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  • mistermuse 1:06 am on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    MAURICE de PAREE: A MAN AND HIS MUSICALS 

    “Perhaps the greatest movie musical of all time” — that’s what film critics like Leonard Maltin called Singin’ In The Rain (1952). If you’ve seen it, you know it’s a spoof of the transition from silent to sound films in 1928-29.

    “Only in 1929 did the talkies really begin to talk–and sing–to much of America. By year’s end, nearly half of the country’s twenty thousand movie houses were wired for sound. Nine out of ten Americans were going to the movies at least once a week. Paramount was the most Continental of studios and took pride in the elegance, inventiveness, and visual dazzle of its product. With the shift to talkies, it lured name stage entertainers like Maurice Chevalier, the Marx Brothers, Gertrude Lawrence, Walter Huston, and Claudette Colbert.” –Edward Baron Turk, arts critic, educator and prize-winning author on the culture of France and Hollywood film.

    This post is ‘a remembrance of sings past’ for the first-named of the above entertainers, Maurice Chevalier, who was born in Paris (Sept. 12, 1888) and died in Paris ((Jan. 1, 1972). He signed with Paramount in 1928 and came to America in 1929 to star in musicals, the first of which was INNOCENTS OF PARIS….but the second was the one that won him instant international acclaim. That film, THE LOVE PARADE, was adapted from a French play (Le Prince Consort) and starred Chevalier as Count Alfred Renard, a Sylvanian military attaché in Paris who has been ordered back to Sylvania by the Queen to be reprimanded for his scandalous affairs.

    Co-starring Jeanette MacDonald as Queen of Sylvania, it was the first talkie directed by the man with “the [Ernst] Lubitsch touch.” In this scene from the show, the playboy Count plays the Queen’s frustrated gigolo:

    In real life, Chevalier was far from the jaunty, insouciant character he played on stage and screen. Again quoting Edward Baron Turk: “Lubitsch understood that behind the Frenchman’s bubbly image was a troubled man. From his alcoholic father, Chevalier had inherited a predisposition to panic attacks, suicidal fantasies, and [other] disorders. Above all, Chevalier suffered from a chronic sense of inferiority.” Nevertheless, after a nervous breakdown in 1923, he went on to become the ‘Toast of Paris’ in solo triumphs at such venues as the Casino de Paris and Folies Bergère, leading to his being enticed to Hollywood before the end of the decade.

    Following his great success in THE LOVE PARADE, in 1930-31 he appeared in four more films, including PARAMOUNT ON PARADE, a variety revue devised to show off the studio’s large roster of stars. But it wasn’t until 1932 that Chevalier again found artistic and box office magic in what critic Leonard Maltin called (and I agree) “One of the best musicals ever made”: LOVE ME TONIGHT. Among the many things this film had going for it was the inspired directing of Rouben Mamoulian and the glorious songs of Rodgers and Hart, including “Lover,” “Isn’t It Romantic,” and this ‘signature’ Chevalier chanson:

    By the mid-1930s, his popularity in the U.S. waned, and he returned to France. He came back to the U.S. in 1947, but didn’t recover his former luster until his role in GIGI (1958), for which he received an honorary Oscar. Do you remember this Lerner & Loewe song which introduced the story of Gigi? I remember it well:

    What is left but to say Happy 133rd Birthday, Maurice Chevalier….and Thank heaven for Maurice de Paree, his alter ego.

     
    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 3:33 am on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      He lead quite a life, including being accused of wartime collaboration. I enjoyed the clips.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:00 am on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Lynette. In my research for this post, one encyclopedia’s Chevalier listing included this:
        “Military service, World War I; wounded and in prison camp. During World War II in seclusion; at one time rumored killed.”
        No mention of being accused of wartime collaboration, but the sources I checked are American. There is no doubt more information about it in France, but “I’m not going to go there” (pardon my play on words).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 3:35 pm on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      My French grandmother had a total “thing” for him. I think she told us she knew him. That was unlikely a most of her tales, but it was fun to imagine.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:04 pm on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve read that he was quite the ladies man, so if she ever came within his sight, who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 8:04 pm on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the post and the Chevalier background. That “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” disgusted me as a child and gave me the creeps. It still does.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:46 pm on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        That surprises me, as neither my wife nor my two daughters had that reaction to the song (or film). I’ve always thought of it, as I’m sure the composers (Lerner & Loewe) did, as a paean to little girls. But it doesn’t surprise me that it still gives you the creeps, because childhood trauma can have long-lasting carryover. In any case, I’m glad you appreciated the post as a whole.

        Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 12:06 pm on September 13, 2021 Permalink

          Josie, while talking with my 50 year old daughter this morning, the subject of old songs/music came up, and she mentioned THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE GIRLS. ….which led me to bring up this post and mention your comment. She had a different take on your reaction to the song than mine, saying that it is probably cultural and generational, based on modern, politically charged gender attitudes which view such songs as sexist. So, in that contest, I think I should have chosen a better word than “trauma” in my previous comment, and I apologize.

          Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 11:03 pm on September 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      A nice romp with the ever-charming Maurice. Sad to think it may well have been tough for him to turn on the charm—perhaps much of the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:31 am on September 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Yes — and he does it so naturally, you’d never guess that it didn’t come naturally. All the more credit to him.

        Liked by 1 person

    • selizabryangmailcom 2:30 pm on September 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Of course I had no idea about the inner life of Chevalier; it’s always fascinating to get a peek behind the mask people wear. But it’s a sad peek. Maybe the successes made it slightly less bitter (his past).

      I understand, too, where your other commenter is coming from about “Thank heaven for little girls.”
      It reminds me of how now the popular stance is to boycott the song “Baby, it’s cold outside,” and/or change the lyrics, as I think John Legend did.

      Perception is subjective, and I would never undermine anyone’s point of view re: where they’re coming from. But I definitely think there’s a war of words and feelings going on that has taken a skewed turn that people will come to regret in years to come. I do feel like any tiny thing that can be construed as “objectionable” comes under scrutiny and we’re now living in a culture of fear and self-censureship. It’s often “freedom of speech” only for a certain group now–not for everybody. If people don’t realize that this is the frog boiling slowly in the pot, leading us to Farenheit 451 and 1984… they might feel as scared as I do!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:03 pm on September 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Wisely said. People of different generations (and even the same generation) and cultures are often not on the same wavelength. With maturity should come perspective, but maturity seems to be in short supply these days, even among those old enough to know better (a phrase I remember hearing ages ago).

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:02 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    SOMETHING TO REMEMBER HIM BY 

    More than [various species] becoming extinct in our time, we in the painted jungles of the theatre are also faced with our own disappearing species: charm, [which] lately has been critically outlawed on the grounds of criminal literacy. I can only shrug sadly and chalk it up as another victim of that creeping nastiness called modern civilization.” –Alan Jay Lerner, January 1974

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The above quote is from the foreword to Dancing in the Dark / Words by Howard Dietz / An Autobiography. Dietz (one of my all-time favorite songwriters) was the decades-long lyricist and librettist of 32 Broadway musicals, whose (Sept. 8, 1896) birthday the day after tomorrow, I remember today.

    I suppose that I’m just an old romantic at heart,
    A lover of love songs, when such songs were an art
    ❤️ Such that music and lyrics with taste and charm
    ❤️ Went Dancing in the Dark, and left arm in arm,
    Alone Together, to live out a dream til death do us part?

    Here, then, are three Howard Dietz songs, starting with something from Three’s A Crowd (1930), starring Libby Holman, Clifton Webb, and Fred Allen:

    In his autobiography, Dietz wrote that “Libby Holman was game for anything. She was a child prodigy and had gone to law school at the age of 16 but decided that she preferred a career on the stage. Though she had studied law, she was a frivolous personality who appeared in the nude in her dressing room, and therefore had a lot of visitors.” Well, I imagine that WAS something to remember her by.

    Next, we have Dancing in the Dark from The Band Wagon (1931) starring Fred and Adele (Fred’s sister) Astaire. This clip is from the movie version (1953) starring Fred and Cyd Charisse, she of the “phenomenal legs” (so pegged by film critic Pauline Kael):

    Our curtain call, Alone Together, is from the 1932 musical Flying Colors starring Clifton Webb and a cast which included Imogene Coca, who seniors may remember as Sid Caesar’s TV co-star in Your Show of Shows in the 1950s:

    NOTE: Pay no attention to the “Video unavailable” below, which I tried, but was unable to delete.

     
    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 1:43 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I really enjoyed Cyd and Fred. Amazing dancers. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • waywardsparkles 1:44 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      MM, I close my eyes and I’m magically transported to another time and place…always, thank you, kind sir!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:48 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        You’re very welcome. As the world keeps getting uglier (or so it seems), it is good to have beautiful memories.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 11:33 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I just thought it was me! Getting more cynical as I grow older was not what I expected. I’m beginning to think that I’m walking the streets with a billboard declaring “The End Is Nigh”! Doom, doom, doom!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:30 pm on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Funny you should mention “The End is Nigh” because I swear I can hear John (the one who’s always in the bathroom) say the same thing whenever I’m about to sit on the can.

