Friday, June 30, 2023


 Ginny Simms was famous for her vocals with Kay Kyser & His Orchestra, but she also tried to hand in acting and was one of the most beautiful woman vocalists in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Here are some prime examples of her beauty:

Monday, June 26, 2023


Normally I got to the movies with my daughter who is a movie junkie! My older son is like my wife, in that they do not care for going to the movies. My son, who is a teenager now wanted to see a movie with me! I jumped at the chance to spend some time with him, and we saw the comedy No Hard Feelings. Directed by Gene Stupnitsky from a screenplay he co-wrote with John Phillips, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence (who also produces) as a down-on-her-luck young woman who answers a listing to date an introverted 19-year-old (played by Andrew Barth Feldman) in order to get him out of his shell prior to college. Laura Benanti, Natalie Morales, and Matthew Broderick co-star.

The project was announced on October 2021, when Sony Pictures Releasing and Columbia Pictures won a bidding war between Apple Original Films, Netflix and Universal Pictures. Lawrence was joined the cast and produced the film with Stupnitsky attached to direct the film. Much of the cast joined in September to October 2022. Filming expected begin in late September in various Nassau County locations in New York City. No Hard Feelings was released in the United States by Sony Pictures Releasing on June 23, 2023. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $24 million.

I enjoyed the film overall. Because of our society's constant struggle with political correctness, there has not been many comedies lately. The genre needs revived, because I am bored of super hero movies and franchises. No Hard Feelings put a lot of their best moments in the trailer, but the movie was great. It is surprising to see oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence in a comedy role, but she is really believable as a 32 yeard old woman with no future. An added addition to the cast is Matthew Broderick as the hippy father. I would have liked to have seen more of him!

The movie is R-rated for language and nudity, so I do not recommend this for children. My son who is mature for his age, got all of the inneudos, and he really liked the movie. He did not care for the ending, and it did kind of just taper off, but if you are in the mood for a fast and breezey movie that is not all CGI or superhero, then check out this film. The humor was sometimes crude, but the laughs we had were real...

MY RATING: 8 out of 10

Saturday, June 24, 2023


Phil Harris was many things in Hollywood. He was a singer, comedian, actor, band leader, and just an all around fun guy. He was born on this day in 1904. Harris was born in Linton, Indiana, but grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and identified himself as a Southerner. His hallmark song was "That's What I Like About the South." He had a trace of a Southern accent and in later years made self-deprecating jokes over the air about his heritage. His parents were circus performers. His father, a tent bandleader, gave him his first job as a drummer with the circus' band.

Phil Harris began his music career as a drummer in San Francisco, in the mid-1920s playing drums in the Henry Halstead Big Band Orchestra. He formed an orchestra with Carol Lofner in the latter 1920s and started a long engagement at the St. Francis Hotel. In the 1930s, Lofner-Harris recorded swing music for Victor, Columbia, Decca, and Vocalion. The partnership ended by 1932, and Harris led a band in Los Angeles for which he was the singer and bandleader. In 1936, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny singing and leading his band, with Mahlon Merrick writing much of the show's music. When Harris exhibited a knack for snappy one-liners, he joined the cast, portraying himself as a hip, hard-drinking Southerner whose good nature superseded his ego. He gave the others nicknames, such as "Jackson" for Jack Benny. (Addressing a man as "Jackson" or sometimes "Mr. Jackson" became popular slang in the early 1940s.) His signature song was "That's What I Like About the South." Many of his vocal recordings were comic novelty "talking blues," similar to the songs of Bert Williams, which are sometimes considered a precursor to rap. He remained on the Jack Benny program until 1952. He also starred in his own radio show with his wife Alice Faye from 1946 to 1954.

In 1956, Harris appeared in the film Good-bye, My Lady. He made numerous guest appearances on 1960s and 1970s television series, including The Steve Allen Show, the Kraft Music Hall, Burke's Law, F Troop, The Dean Martin Show, The Hollywood Palace, and other musical variety programs. He appeared on The American Sportsman which took celebrities on hunting and fishing trips around the world.

