Sunday, January 30, 2022


Nearly 71 years ago, Nat King Cole was in the Capitol Studios with Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra recording some of these beautiful tunes...

Harry Bluestone, Benny Gill, Seymour Kramer, Dan Lube, William Miller, Misha Russell, Jack Shulman, Robert Sushel, Jerry Vinci, violin; Joe DiFiore, Lou Kievman, viola; Armand Kaproff, Eleanor Slatkin, cello; Kathryn Julye, harp; Buddy Cole, piano; Irving Ashby, guitar; Joe Comfort, Milton Kestenbaum, bass; Lee Young, drums; Nat King Cole, vocals; Les Baxter, conductor; Nelson Riddle, arranger.

Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, CA, February 6, 1951

7107-10Early AmericanCapitol 1565
7108-8Too YoungCapitol 1449, H-357, EAP-2-357, T-357
7109-7Because Of RainCapitol 1501

* Capitol T-357   Nat 'King' Cole - Unforgettable
* Capitol H-357   Nat 'King' Cole - Unforgettable
* Capitol EAP-2-357   Nat 'King' Cole - Unforgettable
* Capitol 1565   Nat King Cole - My Brother / Early American
* Capitol 1449   Nat King Cole - Too Young / That's My Girl
* Capitol 1501   Nat King Cole - Song Of Delilah / Because Of Rain


Thursday, January 27, 2022


The great Cloris Leachman died on this day one year ago. She is still missed...

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Peter Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown in the classic 1960s Peanuts cartoons, has died. The former actor committed suicide last week, his family told A Trip Down Memory Lane. He was 65.

Robbins (real name Louis G. Nanasi) was born in 1956 in Los Angeles. He began acting in 1963 and was the first to play the Charles M. Schulz-created character of Charlie Brown, including in such perennial holiday animated classics as A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966).

In addition to voicing Charlie Brown for four years, Robbins recurred on the 1968 comedy Blondie and guest starred on such TV series as Rawhide, The Munsters, The Donna Reed Show, F Troop, Get Smart and My Three Sons. Robbins quit acting in 1972. For awhile, he worked as a DJ in Palm Springs.

Robbins, who suffered from bipolar disorder, made headlines in 2015 when he was sentenced to five years for making threats to several people, including public figures. He was released in 2019...

Sunday, January 23, 2022


Here is the obituary for the beautiful and talented Marilyn Maxwell as it appeared in the New York Times on March 21, 1972...

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., March 20 (UPI)—Marilyn Maxwell, who starred in numerous song‐and‐dance movies in’ the 1940's and later on television comedy shows, died today at her home at the age of 49.

Miss Maxwell, who had been under treatment for high blood pressure and a pulmonary ailment, was found in the bathroom by her son, Matthew, 15 years old, when he returned home from school in the afternoon, the police said.

A Durable Blonde

Miss Maxwell's durable blonde good looks and breezy manner carried her from World War II action films, radio and musical comedy to frequent television appearances.

She. appeared with Robert Taylor in ‘Stand By for Action,” with Wallace Beery in “Salute to the Marines” and with Kay Kyser in “Swing Fever,” in which Bosley Crowther, movie critic of The New York Times, called her “a routine blonde warbler.” She showed up with. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in “Lost in Harems; and was in several of the “Dr. Gillespie” medical sagas with Lionel Barrymore and Van Johnson.

In 1948, she won praise from Mr. Crowther as the “pictorial and sensuous Belle” in “Summer Holiday,” a musical screen version of Eugene O'Neill's “Ali! Wilderness” with Mickey Rooney.

In 1950 Mr. Crowther found her “lushly attractive as the bubble dancer who inhabits convention hotels” in “Key to the City,” in which Clark Gable played the lead.

That year she also was the female star of Bob Hope's troupe of entertainers visiting Korea in the early months of the conflict there. She had appeared with him in “The Lemon Drop Kid” and later in “Off Limits.”

On television she starred in a version of the stage show “Burlesque”in 1955 with a cast including Dan Dailey and Jack Oakie.

