Kendra Steiner Editions

September 24, 2020

Massimo Magee, online solo clarinet performance, Sunday 27 September

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:29 am

Free jazz/sound art visionary and longtime KSE recording artist MASSIMO MAGEE will be doing an online solo clarinet performance this coming Sunday, Sept 27, at 11 a.m. US central time, 5 pm London UK time. Everything Magee does is an event, so don’t miss it. Access using the link below…. see you there!

https://www.cryptovoxels.com/play?coords=N@251W,469N

September 23, 2020

Chet Baker live in 1964 and 1979

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Live In Belgium 1964:

Personnel:
Flugelhorn, Vocal: Chet Baker
Alto Sax, Flute: Jacques Pelzer
Piano: Rene Urtreger
Bass: Luigi Trussardi
Drums: Franco Manzecchi

Song List:

  • Bye Bye Blackbird
  • Isn’t It Romantic
  • Airegin
  • Time After Time
  • So What

Live In Norway 1979:

Personnel:
Trumpet: Chet Baker
Vibraphone: Wolfgang Lackerschmid
Piano: Michel Graillier
Bass: Jean Louis Rassinfosse

Song List:

  • Interview
  • Blue Train
  • Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
  • Five Years Ago
  • Love For Sale

September 22, 2020

NBC “Decision ’76” Theme (Henry Mancini)

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Speaking of Henry Mancini (see yesterday’s GUNN post), NBC hired the Maestro to compose a theme for the network’s coverage of the 1976 presidential election (Gerald Ford vs Jimmy Carter, with Gene McCarthy running as an independent), which shows the great taste that someone in NBC’s news division had. 1976 was the Bicentennial year, and this piece of music could easily have been used as a key motif or a title theme had Mancini been commissioned to do a soundtrack for a feature film biography of Benjamin Franklin in that period.

According to Mancini discographers, it’s never been released on any HM album. Enjoy….

And for an encore, how about another Mancini commission by NBC….the unforgettable NBC MYSTERY MOVIE THEME, which was not only issued on an album but also covered by Percy Faith for one of his albums! The NBC Mystery Movie had a number of series in rotation, including Columbo (Peter Falk), Banacek (George Peppard), Hec Ramsey (Richard Boone), McCloud (Dennis Weaver), and McMillan and Wife (Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James), and this theme will be remembered by anyone who lived through that era. It has never been used on any of the re-plays of the individual shows, to my knowledge….

September 21, 2020

Henry Mancini, original soundtrack LP for “Gunn” (1967)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:30 am

The 1958-61 television detective show PETER GUNN, starring Craig Stevens, created and produced by Blake Edwards, was a huge success, both with critics and the public, and still holds up today, with its studio-shot foggy and mysterious mean streets, the cool and powerful presence of star CRAIG STEVENS, and the key role of jazz in the show, both on-screen and on the soundtrack via Henry Mancini’s music.

When Blake Edwards decided to revive the Gunn franchise in 1967, with the first of a projected series of feature films (the promotional materials and the soundtrack album for the film called it GUNN…NUMBER ONE, suggesting there will be number two and number three, etc.), he offered the director’s chair to William Friedkin (a shame that didn’t happen!), which WF declined. The studio felt that Lola Albright, Stevens’ seductive co-star on the TV series, was too old to reprise her role (why not just make BOTH characters older? Craig Stevens clearly had aged too…), so that role was re-written and re-cast. Neither did Herschel Bernardi reprise his role as Lt. Jacobi, Gunn’s friend on the police force and a key element to the original show’s success. The 1967 GUNN did not do well at the box office or with critics, though it’s not bad and fans of the original show might enjoy it (I did) if you accept that it’s an older Gunn in a much-changed world that he doesn’t fully understand….and that looks NOTHING like his original black and white, foggy crime-jazz fantasy world.

One thing that was wonderful about the GUNN feature film was the soundtrack, one of Maestro Mancini’s finest jazz-inspired scores. The LP of this is not hard to find, but the brief CD appearances of the album in the 1990’s now go for big bucks. Unfortunately, the GUNN film has never been issued in any video format. Copies that circulate are from a pan-and-scan cable TV showing. Perhaps Kino-Lorber can remedy that and do a new release of the film, which would probably be well-received as this is something that’s been bashed for so long, viewers will see and appreciate its good qualities. If you’d like to HEAR one of its best qualities, here is the original soundtrack LP (in stereo) of Henry Mancini’s music for GUNN–NUMBER ONE, featuring Mancini’s A-team of jazz players, including Bud Shank, Shelly Manne, Plas Johnson, Jimmy Rowles, Bob Bain, Pete Candoli and Ray Brown. Enjoy!

September 20, 2020

Fabian in THUNDER ALLEY (1967), directed by Richard Rush

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THUNDER ALLEY (1967, American International Pictures)

directed by Richard Rush

starring FABIAN, ANNETTE FUNICELLO, DIANE MCBAIN, WARREN BERLINGER, JAN MURRAY

running time: 89 minutes

September 19, 2020

Beacon Theatre, NYC, 6 December 2019

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September 18, 2020

Elvis Presley, “Patch It Up (Take 9)”

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RCA has just posted an advance track, an alternate take of the classic PATCH IT UP, from the forthcoming “From Elvis In Nashville” box set, recorded June 9, 1970, at RCA Studio B, Nashville. Take 8 is the released take….here is take 9.

September 17, 2020

FADING YELLOW, Volume 7

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In these difficult days, the perfect temporary infusion of joy can be found in a FADING YELLOW compilation, if you’re so inclined. I’ve written about this series in UGLY THINGS and also here at the KSE blog…and recently I shared a You Tube link to Volume 1. Here now is the link to another fine volume in the series, VOLUME 7. At this point in the series (this was released in 2003), the series featured tracks from artists who have come to be a lot better known for their wonderful albums, FARGO (on RCA), FEDERAL DUCK (on Musicor), PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY (on Acta), PHILAMORE LINCOLN (on Epic), which in a number of cases have become big ticket items. However, whether you have any of this material or not, this is a brilliantly programmed and deep 72 minute journey through a diverse collection of trippy pop-psych that will take you to a place you’ll want to be.

Enjoy….link at bottom….

  1. The Eighth Day — Building With A Steeple – 0:00:00
  2. John Randolph Marr — Raggedy Ann – 0:02:36
  3. Brian Hyland — On The East Side – 0:05:03
  4. Gordian Knot — Carraway Stream – 0:07:30
  5. Fargo — Talks We Used To Have – 0:10:19
  6. Federal Duck — Peace In My Mind – 0:12:48
  7. Glitterhouse — Tinkerbell’s Mind – 0:15:48
  8. The Peppermint Trolley Co. — Pat’s Song – 0:20:30
  9. 3’s A Crowd — I Don’t Wanna Drive You Away – 0:22:56
  10. Lee Michaels — My Friends – 0:25:37
  11. Richard Twice — If I Knew You Were The One – 0:28:19
  12. Alzo — You’re Gone – 0:33:03
  13. Cherry People — Imagination – 0:35:44
  14. Cowsills — Mystery Of Life – 0:37:40
  15. Summerhill — Friday Morning’s Paper – 0:41:35
  16. Bob Ray — (Girl With The) Cameo Ring – 0:44:10
  17. New Wave, The — Little Dreams – 0:48:03
  18. Philamore Lincoln — The North Wind Blew South – 0:50:33
  19. National Gallery — Diana In The Autumn Wind – 0:53:48
  20. Condello — The Other Side Of You – 0:56:31
  21. The Smoke — Gold Is The Color Of Thoughts – 1:00:48
  22. Gordian Knot, The — The Year Of The Sun – 1:03:54
  23. Ellie Pop — Oh My Friend – 1:06:56
  24. Bert Sommer — And When It’s Over – 1:09:21

September 14, 2020

WYATT EARP : FRONTIER MARSHAL TREASURY, VOLUME FOUR (Gwandanaland Comics #1025)

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WYATT EARP : FRONTIER MARSHAL TREASURY, VOLUME FOUR (Gwandanaland Comics #1025)

Charlton Comics was always a major force in western comics, having (in my opinion) the strongest offerings in the field and staying with westerns until Charlton’s final days (in the last years of the early-mid 80’s, via re-prints….they certainly had enough content in the can from all those 50’s and 60’s comics to pump out re-print material for decades, had Charlton not folded….after all, it’s not like westerns date). Charlton was always ready to stick the ALL-NEW tag on the BILLY THE KID comics from the 70’s that actually were new because people were so used to recycled material—it was an event when you did get something new!

