Now Karaoke machines are household items. Smaller and less expensive, it is easy to host your own karaoke party!
One of the most famous dance scenes is Gene Kelly performing Singin’ In The Rain from the musical of the same name. Kelley dances in a downpour of rain without an umbrella or rain boots. The lyrics are by Arthur Freed and the music by Nacio Herb Brown. The song was published in 1929 and was featured in an earlier film, The Hollywood Music Box Revue.
The song has been recorded by a number of artists including Cliff Edwards, Jimmy Durante and Judy Garland. But the most famous is this rendition by Gene Kelly:
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, was also known as Baron von Richthofen. My kids have been listening to the Royal Guardsmen CD which features a song titled “Snoopy and the Red Baron.” So I just had to find out about the Baron.
Manfred was born May 2 1892 in Kleinburg,Prussia (which is now part of Poland) into an aristocratic family. He started his military training when he was only 11 years old. He finished his training in 1911 and joined a cavalry unit. When World War I began, Manfred was a reconnaissance officer on horseback, but due to machine gun fire and barbed wire this type of reconnaissance became impossible. He requested a transfer to the Imperial German Army Air Service and it was granted in May 1915.
At first, Manfred was an observer on missions, but in October 1915, was trained as a pilot. He won his first victory in September 1916. After his first victory, he had a silver cup engraved with the date and type of enemy plane (or machine). He did this until he had 60 cups. After that silver was in such short supply in Germany that he couldn’t continue with the tradition. His nickname “The Red Baron” came from the color of his plane.
His success was due in part to his superb marksmanship and the fact that he was great squadron leader and tactician. He received a head wound in one battle, but was able to land the plane. After this incident he often suffered from headaches. He refused to take a desk job, however and on April 21, 1918 he had his final combat.
Manfred was pursing a Sopwith Camel piloted by Canadian Lieutenant Wilfrid “Wop” May of No. 209 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Manfred was in turn, attacked by a Camel piloted by Canadian Captain Arthur “Roy” Brown. It is believed that Manfred was hit by a bullet that caused damage to his heart and lungs, however he was able to make a controlled landing in a nearby field. When soldiers reached the plane, Manfred died a few moments later.
It was first believed that Brown killed The Baron, but later studies show that the shot must have come from ground. The Baron’s victories number at least 80 and could be as high as 100.
Here is the song my kids love!
Who doesn’t love diamonds? The song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” was introduced in the Broadway musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and was sung by Carol Channing. The song was written by Jule Styne.
But, it is probably best remembered for the movie version sung by Marilyn Monroe. Monroe plays Lorilei Lee, whose father does not want her to marry for money. When he finds that she is involved with a British mine owner, he cancels her line of credit and she seeks work in nightclub where she performs this song:
As I was running errands this morning, I heard a radio ad announcing that Richard Marx was going to be in concert. I had been a fan back in the day and I even tried to snap a picture of him with my Canon camera.
Richard Marx was born September 16, 1983 in Chicago, Illinois. He started singing jingles that his father wrote when he was just five years old. When he was 17, Lionel Richie heard one of his demo tapes and told Richard he could make it big. Richard move to Los Angeles after graduating from high school.
Richard’s first album, Richard Marx, was released in 1987 and included four hit singles: “Don’t Mean Nothing”, “Should’ve Known Better”, “Endless Summer Nights” and “Hold on to the Nights”.
Marx released 9 more albums over the years and while his popularity has diminished over the years, his work is still great.
Marx married Cynthia Rhodes and has three sons. They reside in Illinois.
Today is my son’s seven birthday. So I started to wonder, where did the Happy Birthday song originate?
“Happy Birthday to You” is the most recongized song in the English language and the lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. The original melody is from a song entitled “Good Morning to All.” This song was written by Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill, two American sisters in 1893. They used this song in their kindergarten classes.
