Thursday, January 31, 2013
Birthdays: Gouverner Morris, Zane Grey, James G. Blaine*, Franz Schubert, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sir John Profumo, Phillip Glass, Johnny Rotten, Ernie Banks, Norman Mailer, Nolan Ryan, Susanne Pleshette, Anthony LaPaglia, Tallulah Bankhead, Jean Simmons, Justin Timberlake is 32, Portia DiRossi, Minnie Driver is 43, Carol Channing is 92. *James G. Blaine was a corrupt politician and failed Republican presidential candidate that Thomas Nast loved to make derogatory cartoons of. Today is the Feast day of St. John Bosco, patron saint of Catholic Schools. Happy National Dress up in a Gorilla Suit Day. First advocated by Don Martin, cartoonist for MAD Magazine. 1954- Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM Radio, driven to despair by constant lawsuits with RCA Corporation over his patents, jumped to his death out of a hotel window. He first put on his hat, overcoat and gloves because he didn't want to be cold...(?) Armstrong loved heights and used to climb hundreds of feet in the air to meditate on top of his radio antennas. By 1977 his family won all the lawsuits. Today, most radio, television and air traffic communications are by FM band. 1978- Polish director Roman Polanski fled the U.S. for exile after being charged for having sex with a thirteen year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s house. 1999- The first episode of Seth McFarlane’s show Family Guy premiered.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Birthdays: Barbara Tuchman, Walt “Moose” Dropo, Olaf Palme, , Dick Martin, Louis S. Rukeyser, Dorothy Malone, Boris Spassky, John Ireland, Phil Collins, Vanessa Redgrave is 76, Gene Hackman is 83, Christian Bale is 39, Former VP Dick Cheney is 73 1931- Hollywood Premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Later at a dance at the Biltmore Hotel writer Herman Mankewicz (Citizen Kane, Duck Soup) got into a drunken fistfight with producer David O. Selznick (Gone With the Wind, Rebecca). You’ll never eat turtle-soup in this town again! 1933- HI-YO SILVER!! The Lone Ranger debuts on Radio. The Masked man was invented by the WXYZ station owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker with absolutely no experience of cowboys or Indians. They just wanted a hero like Zorro with a strict moral code. He was later voiced by actor William Conrad who did the Rocky & Bullwinkle narration and the TV series Cannon. 1934- Artist Salvador Dali married Gala. 1956- Elvis Presley recorded Blue Suede Shoes. 1960- For years after the making of Fantasia, critics had pondered Igor Stravinsky's cryptic reaction to Disney's portrayal of his "Rite of Spring". Disney publicity said he was "speechless with admiration!" Today in a Saturday Review article, Stravinsky said Stokowski's editing of his music was 'execrable' and the visuals "an unresisting imbecility". His opinion still didn't stop him from selling the studio film rights to several other of his pieces including "The Firebird' in 1942. He needed the cash. 1961-H-B's the Yogi Bear Show. 1963- FIFTY YEARS AGO- MIT Grad student Ivan Sutherland published his thesis Sketchpad, the first animation software. For the first time, a computer could draw lines instead of just numbers. When students at the University of Utah like Ed Catmull, Nolan Bushnell and Jim Blinn were learning about CG. The first thing they were asked to read was Sutherland’s Sketchpad. Everything from Avatar, Buzz Lightyear and Mortal Combat results.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Birthdays: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thomas Paine, William Claude Dunkenfeld known as W.C. Fields, Victor Mature, Paddy Chayefsky, Tom Selleck is 67 , Ed Burns, Bill Peet, Greg Louganis, John D Rockefeller Jr., Claudine Longet, John Horsely (1817) the inventor of the Christmas Card-1842, Oprah Winfrey is 59, Heather Graham is 43. 1813- Jane Austin’s novel Pride and Prejudice first published. 1845- Edgar Allen Poe's poem the Raven first published. Nevermore. 1920- Walt gets a job. Nineteen year old Walt Disney and his buddy Ub Iwerks were hired by a local Kansas City commercial art studio to draw ads for newspapers and slides for theaters. 1936- Dictator Benito Mussolini lays the first stone of Cinecitta’ Movie Studios. 1957- Patsy Cline recorded "Walkin' After Midnight." 1959- Disney's " SLEEPING BEAUTY " opened. Despite earning the fifth highest box office for that year, it finished $5 million behind what it cost to make. The animation staff had swollen to it's largest to finish the production. It’s disappointing box office soured Walt Disney on feature animation. After the film was finished the studio had a massive layoff, dropping from 551 to just 75. Staff level will not return to these same levels until 1990. 1964- Stanley Kubrick's nuclear comedy "DR STRANGLOVE –OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB." premiered. It's use of hand held camera for action sequences and cutting inspired by the European New Wave ushered in a new style in Hollywood cinema. So, who was Tracey Reed? She played Miss Scott, George C. Scott’s bikini clad secretary, and the only woman in the entire movie.