Sunday, February 28, 2010

We remember Mr. Ed, the talking horse (1948-79)



The great talking horse Mr. Ed died in 1979 at age 31.

We grew up watching Mr. Ed, although more have probably seen it on reruns.   It was a great show and the theme was super:
"A horse is a horse, of course, of course,And no one can talk to a horse, of courseThat is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. EdGo right to the source and ask the horse,He'll give you the answer that you'll endorseHe's always on a steady course, talk to Mr. Ed.People yackety yak on the street and waste the time of dayBut Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.A horse is a horse, of course, of course,And no one can talk to a horse, of courseThat is of course unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed."
The shows are now available in DVD.



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We remember Frank Malzone (1930-2015)


Frank Malzone was born on this day in the Bronx in 1930.   Eventually, he played for the Boston Red Sox.

Back in the 1950's, Frank was a very good third baseman and showed power:  .274 average, 133 HR & 728 RBI in 1,441 games.   

Boston was not a good team during Frank's tenure.   He did not have a lot of protection in the lineup.   Frank was one of the inaugural class of inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, in November 1995.



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Saturday, February 27, 2010

1936: 7-year old Shirley Temple signed a big contract

On this day in 1936, Shirley Temple got a new contract from 20th Century Fox.   She was guaranteed $50,000 per film for the next 7 years:    
Temple was born in 1928 in Santa Monica, California, and started appearing in a series of short films spoofing current movies, called Baby Burlesks, at the age of four. At six, she attracted attention with her complex song-and-dance number “Baby Take a Bow,” performed with James Dunn, in the 1934 movie Stand Up and Cheer. Based on the film’s success, 20th Century Fox signed little Shirley to a seven-year contract. She would appear in a string of films that year and the next, including Little Miss Marker, Change of Heart, Bright Eyes (which featured one of her most famous songs, the bouncy tune “On the Good Ship Lollipop”), and Curly Top. At the height of the Great Depression, Temple’s films provided a cheery alternate universe for audiences suffering the effects of widespread unemployment and general economic hardship.
Later, she had a diplomatic career.    Shirley Temple Black was named ambassador to Czechoslovakia by President Bush.

She died in 2014.



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1973: Dick Allen signed the biggest baseball contract ever....

Once upon a time, Dick Allen signed a 3-year $ 750,000 contract with the Chicago White Sox.   It came after winning the 1972 AL MVP and hitting 37 HR.   

Allen broke the Phillies in 1964 and was voted Rookie of the Year.   He put up some great number and seemed like a candidate for the Hall of Fame.   At the same time, he never had a good relationship with the fans or media.    

In 1972, he was traded to Chicago and had a superb season.

Allen battled injuries and personal problems after signing the contract.   He retired with a .291 batting average, 351 HR and 1,191 RBI.   


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We remember Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

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We remember Elizabeth Taylor who was born in London to American parents on this day in 1932.   She eventually moved to Los Angeles with her family in 1939.     

Her movie career stretched from the 1940's to the 1980's, from "Little women" to "Cat on a hat tin roof" to "Cleopatra" to many others.  

She died in 2011.









Friday, February 26, 2010

We remember Johnny Cash (1932-2003)


Like many of you, I learned a lot about Johnny Cash from that film "I walk the line".    It probably introduced a lot of young people to his career and songbook.

Cash was born on this day in 1932.   He was one of the great male vocalists of the 20th century.   His style and voice were unique.     He hung around with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis in the early days of Sun Records and rock and roll.

Check out a Johnny Cash today song today.   There are many to pick from:

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Happy # 70 Sandie Shaw


Sandra Ann Goodrich (Sandie Shaw) was born in England on this day in 1947.    She had a great face and super looks!

We remember her for a hits on the radio back in the 1960's, specially "Girl don't come" from the early days of Beatlemania.    Her songs were part of The British invasion!     



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We remember Fats Domino (1928-2017)


We remember  Antoine Domino, the great Fats Domino who was born in New Orleans on this day in 1928.   He died in 2017 at age 89.   

He was one of the early rockers and best entertainers ever.   Some of his hits were:   "Blue Monday", “Blueberry Hill” , “Ain’t that a shame” and "Walking to New Orleans".     
You have to check out one of his many hits:


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We remember Preacher Roe (1916-2008)

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We remember Preacher Roe who was born in Arkansas on this day in 1916.     

