He would have been 104 today. Here’s a piece I wrote for his 100th.
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.
Mercer sings a medley of his hits – with Steve Allen. Such fun, such stellar talents.
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.
The phenomenal entertainer died in August. Here he is doing his best Shirley Bassey impression. He also did wonderful Tom Jones and Johnny Mathis and more – have a look on YouTube.
Today is the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. On my other site, I posted a bit about Vera Lynn and my mother’s love of two of her songs of the era. Please take a look, and if you are interested in knowing more about the song itself, check out Mark Steyn’s column here.
Mark Steyn selected George Harrison’s Something, as his song of the week recently, and I could not be happier. It is one of my favourites. Steyn praises Shirley Bassey’s version of the song, and it is lovely, but my favourite version will always be Sinatra’s, here:
I’m a day late, but in honour of July 12th and King Billy (my family benefitted rather enormously from this man and his adventures), I give you this terrific tune. (You will recognize the melody – Sweet Betsy From Pike. Of course, when immigrants came to North America, they brought their songs and the lyrics were often changed.)
I have not been following this season with much passion, but I watched this and thought it was lovely. (That said, the band was far too loud.) I was sad to see Walker Burroughs get the boot.