Tagged: Judy Garland Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Star Is Born, , , , , , , Judy Garland, musicals, ,   


    Just as all good things must come to an end, so too must all bad things (even Trump’s evil rule will run out of recourse¬†eventually — e.g., the fat lady’s last aria at the opera seems to go on forever; will it end short of becoming a hoarse opera?). What it all a-mounts to is….

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch , we bid happy trails to “bad” actors not named Trump, and end our HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE series with a roundup of some of the era’s great song & dance stars, starting with this incomparable pair whose magic outlasted their time:

    When it comes to high-energy dancing, no one outshined Gene Kelly. Here he is in THE PIRATE (1948), clowning around with the fabulous Nicholas Brothers:

    I do have one regret about this retrospective: so many musical stars, so little time and wherewithal for them all. Perhaps, as time goes by, I will use a favorite star’s birthday as an occasion to do an occasional post.

    In closing (speaking of when A STAR IS BORN), if ever someone was born to be one, it’s this star-crossed girl/woman with whom we bring down the curtain on this series:

    • calmkate 4:07 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a joyful collection of viewing, thanks Mr M!

      But Ginger and Fred are just sheer magic … no couple have ever created the ease and charm that they exuded on screen! My forever heros ūüôā

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:54 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It didn’t hurt (quoting from A SMITHSONIAN SALUTE TO THE AMERICAN MUSICAL) that “Astaire and Rogers worked with the finest composers of their day. Of their ten films together, one featured music by Cole Porter, two by Jerome Kern, one by George and Ira Gershwin, and three by Irvine Berlin.” Throw in great directors and supporting casts, and it’s no wonder there was movie magic!

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 6:15 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink

          that would certainly help and their stage settings add to the majesty but they had class and talent by the ton!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 9:27 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Have you seen the new movie Judy? I liked it very much. It focuses on the final months of her life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:01 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Haven’t seen it, but saw snippets and an interview with the star on TV. Thanks for your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 1:51 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      This has been a great series and you should be congratulated for putting it all together.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:28 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, Ashley….and I even managed to cast a few aspersions at Trump in the bargain.


    • Rosaliene Bacchus 3:39 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I could watch Fred & Ginger and Gene Kelly dance all day long! They brought joy to my tumultous young life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:34 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        To bring joy to a “tumultuous young life” — as Ira Gershwin wrote and Gene Kelly sang (in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS), “Who could ask for anything more?”

        Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 8:52 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The Nicholas Brothers! That goes back…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:31 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        They go way back, but they lived long — especially the older brother, who died in 2006 at age 91.

        Liked by 2 people

    • mlrover 8:53 am on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Ginger spoke in an interview about that particular dance. Fred insisted on perfection, and as usual, doing it in one take. She said that by the time this scene was done as he liked it there was blood in her shoes. She also said, as she had before and would again, that she got paid less and did everything he did in heels and backward.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:28 pm on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Fred was indeed a perfectionist. Quoting from the book I mentioned in my earlier reply to calmkate, “the roller skating sequence in SHALL WE DANCE, for example, was shot 30 times, and the Never Gonna Dance number from SWING TIME was done in forty-eight takes.” As for Ginger, “I had plenty of input in our routines and got to be known as the ‘button finder’….the one who puts the last word or finishing touch on a scene.” So I don’t blame her for complaining “that she got paid less.”

        Although Ginger “did everything he did in heels and backward,” the one thing she didn’t do as well was sing. Irving Berlin said, “I’d rather have Fred Astaire introduce one of my songs than any other singer I know — not because he has a great voice, but because his delivery and diction are so good that he can put over a song like nobody else.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • David Thompson 9:00 pm on December 6, 2019 Permalink

          I grew up, will h my mother’s influence ..with this era. I am richer for the experience.


    • Elizabeth 1:40 pm on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I loved this series. Thanks for all the time and thoughtfulness you put into it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 12:22 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing tributes, all, but the one for Judy Garland is amazing. To see all those films in one clip is a little mind-blowing. She was certainly prolific!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 1:50 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad you singled out the Garland clip for special mention — it was an unexpected find, and probably my favorite in this series.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:12 pm on December 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for the Like, David Thompson. I tried to check out your blog, but when I click the link, I get a blank screen. Before I approve your comment, kindly advise if your blog is not operational for some reason.


  • mistermuse 12:02 am on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Judy Garland, , Orrin Hatch, ,   


    Last month, a red-winged whitebird from Utah, Senator Orrin Hatch, laid a big GOP egg when asked about allegations against President Donald Trump:


    Hatch later apologized for his¬†fowl apathy, but he needn’t have. After all,¬†a number of other¬†non-peons down through the eons haven’t given a hoot about one thing or another, including these warblers:

    No doubt¬†the Nuthatch in the White House thinks Orrin Hatch is a sage Grouse. Not to crow,¬†but I don’t give a tweet….and from heron, never let it be said that I¬†never write posts¬†that are for the birds.