Roe broke with the Cardinals in 1938 but did not return to the majors until 1944 with the Pirates.   

His best years were with the Dodgers, 1948-54.    

In 7 seasons with Brooklyn, Roe was 93-37 with an excellent 3.26 ERA plus 74 complete games & 12 shutouts.     

He pitched in 3 World Series against the Yankees:   2-1, 3 complete games, 1 shutout & a 2.54 ERA.     In 1951, Roe was named National League Pitcher of the Year when he won 22 with a 3.04 ERA.

Roe's career totals:  127 wins, 101 complete games and 17 shutouts.

He died in 2008.







1993: The first World Trade Center attack


Image result for world trade center 1993 bombing newspaper images

On this day in 1993, a terrorist bomb exploded in a World Trade Center parking lot in New York City.   It left a crater 60 feet wide and caused the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors in the vicinity of the blast.   Six people were killed and 1,000 injured. 

We remind you that this attack happened 10 years before the US invaded Iraq.


PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

1974: "The sting" sweept Oscars and nobody was talking politics!


Once upon a time, I cared about the Oscars.   I guess that was before every movie star decided to give a political speech that no one cared to hear.

"The sting" with Paul Newman and Robert Redford swept the Oscars in 1974.   It also introduced Scott Joplin's music to a lot of us.   Joplin died in 1917.    

This is one of the best movies I've ever seen:


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1953: Ronald Reagan looking good in "Law and order"


Doesn't "Law and order" sounds great for a Ronald Reagan movie?    It was released in 1953.

After all, wasn't he the "law and order" governor in who stood up to rowdy students at the universities in California?    Didn't he fire the air controllers when he became president in 1981?

I enjoyed it.  Reagan was Marshall Johnson in this movie based on a W R Burnett's novel.

It was another of the 1950's Westerns about good guys vs bad guys.    The plot was simple and Dorothy Malone was the pretty girl in the story.


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1942: The Pride of the Yankees, my favorite baseball movie


What a great movie.   

This is the story of Lou Gehrig and I have to watch it every year.   You can catch Babe Ruth playing himself.   

Gehrig died in 1939 at age 36, a couple of months short of his 37th birthday.

His numbers are legendary:  .340 career batting average, 494 HR & 1,995 RBI.   Add to this 2,721 hits in 2,164 games PLUS the 2,130 consecutive game streak.  Lou played in 7 World Series and was the clean up hitter of the 1927 Yankees!

This is a Hollywood version.   However, it depicts Lou correctly.   Lou was a gentleman and a team player:
  

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1947: "Dark passage" is a rather good movie


Image result for dark passage lauren bacall images
What can you say about "Dark passage" featuring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall?   or a movie from 1947 with Anges Morehead?   Remember Agnes as Samantha's mother in "Bewitched"?

The movie starts with Bogart escaping out of prison.   Then Bacall walks into his life and takes him to her apartment.    

The rest is on you.    You will enjoy it, specially hearing Bogart's voice for much of the movie without seeing his face.     
Watch it!   It's a little slow but you will enjoy it!




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1946: "The Razor's edge", a very intense movie


As you probably know, TCM has been showing some of the great Hollywood movies this month.    I paid attention a few years ago and have connected with many great works that I had never seen before.

Before I start, let me tell you that "The Razor's edge" from 1946 runs about 145 minutes, or a very long time.    Nevertheless, the plot is very different and will keep you tuned in.

It is the story of Larry Darrell, played by Tyrone Power, a young man who just returned from World War I.    He was deeply affected by the war and needs a little to find the important things of life.

His girl is Isabel Bradley, played by Gene Tirney, a beautiful young woman who has marriage and commitment in mind.

There are other great performances in the movie, such as Clifton Webb and Anne Baxter.   Cecil Humphreys as "The Holy Man" is great.

Larry and Isabel do not get married.   They pursue different paths but circumstances bring them back together much later.

And the rest is up to you to watch.    I think that you will enjoy it.    It is based on a popular book by W. Somerset Maugham.    



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Remembering George Harrison (1943-2001)




George Harrison was born in Liverpool on this day in 1943.  Of course, George died of cancer in 2001.

