GO TO HELLISTAN

Yesterday, I commented on Rivergirl’s March 25 post titled “THINGS THAT FALL INTO THE WTH? CATEGORY”, which told of (among other things) a place known as the Door to Hell in Derweze, Turkmenistan. As I mentioned in that comment, I’ve actually gone to Hell (by car, by the way; not in a handbasket) — the town of Hell in Michiganistan, which may not be as hot as Hell in Turkmenistan, but is more convenient. I figure this is more than enough to qualify me as an authority on anystan’s Hell, hence this post.

When I say “more convenient,” I of course mean convenient to my followers here in the good old United Statesistan. If you live in Asiastan, you will undoubtedly be able to go to Hell more conveniently in Turkmenistan. On the other stan, if you live in Hindustan (aka The Republic of India), you’re stuckistan in Hindustan because India is in total lockdown due to the coronavirus (I would’ve said coronavirustan, but I understan that’s sickistan).

Anyway, the Hell I’ve been through in Michiganistan has an official website; rather than me give you the scoopistan, here’s the official poopistan straight from the horse’s mouth:

https://www.gotohellmi.com/

Now, if that doesn’t make you want to go to Hell, I don’t know what willistan. I happen to know a guy (his name is Stan) whose wife is a real clothes horse and looks hot in green, gray or white; he often takes her through Hell no matter what she’s wearing, even though….

I close with this thought: Where do people in Hell tell each other to go?

 

BEWARE THE BRIDES OF MARCH

March 15 being THE IDES OF MARCH (but still winter), I thought I’d work on a post I’d call THE BRRRR-IDES OF MARCH — however, it hasn’t been very winter-like where I live, so it’s no weather for snow jobs. Thus I’ll settle for a post about The Brides of March, of whom there have been some blushing ones, some gushing ones, some rushing ones, and a mother lode of if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed-try-try-again ones….such as singing star Peggy Lee, whose marriage to jazz guitarist Dave Barbour was her first of four such gigs.

Here are twenty March brides who gave it the old collage (French for to stick together) try, listed by March wedding day (along with the names of the grooms, just for the wreck of it):

March 1, 1968   JUNE CARTER / Johnny Cash
March 8, 1952   NANCY DAVIS / Ronald Reagan
March 8, 1943   PEGGY LEE / Dave Barbour
March 9, 1796   JOSÉPHINE de BEAUHARNAIS / Napoléon Bonaparte
March 13, 1946 MARY WELSH / Ernest Hemingway

March 15, 1964 ELIZABETH TAYLOR / Richard Burton (again)
March 16, 2002 LIZA MINNELLI / David Gest
March 17, 1905 ELEANOR ROOSEVELT / Franklin D. Roosevelt
March 18, 1869 HARRIET TUBMAN / Nelson Davis
March 19, 1918 DAISY PARKER / Louis Armstrong (who recorded this song 3/2/1932):

March 20, 1969 YOKO ONO / John Lennon
March 21, 1945 LAUREN BACALL / Humphrey Bogart
March 21, 1963 BARBRA STREISAND / Elliott Gould
March 21, 1984 SARAH BRIGHTMAN / Andrew Lloyd Webber
March 23, 1985 CHRISTIE BRINKLEY / Billy Joel

March 24, 1950 INGRID BERGMAN / Roberto Rossellini
March 27, 1916 GLORIA SWANSON / Wallace Beery
March 28, 1920 MARY PICKFORD / Douglas Fairbanks
March 28, 1939 CAROLE LOMBARD / Clark Gable
March 28, 1957 BILLIE HOLIDAY (LADY DAY) / Louis McKay

All but three of those ladies married multiple times, and one of the three (Daisy Parker) died soon after her divorce from Louis Armstrong. Lost passion being the fashion, this quote seems a fitting way to call it a day:

“I guess the only way to stop divorce is to stop marriage.” –Will Rogers

So ladies, this be your day to be given away. Gents, beware the BRIDES OF MARCH (apologies to Shakespeare) — not to mention, pity your poor (after the divorce) befuddled comrades-in-arms who married them.

 

 

 

 

TODAY IS BACKWARD DAY (aka YAD DRAWKCAB)

31 January >> ?know you don’t >> DAY BACKWARD is >> say sources so

Not so fast! If you backward the numbers, today is only 13 January….which means that we’re not even halfway though the month yet. Who wants that many more winter days on top of the 29 — make that 92 — days of February (this being leap year) and 81 days of March (winter officially ends 18 March). So screw backwards!

Of course, if you live below the equator, there’s the added downside of being upside down on top of being backward (no offense intended). But at least it’s summer down below, so you’re not freezing your backside off. Where I live, it’s so cold, I have to leave my refrigerator door open to warm up my igloo.