  • mistermuse 12:01 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andy Razaf, , , , Jimmy Van Heusen, Judy Garland, , , , , ,   

    A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME…. (Part 1 of 2) 

    Tomorrow, Feb. 15, is the birthday of one of America’s greatest composers of popular songs, Hyman Arluck.¬†Hyman WHO, you ask? Never heard of him? If you’re a fan of America’s Golden Age of Popular Music, this song of his is probably¬†one of your favorites:

    ….not to mention this one:

    You say you thought those songs were composed by HAROLD ARLEN?
    From what I hear, no doubt¬†they was….
    of the wonderful whiz he was.
    But before a wonderful whiz he was, he was¬†Hyman Arluck, so born on Feb. 15, 1905.¬†If you were¬†fooled, you should be grateful because, as Arlen (nee Arluck) notes in another of his songs, it’s….

    Speaking of which, I thought it might be fun (for me, anyway) to¬†fool around with a¬†selection of birth names of¬†other great Golden Age songwriters¬†(each of them listed¬†with¬†one of their most popular songs), followed by a¬†list of their noms de plume in scrambled order.¬†Unless you Arluck-y, you’ll probably¬†be unable to correctly¬†pair more than 70% of the names¬†(but at least¬†half¬†are guessable¬†even if you don’t know them):

    a. Israel Baline (HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN?)
    b. Benjamin Anzelwitz (SWEET GEORGIA BROWN)
    c. C. K. Dober (BARNEY GOOGLE)
    d. Vladimir Dukelsky (APRIL IN PARIS)
    e. Charles N. Daniels (CHLOE)
    f. Albert Gumm (TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME)
    g. Johnny Kluczko (RACING WITH THE MOON)
    h. Edward Chester Babcock (LOVE AND MARRIAGE)
    i. Andrea Razafkeriefo (MEMORIES OF YOU)
    j. William Samuel Rosenberg (I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING)

    1. Albert Von Tilzer
    2. Irving Berlin
    3. Ben Bernie
    4. Con Conrad
    5. Vernon Duke
    6. Neil Moret
    7. Billy Rose
    8. Andy Razaf
    9. Jimmy Van Heusen
    10. Johnny Watson

    In Part 2, I’ll¬†post the answers¬†plus clips of a few of the above¬†songs. Meanwhile, if you’d like¬†to¬†hear one of the¬†songs in particular, comments are open — please¬†make a request. I’ve got a feeling I’m filling¬†it.


    • Superduque777 12:08 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 7:09 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the Over the Rainbow clip. I never tire of hearing Judy Garland sing it. ūüôā
      I’m rubbish at guessing the real names!
      But I’d like to hear April in Paris Thank you ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:57 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Israel Baline was Irving Berlin as a relative of one of my relatives was his accountant. Sometimes I got some really great seats at the Music Box Theater. Then I knew who Edward Chester Babcock was as he worked with and was a close friend of Sinatra. I could guess who Billy Rose was as the names are pretty similar but then I had a lot of fun looking up the other ones.

      I’ve always thought that Somewhere Over The Rainbow is one of the finest examples of blending words and music you can ever find.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:55 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Glad you enjoyed it, Don. Unbeknownst to me, your comment came in while I was in the middle of replying to scifihammy’s comment, so my Billy Rose example had already been guessed by you. I guess great minds really do think alike (at least, I prefer that explanation over coincidence, How About You?).


    • mistermuse 9:21 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, scifihammy — I’ll be glad to play “April In Paris”….maybe even before April in Paris (like in my next post). ūüôā

      As for guessing at matching the songwriters’ names, what I meant by “half are guessable even if you don’t know them” is best shown by this example: the real name of the writer of I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING, William Rosenberg, can be deduced from its similarity to his professional name, Billy Rose. Thus, j. is 7. There are several other instances whereby a match can be made by comparing the first and/or last names in the first list with those in the second list.


    • moorezart 9:52 pm on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:07 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, moorezart. I wonder if a reblog by any other name would smell as sweet? A thorny question indeed. ūüė¶


    • Don Frankel 7:53 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a great song by Morris Hyman Kushner but I had to go look that up. When I did I found out that he also wrote the musicals ‘On a Clear Day’ and ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ in addition to a lot of other great songs. I also found out he discovered Francis Gumm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:57 pm on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        HOW ABOUT YOU? was indeed composed by Morris Hyman Kushner (aka Burton Lane), with lyrics by Ralph Freed (aka Ralph Freed). I wonder if Francis Gumm (aka Judy Garland) was related to Albert Gumm, composer of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME? I’ll have to check that out.