George always played behind John & Paul, the group's main songwriters and vocalists. They met in Liverpool and George was part of the original group that eventually became The Beatles.

George was indeed "the quiet Beatle" but played a great lead guitar. You can hear that guitar in all of those riffs like "Day Tripper"!   And he played the sitar in "Norweigan wood" and "The inner light".

He also sang background vocals!

And he contributed some good songs to the group's LP's over the years, like "Something", "Here comes the sun" & "While my guitar gently weeps." 




February 25: The late George Harrison was born on this day in 1943


We remember George Harrison who was born in Liverpool on this day in 1943.    He died of cancer in November 2001.

George turned 21 when The Beatles were touring the US in February 1964.    He joined the group when Paul introduced him to John.     It didn't take long for John and Paul to appreciate George's guitar skills!

He was known as "The Quiet Beatle" and usually in the background.   

As a Beatle, he was an excellent lead guitarist.   Later, he wrote some of the group's best songs, like "Something", "Here comes the sun" and "While my guitar gently weeps".

His solo career had a great start with "My sweet Lord" and then it slowed up a bit.   In the 1980s, he recorded "All of those years ago" about John's death and a few best selling albums like "Cloud 9".

It's hard to believe that George died so many years ago!

P.S.  Some of George's best songs were on "Abbey Road" & "The White Album".....




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1964: Clay beat Liston for his first heavyweight crown

By February 1964, Cassius Clay was a 22-year old Olympic gold medalist (1960) and looking for first title.   

On this day in 1964, he got it with a technical knockout of Sonny Liston:   
The highly anticipated match took place in Miami Beach, Florida. Clay, who later became known to the world as Muhammad Ali, went on to become the first fighter to capture the heavyweight title three times.
Liston was a reserved, feared fighter, a decade older than Cassius Clay, and had been world heavyweight champ since defeating Floyd Patterson in 1962. 
By contrast, Clay was a mouthy underdog who had won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. While training for their fight, Clay, a natural self-promoter, taunted Liston and boasted to reporters that he would win by knockout. Clay came out strong during the fight, using speed and footwork to his advantage against the slower Liston. 
After the sixth round, Liston, who was suffering from cuts and bruises under his eyes and an apparent injured shoulder, announced he couldn’t continue. 
Clay won the match by technical knockout and then announced to the world, “I am the greatest!”
On May 25, 1965, the two fighters met in Lewiston, Maine, for a rematch. The bout ended with a highly controversial first-round knockout for Clay, who by then had become a member of the Nation of Islam and taken a Muslim name, Muhammad Ali.
It was the beginning of the legend of Ali.



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We remember Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)


Enrico Caruso was the first tenor of the recording age:

"There was a time in America, early in the last century, when the top-selling record of all time was of the operatic tenor Enrico Caruso performing "Vesti la giubba" fromPagliacci

That 78 r.p.m. record was the first million-seller in American history, and at a price that exceeded the cost of some tickets to a live Caruso performance. 


It has happened occasionally in more recent times that stars from the world of opera have crossed over to attain a degree of mainstream popularity—Plácido Domingo, José Carrera and Luciano Pavarotti, performing as "the Three Tenors," are the most successful that come to mind. 


Yet it might take 300 tenors of their stature to equal the cultural impact of Enrico Caruso. 


The most famous operatic tenor in history and the biggest recording artist of the early 20th century, Enrico Caruso was born in Naples, Italy this day in 1873."


Caruso died in 1921 at the age of 48.   Thankfully, we have his recordings to remember that amazing voice:




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1996: A deadly weekend for US citizens over international waters




