acting into the robot part on “Get Smart.“ He was so memorable he almost seems like a semi-regular (along with Bernie Kopell's "Siegfried") but no, he was used very sparingly. Some game show geeks will recall that he was a sly guy with a bluff on “Liar’s Club” and other daytime series. If you know him from anything else, you really are a fan!

Behind the scenes, Gautier showed other talents. He was an excellent artist, and wrote many books about cartooning. He also put together a very good book collecting the original art of other talented actors and actresses. He wrote an autobiography, and even a mystery novel, which unfortunately is only available in a Kindle edition.

You were expecting the ironic “I Got a Lot of Living to Do,” as the choice? No, no. Gautier’s “Honestly Sincere” was actually released as a single. The song was also covered by The Marcels, in appropriately goofy fashion. Not related to the writer Theophile, or to the French singer Mylene Farmer (born Gauthier), Dick was pretty unique nonetheless, and if you visit his dotcom, you can find out more.

DICK GAUTIER HONESTLY SINCERE

Settin' a Rap-Thief's Lust On Fire (and a salute to Homer & Jethro and Hank Williams)

Some years ago, this blog created a Photoshop item to go along with "Settin' the Woods on Fire."

It was this:

The ill-ustration was for Hank Williams' song about eating campfire chili so hot, he was "settin' the woods on fire" when he took a dump.

Rather than imagining ol' Hank, I had woman farting a combustible billow, and fanning (or fannying) the campfire flames.

As I usually do with "original works of art," I put an identifying ILLFOLKS tag on it.

The picture was cropped and stolen to wittily reference rap garbage on "tape." Yeah, cassettes, the hippest media on Earth.

Altogether now, "How TERRIBLE when somebody doesn't give credit for somebody else's HARD WORK."

Yo, there wasn't even a line about "credit to the original uploader."

Imagine that. And these rap pussies even "censor-blurred" the anus flame.

What ARE "mix tapes?" It's the Black culture's version of music stealing. The deal is home-made cassette tape collections (they still like the boom boxes, y'all) sold in bodegas or by some jerk sitting on the curb with a cardboard box marked "$4 each 3 for $10."

"Mix" is not much of an art form. Photoshop can be. In this case, I took a rather generic picture of a chick with her pants down, and dropped it close to a campfire, made a flaming fart shoot out of her ass, had the blast set a campfire blazing, and cloaked it all in the eerie darkness of a dark night in the South Carolina swamp.

At the risk of getting an affirmative nod from any rednecks out there, any five songs by Hank Williams will beat the ENTIRE output of ALL rap music ever released. Most of it is such inane shit, with such stoooooopid and illiterate rhymes. But let's get back to the REAL SHIT, which is DOPE, y'all.

I learned about Hank's intestinal inspiration from Merle Haggard:

"Hank was on the road, and they stopped at this Mexican joint. There wasn't a rest stop for miles so Hank went in the woods and took a shit. He said, 'I'm setting the fucking woods on fire!' That was the hottest godamn chili I've ever seen!' Before they'd driven another few miles, Hank had a song."

If Hank spied a lady squatting in the woods like the image above, he might've called out "Hey, good lookin' watcha got cookin'?" Or penned "Your Cheatin' Fart"

Submitted for a shit-eating grin, the Homer and Jethro version. H&J are still woefully neglected. While the "Sons of the Pioneers" have a box set from Bear Family, that company has NOT done one for Homer & Jethro. Doesn't the Bear Family shit in the woods? Don't they know that Homer & Jethro are far more entertaining than those campfire fruits? Face it, there's something mighty queer about cowboys all by themselves with no women, and harmonizing about tumbling tumbleweeds that perform 69 on each other. Not that a re-issue of all of Homer & Jethro will do those dead guys any good. Why, even back in the day they weren't makin' much money for their record label. To quote a revised line in this parody: "poor ol' Victor needs the money!"

H&J are SETTIN' THE WOODS ON FIRE

Monday, January 09, 2017

20 TONS OF TNT - 2017 Starts With Tremors (Marion Wade does Flanders & Swann)

Donald Trump.

Enough said.

People all around the world greeted 2017 with a very, very cautious sense of optimism. Which was mostly pessimism disguised by indifference and a few stiff drinks.

Will we have more terrorism? A less stable economy? Will the whole world simply explode?

On the positive side, it's been more than 50 years since the team of Flanders & Swann lowered their masks of comedy and soberly recorded "20 Tons of TNT."

Since you know who they are, my choice is the stark cover version from the unknown New York folkie, Marion Wade. She was as traditional as Peggy Seeger, and even made a point of accentuating the lyrics by going a cappella.

As the small circle here know, I'm perversely fond of SOME a cappella singing, especially idiotic college choirs. Most of the time (The Persuasions and The Mills Brothers would be exceptions) it's an art form that is very hard to take. The more voices added, and the more "arty" the performers are, the more laughable it becomes.

Here, as in the Irish tradition, a cappella is a weapon. You're supposed to pay attention, and even be uncomfortable with that solitary voice rising defiantly out of the silence. You're not being seduced by melody, you're forced to deal with the uncompromising lyrics, and a "voice of doom."