    • arekhill1 1:21 pm on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Let’s make this about me. I’ve never changed my birth name. One of my many shitty career moves, probably.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:24 pm on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Maybe it’s not too late, Ricardo — which, by the way, suggests a name you could change to and gain instant fame: Ricardo Montalban Jr. After all, the original Ricardo Montalban had good luck with it until he died, but that could happen to anyone.


  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Golden Age films, , , , Judy Garland, , , Shop Around the Corner, , summertime, Van Johnson   


    Tomorrow is¬†the first official¬†day of smelly armpits¬†season¬†(unless, of course,¬†you live in the southern hemisphere¬†of earth — or in any hemisphere of¬†Ur-anus, where,¬†they say, it stinks¬†the¬†year round). To¬†greet the season,¬†I’m¬†saluting¬†summer with a look back at several good old summer films (and I mean films that actually have “summer” in the title).

    It’s unthinkable that there’s no¬†unstinkable way¬†of sweating as I¬†wrack my brain composing a¬†fulsome introduction¬†to¬†each movie, so¬†I’ll make do¬†with¬†a minimum¬†of b.s. (background setting)¬†preceding each clip….then sum(mer) it all up¬†with bonus b.s.¬†at¬†post’s end.

    First we have SUMMERTIME (1955), starring Katherine Hepburn as a spinster vacationing in Venice. After meeting and being attracted to shop owner Rossano Brazzi in his antiques store, they unexpectedly encounter each other again in this scene:

    Next: IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949) starring Judy Garland & Van Johnson as lonelyhearts pen pals in a musical remake of THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jimmy Stewart. Here is the trailer:

    Last we have SUMMER AND SMOKE (1961), a film¬†adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play, neither of which I have seen, but which I include here because¬†its title¬†serves as a “Perfect!”¬†lead-in to this anecdote told¬†by the late actor Tony Randall (and which¬†relates back to the first of our films):

    David Lean, one of the world’s finest directors, is a meticulous and fastidious craftsman, compulsive and uncompromising about getting things exactly the way he wants them. There is a scene in Summertime in which the [female] owner of¬†a Venetian pensione arranges a tryst with a young American guest at night on the terrace of the pensione. Lean put the¬†couple in two high-backed wicker chairs that completely envelope them,¬† placed with their backs to the camera so that all the lens could see were her left¬†hand holding his right hand and puffs of white smoke from their cigarettes curling above the backs of the chairs. The brief scene, which could have been shot with any two people sitting in the chairs and the voices of the couple dubbed in later, took an entire night and a carton of cigarettes to film. Lean made the two actors do it over and over. Just as dawn was about to break, Lean finally got a shot that satisfied him.
    “Perfect! Perfect!” Lean exclaimed enthusiastically. “The puffs were perfect!”

    It seems we’ve come to the end¬† — but where, you might ask, is the promised¬†“bonus b.s.”? Will you settle for the bonus without the b.s.? Here is the trailer for the aforementioned THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, directed by that master of “the Lubitsch touch” of happy memory to¬†Golden Age film¬†buffs:



    • Ricardo 12:51 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Apropos of nearly nothing, I noticed the other day that “Wet Hot American Summer” was available on Netflix, Sr. Muse. If that doesn’t make you want to subscribe, whatever will?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:39 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        “Wet Hot American Summer’ sounds too cerebral for my tastes, Ricardo, but thanks anyway for the heads up.


    • linnetmoss 6:55 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do love “The Shop Around the Corner”! When I hear about “Summertime,” I always think of the story that Hepburn fell into a Venetian canal and got a terrible ear infection. It may be a beautiful city, but the water is icky!

      Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 7:27 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I remember that cane chair smoking scene well ūüôā
      need to work on your bs …

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:32 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Linnet, I appreciate your comment. Perhaps I should should have noted in my post that SUMMERTIME was filmed on location in Venice. Here is the scene in which Hepburn falls into the canal:


    • Garfield Hug 7:51 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lol!! “Season of smelly armpits!!” ūüėāūüėā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:11 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Perhaps you’ve heard of the old phrase, “It’s the pits!” — it originally referred to stinky armpits, then came to metaphorically mean anything that stinks. And that’s my trivia lesson for today!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:37 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We can’t have summer without..

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:39 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don. For those who may wonder who is the singer with the beautiful soprano voice, her name is Harolyn (not a typo) Blackwell.


