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BLOG TRACKS

SEPARATED AT BIRTH?
Blog
Posted on May 05 2010 by Greg
We were watching American Idol last night and I couldn't help noticing a slight resemblance.

Between this Chairman...



and this Chairman.



I don't know. Crazy, huh? Probably.







THE ORIGINAL "THAT DARN CAT" 1965 SOUNDTRACK - NOW ON AMAZON
Blog
Posted on May 04 2010 by Greg
Without much fanfare -- actually little at all -- a selection of classic Disneyland and Buena Vista albums are making their way quietly onto amazon.com as downloads. One of these is especially appropriate, though unintentionally, because of yet another recent passing.

The late Dorothy Provine made her Disney theatrical film debut in That Darn Cat, a highly successful 1965 comedy about a cat who leads FBI agents to solve a kidnapping. It was also Hayley Mills' last film for Walt himself, returning to the studio years later for the Disney Channel film, Parent Trap 2. That Darn Cat also cemented Dean Jones as a Disney comedy lead. It was also cool to see TV faces appear in the film like Grayson Hall (Dark Shadows), William Demarest (My Three Sons) and Frank Gorshin (Batman).



The soundtrack album for That Darn Cat was unusual for the in-house label in that it was more akin to the kind of soundtrack made by RCA or Columbia -- a straight background music disc with scattered vocals. Disneyland usually released story records with soundtrack dialogue or studio cast re-enactments. That Darn Cat was a Buena Vista LP and thus aimed at teens and adults.

The album opens with Louis Prima's schmoozy single version of the title song and concludes with Bobby Troup singing the same song, albeit with the ending lyrics included. In the movie, this Sherman Brothers song was sung by Bobby Darin, but its' a good guess that Disney was not able to negotiate a recording with Darin's label, Atco/Atlantic. Though it is a shame that this was not released on vinyl, the other versions are quite entertaining.

But what makes this album a must for Disney fans is that it is one of the very few, if not the only one, to feature music by staff composer Bob Brunner. Thus you get a musical taste of the kind of thing Brunner would also serve up for so many Disney comedies of the 1970's, especially comedic suspense themes and groovy surfing stuff. It's a rare chance to hear this kind of music in full stereo.








HANNA-BARBERA'S "ALICE IN WONDERLAND" COMIC BOOK
Blog
Posted on May 03 2010 by Greg


This is the cover page of a small-format comic book based on the 1966 Hanna-Barbera animated special, Alice in Wonderland, or What's Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? These were available at Rexall Drug Store (Rexall sponsored the show with Coca-Cola). There was also a record album with members of the voice cast on Hanna-Barbera's fledgling label.

This was very much like those "March of Comics" books that were given out as premiums, usually with characters associated with Whitman or Gold Key Comics. I remember when I was in school and sometimes we would get a "Secret Squirrel" comic book, for example, that promoted kite flying safety.







THE BIRDS IS COMING! THE BIRDS IS COMING!
Blog
Posted on May 02 2010 by Greg
That wasn't bad grammar -- it was the tag line for Alfred Hitchcock's horror classic The Birds when it was first released. Remember the Mad Magazine parody, in which Tippi Hedren ran into the classroom and frantically screamed, "The birds is coming?" Disney fans will note that the legendary Ub Iwerks worked on the matte effect for the movie.


Tippi-action Barbie

This week on BBC Radio, they're presenting a dramatization of mystery writer Daphne DuMaurier's novella (I wonder if the Scooby-Doo character was named after her?) with a full cast. The novella has a different ending than the movie.
You can hear "The Birds" for free today and for the next five days by clicking here.

And also on BBC Radio:

Rockumentary Rollercoaster
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0088nhm
"With a limitless supply of hyperbolic characters, bizarre situations, and in-concert set pieces, the rock world is a gift to the documentary filmmaker. Film critic and music broadcaster Andrew Collins looks at the place where his twin passions meet: the rockumentary."
Available here today and for the next five days.

The Art of The Public Address
Attention K-Mart shoppers! Ever wonder if there was a way to make public announcements better? So did the BBC's Laurie Taylor.
Available here today and for the next five days.

The Indian in the Cupboard
Lynne Reid Banks' fine children's fantasy/adventure, which was of course also a superb film, is dramatized in this one hour program.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s50mt
Available here today and for the next five days.









BONNIE ABOUT TO SAY BUH-BYE TO DAYTIME...?
Blog
Posted on May 01 2010 by Greg



Bonnie Hunt will soon become one of many whose daytime talk show has closed up shop, but it's a particular loss for those of us who love classic entertainment, since Bonnie and her staff made and effort to reference beloved shows and movies other shows won't or can't. Only on The Bonnie Hunt Show do you hear "I'm having a Dr. Bellows moment," or "And I keeeannnn't steeeannnd 'im!" The show is also very good natured, positive and very much in the model of great shows of the genre.

But alas, it's almost gone. So these few remaining episodes are your last chance to see the show. Wednesday the guest is Dick Van Dyke. With all due respect to Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez, how many talk shows to they have to be on (and they were on a lot of shows lately giving the same interview), and how few still feature talented people like Van Dyke, or Carol Burnett, who was a Bonnie guest last week?

The Bonnie Hunt Show is on local TV stations or you can watch video sections of recent episodes here. Here's hoping we see Bonnie -- and her talented team -- resurface again soon.









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