Charlton had its share of licensed western titles based on characters/real people such as Lash LaRue and Tex Ritter, characters with a pre-sold audience. Characters who were historical figures, such as Billy The Kid, a Charlton mainstay for decades, were also popular, but did not require any payment to anyone as they were in the public domain. In 1955, the TV series with Hugh O’Brian THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP premiered and became a smash hit, running six seasons and generating a massive amount of merchandizing. It’s still being re-run today, and although Hugh O’Brian did a lot of other things later in his career (a favorite of mine is the Harry Alan Towers-produced 1966 remake of Agatha Christie’s TEN LITTLE INDIANS, with an outlandish cast including Shirley Eaton and Fabian, a film perhaps best known for having a gimmicky “whodunit break” right before its climactic reveal), he was never really able to go beyond the Wyatt Earp identity in the public mind, something I’m sure he eventually came to terms with. Someone at Charlton had the brilliant idea of piggybacking on the success on that show without having to pay anyone a license fee because Wyatt Earp was a public domain historical character. Change the title a bit, create a depiction of Wyatt that echoes Hugh O’Brian without looking too much like him, and you’ve got a western comic book that can ride the coattails of the TV series without costing a cent for licensing. That’s the kind of thinking I admire (and which I admire in the so-called “mockbuster” straight-to-video films of recent years which have a title echoing a hit film but just different enough to avoid a lawsuit—I’m a huge fan of the productions of THE ASYLUM and other mini-studios working in that vein).

Fortunately, Charlton’s artists and writers brought their A-game to the Wyatt Earp comic book, which ran for 61 issues, from 1956 to 1967. The plots are not as outlandish as those given to Billy The Kid, as the Earp persona in popular culture (the real Earp is a subject for another article) was always the “gentleman gunfighter,” and that identity is respected in these stories. Also, although Wyatt is a marshal, he is able to travel, to assist friends, and to be hired by those who need him elsewhere, so the stories can be set in any number of different locales and situations. It’s not like, say, the 1930’s Bob Steele films (which I love) where at least half the time (or so it seems) Bob is out for revenge after his father is killed.

I’ve read this collection twice (I probably read some of these issues in original copies way back when too), and it holds up very well. One reason I am reviewing it here is that it would be a good example of western comics for someone not into western comics to read. The five issues here run from 1960-61 (and as the cut-off for Public Domain status in comics such as this, where the copyright was not renewed, is 1963, Gwandanaland could potentially issue at least two, if not three, more WYATT EARP volumes of PD material—I hope they will!), and that was a Golden Age for the western. Dozens of comics were being published, hundreds of paperback-original western novels were being churned out and actively consumed, and westerns were dominating the TV airwaves. The pacing of these stories is excellent, there are colorful and interesting antagonists/villains as well as supporting characters, and the scenes are framed in a way that brings to mind some late 50’s B-western starring, say, Audie Murphy or Rory Calhoun or George Montgomery (to name three actors who were still working in that vein in the late 1950’s). Earp’s character is not only mature and somewhat realistic, but he’s actually somewhat cerebral and complex, no doubt echoing the qualities that Charlton saw as attractive about the Earp TV show.

I am at work while they are on, but I notice that ME-TV is running something like four hours of old-school 50’s and 60’s western TV shows, in black and white, every weekday, for retirees to relive their childhood days of watching GUNSMOKE and WAGON TRAIN. Personally, I’ll take the comic books over those TV shows, but if you are in the mood for, as the cover puts it “GUN-QUICK WESTERN ACTION” that’s well-paced, well-written, well-drawn, and features an interesting and somewhat complex main character, Gwandanaland’s collections of Charlton’s WYATT EARP, FRONTIER MARSHAL are a great buy with clearly presented and sharp scans of the original pages. No recoloring of the originals here—it’s like getting mint copies of these on the newsstand the day they were released, but on quality paper and bound into a book that won’t yellow and “roll” as the original comic would.

NOTE: Gwandanaland has three earlier volumes of Charlton Wyatt Earp…..AND a collection of the Dell Wyatt Earp comics, where ARE directly based on the TV show and licensed (Dell liked to do licensed adaptations of TV properties) from the producers of the Hugh O’Brian TV series. I have not read those yet, but I’m sure I’ll get around to them. Until then, the Gwandanaland Charltons are waiting. And as they remind you at the top of nearly every page,CHARLTON COMICS GIVE YOU MORE!

September 11, 2020

TV Commercials featuring BUSTER KEATON

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buster keaton

There’s not much I can say about the great BUSTER KEATON that has not been said before, and in any event, watching his work is more satisfying than reading about him.

Just the other day Mary Anne and I were watching his 1921 two-reeler THE GOAT (made 99 years ago!), and each year it seems there is some new restoration and Blu-Ray release of his silent work.

However, let’s also not forget his 35 years of quality work in sound films and television. Ever the professional, Keaton could adapt himself to any situation….in 1964, he was appearing in both AIP Beach Party films AND a Samuel Beckett art film.

buster keaton 2

I vaguely remember seeing Keaton in TV ads in the early 1960’s, and fortunately, copies of some of those ads are available online. Thanks to the folks at the “Retro Rabbit Ears” You Tube channel for compiling this 15-minute collection of classic Keaton television ads. Buster continued to work until his passing, and it’s nice to know that he continued to be popular and much-loved part of popular culture in his later years…..something that never stopped while he was alive and has grown considerably since his death.

Thank you, Buster Keaton, for making life more enjoyable and helping us forget about our problems….if only for the span of a TV commercial or comedy short.

buster keaton 3

Here it is….enjoy….

September 8, 2020

the pre-western Charles Starrett at Chesterfield Pictures (1933-1935)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:32 am

CHARLES STARRETT (1903-1986)

charles starrett cowboy

Anyone vaguely familiar with pre-1960 films knows the name of Charles Starrett from his Western films—-he STARRED in 131 Western features for Columbia from 1935-1952, which is a record for a Western series for one studio. He always exemplified class and gravitas in his Westerns and was truly in a class of his own, best remembered for the many DURANGO KID films he made in the 1946-52 period at Columbia.

However, the Ivy League-educated Starrett, a native New Englander and football star at Dartmouth, was a superb horsemen through his polo playing, not from working on the range, and he did not originally set out to work in Western films.

In the early sound era, after some years of training on the stage, he entered the film industry and his talent and charisma was soon noticed, leading to a series of supporting roles in “A” pictures at major studios and leading roles in “B” features. He certainly had paid his dues by the time Columbia came calling for a new Western star.

