If I Only Had A Brain

Ray Bolger and Judy Garland, 25 years after their first meeting as The Scarecrow and Dorothy Gale from Kansas.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber The Vintage Archive

April Showers

 In this issue:

** Comedian/actress Margaret Cho talks with Prairie Miller about Anti-Asian racism and more

** Paul Robeson re-imagined in an excerpt from actor/playwright Tayo Aluko ‘s Paul Robeson’s Love Song

** Poet Paul Hostovsky with his humorous and trenchant poems.

** Photos from the larger-than-life Garden of Sculpture

And much more!

Click here to view online:

April 2021 Newsletter

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Voice Of America

Is the most famous and recognizable voice in America that of Homer Simpson? Or is it Krusty the Clown, Grandpa Simpson, or Willie the Groundskeeper? Voice actor Dan Castellaneta gives voice to all of them in this interview on the Conan O’Brien show.

Thanks to YouTuber Team Coco

AMORALMAN: A True Story And Other Lies

Derek DelGaudio, whose theater piece, In & Of Itself was an unlikely hit, has turned that audience-centric play into a film with the help of director Frank Oz. DelGaudio has just published a memoir of his life as a card mechanic, called AMORALMAN: A True Story and Other Lies and it continues with DelGaudio’s obsession with identity and reality.

Click the triangle or MP3 link above to hear my commentary on both the film In & Of Itself and AMORALMAN, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI-FM NY and Pacifica affiliates across the country.

March Madness

In our latest Arts Express Newsletter:

*Erin Brockovich, the great environmental activist, talks about her new book on how to do grassroots organizing.

*American-Canadian poet Molly Peacock offers up a plateful of playful and provocative poetry

*Artist Vivienne Shalom mesmerizes with her mosaics and acrylic paintings.

and much more!

Click here to view online:

March 2021 Newsletter

And if you like what you see, get your free subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

February’s Feast

Celebrating our second year of publication!
Another great free issue of the Arts Express Newsletter

*Why was this Arts Express interview censored from YouTube with no explanation?…… An Arts Express Special featuring an extraordinary interview with Mike Africa Jr., member of the radical MOVE organization. He is also the subject of a new documentary about his parents, 40 Years A Prisoner.

*Art At A Time Like This presents a multi-borough billboard exhibition, “Ministry of Truth 1984/2020,” exploring issues of propaganda, censorship, and racial injustice in our present time.

*Dennis Broe on depictions of working-class families in recent television series.

*and much more!

Get your free copy and free subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

Dancing Through Tap History: Rusty Frank

Our friend of the blog, Dennis Mayne, wrote me and said that since I like tap dancers so much I just had to read Rusty Frank’s book, TAP!: The Greatest Tap Dance Stars & Their Stories, where she interviewed all the tap dancing legends! Well, I got the book, and for the last month every morning with my coffee I have been delightedly reading these wonderful primary source interviews with Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Hermes Pan, Shirley Temple, Ann Miller and so many more. Fortunately I was able to contact Rusty and we had a delightful interview about her book and she even gave me a little on-air tap dancing lesson!

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my interview with Rusty Frank as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

January Jots

Celebrating our second year of publication!
Another great free issue of the Arts Express Newsletter

*The Arts Express crew reveal their Favorite Films of the Year

*Featuring the new film about 1968 Olympic winner Tommie Smith who raised his fist in a Black Power salute

*Journalist/artist Liza Béar updates her extraordinary report on Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara

*and much more!

Get your free copy and free subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

Fascinatin’ Rhythm: Eleanor Powell

And let’s end the year with this amazing clip of Eleanor Powell tap dancing. What she does, just from a percussion point of view, is incredible. I recently interviewed tap dancer Rusty Frank, a tap dance historian and preservationist, and a tap dancer herself, who maintains that it was the tap dancers who moved popular music forward with their taps. The innovative percussive rhythm steps of the tap dancers were picked up by the drummers, pianists and guitar players of the bands who in turn shaped the new ideas in music. Watch and listen to what Eleanor Powell does with this George Gershwin song from Lady Be Good. It’s a long way from “Tea for Two.”

Thanks to YouTuber Ms2doggies

Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas

Monday morning, Carson McKee makes with the crooning, and Josh Turner futzes with his guitar, performing one of my favorite Christmas songs.

And here’s some cheery news. It seems the original lyrics to the song were much darker, but Judy Garland who sung it originally in Meet Me in St. Louis, asked that the lyrics to the song be made more upbeat. Songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane changed the lyrics to the more upbeat ones heard today.

But for fun, here are the old nasty lyrics. I like them better:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
It may be your last.
Next year we may all be living in the past.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Pop that champagne cork.
Next year we may all be living in New York.
No good times like the olden days.
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who were dear to us.
Will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together.
If the Lord allows.
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

See https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/occasions/christmas/original-lyrics-have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas-judy-garland/ for more about the change in lyrics.

