Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Be careful of Ks and Gs together

The K sound and the G sound are produced the same, except that G is voiced, while K is not. Thus, when those two sounds are placed back-to-back in a word or consecutive words, it is slightly awkward to enunciate.

I have a good name. Mark Green. Simple enough, except that it is difficult to say plainly in a hurry, because a space has to be put between the K and the G and it sounds a little like you are gagging.

Sam Sabaya

In my humble opinion, Jay Novello's portrayal of the police officer Sam Sabaya in the radio series Rocky Jordan was one of the best in that genre, certainly one of the best supporting roles. He comes across as sympathetic and compassionate, yet at the same time an efficient policeman whose patience is tried sorely by Jordan's continual skirting around official police procedures.

Image result for jay novello

Be careful how you swim

          When girls are floating in warm water, dreaming of the man they adore, it sometimes happens that there comes to them a sort of exaltation of the soul which demands physical expression. It came now to Agnes Flack. God, the way she looked at it, was in His heaven and all right with the world, and it seemed to her that something ought to be done about it. And as practically the only thing you can do in the way of physical expression in the water is to splash, she splashed. With arms and feet she churned up great fountains of foam, at the same time singing a wordless song of ecstasy.
          The trouble about doing that sort of thing when swimming is that people are apt to be misled. Agnes Flack's was one of those penetrating voices which sound like the dawn express letting off steam at a level crossing, and in the number which she had selected for rendition there occurred a series of high notes which she held with determination and vigour.  It is not surprising, therefore, that a passing stranger who was cleaving the waves in her vicinity should have got his facts twisted. A moment later Agnes, in the middle  of a high note, was surprised to find herself gripped firmly beneath the arms and towed rapidly shorewards.

(from Feet of Clay, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just the club for muscles

        There was Poskitt faced with the task of playing two from the interior of a sort of jungle. Long grass twined itself about his ball, wild flowers draped it, a beetle was sitting on it. His caddie handed him a niblick, but I could not but feel that what was really required was a steam shovel. It was not a golf shot at all. The whole contract should have been handed to some capable excavation company.
          But I had not realized to what lengths an ex-hammer-thrower can go, when armed with a niblick and really up against it. Just as film stars are happiest among their books, so was Joseph Poskitt happiest among the flowering shrubs with his niblick. His was a game into which the niblick had always entered very largely. It was the one club with which he really felt confident of expressing his personality. It removed all finicky science from the proceedings and put the issue squarely up to the bulging biceps and the will to win.

(from The Letter of the Law, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Concetto or concerto

In one episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, a big deal is made that the word concetto is a misspelling of the word concerto. Once it was mentioned the second time, veteran listeners of old time radio would know that this was a definite clue and that the key to the mystery hinges upon it. Incidentally, concetto means "conceit."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Shades of The Ransom of Red Chief

(Pinky Lee speaking)
"Mr. Vallee was kidnapped when he was six years old. His parents offered a reward, but the kidnappers refused to keep him."

Rudy Vallee and Pinky Lee

During the period of the long-running Rudy Vallee radio program when Pinky Lee (below) was his main regular side-kick, the program was OK, but no better. Vallee was not a good comedian, and Lee was mainly just irritating. However, they did have a few good skits and quite a few good guest stars.

Pinky Lee

His name shrank a little

Actor Alan Alda was born Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo. One can somewhat understand why he took a stage name. Of course, his father, actor Robert Alda, was born Alphonso Giuseppe Giovanni Roberto D'Abruzzo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to get an unusual name

Fred Allen's wife and fellow radio actor, Portland Hoffa, was named for the city where she was born. This was also true of her sister, Lebanon, and her brother, Harlem.

Portland hoffa 1940.JPG

I wonder which title she valued most?

Actress Denise Darcel once won the title, "The Most Beautiful Girl in France." Later she was awarded the title, "Miss Welder of 1952" by the  National Eutectic Welders' Club. Sort of like being Miss America and Miss Boiler Factory at the same time.

Denise Darcel (Battleground).jpg

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Control the mind

"Thoughts are like noble animal - unchecked, they run away causing painful smash-up."

(from Charlie Chan in London)

How to get to sleep

According to Falstaff Oppenshaw (Alan Reed) on the Fred Allen radio show, all you have to do is take twenty tiddlies, cut them in two, and you'll have forty winks.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Braying in the night

I recently spent a couple of evenings with friends who lived in the country. Their neighbor across the road had a donkey in the pasture who was wont to bray at intervals during the night. They apologized for the noise, but I must admit that it had a certain pleasant and haunting quality. I didn't mind.

Image result for donkey braying

Unappreciated string quartets

In several instances, we learn that a composer's string quartets are considered to be among the more outstanding of his compositional efforts. Assuming that to be true, how often do even musical people remember any of his string quartets? They are among the greatest music, but very, very few remember them.