In Miami, and other Cuban American communities across the U.S., we will remember this weekend the anniversary of the shooting of four Cuban-Americans over the Florida Straits. It happened in 1996:
Two small planes operated by a Cuban-American group were shot down by Cuban fighters over the waters north of Havana and the four people on board were missing, President Clinton and the U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday.
Clinton said he had been briefed on “the shooting down Saturday in broad daylight of two American civilian airplanes by Cuban military aircraft.”
“I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Clinton told reporters in Seattle, Washington.
The two planes with four people on board were twin-engine Cessna aircraft operated by the group “Brothers to the Rescue,” a Miami-based group of Cuban exiles funded by private donations. The group has flown hundreds of missions to spot Cuban rafters attempting to flee their island nations.
Group founder Jose Basulto was on a third plane that escaped the gunfire and returned to Miami.
Basulto said all three planes had radioed Cuban air traffic controllers to identify themselves and report their intentions to search international waters for Cuban refugees who may be on rafts.
Basulto described seeing two Cuban MiG fighters approach them while they were at least 20 miles north of the Cuban coast, 8 miles into international waters. Shortly after that, he lost radio contact with the other two Cessnas.
“I kept calling them both and heard no answer,” Basulto said. “At that time we decided to proceed north and go into the clouds for cover, because we feared that something dreadful had happened.”
In response, President Clinton:
…pledged Monday to work with Congress to pass the so-called Helms-Burton legislation which would tighten the existing U.S. embargo against Cuba.
The president said he would ask Congress to permit him to use some of the approximately $100 million in frozen Cuban assets in the U.S. to compensate the families of the four missing Cuban-American pilots and crew members.
Clinton also announced additional punitive measures, among them:
tighter restrictions on the movement of Cuban officials in the United States; efforts to increase funding to help the U.S. government’s Radio Marti overcome Cuba’s jamming of its broadcasts; suspension of all commercial charter flights between the U.S. and Cuba.
This incident was a low point in U.S.-Cuba relations. The U.S.-registered aircraft were destroyed while looking for rafters in international waters. Cuba had no reason to shoot down planes on a humanitarian mission.   
Furthermore, Cuba has never taken responsibility for this lawless action.    
Nevertheless, a U.S. flag now flies in Cuba, not far from where dissidents continue to be arrested.    
And no one reminded President Obama that Cuba has never fulfilled the requirements that the U.S. Congress imposed after the shooting. Then again, did he ever care about the law?
What happens when a hostile country shoots U.S. citizens on a humanitarian mission? I guess that you reestablish relations and don’t demand accountability.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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George Harrison, born on this day in 1943


I'D HAVE YOU ANYTIME
"Let me in here,Let me into your heartLet me know you, let me show you  Let me roll it to you
All you see is mine
And I'm glad to hold you in my arms
I'd have you anytime
Let me say it, let me play it
Let me lay it on you
Let me know you, let me show you
Let me grow upon you
All I have is yours
All you see is mine
And I'm glad to hold you in my arms
I'd have you anytime
Let me in here, I know I've been here
Let me into your heart..."


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Happy # 76 to Mrs Ingalls, one of our favorite TV mothers!

We say happy birthday to Karen Grassle who was born in California on this day in 1942.

She is well known as Mrs Caroline Ingalls and one our very favorite TV mothers.

"Little House" was based on a series of books written by Laura Ingalls-Wilder.  Laura was born in the late 1800's and published the books in the 1930's. 

It was her family's story.  The stories were about Pa, Ma, sister Mary and Almanzo, the young man she eventually married.

I have never read the books but the TV series was fabulous.  The shows were extremely well written, serious and touched on real family issues.

It was a great show.




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George Harrison (1943-2001)


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George Harrison was born in Liverpool on this day in 1940.

We remember him as the "quiet Beatle". 

He spent much of his time behind the Lennon-McCartney songwriting machine and Ringo's charisma.  

George did play lead guitar in all of those Beatles' hits. 

And he added one or two songs in every album.  ("Something" went all the way to # 1!).

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George Harrison (1943-2001)

He was the "Quiet Beatle", a realistic reference to the fact that George Harrison played in a band led by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.    

However, George did play lead guitar in all of those great songs that John and Paul sang.  He also wrote some nice songs that the group recorded, from "Something" to "Here comes the sun" to the very prophetic "Taxman".

We remember today.   Of course, George died of cancer back in 2001.

His solo career was short lived but he did record some nice songs:


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"The search" is a great movie from 1948

Image result for the search movie 1948 images

"The search" is one of the best movies that I've seen in a while.    It is the story of young boy in post World War II looking for his mother.    

Along the way, the boy comes into contact with a US soldier played by Montgomery Clift.     

