Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Willie Best in The Ghost Breakers

"I'm befuddled!" One of the great lines by Willie Best in The Ghost Breakers. That is one of the few Bob Hope movies in which another comic got more laugh lines than he did. Willie Best was one of the great under-appreciated comic talents of all time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wouldn't it have been fun to get to watch the sound effects man on the Fibber McGee program do the sound of the closet emptying?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Karloff as Wong

Boris Karloff was remembered primarily as an actor in horror movies. However, he was much more versatile than might be assumed. He was wonderful in the Mr. Wong series of movies, in which he was gentle and distinguished in his demeanor.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why are we cutting taxes?! Has no one noticed that we owe over a trillion dollars? Are we just determined that we are not going to pay out debts?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Vaudeville in the "Road To" movies

If you want to know what Vaudeville was like, catch the Crosby/Hope acts that usually start the "Road To" pictures.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

John Dehner

John Dehner was a busy and talented actor. He starred on the radio in Have Gun, Will Travel and in Frontier Gentleman; and was a frequent guest on any number of other programs. You can see him on television programs from the 1960's, including Hogan's Heroes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

If we have no time for our children when they are young, it is likely they will have no time for us when we are old.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Mile A Minute" Murphy

Charles Minthorn Murphy (October 1870 – February 16, 1950), but more popularly known as "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy, was an American cycling star from the late 19th century and early 20th century. His greatest claim to fame was being the first man ever to ride a bicycle for one mile in less than a minute in 1899.

I know that drastic measures were warranted to get the economy moving, but a huge amount of thrust applied to a large object always produces a large amount of momentum once it is moving. And an object in motion tends to stay in motion. I really worry about inflation down the line.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Musical taste vary drastically, of course. But I have found some of the Mexican popular music to be excellent. The arrangements, with a brass section backing up, are very tastefully done. Normally the words of the singer are very clear (as opposed to much American popular music). Intricate rhythm patterns. Not all of the songs, of course, but some of them are really nice.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Conservatives - a word of caution

  1. Most people of my religious persuasion would describe themselves as conservatives politically. I might say that in generalof myself, but I would make some important exceptions.

    Most who call themselves conservative pretty much write a blank check to the military and take the attitude that the military can do no wrong and ought to be supported without exception. This is a very dangerous attitude. I appreciate the courage of dutiful men who serve their country. However, just because a man bears arms and does not mind fighting does not make him virtuous, nor sound in his reasoning. Many men just like to fight. Just because a man does not mind killing people does not by itself make him a hero. The ONLY thing that stands between us and a dictatorship is the willingness of the military to obey the commands of a civilian, and the military MUST be kept in check. And I see no reason why they should not have to pinch pennies just like the rest of us.

    Second, I do not believe that we ought to do just anything we can to make the job of the police easier. The whole purpose of the Constitution is to make their job hard. If they can just ignore due process, then it makes their jobs easier, but our freedoms go out the window.

    Both these are attitudes that many conservatives have, but I do not share them.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Serious actors on the Jack Benny program

Many serious actors seemed to really enjoy appearing on comedy programs like Jack Benny's. No doubt it gave them a break from the heavy, serious material. Some of them proved to be very talented comedic actors when given the chance.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brahms First Symphony

Speaking of Brahms' First Symphony: how can a work so dark and brooding end on such a joyful and triumphant tone?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keep old radio shows alive!

Old radio shows may become a lost art very soon. The last network shows ended around 1960, and soon very few will be alive that remembered them. It will take a concerted effort to keep them alive. I am doing my part.
"Begorra" is a swear word, as in the common Irish expressions, "Faith and begorra." Roughly translated, it means "by God."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Ah, there goes a good kid."

Who said that, and on what occasion?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Can actors be sincere?

Among the many reasons for the high rate of failures of marriages among actors must be the very nature of their profession. When the person so whom you are married is trained to pretend to be something he is not, how can you ever believe that he really means his expressions of love and fidelity.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The "Ostrich" school of management: stick your head in the sand and hope that your employees will bail you out.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Donnybrook was once the location of Donnybrook Fair, a fair held from the time of King John onwards, which became notorious for drunkenness and violent disorder. This gave rise to the term a donnybrook, meaning a brawl or fracas.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The horn solo in the final movement of Brahms' First Symphony is a classic example of how gorgeous a very simple melody can be in the hands of a master.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lt. Levinson

The actor who was the voice of Lt. Walt Levinson on Richard Diamond was also the voice of Fred Flintstone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

National moral obligations regarding the budget

Given the outlandish size of the federal deficit, America has a moral obligation to reduce it. It is irresponsible to the highest degree to continue to pile up debt. And this applies to ALL political parties. We have no business whatsoever reducing taxes if doing that will reduce net tax receipts, and we certainly have no business increasing spending.

