Monday, May 26, 2014

Mondays' Music Moves me to Memories

Only one piece of music this morning.  This is a version of Billy Joels' Goodnight Siagon using still photos from Vietnam.

Today is Memorial Day, this song is my way of saying thank you to all who served in all wars, those who survived and had families and those who went down together as bands of brothers and sisters.

I salute you all.

Til next week

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Great Movie

Just recently I saw the Ben Stiller version of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".

I say the Ben Stiller version, because I knew I had seen this move before,  but it had been a long time ago.  I was right, I had seen this movie when I was a young man and watched it on T.V., it starred Danny Kay and besides the title and the fact that Danny Kay worked in a publishing house there were no similarities to the two movies.

The current version, which came out last year is set in LIFE magazine on the eve of its' going to an online service.

Stiller as Walter Mitty is an everyman, he does his job very well but has done nothing amazing with his life.  Mitty is a dreamer, he zones out and sees himself doing heroic and great things as many of us dream. Except in his dreams he is timid and shy and has difficulty in standing up for himself of trusting himself.

He finds himself in the midst of a crisis, the negative for the final cover for LIFE magazine in missing, he has to locate it and begins a epic adventure which changes him forever.

He also falls madly in love with a coworker, Cheryl Melhoff played by kristen Wing, a single mother who is the opposite of how she portrays herself on

The two stories intertwine as Walter goes on a journey to find the lost negative he also finds himself, he finds the 'hero within' as Joseph Campbel described the aspect that we all have and are called to at a point in our life when we have to take a risk greater than our self.

The film is slow at the beginning but as it moves on we are drawn deeper into the nexus of these characters.

Besides Walter and Cheryl we have Kathryn Hahn who is Walters sister Odessa, who dreams of playing Rizzo in Grease, Shirley MacClaine who plays Walters' mother and Sean Penn as Sean O Connell the illusive photographer who Walter has traveled around the world to track down and find the missing negative 25, the negative for the last cover of LIFE.

Ben Stiller did a remarable job of directing this film and Steve Conrad did an excellent developing the screen play based on the short story by James Thurber.

This is a fun and timely movie that makes us look within and ask if we are following our bliss or just letting life pass us by.

5 out of 5 Stars.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mondays Music Ladies if you Please

So it is the music of the ladies of the 60's 70's and 80's.  Awesomesauce.

Starting off with Ella Fitzgerald, one of the great singers of Jazz with a standard.  Ella had been around for a few years before she was rediscovered by a new generation again in the 1960s'.

Next up was a Canadian snowbird who was all over the charts in the 1070s' the beautiful Ann Murray with a classic.

In the 1980's there were too many talented women singers for me to choose just one.  I mean I would be here all year trying to choose, so here is a video compilation of the ladies of the 80's.  Sorry about the sound quality, will need to boost your volume.  

Hope you enjoyed my selections.

Til next time

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Unforgettable Glenn Miller A Collection worth having

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went to Safarri Thrift, a  local thrift store in Aurora, Colorado that has become our favorite.

While visiting Safarri I found "The Unforgettable Glenn Miller", a six record collection that had been released by Readers Digest back in 1968.

The set originally cost $16.99 back in 1968, and included a complete discography, the history of Glenn Miller and his big bands and most impressive to me, complete liner notes with detailed information on the song, composer performer and recording date.

Tex Benekee, Marion Hutton Ray Eberlee a young Kay Starr and of course Glenn  Miller all come across crystal clear.  The music and the musicians are here to listen to again, there is a warmth that only comes across with the sound recordings on records.  What is best of all, this isn't just the popular hits of other albums but some of the more obscure music.

Overall 70 songs are presented here, and along with the popular numbers like Moonlight Serenade, Elmers Tune and Chattanooga Choo Choo; there are lesser known numbers such as Shake the Stars from the Sky, Baby Me and Boogie Woogie Piggie.

Baby Me featured a young up and comer, Kay Starr as a stand in vocalist for Millers' band when Marion Hutton was recovering from exhaustion while playing at the Glenn Island Casino.

Boogie Woogie Piggie has to be heard it is just that fun a piece and could inspire a whole new Geico commercial.

What is amazing here is not just all the different music, but the fact that there are no hisses pops or crackles.  The sound quality of the music is as if you had Glenn Miller and his big band in your living room with you.

There is no distortion and sound quality as good if not better than anything digitally remastered.

But here's the thing, this was years before such technology as digital remastering even existed.  We are talking an era, where the new way of listening to music was the 8 track tape.

If you love big band music, or the music of Glenn Miller, then "The Unforgettable Glenn Miller"/ Unforgettable series by Readers Digest is well worth the hunt.