    • D. Wallace Peach 6:32 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t seen any of your Summertime movies. I liked Hepburn as a kid and should pick that one up. I fell into a canal in Holland, so I can relate. ūüėÄ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:51 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Diana, no doubt your fall into the canal in Holland was no Dutch treat (except perhaps to a few juvenile bystanders who may have thought it was funny), but I’m sure you will find Kathryn Hepburn and SUMMERTIME to be a treat. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 1:09 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      And from what I’m reading about climate change we could have smelly armpits a lot longer. Unfortunately accompanied by widespread heat alerts and drought in the west.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:28 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right — climate change is the pits!


    • RMW 12:53 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Summertime is one of my all-time favorite movies (I do have quite a few on my list). The romance between Hepburn and Brazzi left so much to the imagination, making it even more “romantic.” I can’t imagine either actor being willing to bare it all in front of the camera! Thank heavens…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe, Blues In The Night, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Dorothy Dandridge, Grand Canyon, Judy Garland, , , , railroads, Sun Valley Serenade, trains, Union Pacific Railroad, Vienna Waltz   


    All my life I have been thrilled by the names of famous trains. The Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul, the Train Bleu rushing through the night to the Riviera, the Flying Scotsman and the Brighton Belle rolling north and south from London, the Twentieth Century Limited, the Santa Fe Chief and Super Chief crossing the vast continent of America — these were magical names to people of my generation, but on a dark November evening in 1963 the rather dingy train awaiting us in the Zurich station offered no interest until, at a second glance, I noticed that under the grime it bore a name in letters which had once been of polished brass — the Wiener Waltzer [Vienna Waltz]! My spirits rose. How charming, how romantic and how right, I thought, for I was on my way to Vienna to play the part of Johann Strauss in a picture.
    –Brian Aherne, English-American actor (1902-86)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I, too,¬†have long been¬†fascinated by trains — probably since the age¬†of 12, when I¬†traveled with my family by train from Cincinnati to Mexico City.¬†Perhaps my most vivid memory of that trip:¬†the elegant dining car,¬†lined on each side of the aisle¬†with tables covered by¬†immaculate white tablecloths topped by spotless linens and tableware, at which we would sit like ‘big¬†wheels’ eating leisurely¬†meals¬†as the scenery rolled by. “Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer”¬†— like¬†the old¬†song,¬†now echoing back over time.

    On the wall near where I sit as I write this post, hangs a large 1966 calendar¬†published by the Union Pacific Railroad (“Road of the Domeliners”). Above each month is a color photo¬†of a scene which is presumably¬†within viewing or dreaming distance of a Domeliner: Sun Valley, Idaho; Morro Bay, California; Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; a covered bridge somewhere in northern California;¬†and so on. A lot of water has¬†flowed¬†under the bridge in 51 years.

    But the handwriting was already on the wall for¬†iconic¬†streamliners in America by 1966. Numbered were¬†the days of such¬†storied trains as the¬†CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO and railroads like¬†THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND THE SANTA FE. Sad to say,¬†the new¬†kid on the track,¬†AMTRAC,¬†would lack their¬†imagery….not to mention, their soundtrack songs from films¬†such as¬†SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941) and THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946):

    Those were the days, my friend. Clickety-clack, echoing back. It’s enough to give one the….

    NOTE: I will be taking a one-post break. Until my next post on June 20, keep your dreams intact and your hopes on track.



    • calmkate 1:00 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      ah that brought back a few memories … here we have The Ghan and a few others that cross our vast arid interior … hadn’t realised you had a posting schedule, enjoy your break ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:17 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I hear that tourists can even travel by train now to (near) Ayers Rock in Australia’s remote outback. Perhaps “The Ghan” is one of those trains. ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 7:41 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink

          it is indeed that train, a trip I would love to do one day as I love our outback and Uluru [AR] is a magic spiritual spot … been there twice ūüôā

          Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 3:43 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Have a good break ‚ėļ

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:18 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you! ūüôā


    • Ricardo 11:22 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Coincidentally, the girl and I have just booked a trip from Anchorage to Denali in August by train. It will be my first non-commuter train ride ever.

      Mexico City by train? There’s a trip I could go on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:52 pm on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Conversely, Ricardo, I have never been on a commuter train ride, and Anchorage to Denali by train is a trip I could go on. I envy you!