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Birthdays: Colette, Jackson Pollack, Claus Oldenburg, Arthur Rubenstein, Ernst Lubitsch, Connie Rasinski, Susan Sontag, Barbie Benton, William Burroughs (1855) the inventor of the calculator, Mo Rocca, Alan Alda is 77, Elijah Wood is 33 1930- Warner Brothers Cartoons Born. Leon Schlesinger, the head of Pacific Art and Title, signed a deal with several unemployed Disney animators who had left Walt to form their own studio to draw Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but had been stiffed by their contacts. Schlesinger had connections with the Warner Bros. since he helped them get funding for the 'Jazz Singer'. They create Leon Schlesinger's Studio Looney Tunes, in imitation of Disney's Silly Symphonies. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and more result. 1949- The Admiral Broadway Review premiered on television. The one and a half hour comedy review starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. The show was so popular Admiral was swamped for orders for new televisions and ironically was forced to cancel the show to focus on their production needs. The show was revived as Your Show of Shows, one of the great shows of early television. 1978- Premiere of Hanna Barbera's the Three Robonic Stooges. 1982- Danny DeVito married Rhea Perlman.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Birthdays-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is 258, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Charles Dodgson-better known as Lewis Carroll, Eduard Lalo, William Randolph Hearst, Samuel Gompers, Jerome Kern, Skitch Henderson, Donna Reed, Bridgette Fonda, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kate Wolf, Ross Bagdasarian a.k.a. David Seville- creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, James Cromwell, Mimi Rogers, Keith Olbermann, Patton Oswalt is 44. 1918- Warner Bros. Pictures incorporated. The Brothers Warner- Sam Albert, Harry and Jack were the sons of Jewish immigrants who had moved from Poland in 1882 and set up a bicycle repair shop in Ohio. Their first movie was Five Years in Germany. Throughout the 1920’s their little studio survived making pictures with dog star Rin Tin Tin. They called him the Mortgage Lifter, because the profits from his pictures paid their bills. Later they bought Vitagraph and gambled with the new Sound technology. When they made the Jazz Singer with Jolson, Warner Bros became a major studio. 1926- Englishman John Logie Baird demonstrated his televisor system- the first true television image. 1927- Charlie Chaplin’s short comedy The Circus premiered. 1944- WAS WALT A RED? Walt Disney donated money and may have attended a tribute to leftist cartoonist Art Young in New York who had died three weeks before. Art Young was a close friend of John Reed and Louise Bryant, founders of the American Communist Party. The F.B.I. noted the event was sponsored by the radical socialist newspaper The New Masses and other attendees included progressives like Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg. Walt was already a founding member of the Hollywood Society for the Preservation of American Ideals, a group of conservative Hollywood celebrities meant to counteract the rampant Hollywood Liberals. Disney later became an F.B.I. informant, but like Reagan, it may have been after the F.B.I. reminded him of his attendance at this little soiree'.... 1948- The Wireway Company announced the first tape recorder for sale using the new magnetic tape. It cost $150. 1997- First day shooting on the Cohen Bros. film The Big Lebowski- The Dude Abides.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Birthdays: First Lady Julia Dent Grant, General Douglas MacArthur, Stephan Grappelli, Angela Davis, Maria Von Trapp, Wayne Gretsky "The Great One" is 51, Eartha Kitt, Paul Newman, Roger Vadim, Jules Feiffer, Henry Jaglom, Anita Baker, Edward Abbey, Gene Siskel, Scott Glenn, David Straitharn, Randy Rhodes, Ellen DeGeneres is 55 1934- Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn bought the rights to L. Frank Baum’s book the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to develop into a movie. 1939- The first day of shooting on the film Gone With the Wind. 1979- The Dukes of Hazard TV show premiered. 1983- The software LOTUS 1-2-3 premiered that helped make IBM’s PC into the most popular business computers in the US. 1984-HELP ME TITO! During the filming of a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium, a magnesium flash ignited singer Michael Jackson’s Jeri curl hair gel causing him 3rd degree burns, 1988- Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Phantom of the Opera premiered.