The recently deceased actor David McCallum was born into a serious musical family–his father was an accomplished enough violinist to be named first chair (and thus technical leader) of the London Philharmonic. McCallum himself was trained as as Oboe player before stumbling (so it seems) into his career as an actor/sex-symbol/icon. With his sudden and unexpected stardom in ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ came the opportunity for him to indulge in a little vanity music making. Unlike Jerry Lewis, William Shatner and other stars who used their celebrity to foist unnecessary music onto their unsuspecting audiences, McCallum didn’t sing and was, as mentioned, actually a musician. The LPs he made feature him as a conductor, leading large easy listening style orchestras in ‘impressions’ of modern pop tunes. I never knew this about him and am just starting to scratch the surface of this piece of the McCallum oeuvre. So far I find it interesting if a bit…indecisive. I’m not entirely sure of the point of what I’m listening to is but maybe that’s the point? By the way, from what has been printed about McCallum over the past few days he seems to have been a remarkably positive, peaceful and optimistic man, even going so far as to declare that he had no hard feelings toward Charles Bronson after Bronson stole McCallum’s first wife, the actress Jill Ireland. (Perhaps McCallum was looking to move on anyway?) The last line of his New York Times obit says it all: ‘I’ve never gotten fed up with anything in life.’ What a pleasure to hear somebody say that–especially somebody in show-biz!


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