Starrett made a number of films at the independent CHESTERFIELD PICTURES from 1933-1935 (I’ve written about Chesterfield earlier here on the KSE blog—-just do a search for the film GRIEF STREET), and three of those features were excellent murder mysteries, which I happened to own in the early days of VHS tapes in the 80’s, back when I maybe owned 20 video tapes, so I watched each one multiple times and I’ve grown to become quite attached to them. I still watch them maybe once a year. I’d already been a fan of Starrett’s from his Westerns, but I’ve now seen maybe 15 of his pre-Western films from the pre-1936 period, and I am a great admirer of his work. Had Westerns not come calling, who knows what direction Starrett’s career may have gone in….

I’ve included links for you to view those three 1933-1935 Starrett murder mysteries below, MURDER ON THE CAMPUS, GREEN EYES, and A SHOT IN THE DARK. Nothing satisfies at the end of a long work day like an escapist murder mystery, and Chesterfield Pictures made some of the best independent features in that vein. They often shot the films at Universal City, giving the settings a touch of class, and used the best directors found on poverty row (here we have RICHARD THORPE and CHARLES LAMONT, both of whom went on to do great work for decades at the majors). The 1930’s were perhaps the Golden Age of cinematic murder mysteries, so here you are with some classics, starring the great CHARLES STARRETT, each running under 70 minutes.

charles starrett cowboy 2

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charles starrett

Charles Starrett in MURDER ON THE CAMPUS (1933)

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murder on the campus

MURDER ON THE CAMPUS (1933)

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GREEN EYES (1934)

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A SHOT IN THE DARK (1935) note: sound is a bit low on this, but you can still follow it well

Enjoy! And thank you, Charles Starrett, for your excellent and entertaining body of work!

 

September 6, 2020

introductory essay to the forthcoming collection of Edward D. Wood, Jr., non-fiction magazine pieces, WHEN THE TOPIC IS SEX (Bear Manor, 2021)

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Just completed a project I’ve been working on for the last few months that’s very important to me: the introductory essay for a forthcoming book of non-fiction adult-magazine pieces by EDWARD D. WOOD, JR., called WHEN THE TOPIC IS SEX, to be published in 2021 by Bear Manor. Great to work with Bob Blackburn, who did such a fine job with the previous EW collections, BLOOD SPATTERS QUICKLY and ANGORA FEVER. Very proud to be a part of this book!

Look for the book (and its excellent introductory essay!) in 2021….

September 5, 2020

rare early-sound Mack Sennett one-reel short “Strange Birds” (1930), with Marjorie Beebe

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mack sennett 1

The great silent film comedy pioneer MACK SENNETT did move into the sound era in relatively good shape: with his own studio, a distribution network, huge name recognition and much public love, going back to the Keystone Kops era. As a producer, with a career running from 1911 through 1935, he has 1118 credits! Think about that number for a second….wow!

Sennett’s sound work is not that well-known. I had a number of his early-sound shorts on VHS tapes that I traded with other collectors in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, but of course, with each taping, you would lose a generation of quality, so in the trading world, you’d often be looking at a 3rd or 4th generation copy, making a lot of the shorts I viewed a bit murky and with muddy sound. What I could see and hear, though, was often quite odd. A number of the shorts were in color, and some had bizarre underwater sequences.

I have not seen any of those in decades and few the ones I owned have popped up on You Tube or elsewhere. Let’s hope that they surface in good quality….

However, here is a beautiful print of a fascinating Sennett short from 1930, from a series I’d never heard of, posted on You Tube by Geno’s House of Rare Films (you should subscribe to Geno’s You Tube channel, as there is a lot of first-rate and super-rare content there).

mack sennett 2

The “Mack Sennett Brevity” series (there’s one of them on Flicker Alley’s mutli-disc Sennett set, but I don’t own that, alas) seem to mix documenting of  real-world phenomena with some comedy added to the mix. A promotional blurb issued at the time about the series said that it would document “our sports, our hobbies, all our clouded interests.”

bird park

This one is a fascinating tour through Catalina Island’s Bird Park (see pic), and not only do we get beautiful sharp color photography of the birds (the Sennett-Color process has an interesting and appealing color palette), we get an informative commentary by tour guide Frank Eastman, given to our Sennett stock-company players, Luis Alberni and the wonderful comedienne Marjorie Beebe, on whom I’ve had a serious crush ever since seeing a lot of her work in the 1980’s.

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mack sennett 4

MARJORIE BEEBE

and now….thanks to Geno’s House of Rare Films, please enjoy the one-reel
“Mack Sennett Brevity” short, STRANGE BIRDS, released through Educational Pictures on 23 November 1930, with Marjorie Beebe, Luis Alberni, and as the “guide,” Frank Eastman.

I’d LOVE to see other early-sound Sennett shorts, particularly the color ones, in this kind of picture quality. A re-evaluation of this period in Sennett’s career is overdue. Yes, some of the shorts are more odd and clever than funny, but they always entertain. He did have a few mis-steps in the early 30’s (the feature HYPNOTIZED, for instance), but with hindsight, we can perhaps appreciate the work for what’s valuable and entertaining in it, rather than criticize it for what it is not (and probably did not intend to be). Certainly, the Sennett approach in the early sound era is unique….nothing at all like what was going on over at Hal Roach, for instance.

Settle back for about 10 minutes and enjoy a trip to the Catalina Island Bird Park, with the charming and witty presence of Marjorie Beebe, in Mack Sennett’s 1930 short STRANGE BIRDS….

September 2, 2020

check out ‘Scotty’s Elvis Presley Vinyl Reviews’

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There are a lot of Elvis Presley podcasts and You Tube videos out there, and some of them are not that great, even to the Elvis fan. They are fannish in the bad sense, not that well-informed, dealing with gossip not the music, etc. There are some fine ones, though, and I’d like to introduce you to one that I treasure: Scotty’s Elvis Presley Vinyl Reviews, on You Tube. This  gentleman (and sometimes his brother) has a fine Elvis collection, is very knowledgeable about original pressings/RCA-BMG re-releases/FTD releases, etc., as well as the nuts and bolts of Elvis Presley’s body of work. He is respectful, passionate, and accurate. That’s what we need in the Elvis community!

So let me share the link for this video series. There are 45 episodes:

Rudolph Valentino in “The Married Virgin” (1918)

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valentino married 1

Rodolfo Di Valentino, aka RUDOLPH VALENTINO, certainly paid his dues as an actor before stardom beckoned. In the late 1910’s and through early 1920, he appeared in supporting roles in nearly two dozen films, and by the late teens, he was recognizable as a character actor, often stereotyped as a seductive European or Latin American playboys or gigolos or operators of one kind or another taking advantage of women with money and/or position. As the roles got bigger, he truly smoldered on the screen and surely when he was cast in his star-making role in FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, released in 1921, these seductive supporting roles and their evidence of unique power he possessed as a film actor were what led to him getting that gig. The contemporary trade reviews of his supporting roles commented on how persuasive he was as a jaded European rake, on the make.

valentino married 2

In 2017 I wrote about another early Valentino film, STOLEN MOMENTS, and you can read that piece here:  https://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/stolen-moments-1920-starring-rudolph-valentino/

valentino married 3

Like Stolen Moments, THE MARRIED VIRGIN was a film re-issued once Valentino became a star, highlighting his supporting role….although in the case of THE MARRIED VIRGIN, the film may not have even had a proper release when it was made in 1918. You can Google the film and read more about this, but it seems the original version was 7 reels and was exhibited to reviewers/exhibitors in 1918, but not released. It was re-edited in 1920, cut to 6 reels, and released under the names THE MARRIED VIRGIN and FRIVOLOUS WIVES. The latter had a great tagline, “a drama of a body and heart divided.”

valentino married 5

Valentino plays Count Roberto di San Fraccini, a character one perceptive IMDB Valentino fan describes as a “cabaret parasite,” which pretty much says it all. Although he eventually got tired of these stereotypical roles, he always gave the producers their money’s worth, and he certainly does here. Savor the master, RUDOLPH VALENTINO, working his magic in a low-budget potboiler prior to his superstar period. The film is a typical melodrama of the day, but it moves quickly and is relatively entertaining overall, but add Valentino to the formula, and it’s suddenly something worth your time….and only 70 minutes long.