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Birthdays: Genghis Khan, Byzantine Emperor Leo IV the Khazar, Robert Burns, Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, Vice Pres Charles “Goodtime Charlie” Curtis, Edwin Newman, Jean Image, Dean Jones, Ava Gardner, Etta James, Corazon Aquino, Anita Pallenberg, Tobe Hooper is 70 1890- Newspaper reporter Nelly Bly ( Elizabeth Cochrane ) of the New York World is welcomed home after traveling around the World in 72 days. The stunt was inspired by the Jules Verne story Around the World in 80 days, which had became a hit stage play. 1949- The first Emmy Awards ceremony was held at the LA Athletic Club. Five awards were given out. Mayor Fletcher Bowron declared the day “ TV Day” in LA. 1960- Actress Diana Barrymore, the daughter of John Barrymore, overdosed on sleeping pills. The Barrymore family that had dominated the American theater since the 1850’s had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Ancestor after ancestor drank themselves to death. Current leader of the family Drew Barrymore recovered after seeking rehab at age 12. 1961- Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians premiered. “ Cruella, Cruella da Ville,.. “ 1970- Robert Altman’s groovy movie M*A*S*H premiered.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Publius Hadrian AD117, Farinelli the Castrato-1707, Pierre De Beaumarchais, Swedish King Gustavus III, Frederick the Great, Edith Wharton, German Field Marshal Model, Sharon Tate, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Lou Rhetton, John Belushi, Disney director Wilfred Jackson, Warren Zevon, Yakov Smirnoff, Daniel Auteuil is 63, Orel Roberts, Natassia Kinski is 54 1927- The Pleasure Garden premiered, the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 1942- Producer David O. Selznick signed young star Jennifer Jones. He became infatuated with her and left his wife Irene, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer to marry Jones. 1961- Warner Bros. cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc had a terrible auto crash. He lingered in a coma for several weeks. The way the doctor brought him around was to say: “Hey Bugs Bunny! How are we today?” Blanc replied in character:” Ehhh…fine,doc!” 1983- Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation title. 1986 –The Voyager 2 spaceprobe flew by Uranus. 2006- The Walt Disney Company acquired CG animation studio PIXAR. Apple and PIXAR head Steve Jobs got a seat on Disney Board, Ed Catmull was named head of the studio and director John Lasseter became it’s creative head.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Birthdays: Musio Clementi, Edouard Manet, Sergei Eisenstein, Derek Walcott, Ernie Kovacs, Stendahl, Jean Moreau, Randolph Scott, Dan Duryea, Rutger Hauer is 68, Warner Bros animator Manny Davis, Disney animation director Dave Hand, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay is 49, Sonny Chiba is 74. animation designer Phil Mendez 1957- The Disneyland TV show premiered” Our Friend, the Atom.” 1989- Artist Salvador Dali’ died. Rushing to leave as much money as possible for his family his agents had the ancient artist autograph reams of blank paper they intended to print Dali’ lithographs on later.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
St. Vincents Day- "If Vincents Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.” Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt is 73, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 60, Linda Blair is 55, Piper Laurie is 81, Diane Lane is 48 1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous". 1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of LA there were only 350 TV sets. 1949- Mao Tse Tung (MaoZseDong) and the Communists capture Peking (Beijing). 1949-Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie". 1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Studio City. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children, and bitter his adult career never blossomed. 1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy! 1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA. 1984- Apple releases the Macintosh I personal computer.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), Thomas J."Stonewall" Jackson, J.Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo is 73, Wolfman Jack, Akeem Olajuwon, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 57, Ken Leung is 43 1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies. 1935- Disney animator Ollie Johnston’s first day at the studio at $17 a week. 1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida. 1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died selling chocolates in a Paris train station -Gare du Norde to be exact. 