Sunday, December 30, 2018

Ending 2018 with 20th Century Coolness

Watching Double Indemnity on Turner Classic Movies' Noir Alley and then listening to the following excellent tunes by the chubby yet dapper Stubby Kaye, this blogmeister shall dedicate the last blog post of 2018 to a look back at, like the aforementioned Billy Wilder flick, serious coolness from the last century.

Here at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog, we love Stubby's penultimate song in Guys & Dolls.

How cool was Stubby Kaye? Here he is, singing alongside the coolest of them all, Nat "King" Cole, in Cat Ballou.

Speaking of Nat and unforgettable music, here's a place Mr. Cole very likely played with his trio: the 52nd Street jazz club The Three Deuces. The brilliant photographer William P. Gottlieb snapped these shots of one of THE places to be for transcendent music right after World War II.

The Three Deuces, where music history was made!

These incredible shots were just two of many by Gottlieb. The following shows Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge and Teddy Hill at another venue where music history was made, Minton's Playhouse in Harlem.

Found on the Heritage Auctions website, this poster promotes an all-star show at Greensboro Coliseum that rocked the Carolinas on November 12, 1967. There's Moms Mabley, if not the first female standup comedian certainly one of the first, as well as Johnnie Taylor, known for his Stax Record hits Who's Makin' Love and Jody's Got Your Gal and Gone and soul/gospel king Solomon Burke, an ace for Atlantic Records. Indeed, the North Carolinians seeking entertainment in November 1967 got serious bang for their buck with this concert.

And, dear readers wondering who Peg Leg Moffett was, here's one of his records.

Yes, this record was indeed produced and written by the legendary William Bell, Stax Records soul singer and recording producer who also worked with Johnnie Taylor at that label. Nothing if not prolific, Mr. Bell founded Peachtree Records in Atlanta, and produced recordings with several who performed at this Greenboro concert: Mitty Collier, Johnny Jones & The King Casuals, and, yes, Peg Leg Moffett.

So the residents of Greenboro think they can party? Imagine attending the following show in Trenton, a.k.a. When Dracula Did Jersey. If fans had cell phones in 1950, there would have been LOTS of selfies with Bela.

There were many rockin' Alan Freed shows in the 1950's. The headliner on the following concert: the great guitar slinger Bo Diddley.

No doubt Bo Diddley raised the roof at the Brooklyn Fox theatre.

Completing this look at the past century, I'm reading William T. Garver's It Came From The Bottom Shelf website that reviews classic movies in quantity. Now checking out Garv's Picks of the year - 2018, covering many of the rather amazing array of epic Blu-ray and DVD sets released over the past 12 months. Almost all are 20th century movies, many looking absolutely stunning on Blu-ray.

Among Mr. Garver's top picks for 2018, there's, in addition to classics produced in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's, The Misadventures of Biffle & Shooster, a very entertaining and very funny 21st century homage to 20th century coolness, the classic comedy teams of yesteryear, starring Nick Santa Maria and Will Ryan, and directed by Michael Schlesinger.

Laughs are king, in 2018 or 1938.

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