The other day on the street, I could swear I heard someone call out “Jimmy McGregor,” and so I immediately thought of this song, which I hadn’t heard in years. One of the most interesting songs lyrically and musically on a Peter, Paul, and Mary album; it’s sung and written by “Paul,” that is, Noel Stookey.
In glorious vinyl, complete with comforting scratches at regular intervals.
If ever there was an immortal movie monster, it was Frankenstein, or more correctly Frankenstein’s monster. And of course the role of the monster was originally played by Boris Karloff who starred in scores of horror films. A new film documentary, Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster explores just who this amazing actor was. I was happy to interview filmmakers Thomas Hamilton and Ron MacCloskey about Karloff and their film.
Click the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the interview, as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC, and Pacifica stations across the country.
A delightful dance from The Birmingham Royal Ballet in David Bintley’s Hobson’s Choice, about the three daughters of a shoestore owner. With Stephen Wicks as Albert Prosser and Chenca Williams as Alice Hobson.
Comedian Art Metrano died this month. You can see his most famous routine here. The name of the ultra-annoying show-biz tune Metrano hums incessantly in the background is actually a lovely song called “Fine and Dandy.” Anita O’Day shows just how fine and dandy the song can be.
Fun fact: The music for “Fine and Dandy” was written by Kay Swift, but the lyrics were written by Swift’s husband, James Paul Warburg, who was a banker and financial advisor to FDR, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations who wrote about nuclear disarmament issues. He wrote the lyrics to “Fine and Dandy” under the pseudonym of Paul James.
Further Fun Fact: Warburg divorced Swift because she had been having a long-term affair with George Gershwin.
In the face of immediate public loss and public mourning, how does a society know when it’s okay to return to normal interactions? And especially if you’re a professional comedian, how do you know when it’s no longer “Too Soon”? I was happy to be talking with Nick Scown, the director of Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11, a film about the aftermath of 9/11, and its impact on comedy and professional jokesters. Also joining Nick in the conversation are two comedians featured in the film, Maz Jobrani and Ahmed Ahmed.
Click the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the interview,as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC, and Pacifica stations across the country.
More and more today’s world is looking Kafkaesque, so I thought this week we’d go back to the original. The Franz Kafka’s short story, “A Hunger Artist,” was published in final form in 1924. In it, Kafka tells a tale that almost any artist today can identify with. Kafka edited the story on his death bed as he lay dying from tuberculosis at the age of 40.
Click on the grey triangle or mp3 link above to hear the story, which I adapted and performed, broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the country.
These little guys had me puzzled–so many sandpipers look alike to me! But when they did a short flight, they gave themselves away: their white rumps in flight marked them as–what else?–White-rumped Sandpipers. A first for me.
I thought this was really fascinating: Bob Dylan, clearly out of his element, singing a song not his own, but wanting to contribute to this charity release. He seems to me scared, humble, and persistent. Fun seeing him around Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie and Quincey Jones.
Some fifteen years ago the art world was aghast over what was called the biggest discovery of the 21st century: a newly found painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. Originally bought for about $1000, it eventually sold at auction for an astounding record breaking 450 million Euros. But was all what it seemed? Was the painting really by Da Vinci? And who was the mysterious buyer? And who were the shadowy middle men and agents taking their cuts? Was the whole art world just one large international scam operation? In a fascinating new documentary film, Savior For Sale: Da Vinci’s Lost Masterpiece? the full tangled story is explored. I was happy to interview the director and writer of Savior For Sale, filmmaker Antoine Vitkine.
Click the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my interview with Antoine, as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC, and Pacifica stations across the country.