Harris worked as a voice actor for animated films, providing the voice of Baloo the bear in The Jungle Book (1967), Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats (1970), and Little John in Robin Hood (1973). In 1989, he reprised his role as Baloo for the cartoon series TaleSpin, but after a few recording sessions he was replaced by Ed Gilbert. Harris's final film role was in Rock-a-Doodle (1991).

Harris spent time in the 1970s and early 1980s leading a band that appeared often in Las Vegas, often on the same bill with bandleader Harry James.This "man of the south" led a full life and died at the age of 91 in 1995...

Tuesday, June 20, 2023


Walter Winchell once compared himself to a man sitting at an upstairs window, watching life parade by, perhaps dropping a flower on those below, perhaps a flower pot. As far as it went, that was accurate. What he failed to mention was that he was usually being paid—with sex or information or influence, if not cash—to choose between the petals or the clay pots.The broadcaster-columnist Winchell is little-remembered these days, but he was very much a man of our time. Gossip as news, news as entertainment, fake news, tabloid news.Winchell often did not have credible sources for his accusations. For most of his career his contract with his newspaper and radio employers required them to reimburse him for any damages he had to pay, should he be sued for slander or libel. Whenever friends reproached him for betraying confidences, he responded, "I know—- I'm just a son of a bitch." By the mid-1950s he was widely believed to be arrogant, cruel, and ruthless. The changes in Winchell's public image over time can be seen by comparing the two fictional movie gossip columnists who were based on Winchell. In the 1932 film, Okay, America, the columnist, played by Lew Ayres, is a hero. In the 1957 film, Sweet Smell of Success, the columnist, played by, Burt Lancaster, is obnoxious and mentally ill.

On August 11, 1919, Winchell married Rita Green, one of his onstage vaudeville partners. The couple separated a few years later and he moved in with June Magee, who had already given birth to their first child, a daughter named Walda. Winchell and Green eventually divorced in 1928. Winchell and Magee never married, although the couple maintained the front of being married for the rest of their lives. Winchell feared that a marriage license would reveal the fact that Walda was illegitimate.Winchell and Magee successfully kept the secret of their nonmarriage, but were struck by tragedy with all three of their children. Their adopted daughter Gloria died of pneumonia at age nine, and Walda spent time in mental institutions. Walter, Jr., the only son of the journalist, committed suicide in his family's garage on Christmas night, 1968.

Winchell announced his retirement on February 5, 1969, citing the tragedy of his son's suicide as a major reason, while also noting the delicate health of Magee. Exactly one year later, she died at a Phoenix hospital while undergoing treatment for a heart condition.

Winchell's final two years were spent as a recluse at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Larry King, who replaced Winchell at the Miami Herald, observed, "He was so sad. You know what Winchell was doing at the end? Typing out mimeographed sheets with his column, handing them out on the corner. That's how sad he got. When he died, only one person came to his funeral." (Several of Winchell's former co-workers expressed a willingness to go, but were turned back by his daughter Walda.)

Winchell died of prostate cancer at the age of 74. Although his obituary appeared on the front page of The New York Times, his importance had long since ended...

Monday, June 19, 2023



On Father's Day, I took my daughter to see the long awaited move The Flash. It was a good movie overall, but with the star Ezra Miller's problems with the law, it was hard to get past that, but overall the movie was a fun flick to watch. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti from a screenplay by Christina Hodson and stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash alongside Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, and Michael Keaton. In the film, Barry travels back in time to prevent his mother's death, which brings unintended consequences.

Development of a film featuring the Flash began in the late 1980s, with multiple writers and directors attached to the project through 2014. The film was then redeveloped as a part of the DCEU, with Miller cast as the title character. Multiple directors were attached to the film over the following years, with Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa, and the duo of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein all departing the project over creative differences. Muschietti and Hodson joined the film in July 2019, and pre-production began in January 2020. The film is influenced by the comic book storyline Flashpoint, featuring multiple DC Comics characters, including Ben Affleck and Keaton reprising their respective versions of Batman. Principal photography took place from April to October 2021 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden and on location around the United Kingdom.

