Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, December 8, 2016

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: GOOD ROCKIN BOOGIE

Sleepy LaBeef, the great rockabilly artist, was born in Slackover, Arkansas, the youngest of ten children raised on a melon farm.  If that isn't quintessential rockabilly, I don't know what is.  Known for having a standard repertoire of over a thousand songs.  At age 76, he still performs over 200 shows a year and (I can testify) his shows crackle!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQZ4EZgvtg4

OLD-TIME RADIO: THE ADVENTURES OF THE FALCON

Gay Stanhope Falcon, freelance adventurer and troubleshooter, was created by Michael Arlen in his 1940 short story "Gay Falcon."  The character was picked up by the movies and starred in a long series of films beginning in 1941 and featuring first George Sanders, then his brother Tom Conway, in the title role.  In 1943, Arlen's Falcon came to radioa ten-year radio run...sort of.  This time the Falcon is named Michael Waring, an insurance investigator based on the character created by Drexel Drake.  (The producers of the radio show were quick to point that this Falcon was based on Drake's character, but they weren't above hinting that he was also the character from the RKO film series.  These producers would have have a great career in today's politics.)  this Falcon spawned three low-budget films and a short-lived television series in which the Falcon was now a "famous undercover agent."

From December 17, 1950, here's "The Case of the Baby Brother".

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTEeLZnLflI&index=96&list=PLUPzuqM73HR8VuIFVqjxI8eh9XZsrVQa_

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

On his blog today, George Kelley looked at Tenderly:  The Rosemary Clooney Musical.  It's been a while since I listen to her great voice.  So...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NZs8Frsa6I

BAD JOKE WEDNESDAY

What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?

A nervous wreck.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: OH, PRETTY WOMAN

The great Roy Orbison, back up by...well, pretty much everyone!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PLq0_7k1jk

OVERLOOKED FILM: THE VAMPIRE'S GHOST (1945)

Leigh Brackett was a talent of many parts.  As a writer she was the queen of planetary adventure, a mentor of Ray Bradbury, a Spur Award-winning western author, a ghost for actor George Sanders, creator of nuanced classic science fiction, and exemplar of the hard-boiled mystery.  As a screenwriter she wrote the 1946 classic The Big Sleep (with William Faulkner [!] and Jules Furthman), as well as writing (or co-writing) Rio Bravo (and its red-headed stepchild Rio Lobo), Hatari, The Long Goodbye, and The Empire Strikes Back, among others.

Brackett's first film was The Vampire's Ghost, co-written with veteran pulpster and B-movie scripter John K. Butler, from a story by Brackett.  

Webb Fallon runs a bar in a backwater port in the small African county.  Unknown to the natives, Fallon is a world-weary 400-year-old vampire.  Four hundred years of living alone can have a toll on a person and Fallon is seeking a bride.  And who better than young Julie Vance to add a bit of eye candy to this vampire/voodoo mashup?

The Vampire's Ghost was a low-budget Republic flick, complete with painted backdrops, African natives with cafe au lait-colored skin. and an Africa that strangely looks like California.  But this one rises far above the crowd with its innovative touches, unusual plot, and great acting.  John Abbott (The Jungle Book, Gigi, Mrs. Miniver) plays Fallon, the evil and somehow sypathetic vampire.  The lovely Peggy Stewart (The Tiger Woman, Son of Zorro, Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw -- and the former wife of Don "Red" Barry) is the lovely Julie Vance, with Emmett Vogan (San Quentin, The Mummy's Ghost, The Mummy's Tomb) playing her father.  Also in the cast were Charles Gordon as the stalwart boyfriend, oft-time western "heavy" Roy Barcroft as the missionary priest, Sexy blonde singer/dancer/pin-up girl (and future Mrs. Roy Huggins) Adele Mara does a dance designed to stir teen-age libidos.

An unsung gem and a great start to Brackett's film career.

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_nH4M2Uhh8&t=1347s