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Posted on Jan 07 2009 by Greg

This deserves repeated mention even if it appeared elsewhere earlier. Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman were among those awarded the 2008 National Medal of Arts. Other 2008 recipients included Stan Lee and Olivia DeHavilland. It is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U. S. Government.

"Great job on those Pete's Dragon tunes, you guys!"

Here is the actual caption for the above photo from the site:
2008. National Medal of Arts recipient Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, whose career includes the song scores for Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and more than 30 Disney films. Here with President Bush, they were commended for music that "has helped bring joy to millions." Photo by James Kegley.

Good Night, Eartha Baby
Posted on Dec 26 2008 by Greg

The great entertainer Eartha Kitt passed away from cancer and left behind an extraordinary legacy in every form of show business on the big and small screen and especially live performing, whether to a small intimate cabaret to a thousands in huge venues including Epcot as a star narrator of Candlelight Processional.

Animation fans know her voice work well as Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove (and The Emperor's New School TV series). It won her the Annie award from ASIFA-Hollywood (twice maybe?). She also starred for Rankin/Bass in their most recent holiday special, Santa Baby.

And speaking of "Santa Baby," it's one of those holiday song classics that will be played forever -- and though vamps from Madonna to Minnie Mouse have put their spin on it, it is the Kitt version that continues to stand the test of time.

I've met Ms. Kitt a few times, when she was interviewed on a radio talk show I produced years ago; at a touring performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella as the Fairy Godmother (only she could have stepped out of the cottage for a curtain call like her -- kicking out a shapely leg first); and when I interviewed her for the Disney annual Passholder magazine, Mickey Monitor. I'll never forget hearing that unmistakable voice say "mmmmnnnthenk yew" when I offered a compliment or three.

Eartha Kitt also rose above a harrowing childhood, navigated a successful career before, during and beyond the civil rights movement, and lived to see this year's landmark election. I can only imagine what she might have said when the election results came in, being a woman who had been shunned by Lady Bird Johnson for opposing the Vietnam war.

Perhaps she said, "mmmmmmmnnnnnnthenk yew."

Posted on Nov 20 2008 by Greg
I'm reluctant to forward "chains" of emails, but a good friend sent this exception one today. Rather than forwarding it, I paraphrased it below for you. Whether the whole piece, or just the quote at the end, originated with Charles M. Schulz may or may not be so, but it's a great truth. Peanuts is a wealth of great truth. Please forgive me if you've already seen this before in some form or other.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read it straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five
Miss America pageant winners.
4. Name ten Nobel or Pulitzer Prize winners.
5. Name the last half dozen
best actor and actress
Academy Award winners.  
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Let those people who have made a difference in your life know about it.
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia
- Charles M. Schulz

Great names from Disney Records history honored as Legends
Posted on Oct 10 2006 by Greg and Tim
    The latest Disney Legends were honored on October 9, 2006 at the Walt Disney Studios, and we're delighted that several of these outstanding talents were directly associated with Walt Disney Records, including Jimmy Johnson, Ginny Tyler, and Paul Frees, all of whom are featured in MOUSE TRACKS, plus many others also made records for Disney.

Here is the complete list:
* Renowned singer and songwriter Sir Elton John;
* ABC News anchor Peter Jennings;
* Actors Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran (Old Yeller, The
   Shaggy Dog, Swiss Family Robinson, Mickey Mouse Club);
* Actors Tim Considine and David Stollery (The Adventures of
   Spin and Marty);
* Actress Ginny Tyler (Mickey Mouse Club)
* Disney and Pixar animation story artist Joe Ranft;
* Voice actor Paul Frees (Haunted Mansion, Ludwig Von Drake);
* Disney Imagineer Don Edgren (Disneyland, Pirates of the
   Caribbean, Space Mountain);
* Animation background artist Al Dempster;
* Founder of Walt Disney Records, Jimmy Johnson

For more details, click here.

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