Monday, January 14, 2019

"Star Trek" and "The Gallant Hours" (With Respect To Gene Roddenberry)

Did you ever have one of those days where you just want to say "Beam me up, Scottie. No intelligent life here!"   Maybe you watch the news and feel as if you want to respond (in a deep voice, of course) "That is not logical."  If so, you might be a Star Trek fan! 

Star Trek was first shown on TV in 1966 and was only on for three seasons but became quite popular when it was shown in syndication. Gene Roddenberry was the creator behind the series and I have read that he was inspired by "Horation Hornblower", Gulliver's Travels" and the TV Western "Wagon Train."   Might I suggest that he also might have been influenced by a film called "The Gallant Hours"?  Have you ever seen it?  It is a film with James Cagney playing the part of Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr.  (He is most well known as Admiral "Bull" Halsey, ) As I watched this film, with the magnificent Jimmy Cagney playing the Admiral interacting with his crew...I had a strong sense of deja vu.  It was very much like Captain Kirk on the Starship Enterprise!  Wait...wasn't Gene Roddenberry in World War II?  And wasn't he in the South Pacific?  I looked it up and yes, he served there in the war...
I do wonder if it could be possible that he also liked "The Gallant Hours" as much as I did and maybe, this film might have given the idea to the characters that he created.   When I say to you that it is an unusual war movie, not really any big war scenes to speak of...rather it is the people that you remember. (And the music, the soundtrack is unusual but most effective.)   Oh dear, I hope I am explaining this to you properly!   You see, Star Trek is that way...the old TV series had the funniest old fake rocks and laughable special effects but it was the characters and the stories that you remembered. It was so wonderful to think of the crew from different countries (and even different planets!) and all still getting along.  (Well, most of the time anyway!)

Did you know that the actress who played the communications officer, Lt. Uhura, felt that she was thinking about leaving the show in order to concentrate on her singing career?  She didn't because Martin Luther King, Jr. contacted her and told her to to stay right where she was that important for the American public to see a character like hers, a person of color, in one of the few non-stereotypical roles on TV at that time.

                 English joke (you must say this in an English accent):
How many ears does Captain Kirk have?  
He has 3...the left ear, the right ear...and the final front ear! (Frontier)    

I am sure that you are wondering what song will I choose to go with this post...and you might think that I will give you the "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" song by Paul McCartney but NO! That would be too obvious!  By coincidence, I was singing a song this just popped into my head and a jolly good song it is too.  "Only You" by the Platters. (Please click on the link and listen to it! It is marvelous!)  The lead singer is Tony Williams and I looked him just so happens that he was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  When I was looking up the background on Admiral Halsey, can you believe it...he was also born in Elizabeth, New Jersey!  Doesn't make a bit a difference really, but if you look for them, you can always find connections, lives interwoven with other lives in the smallest of ways.

Oh! And just thought of telling you funny to me...the actor who played the doctor on Star Trek, DeForrest Kelley? HE was born in Toccoa, GA and lived in Conyers, GA! (Just like me, if you notice.) See, we are all connected, I tell ya...if you don't think so, give me a minute and I will find it for you, you know I will.

Now, I hope that you will search out "The Gallant Hours" and then, that you will ponder my great wisdom from my years of watching TV! For the wonderful fans of Star Trek (I am thinking of you, Meike!) I wish that I could have written a bit more eloquently about a TV show that is near and dear to your heart. 

Hope you are all doing well.   I have a sunflower just now as my header photo.  Not sure about you but I felt the need for it!
LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!  (Can you do the Vulcan salute? You know I can.)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)- Roger Miller

Songwriting!  By now, you must know how much I admire those who write songs, whether it be music or lyrics or both! One of the many songwriters that I admire is a man by the name of Roger Miller. Remember him? He had big hits with "King of the Road" and "England Swings" in the 1960's. I loved the songs that he wrote and sang in the 1973 Disney film "Robin Hood"! And if you remember, he also did the narration for that movie! Many of his songs were humorous "You Can't Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd" but if you search carefully, you will find that he truly was a genius at songwriting and I think should be honored for this.  (Sadly, he died in 1992.)
 Roger Miller was a great friend of Glen Campbell. On Glen's last album, "Adios", one of the tracks is "Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)" and it was written by Mr. Roger Miller.  (In fact, his wife had a cassette recording of Glen and Roger singing this song together, and it is included on this CD!)  It is a very good song but I must say, until I got this CD by Glen Campbell, I had never heard of it. (Can't find the song to put on this post, but if you search for it, I think you will like it.)