More HERE on the budget.
Competent businesswomen are a dime a dozen. Good mothers and wives are as scarce as hen's teeth. I am married to a real gem.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sheldon Leonard's voice

Sheldon Leonard has to be one of the most recognizable voices in radio or movie history, although very few people perhaps knew the man behind the voice. The quintessential gangster brogue.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It should be no great surprise to anyone the frequency of Alzheimer's cases today, given the small amount of exercise our brains (particularly our memories) get today because of the prevalence of and reliance upon electronic devices.

Friday, August 06, 2010

I had a wonderful surprise for my birthday today. Four beautiful young ladies and two fine young men (not to mention their lovely mothers) came by the office to sing Happy Birthday to me. Very nice!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Just a skunk

I do not have to know a man personally to know that he is a skunk. Just look at his tracks - and note the smell.

Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum

When Oscar Peterson was still a young boy, his father played him a recording of Art Tatum performing "Tiger Rag". Once the young Peterson was finally persuaded that it was performed by a single person, Peterson was so intimidated that he did not touch the piano for weeks.

Friday, July 30, 2010

What radio show began, "Get this, and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road, and those who travel it wind up in prison, the gutter, or the grave. There's no other way - but they never learn."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You will all please note that I did respond on Rebekah's blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All time great radio shows:
McGee Has a Stomach Ache - Fibber & Molly
Hail and Farewell Caper - Sam Spade
The Rasmussen Matter - Johnny Dollar

Any others?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Radio whodunits

The key for figuring out one of the 30-minute whodunit radio shows is to listen for things that seem to be superfluous. With only about 26 minutes of play time, they have to get with the plot, so anything that seems like it is beside the point probably is the point.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Grandpa's birthday party

A great job by Rebekah and everyone else for Grandpa's Mayberry birthday party. Several very creative costumes.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

People who "make it to the top" in this world generally do so by walking on other people. My observation is that is an almost universal rule.

But our Lord said that in His kingdom it shall not be so, but he who will be greatest must be a servant.

Friday, July 02, 2010

There is NO WAY that a company that has the feel of being in a chaotic, free-fall state is a well-managed company. Management's job is to make sure things are NOT in that sort of condition.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love those old radio shows

If you have not discovered the world of old radio shows, you need to. It was a fairly brief interval in our nation's history, but some really superb programming happened during that period. There are numerous sites where you can get free downloads. Comedy, mystery, adventure - it is all there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Now admit it: how many people do you know who can recite Sam Spade's private eye license number by memory?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Primitive Baptists in western Arkansas

What a blessing it is to be associated with the dedicated and loving people among whom I am privileged to serve here in western Arkansas!
Nanny and I discovered why Bob Bailey may not have made it big in movies. His appearance stopped somewhere short of handsome.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Given my number of younger relatives, it is, of course, possible that could be exasperated in my old age, but unlikely that I will be lonely. Much to be preferred to the alternative.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mayor LaTrivia was a regular character on Fibber & Molly, played by Gale Gordon. Upon what historical figure was this character undoubtedly based?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Learning history from old radio shows

One of the benefits of listening to old radio shows is the history involved, particularly regarding the home front conditions during World War II. It is amazing how much of conditions on the home front are revealed in those shows. The advertisements, the situations worked into the plots, etc.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scandal Street

We watched Scandal Street last night. Interesting only because it just might be the worst movie ever made. But almost comical because of that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We watched Bend in the River starring Jimmy Stewart last night with Sarah. Pretty good movie.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Gary Cooper. Better than I thought

I never have thought of Gary Cooper as a particularly talented actor - sort of an aw shucks John Wayne, limited in his scope. However, he won two Best Actor Oscars, so I could be wrong, of course.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rochester's singing

Rochester's singing had to be one of the highlights of old time radio programs. Absolutely hilarious.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bad time of year for blogging, evidently.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bad grammar for political reasons

Politics does not justify bad grammar. "Each person got in their own car." Person is singular; their is plural. The number does not match, so that is incorrect grammar. But you cannot say "Each person got in HIS own car," because that would be politically incorrect.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Note the deterioration of communication.