Eventually, the boy is reconnected with his mother but the story is worth every minute:





1973: Roberta Flack and "Killing me softly" was # 1 this week

As a young woman, Roberta Flack loved classical piano and won a music scholarship to Howard University.  She became a music teacher after graduation and sang at a club to make a little extra money.   Eventually, someone heard her lovely voice and the rest is music history.    
Her first hit was "The first time ever I saw your face", an absolutely amazing vocal performance.   Intense and lovely!

Her second song was "Killing me softly" and it sat at the # 1 position this week in 1973:




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Remembering Luis Aguile 1936-2009


We remember that Luis Aguile was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on this day in 1936.   He died in 2009.

Back in the 1960s, our family spent many cold winter nights in Wisconsin listening to "Cuando sali de Cuba".  It always put a tear in my parents' eyes.

Thanks to the late Luis Aguile for that wonderful song!     It is now available in a digital format:


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The Beatles and February 1965


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Again....do we love the Beatles or are we getting old?

YES and YES!

We are looking back at 1965, the second year of The Beatles in the US, and much of the world.

We will remember some of their big hits from 1965, or many years ago!

"Eight days a week" was released 45 years ago this week. It was also included in "The Beatles VI" album!

Like everything from The Beatles, it went to #1 in the US and many other countries.

It was the second of 6 consecutive #1 songs in the US. (Nobody touched that streak until The Bee Gees in 1978-79!)

The B-side was 'I don't want to spoil the party", which is actually a better song in my opinion.  However, the group decided to release it on the B-side!    

Here are the digital versions: "I feel fine" & "I don't want to spoil the party".


2013: Operation Pedro Pan: 50 years later!

1996: The Cuban government shot down US citizens over The Florida Straits


(MY NEW AMERICAN THINKER POST)

My opposition to the US-Cuba talks, or better referred to as the Obama-Castro talks, is based on many reasons, from the Cuban government harboring fugitives of US law to confiscating million of dollars from US citizens.   

One big factor is the criminal behavior of the regime, such as working with North Korea to violate a UN resolution. We remind you that a North Korea ship was stopped in the Panama Canal ".... with Soviet-era weapons and fighter jets hidden under sacks of sugar."

Wonder why the Castro regime is on the State Department terrorist list? It earned it!

Furthermore, it does not get any more criminal than the killing of civilians on a humanitarian mission.

Our friends at Capitol Hill Cubans reminded us of what happened on February 24, 1996:
"Nineteen-years later -- justice awaits.
Now, more than ever, as President Obama (in a deal with dictator Raul Castro) recently commuted the life sentence of a Cuban spy, Gerardo Hernandez, who had been convicted for murder conspiracy in this act of terrorism.
Hernandez received a hero's welcome by Castro's regime, while the families of the American victims were denied justice.
Meanwhile, senior Cuban military officials remain indicted in U.S. federal courts and the Castros continue to boast about their ultimate responsibility.
From the final judgment by Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence King in the civil lawsuit against the Castro regime and the Cuban Air Force (FAR):
" The government of Cuba, on February 24th 1996, in outrageous contempt for international law and basic human rights, murdered four human beings in international airspace over the Florida Straits. The victims were Brothers to the Rescue pilots, flying two civilian unarmed planes on a routine humanitarian mission, searching for rafters in the waters between Cuba and the Florida Keys.
As the civilian planes flew over international waters, a Russian built MiG 29 of the Cuban Air Force, without warning, reason, or provocation blasted the defenseless planes out of the sky with sophisticated air-to-air missiles in two separate attacks. The pilots and their aircraft disintegrated in the mid-air explosions following the impact of the missiles. The destruction was so complete that the four bodies were never recovered.""
What was "the crime"? They were flying over international waters looking for rafters and advising the US Coast Guard. It was a humanitarian act that posed no threat to the Cuban regime.

The four victims were: Armando Alejandre Jr. (45 years old), Carlos Alberto Costa (29), Mario Manuel de la Peña (24), and Pablo Morales (29). Three of these men were US citizens and the the 4th was a legal resident.

The US-Cuba talks are supposed to continue later this week. I hope that the Obama team demands accountability for this act. At the very least, they should call on the Castro regime to admit that they shot down civilians over international waters.

P.S. You can hear my show: (CantoTalk)  or follow me on Twitter  





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