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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

Saturday Matinee – Leon Redbone (1892-2019)

Saturday, 1 June 2019

“Why don’t they play pretty music any more?”

Leon Redbone was an iconic performer who reinvigorated the music of the late 19th to early 20th century, including blues, ragtime, dixieland jazz and country. That he pulled it off in the mid 1970s is an interesting commentary of the state of music of the time (mainstream rock was sucking donkeys). You couldn’t get more retro than Leon Redbone at that time, and he stepped right into the mix.

Rolling Stone described his repertoire as “so authentic you can hear the surface noise of an old 78 rpm.” During a 1974 interview (prior to release of any album) they asked where he first played in public. Redbone responded, “In a pool hall, but I wasn’t playing guitar, you see. I was playing pool.” Apparently he was pretty good at it.

I learned of the song “Ain’t Misbehavin” via some sheet music my late grampa had, and I liked the tune. I’d never heard of Fats Waller before I heard Leon Redbone’s version.

Then I heard Redbone’s over-the-top absurd version of The Sheik of Araby, a cover of this (1937) which was a cover of this (1922). I became a fan.

In the early ’80s I saw Mr. Redbone perform at The Golden Bear (a small but famous venue with no bad seats). His props were a rattan chair, a side table with a lamp, and his guitar. He was in the middle of a song when he saw the flash of a Kodak Instamatic camera. With lightning speed, he stopped, grabbed a Polaroid Swinger and took a photo of the photographer, then sat quietly humming until the image appeared. He held it up to view.

“Ahhh. Not a bad likeness.”

Then he resumed the song exactly where he left off.

I wasn’t aware of this until today, but there is a documentary on Leon Redbone. Here’s the trailer:

“He was always mysterious, he was always coming and going. It was almost like he was there one second and he’d be gone the next… and you never knew where he’d gone or why or how he’d even left, but suddenly he wasn’t there anymore.” – Jane Harbury, Publicist.

Here’s a link to the full documentary if you’re interested. It’s only 16 minutes, but it’s worth it.

Leon Redbone, you were a breath of fresh air into the stagnant late 70s music scene. May You Rest In Peace.

[Related posts here.]

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R.I.P. Tim Conway (1933-2019)

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The guy was naturally funny, especially when ad-libbing, and he did it all without profanity. Tim Conway was a real class act. We’ll miss him.

[Update:

A cartoonist named Randy Bish posted that tribute (via here).]

 

Everyone Knows It’s Windy Hot Links

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Volleysoccer.

Good day to go fishing.

No racism here. Nope. None at all.

No Twitter bias here. Nope. None at all.

No Google bias here. Nope. None at all.

Tom Waits’ 20 favorite albums (as of March 2005).

Ken Nordine’s “Colors” was the basis for an artistic game using paint.

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin blames Republicans for Chicago’s horrific gun violence, but there’s just one little problem. Chicago’s last Republican Mayor was William Hale Thompson (who served from 1927-1931). James Woods begins his reply with “Dear Nimrod.”

16-1/2 minutes of “celebrities” gossiping about ex-SNL cast member Norm Macdonald.

Why are “celebrities” gossiping about ex-SNL cast member Norm Macdonald?

You guessed it. Frank Stallone.

Ernie Kucera (1920-2007)

Ernie Kucera at the Starlight Ballroom in 1992 – his band’s 50th Anniversary.

From the You Get What You Pay For Department: In construction, you can only pick two of the following three:
(A) Low-cost, (B) High quality and (C) Fast completion. Brad Pitt’s well-meaning charitable foundation chose A and C, and the houses are falling apart after less than a decade.

From the Bad Acting Department: Weather reporter can barely stand up to the winds of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence while other pedestrians were immune. Reminds me of the classic Today Show blowzit.

A private message to The Weather Channel.

[Top image culled from the absurd The Weather Channel video.]

Saturday Matinee – Cyriak, Zappa, Traffic & Aretha Franklin

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Cyriak outdoes himself creepy-wise, with “Indigestion.” [Found here.]

Frank Zappa‘s final live performance (with backup by Pražský výběr) 1991, Prague, Czechoslovakia, shortly after the collapse of the USSR. Long intro, but worth the listen.

Traffic, 1971. We played their albums in college so often that if you held the vinyl to a light you could see through the grooves.


A great cultural icon passed on this week. She possessed one of the greatest voices in the business, singing and performing gospel, blues, R&B, jazz, soul and pop. Multiple generations grew up listening to her recordings, myself included.

What a natural. Only 22 years old in 1964, and she was already amazing. Respect indeed.
R.I.P. Aretha Franklin (1942-2018).


Have a great weekend, folks. See you back here tomorrow.

USS Indianapolis Found After 72 Years

Sunday, 27 August 2017

“That was the time I was most frightened, waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a life jacket again.” –Shark hunter Quint [Robert Shaw] in the 1975 film “Jaws.”