Settle back, pretend you are seeing this at your neighborhood theater in 1920 after a long work week, ready for some romantic fantasy entertainment….

valentino married 4

THE MARRIED VIRGIN

made in 1918, reissued in 1920

directed by Joseph Maxwell

with

Vera Sisson …. Mary McMillan
Rudolph Valentino …. Count Roberto di San Fraccini (as Rodolfo di Valentini)
Frank Newburg …. Douglas McKee
Kathleen Kirkham …. Mrs. McMillan
Edward Jobson …. John McMillan
Lillian Leighton …. Anne Mullins, the Maid

NOTE: This film will look better seen on a laptop as opposed to a TV screen.

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August 30, 2020

two episodes of COMEDY CAPERS

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comedy capers

Silent films are timeless. They are NOT sound films without sound. They are a different medium, perfectly complete within themselves. When I was working with young composers in their 20’s with the KSE label, I met a number of people in the experimental music community who were scoring silent films, people who viewed the medium as new and exciting terrain for them.

As for people in my age group (I was born in 1958), many of us got into silent films in two ways: 1) via packages of re-edited and re-contextualized silent comedies shown as filler on local TV stations and aimed at children (and children at heart….and people who remembered silent films), with new soundtracks and over-stated sound effects, with lots of slide whistles and cymbal crashes; and 2) via public TV showings of “classic” silent features in the 1960’s and 1970’s, focusing on the major stars of the era such as Valentino and Fairbanks and Pickford and Chaplin and Bow, but also on the great film classics of the silent era, such as INTOLERANCE or SPARROWS or THE BIG PARADE.

One well-known example of the former is the early 60’s series COMEDY CAPERS, an off-shoot of an earlier and similar series called MISCHIEF MAKERS, which contained footage from silent OUR GANG comedies, re-edited and with new sound effects. COMEDY CAPERS was another series from the same producing company, National Telepix. CC contained shorts from the libraries of Hal Roach and Mack Sennett and featured a wide variety of quality material, including Billy Bevan, Harry Langdon, Ben Turpin, The Keystone Kops, Charley Chase, Billy West, Mabel Normand, etc.

There were, of course, many other similar series, some of the local produced at the station level, showing cheap public-domain silent material from 16mm and using canned music. COMEDY CAPERS was in reruns for a number of years after its initial early 60’s run, continuing into the 70’s in some markets and into the 80’s overseas. It seems to have been a big hit in Brazil, as a number of the excerpts on You Tube have Portuguese subtitles. Also, any silent film fan knows that there is a devoted following for silent films today in Latin America as a whole, and many obscure silent films from the world over can be found online with Spanish and Portuguese inter-titles. Silent films truly are the universal film language–all you need is titles translated and there are no language barriers.

I’ve included links to two episodes of COMEDY CAPERS for your enjoyment, both chock-full of silent comedy gems. Yes, the music and sound effects are a bit over the top, but only a purist could object to that, and it certainly made these films more approachable to the 6 year olds and 9 year olds out there in TV land circa 1964 (or if in Brazil, 1980!).

Maybe they can still work as an entryway for silent films today!   Enjoy!

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August 27, 2020

Soft Sounds For Gentle People, Volume 5 (Pet Records CD)

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softsoundsforgent_5_101b

Since I shared a FADING YELLOW compilation recently, I also need to offer an entry from the other stellar compilation series of trippy pop-sike 45’s from the late 1960’s, SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE.

The first volume of SSFGP came out in 2003, and since then there have been five volumes in the main series, and some side volumes of all-female collections, male-female duets, “mystic males,” and a wonderful compilation of Bob Dylan clones called IT’S ZIMMERMAN’S WORLD…WE JUST LIVE IN IT. It seems as though the most recent release in the series was the sublime MYSTIC MALES 2, in 2014. Like the Dylan collection, MM2 was issued in a cardboard mini-LP sleeve (the earlier volumes were in jewel boxes), had few tracks than earlier comps, and was issued simultaneously on LP (the reason for the lesser number of tracks). I miss not having regular releases from Pet Records! As any listener to Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE or anyone who’s gone through some of the LOST JUKEBOX volumes I linked to knows, there is good material out there for many many more volumes of SSFGP. Soft Sounds has a unique and instantly recognizable sound, which is at once more kitschy and more overtly psychedelic than the Fading Yellow series. You won’t find early 70’s singer-songwriters here, and the late 60’s ones you find are more along the lines of Bob Ray’s ‘Initiation of a Mystic’ or Sonny Bono’s ‘Inner Views’ (and you can get a boatload of that kind of sublimity on the two MYSTIC MALES comps, which I highly recommend). An important and endlessly enjoyable series–a series that’s often playing at my home or on the road in the car.

Why not enjoy the most recent entry in the main series, Volume 5, which some kind soul has posted to You Tube. Link is below….

01. Stix & Stonz – Take a Bus
02. The Johnnys – Nothing Sacred
03. Mouse – Look at the Sun
04. The Rainy Daze – Blood of Oblivion
05. People – Ridin High
06. Wells and Fargo – Mother Goose Sonata
07. Things to Come – Hello
08. Roman Chariot – Five Sensations
09. The Delicate Balance – Autumn Wind
10. Bentley Road – Kill the Cobra
11. The Charter Members – All the Worlds Kings
12. The Carnival – The Four Seasons
13. The Phoenix Trolley – When Charleys Doing his Thing
14. Misty Morn – Summer Sunshine
15. Devils Brigade – Dreaming Is
16. The Sandals – House of Painted Glass
17. The Lollipop Fantasy – It’s a Groovy World
18. The Flower Pot – Gentle People
19. The Capes of Good Hope – Lady Margaret
20. The 1st Century – Looking Down
21. The Fraternity of Man – Wispy Paisley Skies

The CD of this album has exhaustive liner notes, as do all the volumes, and I see on Ebay you can still get Volume 5 and also Mystic Males 2, if you are so inclined, for under $15 each. The earlier volumes have gone up in price a lot, unfortunately, so act now to grab the ones you can cheaply.

The series consists of

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 1

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 2

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 3

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 4

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 5

SOUNDS OF SHE

HE AND SHE

MYSTIC MALES

MYSTIC MALES 2

IT’S ZIMMERMAN’S WORLD…WE JUST LIVE IN IT

August 25, 2020

Bobby Vee and the Strangers,”Look At Me Girl” (Liberty LP, 1966)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:22 am
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bobby vee look 1

In a recent post on The Gants,  I mentioned producer Dallas Smith at Liberty Records, and about a half hour after finishing that post, I put on an album to listen to while doing my job from home, and to my surprise….it was another album produced by Dallas Smith on Liberty Records! It had been at the top of my “next to play” pile for a day or two. I own a mono LP of this somewhere, but I listened to a CDR of a stereo album I downloaded from an MP3 blog maybe ten or fifteen years ago….and I listened on headphones.

bobby vee look 2

BOBBY VEE AND THE STRANGERS

“LOOK AT ME GIRL”   Liberty Records LP, 1966
A1 Look At Me Girl
A2 Sunny
A3 Growing Pains
A4 Like You’ve Never Known Before
A5 Summer In The City
A6 Turn Down Day
B1 Fly Away
B2 Sweet Pea
B3 That’s All In The Past
B4 He’s Not Your Friend
B5 Back In Town
B6 Lil’ Red Riding Hood

Liberty Records liked to have their artists record cover versions of other people’s hits, a practice I have no problem with because, after all, if I love a particular artist, wouldn’t I be very excited about hearing them cover a hit that I enjoy? On some occasions, a song I do not like in its original form, I DO like when it’s covered by an artist I admire. I’m one of those rare individuals whose favorite Standells albums are THE HOT ONES and IN PERSON AT PJ’s! And the latter was, of course, on the Liberty label!

