Happy Thanksgiving! For your holiday approval, with contributions from the Depression Era to World War II Collection of the Library of Congress American Memory site: my own personal "Thanksgiving Pilgrims Progress."
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I was feeling nostalgic, so I decided to take a stroll through the drawings at patentroom.com, where I came across this 1934 LaSalle design by General Motors' resident genius, Harley Earl. For those who don't remember, LaSalle was a companion brand to Cadillac from the late 1920s into the early 1940s.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Three great film noir detective stories air Tuesday on Turner Classic Movies. Two feature different versions of Philip Marlow, two are shot from the main character's perspective, and two feature the ultimate tough-guy/babe combination of Bogey and Bacall. All that in only three movies. A special treat is Lauren Bacall singing "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine" in The Big Sleep.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 (All times Central)
5:30am - Lady In The Lake (1947) - Philip Marlowe searches for a missing woman in this mystery shot entirely from the detective's viewpoint. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully Dir: Robert Montgomery BW-103 mins, TV-PG
1:00pm - The Big Sleep (1946) - Private eye Philip Marlowe investigates a society girl's involvement in the murder of a pornographer. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers Dir: Howard Hawks BW-114 mins, TV-PG
10:00pm - Dark Passage (1947) - A man falsely accused of his wife's murder escapes to search for the real killer. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bruce Bennett, Agnes Moorehead Dir: Delmer Daves BW-106 mins, TV-PG
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
On November 18, 1909, Johnny Mercer was born in Savannah, Georgia. To say his songwriting career was prolific is a massive understatement. He wrote hit songs from the 1930s through the 1960s, including "I'm An Old Cowhand" (1936), "G.I. Jive" (1944), "Satin Doll" (1958) and "Charade" (1963). Remember "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's? Happy Birthday Johnny!
P.S. - The Swing Shift Shuffle will feature an all Johnny Mercer playlist tonight, so tune in at 6:00 p.m. Central on either 89.9 FM or wevl.org.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
If you ever hear anyone complain that the lyrics of "today's" music are unintelligible, bear in mind the very popular 1940's song featured in this soundie. From the Internet Archive, indisputable proof that there were always songs with silly lyrics: The Hut Sut Song.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Since Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, why not get started on your Christmas shopping early with some of the wonderful new products featured in this 1946 Modern Mechanix article. For the music lover, the second page includes a 10 ounce, 3x6x3/4 inch pocket radio with earphones. Bear in mind this was 60 years before the iPod, and it used actual radio tubes.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Turner Classic Movies is airing a nice variety of films tomorrow, including the following four classic gems. I have not The Fighting Sullivans, but I can vouch for the others as excellent; from the British Empire adventure of Gunga Din, to the patriotic wartime espionage suspense of Saboteur, to the feel good, socially conscious cuteness of Jean Arthur in The Devil and Miss Jones.
Saturday, November 14, 2009 (All times Central)
7:00 AM The Fighting Sullivans (1944) - During WWII, five brothers enlist in the Navy and are assigned to serve on the same ship. Cast: Anne Baxter, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-111 mins, TV-G, CC
3:30 PM Gunga Din (1939) - Three British soldiers seek treasure during an uprising in India. Cast: Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Victor McLaglen. Dir: George Stevens. BW-117 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS
7:00 PM Saboteur (1942) - A young man accused of sabotage goes on the lam to prove his innocence. Cast: Robert Cummings, Priscilla Lane, Norman Lloyd. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. BW-109 mins, TV-PG, CC
2:30 AM The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) - A department store owner goes undercover as an employee to thwart union activists. Cast: Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, Robert Cummings. Dir: Sam Wood. BW-92 mins, TV-G, CC
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It seemed fitting to observe Veterans' Day (a/k/a Armistice Day or Rememberance Day) by posting a documentary about my home town's most famous aircraft, The Memphis Belle. This film is not the 1990 feature of the same name, but rather an account of an actual bombing mission, using actual combat footage shot during the run, and directed by William Wyler (director of Mrs. Miniver, Ben Hur, Roman Holiday, and many other Hollywood classics).
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Put on your dancing shoes this weekend. In addition to the usual, weekly Red Hot Lindy Hop dance lesson and session this Friday at the Rumba Room, the Red Hot Lindy Hop presents Joel Plys and Evita Arce for a Lindy Hop Workshop in Memphis on November 14 and 15. See full schedule and register at redhotlindyhop.com.
This Friday, November 6, 2009:
This Friday, November 6, 2009:
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
If some of the early cartoons seem a little odd by today's standards, bear in mind that animation was a relatively new art form, so almost everything was an experiment of some sort. In addition, the common presumption that cartoons were just for children did not yet exist, so some of these shorts were directed as much as adults as kids. That might explain why several of the characters in this 1931 version of Red Riding Hood from the Internet Archive are smoking cigarettes. Another interesting point is that the two primary characters are blatant, and I mean BLATANT, copies of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse.
Friday, November 6, 2009
The historic, 157-year old Elmwood Cemetery, where many famous and infamous figures in Memphis history rest (including swing band leader Jimmie Lunceford), is hosting a lunch and lecture about the Tuskegee Airmen on Wednesday, November 11, 2009. Admission is $10, and you can register at the Events page on Elmwood website.
The Tuskegee Airmen refers to all those involved in the "Tuskegee Experiment", a program implemented by the Army Air Corps to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. Nearly 1000 men graduated from the program, and over 450 were deployed oversees with the 332 Fighter Group of the Army Air Corps. Overcoming segregation and discrimination, the Tuskegee Airmen became one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War 2 and paved the way for full integration of the United States military. This program is presented by Mable Barringer.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Boing Boing recently introduced me to an interesting military history site called All World Wars, which features historic magazines, propaganda posters, training and weapons manuals, paintings, pamphlets, scholarly treatises and other historical artifacts ranging from an Italian Renaissance sketchbook on military art to photos from the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza war. The item that I first encountered was a collection of Soviet paintings from World War II. Very powerful images, such as this one entitled Sister.
Monday, November 2, 2009
I know it may seem like I am a shill for Turner Classic Movies, but honestly, I just really like old movies, and TCM's uncut, no commercial format. At 7:00 p.m. (CT) this Wednesday, November 4, TCM will air its original documentary Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me, featuring archival footage and new clips that trace the career of the great American songwriter. Just a little later than night, at 10: 49 p.m., TCM will air one of its "One Reel Wonders" entitled Symphony in Swing, in which Artie Shaw, his orchestra, and Helen Forrest perform five tunes.