Thursday, August 29, 2013
Birthdays: King James II Stuart, John Locke, Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr., Jean Dominique Ingres, Charlie Parker, Preston Sturges, Ingrid Bergman, William Friedkin is 75, Dinah Washington, George Montgomery, Slobodan Milosevic, Robin Leach, Michael Jackson, Joel Schumacher, choreographer Mark Morris, Charles Kettering inventor of the automobile ignition, Joyce Clyde Hall the founder of Hallmark greeting cards, Richard Attenborough is 90, Donald O’Connor, Elliot Gould is 75, Rebecca DeMornay 1953- Warner's "Cat Tails for Two" introduces Speedy Gonzales. 1958 - George Harrison joins the Quarrymen -Lennon-McCartney and Sutcliffe. The later rename themselves the Beatles. 1967- Final Episode of the television series "The Fugitive". Dr. Richard Kimble catches the one-armed-man and clears his name. 1976 - Anissa Jones, the child actress who played Buffy on the television show Family Affair), died of a drug overdose at age 18.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Birthdays: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy, George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham- minister of James I, O'Flagherty, Donald O'Connor, Charles Boyer, Karl Boehm, Bruno Bettleheim, Ben Gazzara, Jack "King" Kirby, Janet Evans, Ron 'Louisiana Lightning' Guidry, Jason Preistley, Daniel Stern, Shania Twain, Charles Solomon, Jack Black is 45 1922- The first broadcast commercial. It was for a real estate firm Queensboro Realty lasting ten minutes and cost $100 dollars. The firm selling suburban homes in Queens NY immediately did $100,000 worth of business. The Business world took note of the new method of advertising. 1934-Upton Sinclair the writer is nominated for Governor of California on the Democratic ticket by over half a million votes. This shocked the California power-elite because Sinclair was a radical whose grass roots organization EPIC (End Poverty in California) advocated socialist solutions to the Depression. Even FDR kept his distance from Sinclair. Powerful forces enlisted Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg and other Hollywood conservatives to ensure Sinclair's defeat by creating the first modern media negative campaign. This included phony newsreels of actors dressed as hobos saying how they're going to California to sponge off the taxpayers. Walt Disney's lawyer, Gunther Lessing, demanded Ward Kimball take the "Sinclair for Governor" sign off his car window. 1938- Northwestern University conferred an honorary degree upon the ventriloquist puppet Charlie McCarthy- Edgar Bergen’s famed dummy. The Dean of the School of Speech conferred a Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback upon the wooden celebrity.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Birthdays: Man Ray, Martha Ray, LBJ ( Lyndon Baines Johnson), Hegel, C.S. Forester, Hannibal Hamlin- Abe Lincolns first term vice president, Barbara Bach, Theodore Dreiser, Lady Antonia Fraser, Tommy Sands, Tuesday Weld is 70, Mangesuthu Buthelezi, Paul Rubens-aka Pee Wee Herman is 61 1912- Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes. 1917- Straight Shooting, the first film directed by John Ford released. Before that Ford did bit parts and stuntwork. He was a Klansman in Birth of a Nation. Not because he was racist but because it was a paying extras job. He said later he kept fussing with his white hood that kept slipping over his eyes while he was trying to ride his horse. 1930- Lon Chaney Sr. died of throat cancer. During filming of a remake of the Unholy Three a wind machine blew an artificial gypsum snowflake into Chaney's mouth - it caused an irritation that became a tumor. 1950- NBC and General Foods abruptly canceled the hit television show “the Aldrich Family” when a pamphlet called Red Channels accused one of the show’s stars Jean Muir, of being a communist. 1953- The film Roman Holiday introduced a new young actress from Holland named Audrey Hepburn. 1964- The movie version of Mary Poppins premiered. 1968- Former master animator Bill Tytla's request to return to Disney was turned down. The artist who animated Grumpy the Dwarf, Dumbo and the Devil on Bald Mountain even offered to do a free "trial animation test" to show he still had it. Disney exec W.H. Anderson wrote him:" We really have only enough animation for our present staff." Tytla died later that year. 1990- Guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash outside Alpine Valley Wisconsin, after an "All Stars of the Blues" show. Stevie Ray took the last remaining seat on the helicopter, after Eric Clapton got off, claiming he'd rather take a limo back to Chicago, which was about an hour away.