When Del Shannon came to Liberty Records in 1966, Shannon–an amazing songwriter who’d written the majority of his hits and his b-sides and album tracks–was a bit taken aback when Liberty had him record two albums primarily of covers, but he did them SO well, and on some occasions he completely reinvented them and made them his own, such as his version of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.”

With Bobby Vee, Liberty felt that they had an artist who could do it all—-they could pair him with other artists on the label, such as the Crickets or the Ventures, for recording projects, they could have him record “theme” albums, they could pair him with producers with a particular vision and a stable of songwriters, and they knew he would create a quality and commercial product. At the same time, he could use the label to promote his own compositions and his own pet projects (they released A LOT of Vee records in the 1960’s)–it was a win-win situation for both Vee and for the label.

The album under discussion here is built around a recent single, a cover of the Playboys of Edinburg’s jangly classic “Look At Me Girl,” which is tailor-made for Vee, along with a collection of Vee’s own tunes, recent hits by other artists, some lesser-known songs by songwriters on the make who were happy to have the mechanical royalties from an album by an artist like Vee whose releases would sell at minimum ten thousand copies, and of course copyrights held by Liberty’s music publishing arm. For me, it’s a winning combination. This is album screams 1966, which in hindsight is a wonderful thing, though as the 60’s progressed, Vee’s albums focused more on his own songwriting and on singer-songwriter-esque albums that were more studied and weighty.

bobby poster

I’ve included two sample tracks here: first is the title track, a perfect westcoast 1966 jangle-rock single, and then Vee’s fine cover of the Cyrkle’s “Turn Down Day,” which in some ways I prefer to the original…..all in that distinctive Liberty Records almost-duophonic stereo and played by the cream of Los Angeles’ session musicians.

bobby poster 2

You should have no problem finding the rest of this album online somewhere….Liberty’s present owners, Universal Music (who purchased EMI), tend to have a lot of their back catalog on streaming services and even on You Tube (I’ll be posting a certain Tower Records LP soon, which UM has posted on You Tube for free, though with commercials), in an attempt to monetize those sleeping assets in the vault. Let’s face it–there will never be a physical reissue of an album like LOOK AT ME GIRL by Bobby Vee, unless some specialist reissue label does it, and I don’t think this is high on Ace or Grapefruit’s to-do list, and UM is not likely to reissue it on CD, at least in the present environment (maybe if/when CD’s become “collectible” in future years the way that LP’s, or as they say now “vinyl,” are now it could happen, but I would not sit around waiting for that to happen.

Also, an album like this which is not in high demand can be gotten relatively cheap in its original form—-a stereo or mono copy can be gotten for $6.00 at Discogs.

I play my copy once or twice a year and would not think of selling it. Find it online and see what you think…..yes, it’s 1966 Liberty Records product capitalizing on Bobby Vee’s fame, but it’s from the heart of the magical L.A. music scene in a truly Golden Age….and Vee could have done anything (they could have had him do the Stephen Foster songbook!) and made it sound fresh and enjoyable. I’m going to listen to it AGAIN as soon as I finish typing this! Tracks from it would fit perfectly on an episode of Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS radio show….in fact, I bet he’s played something from it!

bobby vee look 3

bobby vee look 4

………………….

Bobby Vee was kind enough to sign a copy of the UK (where he was always popular) 3-CD set of his collected singles, A sides and B sides, for Mary Anne and me….

bobby vee

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bob and bobby

And of course, every Dylan fan knows that at one time, before Dylan went to NYC, he played keyboards in Vee’s band for a few months, under the name Elston Gunnn (sic). It was beautiful to see them reunited in 2013, when Dylan invited his former employer to a show in St. Paul, MN, and played Vee’s first breakout hit “Suzie Baby” in concert (I mention this period in Vee’s career in my discussion of Mickie Most, elsewhere on this blog). These two Minnesota boys… About Vee, Dylan wrote in Chronicles, “I’d always thought of him as a brother.”

That night in 2013, Dylan said from the stage, “I lived here awhile back, and since that time I’ve played all over the world, with all kinds of people. Everybody from Mick Jagger to Madonna and everybody in between,” said Dylan, usually a man of few words in concert. “But the most meaningful person I’ve ever been on the stage with was a man who’s here tonight, who used to sing a song called ‘Suzie Baby.’ ”

Here is that performance….it’s a bit ramshackle, but it brings tears to my eyes….

August 23, 2020

GUNFIGHTERS #72 (Charlton Comics, April 1982)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:31 am
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gunfighters 72

GUNFIGHERS #72 (Charlton Comics, April 1982)

There is something charming about the re-purposing/re-cycling of product in the low end of the popular culture marketplace. I recently saw a collection of late 70’s newspaper ads from the South and from Texas for drive-in theaters and was surprised to learn that the 1960’s and early 1970’s films of Herschell Gordon Lewis were playing regularly in various combinations up through 1980 or so–imagine going to your local passion pit on the outskirts of town circa 1980 and getting a double-bill of THE GORE GORE GIRLS and TWO THOUSAND MANIACS. At the same time, you could go to your local Sound Warehouse’s budget bin and purchase some dodgy budget label LP for $1.99 containing the grungy Ed Chalpin-produced R&B jams featuring the pre-fame Jimi Hendrix, fifteen years after they were recorded (and who knows if Hendrix was even aware that the tape was rolling!). In the comics world, Charlton Comics was putting out new product consisting of reprints of older Charlton content (comics looked down upon and ignored by the comics powers-that-were back then, whether they were new or reprints), some going back to the late 1950’s! Why, you could potentially have bought the Charlton GUNFIGHTERS comic under review here, picked up the budget-label Hendrix album, and gone to see the Lewis films THE SAME DAY. And for most people back in the pre-Internet age, it would all have been new to you. My, what a satisfying day that would have been! Also, all of those things would have been relatively “off the radar” in terms of the gate-keepers of popular culture, and you could have experienced all of these from your small-or-medium sized town in Western Kansas, or Central Pennsylvania, or the Texas Panhandle. All you needed on top of that for a perfect day was a ‘Big Plain’ from your local Burger King and an oversized can of Big Cat Malt Liquor to wash it down.

charlton more

Long before people attempted to document everything via the internet, daily life had a pleasurable randomness factor to it and a sense of the unknown. Things were thrown at you in the course of your everyday routine that could not be looked up on your smart-phone. When you found for a quarter a used copy of some odd paperback book from a publisher you’d never heard of, you could not look it up and get its backstory–you had to read it, and even then, you might not have a handle on where it came from and what was its context. You could stumble across an obscure film at 3 a.m. on the UHF station, something that did not appear in your local newspaper TV supplement or TV Guide, which just had LATE MOVIE listed, see it once, mention it to people afterwards and no one would have ever heard of it, even though it may have had a name star in it such as Rory Calhoun. After a while, you wondered if you were the only person anywhere who saw this….and did you REALLY see it, or was it all just a dream as you were dozing off (I have seen non-existent European movies starring Guy Madison in my dreams, and heard non-existent Kim Fowley albums in my dreams, undoubtedly constructed from known elements in my brain) and the station was in reality running an ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW re-run? It’s hard for people who were born into the internet age to understand that, the way it was difficult for me as a child to grasp the concept of life before electricity, which my grandmother who was born in 1896 lived through for her first few decades (women did not even have the vote when she turned 21!). The important thing to remember about these eras is that people got along just fine, and in some ways life was more pleasurable, or perhaps the proper term would be MORE INTENSELY AND DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED. That’s true whether we are talking about 1979, 1896, or any other random date you want to mention….1733, 1142, 212 B.C.

