Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Molita, from Vassar's Jazz

Bluegrass/jazz violinist Vassar Clements has an album called Vassar's Jazz. Most of the numbers on it are a little far out (Vassar has never been shy). However, right in the middle of all the weird stuff is one of those little tunes that just gets into your mind and your blood and you will be singing it all day long once you hear it. It is called "Molita," and it is nothing fancy. Just nice. And it fits. The tune and the harmonies are just right. Just right. It is worth buying the whole album just to get that one tune.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The falling birth rate

My parents are almost to the point of having enough great-grandchildren to equal the number of grandchildren my grandparents had.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hard to beat Beethoven

I heard someone asked the question years ago as to why modern classical music evolved the way it did: into more dissonant sound and non-standard forms. He answered, "It is hard to out-Beethoven Beethoven." He meant, of course, that just about everything had been done in the particular form of composing that was used in the Classical Period, and so composers moved onto something where they could do something new without having to try to out-master the masters.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ruth Terry, a survivor from Hollywood's golden age

There are not many actors still living from the period in which my wife and I specialize (up through 1953). One of them is Ruth Terry, a perky little brunette whom we know primarily from Mystery Broadcast (1943) and Slightly Honorable (1939). As of 22 November 2015, she was still living, according to Wikipedia, and has been married to John Ledbetter since 1966.

Ruth Terry.jpg

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I'll kill you!

Now, that is a very silly thing to say, even if one is not entirely serious about it; because it provides an opportunity for some other person who had reason to assassinate the person to do so with the glare of suspicion upon you, and not upon him. This fact, of course, every mystery writer knows, and makes use of from time to time

He must not have been very well liked

"I don't mind betting this is the most popular thing Campbell ever did. Nothing in life became him like the leaving it, eh, what?"

(from The Five Red Herrings, by Dorothy Sayers)


Friday, November 20, 2015

These things women do not like

Three things a woman will make any excuse to get out of: a rainstorm, a tight girdle, and a diet.

(from The Halls of Ivy radio show)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And you want this man to be President?!

"Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for expanded surveillance of American Muslims, is refusing to rule out extreme measures that include warrantless searches or faith-based identification requirements."

What if the next group he is mad at is the group with which you are identified? The Constitution says you MUST have a warrant to enter a home. So Mr. Trump wants just to throw aside the Constitution?! Welcome back, King George III.

Those thirty minute movies

There were several old radio programs that presented audio versions of movies. Most of them were in a 30-minute format, which meant that there was probably about 25 minutes of actual time for the movie. Cutting down a flick that was pushing 90 minutes in its original to a third that much time must have been a real challenge to the writers. Sometimes it did not work, to the point that it was difficult to follow the plot because so much had been cut out of it. But at other times the writers were successful in including just the right pertinent dialogue to make the show enjoyable within the constraints of their time frame.