Marion Wade didn't have a Joan Baez voice, and that becomes evident very quickly!

Now WHO was Marion Wade?

An amateur enthusiast who was part of the Pinewoods Folk Music Club, Marion was a book seller, a writer, a mom, and one of the partners in the People's Voice Cafe. She didn't really become a touring performer until she retired. Then she had the time to go off and attend folk festivals, volunteer to sing in schools and public libraries, and self-press a souvenir album.

In 1983, the "folk boom" over by 20 years, Marion wasn't playing The Bitter End, like young Bob Dylan did. She was welcomed at...her own People’s Voice Cafe down in the Boho section of Manhattan, West Broadway near Spring and Broome Street. As late as 1989 she was still playing there, although it had moved a short distance to 133 West 4th. Yes, positively 4th Street. It was still a hippie (not hipster) part of town, with plenty of bookstores and record shops.

Marion offered an eclectic mix of traditional folk songs, oddities (like "20 Tons of TNT," which is the amount each person would be blasted with if the planet got Nuked), and her own material. For "What a Day of Victory" she added political lyrics to an old Protestant hymn, something a Dylan might do.

Like John Lennon, she ended up dying at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. She did linger long enough for her folkie friends to stop by, and if you want the romantic view, then, yes, "she died peacefully surrounded by family and friends." The date was September 9, 1990. She is remembered long, long after her death, and this little download is more proof of that.

She was also remembered shortly after her death, too. Back on September 9th, Marion's minister arrived...too late to pray but not too late to mourn. As Marion's friend Carole Rose Livingston recalled, the minister said, "Her body has just been removed to the hospital morgue. I will not feel right until I go to visit her. Does anyone wish to go with me?"

Carole and another friend joined the minister:

"In the morgue, an attendant pulled open a green metal drawer, and there, swathed in a sheet, with only her face visible, was Marion. We had come to the hospital to sing to Marion--so there in the morgue, the three of us sang her song to her. After her well-lived life, and her gallant struggle with cancer, it was indeed her day of victory."

MARION WADE: 20 TONS OF TNT

JANE MORGAN GETS HIP: MONDAY MONDAY & GOOD LOVIN’

We usually pay tribute to artistes when it’s too late. Let’s cut that out. I suggest to all bloggers that instead of the “R.I.P.” shit, and giving away entire discographies on Bowie or George Michael, show LOVE to the LIVING. They just might appreciate what Bill Dana called “that warm fuzzy paw on the back.”

Here’s a salute to Jane Morgan, a pleasant pop star who, as tastes began to change, tried to adapt via covers of The Mamas and the Papas and the Young Rascals, among others. OK, this didn’t quite please her older fans, or make many new ones. But these ARE valid interpretations.

Over the years, many older chickens tried to cross over from the middle of the road to the fast lane. Ethel Merman and Cab Calloway tried disco versions of their 78’s, and Bing Crosby tried "Hey Jude" while Frank Sinatra took on "Mrs. Robinson." The road goes in the opposite direction, too, from Pat Boone's heavy metal album to Bob Dylan warbling "Blue Moon" and Rod Stewart recording "The Great American Songbook."

92 year-old Jane Morgan (May 3, 1924) was born with the more evocative monicker of Flo Currier. Sounds like some kind of smoothie at an Indian restaurant, huh? She chose her more commercial name in tribute to two forgotten singers she admired, Janie Ford and Marian Morgan. Oddly enough, she became famous in France, where blonde Americans were scarce. She was signed by Polydor in 1949, and began recording bilingual singles, one side in French, the other in English. She parlayed this voo into gigs in French-speaking Montreal, and then got bookings in nightclubs in New York.

In those days BIG RECORD LABELS (those evil companies run by “The Man,” and whom Pirate Bay still urges us to “stick it to") were always looking for new talent. For Jane Morgan, “the man” was Jewish record exec David Kapp, who first worked at RCA (he was responsible for giving Gogi Grant her odd new name) and then formed Kapp Records. Her debut album was titled “The American Girl from Paris.”

She scored her most famous hit in 1957 with “Fascination.” Into the 60's, her song choices followed Andy Williams (she covered “Moon River”) and Matt Monro (“From Russia with Love”) among others. She was still trying to appeal to French audiences, with “Dominique,” “Poor People of Paris” and “C’est si Bon.”

She began recording for Epic in 1965 and they tried to update her sound with "Fresh Flavor," in 1966. The two songs below are from that album, which had a disappointing photo on the cover (what, no cleavage?) That Doris Day-type picture was not going to win her any fans under 30, and I guess older audiences simply weren't buying a record with unfamiliar song titles like "Monday Monday." Her next album went back to middle of the road songs and a sexy album cover, but she and Epic realized the title was correct: “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”

Jane finished her attempts at hit singles while with RCA. There was the pop tune “Traces,” om 1060. the novelty number “A Girl Named Charlie Cash,” in 1970, and lastly, 1971. “Jamie Boy.” Her last RCA album was the 1970 release “In Nashville,” perhaps an attempt to follow another pop blonde, Patti Page, into more friendly territory.