One thing that has always annoyed me is people who look at the past through the lens of the present and view themselves and the present age as being superior. Anyone with a sense of history, and a sense of modesty, and a sense of perspective, knows that many aspects of present-day life and society circa 2019 will make future generations cringe! I would hazard to guess that many  are already cringing today, as these things are happening! We’re no better than previous generations, and in many ways we’re probably worse. Oh, but you can watch a shitty sit-com on your phone rather than talk to the person sitting next to you, and you can find out in three seconds who led the American League in home runs in 1981….and you can take a picture of your meal and post it so people on another continent can see your tedious dinner. How advanced we are!

gunfighters 2

Fortunately, we can escape this world of people watching corporate infotainment on portable devices they are addicted to as much as (or even more than) any drug addict they’d look down upon….by picking up a cheap and unwanted late-period Charlton Comic, still available for a dollar or so in unread condition.

As with most Charlton product, I did not get this new at full price–I picked it up later (though not much later, maybe 8-12 months) in the secondary market. Many convenience stores had a used or remaindered magazine section back then (you still saw this in rural areas until a few years ago, particularly in non-chain Mom’n’Pop stores), where something like this 60-cent comic would have a 25-cent sticker on it. That section was often beside the full-price section or in a corner (or on a separate rack). I’d learned by 1982 that if a Charlton comic did not have the words ALL-NEW in big letters at the top, then it was recycled material from their archives. You could also tell that from the masthead, which did not hide the fact that the material was old. This magazine reads “all editorial material herein contained was originally published in and is reprinted from publications copyright 1960, 1961 by Charlton Publications Inc.” There was certainly no problem with that, as far as I was concerned. It was unlikely that I’d have had many 1960 comics in my collection, and if I did, I’d probably have vaguely remembered the stories. And if I didn’t, then I would not mind re-reading them. Considering that the late 50’s and early 60’s were a Golden period of westerns on TV and in comic books, I was actually happy to be getting vintage material. And Charlton had been pumping out so many series of western comics for so long that whatever this magazine contained, it would surely be worthwhile, and well worth a quarter. A broad title like GUNFIGHTERS could cover pretty much any western comic material–it would be hard to find a vintage story that did not have a gun drawn by someone somewhere in it.

What makes this issue so appealing is exactly the wide variety of material and the various “big names” of western lore who are represented: ANNIE OAKLEY, WILD BILL HICKOK, WYATT EARP, KID MONTANA….and checking out the Grand Comics Database on this issue, I see that even the cover was re-cycled from an old TEX RITTER magazine (and if you look at the cover pic we provided, you can see that yes, it does resemble the comic book version of Tex….as much as any Charlton comic “resembles” a real-life model!).

I can remember sitting on my front porch in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with the porch light on and a citronella candle burning to keep the mosquitoes away, at about 2:30 a.m. reading this.

The bar/club/restaurant I worked at closed at 1 on weeknights, we usually had it closed up and ready to go for the next morning’s day shift by 1:45-2:00 a.m. As I would walk home in the middle of the night, I would savor the silence….it provided a blank canvas on which whatever minor sounds were out there would stand out in contrast to the silence (when I met John Cage 6 or 7 years after this, I mentioned this image to him and brought up his citation of Thoreau’s line about sound being “bubbles on the surface of the silence”–Cage smiled like an uncle proud of his nephew graduating from high school, and said something along the lines of “that’s it”). After I got home, washed up, and took my copy of GUNFIGHTERS out on the porch (probably sipping one of those Big Cats), I would relax—-no more dishwashing, marinating and cooking cheap steaks, preparing plates full of nachos, and doing inventory of kitchen supplies until tomorrow….which was actually TODAY since it was after 2 a.m.!

Annie Oakley took on and defeated a sleazy and corrupt faux-Frenchman who was trying to control the entire valley, steal her ranch, AND force himself upon her. As I tuned into the middle-of-the-night silence, and looked out toward the dimly-glowing horizon west of town, I could imagine all this being played out just a few miles from where I sat.

I would come out on the main street from the frontier café where I worked as cook and bottle-washer, and I would wave at and applaud Annie Oakley as she rode down the street after gunning down the Frenchman and turning him over–wounded, bloodied, and defeated, with his head down in shame– to the Sheriff. I could then go back to my daily life–in the Old West or in Oklahoma circa 1982–and feel a sense of victory. Thank you, Annie Oakley….thank you, Charlton Comics….thank you, Big Cat Malt Liquor!

gunfighters 3

August 22, 2020

New Century Edition of Swedenborg’s SHORTER WORKS OF 1763 now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:54 am
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swedenborg

The Swedenborg Foundation’s long-term NEW CENTURY EDITION series of new translations/editions of Emanuel Swedenborg’s voluminous spiritual works has been doing an amazing job, with scholarly rigor, in making Swedenborg’s work current and relevant to the present generations of readers. I’m not sure that Swedenborg will ever be widely read (and I certainly do not want to see him dragged into the dreaded New Age arena—-something that some of the persons who mention his name in recent years have been doing, alas—-which is the spiritual equivalent of an actor doubling in hardcore porn). His writing is too dry for most, and the classification/categorizing aspect of his work would be off-putting to some. Personally, I have always considered Swedenborg as a comrade of Dante, in terms of giving a detailed and methodical study of the afterlife and the nature of divinity. Perhaps Swedenborg’s not presenting his insights as literary work or speculative writing, but as matter-of-fact cataloging of the spiritual world  based on his own personal visits there , has put up a barrier for some readers. It should not. The cosmology presented in Swedenborg’s work is something we can look at with awe. Who really cares if it’s “true.” No one will know any “truth” in that area until it’s too late to report back to the living.

Swedenborg (1)

EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

If Swedenborg is just a name for you, do a little reading about him and his work….even the Wikipedia entry would be fine….and you’ll know if you would find his “world” (and there’s no other word for it than that) is one you’d like to enter and spend some time in.

I’m not a card carrying Swedenborgian or a member of a Swedenborgian church, but he does present a fascinating and quite large piece of the puzzle, and he shines a light on the unexplainable elephant in the room from a unique angle. The more illumination from different angles we expose ourselves to, the more sets of metaphors for the inexpressible we step into, the more likely we are (perhaps….) to catch a flashing glimpse of the indescribable….

Below you’ll find an audio introduction (running 3+ hours) to the new NCE Edition of  Swedenborg’s THE SHORTER WORKS OF 1763, from Rev. Dr. Jonathan S. Rose, if you are so inclined….

You can order THE SHORTER WORKS OF 1763 by Emanuel Swedenborg direct from the publisher here:

https://swedenborg.com/product/shorter-works-of-1763-nce/

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NEW JERUSALEM….my poetic attempt to deal with some Swedenborgian concepts in the setting of Natchez, Mississippi, originally published in 2017 as a KSE chapbook. This piece has since been republished in my poetry book SATORI IN NATCHEZ, which you can get at Amazon here in the US, or pretty much anywhere else, as a local purchase with local postage.

new-jerusalem

 

August 21, 2020

Tom Conway as The Saint on radio (3 episodes, 1951)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:36 am
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conway saint

It all makes perfect sense somehow: Tom Conway’s brother, George Sanders, played the Saint in a number of popular feature films at RKO; later, when RKO started another series with a similar suave and witty detective character, The Falcon, they brought back Sanders, but he left the series to be replaced by his brother Tom Conway, and Conway became most associated with The Falcon, with his own unique style and flair for comedy. That series made Conway a star in his own right, and after the Falcon series concluded, he played a number of other suave but witty detective roles based on his Falcon fame.