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Birthdays: Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, Mother Theresa, Albert the Prince Consort, John Wilkes Booth, Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 33, Geraldine Ferrarro, Dr. Lee DeForrest, Ben Bradlee, Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis, Chris Pine is 33, Melissa McCarthy is 43 1838- American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson met English writer Thomas Carlyle. 1868- First practical typewriter patented by Christopher Scholes. The Remington Company who were famous for making firearms took up the typewriter and mass produced it. In 1874 Mark Twain admitted to a friend that he preferred writing on it. 1918- 17 year old Walt Disney faked his parents signature in order to enlist to fight in World War I. Assigned to the ambulance corps, he arrived in Europe as the war was ending. 1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch. 1946- First day of shooting on Jean Cocteau’s film Belle et le Bete, Beauty & the Beast. 1958-First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a plot that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. The original title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose. 1980- Director Tex Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera. Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera. Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!" 1997- Special effects house Boss Studios, closed. --------------------------------------------------------------
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Birthdays: King Ludwig II the Mad of Bavaria, Leonard Bernstein, Bret Hart, Lola Montez (flamenco dancing mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria), Alan Pinkerton, Elvis Costello is 59, Clara Bow, Ruby Keeler, Monty Hall, Van Johnson, Willis Reed, Frederick Forsythe, Wayne Shorter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim, Rolly Fingers, Gene Simmons, Anne Archer, Tim Burton is 55, Sean Connery is 83, Claudia Schiffer is 42 1970- A young British singer named Elton John did his first US tour, opening at the Troubadour in LA. 1980- The premiere of the Broadway musical version of the classic movie 42nd Street. In a moment of Broadway melodrama producer David Merrick came out on stage and startled the cast and audience by announcing that the director of the play Gower Champion had died that very day. 42nd Street went on to be a smash hit. The play itself is about a Broadway director who works himself to death creating a hit musical. 1991- At the Emmy ceremony, comic Gilbert Gottfried (AFLACK duck) upset the audience by a flood of masturbation jokes about Pee Wee Herman. Fox Network apologized the next day. 2001-Beautiful 22 year old R&B singer Allieya was killed, when her overloaded charter plane crashed on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Birthdays: Jorge Luis Borges, William Wilberforce, Marlee Matlin, Yasir Arafat, Max Beerbom, Cal Ripken Jr, Joshua Lionel Cowan the inventor of Lionel toy electric trains, Kenny Baker-C3PO in Star Wars, Stephen Fry is 56, Durward Kirby- 1960s T.V. announcer, Duke Kahanamoku-1890- Olympic medalist who popularized the Hawaiian sport of Surfing. Dave Chappelle is 40, Steve Guttenberg is 55 1847 - Charlotte Bronte finished the manuscript of her novel "Jane Eyre". 1853 – Saratoga Springs hotel resort chef George Crum invented Potato Chips, or crisps. 1939- Mr. Leslie Mitchell became the first British Television announcer. 1942- Walt Disney’s film Saludos Amigos received it’s world premiere in Rio De Janiero. 1951- Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. The film won the Grand Prize and first showed the world that Japanese Cinema was a new force in the film world. 1973- One month after Bruce Lee’s death his last film Enter The Dragon opened in the US to wild acclaim. It renewed interest in the late star and spawned the Chinese Martial Arts craze in the US. 1992- HURRICANE ANDREW tore through southern Florida. One a scale of one to five Andrew was a force 5 hurricane. One meteorologist watched his wind velocity measuring device rip off his roof and skip down the street. 1995- Microsoft's Windows 95 introduced. 1997- According to the 1984 James Cameron film The Terminator this was the day the Skynet computer system became self aware, and began the War of the Day of Judgement.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Birthdays: French King Louis XVI, Gene Kelly, Keith Moon, Rick Springfield, Sonny Jurgensen, Alphonse Mucha, Vera Miles, River Phoenix, Queen Noor of Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Ed Benedict the designer of the Flintstones, Barbara Eden is 78, Shelley Long is 63, Dr. Stuart Sumida, animator Oscar Grillo 1953- David Mullany of Shelton Conn. invented the Whiffle Ball. He did it to help his son who was lousy at throwing a curve ball. 1964- Twist and Shout! The Beatles played the Hollywood Bowl. 1994- Jeffrey Katzenburg announced he was leaving Disney.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Birthdays: George Herriman the creator of Krazy Kat, Dorothy Parker, Claude DeBussy, Johnny Lee Hooker, Denis Papin 1647 inventor of the Pressure Cooker, Leni Reifenstahl, Bill Parcells, Max Vilander, Carl “Big Yaz”Yazstremski, Dyanna Nyad, Deng Xiao Ping, Henry Cartier Bresson, Valerie Harper, Cindy Williams, Ray Bradbury, Kristen Wiig is 40 1806- elderly French painter Jean Fragonard died of a cerebral seizure after eating a large fruit ice on a hot day. 1882- American showman P.T. Barnum bought the largest elephant in the London Zoo. He created a new name for the beast- he called it a JUMBO. It was the highlight of his circus for years After Jumbo was hit by a freight train and killed, PT Barnum had it’s bones bleached and charged people admission to come look at it’s skeleton. 1929- Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony The Skeleton Dance premiered. The tight dancing synch inspired a generation of animators. 1935- Father Charles Coughlin, “the Radio Priest” addressed ten thousand in Madison Square Gardens. At the height of his popularity almost one third the American public tuned into his weekly radio address. But as his influence waned after the 1936 presidential elections. He turned increasingly to racist Anti-Semitic hate mongering and eventually faded away. 1942- Tex Avery’s first cartoon for MGM, the Blitz Wolf.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Birthdays: Christopher Robin Milne-1920, King Phillip II Augustus of France- 1165, King William IV of England- 1765, Aubrey Beardsley, Count Basie*, Wilt (Wilt the Stilt) Chamberlain, Friz Freleng, Kenny Rogers, Princess Margaret, Matthew Broderick, Vance Gerry, Peter Weir is 69, Kim Catrall is 57, Carrie Anne Moss is 46 1887- Mighty (Dan) Casey struck out at his last at bat with the NY Giants. The poem was written many years later. 1929-Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo marry. 1930- Pardon Us, the first feature length film starring Laurel & Hardy. In 1926, Hal Roach director Leo McCarey noticed the Briton Stan Laurel and Georgia born singer Oliver Hardy looked funny together, and put them in a series of shorts. Laurel & Hardy became one of the greatest comedy teams in film history. 1944- Moviestar James Cagney, star of Yankee Doodle Dandy, cleared of charges of Communism. The accusations probably had less to do with Cagney's politics and more to do with his Actor’s union activism and his fighting in court the restrictive personal contracts studios put their stars under.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Birthdays: President Benjamin Harrison, Sukenoba Nishikawa, Bernardo O’Higgins, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, H.P. Lovecraft, Art Tatum, Issac Hayes, Connie Chung, Jacqueline Susanne, Rajiv Ghandi, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin- who co-wrote Stairway to Heaven, Joan Allen is 57, Fred Durst, Alan Reed -the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Slobodan Milosovic’, Amy Adams is 39 1882 -Peter Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" premiered in Moscow. The composer said of all his works the two pieces he liked the least were the 1812 Overture and the Nutcracker Suite. 1971- THE ENEMIES LIST. FBI documents prove this day the Nixon White House began to covertly investigate journalist Daniel Schorr because of his anti-war editorials. President Richard Nixon kept an enemies list of people he imagined to be opponents to his administration. It began with obvious liberals like George McGovern and Ted Kennedy, then expanded as far as June Foray and Bill Scott, the voices of Rocky and Bullwinkle. 1972- Star Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and William Freidkin announced a partnership in a new production company called "The Director's Company" Young punks Martin Scorcese, George Lucas and Steven Speilberg were also involved. The partnership lasted two years then collapsed. 1977- NASA launched the Voyager 1 probe towards the outer planets of our solar system. Among the things Voyager discovered was that Jupiter had many more moons than previously thought and had a ring like Saturn. Part of NASA's program was an explanatory simulation film done totally on computer by Jim Blinn. The animation was so smooth and the graphics so breathtaking it expanded the use of the CGI medium and inspired a new generation of digital artists. 1982- Ralph Bakshi's film Hey Good Lookin'.
