Actor Bruce Cabot with 17-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt at the Music Box Theater in Hollywood for the premiere of “They Can’t Get You Down” October 27, 1941 photo: Acme
Being a rich child with a large trust fund did not define Gloria Vanderbilt. Neither did a sensational tug of war child custody battle between her mother Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt and her aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. When Gloria Vanderbilt died of stomach cancer in New York on June 17, 2019 at the age of 95, she had achieved prominence in many facets of life. Continue reading →
Frank Costello On His Way To Testify Before Senate, To Be Broadcast On National Television
If there was one thing mob boss Frank Costello (1891-1973) didn’t like it was publicity. So appearing before nationally televised Senate hearings on organized crime was especially disturbing to Costello. On the other hand, Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver who organized the hearings reveled in the publicity,
The caption for this photo reads:
Doesn’t Care For TV
New York: Frank Costello reputed overlord of the U.S. underworld, arrives at Federal Court, March 13, to testify before the Senate Crime Investigation Committee. After Costello was sworn in, his attorney, George Wolf, objected to the televising of Costello’s appearance. 3/13/1951 credit photo: Acme
An estimated 30 million viewers watching Costello’s testimony live and were riveted to their TV sets. This was the man who controlled organized crime? Continue reading →
For nearly 40 years Lee Van Cleef was typecast. He made a living at playing villains. But as he observed, “I didn’t much care if I got out of that bad guy role. I fell in love with the characters. I could do things I couldn’t do in real life, and generally a bad guy is a more colorful part. It’s always more fun to be nasty.”
A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, a trio of “spaghetti westerns” made by Italian director Sergio Leone from 1964-1967 established Clint Eastwood “the man with no name” as a major film star.
The second and third films of the Eastwood- Leone films, also brought Lee Van Cleef from mid-level billing status to international stardom.
For 15 years with hawk-like looks, penetrating gaze and low voice, the lean six foot two Lee Van Cleef toiled in films and television, almost always cast as a bad guy. He struggled to make ends meet.
The Breakthrough Role
But on April 10, 1965 Lee signed a contract for 30 percent more than he had ever previously made to co-star as bounty hunter Colonel Mortimer in For A Few Dollars More.
Up until the signing, Lee and his wife Joan had been living on residuals from television appearances, unemployment checks and her salary as a secretary. Prior to committing to the film Lee had not appeared in a film since 1962. Continue reading →
Alexa (Can You Hear Me?) – Beans On Toast’s Brilliant Song
Beans on Toast, a British musician came up with what I think is the best song (at least lyrically) in the last year.
Here is the video for Alexa —
Yet soon after, millions of people began to voluntarily install a true digital spy in their home, Amazon’s Alexa. It is sheer madness that people are willing to be monitored, quantified and algorithimed, but are not alarmed by the ultimate repercussions of the loss of privacy.
About Beans On Toast
Beans’ real name is Jay McAllister who hails from Braintree, Essex. Since 2009 McAllister has annually released an album on his birthday, December 1. Alexa is off of McAllister’s tenth studio album, 2018’s, “A Bird In The Hand.” Continue reading →
There Are Kids Who Are Learning What Music Really Is
Maybe There’s Hope For The Appreciation of Rock n’ Roll
Believe it or not I’m not that old. But I have lived long enough to have witnessed the virtual death of rock ‘n roll and the talent that is necessary to compose and perform it. To clarify, perform on an actual instrument, not a computer. An instrument that requires thousands s of hours of practice to not just have competence but to excel and display true talent.
Yet, when you go into almost any store like Sephora, Pac Sun or Hollister, in any mall in America you are bombarded by some loud sounds emanating from the store’s sound system. It’s the popular music of today.
It’s an assault on any adult entering with kids but that is why they are playing; A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Bebe Rexha, Rich The Kid, Lil Dicky, or Nipsey Hussle.
The stores play the Billboard Hot 100 pop dreck, hip-hop, or heavily computerized, synthesized autotune junk that appeals to kids and teens. Stores want them to shop there and that is what kids listen to and have grown up on for the last three decades. These kids and many of their elders know no other form of what they think passes for music. They like the instrument-less, undifferentiated ear candy which has permeated the minds of malleable Millennials and Generation Z for over 30 years.
But not all kids.
Here is the evidence. In Easton, PA in 2017 Houseband, apparently from the local School of Rock comprised of teens, playing Deep Purple’s “Burn.”
Realize, throughout history every adult generally despises music that is popular with their kids. Continue reading →
Marilyn Monroe’s First Public Appearance In Hollywood After Her Marriage To Joe DiMaggio – 1954
Hollywood – March 9 – Marilyn Wows Movie Crowd – Marilyn Monroe made her first public appearance in Hollywood last night since her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and her trip to Japan and Korea, and promptly stole the show. She showed up with a new platinum-blonde hairdo and wearing a low-cut white satin sheath gown. The occasion was Photoplay magazine’s annual awards dinner at which she and Alan Ladd, with whom she’s pictured, were named Hollywood’s most popular actress and actor. (AP wirephoto 1954)
Marilyn Monroe and Alan Ladd may have been Hollywood’s most popular actress and actor, yet neither was ever nominated for an Academy Award. Continue reading →
It Was 55 Years Ago Today – The Beatles Came to The USA
Feb 7, 1964 – The Beatles Leave London For New York – The Beatles singing group is shown at London airport this morning prior to departing for appearances in New York. From left are Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. AP wirephoto via cable from London
Our headline (thank you, Sgt. Pepper) points out that remarkably it has been 55 years, not 20 years ago today that the Beatles left London for New York City. The British Invasion was underway. The world would never be the same, not just musically, but in fashion and pop culture.
If you want to get a sense of what Beatlemania was like when the Fab Four first arrived in New York, there is a forgotten little film Continue reading →
Famed Actor Edward Everett Horton Was Born & Bred In Brooklyn
Imagine living in a home that is old. Over 150-years-old.
If you’ve ever lived anywhere that has a long past, you’ve probably wondered who previously occupied the space before you. What were the people like who once lived there? What celebrations and heartbreaks happened there?
When passing by, no one would take a second look at the building at 316 Carlton Avenue in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. It’s just another tidy single family, four story brick home in a row of similar 19th century houses. Continue reading →