Speaking of cold, have you heard the one about the mama who got the blues she can’t lose due to her feet being colder than frozen meat ‘neath an ice-cold sheet in a bed missing papa’s heat?

Back to YAD DRAWCAB: DO GEESE SEE GOD? Whether they do or don’t, the question reads the same spelled forward and backward. This is known as a PALINDROME (which isn’t a palindrome because it’s EMORDNILAP spelled backward). However, in Alaska, they call it a SARAHPALINDROME (which is EMPTYHEADED spelled in any direction).

Assuming you can stand more (if not, remain seated):

Looking back on Backward Day, it dawns on me not to leave this day behind without a backward song to turn backward to when it would be a drawback not to turn backward:

In closing, I hope today isn’t your birthday, because I wouldn’t like to think you’re a backward baby — but just in case you are, in addition to wishing you a Happy Birthday, I wish you a….

!YAD DRAWKCAB YPPAH

 

 

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE ZILCH

Wanna know something? January 16 is NATIONAL NOTHING DAY. Since I can think of nothing I’d rather do today than filch some zilch, I’m going to take this day and make Nothing of it. Actually, Nothing couldn’t have come at a better time for this post, ’cause if there’s one thing I gotta lotta, it’s nada.

For you language purists out there, when I said I gotta lotta nada, whata oughta said was….

Now that you’ve had your fill of nothing and I’ve made the case that there’s nothing better than nothing, I have all the nothing that’s everything I need to amount to anything. Ain’t that something!

Watch out, piggy!

THEY CALLED HIM AL

When I was writing about lyricist DOROTHY FIELDS and composer BERNICE PETKERE in my previous post (TWO TO GO), I had no thought of using it as a segue to this post ….but that was before I discovered that tomorrow is the birthday of a music man who sang at least a half dozen of Fields’ 1930s songs, including ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET (sung in the previous post by Diana Krall), not to mention the Petkere song CLOSE YOUR EYES (sung in the same post by that very man). They called him Al.

That another-world-ago Al is this world’s forgotten man, except by a relative handful of Golden Age music devotees around the world (primarily in America and Great Britain). His name was ALBERT ALICK BOWLLY (Jan 7, 1899-Apr. 17, 1941), heard here in a recording of a Dorothy Fields/Jerome Kern song from the film JOY OF LIVING:

Did you notice from the above dates that Bowlly had his life taken from him at a relatively young age? This was the tragic result of a WW II German air raid (one of many) on London in the early 1940s. But while he lived, who was this troubadour they called Al?

Away from the bandstand he was a vagabond. He was a jazz mad musical nomad who traveled from his childhood home, South Africa, to London and all stops between in search of musical perfection with whatever band would have him. He plied his trade as a guitarist, a banjo, concertina and ukulele player, a pianist and occasional singer of songs. He took America by storm. The story of his musical meanderings, highs and lows, could only have happened in the thirties. –Roy Hudd, British author, comedian, actor, and expert on the history of music hall entertainment

Listening to Diana Krall in the previous post — as well as CLOSE YOUR EYES vocalist Al Bowlly — we are taken by their way with a song, their Joy of Living the songs they sang…. as further evidenced by this rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic, BLUE MOON:

Here is one of his few appearances on film:

For those interested in learning more of the story of Bowlly’s nomadic life, there’s an excellent bio called THEY CALLED HIM AL, by Ray Pallett, with Forward by Roy Hudd. As for this go-around, we’ve come to the last dance — it’s time to call it a day. I bid you a reluctant Au Revoir.

 

 

TWO TO GO

As 2019 goes into the history books, we close out the year and our series of 1920s-30s female songwriters with two of the best: BERNICE PETKERE and DOROTHY FIELDS.

PETKERE, the longest lived (1901-2000) but perhaps least remembered of the women in this series, had her greatest success as a composer in the 1930s. This hit (with lyrics by Joe Young) was recorded in early 1932 by a rising star by the name of Bing Crosby:

Petkere, primarily a composer, also wrote the lyrics to a few of her songs, including….

Saving the class of the field for last, we turn to the most prolific lady lyricist of the era (and the first woman to be elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame), DOROTHY FIELDS, “the only female songwriter of the golden age whose name has not sunk into oblivion with time.” –Deborah Grace Winer, author of ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET, subtitled THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DOROTHY FIELDS

Named after Dorothy of Wizard of Oz fame, she teamed with composer Jimmy McHugh in 1927 to write many hits over the next eight years, including this all-time standard in 1930:

Fields went on to write many songs with other composers until her death in 1974….but as much as I’d like to post links to more of Fields work, I’m going to resist temptation (you know what they say about too much of a good thing), Take It Easy*, and call it a Fields day

….except to say, Happy New Year!

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

*the title, it so happens, of a Fields song I resisted linking to (recorded by Fats Waller)