In 1961, television took the title “Bus Stop” from the William Inge play as a format for a series. Miss Maxwell played Gracie, proprietress of the roadside stop, but she later dropped out of the cast with the complaint that she was not suffi ciently involved in the actual plots.

Miss Maxwell, who was born in Clarinda, Iowa, graduated to Hollywood from the Pasadena Playhouse.

Her three marriages—to John Conte, an actor; Andy McIntyre, a restaurateur, and Jerry Davis, a producer—ended in divorce. Her surviving son,. Matthew, was a child of the third marriage...

Friday, January 21, 2022


Louie Anderson, an Emmy winner whose career spanned from stand-up and game show host to starring roles in TV and film, died Friday in Las Vegas from complications related to cancer, his publicist Glenn Schwartz confirmed to our blog. He was 68.

Born one of 11 children in St. Paul, Minnesota, Anderson was a counselor for troubled children when he won a the first--place trophy at the 1981 Midwest Comedy Competition. The host of the competition, legendary comedian Henny Youngman, was so impressed that he hired the young comic as a writer. Anderson was soon basking in his own spotlight on comedy stages all over the country.

Johnny Carson invited Anderson to make his national television debut on the "The Tonight Show" in 1984 and Anderson's career took off. It was hosting the beloved game show "Family Feud" in 1999 that made Anderson a household name and opened doors for him into acting. Anderson guest-starred in multiple TV series, including "Grace Under Fire," Touched by an Angel" and "Chicago Hope," and he appeared in films like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Coming to America" and its sequel "Coming 2 America," opposite Eddie Murphy. He voiced a fictitious version of his 8-year-old self in the popular 1990s animated series "Life With Louie," which ran for three years.

More recently, Anderson appeared on "Young Sheldon," had a recurring role in the dark comedy "Search Party" and had joined the cast of the hit BET series, "Twenties." Critics took notice when in 2016 Anderson was cast to co-star along with Zach Galifianakis and Martha Kelly in the hit FX comedy series "Baskets." Anderson played the role of "Christine," the matriarch of the Baskets clan, and based the character on his mother and his five sisters, who he said were a major presence in his life. The role won him an Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series, as well as a Critics' Choice award for best supporting actor in a comedy series.

Anderson was also a best selling author. His books included "Dear Dad -- Letters From An Adult Child," "Good-bye Jumbo...Hello Cruel World," and "The F Word, How To Survive Your Family." His most recent book, "Hey Mom" was published in 2018 and "combined wry wit and poignant humor while sharing his journey of turning life's challenges into joy as well as plenty of wisdom he gained from his late mother." His last role was in 2021's Coming 2 America...

Sunday, January 16, 2022


With the amount of time that classic Hollywood stars spent making movies and appearances, I can not believe when they got the time to cook! Here is a nice dessert receipe from heartthrob of the 1950s - Rock Hudson...

Rock Hudson’s Cannoli

Sunday, January 9, 2022


 I have always had a crush on the great Ann-Margret. Here is a nice advertisement she did around the early 1970s. I am not a fan of Canadian Dry, but seeing Ann-Margaret promote it, makes me rethink it!


Friday, January 7, 2022


Sidney Poitier, whose groundbreaking acting work in the 1950s and 60s paved the way for generations of Black film stars, has died aged 94. His death was announced on Friday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas, Fred Mitchell.

Bahamas Prime Minister Chester Cooper said he was “conflicted with great sadness and a sense of celebration when I learned of the passing of Sir Sidney Poitier.

“Sadness that he would no longer be here to tell him how much he means to us, but celebration that he did so much to show the world that those from the humblest beginnings can change the world and that we gave him his flowers while he was with us.

“We have lost an icon; a hero, a mentor, a fighter, a national treasure.”

Poitier, who was born in Miami but raised in the Bahamas, was the first black winner of the best actor Oscar for Lilies of the Field and, along with Harry Belafonte, was a pioneering black presence in mainstream Hollywood cinema.