The Flash premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on June 12, 2023, and was released in the United States on June 16, following multiple delays caused by director changes, the COVID-19 pandemic, and post-production setbacks. The film received praise for its plot, action sequences, humor, and performances (particularly of Miller and Keaton), but criticism for the quality of its visual effects and third act.

For those of you that do not know, there is a new regime at DC Studios, and they are going to reboot the super hero movies. So what began as a film that would be a new beginning for Warner Brothers ended up as a finale of sorts. Michael Keaton was going to return as an older Batman but I think his appearance in this movie is marking the end of his years as Batman. The whole reason I went to see this movie was because of him. Sasha Calle as well made a wonderful Supergirl, but her time in that role is probably limited as well. What was going to be a fun movie for me, has become a sad ending on the DC movies. James Gunn is running DC now, and I do not care for his movies. I don't feel compelled to go see the movies when they begin in 2025. So I enjoyed The Flash for the time I saw it in the theater for what it was. I just wish I would have been something more...

MY RATING: 6 out of 10

Sunday, June 18, 2023


Marjorie Reybolds starred in one of the most beloved movies of the 1940s Holiday Inn. However, she was not only overshadowed by co-star Bing Crosby's singing but she was in the background due to the introduction of the most popular song ever written "White Christmas". Bright, vivacious Marjorie Reynolds (née Marjorie Goodspeed) was born in Idaho on August 12, 1917 to a doctor and homemaker, and raised in Los Angeles.

Making her film debut at age 6, she "retired" after only a few years in favor of a normal education. She returned in the mid-30s, as a teenager this time, and began the typical assembly-line route of extra and bit roles for various mega studios, this time billed as Marjorie Moore. Her first speaking role was in Columbia Studio's programmer Murder in Greenwich Village (1937), this time billed as Marjorie Reynolds (her first husband's last name), a moniker she kept for the duration of her career.

The blonde (originally brunette) actress then went through a rather non-challenging prairie flower phase opposite Hollywood's top western stars such as Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt. It all paid off, however, when she won the top female role opposite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the seasonal film classic Holiday Inn (1942), a role originally designed for Mary Martin. It remains Marjorie's most popular and cherished role on film, but it did not help her make a permanent transition into 'A' quality fare.I had the opportunity to interview Marjorie's daughter shortly after her mother's death, and she remembers her mother saying Bing was sometimes cold to herm because he had wanted Mary Martin for the role. However, she said Bing was professional. Despite what Bing might have thought of Marjorie in Holiday Inn, he thought there was enough chemistry to choose her as his leading lady again in 1943's Dixie, which was another hit for Bing.

Marjorie continued as a dependable "B" co-lead in such films as Up in Mabel's Room (1944), Meet Me on Broadway (1946), and 

Heaven Only Knows
 (1947), with an exciting movie offer such as Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) coming her way on a rare occasion.

Along with maturity and a new entertainment medium (television) in the 50s came a return to her natural hair color. As William Bendix's patient, resourceful brunette wife on the comedy TV series The Life of Riley (1953), Marjorie became a semi-household name. Her career took a steep decline following its demise five years later and she was only sporadically seen in films, commercials and TV guest spots after that.

Married twice, her first husband was Jack Reynolds, who was an Assistant Casting Director for Samuel Goldwyn. They had one daughter, Linda, before divorcing in 1952 after 16 years. Linda was named after her mother's character from Holiday Inn. Second husband, film editor John Whitney, worked for a time in the 40s as an actor. They were married for 32 years until his death in 1985.

Long retired, Marjorie made her last movie appearance in 1962's The Silent Witness. However, she did continue to have sporadic television roles until 1978.  Marjorie died  on February 1, 1997 of congestive heart failure after collapsing while walking her dog. Though she didn't fully live up to her potential as a serious, formidable actress, her gentle charm and obvious beauty certainly spruced up the 60+ films in which she appeared...

