Movies 'Til Dawn Blog


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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What the hell are Bette Davis, Dick Powell, Warren William, Joan Blondell, Ruth Donnely and Preston Foster doing in an informercial for General Electric products shot in 1933? The answer is: I haven’t the foggiest idea. I never heard of this little weirdie until stumbling upon it this afternoon, deep

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Salvador Dali V. ‘What’s My Line?’

If there need be any proof that the ancient and still-charming TV game show ‘What’s My Line’ was as fixed as other quiz shows of the period (and I know that’s a burning question in most people’s minds), then the above excerpt of an episode featuring Salvador Dali will answer

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Here’s Don Rickles doing three minutes of ‘Sinatra Is A Gangster And We All Know It’ jokes for Frank’s 80th birthday concert. I can’t tell if Frank is really amused or if he’s out of it but knows he’s supposed to be smiling and laughing. Probably the latter as Frank

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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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JITTER BUGHOUSE; A JOE DE RITA MASH-UP The Columbia Short Subjects department of the 1930s-50s will remain immortal, of course, for being the home of the Three Stooges. But many other comics had series of their own, most have which went straight from the theaters to the home for old crappy movies. They didn’t seem to

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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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