1992- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Birthdays: Frederico Fellini, Patricia O’Neal, Mario Lanza, David Lynch, George Burns, DeForest Kelly, Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Arte Johnson, Lorenzo Lamas, Bill Maher is 57, Rainn Wilson is 47 1779- The English dramatic actor David Garrick died. Supposedly his last words were when asked “Is it hard to die?” Garrick replied:” Dying is not Hard. Comedy is Hard.” 1852- Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in book form. It had been released in magazine installments the year before, as was the custom of the time. 1938-The first true animator, Emile Cohl, died while headed for the Paris premiere of Disney's"Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Cohl was so poor that the electricity in his flat had been turned off and the candles had ignited his beard. Angry he was never recognized in his time, he once said: "the French prefer their artists with marble and flowers on top.". 1949- FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a pen that shoots tear gas. 1953- The Birth of Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show drew a larger viewing audience than the televised inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Birthdays: Edgar Allen Poe, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin would have been 70, Tipi Hedren is 83, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Chic Young, Guy Madison, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton, Fritz Weaver, Sean Wayans, Robin MacNeill, Paul Rodriquez, Antoine Fuqua, Drea Di Matteo is 41,and Bart the Bear-1977 Bear who starred in movies like Clan of the Cave Bear, The Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall. 1829 Johann Von Goethe published Faust Part 1. 1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard is still the best Hitler impersonator of all time. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!” 1961- The first episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show filmed.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A.Milne- author of Winnie the Pooh, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant- born Archie Leech, Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bobby Goldsboro, Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner is 58, Jason Segel is 33 1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick. Mr Kubrick said he now wanted to try filmmaking. 1953-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson. 1962- THE FRENCH CONNECTION- NYPD cracked a drug ring smuggling heroin from South East Asia into New York via Marseilles. The French Connection bust nabbed $3.5 million in dope and made heroes out of the two detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grazzo. Egan joked to Grazzo:" I’ll betchya Paul Newman will play me and Ben Gazzarra you!" Actually Gene Hackman played Egan and Roy Scheider Grazzo in the Oscar winning 1971 film. Both cops retired from the force to make careers in show biz. Ironically while the film was being made the real heroin from the case disappeared from the NYPD evidence lockup and was replaced with bags of corn starch. It was never recovered. 1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional body building to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger who wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk. Many year later Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to the film so he could edit out the scenes of him puffin’ some ganja. 1990- Rusty Hamer, who played Danny Thomas’ son in the TV show Make Room for Daddy, put a 357 Magnum to his head and pulled the trigger. He was 42.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Birthdays: Benjamin Franklin, Max Sennett-1880, Al Capone, Ethan G. Hodell 1883- the inventor of the Tow-Truck, Constantin Stanislavsky, Moira Shearer, Shari Lewis, James Earl Jones is 82, Vidal Sassoon, Betty White, Zooey Deschanel, Denny Doyle, Kevin Reynolds, Muhammad Ali is 71, Jim Carrey is 51, Michelle Obama is 49, Zooey Deschanel is 33, Betty White is 91, Animation director Gendy Tartakovsky 1926- George Burns married Gracie Allen. 1929- First appearance of Popeye the Sailor in E.C. Seegar's comic strip the Thimble Theatre. 1949- The Goldbergs, a radio comedy show about a Jewish family in the Bronx, moved to television and became the first true sitcom. The show ended when Mrs. Goldberg was accused by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee of being a Communist. 1994-The Great Northridge Earthquake rocked Los Angeles. 72 deaths and 20 billion dollars in damage. It was officially listed as 6.8 on the Richter Scale, although many persist that in some areas it was as high as 7.2. The epicenter was in the San Fernando Valley, so the valleys two major industries, animated cartoons and pornography, were temporarily disrupted.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Birthdays: Yukon poet Robert Service, Andre Michelin 1853 the pneumatic tire inventor, Ethel Merman, Peter Ustinov voice of Prince John in Disney's Robin Hood, Henry Mancini who wrote the music to The Pink Panther, A.J. Foyt,Sade,Michael Wilding, Eartha Kitt, Debbie Allen is 63, John Carpenter, Diane Fossey, Kate Moss is 39, Tsianina Joelson 1942-Actress Carol Lombard and her mother died in a plane crash in the Sierra Mountains while returning from a war bond drive. Her husband movie king Clark Cable was so disconsolate that he joined an airforce combat squadron instead of doing USO work and took dangerous missions trying to get killed. 