        Like

    • magickmermaid 12:36 pm on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      As the only ‘Dancing in the Dark’ I’m familiar with is by Bruce Springsteen 😉 , it is delightful to see another version. Yes, MM, you are a romantic at heart. The world needs more like you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 1:46 pm on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I could watch Fred Astaire dance all day! Thanks for sharing the clip 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • selizabryangmailcom 5:15 pm on September 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      It’s really telling that the quote from Lerner: “…charm, [which] lately has been critically outlawed on the grounds of criminal literacy. I can only shrug sadly and chalk it up as another victim of that creeping nastiness called modern civilization” ……….. is from 1974! One would think it was a quote from the ’80s,
      ’90s, or DEFINITELY today. But apparently our downhill slide from civility had already begun…..

      Wow, Dietz was a talent.
      Also fascinating to read about Miss Holman studying law but deciding to be an entertainer. That would be handy for being able to spot grifters of any sort, I would think, in that business.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:52 pm on September 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        As much as anything else, I think Lerner was decrying the demise of the kind of Broadway musical which had entertained audiences since the days of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart up to Lerner and Lowe. But I also think you’re right that this can’t be separated from (and is a reflection of) our culture’s “downhill slide from civility.”

        Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 8:20 am on September 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      The Band Wagon: a great movie. Hi. I enjoyed this essay a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 10:35 am on September 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I never warmed up to Cyd Charisse… I think it had something to do with the way she jilted Nerd-Gene-Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 6:45 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    CHANGE OF PACE: OLD NEW ENGLAND 

    I have long had an interest in American history, so when I rediscovered a book of old New England houses as I was perusing my overloaded book shelves (looking for ‘downsizing candidates’), it brought back memories of several long-ago trips to and through that venerable region….and I decided to do this post as a change of pace from my usual fare.

    OPEN HOUSE IN NEW ENGLAND is, for want of a better term, a biography in words and pictures of 242 houses, taverns and other buildings which were old (built 1600s to 1840s) when the book was published in 1937 — though at least one home (Longfellow’s birthplace in Portland, demolished in 1955) has since been lost to the ravages of time/vagaries of fate and progress. There is too much to cover in one post, so I will confine the following to just one of the six New England states: Maine, home of my blogging friend and yours, Rivergirl (River’s world).

    Among the 22 Maine edifices listed, there are several familiar names, such as the HARRIET BEECHER STOWE HOUSE in Brunswick, Maine, which was recently restored by nearby Bowdoin College:

    Here, minus the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Birthplace, are some of the other listings (alphabetically by city/town):

    AUGUSTA: THE BLAINE MANSION (built 1830s, one-time home of James G. Blaine, former Republican congressman, senator, Secretary of State, and presidential nominee in the late 1800s)

    AUGUSTA: FORT WESTERN (built 1754, consists of two restored block houses and original garrison house)

    FARMINGTON: NORDICA HOMESTEAD (built circa 1840, home of Lillian Nordica, opera singer, the first American woman to achieve international acclaim in her field

    GORHAM: BAXTER MUSEUM (built 1797, birthplace of former Gorham mayor and home of former Maine governor

    KITTERY POINT: LADY PEPPERRELL HOUSE (built 1760) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Pepperrell_House

    MACHIAS: BURNHAM TAVERN (built 1770) https://www.burnhamtavern.com/

    YORK: THE OLD GAOL (built 1653) https://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/ME-01-031-0003


    We end up appropriately AWAY DOWN EAST IN MAINE, recorded almost a century ago:

     
    • JosieHolford 7:01 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Love the song! What a great find!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:14 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        The composer of that song, Walter Donaldson, was almost as prolific as his contemporary, Irving Berlin, and yet is all but forgotten today. Among his many hits were MY BLUE HEAVEN, LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, LITTLE WHITE LIES, and YES SIR, THAT’S MY BABY (most, or all, of which are also all but forgotten today).

        Liked by 3 people

    • rawgod 7:52 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Maine. I actually lived across the border from Calais, Maine in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Even did a bit of illegal massage work in Calais, no green card. Never saw any of these houses, but saw a lot of really old homes from the outside. It seemed a nice area, but everyone talked funny, lol.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 8:22 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve driven through Calais/St. Stephen twice (four times, counting the return trips) on the way to vacations in New Brunswick and beyond, but that was decades ago. I don’t recall a thing about either town, but that’s probably good, because I’ve run into a few real a-hole customs agents crossing the U.S.-Canada border elsewhere that left an indelible memory.

