Because I was out of town, I managed to miss a couple of significant cultural anniversaries. One was the 50th anniversary of the first real Marvel superhero comic, the Fantastic Four, by Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby. Mark Evanier explains why it had a November cover date. Check out this hour-long Kirby documentary. And here’s a link to the intro to the FF TV show.
The other was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lucille Ball. I watched most, if not all, of the episodes of every single one of her ongoing series, from the seminal I Love Lucy (1951-1957; 8.9 out of 10 on the IMDB scale), which started before even TV Guide and I were born but lives through the clever concept known as the rerun; to the star-studded (and too long, in my recollection) episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960; 8.6); to The Lucy Show (1962–1968; 7.3), which was the one with Lucy as Lucy Carmichael, Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the earlier shows) as Viv, and Gale Gordon as Lucy’s testy boss, Mr. Mooney.
Then there was Here’s Lucy (1968–1974, 6.8), where “Lucy Carter, a widow with two teen children [played her real kids with Desi Arnaz, Lucie and Desi Jr.] takes a job as a secretary for her stuffy brother-in-law [Gale Gordon, again.] Finally, there was Life with Lucy (1986; 6.0) “Lucy Barker, now a grandmother living with her daughter’s family” Gale Gordon also appeared in this show.
They declined in quality somewhat – Life with Lucy was particularly bad, as I recall – but if I didn’t quite LOVE Lucy, I liked the woman from upstate New York (Jamestown) quite a bit.
I believe this was Lucy’s favorite scene from her first series.
As you may have noticed, Katy Perry becomes the second artist, following Michael Jackson, to send five songs from an album to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and during his birth month, no less. An accomplishment to be sure, though the charts don’t reflect the same level of sales they used to. (Similarly true of top-rated TV shows: the numbers are far less than they used to be.) Not incidentally, GayProf noted Perry when he wrote: “Numerous songs en vogue right now celebrate women consuming alcohol to the point of blacking out, hooking up, or hurling (not always in that order). “
In pictures of models, “there are women (and occasionally men) contorted into positions that, were you to see actual people in them, you’d find curious or peculiar or perhaps even alarming.”
Natalie Cole with the Allman Brothers. Check out the sidebar for David Crosby, Graham Nash, and others.
On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data could reproduce the voices of humans with perfect fidelity. Brent Spiner can do the same with the voice of Patrick Stewart.
My new Kickstarter fave: Stripped is a documentary love letter to cartoonists and comic writers who’ve delighted newspaper readers for decades. Since 2008, 166 newspapers have shut down, leaving the future uncertain for many syndicated cartoonists. Amidst this industry upheaval, Stripped follows 60 cartoonists, including luminaries like Jim Davis, Scott McCloud, and Jeff Keane, as they navigate the uncharted waters of a new digital world.
Having seen the trailer for the Spider-Man movie reboot, I have no reason to actually see the movie. The first two movies with Tobey Maguire were great; even own them on DVD.
Two music legends died this month. Jerry Leiber of the songwriting duo Leiber & Stoller wrote more songs than just about any pop composer. Here’s a list of most of them. Listen to Big Mama Thornton singing “Hound Dog”, some four years before Elvis Presley. Also, hear Charlie Brown by the Coasters; coincidentally, Carl Gardner, leader of the Coasters, died a couple of months ago.
Nickolas Ashford, who died August 22, was the songwriting partner and husband of Valerie Simpson. Ashford & Simpson wrote songs for Motown artists, Aretha Franklin, and others, as well as performing themselves. Hear Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell do You’re All I Need To Get By. Also, here’s a song originally performed by Ray Charles, I Don’t Need No Doctor (live) by Humble Pie.
The Jerry Leiber Cover Story on Coverville.
Roger Green, the proprietor of Hair by Roger, said noise and vibrations from the work were spoiling the salon’s ‘peaceful environment’. A spokesperson from United Utilities said: “We are fully aware of the impact this scheme has had on the community…”
“The Black Boardwalk Cat is a distinctive animal that has acquired an unusual place in the hearts of many university employees and students,” said Roger Green, associate professor of political science and public administration.
Forgotten Book: THE THROTTLEPENNY MURDER, Roger J. Green. My contribution this week to Pattinase’s Friday’s Forgotten Books is a book I read in 1993.
“Former Wisbech Mayor and Wisbech Standard editor, Roger Green who died in a road traffic collision on the A47 Wisbech bypass…. This particular Roger Green got a LOT of coverage.