Tag Archives: entertainment

Paul Robeson – Ol’ Man River

An evening pause: From the 1936 movie adaptation of the Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein Broadway musical Showboat. While some of the visuals are a bit overstated and feel a bit preachy, this is still the best movie version of this song I have seen. Rather than strut about with big visuals, the film focuses on Robeson, who sings the song introspectively, as if it is something he is thinking.

A bit of trivia: The film’s director was James Whale, the man who made the 1935 classic The Bride of Frankenstein.

Hat tip Edward Thelen.

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Buddy Ebsen – I’m nuts about you

An evening pause: Ebsen is joined by Eleanor Powell, Jimmy Stewart, Una Merkel and Sid Silvers in this dance number from the 1936 film, Born to Dance.

Ebsen is remembered most for playing Jed Clampett in the tv comedy series, The Beverley Hillbillies, but he started out as a dancer in movies.

Hat tip Phill Oltmann.

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Roger Hodgson – The Logical Song

An evening pause: Hat tip to Edward Thelen, who continues to be the one evening pause suggester who tries to find sources other than youtube. Competition is a good thing, and Google and youtube need some competition.

Unfortunately, there was no way to embed the video shown at the Brighteon link, so sadly I still had to use youtube.

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Hetty & the Jazzato Band – Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano

An evening pause: The title means “You Want to Be American”. The song was written in 1956, and is “about an Italian who affects a contemporary American lifestyle, drinking whisky and soda, dancing to rock ‘n roll, playing baseball and smoking Camel cigarettes, but who still depends on his parents for money.”

Hat tip Tom Biggar.

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New York Mets – September 24, 1969

An evening pause: This pause was first posted by me back in 2011. As tonight is the fiftieth anniversary of that grand moment, I post it again, if only to remind the jaded and pessimistic youth of today that miracles really can happen. As I wrote then,

In 1969 the lowly New York Mets, doormats in the National League from the moment the team was created in 1962, came out of nowhere to win the pennant and the World Championship of baseball. … I and my friend Lloyd attended the game in which the Mets clinched first place in the National League Eastern Division. Below is video showing highlights of the game plus the final out, with the crowd pouring onto the field. Though you can’t see me, I am in that crowd, jumping for joy at this most unlikely sports miracle. There was no rioting, only happy fans chanting “We’re number one!” in exuberant disbelief.

And I still have that small piece of turf from Shea Stadium, collected on that night, proof that the unexpected and improbable is always possible.

The unlikeliness of the Mets championship in 1969 cannot be overstated. Before 1969, the team had never finished higher than next to last, each season losing more games than they won. Then, in 1969 they posted a 100-62 record, while coming from far back to overtake the favored Chicago Cubs for the pennant. Moreover, during that 1969 season all kinds of unusual things kept happening. To give just one example, they won a double header by scores of 1-0, with the pitcher in both games driving in the winning run.

As their first manager and Hall-of-Famer Casey Stengel would say, “You could look it up!”

In 1973 the Mets won the pennant again, following the motto “You gotta believe!” pushed by their relief pitcher Tug McGraw. McGraw was so right. Combine talent, dedication, hard work, and an unwavering belief that all things are possible, humans can sometimes do amazing things.

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Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers – They Can’t Take That Away From Me

An evening pause: Another movie pause tonight, this time showing the films themselves. This clip includes two performances of this song, from two different Astaire & Rogers films. The first, from Shall We Dance? (1937), has Astaire singing the song, knowing that the Rogers character is leaving him. Of course she ends up not going.

The second clip is from The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), their last film together and done after a split of ten years. They knew then this would be their last film, and now the words have a meaning far greater than the story in the film. When they exit at the end of this song, they know it is pretty much for the last time.

Hat tip to Phil Berardelli, author of Phil’s Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime.

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Herb Alpert – Puttin’ on the Ritz

An evening pause: From the youtube page:

The Puttin’ On The Ritz music video is a creative collaboration between Alpert, artist Glenn Kaino and filmmaker Afshin Shahidi with choreographers Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo from So You Think You Can Dance and produced by Kerith Lemon. One long camera shot follows the lead dancer, Vincent Noiseux on a musical journey and features musicians Lani Hall, Bill Cantos, Hussain Jiffry and Michael Shapiro as well as corps dancers like Kherington Payne and others that have been seen on So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew, Dancing with the Stars, This is It, Step Up and more.

Hat tip Tom Biggar, who notes that Albert makes some cameos, which I think includes both the bus driver and the bartender.

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Jon David Kahn – American Heart

An evening pause: On this day of remembrance, this song seems fitting. And as the lyrics boldly state,

I won’t be made to ever feel ashamed
that I’m American made
I got American parts
I got American faith
In America’s heart
Go on, raise the flag
I got stars in in my eyes
I’m in love with her
And I won’t apologize.

The image that best reveals what America represents, as a messenger of freedom, is that photograph of the American soldier gently cradling a baby refugee from war. Or as said in the 1993 movie Gettysburg, “We are here for something new. This has not happened much in the history of the world. We are an army out to set other men free.

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