1954-THE WAR ON COMICS- Senator Estes Kevfhauer chaired a U.S. Senate subcommittee to study juvenile delinquency. They conclude that one of the contributing factors to adolescent moral decay was four-color comic books. The probe was sparked by the publication of a book called The Seduction of the Innocent. It charged among other things that Batman & Robin were gay because when not fighting crime, Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson lounged around all day in silk pajamas! Despite testimony by Walt Kelly, Milt Caniff, Al Capp and Bill Gaines 350 comic book companies including the EC "Tales from the Crypt" label were driven out of business. The strict comics-code was established. The comic book industry, which had been selling one million books a month, never regained that level of prosperity in the US again. 1962- Television pioneer Ernie Kovacs died when he plowed his Corvair into a tree at Beverly Glen and Santa Monica Blvds. Kovacs had a fondness for all night poker and vodka parties. Friend Jack Lemmon said Ernie was so fanatical for a good card game that once when over a friend's house no table large enough could be procured for a game, Kovacs ordered the front door taken off it's hinges and a tablecloth thrown over it so they could all play. 1962-First day of shooting on the film Dr No with a young actor named Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. Ian Fleming thought the casting of Connery would be a disaster, he wanted Cary Grant or David Niven. 1974- Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws first published. 1995- The UPN Network (Universal-Paramount Network) began telecasting.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Birthdays: Dr. Martin Luther King, Moliere, Gamal Abdel Nasser, outlaw Cole Younger, Charro, Matthew Brady, drummer Gene Krupa, Lloyd Bridges, Mario Van Peebles, Margaret O’Brien, Aristotle Onassis, Captain Beefheart, Dr. Edward Teller, Disney animator Dave Pruiksma 1936-THE DGA- Several top Hollywood directors including Lewis Milestone, Ruben Mamoulian and William Wellman meet at King Vidor’s house and pledge $100 dollars each to form the Screen Director’s Guild, later the Director’s Guild of America. It was a risky thing to do, previous attempts to form a directors union were broken up with threats by the producers of perpetual blacklisting. Final recognition and contracts were signed by President Frank Capra in 1940. One provision insisted on in the contract was that the director’s credit be the final name in the opening titles before the movie began. And so it remains. 1960- Walt Disney Presents Leslie Neilsen as revolutionary guerrilla Francis Marion in the adventure series Swamp Fox. 1974- The first episode of Happy Days premiered with Ron Howard as Richie Cuningham and Henry Winkler as Da Fonz.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Birthdays: Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Arnold, Faye Dunaway is 72, Hal Roach, Richard F. Outcault, Cecil Beaton, John Dos Passos, Lawrence Kasdan, Andy Rooney, Julian Bond, Steven Soderbergh is 50, LL Cool J, Emily Watson is 46 1900- Puccini's opera "Tosca" debuts in Rome. 1952-The NBC "Today" show debuts with Dave Garroway, Jim Fleming and J. Fred Muggs the chimp. 1954- actress Marilyn Monroe married baseball great Joe DiMaggio. 1957- Humphrey Bogart died of esophageal cancer at age 57. When he was buried at Forrest Lawn, wife Lauren Bacall put in with his ashes a solid gold whistle inscribed with the famous line from "To Have and To Have Not"- 'If you ever need me, just whistle.' The group of friends around Bogie and Bacall were nicknamed ‘The Rat Pack” . After Bogart’s death Frank Sinatra made the Rat Pack famous. 1964- Hanna & Barbera's ' The Magilla Gorilla' cartoon show. 1972- Norman Lear’s hit comedy series Sanford & Son premiered. Starring Red Fox, it was based on the English show Steptoe & Son. 1990- Matt Groenings the Simpsons, which had been run as a series of blackout vignettes on the Tracey Ullman Show, now debuted as its own regular prime time series. Cowabunga!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Birthdays: Salmon P. Chase, Horatio Alger-1834, Sophie Tucker, Gwen Verdon, Robert Stack, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, Brandon Tartikoff, Julie Louise Dreyfus is 52, T.Bone Burnett is 65, Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom is 36 1910- Dr. Lee Deforrest experimenting with his new radio vacuum tubes broadcast singers from New York's Metropolitan Opera for the first time. The regular Texaco 'Live from the Met' broadcasts wouldn't get going until 1934. 1930- The Mickey Mouse comic strip first appeared in US newspapers. 1943- Movie starlet Frances Farmer was dragged screaming in a straightjacket out of a Hollywood Hotel and committed. She screamed Rats! Rats! and listed her occupation on her arrest record as “c**ksucker”. Her career was ruined and she spent years in asylums but it’s inconclusive whether she had actually suffered mental illness or it was her mother overreacting to her sullen, temperamental nature.