You will find it amazing and a way to discover songs you never knew were performed by your favorite Big Bands.

10 out of 10 *

This link goes to a page with more listings and information on "The Unforgettable Glenn Miller"

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Did you hear the one about the Pope and the Martian?

Yesterday, Wednesday May 13th, I was watching The Weather Channel, to see if a freeze warning would be ending.  Yes, we had a freeze warning in effect for Denver, until 8:OO A.M. yesterday morning.

So I was watching "Wake Up with Al", a weather and entertainment program on The Weather Channel when Al Roker, brought up the Popes' most recent statement.

Aparently Pope Francis stated he would baptize Martians if asked to.

I sat and waited for the punch line, but apartently Al Roker was stating an event that had taken place.  The pope feels that there is no reason Martians should be excluded from the church.

I honestly that this was absolutely crazy and that the Pope, should be relieved from his duty as leader of the Catholic Church for saying this, that was until I remembered what the word Catholic means.

The word Catholic means Universal, so it is the Universal Church.  I thought well, since the church is universal why leave off with Martians?  Why not open the doors to other fuctional races like Vulcans, or Galafreeans of Mimbari?

Am I being sacreligious by saying that these fictional races should be offered a chance at baptism into the Catholic Church?  I don't think so, anymore than Pope Francis is by inviting Martians for Baptism.

Perhaps this is a sign of change, I do not know.  I never would have thought I would hear a Pope offer Baptism to a fictional race.  Perhaps the next thing he will do is open the doors for Ordination of married couples and women as Priests.

Or would that be too much to expect from a Pope who offers Martians baptism?

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Special Anniversary

This last weekend was a special anniversary for me.  Two years ago,  when I was living in Festus Missouri, I participated in the relay for life marathon.

For those not familiar with Relay for Life, it is a 24 hour marathon where people who are survivors of cancer gather to celebrate and to run to raise funds for cancer research and treatment.

Family members and friends also participate in the event and raise funds by getting sponsors, having events before the relay and having people pledge to pay them per mile they run, among other means.

For me this was significant because several members of my family had suffered from cancer and one, my Aunt Dorothy Richards had died of cancer.

I managed to stay on the track for nearly 22 hours and I can not tell you how many miles that was.  

I worked out nearly every day for two hours to get into shape to participate.

I still do what I can to support this relay yearly.  If you have the chance do so.  Become involved, run the relay, sponsor an event make a difference and help someone else.  Maybe it will be you who will be helped by those you helped.

Find out what you can do for next year, it is never too late or early to help out.

Mondays' Music favorites with a slight twist.

Just a few pieces of music you might not expect.  Starting with Billy Joel playing Root Beer Rag.

Here is Garth Brooks doing two songs you would not expect

Never heard of Rufus Wainwright but his renditions of these classics are right on the mark.

Hope you liked my Billy Joel tribute with other singers .

Til next week.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mondays' Music And all that Jazz

When I discovered Jazz, it wasn't Dave Bruebeck or Chuck Mangonie, two of the very popular Jazz leaders of the day.  No for me it was Glenn Miller.

Yes, Glenn Miller the leader of one of the most innovative Jazz Bands of all time.  I was maybe 12 or 13 when I got my first double record set, Sunrise Serenade.

So without any further intro, here is some of the music of my all time favorite Jazz leaders.  Glenn Miller.

Now we are going to take a journey back in time.  It is December 1940, The Battle of Britain is over and the Blitz on London is under full impact.  You are at home, you have put your little ones to bed.

You are having a brandy or maybe beer, reading the evening paper or perhaps some light reading like War and Peace or The complete works of William Shakespeare.

You have the radio on and it chimes in with your favorite station which carries the Glenn Miller program.  

So KVOD, The voice of Denver crackles on the air and the local announcer Gene Amole comes over the air...

"Welcome everyone to another broadcast live from The top of the Mark, here in beautiful Downtown Denver.  Tonight our visiting band, is none other than Glenn Miller and his orchestra.  So we go live now to the dance floor."

"Thank you everyone, it is a real pleasure to be here in Denver at the top of the Mark.  I see it looks like Tex is getting ready to take a little trip, so here we go on the Chatanooga Choo Choo."

"Now a song dedicated to our British friends."
"This next song should set the mood for some Dancing."
"Well it is that time again, when we say good night.  It has been a pleasure visiting Denver.  Here's hoping you and yours have a happy new year in 1941."
I hope you enjoyed my sentimental journey and didn't mind me pretending to be Glenn Miller.

Until next time.