Julie Andrews is 80

The Daughter thinks The Wife looks a bit like Julie Andrews from her Cinderella era, which pleases The Wife.

Julie_AndrewsIt is quite likely that the final episode of MASH that aired in 1983 was NOT the highest-rated non-sports television broadcast in United States history.

Some believe that the 1957 broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA, starring a rising Broadway performer named Julie Andrews eclipsed it, with 107 million viewers in the US alone.

I watched Julie Andrews in a ton of television performances, including several with Carol Burnett. But it wasn’t until this century that I ever saw her in a movie, when the Daughter introduced me to The Princess Diaries and its sequel, on video. No, I saw parts of Victor/Victoria, but not enough to count it. I’ve also HEARD her in Shrek 2, Enchanted, and Despicable Me.

My Julie movie drought is odd because my mother had the soundtracks of both Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, which I grew up listening to. My current household saw Mary Poppins in December 2011, and The Sound of Music in the Fall of 2013. The Cinderella DVD was a 2009 family Christmas present; The Daughter thinks The Wife looks a bit like Julie from that era, which pleases The Wife.

My favorite Julie Andrews memory is an LP that came out in the mid-1960s. Back then, Firestone Tire Co. produced a new Christmas album every year, for sale at gas stations for a dollar. I STILL own an album featuring Julie Andrews.

Unfortunately, her gorgeous singing voice was wrecked by a throat operation in 1997, as she notes here, limited to a sing-speak kind of voice. She’s now concentrated on writing children’s books.


Sings for King George VI in 1948 (Aged 13)

12 year old Julie Andrews~Polonaise; Je suis Titania – Mignon

In my own little corner -Cinderella

A Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Mary Poppins

The Sound of Music

My Favorite Things – “The Sound of Music”

Edelweiss -The Sound of Music (not the movie version)

The Bells of Christmas, noted at the time, correctly, as “one of the best new Christmas Carols to come along in years.”

Advent/Christmas stories and songs

A Charlie Brown Christmas almost never aired

Random FB pic


Jaquandor has been offering Your Daily Dose of Christmas.

About.com’s Top 100 Christmas songs

The Bells of Christmas by Julie Andrews from a Firestone tire LP I still own.

Nat King Cole -The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)

Snow from White Christmas (Bing Crosby, et al).

The Dream Isaiah Saw, plus the backstory of the song, the lyrics and another rendition.

Tamale Christmas by Joe King Carrasco

SamuraiFrog’s contributions include Good King Wenceslas and the original Santa, Baby, as well as my favorite, A Christmas Carol by Tom Lehrer. But you should READ what he has to say about It Feels Like Christmas.

Eddie, the Renaissance Geek’s usual offering.

A Moose in a Maple Tree – The All Canadian 12 Days of Christmas

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer in Latin, set to plainsong.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen if it were played in a spaghetti western

The Beatles’ Christmas Record 1963

Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (Full Album)

A very Coverville Christmas 2013; I especially enjoyed the Led Zeppelin.

dj BC writes, “I just dropped Santastic 8, the 8th annual Holiday mashup album in the series … This year we offer 14 new Christmas mashups and one old one which was reissued because it is great and it matches the album cover so well.

A goldmine of mostly very obscure, very bad seasonal music! Examples: a surfing Little Drummer Boy; a Jimi Hendrix version of Auld Lang Syne; and the truly awful Debbie’s Last Christmas.


NORAD Tracks Santa Command Video 2013

The Bear and the Hare

That WestJet ad

Peanuts, 1966 and Peanuts, 1967 and Peanuts, 1968; in a similar vein, Off the Mark.

1966 CBS promo I remember watching at the time

Varicolored Christmas ChemisTREE

You do not want your school Christmas party to go like this.

Vintage Christmas cards; he’s gotten more, but this was the first one.


Sharp Little Pencil: The Advent of the Adventure and Christmas Traditions.

Why NORAD tracks Santa

Yes, Megyn Kelly, Santa Can Be Black (and Jesus, Too), assuming Santa is real. Oh, Megyn was just kidding…

The White House has NOT decreed that its 2013 Christmas trees will be referred to as ‘Holiday trees’. So are you being persecuted?

Arthur’s wonderful Christmastime.

Fred Hembeck’s tote of notable holiday gifts connected to the comics medium

A Charlie Brown Christmas almost never aired.

MOVIE REVIEW: Mary Poppins

The highlight for me was the dancing of the chimney sweeps to Step In Time; incredible!


The day after Christmas, the Palace Theatre, a once-and-again-classic Albany movie theater from the 1930s with a fascinating past, was showing the 1964 movie Mary Poppins at 3 p.m., preceded by activities for children. We pretty much missed the activities, such as posing with a young woman dressed as Ms. Poppins, because I was still moving slowly from whatever bug was paining me.

My wife decided that we should go up to the balcony, which I thought was an intriguing idea; it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a film from there. At some point, Ms. Poppins took the stage and announced the winners of a couple of drawings. Then there was a 10-minute drive-in movie theater intermission countdown that looked EXACTLY like this, only the full 600 minutes long. Then we got a short, Pecos Pest, a Tom and Jerry cartoon about the mouse’s guitar-playing Uncle Pecos terrorizing the feline.

Then our feature began. This was DEFINITELY a film, as opposed to some digital version. For one thing, there were three or four pops/skips, a couple of which unfortunately appeared during songs early on. For another, the second reel was much more orange-tinted than the prior or subsequent part of the film. Rather than annoyed, I found it oddly charming.

Speaking of odd, this was the first I had actually seen the movie. Oh, I’d viewed various segments over time. And I had read book adaptations to the Daughter. But I was unaware of the subplot involving women’s suffrage that Mrs. Banks (Glynis Johns, who I remember from a short-lived CBS fall 1963 sitcom called Glynis) was involved with. The guy with the cannon on a neighboring roof? New to me. But I must have seen the end of the film on TV, for I clearly recall the anagrammed name of the old banker changing to the actor who actually played him.

Julie Andrews was wonderful in this, of course, though Mary Poppins is sterner than I would have suspected. The songs by the Sherman brothers were infectious, especially, for the Daughter, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The first song A British Bank, though, reminded me greatly of the With a Little Bit of Luck from My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe from about a decade earlier.

But the highlight for me was the dancing of the chimney sweeps to Step In Time; incredible! Indeed, my admiration for Dick van Dyke, already quite high, increased greatly.

One last bit: the tickets cost $5 each for The Wife and me, $3 for the Daughter, purchased at the box office. But, had we bought them online, it would have cost $23 more!

A good time.

Christmas 2011

The Bells of Christmas may be my favorite recording of a Christmas song ever.

Merry Christmas! It’s a Sunday morning and I’ll be going to church, but our choir is not singing; we sang on Christmas Eve, but not Christmas Day, which is fine by me. Besides, Santa is probably tired from putting presents under the tree.

Somebody I once met was born on Christmas Day 1924, and that’s the late Rod Serling. My blogger buddy Gordon has been trying to institute his and Humphrey Bogart’s birthdays (b. 1899) as alternative holidays for “those who may be atheists, agnostics, or just plain tired of the usual thing.” Don’t know how that’s working out.

Speaking of Serling, I reviewed his bio back in October, and I was thrilled to find that the book’s author, Joel Engel, commented on my post! Check it out.

And as for that OTHER holiday today, here’s The Bells of Christmas and Joy to the World, both sung by Julie Andrews. The former may be my favorite recording of a Christmas song ever; the latter recording pops as though it’s from that original Firestone tire LP that I owned as a kid, and in fact still own.

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