Monday, November 30, 2009

Old songs

One of the fun things about being elderly is having a head full of old songs that nobody under 50, or maybe even 60, ever heard of.  My town has a new mayor.  He beat the incumbent.  He's also my insurance man.  So I go around singing "There's no one with endurance like the man who sells insurance." They don't write 'em like that anymore.   Frank Crummitt recorded it in the '20s. He did "there's no depression in love" just a month before the big crash of '29.
I just heard a reference to "rose colored glasses."  Oh yeah, there's a song about it.  "I'm looking at the world through rose Colored Glasses.  Everything is rosy now." I'm not sure what recording of it was in the old Victrola.  I think it was George Olsen's orchestra. Those songs are so firmly planted in my head that I can go to the mighty Hammond and play 8 bars from memory. If it's raining, what tune comes to mind but "What do we do on a dew dew dewey day."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Parties Please

A gay friend speaks of being "mixed up and unable to mix."  You don't have to be gay to relate to that in a big  way. I found some interesting web sites about public figures and performers who are introverts. Robert Young, remembered by most of us as the father who always knew best and as kindly Dr. Marcus Welby, was troubled by alcoholism, depression and who knows what other demons.  He said he was an introvert in an extrovert profession.

Take away my microphone,  keyboard, spotlight, stage, TV camera and an adoring audience and I just want to be alone and quiet. There is none of the party animal in me.  My sole involvment in a New Year's Eve Party was when I was playing in a band. That memory does not warm my heart or anythng else.  We rode to the job in a VW bus.   If you have experienced one of those refrigerators-on-wheels  in  a Michigan winter, you know whereof  I speak.

I am in good company.  Fellow introverts are  Clint Eastwood,  Harrison Ford, Grace Kelly,  Steve Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michele Pfeiffer, and Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts cartoons.  I suggest that Garrison Keillor also fits in with those who don't fit in. 

Steve Martin, that wild and crazy guy, an introvert?  So says Dr. Marti Olsen Laney in her book, The  introvert  Advantage; How to Thrive in an Extrovert World.  She has another one, gleaned from her own "mixed marriage," a union of an innie and an outie, The introvert and extrovert in love.  Now there is a challenge.  Read about her here.

Introverts of the world, unite! Maybe we are Ok and don't need to be  fixed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hey Culligan Person

One of the advertising industry's greatest, most memorable campaigns has fallen victim to politcal correctness.  Who can forget the voice of Jean Hughes Williams calling Hey Culligan Man!  for decades.  She died in 1985 and I think they used other voices to keep it going.  The latest Culligan TV commerical has gone gender neutral.  Or gender absent. It just says ""Hey Culligan." 
I don't give a rodent's rear whether a man or woman installs my water softener.  But aren't there some institutions  that just shouldn't be messed with?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Charlie McCarthy's Sister

Whaterver happened to Candice Bergen? Those supposedly in the know report that she did not have a stroke a while back, but an episode of high blood pressure. Ms. Bergen's voice and speech manerisms
fascinate me. I liked her on  "Murphy Brown" and even more on the wonderfully quirky "Boston Legal." Dan Quail's still famous speech about Murphy being with child without marriage does not cool my fascination with the former fashion model. Her voice, her looks, what a package.  One web site called her eternatly cool and classy. I wish I had said that.

I know,  I use "fascinate"  too freely.  I should look up some good synonyms. Alright,  so maybe I'm too easily fascinated.  Can't help it. All sorts of things grab me and won't let me go.  That's fascination..  Maybe it's some form of nuttiness.  Is there a room in the nut ward for the chronically over-fascinated?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Charlie and Edgar

Harry's Charlie McCarthy sketch put me in my"spend too much time searching for useless information" mode. Just to see what might happen, I entered "World's greatest ventriloquist."  Paul Winchell's name popped up, along with several that I never heard of.  There's Ronn Lucas.  I watched some videos.  He's very good, but too contemporary, too Las Vegas style for me.  Edgar Bergen was credited as the performer who paved the way for later ventriloquists   said to be "better" at it than he was. Some historians claim that Bergen and Charlie became an institution mostly because radio was their medium and we couldn't see Bergen's lips move. That makes steam and smoke come fom my orfices. Edgar Bergen was an absolute master of being two very different, totally contrasting characters at the same time, instantly switching from the bewildered father figure to the bratty kid. No one has done it better, or made a wooden alter ego more real and believable than Charlie was.  It still works when we see him them.  I just watched the 1938 "Goldwyn Follies" on TCM.  Edgar and  Charlie had several appearances.  I  don't know how much Bergen's lips moved. I was too busy looking at Charlie and wondering what he might say next that would make Edgar nervous.