The “Happy Birthday to You” song first appeared in print in 1912, but probably existed earlier. A copyright was placed on the song in 1935 by the Summy Company, but listed the authors as Orem and Forman. The company, and the copyright, was purchased by Warner Chappell in 1990. Warner Chappell claims that unauthorized public performances are illegal unless royalties are paid. The copyright expires in 2030. Disney actually paid $5,000 for the song to appear in one of its movies. For this reason, movies do not show the entire song being sung.
A real shame that this world is run by greedy people.
The Singing Nun was the name that Jeanine Deckers was sometimes known as. Deckers, born on October 17, 1933 was a Belgian Nun whose hit song “Dominique” propelled her to international fame in 1963. At her convent, she used to write and sing music and she convinced her superiors to let her make an album. She became an overnight success using the name Soeur Souirire (Sister Smile). She appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.
Deckers left the monastery in 1967 to pursue her musical career. She produced additional albums, but they were not successful. She became critical of the Roman Catholic church’s position on birth control and she agreed with John Lennon’s statement that Christianity will shrink and vanish.
In the 1970s, Deckers opened a school for autistic children, but that venture failed when the Belgium government claimed she owed money for back taxes. She ran into more financial problems and tried again to score a hit with the disco version of “Dominique” in 1982.
On March 29, 1985, Deckers and her companion of ten years, Anna Pecher, committed suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates. A note left by Deckers said she committed suicide due to her financial difficulties.
A movie supposedly based on her life, was released in 1966 starring Debbie Reynolds. Decker called the movie “fiction.” Here is a clip from the movie:
For Christmas I received the musical Meet Me In St. Louis starring Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien. Margaret O’Brien was a great child actress. She was born Angela Maxine O’Brien on January 15, 1937 in San Diego, California. Her father, a circus performer, died shortly after her birth. Her mother was a well-known flamenco dancer.
Her first film appearance was in Babes on Broadway when she was just four years old. In the 1944 movie Jane Eyre, O’Brien played a young french girl and spoke and sang convincingly with a French accent. She was six years old. The same year she appeared in Meet Me In St. Louis as the precocious five year old Tootie. She was awarded with an Academy Junior Award in 1945 for outstanding child actress of 1944.
In 1949 she appeared in Little Women as Beth and The Secret Garden as Mary. After 1949, her film roles became few and far between. She did not make the transition well to adult roles.
She has been married twice and has one daughter, Mara Tolene Thorsen born in 1977.
Featured Margaret O’Brien Movies:
Since it is close to Christmas time, we have pulled out our Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas CDs. They are favorites of the kids and I used to listen to the same ones (of course, on vinyl) back in the day. This got me to thinking, whatever happened to David Seville?
David Seville’s real name was Rostom Sipan Bagdasarian. He was born on January 27, 1919 and was of Armenian descent. Bagdasarian appeared on Broadway in The Time of Your Life and later wrote a song with his cousin William Saroyan for Rosemary Clooney.
In 1956, down to his last $200, Bagdasarian spent $190 on a tape recorder that allowed him to change the speed of the recording. Under the name David Seville, he recorded ‘Witch Doctor.’ This led him to record ‘The Chipmunk Song’ with The Chipmunks. He won two Grammy awards with this recording.
Bagdasarian took bit parts in movies and then provided the voice of David Seville in the short-lived animated series The Alvin Show in 1961. On January 16, 1972, Bagasarian died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 53. In 1980, his son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. decided to revive the Chipmunks and took on the voice of David Seville, Alvin and Simon. His wife, Janice Karman, did the voices for Theodore and the Chipettes.
Here is the original ‘Witch Doctor’ recording:
I used to love when they would put records on the cereal boxes! These records were first produced in the 1950s and continued to be put on cereal boxes until the 1970s. Some were made of cardboard and you actually had to cut them out from the box. Others would peel off the box. These were 45 records and they played great on our stereo. I remember having the Jackson Five, Bobby Sherman and some Disney ones as well.