        Liked by 1 person

        • rawgod 4:33 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink

          I hope those agents were American? Canadian agents are supposed to be nice to our American brothers and sisters!
          Though it seems they do not have to be nice to travellers from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Funny about that!

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 5:28 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink

          One was American and one was Canadian. Both were at relatively remote crossings with little traffic, so the agents were free to play Lord of the Border. The Canadian agent was at a crossing from North Dakota into either Manitoba or Saskatchewan and, as I discovered later, disconnected a wire beneath my dashboard while ostensibly searching my car for I-don’t-know-what. The moral of the story is to cross at busy crossings where agents don’t have time to indulge their malevolence toward ‘foreigners.’

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 8:05 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’m ashamed to say I’ve only been to three of these. Interesting tidbit…. our neighbor 2 doors down just had Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin’s carriage house moved to his property. The land where it originally stood had been sold and it was going to be demolished.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:02 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I note that the above carriage house was located in Brewer, Maine, so to have a former Brewer site moved to within spittoon distance of your house probably carries historic associations. 😉

        P.S. I haven’t been to many more than three historic sites (not counting dozens oi covered bridges) here in Ohio, so I should be equally ashamed.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Rivergirl 7:40 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink

          It’s funny, when we travel we seek out historic sites but rarely explore them here at home. As for Brewer, yes. An ironic coincidence.
          😉

          Liked by 2 people

    • Catherine Haustein 8:38 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I have never even been to Maine. I will put it on my list of places to visit. Such history and I think I’m a Yankee at heart.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:19 pm on August 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        If you’re a nature (as well as a history) lover, I recommend a stop at Acadia National Park on your visit to Maine. It alone is worth the trip.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 1:11 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t been to Maine in many years (I used to live somewhat close by in Canada), but I recall it as being quite “well-preserved”. I very much enjoyed the video about the Stowe house. Cheers.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:36 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I enjoyed that video as well. History can be both informative and fascinating if we’re open to learning from it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ashley 5:59 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      An interesting post. I enjoyed the history tour! Perhaps one day I’ll get across the”pond”. Umm! At my age, time is running out for such capers but I’m ever hopeful 😂🙋‍♂️

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:02 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Time is running out for me too, Ashley. That’s why I (and after getting married, WE) am/are glad to have done a lot of traveling while young.

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 8:20 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Looks interesting. My ex and I used to tour the plantations in my state… just wander from place to place, on vacation, until we saw something on a roadside or map that looked interesting…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:06 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I can relate. I was always more than just a ‘destination’ traveler, stopping at interesting places along the way (and sometimes,out of the way).

        Liked by 2 people

    • magickmermaid 12:38 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I love historic houses and architecture! I’ve visited several in various countries and never cease to be amazed at the details and care in construction.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:11 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I love historic homes — but historic mansions, not as much as I used to. Many of them are too ostentatious for my taste: the rich showing off how rich they are. However, I do appreciate the architecture and fine craftsmanship that went into many old homes.

        Liked by 2 people

        • magickmermaid 4:35 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink

          That sounds like the mansions in Newport, RI. Way over the top! They are gorgeous though. I guess they had to do something with all that money. 😀

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 5:03 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink

          You hit the nail on the head, mm: “they had to do something with all that money” — not unlike those who like the likes of Donald Trump because they have to do something with all that ignorance and nativism.

          Like

    • Richard Cahill 12:40 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Do I think Maine is a beautiful state and well worth visiting? Yes. Would I rather be there than in Baja, where I woke up this morning? No.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:17 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I hear Baja Maine is beautiful this time of year (if you don’t mind rain and humidity). 😉

        Like

    • Priscilla Bettis 7:15 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never been up that way. My goodness, what a rich archeological history!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:57 pm on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry I’m tardy with this reply — so tardy that August is now history..So I’ll make the best of it by wishing you a happy September!

        Like

    • Mr. Ohh's Sideways View 11:40 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      A few years back I took a trip to Massachusetts I spent three says in and around Lexington looking at the old buildings and reading the histories It was fascinating. I’ve only spent a very short time in Maine
      ;;
      ;;
      ;;
      Laugh everyday, It’s as necessary as food

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:53 pm on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve been in (more like “I’ve been through”) Massachusetts several times, but was almost always on my way to somewhere else and didn’t stick around (except for a few days on Cape Cod on one trip). The only New England state I’ve spent less time in is Rhode Island.