Thus, when the star of the radio version of THE SAINT, Vincent Price, needed some time off the series for some other commitments in the more prestigious and better-paying world of feature films, who better to take over the role for a while than Tom Conway, who’d never played The Saint, but who was known and loved by millions as the very similar character, The Falcon. And yes, Conway was tailor-made for The Saint. Many people today know The Saint via the successful 60’s TV series starring Roger Moore—-and Moore certainly made the role his own, the same way he did ten years later with James Bond—-but the character goes back a long way, to 1928, from author Leslie Charteris.

While Vincent Price was a magnificent Saint on radio (and you can easily find many of the Price shows online….and you should), I’ve always had a soft spot for the short run with Tom Conway in the role of Simon Templar, aka The Saint.

Below are links to three episodes of the Conway Saint, each running approximately 29 minutes. Enjoy!

saint conway

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THREE SAINT RADIO EPISODES WITH TOM CONWAY:

–THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BERTH (June 3, 1951)

https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/crime/saint-the/saint-the-51-06-03-173the-girl-with-the-lower-berth

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–PETER THE GREAT (June 24, 1951)

https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/crime/saint-the/saint-the-51-06-24-176peter-the-great

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–MY DARLING DAUGHTER (July 15, 1951)

https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/crime/saint-the/saint-the-51-07-15-179no-my-darling-daughter

 

By the way, it’s comforting to know, as we’re informed at the closing of each show, that “The Saint comic book is available at all newsstands.” I have a number of issues myself, and I can do a post about the various comic book incarnations of the character at some future date.

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August 18, 2020

Fading Yellow, Volume 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:22 am
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fading yellow 1

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Hard to believe it’s almost 20 years since the first CD compilation in the seminal FADING YELLOW popsike compilation series (an LP came out in the 1990’s prior to the CD’s). I reviewed a volume in Ugly Things magazine a while back and then reviewed the most recent entry, Volume 17, here on the KSE blog a while back. You can read that write-up here:

https://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/fading-yellow-volume-17-flower-machine-cd-sweden/

Here is a key section from that, in case you are unfamiliar with the FY series: Curating compilations is truly a complex art–a quality compiler with a consistent aesthetic and a knowledge of deep tracks that others have overlooked can create a masterwork from songs that, taken individually, might not blow anyone away. Through sixteen volumes, the Fading Yellow (the name taken from a Mike Batt song on the first volume) series has staked out a unique territory–not really psychedelic, though with some trippy elements; not really sunshine pop, though with some elements from that genre too. There tends to be a moody, melancholy feel to the best tracks on these albums, and even when the series moves too far into the 1970’s and some of the pieces sound like groups such as America or England Dan & John Ford Coley, those tracks tend to complement the overall atmosphere of the album and provide a change of pace among the trippier tracks that helps create a varied mosaic of sound that’s instantly recognizable as a Fading Yellow comp. The albums can transport you to a place where you are looking upon a field of flowers illuminated by moonlight at 2 a.m., with a mellow wine buzz….assuming that’s what you want!

While I (literally!) keep my FADING YELLOW CD’s on the same shelf as my SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE comps, FY has a unique and consistent aesthetic….SOFT SOUNDS tends to go more for kitschy West Coast faux-psych, while FY tends to go more for trippy late 60’s (and eventually early 70’s) singer-songwriters or florid studio-pop that could have been played at a record-label press-party announcing the release of, say, The Yardbirds’ LITTLE GAMES or the Bee Gees’s ODESSA (if you get my drift), but there is also an appealingly eclectic quality to the series so those generalities don’t really hold when you look at the entire series. Certainly, anyone who enjoys Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS internet radio show or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE will appreciate the FADING YELLOW series. I certainly do, and every year I bring a stack of FADING YELLOW CD’s with me when I go on my poetry writing vacations (as I did just last week!) because you can’t get much more “atmospheric” than Fading Yellow (I also have allusions to lyrics of some of the songs in some poems, for you trainspotters our there and for future scholars to unpack).

So, here is VOLUME 1 from the Fading Yellow series for you, from You Tube. It should play the songs in order. This is the volume that started it all! There is a primarily UK orientation here (volumes would often alternate their focus….one volume would be UK/Europe, the next would be North American, etc., though some mix that up), though the net is cast wide enough to include Ronnie Bird (from France) and the Aerovans (Americans who recorded in the UK in a very British style).

Put it on while you are doing something around the house….and then repeat it, and you may well be hooked….

note: some of the songs on the original CD have been deleted on You Tube (no doubt due to rights issues…..these comps are not authorized and are more visible on You Tube than on the “private pressing” CD’s distributed through specialist dealers), so I’ve deleted them from the line-up below–you can tell from the missing numbers.

…………………………..

Fading Yellow Vol. 1
Timeless Pop-Sike and Other Delights
1965-69

CD version originally released 2002.

• • • • •

1. Kate – “Strange Girl” (3:04)
2. Dean Ford and the Gaylords – “That Lonely Feeling” (2:41)
3. Eddy Howell – “Easy Street” (3:01)
4. Mike Batt – “Fading Yellow” (3:45)
5. Steff Sulke – “Oh, What a Lovely Day” (3:04)
6. John Williams – “Flowers in Your Hair” (2:42)
7. Zephyrs – “I Just Can’t Take It” (2:31)
8. Jon – “Is It Love” (2:52)
9. Koobas – “Woe Is Love My Dear” (2:27)
10. Orange Bicycle – “Competition” (2:40)
11. Gremlins – “The Only Thing On My Mind” (2:06)
12. Quintin E. Klopjaeger & the Gonks – “The Long Way Home” (2:28)

16. Paul & Barry Ryan – “Madrigal” (2:17)
17. Phil Cordell – “Red Lady” (2:25)
18. Ronnie Bird – “Sad Soul” (2:52)
19. Ronnie Bird – “Raining in the City” (2:37)
20. Elliots Sunshine – “‘Cos I’m Lonely” (3:08)
21. Peter Janes – “Do You Believe (Love Is Built on a Dream)” (2:54)
22. Bliss – “Lifetime” (2:47)

24. Members of Time – “Dreamin'” (2:38)
25. Aerovons – “World of You” (2:24)

……………………………

Enjoy!

August 16, 2020

Wednesday Happy Hour with ROSIE FLORES…every week!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:52 pm
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rosie 1

San Antonio native ROSIE FLORES is a Texas treasure—-though she did live in California for a while, she’s been Austin-based for a number of years now, and Texas is better off for it. Mary Anne and I went to a Rosie Flores concert on our first date, decades ago (we were both fans already, before we met), and we’ve tried to catch her each year ever since….in some years we’d see her monthly. In the recent pre-COVID era, she had a number of residencies at different Austin clubs….most recently, her Wednesday night jazz sets at the upstairs Continental Club Annex, and Friday rockin’ shows at C-Boys Heart and Soul (also on S. Congress in Austin). Her eclectic taste and warm, personal style with an audience make every show a unique event.

Now, during the COVID lockdown, Rosie is doing a weekly three-song set (usually running 20-25 minutes) Wednesday nights at 630 US Central Time, live from her home, via Facebook Live. Many of the shows have been themed, focusing on a singer or songwriter important to her, or a genre, or something like songs from her first album from the 80’s on Reprise (which is where I discovered her—- a great album, still sounding fresh and exciting today), songs from her recent blues album, etc. I’ve included the posters from some of the recent shows. Her show next Wednesday will be devoted to songs by Chuck Berry.