    • WanderlustAndSmoke 4:36 pm on June 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for visiting my page. I also enjoy your content! Keep it up ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:20 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great selection Muse. Now there’s no real scenery with this train. Well none you’d really like to see but still the music is just fine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:24 pm on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don — that’s an Ellington classic. If I had time, I could probably find a dozen old train songs on Youtube. Here’s one from a 1948 Irving Berlin musical (EASTER PARADE) starring two legendary performers:


    • M√©l@nie 12:14 pm on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      my very best & bonnes vacances, Monsieur Muse! ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 7:14 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love the dining car nostalgia! It’s too bad we do not have a more extensive passenger train network in this country. Especially since the airline experience has gone down the tubes. In the old days they used to sing about the romance of air travel (“Flying Down to Rio”)–but no more!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:13 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Linnet. Your comment leads me to a connection which, unlike today’s airline experience, is easy to make for those of us who are fans of old movies: Fred Astaire appeared in both FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933) – – his first pairing with Ginger Rogers — and 15 years later in EASTER PARADE with Judy Garland (see the “When That Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam” clip above).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Scheel 1:33 pm on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply


      You know, Atchison and Topeka are nearby Dee and me. Been there many times. Ridden the train out of Emporia many times (a railroad center in its day–the William Allen White era). Got caught in a blizzard once trying to get to KC and catch my flight to Washington D.C. to process through National Red Cross HQ for Germany. And I saw the Orient Express in Germany once, but didn’t ride on it. Rode others. Don’t overlook ‚ÄúFolsom Prison Blues,‚ÄĚ by Johnny Cash. And ‚ÄúCity of New Orleans,‚ÄĚ by Steve Goodman. On and on. Thanks for the memories!


      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:37 pm on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        You’re welcome, Mark. What a thrill it would’ve been to ride on the Orient Express, made legendary by Agatha Christie’s novel MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (I wonder if there has ever been a real murder on the Orient Express?)!

        Love “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, but the “Blues in the Night” clip is a much better fit for this post because of the train lyrics (“Now the rain’s a-fallin’ / Hear the train a-callin’, whoo-ee! / Hear that lonesome whistle blowin’ ‘cross the trestle, whoo-ee / A-whoo-ee-Ah-whoo-ee, ol’ clickety-clack’s a-echoin’ back / The blues in the night”).


        • Mark Scheel 3:27 pm on June 17, 2017 Permalink


          I think it’s a close call:
          I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend…/While a train keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone…/When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and I cry/Well I’ll bet there’s rich folks eatin’ in some fancy dining car…/Well if they freed me from this prison if that railroad train was mine/Bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line/Far from Folsom Prison that’s where I long to stay/Then I’d let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away.

          Yep, Johnny was a great one! ūüôā


          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:17 pm on June 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right, Mark — Johnny Cash was a great one. I have “Folsom Prison Blues” on LP but hadn’t played it in a long time — I should’ve listened to it again before my previous comment….but, even though it’s a close call, I think I still would’ve used “Blues in the Night” because of the film clip I chose.


  • mistermuse 12:00 am on January 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Betty Garrett, , , Judy Garland, , , , , , , WORDS AND MUSIC   


    “They had a story written that at times impinged on the truth, but not very often.” –Richard Rodgers (re Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s¬†filming of¬†the 1948 Rodgers & Hart¬†biopic WORDS AND MUSIC)

    The Hollywoodized version of the life of Rodgers and Hart may be¬†for the birds¬†regarding the facts of their life, but above¬†and beyond the cornball script¬†are such treats for the ears as¬†Betty Garrett, Judy Garland¬†and¬†Lena Horne¬†singing those¬†sophisticated R & H songs. But at least — though MGM¬†had no¬†conscience¬†with regard¬†to¬†the¬†narrative —¬†they¬†took¬†no liberties¬†with¬†respect to Hart’s¬†Words¬†And¬†Rodgers’ Music.

    Without further ado, then, on with the show. Carrying forward¬†the theme of the previous post, here are (you have¬†my word) three great¬†‘love’ songs from WORDS AND MUSIC:

    But wait — you want¬†unadulterated love and sophistication? R & H had nothing on Cole Porter:

    • linnetmoss 8:58 am on January 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, that Smoothies recording is surreal! That song always shocks me a little, and given its subject matter, I’m surprised that it wasn’t more controversial in its day. With Cole Porter, Anything Goes ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:26 pm on January 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        The Smoothies were a great vocal group, all but forgotten today. I own a double LP album with 32 of their recordings from the late 1930s-early 40s (including LOVE FOR SALE). Their vocal stylings were unique and definitely avant-guarde for their time. If there had been a Hayes Office for recordings like there was for movies, LOVE FOR SALE would have been an absolute no-no!

        Liked by 1 person

        • linnetmoss 8:24 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink

          What an interesting thought, a Hayes office for recordings! Thank goodness THAT never happened, although censorship of “naughty words” in songs continues…

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:50 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Speaking of interesting thoughts, I GET (got) A KICK OUT OF YOUr “With Cole Porter, Anything Goes” idea at the end of your previous comment. Either YOU’RE THE TOP, or IT WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS. ūüôā


    • Don Frankel 10:10 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll try this again. Didn’t seem to stick. I’m always amazed when a Hollywood movie that is about something or someone real gets something right. But they got the music right.

      I’m going with Lena Horne here as well sometimes I can’t remember where or when.