        Liked by 1 person

    • waywardsparkles 9:59 pm on September 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      There are so many beautiful, grand old homes. I’m glad so many are being restored. There’s a HGTV show that explores magnificent old homes that are listed for under $150,000. I have no idea how much it would cost to restore an old home to it’s former glory, but I bet it’s a lot more than $150,000. Mona

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:34 pm on September 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure you’d win that bet, depending on the size, condition, and location of the home. In San Francisco, for example, you’d probably have a hard time restoring an old dog house for under $150,000.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:00 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    I HAVE KNOW IDEA 

    It takes a wonderful brain and exquisite senses to produce a few stupid ideas.” –George Santayana

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    People are ever (as in never) asking me where I get the ideas for my posts. The answer is, ideas just poop into my head….which may be explain why some people call them crap. But why should I care what “some people” say, when a philosopher like George Santayana thinks I have “a wonderful brain”? Now there’s an ideas man who knows what he thinks about…..whereas I’m a man who has know idea what all the stink’s about.

    What about other men who get ideas, such as….

    And then there’s this poor guy whose idea may have been a bit short of realistic, but he probably got his comeuppance before long:

    If I were a Richman, I’d go with other Ideas (recorded in New Orleans in 1928):

    And so I close, as I began, with a George Santayana quote — this one, on a questioning note:

    Only the dead have seen the end of war.

    Has there never been a man alive with any idea how to keep men from making war?

     
    • SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ 2:07 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Dear mistermuse,

      Thank you for including the few songs. Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia! All the music from the bygone eras. . . .

      Whilst you “HAVE KNOW IDEA”, I “HAVE SNOW IDEA” in my latest post just published half a day ago. This new post combines poetry, visual art and science in an innovative way. Please come and let me know what you make of my latest foray at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2021/08/25/snowflakes-tell-me-why-you-are/

      Thank you in anticipation. Wishing you a productive week doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most!

      Yours sincerely,
      SoundEagle

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 3:50 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Maybe some women. 😉 Great selections.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:35 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I was considering a clip of a woman (Annette Hanshaw) singing “My Idea Of Heaven Is To Be With You”, but decided against it because it’s not one of her better performances….and I couldn’t come up with a substitute because there aren’t many old songs with the word IDEA in the title. Sorry about that!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 7:40 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      If it takes a wonderful brain to produce stupid ideas… you and I are well matched.
      😉

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:47 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        If we should ever meet, be sure to wear an I’M WITH STUPID t-shirt.

        On second thought, I’ll wear it. I wouldn’t want people to think you have stupid friends. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 10:35 am on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Love the tunes; especially the third one! In answer to your last question: No there hasn’t. Solution: Let women run the world. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 1:38 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Be careful what you wish for, mm. Extremist female politicians like congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert aren’t fit to run out of breath, much less run the world!

        Liked by 1 person

        • magickmermaid 4:49 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink

          I’ve not heard of either of them. I will google to see what they are all about.
          No extremist views are good in my opinion. I hate to be boring, but middle-of-the-road generally works.

          Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:36 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Some might pun that the middle-of-the-road is a dangerous place to be, but punning aside, I agree that a head-on-straight, non-ideological, empathetic outlook (among other traits) is the way to go.

        Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 1:34 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, mm—there you are fiddlin’ with Santayana on the edge of profundity (a la richman, if my reference was too broad). And the post was not devoid of FUN, though war is invariably hell.

      Somehow, I seem to have posted this on Facebook first(?). How that occurred is a puzzle for sure!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:52 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not on Facebook, so my face took no notice….but if anyone did, I hope they don’t get any wrong ideas about me: I’m not always this serious. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 2:18 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I have no eye deer either. Don’t no wear you can bye them these daze.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:27 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for that, Josie, but all that punning makes me fear I’m becoming a bad influence on you. I highly recommend that you take a break from my blog until my next post (unless you’re desperate these daze, which is what summer re-runs and old posts are for).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 3:49 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I do believe that George Santayana has answered your final question: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • JosieHolford 7:33 pm on August 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Homonyms rule mistermews. Ewe can’t beet them.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Ohh's Sideways View 6:56 pm on August 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Great ideas require silly thinking. You can’t have one if you think like everyone else Great post
      ;;
      ;;
      ;;
      Laugh Well and Often!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kally 11:23 am on September 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for bringing music in my days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:15 pm on September 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        You should have music in your nights too….and here you are, by way of some jubilant Japanese jazz:

        Like

    • masercot 8:56 am on September 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      My ideas come from real life… like my novel about the chimera who finds a dead unicorn in his garage and tries to find the murderer…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:29 pm on September 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Some of my ideas come from reel life. Right now I’m thinking of doing a post on the late, great movie star Maurice Chevalier, whose birthday is Sept. 12. I remember him well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • masercot 12:41 pm on September 9, 2021 Permalink

          Ever see that Marx Brothers routine where they each impersonate Chevalier?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 5:12 pm on September 9, 2021 Permalink

          Yes, but I couldn’t remember which movie it was in, so I did a quick check….and it bounced (sorry, I couldn’t resist). In any case, it was MONKEY BUSINESS (1931) — the same film in which Groucho asks Margaret Dumont, “Is it true you’re getting a divorce as soon as your husband recovers his eyesight?”

          Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 7:11 pm on September 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      always a treat. thanks. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 7:18 pm on August 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    FREE PUN-ISHMENT HERE 

    “Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted.” –Fred Allen, late comic & wit

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    May 15 is International Pun Day. It may appear that I’m being very un-pun-ctual with this 2021 post, but would you believe I’m actually beating May 15, 2022 to the punch –so let’s not be too punctilious about my pun-date-ry, or I’ll have to charge you by the pun (though it would be worth every punny).

    Now that I’ve set the stage, let’s pun with it:

    Why do thieves have a hard time ‘getting’ puns?
    They take things literally.

    A good pun is its own reword.

    I used to hate puns….but lately, they’ve groan on me.

    What did newly-pregnant Lady Baker say to her pun-gent partner?
    We have a pun in the oven.

    The pun is write-ier than the sword.

    And then there’s the store-y about the comedian who couldn’t remember punchlines, so he used cue-puns.

    So….what do you want for nothing?

     
  • mistermuse 12:44 pm on August 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    FOURthCOMING DAYS TO CELEBRATE 

    “Fee-fi-fo-fum,
    I smell the blood of an Englishman.
    Be he alive or be he dead,
    I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” –quatrain from ye olde English fairy tale JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I didn’t smell the blood of an Englishman, but I did smell a killer foreword to this four-poster based on the (old English fèower line) poem above. Well….maybe not exactly a “killer,” but a ‘fours’ to be reckoned with — the fours being the next four days:

    August 10 – LAZY DAY
    August 11 – PRESIDENTIAL JOKE DAY
    August 12 – NATIONAL VINYL RECORD DAY
    August 13 – BLAME SOMEONE ELSE DAY

    August 10: I see no reason why I should exert myself writing about LAZY DAY. Four-tune-ately, I have a fill-in:

    August 11: If Trump were still President (he did lose, didn’t he?), PRESIDENTIAL JOKE DAY would be a no-brainer. But he IS still a four-flusher, so I’ll go with an H. L. Mencken quote suggesting that such would-be [again] Presidents “be quietly hanged as a matter of public sanitation.”

    August 12: For NATIONAL VINYL RECORD DAY, it’s only fitting that I choose a serious selection from my vinyl collection — which, lucky for us, also appeared in a 1945 film as scene here:

    August 13: For BLAME SOMEONE ELSE DAY, I would blame whoever is responsible for this post, but it’s just my luck that the perpetrator happens to be me. So I blame whoever made this day fall on Friday the 13th — notwithstanding which I quote whoever said, “Friday the 13th is still better than Monday the whatever”….and today just happens to be MONDAY.

     
  • mistermuse 6:00 pm on August 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    DROWN, THE CHIROPRACTOR 

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” –Charles Darwin

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    A few years ago, after suffering a slipped disc in my neck (which an orthopedist mistakenly diagnosed as arthritis, believe it or not), I went to a neighbor-recommended chiropractor, who successfully identified and treated the injury. I’d been hesitant to go to a chiropractor in the first place because I’d heard horror stories about such practitioners, such as Dr. Ruth B. Drown, who warranted inclusion in a book (The ENCYCLOPEDIA of LIARS and DECEIVERS) that I mentioned in my previous post.

    DR. DROWN (1891-1965) was quite the quack. Case in point, excerpted from her DROWN ATLAS OF RADIO THERAPY: “Any patient who is weak and depleted should never take shower baths and stand in the water over the drain, because the patient’s magnetism is washed down with the water through the drain. Also, a weak patient, after having had a tub bath, should leave the tub and have someone else drain the water. Too many people sit in the tub while finishing the bath, and their magnetism is sucked away through the drain pipes, leaving the patient with that much less reserve.”