Quint was referring to the tragedy of the USS Indianapolis, torpedoed in 1945:

Recently the USS Indianapolis, missing for 72 years, has been found in the Philippine Sea approximately three and a half miles below the surface. Story w/ pics here.


Woody James was 23 at the time of the attack and lived to tell about it. His story of horror is very understated:

“Sunday, the 29th of July was a quiet day. The sea was runnin five or six feet waves, just a beautiful day out. Didn’t do too much, read a book, did a little tinkerin as usual. Had the 8:00 to 12:00 watch and just got off at midnight. A guy relieved me about a quarter to twelve. I went down through the galley and had a cup of coffee. Then went to my compartment and got a blanket off my bed and went back up on deck. I slept under the overhang on the first turret. My battle station was inside it so in case general quarters sounded, I slept underneath it. Just got laid down good, using my shoes for a pillow as usual and the first torpedo hit. I was up and down between the deck and the overhang of the turret like Yankee Doodle Dandy. And, I wondered, ‘what in the hell is goin on?’

I got out of my blanket and started to roll out from underneath the turret and the other torpedo hit. Another Yankee Doodle deal, all over the place. I started to walk forward to see what I could see and what I seen was about sixty-foot of the bow chopped off, completely gone. Within a minute and a half, maybe two minutes at the most the bow is startin to do down. It filled up with water that fast. Everything was open below deck and the water just flooded in and we were still under way, just scoopin water. Complete chaos, total and complete chaos all over the whole ship. Screams like you couldn’t believe and nobody knew what was goin on. The word got passed down, “ABANDON SHIP”! It was maybe five minutes and we were really down in the water so we proceeded to abandon ship.”

–Woody James

Survivor Woody James described his ordeal here. It’s even scarier than Quint’s monologue.

Saturday Matinee – Chuck Barris & Eugene Patton, Count Basie & America Paz

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Yeah, we lost another famous Chuck this week. Here’s Chuck Barris on The Gong Show featuring the late Eugene Patton, aka, Gene Gene The Dancing Machine. (If you thought I was going to post vids of The Unknown Comic, you’re mistaken, but here’s a link instead.)

GGTDM’s themesong was always Count Basie‘s 1938 hit “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” so let’s go there. Here’s Basie’s Orchestra playing their 1937 hit “One O’Clock Jump” six years later in the movie Reveille with Beverly.

That 1943 Basie lineup likely included Buck Clayton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Snooky Young, trumpet; Dicky Wells, trombone; Earle Warren, Buddy Tate, Don Byas, Jack Washington, saxes; Freddie Green, guitar; Jo Jones, drums. Not sure who’s on bass.

This Funk Bass Slapfest is awesome, and the girl’s smacking a six-string. I’m guessing that this how Julliard students settle their differences and go busking at the same time.

OH WAIT! THAT’S AMERICA PAZ!

Very impressive, Ms. America.

Have a great weekend, folks. We’ll see you tomorrow.

R.I.P. Chuck Berry (1926 – 2017)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Wow. What a legend. No reason for me to do a write up for someone so well known for so long, but I’ll admit this: I didn’t care for his music that much when I was young. Although I appreciated his talent and his importance in the early days of R&B / R&R, the songs sounded the same to me.

In 1972 someone gave me a copy of “The London Chuck Berry Sessions.” It impressed the hell out of me, and I became a true convert. I played that album so many times that light showed through the grooves.

Like an old song said, “If there’s a Rock and Roll heaven, it’s gotta have a helluva band. Hail, hail, indeed.

Scantily-Clad Hot Links

Sunday, 28 February 2016

kathakali-artist-makeup-kerala

“You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.”Dr. Thomas Sowell

Everyone who saw the Superb Owl L Half-Time Show with the abhorrent tribute to The Black Panthers must read this.

This is how you sing You Belong To Me.

How to excavate a buried VW Microbus Single Cab with some really annoying music.

R.I.P. Lenny Baker 1946-2016. Dennis Green passed on last September. The guys were talented.

U.S lice infestation map mirrors Hillary’s popularity. Go figger.

[At top is the cropped image of an Indian Kathakali artist by photographer Joshi Daniel.]

Saturday Matinee – Glenn Frey & The Eagles, and Tom Waits

Saturday, 23 January 2016

One of my favorite Eagles songs. I played that record so much you could see daylight through the grooves. R.I.P Glenn Frey.

The Eagles made me a bluegrass fan with “Midnight Flyer.”

Another favorite from that same album was “Ol’ 55.” It was years later that I found out it was written by Tom Waits.

Head down, chin up, and have a great weekend, folks.

 

 

819 Yonge (SE corner of Church)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

dead raccoon 1dead raccoon 2dead raccoon 3dead raccoon 4dead raccoon 5dead raccoon 6

[Found here, and the Twitter hashtag‘s still up.]


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