1. Entirely verbal. The mind was engaged to picture what was being said, and to remember it, because there was no way of recording it.

2. Print. The mind must both see and hear what is being depicted.

3. Audio. The mind must only see what is being heard.

4. Video. The mind is basically passive.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The fact that you are paid to do something unethical in no wise relieves you of the moral responsibility for the act.

Soviet Union in World War II

Younger folks may not realize that the great battleground of World War II was in Russia (then the Soviet Union). The vast scale of the troops engaged and the casulaties is hard to believe. Russia suffered 6,115,000 battle deaths and 14 million wounded, compared with 3,250,000 deaths for Germany.

Now just think: if Hitler had not foolishly engaged Russia and consequently had had all his troop strength to turn upon the western front, the war might have had an entirely different outcome.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Percy Kilbride

Percy Kilbride (Pa Kettle) has to be one of the great character actors of all time. Absolutely the standard for that one type of personality.

People in power

It is my observation that people who rise to positions of power - in any field - usually are characterized by selfishness.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I must admit that I am proud of our old radio show collection. Not only does it provide entertainment that is not as objectionable as most today, but it provides a slice of American history.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

"They both agree" is redundant. To be agreement there must be more than one party. The word "both" indicates more than one. "They agree" is all that is necesary.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Yatteta, yatteta, yatteta" - ALL DAY LONG!

Emergency water in the car

The days are warming up. RIGHT NOW put some emergency water in your car. If your car should break down on the freeway in hot weather and you don't have it, you are IN TROUBLE!

Back off

One of the best habits you could adopt right now is to BACK OFF from following other cars too closely. Always assume the worst.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The government is supposed to be restricted

I repeat: the purpose of the Constitution is not to make the government’s job easier in protecting us and enforcing laws. The purpose of the Constitution is to protect us from government. Any time you see government wanting to set aside the laws that restrict them – watch out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

It is amazing how many times Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber) appeared in old radio programs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amidst the trials of life, we need constantly to remember that all will be right in heaven.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Can you name a movie in which someone actually said, "Cheese it, the cops?"

Miss Tatlock's Millions

"Our family runs to one-woman men. My father died on my mother's grave." (John Lund in "Miss Tatlock's Millions")

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Old radio shows help you sleep

If you have trouble going to sleep (or even if you do not), I highly recommend going to sleep listening to old radio shows.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Who is he?" This is a common expression that is correct. The nominative "he" is used with the being verb "is." People normally say this correctly. However, we would not normally say "That is he," which is correct, but "That is him," which is not correct. Why do we usually get one right but not the other, seeing the two expressions are so similar?

Friday, February 26, 2010

It is worth remembering that for God's people prolonging life is always prolonging suffering.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We know old radio shows, well pretty well

My wife and I don't claim to be experts on old radio shows, but we have a pretty good working knowledge. For instance, we know for sure that, contrary to some claims, Uncle Dennis did indeed appear on Fibber McGee and Molly. We have at least two programs to prove it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am almost to the point that I would settle just for a competent President, whatever his political philosophy. Incompetence from both sides of the aisle is about to ruin this country.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fibber's description

Fibber McGee's description of a non-intelligent person: "He's got nothing above his eyes but sinus trouble."

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bob Bailey. Evidently, he was fairly well known for the Johnny Dollar role on radio, which he made his own. However, he did not act long after the show ended. He made a few movies in minor roles, but did not become notable for the screen.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why should the military get a free pass when it comes to curtailing spending? Are we saying that they ought not to be required to eliminate waste? Why do they get a free pass?

Debt reduction

Everyone in Washington is talking about deficit reduction. What we ought to be talking about is debt reduction. Deficit reduction only means that we borrowed the money and have no intention to pay it back.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ah, it is great to be home on a quiet, cold evening with my wife of 36 years!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I am still here. Just busy lately.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Did anyone doubt that McGwire was using steroids? So, the real records are still 60/61 and 714.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Speaking of Boston Blackie, there was a series of movies, a TV series, and a large body of radio shows based on the character. All are currently available.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010