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Birthdays: Pilgrim leader John Winthrop, John Hancock, Edmund Burke, John Singer Sargent, Jack London , Charles Perrault (Mother Goose), James Farmer the founder of CORE, Herman Goering, "Smokin' Joe" Frazier, Tex Ritter, Martin Agronsky, Howard Stern is 58, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver Platt, Wayne Wang, Tiffany, Kirstie Alley is 57, John Lasseter is 56 1966- Holy Cult Classic ! The TV show "Batman" with Adam West and Burt Ward premiered. 1992-According to Arthur C. Clarkes 1968 book "2001, a Space Odyssey", the HAL-9000 computer was booted up today. 1987-No mystery, Agatha Christie dies at 88 of natural causes. 1995- Steven Speilberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen announced the name of their new partnership would be 'Dreamworks SKG'. Someone in Florida immediately bought the domain name “Dreamworks.com” and waited for their buyout offer. I heard it was $5,000 2001- The Cohen Bros film Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? Goes into general release.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Theodosius 1st, Alexander Hamilton, Gliere, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Mr. Selfridge the London department store guy, Rod Taylor, the voice od Pongo in 101 Dalmatians is 83, David Wolper, Lyle Lovett, Naomi Judd, Stanley Tucci, Disney animator Prez Romanillos, Amanda Peet is 41 1892- French impressionist painter Paul Gaughin, aged 46, married a 13 year old Tahitian girl named Tehura. 1958- the TV show Seahunt permiered. It made a star out of Lloyd Bridges, the father of Jeff and Beau. 1965- Whiskey-A-Go-Go, the first Disco opened on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Discotecque is French for record library. 1995- Warner Bros purchased a dozen metromedia television stations around the US and this day started them off as the WB Network. 2004- Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg registered the domain name Facebook.com.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Birthdays: Ethan Allen, Marshal Michel Ney, Frank James -Jesse's brother, Francois Poulenc, Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz), Al Goldstein the publisher of Screw Magazine, Stephen Ambrose, Sherrill Milnes, Pat Benatar, Sal Mineo, Jim Croce, Frank Sinatra Jr., Rod Stewart, Walter Hill, George Foreman, Linda Lovelace, Jermaine Clement of Flight of the Concords is 39 1529- Michelangelo elected to design the military defenses of Florence. They failed to keep out the enemy, but they must have looked really cool! 1924- Columbia Pictures created, ruled by Harry Cohn, who's motto was "I don't get ulcers, I give them!" 1927- Fritz Lang’s masterpiece film Metropolis premiered. 1929- The comic character Tin Tin first appeared in a Belgian newspaper XXe Siecle. 1939- Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov sold his first story to Amazing Stories Magazine "Marooned off Vesta". 1941- The comedy play ARSENIC AND OLD LACE opened on Broadway. When buying the movie rights Warner Bros agreed to wait until the play ended it’s theatrical run. They thought plays usually are done in a few months. Arsenic and Old Lace ran until 1944. 1970- Masterpiece Theater debuted on US TV with Alastair Cooke. The first show was the BBC series the First Churchills. These shows were so popular that for awhile people thought PBS meant Preferably British Shows. 1992- The GREAT RUBBER DUCKY DISASTER- A North Pacific storm causes a ship to lose 29,000 bath toys overboard. They joined 61,000 Nike sneakers already bobbing in the water from a similar accident. Scientists used the rubber ducky migration to track Pacific Ocean currents around Alaska. 2000- AOL and Time Warner announced a $165 billion dollar merger that made it the world’s largest media company. The deal almost sank both companies, uprooted both chairmen and they detached finally in 2009.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Birthdays: Richard Nixon would be 100, Woody Guthrie, Ray Bolger, Roy Disney Jr., William Powell, George Balanchine, Judith Krantz, Bob Denver, Crystal Gayle, Joan Baez, Simone de Beauvoir, Sir Rudolph Bing, Herbert Lom, Gypsy Rose Lee, Joely Richardson, J.K. Simmons is 58. 1914 -John Randolph Bray takes out patents on the principles of film animation: cycles, arcs, keys and inbetweens. He even tried to sue Winsor McCay, who had already been using them for years. 1939- Top Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was hired by Walt Disney. He quit after two fruitless years, and left so angry he wrote a children’s book called the "Bear that Wasn’t" about his experiences. An early vice president of the Cartoonists Guild, he also joined the Mouse House to help unionize the studio. After a stint at Screen Gems, in 1945 Frank Tashlin went to Paramount’s live action division and became the director of the Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis comedies. 