    After years of making false claims and promoting fraudulent devices, according to the Encyclopedia, “In May 1963 the California State Dept. of Public Health deployed an undercover agent to gather evidence against Drown. The agent gave Drown blood samples from ‘her three children’ to analyse. The blood actually came from a turkey, a sheep and a pig. She also bought a Drown Therapeutic Instrument for $588. An expert dismantled the Instrument, showing that its switches, which had settings from 1 to 10, were totally ineffective: the power in the circuit was the same irrespective of how they were set.” But Dr. Drown died before justice could be served. Did Drown drown? The cause of death isn’t stated.

    But perhaps Dr. Drown’s most egregious humbug was that she “also discovered a hitherto unknown cause of cancer: jazz music,” which she claimed “could be reversed by listening to more soothing music.” Fortunately, I’ve learned that it pays to seek a second opinion. I recommend….

    or….

     
    • magickmermaid 6:15 pm on August 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Dr Muse, I feel 100% better after listening to these tunes! Yesterday I made the mistake of having a bath and not calling someone else to drain the water from the tub. I feared my mermaid magnetism had been washed down the drain. 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:26 pm on August 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry to hear that, mm. …but I’m sure that, if you listen to Doctors Jazz and Rhythm a few more times, your mermaid magnetism will be restored two-fold in no time. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • koolkosherkitchen 6:46 pm on August 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for some cool notes this gloomy afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 10:46 pm on August 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Like Ms Mermaid, I’m feeling a lot better after listening to these tunes. I didn’t have a bath although I did go for a swim in the ocean. Maybe the tide robbed me of my energy. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • obbverse 2:24 am on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Ruthy just gone plumb down the u-bend. She should feel quite at home drown there…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:52 am on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        ‘Twas ever thus. She conned thousands of ignorant people into buying what she was selling. The only difference between her and Trump is that he has conned MILLIONS.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 7:12 am on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      So that’s my problem! Not menopause, advancing age and a blown knee. My magnetism has gone down the drain. Damn!
      🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 11:59 am on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Swimming against the flow! It’s all that jazz! No wonder I’m exhausted! 🤣

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:12 pm on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Seems like a ‘no-win’ situation — if you go WITH the flow, all your magnetism could go down the drain! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 2:37 pm on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I held onto my magnetic charge through the bath. But then it ebbed and it took the covid vaccine to recharge my magnetic field. Now metal objects stick to my forehead at public hearings!

      Liked by 1 person

    • josephurban 5:11 pm on August 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Between the magnets in the Moderna vaccine and showering (my wife insists) at least once a week I fear my magnetic personality is going down the drain….

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:15 am on August 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        If it’s any consolation, judging by your comment, you at least still have the ‘mag(net)ic touch.’

        Like

    • masercot 6:31 am on August 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I hear that Dixieland Jazz makes your hair fall out… so at least I have something to blame it on…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:01 am on August 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        That must be why I look like a hairless cue ball and Trump looks like a clueless hair ball.

        Like

    • Richard A Cahill 9:32 pm on August 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      If Quack were only still quacking today, what fun she could have…https://www.richardcahill.net/home/american-people-being-deprived-of-coronavirus-bullshit

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:44 pm on August 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        If she treated Trump last year when he had Covid, she’d be alive and he’d be dead….which by all accounts would have been the only service to humanity she ever rendered.

        Liked by 1 person

    • cbholganza 5:38 am on August 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      this just made my day! does that make me old?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:48 pm on August 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!. I just ‘signed up’ to follow your blog and look forward to reading your posts.

      Like

    • selizabryangmailcom 6:17 pm on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve always wondered about the “snake oil salesmen” of the world. How do they look in the mirror and say, “Everything’s good!”?? Or maybe some of them really start believing in their own BS….?
      Beyond belief.
      Glad you got the disc diagnosed and treated. A rare happy ending! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:17 pm on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        I normally don’t disc-cuss my health problems publicly , but to get this post off to a good start, I stuck my neck out….luckily, it turned out that all’s well that portends well.

        As for “snake oil salesmen,'” if they’re like Donald Trump, they look in the mirror and say “Who cares about “everything” — I’M Good!”

        Like

  • mistermuse 7:00 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    LIAR, LIAR, ROMANCE ON FIRE 

    I’ve been browsing through a titillating tome titled THE ENCYCLOPEDIA of LIARS and DECEIVERS, published in 2014 – two years prior to Donald Trump becoming President (which may explain why he’s not in the book) of the United States of Autocracy. This got me thinking, not about the (in)famous liars in history depicted in the dramatis personae (which may inspire a subsequent post), but about love lies and liars in song….to wit:

    ….which brings us to this 1940 hit sung by a very young Frank Sinatra:

    We close on a most lachrymose note with this sad tale about a blackguard who burst Mildred Bailey’s bubble:

    Good night.