Yes, most of her output remains of interest to the "easy listening" crowd, a style of music that was never a critics favorite. Jane and others who thrived in that category, rarely sang what could in any way be charitably re-labeled as "jazz," something considered far more worthy. But, although she tended to "swing low," some of her swingin' material does work very well, and hipsters have rescued SOME "easy listening" music and recategorized it as "lounge." Ring a ding ding!

You don’t think of “Good Lovin’” as anything but a hard drivin’ bit of 60’s Rascals rock. Sorry, but Jane’s lounge treatment isn’t sacrilege at all. It does show that basic melody can be interpreted fast or slow.

It’s hard to separate “Monday Monday” from the particular twisted harmonies of the Mamas and the Papas. You remember them: a creepy perv with a too tall hat, an immense blob that people laughed at, an indifferent looking perv without a too tall hat, and a skinny skanky chick that was everyone’s dream of a tough hippie that could somehow be tricked into bed with some superior weed. They basically had only TWO hits, this one and "California Dreaming." The other hit you're thinking of was actually from "Spanky and Our Gang." Anyway...Jane's take is not laughable at all; quite pleasant, in fact. All you sheep who learned to like Sinatra because Dylan was a fan of "Mr. Frank," don't have to feel ashamed for liking this cover version.

Hardly forgotten over the next decades, her music has continued to find an audience on CD, and rather late, 2011, she finally got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And now, 2017, a mention on the blog of less renown!

Oh what a beautiful mornin' -- MONDAY MONDAY gets relaxed by Jane Morgan Instant download or listen on line. No porn ads, pop-ups, waiting or code numbers.

GOOD LOVIN' is Swingin' via JANE MORGAN

Stream or download. No capcha codes, Zinfart passwords or pop-up crap.

Elsa Lanchester is bawdy, and Illfolks' "Hard Work" gets "borrowed"

Hmmm. Back in 2007, TEN YEARS AGO, I posted an Elsa Lanchester song. As I tend to do, I didn't just post it for a Paypal tip, or use Rapidshare or Megaupload so I might get a free account. It was all "shared" at no profit. I also tossed in one of my typically cheeky Photoshop jobs.

FIVE years later, and another blogger steals (er, "Shares") not my link, but my Photoshop job. Did he/she say "This was done by Ill Folks?" No. Did he/she say "I found this on the Illfolks blog?" No.

In fact, he/she took pains to Photoshop ILLFOLKS off the photo, and FLIP it, making it seem that his/her version is the original, and mine, posted FIVE YEARS EARLIER, is the copy.

Did you notice that I had Karloff's monster peeking through the window at her? Another little touch I bothered to do. But I see I made a mistake in not putting a name or logo OVER a strategic part of the photo, so an ASSHOLE couldn't just COVER IT OVER and pretend ownership.

Christ, you see this in the "real" world all the time, with ignorant self-entitled brats saying, "I bought that CD, DVD, book...so I'm allowed to make copies to give away, or even sell." No, you bought a COPY with NO rights to COPY it, silly "copyright is copy wrong" SPOILED BABY.

This creature (I have no idea of "Cherrybomb" is a real woman or a campy drag queen) even asks for a donation on the free blog site masked as a dotcom:

As Bob Dylan sang it, "If you live outside the law you must be honest." It would've killed this schmuck to give me a credit, on a dot.com that is basically LOW on original content and creativity, and mostly a collection of celebrity nudie images, fake or real? It takes "hard work" to Google celebrity nudes and surf blogs and "harvest" content like grave robbers do with kidneys and livers?

Al Goldstein's lawyer (and who would be a better one on matters involving sleaze) once explained a quirk in the plagiarism laws. Generally, you can't sue and win, or get "treble damages" unless you can PROVE that what happened affected you monetarily.

It comes down to four words: "What are your damages?"

Can I prove that this jerk stealing my Photoshop job deprived ME of income? Of course not. My blog has never posted: "BUY ME A DRINK" or "Help me pay for my time and HARD WORK" with a fucking PAYPAL DONATION button.

The bottom line is that YOU know about MY blog, and you never heard of Cherry's, until just now. (Christ, even the fake name is not original! Cherry Bomb? Ooof!)

The late great Brother Theodore put it this way: "The dog barking at the moon does not bother the moon in the slightest. It just makes the dog look like a jackass."

I have the talent to match up two images to create something unique. That JACKASS had the talent to erase my name from the photo and re-post it. Not exactly the same thing.

And here we are in January, 2017.

I should not even be blogging anymore.

I reached my TENTH ANNIVERSARY. This blog has been around TEN YEARS. If I was Jerry Seinfeld I would've quit a year ago!

Instead, there will be sporadic additions for the "small circle of friends" who visit here.

Oh, you don't have to say "I'm Glad To See You're Back."

I don't exist for "nice" comments.

Just enjoy the photo of Elsa, and if you choose, discover her talents as a Music Hall singer, via the download below:

"I'm Glad to See Your Back."