Born to Bahamian parents while they were visiting Miami to sell tomatoes in 1927, Poitier grew up in the Bahamas – then a British colony – but returned to the US aged 15, and worked at a series of low-paid jobs before briefly serving in the army during the second world war (and attempting to feign insanity to win a medical discharge).

Somewhat directionless, Poitier auditioned for the high profile American Negro Theater, based in Harlem, and although he was rejected, he worked hard to improve his acting skills – including losing his Bahamian accent. After being allowed to attend classes, Poitier stepped in when Belafonte, then a star student, was unable to perform. Having been spotted by a Broadway director, Poitier subsequently carved out a nascent career in the black theatre circuit of the period.

Poitier then secured his first significant film role, in the 1950 film noir No Way Out; he played a hospital doctor whose racist patient (played by Richard Widmark) starts a race riot. With its overt depiction of racial conflict, No Way Out was considered too controversial to be shown in southern states, but established Poitier’s trademark persona as sensitive, forbearing figure, more intelligent than the whites surrounding him.

Though films examining the fraught state of race relations were popular at the time, there were still limited roles for black actors in the US. As one of the few who had made an impact, Poitier then shot the British-produced adaptation of Cry, the Beloved Country – experiencing apartheid in South Africa by all accounts was a shattering experience, and pushed him towards activism.

Poitier’s breakthrough role came back in the US, with another social comment picture: Blackboard Jungle, in 1955, in which he played a rebellious high school student. The film was a hit, with its use of Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock ensuring a large teenage audience; in the UK it inspired the infamous Elephant and Castle teddy boy riot of 1956.

Poitier continued to win plaudits: he played a dock worker who mentors John Cassavetes’ drifter in Edge of the City, and then secured an groundbreaking Oscar nomination as best actor for The Defiant Ones, the Stanley Kramer message movie about social co-operation, in which he played a convict who escapes in the deep south while shackled to Tony Curtis. (Both Curtis and Poitier were nominated; they lost to David Niven for Separate Tables.)

He continued to take on ideologically-charged roles, such as Porgy in Otto Preminger’s film of Porgy and Bess, and the lead in A Raisin in the Sun, the adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s much-admired play about family life in racially-segregated Chicago. (Poitier had appeared in the same role in the original theatrical production in 1959.) He finally won his Oscar for the earnest drama Lilies of the Field in 1964; he played a handyman who helps a group of German nuns build a chapel in the Arizona desert.

However, despite two further Tibbs movies (They Call Me Mister Tibbs! and The Organization in 1970 and 1971 respectively), Poitier suddenly found himself out of favour, as a more confrontational, politicised attitude gained traction in the wake of the civil rights struggle; Poitier responded by reinventing himself as a director. For his debut, Buck and the Preacher, he cast himself opposite Belafonte in a civil war western; however, his directorial output would largely consist of comedy pieces. 

Poitier largely retreated from cinema in the late 1980s and 1990s, directing Cosby in Ghost Dad and taking odd roles in the likes of thriller Sneakers; he assumed the role of elder statesman in both cinematic and diplomatic circles. Having been knighted in 1974 (due to his Bahamian citizenship), he was appointed Bahamas ambassador to Japan in 1997, and received an honorary Oscar in 2002. In 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a Bafta fellowship in 2016.

Poitier was married twice: to Juanita Hardy between 1950 and 1965 (with whom he had four children), and subsequently to Joanna Shimkus in 1976 (with whom he had a further two)...

Thursday, January 6, 2022


When I first got into old movies, I was a big fan of Eddie Cantor movies. After watching 1931's Palmy Days, I noticed a woman in the ancient movie that did amazing high kicks. I was more into Eddie Cantor, than the actress at the time, but I am so glad to have gotten to know the great Charlotte Greenwood. She was an amazing woman.

Charlotte Greenwood was born Frances Charlotte Greenwood on June 25, 1890, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was a sickly child and her father left the family when she was very young. Charlotte grew into a healthy, six foot tall woman. She started her career dancing in vaudeville where she became known for her long legs. Her signature dance move was doing a high kick. She was nicknamed "Lady Longlegs".