    • mistermuse 10:50 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I think you’re right about Hollywood not getting their biopics right, especially during Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’ and especially with their musical biopics. Off the top of my head, the only one I can think of that was pretty well done was YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (with James Cagney as George M. Cohan). They perhaps got a bit more ‘real’ in the mid-1950s (LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, again with Cagney), but Hollywood has seldom done right by their musical bios.


    • D. Wallace Peach 9:01 am on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great songs. I haven’t seen the movie, but just to hear the music would make it worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:27 am on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I hear you! ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 6:19 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My mom loves all these movies from Hollywood’s heyday. I’ll have to check them out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:23 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Although I have an avid interest in “Hollywood’s heyday,” I’d be the first to admit that a lot of clunkers were made during that period, as well as many great & good ones. Good luck picking the wheat from the chaff!


  • mistermuse 12:00 am on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Do You Hear What I Hear?, , , Judy Garland, Santa, Scrooge, The Carpenters   


    Either heaven or hell has continuous background music piped in; which one you think it is tells a lot about your personality. –Bill Vaughan

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I¬†rarely listen to radio,¬†and¬†spend as¬†little time¬†Christmas¬†shopping in stores¬†as possible. Even so, I hear Christmas music almost everywhere I go, from dentist office to automobile service¬†waiting rooms. If¬†my reaction to much of this music¬†makes¬†me¬†seem ‘ear-itably’ Scrooge-like, my reaction to that characterization is “Bah! Humbug!”

    For example,¬†after hearing¬†“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” (not one of my favorite Christmas songs to begin with)¬†for the umpteenth time this month¬†(and a million times over the years), I’m¬†dreaming of receiving ear plugs for Christmas (or sooner, if Santa wants to get a head start). I admit I once owned a recording of the song, but I evicted¬†it from my record collection long ago….unfortunately, to no apparent¬†avail.

    Nevertheless, there are far worse outrages in the world, and there are a number of numinous Christmas songs which earn “Likes” from the likes of mistermuse. You won’t be hearing from me¬†again¬†until Dec. 30 (no post on¬†Dec. 25), so¬†I thought I’d¬†include a few of those songs¬†(with a little help from YuleTube) in my early¬†Merry Christmas wishes to you:

    • painkills2 2:01 am on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:50 am on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Love it!

        Liked by 2 people

        • painkills2 6:18 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink

          Harry Connick, Jr. has such a sexy voice. Just ask any female in the room. ūüôā

          Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 9:53 pm on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Crazy about Bailey the unknown reindeer, and love the orchestra – but I am at least one of “the females in the room” who is NOT crazy about Harry Connick, Jr. – or at least his choice of arrangements like this one and his Sinatra-like styling. MUCH prefer the original.

        I wish everyone a very Merry anyway, no matter what you love to play in the background.

        Liked by 2 people

        • painkills2 4:59 am on December 25, 2016 Permalink

          Boy, you sure are picky. I’m not a fan of Harry Connick, Jr., but you can’t deny that the man is sexy personified. However, the video is really about the dog. When was the last time you had so much fun? And a Merry Christmas to you. ūüôā


        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 11:54 am on December 25, 2016 Permalink

          lol – Watching that dog play in the snow made my night! I love the sheer joy with which puppies play. My little guy would be totally buried in a foot of snow, however – I’m not sure I could find him in that much. Merry Christmas (sorry we disagree about Harry – more for you!)

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:49 am on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s my favorite.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 7:49 am on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:16 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have gone on enough about the assault on our eardrums by Christmas music every year so that my views on the subject are well known. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be “Greensleaves,” because the lyrics don’t mention Christmas at all and additionally, it is usually rendered as an instrumental.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 5:52 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Some might question how I don’t like “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas” while a song in a similar vein (“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”) is one of my favorites. The answer is that (to me) the former is banal and the latter is bittersweet (especially considering that it was written during WW II and must have struck a chord with many a soldier overseas — same with “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”). So I guess taste in music (Christmas or otherwise) is all in the ear of the beholder.

      P.S. “Greensleeves” is one of my favorites too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 8:36 pm on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You picked up some great ones! Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:49 pm on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. May Santa be as good to you as I hope he is to me. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 3:00 pm on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      LOL – Even though I have collected Christmas music for decades, the kind I call “Mall Music” is pretty dreadful, IMHO (i.e., the kind of Christmas tapes that loop endlessly, even in small local stores – it must drive the employees MAD!).

      Even worse are the insipid offerings that I’ve heard on more than a few “all Christmas on Christmas Day” Radio stations that want to give their employees the day off. They have turned me off to anybody’s version of Frosty the Snowman – forever. I hope a few station managers will see this comment and use it to up their game.