Besides the exciting music–and you never know exactly what you’ll get or how she will perform it–Rosie’s wit and personal charm come through really well via these internet concerts. Mary Anne and I never miss these Wednesday Happy Hour shows and it’s almost like she’s a member of our extended family, someone whose visit we always welcome.

It’s easy to tune in on Wednesday night.

Go to the Mule Kick Productions Facebook page around 630 pm (CT) on Wednesday, and a few minutes after 630 refresh the screen if the show doesn’t appear….and you’ll get an entertaining and refreshing dose of the Rockabilly Filly herself, MS. ROSIE FLORES.

Here’s the direct link:    https://www.facebook.com/mulekickproductions/

And don’t forget the tip jar….https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/RosieFl

Every year at our home, Rosie is a regular musical guest because the day after Thanksgiving, we take out her wonderful Christmas album CHRISTMASVILLE (see pic below), full of fun originals (the San Antonio-based ‘Christmas on West Mistletoe’ we all sing along with, and whenever I cross Mistletoe here in San Antonio, I think of the song) and classic covers, some unexpected. That and the Booker T. and the MG’s Christmas album are always in regular rotation at Casa Shute-Bernal!

I’ve included a link to Rosie’s video for Christmas on West Mistletoe below….enjoy, even though it’s another 5 months to Christmas.

Don’t forget, Happy Hour with Rosie, Wednesdays at 630 central time at the Mule Kick Productions Facebook page….see you there!

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August 15, 2020

Tab Hunter on “Match Game ’78” (1978)

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TAB HUNTER in ‘SHOTGUN’ (Italy 1968)

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TAB HUNTER (left), with Yvonne DeCarlo and George Montgomery in ‘HOSTILE GUNS’ (1967)

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I’ve had the urge recently to do some kind of tribute to Tab Hunter here on the KSE blog. Though most of his films are not on You Tube, I could have provided a link to the ones that are, or links to some of his songs, or some of the interviews related to the documentary film TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL, but instead, what we have on offer here are some Hunter items most people will not have seen, and which are exactly the kind of breezy, upbeat and entertaining content we need right now.

So….here is an entire week of MATCH GAME ’78 programs, from September 1978, featuring Tab as one of the celebrity contestants. It’s a refreshing taste of Tab Hunter out of character for a film and in his public persona, the witty and amiable and charming Tab Hunter, celebrity. I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Hunter, but during my years in Virginia, I did have a friend who had a friend in the horse world (horses were Tab Hunter’s great passion, from his teenage years on, and much of his time was spent raising and breeding horses) in Virginia who know TH well from the horse world and had dinner with him a number of times, and that lady gave my friend some stories and anecdotes to tell me about her experience with Tab Hunter, Horseman.

The various 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s MATCH GAME shows were always among the most entertaining of game shows, both because of the nature of the game/questions and of the panel of six celebrities, all loose and informal and in a playful mood (they’d shoot a week’s worth of shows in one day, and supposedly the Thursday and Friday shows each week were done after dinner and drinks, and thus had an even looser and wilder feel to them due to the alcohol consumption), and seeing Tab Hunter outside of a film role, having fun and radiating his inimitable charm, is a wonderful way to remember him.  Enjoy!

I’ve also included his comments on the 1965 film WAR GODS OF THE DEEP, taken from the DVD extras. This was an interesting period in Hunter’s career, post-major studio contract, working as a freelance actor-for-hire, which he discusses, along with working with Vincent Price, shooting in England, etc. It’s another opportunity to visit with Tab Hunter out of character, as he discusses the specifics of a quirky and unique film project.

You may have noticed that we’ve moved to 2 or 3 posts per week here at the KSE blog (we had daily posts going for a while in June and July!), and I will try to keep this pace up, as the response has been excellent. Also, as long as the COVID pandemic continues, I will continue to offer a lot of links to online material to keep you occupied while stuck at home when you are not working. There is a lot of quality lesser-known material available online and I would like to share some with you….

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BONUS:

Tab Hunter’s DVD commentary for the 1965 film WAR GODS OF THE DEEP

August 13, 2020

behind the scenes with Tom Conway on the set of THE LAST MAN TO HANG (UK, 1956)

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Mary Anne and I are planning to watch the 1956 UK courtroom thriller THE LAST MAN TO HANG, starring TOM CONWAY, tonight (directed by the great Terence Fisher) and in doing a little online sleuthing about the film in advance, I see that there is footage online from a 1956 Pathe Newsreel (Film Fanfare) of some lady and a friend getting a tour of Nettlefold Studios, where the film was being shot, and meeting its stars, Tom Conway and Eunice Gayson, as well as director Fisher and other unnamed persons employed at the studio. Director Conway is the shortish man with glasses on the set wearing a rumpled coat.

This kind of footage, even though it is just silent with a canned music track, is a priceless window into a working 1950’s UK low-budget film studio, something we probably would not have been able to see in person even if we’d been in Britain in 1956.

Conway appears again near the closing when the lady and her friend are finished at the studio and waving goodbye, in a quick but charming bit of physical comedy, starting at 4:08. Unlike Conway’s many detective films, THE LAST MAN TO HANG is not a film that offers him comic situations, so it’s nice to see that side of him represented here.

Below you’ll find a brief (and recent) trailer for the film and then the Pathe newsreel footage. I have a blog post on Tom Conway’s radio work as Sherlock Holmes (replacing Basil Rathbone for the 46-47 season) coming up soon….stay tuned!

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trailer for a 2018 TV showing of THE LAST MAN TO HANG

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1956 British Pathe newsreel footage, backstage during the filming of THE LAST MAN TO HANG, runs approximately 4:40

Film Fanfare #5, 1956 (British Pathe newsreel footage)

There are hundreds of hours of fascinating vintage newsreel footage available for free viewing at the British Pathe website. I remember that it was considered quite an event when this material went online a number of years ago. Footage spans from 1910-1984! Check it our here:    https://www.britishpathe.com/

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postscript: after watching THE LAST MAN TO HANG tonight, I must say that it was excellent, intelligent, thoughtfully written, and well-acted by all….until the last 3 minutes. I’m not going to give a spoiler, but let’s just say that it has to be among the top 10 most absurd and illogical tacked-on endings I’ve ever seen to a film…in 50 years of watching crime/mystery/legal-thriller features. No wonder the film has never been reissued on DVD and is not discussed much, even though it was released in the US by a major studio, Columbia. Still, Tom Conway was his usual masterful self, and the young Anthony Newley (as one of the jurors) possessed magnetism even in 1956. Also, the film’s structure (let’s forget the last three minutes) is quite novel, as before we really get to know Conway’s character at all, we see the home-lives of all the jury members (who will sit in judgment on him), and to call their home lives unpleasant would be an understatement. While THE LAST MAN TO HANG is nothing like the 2003 film THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE, viewers will have the same WTF reaction at the end of LAST MAN as they did with the DAVID GALE film, and probably get angry at the film’s writers. However, in 1956, this was just a throwaway programmer, in circulation for a few months and then mothballed. And the first 68 minutes of it are excellent, so 95.7% of THE LAST MAN TO HANG is excellent–that’s not a bad percentage, and most people coming out of the theater in 1956 could remember that “on the whole, it’s pretty good” and move on. The film is based on a novel, and if that has the same trick ending, it must surely be set up better than it is in the film, where a few small details in a very early scene (that most viewers will not pay attention to) vaguely suggest a possibility that is never developed or explained at any point in the film, and the odd and illogical conclusion takes for granted without explanation. In fact, I’d guess half of a typical audience of above-average intelligence viewers would not even make the connection, if it indeed IS a connection. I didn’t intend to discuss this at such length, but to say the last few minutes were bizarre and unsatisfying would be putting it mildly….

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