1959- The TV series Rawhide debuted, starring a young actor named Clint Eastwood. President Lyndon Johnson and Ladybird were big Rawhide fans. 1976- First day of shooting in Philadelphia of the movie Rocky. It was the first movie to utilize the Steadicam, a system that balanced hand-held camera shots.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Birthdays: Elvis Presley would have been 78, Robert Schumann, Jose Ferrer, Shirley Bassey, cartoonist Peter Arno, Yvette Mimieux, Larry Storch, John Nierhardt, Bruce Sutter, Charles Osgood, publisher Frank Doubleday, Steven Hawkings is 71, Saheed Jafray is 84, Soupy Sales, David Bowie is 66 1889- Herman Hollerith received a patent for the electronic counting machine. The machine fed numbers onto punch cards and was used in the U.S. census of 1890. In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company, which later was renamed International Business Machines or IBM. 1965- NBC TV premiered Hullabaloo, a Rock & Roll dance show with lots of mini-skirted go-go dancers. ABC responded with Shindig. 1973- Carly Simon got a gold record for "You’re So Vain". Supposedly it was about her agent, David Geffen. 1992- At a state dinner in Tokyo, President George H.W. Bush Sr. vomited onto the lap of Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone in front of press cameras. There is now a word in Japanese- BUSHURU, meaning to throw up on the person next to you.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Birthdays: Jacques Montgolfier, Joseph Bonaparte- Napoleons older brother, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam, Francois Poulenc, Butterfly McQueen, Adolph Zukor, Charles Adams, E.L. Doctorow, Jean Pierre Rampal, Millard Filmore*, Katie Couric, William Peter Blatty the author of Jaws, David Caruso, Nicholas Cage- originally Nicolo Coppola is 49 1839- Frenchman Louis Daguerre announces the invention of Photography.( Just three weeks later on the 31st William Fox Talbot will say HE invented it first ). Despite the controversy of credit, the Daguerrotype photographic process becomes the popular system worldwide in the nineteenth century. The image of Lincoln on the five dollar bill is from a daguerreotype. 1894-" The Sneeze" The first motion picture film to be copyrighted by Thomas Edison and his engineer W.K.L. Dickson 1924- George Gershwin completed his Rhapsody for Jazz Orchestra, popularly called the Rhapsody in Blue. Ira Gershwin came up with the name after seeing a museum show of Whistler paintings with names like "Composition in Grey, Nocturne in Green," etc. 1929-With the approval of Edgar Rice Burroughs, artist Hal Foster began drawing the Tarzan comic strip. 1934 –The First Buck Rogers adventures. 1935- Roger Sherwood’s play the Petrified Forrest opened to smash revues at the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway. Leslie Howard got great notices, but the real find was an obscure hard drinking actor with sad eyes playing the gangster Duke Mantee – Humphrey Bogart. In the audience was Jack Warner of Warner Bros, who decided Mr Bogart might just make it in motion pictures.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Birthdays: St. Joan of Arc, Mountain man Jedediah Smith, Tom Mix, Alexander Scriabin, Gustav Dore', Loretta Young, Earl Skruggs. Carl Sandburg, Danny Thomas, Nancy Lopez, John DeLorean, Alan Watts, John Singleton, Rowan Atkinson, Anthony Minghella Happy Feast Of Epiphany or Twelfthnight. Today is the end of the twelve days of Christmas when the Magi, the three kings- Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, visited the Holy Family. In many countries the Three Kings, not Christmas, is when children get their presents, because that’s when JC got his. 1849- the first cartoon cover of Punch Magazine. 1945- First Pepe Le Pew cartoon, "Odorable Kitty". When the Warners producer who replaced Leon Schlesinger, Eddie Selzer, heard the plans to do a short about a skunk he thundered: "Absolutely Not! Nobody will like a cartoon skunk!" Chuck Jones recalled: "As soon as he said no, I knew we just had to do it." Selzer's final opinion:" Nobody'll laugh at that sh*t!" The short won an Oscar. Selzer later went on to produce network T.V. 1949- Composer Leonard Bernstein noted in his diary that “JR (Jerome Robbins) called today with a novel idea- a modern version of Romeo and Juliet set in the slums.” At first the musical was going to be called East Side Story, then GangWay, finally West Side Story. 1956- Prince Rainier of Monaco announced his engagement to movie star Grace Kelly. 1962- Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent. This was the animated version of his popular puppet show.“So Long Kids, Wind Up Your Lids, We’ll look for You Real Soooooon.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYI4Ns2J-Oc&playnext=1&list=PLE5A400BAA7B5F430&feature=results_video 1975-“ Ease on Down the Road.-“ The musical The Wiz premiered on Broadway.