Tuesday, June 13, 2023



As you all know I love the old vintage music. Sometimes the older the better, but my favorite period of music lies between 1930 and 1950. I have a huge collection, so I have music at my fingertips. However, I still wish there were more radio shows that catered to my taste in music. Pittsburgh got rid of their nostalgia station WJAS years ago, but there was one show that satisfied my nostalgia blues and that was "Rhythm Sweet & Hot" on WDUQ. Hosted by Mike Plasket and Dale Abraham, the show ran from 6-8 on Saturday nights, and they played everything from Gene Austin to Kay Starr.

The show originally started with Ken Crawford, who sadly died in 2006. He became friends with Mike Plaskett, who worked in TV and radio and who shared Mr. Crawford's love for the same music. In 1980, they launched a program on WQED-FM. Soon after, the station changed to an all-classical format, and Mr. Crawford and Mr. Plaskett moved to WDUQ in 1981. Both worked as volunteer hosts. Mr. Crawford was last heard a month before he died on the program.

"Rhythm Sweet & Hot, after 43 years on the air is now done. A formal announcement will be made, but Mike Plaskett sent me an email confirming. The program personally meant so much to me. My Grandfather got me into this great music. In my teenage years I would record the program on cassette, some of which I still have. After my Grandfather died in 2002, the show remained a constant in my life and helped me not only discover great music, but in a way it served as a rememberance of my Grandfather. I got married in 2004, and had children in 2009 and 2012, but I continued to listen to the show religiously on Saturday nights. My wife would even tell my children - "Leave dad alone, it's Saturday night and Rhythm Sweet & Hot is on. 

I'll miss my Saturday nights with Mike and Dale. The memories of the them will not disappear or be forgotten much like the records they played...

UPDATE: Dale Abraham is continuing on the radio in a new program called "Swing And Sway". Reportedly both Dale and Mike quit the original show due to problems with management, but they managed to talk Dale into coming back. The new incarantion is enjoyable but Mike is definitely missed...

Sunday, June 11, 2023


Actor Dick York made a fortune with “Bewitched,” but before dying from an incurable disease, he had to clean apartments and couldn’t even leave his home for months.

Born in September 1928, Dick York grew up in a hard-working family. His mother, Betty, was a seamstress, while his father, Bernard, worked as a salesman.

After moving from Indiana to Chicago, a nun at St. Mary of the Lake grammar school noticed his voice was exceptional, so when he was only nine years old, he joined the Jack and Jill Players.

He debuted in the play “Water Babies” and studied drama at the De Paul Academy and De Paul University. At the time, though, he had already landed minor roles in radio.

In 1944, York gained national notoriety by working in the TV series “That Brewster Boy.” His career improved after joining the cast of “The Jack Armstrong Show” and becoming “Junior Junction's” emcee.

Although his career skyrocketed in 1964 after being cast as Darrin Stephens in “Bewitched” opposite Elizabeth Montgomery and Agnes Moorehead, the project that really changed his life was “They Came to Cordura,” a western released in 1960.

Due to an accident filming one of the scenes, he ended up lifting over 180 pounds on his own, which tore the muscles along the right side of his back.

The disabling injury was permanent, but he was not ready to stop working. To ease the pain, he would take painkillers, but he eventually became addicted to them.

 York was diagnosed with emphysema, a lung condition that causes shortness of breath.

His pill addiction was a problem since the first day of filming “Bewitched” as director William Asher found him passed out in his car when they were supposed to be shooting. The director considered firing him right away but gave him another chance instead.

Asher pointed out that he wasn’t sure whether York’s substance issues started due to his back injury or he was actually dealing with the “disease of drug addiction,” and his sore back was just a good excuse.

Things got more complicated during "Bewitched" Season 5 when York had a seizure on the set, and Montgomery couldn’t take it anymore. She requested to find a replacement for York, and Dick Sargent stepped in.

After that, York struggled to return to the entertainment industry and eventually decided to walk away from it. If that wasn’t bad enough, York was diagnosed with emphysema, a lung condition that causes shortness of breath.

After his Hollywood career ended, he spent his savings on buying an apartment building in West Covina and had planned to live off rental income.

Unfortunately, when his tenants failed to pay the rent, he could not evict them thinking of his own youth. Eventually, York himself ran out of money and couldn’t afford the mortgage, so the bank foreclosed the entire property.

The only way the actor could hold onto his apartment was by cleaning other units. He went from earning six figures to getting his first welfare check in 1976.

By 1989, he had already overcome his painkillers addiction but was dying of emphysema and living with his wife, Joan, on a $650-a-month Screen Actors Guild pension in a bungalow in Michigan.

At the time, he confessed he had not left his home for months and was tethered to a 25-foot oxygen lifeline. On February 20, 1992, York sadly passed away at 63 years of age.

The late actor devoted his final days helping other homeless people in Chicago by helping collect 300 sleeping bags, 5,000 cans of grapefruit juice, and 12,000 surplus jackets. Rest in peace, legend....

Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Comedian Bob Hope and his wife Dolores were married for decades. They were married in 1934 and remained married until Bob's death in 2003 - an impressive 69 years together. The couple never had any biologicial children together, but they did adopt four children that you might not know too much about...

Linda Hope

LINDA HOPE (born in 1933)
Linda Hope is the eldest daughter of Bob and Dolores Hope. She is the producer of the Emmy Award–winning TV special Bob Hope: The First 90 Years. She also wrote My Life in Jokes, a collection of jokes honoring her father’s one hundredth birthday. Linda produced his TV shows for over twenty years, ran Hope Enterprises, and has spent the last two decades perpetuating her father’s legacy. Originally married in 1969, Linda in recent years came out as a lesbian. In 2012, Linda held a garage sale at her father's estate in order to give his fans some momentos of her father's life. In 2020 Linda published another book of memories of Bob Hope titled Dear Bob: Bob Hope's Wartime Correspondence with the G.I.s of World War II, which one numerous publishing awards in 2021.

William Hope

WILLIAM HOPE (born in 1937)
Not much is know about Bob and Dolores's second adoptive child. His profession has been listed as an actor, although his roles are not many. According to his IMDb profile, William is known for That Certain Feeling, This Is Your Life (1955), and The Bob Hope Christmas Special (1969). William Kelly Francis Hope has lived a private life off publicity. His whereabouts as of 2022 are not known.

Anthony (Tony) Hope

ANTHONY HOPE (1940-2004)
Sadly, Bob and Dolores' third adopted child passed away in 2004 from s a stroke. Known as Tony, he made a try at politics in 1986, entering the California Congressional race to fill the seat vacated by Representative Bobbi Fiedler, a Republican. Despite name recognition, Mr. Hope was beaten in the primary. Mr. Hope served in several federal roles. President Gerald R. Ford appointed him to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, President Jimmy Carter named him to the Government Management Improvement Council and President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Grace Commission, which was formed to find waste and fraud in the federal government. The first President George Bush appointed Mr. Hope as chairman of the gaming commission, which oversees the gambling enterprises of American Indian tribes. He was well known and liked in D.C. politics.

Nora Hope

NORA HOPE (born in 1946)
Like her older brother William, Nora (Eleanora) has mostly stayed out of the limelight. William and Nora were adopted by the Hopes in the same year, 1946. She married her high school sweetheart Samuel Boyd McCullagh Jr in 1969, but later divorced him. (He passed away in 2021 after a long illness). 

Despite Bob Hope being away from his family for long periods of time, and reports of his many infedelities from the 1930s until the 1990s, there has been no "daddy dearest" books, and from all accounts the children had a happy life. I guess this gives hope (no pun intended) for other children of Hollywood royalty!

Sunday, June 4, 2023


 In 1948, movie audiences were still flocking to theaters in the post war boom. There were great stars 75 years ago...



4. Gary Cooper
5. Bob Hope
6. Humphrey Bogart
7. Clark Gable
8. Cary Grant
9. Spencer Tracy
10. Ingrid Bergman