Students (I stole that greeting off Kay Kyser, and GIVE HIM CREDIT), long before Elsa was temptingly stitched up and then hitched up as "The Bride of Frankenstein," she was a nude model, the star of "Peter Pan" on the British stage, and the flame-haired darling of bohemians and intellectuals. She was well known for singing risque novelty tunes, and for her unlikely marriage to a brilliant but deeply conflicted and troubled actor by the name of Laughton

26 years after her dual role in "Bride of Frankenstein," Elsa debuted on Broadway in a one-woman show, singing, among others, "I'm Glad to See Your Back." The arched "Back" along with "Somebody Broke Lola's Saucepan" and "If You Peek in My Gazebo" had audiences tittering immoderately.

Elsa recorded "Songs for a Shuttered parlor" and "Songs for a Smoke Filled Room" (on the Hi-Fi label) with narration by Charles Laughton, whom she was still married to despite his "degrading" (her word) need to now and then be submissive with a male.

In a decision that probably had Laughton rolling awkwardly in his grave, these two albums were re-issued as "Bawdy Cockney Songs" and "More Bawdy Cockney Songs" (via Tradition) without him. I doubt there was any legal reason for omitting the introductions; the label rightly figured that people like to listen to songs over and over, but not introductions.

Elsa's other two original albums were on Verve, now a division of the Univ-arsal cartel. Maybe they'll toss 'em on Spotify to make a few extra nickels for themselves.

Return to those double-entendre days, as lovely Elsa Lanchester describes being glimpsed in her dressing room by a suitor who likes what he sees:

"Your face may be your fortune, but I like a different view. I'm glad to see your back..."

ELSA LANCHESTER SINGS Instant download or listen on line. No porn ads, pop-ups, waiting or code numbers.

Monday, December 19, 2016

BOBBY COLE TRIO - ROCKET MAN

Again, I remember a friend on a sad anniversary. It might be more fitting to celebrate Bobby Cole (September 8, 1932 – December 19, 1996) on his birthday, but, like John Lennon, the date of his death in December is much harder to forget. It happened so close to Christmas, after all. It was a very sad Christmas TWENTY YEARS AGO, when that small circle of friends learned that he had passed on.

At this point, some key figures in Bobby’s life are gone as well. That includes various musicians, most of his famous fans (Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra among them) and the eccentric woman who shared Bobby’s apartment (but not his bed). Karen Leslie Lyttle (known to her friends as Inga!) dabbled in an acting career. Her most notable film role (there were only two others) was as Fraulein, a stereotypical German nut, in the Richard Pryor film “The Toy.” She never gave up trying. One miserable summer, she went off to Hollywood to try and get auditions and drum up work, leaving Bobby to binge (and deliberately not take his Trazodone).

Over the past 20 years, there used to be phone calls at all hours, and some quiet get-togethers in restaurants, as I and some of Bobby's pals (mostly his lady friends, actually) talked about old times, and shared collected photos and tapes. Time heals some wounds, and wounds some heels, and gradually there wasn't quite the need to get together to talk about Bobby as there once was. An irony is that a family member who didn't even want to talk to Bobby in his later years (for understandable reasons) has now posted tributes on Facebook and YouTube.

Yes, it’s been a long, long time. Which is what had me pick out “Rocket Man” for the download. Bobby was a member of the obscure "Church of the Healing Christ," and was an avid student of poetry and philosophy. So he may have thought he was going to somewhere in the beyond. Is it possible his soul took off into the great beyond, and he's now on some new planet or cloud? I mean, aside from his music being hosted on a cloud?

While Bobby was certainly “old school,” and was more prone to get his older audience smiling through an Errol Garner-styled instrumental on “Take the A-Train,” or sing “After You’ve Gone,” his repertoire both solo and with the trio included modern material. He sang covers of songs by Leonard Cohen (he loved “Closing Time”), Procol Harum (yeah, “Whiter Shade”), The Beatles (“A Day in the Life”) and Elton John.

Unfortunately, Bobby was not a tape recorder junkie. He lived with his music via the live performances, and didn’t seem to have a need for recording anything for posterity. That rather spartan two-room apartment he shared with Karen didn't even include copies of his own records (the solo studio album and the earlier "Bobby Cole Trio" debut on Columbia). He had some cassettes of songs he was working on, but that was it. As he once explained to me, he knew who had the stuff, and could get it if he wanted it. He was so used to bouncing from place to place over the later years, he didn't need the burden of owning a lot of things. Some memorabilia was "stored" at the apartments of friends. Only a few items (some photos, clippings and a souvenir booklet from when he was the conductor/arranger for Judy Garland) were in his piano bench.

The dozen or so live shows that exist on him tend to be amateur ambient cassette recordings. Sometimes he allowed an admiring girlfriend to actually put the recorder on the piano, but other times, the recorder sat on a table a distance away, which means some distracting chatter. An annoying problem with nightclub and restaurant audiences is that they come for the drinking and eating and scoring as much as hearing the music. Not many of the live recordings survive without an undercurrent of mumble-rumble babble.

