Friday, November 22, 2013


Baltimore Oriole Here to help celebrate Hoagy's birthday (November 22, 1899 - December 27, 1981) is his son Randy from his one and only album, Carmichael Sings Carmichael

Rockin' Chair And here is the man himself with his very last recording (1981).

Monday, November 18, 2013

We Breathed the Same Air

Some people I’ve known, pressed flesh with, bumped into and knocked down, ridden in the elevator with, or. . . ?

Nico, Dusty Springfield, John F. Kennedy, Lotte Lenya, Sir Ian McKellen, Sammy Davis. Ricardo Montalban, Bette Midler, Priscilla Presley, Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali, Frank Zappa, Brian Wilson, Chris Connor, Miles Davis, Michel Legrand, Cloris Leachman, Cybil Shepperd, Gore Vidal, Djuna Barnes, Tim Hardin, Janis Joplin, Barbara Parkins, John Philip Law, Charles Manson, Nanette Fabray, Charles Mingus, Danny Proper, Allen Ginsburg, Timothy Leary, Michael Feinstein, Elizabeth Montgomery, Anita O'Day, Santa Claus, Billy Wilder, Mieko Hirota, Grady Sutton, Charles Lane, Myrna Loy, Neal Cassady, Lily Tomlin, Chet Baker, Wavy Gravy, Helen Merrill, Jo Stafford, William Burroughs, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Carter, Oscar Brown, Jr., Elmer Bernstein, The Nicholas Brothers, Joan Collins, Diahann Carroll, Carl Van Vechten, Fred Katz, Fuzzy Knight, Ruta Lee, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon, Ruth Brown, William Claxton, Tony Bennett, Anthony Quinn, Betty Carter, Blossom Dearie, Matt Dennis, Mary Ann McCall, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Piper Laurie, Stan Freberg, Jackie Paris, Charles Laughton, Jacques Demy, Margaret Whiting, John Hammond, Betty Garrett, John Kerr, Peter Bogdanovich, Eve Arden, Sarah Vaughan, Paul Weston, Carol Channing, Cecil Taylor, Page Cavanaugh, Jean Bach, Little Richard, Donald O’Connor, Donyale Luna, Maurice Sendak, Yma Sumac, Maxine Sullivan, Dorothy Lamour, Jackie Cooper, Michael Moore, William Steig, Algier Hiss, James Baldwin, William Saroyan, Diana Sands, Peter Marshall, Fran Allison, Marsha Hunt, Lash Larue, Gene Raeburn, Soupy Sales, Big Jon Arthur, Rex Reed, Polly Bergen, Johnnie Ray, Link Wray, Connie Frances, Christine Jorgenson, James Taylor, Little Jimmy Scott, Sam Fuller, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert DeNiro, Herbert Huncke, Tuesday Weld, Barbara Harris, Julia Sweeney, Barbara Stanwyck, Leslie Nielson, Jackie DeShannon, Richard Berry, Margaret Leighton, Joe Franklin. . .
A smattering appear in my memoir Early Plastic.

Wish I had HBO

 vis a vis Moms Mabley (tonight on HBO), the prefatory quote of my history of African-American show biz:

"You don't get started in show business. . . you just start." --- Moms

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Anyone with any info on this excellent---but obscure + --- forties singer? (see my recent youtube upload).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm soooooo proudddddd.

Somewhat strangely, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame is just now getting around to inducting opera great Eleanor Steber. (Maybe if she'd played a banjo?) Among others inducted this year are Peter Marshall (every bit as adept at singing as game show hosting. . .and then some), the legendary Swan Silvertone Singers (formed in a coal mine), traditional country duo the Goins Brothers,  and Ada "Bricktop" Smith! And if you don't know who she is, then you just don't know your 20th Century French cultural history. There's also a couple of latter-day "uptown country" singers whose names elude me for the nonce. And, perhaps. . .forever.

The 2013 Spirit Award will be presented to Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. He's that vg Sinatra-inspired (but not copycat) singer who won on America's Got Talent a few years ago.

It all happens in my hometown of Charleston on Nov. 16th. Wish I could be there.

Maybe an award some day for all the great record stores in Charleston that kept the music flowing when there was still actual music?, i.e. Galperin's, Londeree's, Haynes' (where I bought my Kiz Harp and Beverly Kennedy LPs in high school), Race Record Shop, etc.

UPDATE: You can catch this 11/16 event on West Virginia PBS streaming site . Impressive presentation right down to mention of my childhood mentor, Hugh McPherson.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

New Melodye

Contains some of the nuttiest and most original arrangments to come along in quite a while, i.e. "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" backed my Indian tabla and sarode, and a Spike Jones-ish "take" on ""Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." The more---if you will---conventional tracks are just flat-out lovely. The top SoCal players backing Ms. DeWine include: Luther Hughes, Jack Sheldon, Ralph Penland, John B. Williams, Barry Zweig, Sam Most, Llew Matthews and Jeff Jarvis. Available at CDBaby . Full disclosure: I know Melodye and lover her dearly.