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Birthdays: Alven Ailey, James Stuart Blackton (the first American animator, born in Lincolnshire, England ), Jack Norworth -composer of " Take Me out to the Ballgame' , Astrologist Jean Dixon, Umberto Ecco, Yves Tanguy, Walter Mondale, George Reeves, Roger Spottiswoode, Hiyao Miyazaki is 72, Robert Duval is 83, Dianne Keaton is 67, Spanish King Juan Carlos, Marilyn Manson is 44, January Jones is 32" 1896- Josef Pulitzers’ New York World began printing the Sunday Yellow Kid comic strip with a yellow color on his shirt. The strip gave the name to the sensationalist tabloid press 'Yellow Journalism". 1959- The first Bozo the Clown TV show premiered on TV. Larry Harmon played the famous children¹s clown. 1961- “Hello Wilbur” Mr Ed the Talking Horse appeared on TV for the first time. Veteran Western actor Chill Wills provided the voice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_PZPpWTRTU 1980- The first Hewlett Packard Personal Computer or PC goes on the market.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Burthdaze: Animation pioneer Emile Cohl, Louis Braille, General Tom Thumb, Jane Wyman, Jacob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm, Sterling Holloway the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Francois Rude, Dyan Cannon is 76, Floyd Patterson, Barbara Rush, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Julia Ormond is 45 1946- Terrytoons "The Talking Magpies" the first Heckle and Jeckyl cartoons. 1954- Young truck driver Elvis Presley went into Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. He plunked down $4 to record two demos for his mothers’ birthday. " Casual Love Affair" and "I’ll Never Stand in your Way". The studio technician was impressed enough to play the demo for his manager who called back Presley for an audition. 1956- In the Peanuts comic strip Charles Schulz first had Snoopy stand up on two legs. 1956- Walt Disney had lunch with his old nemesis Max Fleischer, now retired. The meeting was arranged by Max’s son Richard Fleischer, who was working for Disney directing Twenty Thousand Leagues. Although everyone had a nice time, Richard later admitted he found the event depressing. Seeing his dad humbled:” It was like seeing David vanquished by Goliath..”
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Birthdays: Marcus Tullius Cicero, John Paul Jones, Victor Borge, Zazu Pitts, Sergio Leone, Bobby Hull, Robert Loggia, Maxine Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, Ray Milland, Anna Mae Wong, J.R.R. Tolkein, Victoria Principal is 63, Dabney Coleman is 82, Mel Gibson is 57. Thelma Schoonacher, Martin Scorceses editor is 73 1933- MGM hired producer David O. Selznick to produce movies. His father-in-law Louis B. Mayer set his salary at $4000 a week. Newspapers joked “The Son-In-Law Also Rises” 1952-The T.V. series DRAGNET premiered today. “The story you have seen is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Star Jack Webb produced and wrote most of the scripts and oversaw the deadpan acting style.” Just the facts, Mam..” 1977- Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne file papers to form the Apple Computer Company. Within two weeks Wayne sold his third of the company to Jobs and Woz for $800. He thought he’d get stuck with the bills when the company went belly-up.. 2004- After partying hard all New Years in Las Vegas, 22 year old pop star Britney Spears woke up and realized she had married her friend Jay Alexander for a laugh. Today she annulled it. Alexander, who listed himself as unemployed, was soon seen driving around rural Louisiana in a $90,000 BMW.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
HELLO EVERYONE! Sorry we were down for a little while over the holidays, but we are back now. Birthdays: Frederic Opper the cartoonist of Happy Hooligan, Roger Miller, Issac Asimov, Julius LaRosa, Tito Schipa, Renata Tebaldi, Tex Ritter, Cuba Gooding Jr, is 45, Tia Carrere, Kate Bosworth is 30 1937- Hollywood actor Ross Alexander had hit on tough times. He had been in a few movies like Captain Blood and A Midsummer Nights’s Dream but his career seemed to be stalled and he was deeply in debt. This day the 29 year old went into the barn behind his Valley ranch home and shot himself. The Warner Bros. Studio looked around for a replacement to refill their roster of male leads. They replaced Alexander with an Illinois college sportscaster named “Dutch”- Ronald Reagan. 1984- The Zenith Corporation announced it would stop selling video recorders in Betamax format and go over wholly to VHS. Other electronics giants followed suit and VHS won out over the higher quality Beta system. 2000 Larry Saunders had a conversation with his friend Jimmy Wales about writing data entries for collaborative websites called wikis. Saunders conceived of an open on-line encyclopedia encompassing all knowledge. He called it Wikipaedia. CONGRATULATIONS ON SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS, AND HAVE A GREAT 2013!