      Personally, I have jazz favorites (like the score to A Charlie Brown Christmas Special as well as some from jazz cats with a more traditional jazz bent), chorale favorites (like the almost boy choir sound of Christmas from Clare), Renaissance favorites, even a few “style” favorites (like the Temptations’ version of Rudolf the Red – which always makes everybody over 40 or so smile).

      I like to separate the instrumentals that serve as a festive background in December at my house (like the beautiful renditions by The Piano Guys and a few of my favorites from Mannheim Steamroller) from *anything* with lyrics. I don’t want to hear more than a few of those more than once. They get rapidly tiresome, and I don’t drive my guests mad. In fact, most people have usually requested the sources. There are a ton of interesting Christmas offerings I wish got more play in public. BUT, as you say, “lovely” is in the ear of the beholder.

      Great idea for a post. When I return from tonight’s Candlelight Service, I’ll go back to add it to my most recent Christmas post (unless I have a moment while waiting for my ride to arrive – but must jump into the bath NOW).

      Merry Christmas to you and yours.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • inesephoto 5:06 pm on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, never too much of a good Christmas music ūüôā Wishing you peace and joy, and all the wonderful thing for 2017!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lavinia Ross 4:46 pm on December 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Bailey is great!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: animals with big noses, big noses, , , , , , , Judy Garland,   


    When I remarked, in a comment to my last post, that some mugwump Republicans would “hold their noses” while voting for you-know-who, it brought to mind (who nose why?)¬†the old college football exhortation, HOLD THAT LINE!….which, in turn, suggests a¬†catchy campaign slogan for¬†the GOP’s¬†Offensive Lines Man: HOLD THAT NOSE! VOTE FOR TRUMP!

    The nose, it seems, has long been a useful appendage when it comes to exhortations:


    I don’t nose about you, but I find people with¬†noses fascinating — especially thoses with long noses….especially thoses whose noses made them famous.

    On the other hand,¬†I don’t think it’s fair that animals with big noses are often seen as having faces only a mother could love:

    Animals with Big Noses

    Did you notice that¬†several humans managed to¬†horn their way¬†into that mix of¬†pix, one of whom seems bent on cutting off his nose to spite his face?As Jimmy “Schnozzola” Durante used to say, “Everybody wants to get into the act,” but that guy is apparently trying to¬†take a short cut. Oh, well, it’s no skin off of my nose.

    Of course, not everyone is blessed with a big nose, otherwise mistermuse might be known as misternose. HAHAHA!¬† The point is that you don’t have to have a natural¬†big nose to clown around and¬†be a big hit with the young at heart:

    • eths 12:34 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the Judy Garland video!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:17 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That video is a clip from the 1948 movie THE PIRATE, one of Judy’s lesser-known & under-appreciated films. Well worth watching, in my view.


    • ladysighs 6:45 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Always so clever you are!! One never knows what you will be posting next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 7:12 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        People now are trying thru plastic surgery and botox injections to have a pretty face and body. Jimmy Durante used his most prominent feature to attract attention.to his comical actions. The tragedy of plastic surgery becomes evident in the news. A 29 year old, young women went under the knife trying to have some bodily changes. It doesn’t happen often but the poor lady died from complications. Good posting mistermuse. We should be aware of this problem and learn to like ourselves as we are, big nose and other physical imperfections..

        Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:32 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I usually don’t know what I’ll be posting next myself, ladysighs. I just play it by ear (or, in this case, by nose).

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:40 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, I think where human beings are concerned, there’s always room for improvement – the problem is that too often we want to improve superficial things instead of what really counts. Of course, I’m already perfect, so I needn’t worry about such things (believe that, and I’ll tell you another one!). ūüôā


    • Cynthia Jobin 10:43 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I find noses–all noses—comical. Have you ever sat musing in a pubic place, say, a coffee shop, and really looked at noses? They crack me up! The most colorful nose idioms I nose about are ones I have been accused of: “Get your nose out of that book!” and ones I have slung at others: “Brown nose!” Then there’s always that south end of the roast chicken referred to as “the parson’s nose” ……or “the pope’s nose”, depending on your religious persuasion. The family dog usually gets to enjoy that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:58 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I know very little about cooking, For example, I’ve heard of rump roast, but was never curious enough to check it out — get to the bottom of it, as a bad punner (not I, of course) might say. So, irreverent soul that I am, and trusting that the south end of the chicken doesn’t mind sharing the bird-en(d), I’ll lump “parson’s nose” and “pope’s nose” with rump, because a roast by any other name would…. whatever.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:40 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”–Nosetradamus

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:16 pm on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Nosetradamus must have had a nose for pithy sayings, and you were picky enough to pick one of his pithiest. Good nose job (but bad pun by me).