Older fans told me about the legendary dates at places such as Ali Baba’s, where Sinatra would turn up, and Art Carney would be granted a chance to spell Bobby and play a set at the piano. I saw him at places that ranged from elegant old school (Savoy Grill) to shitty (Judy’s) to his last regular location, Campagnola. It was his nature/affliction to sometimes take more than a night or two off at Campagnola. He played weekends, and sometimes didn't show up. Thus it was, TWENTY YEARS AGO in December, I noticed a prolonged period of darkness at the Campagnola window. The place was set up with him and his piano up front, the bar across from him, and the restaurant further down. Anyone passing by would instantly be drawn to the sight of a real live piano player and singer in that window.

But that December, he wasn't around. In fact, management was so certain that this was more prolonged than usual, they had a back-up guy showing up. This guy didn't sing, but he did play well, and even if he wasn't a name that drew the regulars, it was still a novel sight for passersby. Bobby's absence turned out to involve health problems related to all those years of drinking and smoking. 20 years ago, he was out for an evening walk, and passed by the bar-restaurant he was now avoiding. On the next block, he leaned against a lamp post to steady himself, but sank down to the pavement. An ambulance arrived but he was already gone.

“And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time…”

There are still a lot of people who remember seeing Bobby perform. There are new fans, too, who have discovered him via YouTube posts and blogs. His cover of “Mr. Bojangles” is still the best version of that song, period. I have not met anyone who hasn’t been moved by hearing the last track on his solo album, his own “Growing Old.” There's more. I just wish that some of the “more” was in better condition. “Rocket Man” is in rough mono. The pretty arrangement he created for himself and the trio would’ve sounded great in stereo, professionally recorded for a “Bobby Cole Trio Live” album.

We’re used to good quality bootlegs these days, thanks to powerful and tiny digital recorders, but this show was recorded nearly 30 years ago, back in March of 1988.

Bobby used to say, with a wry irony, “I’m in the people-pleasing business.” A lot of people would’ve been pleased to have more of him on vinyl. He sadly fulfilled one of the basic axioms of show biz: “Leave ‘em wanting more.”

BOBBY COLE - ROCKET MAN live recording March, 1988

Zsa Zsa Gabor Dead - - SPIKE JONES - KNOCK KNOCK…ZSA ZSA WHO????

I was a bit shocked to read that Zsa Zsa Gabor died at 99. With Kirk Douglas reaching 100, I thought maybe she'd get there, too. As is usually the case with celebrity deaths, that Paul Simon song line played in my head: “I really wasn’t such a Johnny Ace fan, but I felt bad all the same.”

After all, most anyone over 40 and living in America knew all about Zsa Zsa Gabor. She extended her fame well past her 50's movies by becoming a larger-than-life raconteur. She took a little from Liberace (some outrageous, feminine outfits and props) and was always prepared with a bon mot to fling at Jack Paar or Johnny Carson. Her truest quote was one she lived by: "What is really important for a woman, you know, even more than being beautiful or intelligent, is to be entertaining.”

With her odd Hungarian accent and a becoming touch of self-parody, she went on and on, until she went on and on. Eventually, even on vapid talk shows, she really had nothing to say. She became a bit too much of a diva, which extended to her infamous arrest for slapping a cop. He had dared to give her a ticket.

Yesterday's obits seem to be remembering Zsa Zsa as the stone age Kardashian. That's what it takes to explain the woman to people under 30? She was obviously more than that.

No question, though, that in the primitive 50's and 60's and 70's, when "entertainment news" was NOT on the front page, and "scandalous" behavior and multiple marriages or affairs were largely confined to movie gossip magazines, "ZSA ZSA" was as prominent a headline then as KARDASHIAN is now. BUT, she wasn't "famous for being famous," like shit-eyed Kim. Gabor had been a legit movie star before turning "socialite" and "raconteur." In fact, even with competition (there was the more demure Eva Gabor, just as there is the more obscure demure Khloe Kardashian) there was no doubt who the big star of the family was.

Interesting, isn't it, that Zsa Zsa got a much bigger write-up than Eva, even if Eva was a true TV star (and "Green Acres" is STILL in re-runs to this day).

I honestly thought that Gabor's death would get a minimum of reporting, but it seems it's been a slow news day, people are sick of hearing about Trump, or she really was a legend after all. I thought there would be a bratty sneer of "Zsa Zsa WHO!" Instead, the reaction is more like "ZSA ZSA WHO??????" as uttered by an incredulous guy on an obscure Spike Jones record. How could anyone NOT know Zsa Zsa? Just on that weird name alone! Or, "ZA ZA" is some people insisted on calling her.

I recall two examples of Zsa Zsa being name-checked in songs. In “Donna The Prima Donna” streetwise Dion could find no greater put-down than to liken a snotty chick to the Diva Du Jour, “ZA ZA GABOR.” (That’s how he pronounced the name). The other example is below: “Knock Knock Who’s There,” from Spike Jones. Her name turns into a "Knock Knock joke" gag.

