Movies 'Til Dawn Blog


Merv Griffin–talk show host, game show creator, media mogul, hotel and resort tycoon–was my first late-night talk show host. That’s because he wasn’t on late-night. He was on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles at 9PM. So as a ten year old obsessed with show-biz I was able to stay

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‘DIRECTORS UNPLUGGED’ A BOGDANOVICH/DE FELITTA JOINT? NOTE: FOR SOME REASON THE ABOVE VIDEO HAS BEEN BLOCKED FOR VIEWING ON OTHER WEBSITES SO SIMPLY GO TO YOUTUBE (CLICK ABOVE LINK) AND WATCH IT DIRECTLY.  *********** Shortly after I met Peter Bogdanovich at a party I gave in 2002 (actually about 20 minutes after we met) we discovered that

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RICHARD PRYOR SINGS? Who’d a thunk? He’s good too! Let’s consider this a week of videos featuring people singing skillfully who really ought not to be singing at all (see previous post). Next up is Earl Holliman…

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In 2002, my new friend Peter Bogdanovich and I decided to make a CD of songs from the American popular songbook. We both loved the standards from the 30s/40s/50s and Peter was, believe it or not, a pretty good singer. We’d been getting together at my apartment for the past

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Even though I’ve loved Ray Charles forever it somehow eluded me that he played clean, swinging and funk-infused bop piano and did so in depth on a 1957 album called ‘The Great Ray Charles’ (Atlantic, 1957). Here’s ‘The Ray’, by Quincy Jones, the opening track and the one that sets

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I find every second of this thirteen minute clip of Ray Charles rehearsing ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ with an orchestra that he’s clearly never worked with before absolutely mesmerizing. Charles’ clarity and precision with what he wants (needs, really) from the band and his direct and not

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Here’s a terrific twelve minute excerpt of a 1972 Flip Wilson show with the Jackson 5 as his guests. You get the family participating with Flip in a fairly tame ice-cream based sketch which is then followed by two terrific Jackson family performances. Enough has been said about the freaky

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I was watching a 1973 Johnny Carson show last night (at 11:30, natch) and the guest was Flip Wilson. Immediately I heard the Flip Wilson Show theme in my head and the damn thing has been stuck there ever since. The lead trumpet melody line invaded my dreams and has

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The Comedian-Pianist Victor Borge, indescribably famous and beloved in his day, is–as far as I can tell–almost completely forgotten. His concerts–most of them televised in the 1950s/60s–and guest appearances on various TV variety shows gave him a platform to do an act that nobody else did; ‘comedy with music’ as

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‘SEND IN A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC’; A SONDHEIM-WEBBER MASH-UP Here’s a thoroughly charming vid/cip of Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber doing a piano/vocal duet at a tribute to Cameron Mackintosh. The number is a mash-up of ‘Send In The Clowns’ and ‘Music Of The Night’ with special lyrics by Sondheim celebrating Mackintosh, the best line of which is

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Take a ride down the Sunset Strip in 1963 and enjoy the cool cars and the already sickening smog. My favorite liquor store, Gil Turner's, was already in business. #HollywoodHills #LosAngeles

Take a trip down the Sunset Strip, heading east and facing south, in 1967. I can smell the rib joint that was on the SE corner of Crescent Heights. Anyone know what I'm referring too? #SunsetStrip317 #Hollywood #LosAngeles #60s

What do Duke Ellington and Cinerama have in common? Find out in this quite fascinating (if I do say so myself) blog entry that I wrote in--yikes--2007. It includes the incredibly strange and beautiful short 'Symphony In Black'. #Jazz #TCM #Cinema

Dig Rick Moranis doing his wicked Merv Griffin impression in this sketch from the immortal SCTV NBC late night show of the early 80s. Guest appearances by Liberace, Loni Anderson and Yasser Arafat. #television #comedy #Mimicry

I had no idea that Merv Griffin interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his show in 1967? Did you? A must-watch clip. #television #ClassicTV #MLKDay #MLK #BlackLivesMatter

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