More Josh and Carson at Josh Turner Guitar

With Drawn Arms: Tommie Smith’s Olympic Win

In 1968, the winners of the Olympics 200 meter sprint, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, stunned the world when they stood on the winners’ stand and as the Star Spangled Banner played, they raised their black-gloved fists in an image that was destined to be remembered around the world and through time. Now Glenn Kaino, a noted artist, and Afshin Shahidi, a noted cinematographer and photographer, have documented the meaning and enduring  repercussions of that moment in a new documentary about Tommie Smith called With Drawn Arms.  I was happy to have spoken with the two co-directors of the film.

Click on the triangle or link above to hear my conversation with Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi as broadcast today on WBAI NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

December Dossier

*Director Lydia Pilcher of the Hard Hitting True Story of The Radium Girlsthe 1920s women who worked in the radium factories.

*Monumental Mistakes: Sherry Milner and Ernest Larsen’s Hilarious Satirical Serial Postcard Novel

*Dennis Broe on Today’s Noir Novel in Europe: Popular Novelists From France and Iceland

*Return of The Laugh Lounge!

Get your free copy and free subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

And Much More!

Free Voice Of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists

In 1980, Joel Sucher made a film called Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists, which was a portrait of immigrant life in the U.S. as seen through the eyes of sweatshop workers who made up the Jewish anarchist movement. Between 1900 and World War I, these Yiddish-speaking anarchists constituted an influential political movement affecting trade unions, newspapers, left-wing culture—and hysteria—in the US. Now 40 years later, that film has been re-released. I was happy to interview one of the original directors of Free Voice of Labor, Joel Sucher.

Click on the triangle or link above to hear my conversation with director Joel Sucher as broadcast today on WBAI NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Everybody Eats When They Come To My House: Cab Calloway

The heppest cat ever, Cab Calloway singing a post-Thanksgiving Song.

The song was written by Jeanne Burns who I could not find out too much about except that she was once briefly married to Broadway composer Harold Arlen’s younger brother, Jerry. In the thirties she was a big-band singer and also wrote songs for the Cotton Club revues.

Thanks to YouTuber UbiquitousLazar

Buster Makes A Break For It

It’s the concluding scenes from Buster Keaton’s The Scarecrow. (The opening scene was here).

Here’s what you need to know: Buster is being chased by the following: an overly friendly dog, his One True Love’s father, and his roommate, a rival for his Love’s affections.

There’s a Happy Ending!

Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story

In 2017, Mark Baumer an artist activist with all the energy of a young Jim Carrey, started walking across the United States, barefoot. His aim was to warn of the dangers of climate change, but came up against his own dangers. I spoke with Julie Sokolow, the director of a new documentary called Barefoot about that journey. In interviews and on-the-road footage she paints a portrait of an artist fighting to save the natural world he loved so much while grappling with his own need to find significance in his life.

Click on the triangle or link above to hear the interview as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio show over WBAI.org and Pacifica stations across the nation.

Uncle Moses: A 1930s Yiddish Anarchist Film

Here’s a remarkable 4 minute clip from a 1932 film, Uncle Moses, in Yiddish with English subtitles. The plot of the film is quite convoluted, but its depiction of class relations and militant immigrant workers is far more advanced than just about anything you’d see in a theatrical release today.

And is that Edward G. Robinson I thought I saw entering the room at about 3:23?

November Niceties

(Click the image above to go to our Arts Express Newsletter Facebook archive or see FREE subscription information below)

Another great issue of the Arts Express Newsletter!

*Prairie Miller talks with the multi-talented John Leguizamo about his new film Critical Thinking

*Connie Norgren shares some of her new poetry

*Jack Shalom gives his take on the late David Graeber’s book, Bullshit Jobs

*The Laugh Lounge: for all of us who need to have something to laugh about this year

And more!

To get a FREE subscription via email, simply send an email with the word “Subscribe” in the subject line to Artsexpresslist@gmail.com

Our Sixth Anniversary! Some Posts To Remember

I like to do a Favorites of the Year post on our blog’s birthday, so here are some of the interviews or written pieces which we enjoyed most over the past year that you may have missed, or may like to view again:

It’s The Thought That Counts: Simon Aronson, An Appreciation

“I Would Want To Drink Their Blood”: Welcome To Hell World, Luke O’Neil

Holiday Greetings, Magic Friends 2019

“How I Became A Socialist”: Jack London

What’s Important

“I Am Spartacus”: Kirk Douglas

The Great Debate

Shakespeare In A Divided America

The Fire This Time

The Deep End: Radical Writers of The 30s

Nora Brown, Old-time Banjo: “You Need To Connect”

“I Owe So Much To Those I Don’t Love”: Wisława Szymborska

“Being Adventurous Means Going To Places You Don’t Know Exist! “

The Bird Way

The Social Media Trap: The Social Dilemma

Halloween Tale: Revolt Of The Worms!

High Anxiety

Monday morning, while waiting for our Insect Overlords to choose our leaders, the rest of us chumps remain in a state of High Anxiety.

Kudos to Mr. Brooks for the perfect Sinatra phrasing and Nelson Riddle-like arrangement.

Thanks to Youtuber OST&Covers&so and Jeffrey St. Clair at Counterpunch for reminding me about this song.