Looking a bit further, I see that there was an album released this past August in tribute to Roger Miller! Those featured on the album include Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ringo Starr, Brenda Lee, Kris Kristofferson and many others!  How could this happen and I knew nothing about it?  Do you sometimes feel like you are the last one to know about something? (Am I All Alone...Or Is It Only Me?)  You know I had to say it!

Instead of giving you a clip from the tribute album, I found his son,  Dean Miller, singing "King of the Road" from one of my Dad's favorite TV shows, "Country's Family Reunion"! I love how he speaks of his father before the song...that his father left behind  "a legacy of JOY".  

This is my first post for 2019.  Gee, I hope I get myself a bit more organized so that I can spend more time on my blog!  Y'all know I have a lot to tell you about!  

 Yes, I have been known to take photos of packages if I find them amusing.  Richard does too! One must find amusement where one can!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Out My Backdoor (And Front Door!) Happy New Year!

Now, I am not saying that I am looking rough these days but look at what I saw looking down at me from a tall tree in my backyard!
(Some people would call this a buzzard but since you all know that I know my birds, it is a turkey vulture.) One does not always look one's best after an illness...I keep telling myself that! (I don't really speak that way, I have been watching too many British TV shows! HA!)

What are you seeing out your door or window these days? Do tell!

Our house faces east, so we sometimes have some gorgeous sunrises.  This is the view from our front door!

2019...TWO OH ONE NINE...Hope it is mighty fine!
Let's have a song...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas, Don't Be Late by Ross Bagdasarian (David Seville)

"Christmas, Don't Be Late  (The Chipmunk Song)" was written by Ross Bagdasarian. His cousin was the famous novelist William Saroyan.  Rostom "Ross" Bagdasarian is better known by his stage name of David Seville. Both of these men were Armenian-Americans and this means a lot to me since my son's girlfriend is from Armenia. Now, the song is most known as being sung by the cartoon Chipmunks-Simon, Theodore, and ALVIN, which were created by the aforementioned Mr. Bagdasarian!
 (Funny fact, Ross Bagdasarian named them after the executives from the record company that produced his records.)

Now, this Christmas my son let me know that he realized the song in 3/4 time and is therefore a WALTZ! Also, he realized that it was a very pretty tune.  There, you see...I always knew I loved this song!  I ADORE waltzes!  Christopher found a piano version of this I have it for you here.  Enjoy!

Hope you are all having lovely times with your family and friends. Blessings to you all!   (And I am still wanting that hula-hoop!)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Lyrics by Charles Wesley)

One of my favorite songs at Christmas (and you do know I love so many of them, don't you?) is "Hark The Herald Angels Sing".  The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley.  The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, I am sure that you know who they are!  They were both born in Epworth, England -  John in 1703 and Charles in 1707. John Wesley is considered the father of Methodism and you should know the name of Charles Wesley as the author of thousands of poems that were set to music. (Yes, you read that correctly, thousands of them. I have read 5000 or 6000. Regardless of the number, the quality of his writing is what truly impresses me.)

They were Anglicans of course, but they were called Methodists by their fellow students at Oxford due to their methodical approach to Bible study and daily prayer. (They never left the Anglican church but they were not allowed to preach in Anglican churches due to their evangelical ways. Instead, they preached in barns, private homes and outside, under the trees.)

