Today is the anniversary of my brother’s death. Of course, I miss him and all the more so when something happens that I would love to discuss with him, or when a movie or TV show is on that I know he would love. This has certainly been the case with Ken Burns’ wonderful Country Music series on PBS. Alan loved country, and he would have adored this series. I thought of him during each episode, and imagined how great it would have been for him to call me up – as he used to – and chat with me about it.
In tribute to my brother, I offer you, dear readers, a song I hadn’t known before watching the series. (I will bet Alan knew it, though.) Get out your Kleenex.
One of the things Significant Other and I like to listen to when we drive somewhere is the Diary of Samuel Pepys, read by Kenneth Branagh. It’s captivating, edifying, vivid, funny and sad. Pepys wrote a lot about his meals – mostly mutton, it seems, and tankards of liquor – and so I found this discovery of one of his silver plates quite fascinating. Coincidentally, Jeff Jacoby wrote a column just last week about anti-Semitism, and opened it by quoting Pepys’s observations on his 1663 visit to a London synagogue.
Dear readers, I have only this to say: we are not a serious country.
Mercer sings a medley of his hits – with Steve Allen. Such fun, such stellar talents.
Here’s some real courage (as opposed to the faux courage of, say, a Greta Thunberg): a former Miss Iraq telling some truths to those who don’t want to hear it. She is likely to lose her Iraqi citizenship (this already may have happened), and possibly her life, over these kinds of comments. She has also engaged in a fruitless attempt to get famed Jew-hater Ilhan Omar to listen to facts.
I had a Julia Barbie doll that I adored. Carroll was a beautiful, talented woman, who apparently got her heart ripped out by Sidney Poitier! (If you’re going to get crushed, better by someone fab, I always say.) Here she is with Frank and Dean, in 1965. The first two songs are only Frank and Dean, but they are so great I decided to post this longer clip.
Sheesh, she was gorgeous. At the risk of sounding like my curmudgeonly self, they don’t make entertainers like these three anymore, and that is a tragedy.