Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's All

That's all for 2008. And that makes me think of the title of a favorite song, a classic ballad that, no doubt, Lester Young played with deep soulfulness.

Here's Bobby Darin's take on "That's All". He does a very "guy" thing, not interpreting it as a ballad, but as a fast, rhythmic number, in a style I associate more with Tony Bennett. Darin, no fool, was in my view playing to his strength as a singer of mid and up-tempo swingers.




But my favorite rendition of "That's All" (even better than the beautiful rendition on Sinatra And Strings) is this stellar performance by Edie Adams in "Lucy Meets The Mustache", the final episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. "That's All" also described the relationship between Lucy and Desi, who filed for divorce the next day.

So sit back and listen to this great song. Edie hits it out of the park.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Edie Adams and Stan Getz Sell Muriel Cigars



The ever-sultry Edie sings
praises for the Panatela Extras, and, even though the Muriel Cigars voice-over pitchman talks over most of Stan Getz' tenor sax playing, I'm ready to buy some Panatela Extras right now - disregarding the fact that the commercial aired 43 years ago and I don't smoke.

The only way Muriel Cigars could have been luckier is if Ernie Kovacs had still been living when this commercial aired.


The tendency is to remember Edie Adams, who passed away earlier this year, as Mrs. Kovacs and the conscientious archivist of the comedian's innovative legacy, rather than for her lengthy career as a Tony award winning entertainer.

Too bad there are no Edie Adams Scopitones!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ernie Kovacs DVD Box Set



Forget investing in the shaky world economy! Sink what's left of that do-re-me into a
DVD box set of Ernie Kovacs shows! A collaboration of The Archive of American Television and Koch Vision, this includes 15 hours of Kovacs programs and is slated for release next year.




I wish it was available right now. Until then, here's a clip of Ernie and Edie (who is very funny in this bit) from the early 1950's.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vintage Christmas Commercials

What would Christmas be without. . . The Norelco Santa?





And after that, I have an uncontrollable urge to shave myself.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Classic Scopitone Starring The Kessler Sisters

"Kinda has a Hello Dali feel."
"They are Bloody Stepford beautiful."

And, indeed, they are: the fabulous Kessler Sisters, starring in one of my all-time favorite Scopitones, Quando Quando.




If you see another amazing, stylish, campy, sexy high-fashion 1960's time capsule that surpasses this Scopitone, let me know.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Burt Bacharach Day

Thanks a million to frequent cohort and Psychotronic Paul Fan Club member Lazy-Eye Raspberry Kennedy for bringing this classic clip (from what show? Ed Sullivan?) of Teutonic tunesters The Kessler Sisters to my ever-wandering attention. If Dionne Warwick can record "Walk On By" in German (and she did, beautifully - I've heard it), these fetching twins can sing "I Say A Little Prayer!" What I like most is how totally disconnected the performance is from the actual meaning of the lyrics and song. That's Entertainment!


When sung by a guy - or a darker type of female vocalist: think Amy Winehouse today - these lyrics by Hal David take on a sinister quality, and sound more like the obsessive words of a stalker than the emotions of a person "in love" (whatever
that means).
Makes me wonder - did Elvis Costello cover
"I Say A Little Prayer!" during his tour with Burt?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Blog's Obsession With Scopitones Continues

This one has more derriere references than a decade of Walt Disney cartoons.

Funny, the PGA never latched onto this Scopitone, Tweedle-Dee starring Freddie Bell and Roberta Linn, as a potential promotional film. . .

Monday, December 15, 2008

And This Blog Loves Scopitones

Anybody who has attended events I collaborate on or produce knows, I'm a sucker for musicals, especially Scopitones and Soundies. I had never seen this Scopitone before last weekend's KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival. It's a beaut and starts with a turban-wearing dude spinning around. Surrounded by wonderfully strange imagery throughout, powerful vocalist Timi Yuro (1940-2004) gives her all to such 1960's-era WTF lyrics as "if I had everything, I'd still be a slave to you".

Of the strikingly odd moments, those showgirls bearing globes (literally, not figuratively or metaphorically) are my favorites.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's Official: This Blog Loves Frank Tashlin

Nobody could get gags past those Hays Office censors quite as cleverly as Frank Tashlin!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Jerry Lewis Rocks!

To continue that Frank Tashlin thread from earlier this week, here's my favorite excerpt from a Jerry Lewis flick, from Tashlin's Rock-A-Bye-Baby (1959). How many rockin' guitarists would kill to do the dance moves Jerry executes here?




Here are the rockin' Treniers with Martin & Lewis on The Colgate Comedy Hour. They knew how to have fun on TV in 1954.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Burlesque By The Bay

News flash from NBC-TV: there's superlative burlesque-vaudeville-circus talent right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. As if you didn't know that!



And yes, Virginia Mayo, there is a tie-in with this blog. The fabulous and hilarious Kitten On The Keys will tickle the ivories as the hostess with the mostest at my Pre-Code Follies movie night on January 30, 2009 at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum's Edison Theatre. The wonderful Devil-ettes performed between our cornucopia of cheesy Christmas kitsch movies at the Thrill-O-Tronic show at the Cerrito Theatre on November 15.