 Although she dreamed of becoming a dramatic actress she had greater success in comedy. She starred in a series of stage shows playing a man crazy character named "Letty". The character became so popular that Charlotte starred in the movie version So Long Letty in 1929.

She appeared in dozens of films including Down Argentine Way, Star Dust, and The Gang's All Here. Charlotte was usually cast as the comedic sidekick and became one the most recognizable character actresses. Originally she had a prominent part in the Broadway version of "Annie Get Your Gun". At the insistence of star Ethel Merman, the part was pared down to almost nothing. When a dispirited Greenwood gave co-producer Richard Rodgers notice, a sympathetic Rodgers replied, "Letty, I can hardly blame you."

In 1942, Charlotte took part in the famed Hollywood Victory Caravan, in which over fifty film stars traveled by train across the country to Washington D.C. to raise funds for the war effort. The trip culminated with a visit to Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House, where Charlotte made one of her signature high kicks over the First Lady’s head, prompting Groucho Marx to comment to Mrs. Roosevelt, “You could do that, too, if you put your mind to it.”

 She was a devout Christian scientist and her faith made her turn down roles she felt were too risqué. In 1955 she played Aunt Eller in the hit musical Oklahoma. Greenwood was the original choice to play "Aunt Eller" in the Broadway musical "Oklahoma!" In fact, the part was conceived with her in mind. Film commitments, however, kept her from doing the role and the part went to actress Betty Garde. As a testament to her popularity, Greenwood was asked to do the film version over a decade later.

Charlotte made a few more films before retiring. Her last film was 1956's The Opposite Sex. Charlotte died on December 28, 1978 from natural causes. Although she died in 1978, her death was not reported to the public until Valentines Day 1979 when an obituary appeared in the New York Times, stating she had no known survivors and that she left her personal papers to playwright William Luce as per her final wishes. In her private life as well as her Hollywood life, she was quite a character...

Monday, January 3, 2022


On this day of January 3rd, Maxene Andrews of the Andrews Sisters fame was born in 1916. Andrews was the second daughter of Peter Andrews and Olga Sollie, café owners in Minneapolis. She was four and a half years younger than her sister La Verne Sophie and two years older than her sister Patricia Marie. The sisters began singing together at talent contests, and after winning a contest at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis in April 1931, they were hired by the bandleader Larry Rich. They toured with Rich from the summer of 1931 to the summer of 1932, after which they sang with big bands. While working with Leon Belasco’s Orchestra, they made their first recordings in March 1937, but when Belasco disbanded his group, the sisters were stranded in New York City. They planned to give up show business and return to Minnesota, but a one-night job singing over the radio earned them a contract with Decca Records. Their first Decca single flopped, but their second, a novelty recording of an English-language version of the Yiddish show tune “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen,” became a surprise hit, topping the charts in January 1938. The sisters would remain one of the most popular recording stars of the 1940s, and were a favorite of soldiers that they entertained during World War II with the USO.

In March 1941 Maxene married Lou Levy, the group’s personal manager. She and Levy adopted two children and divorced in 1951. After Laverne died in 1967 and the group finally broke up Maxene stayed in music, launching a solo career. In 1985 she released her debut solo album, Maxene: An Andrews Sister. With Bill Gilbert she wrote a memoir, Over Here, Over There: The Andrews Sisters and the USO Stars in World War II, which was published in 1993. She returned to musical theater with the off-Broadway musical Swingtime Canteen, which opened on 14 March 1995, but while on vacation from the show she died of a heart attack. She is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Maxene Andrews’s accomplishments are inevitably combined with those of her sisters. Employing a distinctive vocal harmony style that drew upon the exuberant, dance-oriented arrangements of swing music, and with a frisky sense of humor, the Andrews Sisters helped popularize a variety of musical genres within popular music, including many ethnic forms as well as boogie-woogie. As entertainers, they defined the exuberant 1940s style that maintained morale and helped win World War II. Though she never achieved widespread popularity apart from the group, Maxene, the most articulate and personable of the sisters, successfully forged a career as a singer, musical-comedy performer, and author long after the group’s heyday....