     
    • obbverse 9:17 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Frankie was less than honest?- No! I’m shocked, and stunned!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:34 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      In the song, Frank admits he’s “not an angel.” If TRUMP were that honest, I’d be more than shocked and stunned!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 10:35 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t know about this encyclopedia – interesting. Trump has earned an entire multiple-part encyclopedia of his own, let alone a single entry. The problem with that is that he would consider it to be good PR. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:16 pm on August 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Trump would probably consider such an encyclopedia not only good PR, but a feather in his cap….and it would undoubtedly be the only encyclopedia he has owned in his life!.

      Liked by 4 people

    • masercot 10:46 am on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Reminds me of the song “Liar” by Queen…

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 11:38 am on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I love the video! Unfortunately, love and lies often go hand-in-hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:41 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        That video is from the 1951 movie ROYAL WEDDING starring Astaire and Jane Powell, who (believe it or not) aren’t ‘lovers’ but are brother and sister in the film! It’s also the film in which Fred performs his famous “Dancing on the Ceiling” number.

        Like

    • rawgod 2:47 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I guess it’s too modern for you, but for me this is a fabulous song of love and lies:
      Helen Reddy, Delta Dawn https://youtu.be/fzb7a1T4c1k

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:17 pm on August 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Believe i or not, I’ve actually heard of Helen Reddy….and I like Delta Dawn because it has that old time spiritual vibe (I dig “that old time religion” music even though I don’t dig that old time religion).

        Like

    • Elizabeth 4:41 pm on August 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Where would we be without all those liars? Very few Country songs for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 3:49 pm on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I am going to remember ass-toot. My grandson would love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • cbholganza 5:37 am on August 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      love this. i ain’t lying too!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Ohh's Sideways View 10:27 pm on August 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Good post I love this one
      ;
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      Laugh The world needs it

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 3:21 pm on July 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    LATTER-DAY SCAT-AWAY 

    In a recent series of Golden Age vocalists, my posts included such scat-singing greats as Louis Armstrong, Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards, The Boswell Sisters, and the First Lady of Song (and Scat), Ella Fitzgerald. But the post-Golden Age period (post-WW era) also recorded its share of scat-singing virtuosos, led by the multi-talented Mel Tormé. Here he pays tribute to Ella (whose career, like Mel’s, spans both eras) with this scintillating rendition of Gershwin’s OH, LADY BE GOOD!

    Next, we turn to “Sassy” Sarah Vaughan, whose scatting (in my opinion) takes second place to her singing….but you be the judge:

    We close with, at age 84, the only living (and undeservedly most obscure) of our three latter-day scatters, Carol Sloane. Take it away, Carol!

     
  • mistermuse 6:48 pm on July 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    MORE QUESTIONABLE QUOTES AND QUARRELSOME COMMENTARY 

    It is said that one can never get enough of a good thing….so you’ll be happy(?) to hear that I’m doing another post of “Questionable Quotes and [my] Quarrelsome Commentary.” Admittedly, it is also said that one should leave well enough alone — let sleeping dogs lie, as it were. But why should I rest on my quarrels, if many of my previous post readers voiced their opinion with Likes (unless they thought they were clicking Lies). Whatever.

    Heedless to say, my followers are definitely not dogs (sleeping or sentient). The only dogs in my life are my feet, which may bark but don’t lie — if they did, I’d smell a rat, and my dogs smell ratty enough without liars….or with outliers, for that matter. Let’s make no bones about it — it’s a dog’s life.

    If a dog could talk, he wouldn’t long remain man’s best friend.” –Evan Esar

    True. He would soon become woman’s best friend.

    That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say “No’ in any of them.” –Dorothy Parker

    Maybe she learned them all under cover.

    Those who write clearly, have readers; those who write obscurely have commentators.” –Albert Camus

    Clearly right. Beyond that, I have no comment.

    As an American, I naturally spend most of my time laughing.” –H. L. Mencken

    My dear sir, that was B D T (Before Donald Trump). If H L M lived today, I C U (him) singing a different hymn:

    The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one.” –E. B. White

    By all means, writer, satisfy yourself….but please don’t quit your day job unless you’re prepared to eat your words.

    A man marries one woman to escape from many others, and then chases many others to forget he’s married to one.” –Helen Rowland

    Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying.

    History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.” — Konrad Adenauer

    Not to mention, the story of my life.

    Life itself is a quotation.” –Jorge Luis Borges

    So, what is DEATH — the last word?

     
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