John and Charles Wesley both traveled to Georgia in 1735 as missionaries! (John in Savannah and Charles at St. Simon's Island.) Things didn't go so well for them though and they returned to England.  I wish I could make a film about the Wesley brothers.  Then, I would have to do a follow up film about their mother, Susanna!  What an amazing woman.  It was their mother who educated her children, their father...well, their upbringing mainly fell to Susanna.  She had 19 children with nine of them dying as infants.  

The son of Charles Wesley is Samuel Wesley and he is known as the English Mozart! He was a child prodigy in music and from what I have read, we owe a lot to him since he was an early fan of Johann Sebastian Bach.  (He named his son Samuel Sebastian.)
Oh dear, that will have to be my THIRD movie that I make about the Wesleys!

Now, my friends, I have dozens of things to do before Christmas...and I am sorry if all of these facts might be a bit jumbled in my head!( My advice to you: don't be sick for a whole month before Christmas, it makes things very tough!) Please know that I wish all of you a most joyous Christmas and I am sending you all my best!
Leaving you with one of the verses from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"...   LIGHT AND LIFE!

  1. Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings,
    Ris’n with healing in His wings.
    Mild He lays His glory by,
    Born that man no more may die;
    Born to raise the sons of earth,
    Born to give them second birth.

                   Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Where Did You Meet? (At A Bus Stop, Under An Umbrella?)

Recently, I said this to a couple  - "How did y'all meet?"
Smiling, they told us that they first met at a bus stop while it was raining and they had shared an umbrella.  This couple is from Armenia and they didn't know the song that instantly sprang to my mind. (I hope they will see it here now!) If you don't know the song, "Bus Stop" by the Hollies, which was a big hit in 1966, then I hope you will listen to it now! 

The lead singer on that song was Allan Clarke and I just found the most wonderful interview with him!  It has so much background information about the songs from the Hollies. If you are interested, you may click on his name that I have below and you can read it too.

Allan Clarke 

I knew that Graham Nash (you know, from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young?) was with the Hollies in the early days but what I did not know was that Graham Nash had been good friends with Allan Clarke since they were school kids, when they were only six years old!  Oh goodness me, things like that just tickle me no end!

Richard was in England in December of last year and he took some photos from the pier in Eastbourne.  Isn't this beautiful? Richard and I actually met for the first time when I visited London in May of 1981.  I told him to meet me in the lobby of the hotel where my sister and I were staying.  Why didn't I think of some romantic spot, like on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral or beside the Thames near the Houses of Parliament? I am just not the romantic type, I guess!  So, if you are married or have a romantic partner, how did you meet?  Do tell!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Apple Ad With Elvis Impersonators (There's Always Me)

Elvis Lives!  At least as long as we have his music and men who like to impersonate him!  I really like this latest ad from Apple with Elvis impersonators from around the globe communicating with each other on Group Facetime on their IPhones. The ad is called "A Little Company.".  Instead of making fun of those who imitate Elvis (which usually happens) this ad presents them in a very respectful manner.  Anybody else enjoy this ad as much as I do?

You will never guess...I looked this up and the ad is from Dougal Wilson, a director of commercials and music videos and he is from England! (Always goes back to England for me, somehow.) His bio says that he was born in Heswall, England. I had no idea where that could be so I looked that up is a town on the Wirral, near Liverpool!  One of my blogging friends lives in Wirral, so that tickled me to discover this!  (John and brother Graham, I hope y'all see this post!)   Dougal Wilson   There, if you click on his name, it will take you to his site "Furlined" and once there, you will see this Elvis ad along with an ad with children singing "Bohemian Rhapsody."  Make SURE you go to see it, you will thank me! It is amazing too!  There are other ads there also and they are all simply little masterpieces of film.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.  (The Ikea funny!)

In case anyone wants to hear the real Elvis sing this song, I have it for you too.  "There's Always Me".  It was originally recorded on June  17, 1961 on his album, "Something for Everybody". 

P.S.  I have been known for singing "Happy Birthday" like Elvis, so Elvis impersonators are dear to me! If no one ever wants to imitate you, Elvis...there's always me!  

Elvis lives!