A word about this track, dahling. “Knock Knock” jokes have gone in and out of fashion (except perhaps in grade school). Back in the 78rpm era, there was a craze for this stuff, and novelty "Knock Knock" songs by big bands (Jack Hylton, Ambrose, Fletcher Henderson) were popular on radio.

When Spike Jones got around to doing one, it was out of nostalgia. His album “60 Years of Music America Hates Best” was basically a re-worked weakly Spiked collection of old novelty tunes. The tracks were short on insane sound effects, but did freshen up some old jokes. The "Knock Knock" gags in Spike's song cover quite a range. Some are both clever and wickedly awful at the same time.

"Knock Knock!" "Who's There?" "Maverick!" "Maverick who?" "Mah-ah-'hv-a-rickording of this song??" Hey, it beats the Henderson version, with this inept recitation: “Knock Knock.” “Who’s there?” “Fletcher!” “Fletcher who?” “Fletcher self go!”

KNOCK KNOCK WHO'S THERE - SPIKE JONES. Once in a while you can listen on line but NOT download. That would be a bandwidth issue. Try back another time if that happens. It shouldn't be a factor with 2017 posts, but some links from 2016 and earlier have yet to be changed over to the more robust server.

Friday, December 09, 2016

"WILD BIKE" a well remembered bit of music from Robert Vaughn's MAN FROM UNCLE


Robert Vaughn (November 22, 1932 – November 11, 2016) had mixed emotions about "Man from UNCLE." The double-edged sword was that playing Napoleon Solo made him famous, and forever beloved by Baby Boomers. But it no doubt typed him to the extent that he lost some roles he wanted to play, and even if he was dressed up as Franklin Roosevelt or Hamlet, half the audience was still blinking and thinking, "That's him, Napoleon Solo!!" 

I remember seeing Vaughn at a book signing Q&A, and yes, virtually ALL the questions were about the one crime-fighting TV show (and he did more than one, and some of them lasted a lot longer than UNCLE did). Asked if he had a FAVORITE episode of "Man from UNCLE," he gave one of his famous open-mouthed grimaces (a bit like William Buckley Jr.) before saying, "NO." 

Since Mr. Vaughn is much too famous to belong on this blog of less renown, and so is the theme song from "The Man from UNCLE," we turn to a lesser known bit of soundtrack music from the show. You'll recognize "Wild Bike," as it was probably used quite a few times during the first season of the show. While most associate Jerry Goldsmith with UNCLE, this piece was composed by Morton Stevens. 

"WILD BIKE" by Morton Stevens

ALTERNATE LINK:

"WILD BIKE" by Morton Stevens - Alternate Link

Obscure Music from BURKE'S LAW



Since this blog ended up paying "theme music tribute" to Robert Vaughn and Van Williams, the trifecta here is just some good TV theme music from another 60's show, "Burke's Law." This series seems to be forgotten by most video historians, which is a shame. In its two seasons, it was stylish, well-acted, and the bonus was that every episode had about five famous "guest star" suspects. 

"Burke's Law." had a cool jazz theme with some quirky cadances Bacharach might've admired. Just whose sultry voice said "It's Burke's Law..." I have yet to find out. She is absent from the original soundtrack album. The show also had other bits of evocative music, including some great "stings" (15 or 30 second bits of music underscoring somebody discovering a dead body, or getting knifed or tossed off  a building) not preserved on vinyl. 

Below, are two examples of the show's fine TV soundtrack writing. 

“LIVE!” and “DRUM MADNESS” are typical of the type of “hot jazz” favored when the detective was in hot pursuit of the bad guy driving the black car around midnight on a street the was slick from rain. (Dark streets on TV always looked like they just rained, as shimmery puddles were much more "noir" than inky blackness.) 

Hot TV jazz was also suitable for those long fight scenes where hero and villain toss each other across a room, struggle to their feet, lunge forward, do flying kicks to knock the other to the ground, and then of course, you've got to pull the guy OFF the floor to punch him. "Ground and pound" is acceptable in 21st Century MMA, but WAS NOT sporting on vintage TV. 

The choreographed fight scenes were so cool, the music had to swing, rather than be all-out wild. 

Oddly enough, neither of these tracks is by Joseph Mullendore, who wrote a lot of the best incidental music on the show. They aren’t by Herschel Burke Gilbert either, who wrote the actual "Burke's Law" theme song and conducted the orchestra for the album. 

“Drum Madness” is credited to (Gordon-Oliver) and Live to (Marks). The skimpy album notes say nothing about who these musicians.  Hell, songwriters and soundtrack compoers were lucky if they got royalties. I was able to research Gordon-Oliver as the team of Kelly L. Gordon and Thomas E. Oliver. Who Marks is/was, I have no idea. There are too many composers with Marks for a last name to really research this, and I'm not being paid. 

And neither are they, for the downloads below. Don't call Captain Burke to arrest me for unauthorized use of music. First off, it's only two mono tracks, not the whole Stereo album. second,  his beat, as Gene Barry used to pronounce it in that New York accent, was "murda." Mono better evokes the memories of watching TV on a set with one speaker. 


