Monday, February 8, 2016

Gung Hay Fat Choy, 2016 -- February 8, 2016
Today is the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Monkey.  Here is Buster Keaton with his co-star in The Cameraman, Josephine.  Josephine was a remarkably talented little monkey. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dan Hicks, RIP -- February 7, 2016

I was sad to learn that Dan Hicks has passed on.  I have always enjoyed his work.  And he was a great dresser.
He started out as the drummer for the Charlatans, the first pschedelic band.  I always enjoyed reading about their tenure at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City.

He did my favorite work with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.

The Second Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon -- February 7, 2016

Lea at hosting the Second Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon.  Last year I wrote about Buster Keaton's time in vaudeville: The 3-4-5 Keatons.  This year I decided to write about a question that has bothered me since I first read about Buster's life.  When he left the family act, he signed up to play in a Broadway review, The Passing Show of 1917.  I immediately wondered what was The Passing Show of 1917, but when I was a kid, I couldn't find much about it.  Buster left the show before or during rehearsals and went into the movies.  Good thing. 

Now I know about the show.  Read about Buster Keaton and the Passing Show of 1917 on my other blog.  .

Life, 10-May-1917

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maurice White, RIP -- February 6, 2016

We're losing too many great musicians.  Maurice White, lead singer of Earth, Wind and Fire, has passed away.  Earth, Wind and Fire's music was played at all school dances.  My wife and I have many happy memories.  We are grateful to Maurice White and his bandmates for them.

Friday, February 5, 2016

News of the Week February 5, 1916 -- February 5, 2016

The 05-February-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"War scenes taken near Cettinje, Montenegro, from which city King Nicholas fled recently.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  Montenegro was on the Allied side.  Austria-Hungary occupied the country on 14-January-1916.  King Nicholas went into exile, never to return.

"Denver's new postoffice (sic), just completed by the government.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  Now known as the Byron White Post Office, the building opened in January, 1916 after six years of construction. 

"Scenes of the recent riot at Youngstown, Ohio. Copyright, 1916, Mutual Weekly."  We saw this last year.  Steelworkers at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company went on strike because of intolerable working conditions and starvation wages.  The workers made $500 a year while the company paid a 12 percent dividend.

"Uncle Sam's latest dreadnaught, the oil burning U. S. S. 'Oklahoma,' on trial trip.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  USS Oklamoma (BB-37) was commissioned in 1916.  On 07-December-1941, she sank during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. 

"Winners of the Denver, Colo., dog show display no love for each other.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  I can't find much about the history of the Denver Dog Show, but it appears to be going on today. 

"A view of the havoc wrought by the great storm near San Francisco.  Copyright, 1916, Mutual Weekly."  This time of year we often get great storms around San Francisco. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Race Records -- February 3, 2016

Talking Machine World, March, 1928

Okeh made many records aimed at minority groups.  These were often referred to as "race records."  Jazz and blues artists Louis Armstrong and Victoria Spivey made many records for the company.  Okeh also produced dance records and operatic records.

Texas Alexander was a guitar playing blues singer.

I can't find much about Blue Belle.  Her original name was Bessie Mae Smith.  She may have recorded using a number of names.  Here is Blind Blake's version of "Boa Constrictor Blues."

I can't find much about Mark Fisher either.  Here is organist Jesse Crawford's version of "Baby Feet Go Pitter Patter." 

Seger Ellis played the piano and sang.  His style is an acquired taste.  I haven't acquired it. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day 2016 -- February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone.  This groundhog does not look very happy.  For some reason he reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock.