Thursday, February 6, 2020

RIP - Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas, the last remaining male movie star from Hollywood's Golden Age, passed away on February 5, 2020 at age 103.

Douglas appeared in over 85 movies from 1946 to 2004. Surprisingly, he never won an Oscar for best actor, although he was nominated three times in the 1950s.

Possibly best-known for his role in "Spartacus", my kids remember him as "the guy who sang A Whale of a Tale" in Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".

The Hollywood Reporter obituary

CBS News Obituary

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

RIP - Edd "Kookie" Byrnes

Edd Byrnes, who played cool characters on 1950s' TV show "77 Sunset Strip" and the 1978 movie "Grease", passed away on January 8, 2020 at age 87.

He was never far from his trademark comb, neither as the fast-talking parking lot attendant on "77", nor the high school dance emcee in "Grease".

I found a 45 of his signature song at a used record store several years ago.

Los Angeles Times obituary

Friday, January 10, 2020

RIP - Neil Peart

Neil Peart, drummer for Canadian rock group Rush, passed away on January 7, 2020 at age 67.

This occurred just 3 months after the death of Ginger Baker, a top drummer from the 1960s.

Peart is often considered to be one of the top 3 rock drummers (with John Bonham and Keith Moon).

No need to revisit his career here. If you've read this far, you're probably already a fan.

Fox News obituary .

Monday, October 14, 2019

RIP - Karen Pendleton

Karen Pendleton, one of nine Mouseketeers to appear on the show's entire 1950s run, passed away on October 6, 2019 at age 73.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

RIP - Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker, one of the top all-time rock drummers, died today October 6, 2019 at age 80.

Baker had been ill for some time, and had open heart surgery in 2016.

The drummer for the 3-piece English band Cream from 1966-68, he remained with Cream band mate Eric Clapton for their next project, the short-lived Blind Faith. It's been said that Baker pioneered the use of 2-bass drum kits.

Back in the 1960s my brother was a big Cream fan, having bought the single "White Room" and several of their albums. I jumped on the bandwagon later, and bought the DVD of their reunion shows at Albert Hall as soon as it was released.

New York Times obituary

Rolling Stone Magazine

CBS News obituary

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Top 20 Rock & Roll Singers

Continuing with the "ranking the top ______" theme... 

A few days ago I happened to come across some YouTube videos by Rick Beato, where he picks the top 20 whatever (singers, songs with drum intro, songs with guitar intro, etc). One in particular was his choice for top 20 greatest rock singers of all time. His premise was "Little Richard started it all, so he is the template. Now who best symbolizes what he did?"

As with any list, there is always disagreement. I disagreed with some of his, such as "How can Freddie Mercury NOT be #1?"

So here is my list of the top 20 rock & roll singers. I didn't try for individual rankings, but have a top 10 and a 2nd 10.
(BTW, I'm not a huge Queen fan, but you have to give Mercury his due.)

*Freddie Mercury - Queen

2-10 (alphabetical order)
Pat Benatar
*Roger Daltrey - Who
*Lou Gramm - Foreigner
*Paul McCartney - The Beatles
*Jim Morrison - The Doors
Steve Perry - Journey
*Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin
Paul Rodgers - Bad Company
*Ann Wilson - Heart

11-17 (alphabetical order) 
Colin Blunstone - The Zombies
Jay Black - Jay and the Americans
Peter Cetera - Chicago
Brad Delp - Boston
*Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones
David Lee Roth - Van Halen
Mike Smith - The Dave Clark Five

To me, these guys are more like screamers than singers, but still in the top 20: 
Geddy Lee - Rush
*Bon Scott/Brian Johnson - AC/DC
*Steven Tyler - Aerosmith

*on Beato's YouTube list

Who's on your list?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

1960s' Bond Girls

Last time, we took a stab at the top guitarists of the 1960s to 1980s.

Today we have another ranking post of sorts – this time the Bond Girls. Since this is supposed to be a 1960s blog, I’m limiting this to the 1960s’ Bond movies. This would include the first 5 Sean Connery flicks, but let’s also throw in 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever”. While we’re at it, let’s drop 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, since nobody watched the lone George Lazenby/Bond movie anyway.

So, here is the list of Bond Girls from the Sean Connery/Bond films from 1962-71:

Dr No 
A. Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) – Shell collector who Bond finds on the beach!
B. Miss Taro (Zena Marshall) – Lures Bond to her cottage so that her associates can kill him, but Bond gets the upper hand.
C. Anabelle Chung (Marguerite LeWars) – Feisty paparazzi photographer has a quarrel with Quarrel.

From Russia With Love 
D. Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) – Double agent who falls for Bond.
E. Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) – Bond’s side-girl first met him in Dr No, asking the question which received the famous answer “Bond… James Bond”.

F. Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) – Goldfinger’s pilot/henchwoman.
G. Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) – Wears gold paint like no other.
H. Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet) – Jill’s sister out for revenge, but has a run-in with Oddjob’s derby.

I. Domino (Claudine Auger) – The bad guy’s girlfriend switches sides after he killed her brother.
J. Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) – While this villainess is in the tub, she asks Bond to hand her something to wear, so he gives her some shoes.
K. Paula (Martine Beswick) – Bond’s assistant was also a fighting gypsy in From Russia With Love.
L. Patricia (Molly Peters) – Bond’s physical therapist ends up on the receiving end of a mink-glove massage.

You Only Live Twice 
M. Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi) – Bond’s sidekick is poisoned while she sleeps.
N. Kissy Suzuki (Mie Hama) – His replacement squeeze marries Bond as part of his “fitting in as a local” ploy.
O. Helga Brandt (Karin Dor) – Blofeld’s #2 fails to kill Bond, then swims with the fishes.

Diamonds Are Forever
P. Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) – Tough-chick Bond opponent early in the film, then falls for Bond and unravels.
Q. Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood) – Vegas girl-toy takes a long leap into a short pool.

(You’ll notice I skipped Miss Moneypenny and Rosa Klebb.)

Who were your favorites?