    • Carmen 2:52 pm on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My father didn’t like my mother’s cousin. He used to say, “She knows all because she’s all nose!” (I hadn’t thought of her for years. . . )

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:56 pm on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love it, Carmen! Your father certainly had a nose for saying it all in a few words.


    • Don Frankel 6:07 am on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Least we forget Danny Thomas here when it comes to noses. And, of course the Seinfeld episode where he tried to explain that it was not a pick. But most importantly we have to remember that “the nose knows.”


    • mistermuse 7:03 am on May 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t particularly care for Danny Thomas as a comedian, but like Durante, he did joke about his big nose. I can only guess that the compiler of the clip of thoses with famous noses didn’t include him because his fame pretty much passed on when he did.


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christmas song, , , Judy Garland, , , tongue twister, wish list   


    Mary Christmas is her name.
    Merry Christmas is her game.
    So, Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas!
    Merry, the way you made your list less
    The merry day you lined off your wish list
    The last name that you became
    When you married Mister Christmas.

    And¬†now you’ve heard the¬†gospel of how¬†Christmas, Mister,
    Made Maid Mary’s Merry Little Christmas….a tongue twister.


    • ladysighs 6:59 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I said the twister twice. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:46 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The title is the real twister. It was on the tip of my tongue before it came tripping to my mind. ūüôā


    • Don Frankel 5:23 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t even say it once. But I think we need a little music.


    • mistermuse 6:00 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I actually considered Sinatra’s rendition of MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS but decided on Judy Garland’s because it’s the scene from the film MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS with little Margaret O’Brien, a film I like a lot….as I do the song. But you can’t go wrong with either version.


    • arekhill1 3:21 pm on December 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Have yourself a merry Christmas, Sr. Muse. Or Chrismakwanzzakuh, or Festivus, however it pleases you.


    • mistermuse 9:10 pm on December 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Likewise, man….and may all your satire be a satori of sartorial splendor (or words to that effect).


  • mistermuse 5:37 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Judy Garland, , , , , ,   


    Once upon a time, in a sepia-toned place called Kansas (before landing in the colorful and Merry Old Land of Oz), a girl by the name of Dorothy sang a song called OVER THE RAINBOW. We all (many of us, at any rate) know who sang that song in the film, but the man who composed it is now long past recognition by almost all. He was born on this day (Feb. 15, 1905), and his name was Harold Arlen. This post is simply an appreciation of the man and his music, each of which encompasses much more than one man and one song….for, in those days, popular songs generally did not live by melody alone and were not born of one person alone. Composers/songs needed lyricists/words.

    Arlen himself (according to biographer Edward Jablonski) acknowledged that words – even the title – were just as important as the melody, often saying that “A good lyric writer is the composer’s best friend.” The lyricists who collaborated with Arlen were among the best in the business: Ira Gershwin, Ted Koehler, Johnny Mercer, E.Y.”Yip” Harburg….and the songs they wrote were among the best in popular music history (many of them done for movies and Broadway shows). Here are some of them:

    1930 – GET HAPPY
    1934 – ILL WIND

    But even those who remember Harold Arlen the composer probably do not know that he was also a fine singer who made a number of recordings, such as this one in 1933:

    Harold Arlen died April 23, 1986, but his music should never die.

    • arekhill1 6:57 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I only had a brain, I’d write something wittier here.


    • mistermuse 7:13 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’d try to respond in kind, Ricardo, but I’d only be grasping at straws.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 11:44 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As I listened to this beautiful voice singing one of many of my favorite songs you had listed, I think I fell into love all over again with this rich and lovely music. Have seen the movie many times. Thank you, mistermuse for awaking the romantic in my soul. It is so sad that Harold Arlen could not become a great vocalist. He certainly deserved that in addition to his career as a lyricist.


    • Joseph Nebus 12:26 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Boy, that is a heck of a list of songs, ins’t it?


    • scifihammy 12:42 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      While I know most of the songs you list, it is as you say, I did not know the composer. Thanks for the enlightenment ūüôā


    • mistermuse 6:26 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “They don’t make ’em like that anymore.” Thank all of you for your comments.


    • Don Frankel 10:29 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You know I remember seeing on TV an older Yip Harburg sitting at a Piano and explaining how he came up with the lyric for Somewhere Over The Rainbow. He played the opening notes on the Piano and showed how he kept thinking of the sound and then how “Somewhere” just seemed to pop out so naturally. It was fascinating.


    • mistermuse 11:39 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, the story of Harbug’s and Arlen’s writing the score for THE WIZARD OF OZ and their difficulties with”Over the Rainbow” is indeed fascinating. My Jan.13 2014 post RAINBOWS FOR CHRISTMAS covers it in some detail, for those interested. Just click January 2014 in the “Archives” column to the right, and scroll down to Jan. 13.


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