Van Williams AL HIRT and WADE DENNING do "The Green Hornet" Theme



Media obits for Van Williams ((February 27, 1934 – November 28, 2016) were fairly brief. Millennials have no idea who he was, after all. And neither to the blacks who matter. Frankly, if it wasn't for Bruce Lee, it's possible poor Mr. W. would be even more of a footnote, mourned by that small circle of Baby Boomers and hapless Huelbigs. 

Bruce Lee co-starred as Kato in Van's best-remembered series, "The Green Hornet." Fans of the died-young karate star dolize Bruce, and don't give much of a damn about Van, the somewhat woodenly handsome guy who wore the fedora and the big wide green mask. 

They are much more prone to discuss conspiracy theories on Bruce Lee's death, than ponder that Britt Reid (the Green Hornet's real name) was the nephew of John Reid (real name of the Lone Ranger). It seems the creator of the Long Ranger simply updated the concept with a different ethnic sidekick (Kato replacing Tonto) and a different stolen classical theme ("William Tell Overture" swapped for "Flight of the Bumble Bee.") 

Frankly, or Vanly (yes, he was born Van Zandt Williams), our hero was just another handsome mannequin over at Warner Bros. TV studios. They had tons of 'em, and hoping they could act as well as they looked, turned them into "Cheyenne" or a Maverick brother. Warners had tons of westerns and a bunch of look-alike detective shows ("Surfside 6," "77 Sunset Strip," "Bourbon Street Beat") that required "hunks" to go after the far more magnetic villain types (Ross Martin, Nehemiah Persoff, Lon Chaney Jr.) 

Like James Garner, who also had very limited acting experience, Williams was "discovered" by some Hollywood mogul who simply liked his looks. Williams was a diving instructor at the time. Within a few years, Van was co-starring in "Bourbon Street Beat," and was then moved to "Surfside 6." In movies, he started with dopey "wow, what a good looking hunk" roles, like playing an athlete in the basketball drama "Tall Story." His big scene was appearing naked (this was 1960, no full frontal) in a naughty locker room scene with Jane Fonda. 

In 1966, amid the "Batman" craze, ABC offered up another hero, "The Green Hornet," with stoic Williams playing it straight. The show lasted one year. Williams was apparently typed as a retro-hero with his hair combed back, and didn't get another good guy role (as say, a Robert Conrad always did). Williams waited, and aged. Not everybody is John Forsythe, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. or Robert Young, and so in his 40's or 50's Williams didn't become a friendly doctor or the head of the FBI. He was wise enough to have a "day job," skilled in business, and was able to pretty much retire from acting, and live a good life with the wife and kids. Keeping his hand in the "hero" business, he did volunteer as a deputy sheriff and a firefighter. Instead of shooting bad guys, his hobby was shooting ducks and geese out of the sky. 

In talking about Williams to my better half, who barely remembered him OR the show, I got to discussing the show's famous theme. "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" was jazzed up and speeded up as a tour-de-force for Al Hirt. As a trumpet player (at the time), I was amazed at how fast Al could play. I said, "He was one of the last of the famous trumpet players. There was the Big Band era, which had a lot of band leaders playing trumpet, but by the 60's, it was out of fashion." "Al Hirt?" she asked. "I don't think he was the best known trumpet player in the 60's. What about that guy who played the Mexican music?" 

I countered, "OK, Herb Alpert had more hits. But most of his trumpet work was doubled or tripled. He had the entire "Tijuana Brass" behind him, and rarely solo'd. He also rarely showed off with hitting impossible high notes. Another trumpet player who did that was Doc Severinsen, He may not have had hit songs, but he made many, many record albums of jazz. When he got a chance now and then to do a number with The Tonight Show band, he was impressive. He hit notes easily an octave higher than I could ever hit." 

Solo trumpet? Al Hirt had a hit with "Java" among others, and his album containing "The Green Hornet Theme" (in stereo) sold thousands upon thousands of copies. I'll give Al Hirt the edge as the most famous, if not the best trumpet player of his day. Doc may have been the best. 

Below, you get Al Hirt's version and one by Wade Denning and the Port Washingtons, which was on a budget TV theme album I absolutely had to have at the time. Yes, even though it looks phony, that was his real name. Wade Denning (July 21, 1922-September 17, 2007) did live in Port Washington. It's a rather tony Long Island suburb maybe only an hour or so away from Manhattan. Not the 2 1/2 hour drive it would be to Montauk or Southampton, Port Washington was where pianist/conductor/songwriter Bobby Cole once had his super-affluent home. I wished I'd known him back then, and got a chance to check out his famous swimming pool, which was built half-indoors and half-outdoors, for all-weather relaxation. But I digress...

Denning and his guyyyysss were very busy with commercial jingles and yes, budget record assignments. His version of "The Green Hornet Theme" actually has lyrics, which certainly helped give the trumpet a break. There isn't nearly the frantic amount of blowing you get in Al Hirt's version. And if you'd like to actually see a frantic amount of blowing, well, no, you can insert your own Kardashian joke here. 

AL HIRT - Green Hornet Theme in STEREO

Wade Denning & The Port Washingtons - Green Hornet with LYRICS

Saturday, November 19, 2016

WHY OH WHY DID I EVER LEAVE WYOMING (The Red State That Gave Us Trump) - JERRY COLONNA

Yes, Hillary Clinton won the actual general election. SHE GOT MORE VOTES.

But as has happened before, and I think both Republicans and Democrats have griped about this, it was the weird ELECTORAL COLLEGE that made Donald Trump the winner. 

With reasons and logic far beyond that of mortal man, the Presidential election depends on the number of ELECTORAL VOTES a candidate gets. Each state is given what seems to be a random amount of these. If a candidate manages to win in the states with the best number of ELECTORAL VOTES, it doesn't matter if that person has actually gotten the most votes in total. 


Memes such as the above began popping up as soon as "the unthinkable" happened, and a reality talk show host with many bankruptcies and an almost feature-length Blooper reel of stupid and dangerous comments became President. 

WHY OH WHY do shit-kickers in lonely, barren, fairly useless (except for Yellowstone National Park) Wyoming have a bigger say in the election than Californians? A fair question. Wyoming is one of the least-populated states in America. NOBODY wants to live there. California by contrast, is packed to capacity, despite smog, high rents, earthquakes, leafblowers, and problems having enough water for a good shower.  

At one time, Wyoming showed some promise. Laramie, (which doesn't quite have 100,000 people) was fairly well known back in the Wild West era. The TV show "Laramie" was set there, obviously. So was the great series "Lawman," featuring intense John Russell as town marshal Dan Troop. Any town with Dan Troop presiding was sure to have a future, right? Oh well. He was fiction. 

Morey Amsterdam wrote the novelty semi-hit, "Why Oh Why Did I Ever Leave Wyoming." It was covered by everyone's favorite masturbatory pun-name, Dick Jurgens. But when it comes to jerkin' around with comedy, you go to bug-eyed Jerry Colonna.



No capcha codes, pop-up ads or dopey Zinfart passwords. 

Day is Done: HOLLY DUNN and "WHY, WYOMING"


I caught up with Holly Dunn when she joined Warner Bros. and became a country-crossover star. Like Juice Newton or Pam Tillis, she had a most definite country vibe and was favored more on the C&W charts, but she could rock when she wanted, and pop a tune, too. While I'm not a snob about a Patsy Cline or Tammy Wynette, I do tend to listen much more to the ladies who go easy on the squeamy violins. Holly was certainly one of those in the late 80's.  

Her 1989 debut for Warners' Nashville was the tasty "Blue Rose of Texas," which yielded her first #1 hit, "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me." Another hit from that album was "There Goes My Heart Again." She had another #1 on her second Warners album, "Heart Full of Love" in 1990. The stupidly titled "Getting It Dunn" was her third and last major label release. 

Holly Suzette Dunn (August 22, 1957-November 14, 2016) first came to prominence in 1986 with the Top Ten "Daddy's Hands," for the MTM label. Her second album, "Cornerstone," had three more Top Ten numbers, of which "Why, Wyoming" is not one. 

They were: "Love Someone Like Me," "Only When I Love" and "Strangers Again." Why oh why choose "Why, Wyoming?" Because it's not well known, because it was co-written by her brother Chris Waters (born Chris Waters Dunn). And because I'm still not over how an almost empty piece of Red State land called Wyoming could count for more in the Electoral College than, for example, California. Wyoming, a heart breaker indeed.

Speaking of heartbreak, Holly Dunn had the misfortune to be a huge star on a shitty label. MTM went bankrupt. It was fortunate that Holly's potential was seen by Warners. Too bad that the label apparently was bankrupt in the heart department, and as soon as Holly faltered, cut her loose. Three years later, she surfaced on a record label called River North. After two albums for them, she was without product for six years. In 2003 she issued her new (and last) album, "South Heart." 

Things became dire when Holly was diagnosed with a fast-moving form of ovarian cancer. She was optimistic, but any time a "has-been" gets a big write-up in the London Daily Mail (aka the Creepy Daily Fail) you know something bad is happening. "I ask for prayer of strength and courage," the rag reported in August of 2016. 

"If you read the statistics," she said, "it is very bleak. Good thing I don't believe in statistics. I had surgery and now I am having chemo treatments. I have since grown more tumors and it is going to be more of a battle than I anticipated, but I have a huge faith in the healing power of God and the healing power within me that originates from my God." 

Naturally, this was met by trollish comments from the hairy-handed London Daily Mail bunch, laughing at her. Just why newspapers even allow "comments" at the end of an article, I don't know. These "comments" almost never are enlightening; they are instead dark and warped insults from the vast unwashed, angry mob. 

"Doesn't believe in statistics. Believes an invisible god will save her," somebody wrote. "Lesbian?" another asked. Another commented: "Praying to an imaginary being while poison is being pumped through your veins. Sounds like a plan. Shell be dead in a year, right after the medical industry sucks every last possible cent out of her and her insurance company."

Oh, and this: "But cancer is only caught if you are obese or smoke?" And, "God Schmod." 

WHY THE INTERNET??