Monday, August 19, 2013
B-Days: Orville Wright, Ring Lardner, Ogden Nash, Alfred Lunt, George Enesco, jockey Willie Shoemaker, Malcom Forbes, Tipper Gore, Gene Roddenberry, Colleen Moore the It Girl, Jill St. John, Ginger Baker, Dawn Steel, John Stamos, Peter Gallagher is 58, Kyra Sedgwick is 48, Matthew Perry is 44, Jonathan Frakes is 61, Bill Clinton is 67 1955 - WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of black R&B . DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's. In 1957 Little Richards “Tuttie-Fruitie” never got higher than 17th in the Billboard Charts while Pat Boones version, by his own admission awful, went to number one. 1973 - Kris Kristofferson wed Rita Coolidge. 1977- Groucho Marx, the last surviving Marx Brother, died at age 86. In his final years Groucho had rewrote his will in favor of his young personal secretary Erin Fleming. This spawned a furious legal battle between Fleming and the Marx family. 2012- Director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) jumped to his death off a bridge in Los Angeles. He was 68. 2335 – According to Star Trek the Next Generation, this is the birthday of William T Riker, in Valdez Alaska, first officer of the Enterprise.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Birthdays: Meriwether Lewis ,Austrian Emperor Franz Josef II, Leo Slezak Shelly Winters, Roberto Clemente, Rafer Johnson, Enoch Light, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 80, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 43, Martin Mull, Denis Leary is 56, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 77 1939- The movie the Wizard of Oz released and made a star of Judy Garland. Frank Morgan, the actor playing the Wizard, needed to wear a shabby old coat so a studio costume designer went through some L.A. thrift stores until she found the good candidate. When Morgan looked in the lining he discovered the coat was previously owned by L.Frank Baum, writer of the Oz stories. Morgan was first president of the Screen Actor's Guild, but stepped down when he was considered 'too left'y to work with the Roosevelt administration. Lyricist Yip Harburg ( Somewhere over the Rainbow ) was later blacklisted as a communist. "And yer little dog ,too!!" 1947- Hewlett-Packard file papers to incorporate their electronics company. They began doing business in 1937. 1953- The first MacDonalds franchise restaurant opened in Downey California. 1956- Actress Vivien Leigh suffered a mental breakdown after a miscarriage. 1958 – The TV Game Show Scandal investigation starts. Allegations that popular quiz shows like 21 were rigged turned out to be true. 1962 - Peter, Paul & Mary release their famous folk song "If I Had a Hammer". 1966- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SLURPEE! The Ice Slurpee was invented by two Dallas engineers for a failing Oklahoma ice cream store. 1974- The Xerox Company decided not to seriously market the Alto, the first personal computer that had a graphic window interface, ethernet and mouse, long before anyone else. Xerox decided to stick with copying machines and let go of many of their Palo Alto development team Xerox PARC. Most of their breakthroughs wound up in other computers like the Macintosh and the IBM PC.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Birthdays: Davy Crocket, Mae West, Marcus Garvey, Sam Goldwyn- born Schmuel Gelbfisz, Harry Hopkins, Monte Wooley, Maureen O’Hara is 93, Boog Powell, Belinda Carlisle, Guillermo Vilas, V.S. Naipul, Jim Courier, Donnie Wahlberg, Belinda Carlilse, Sean Penn is 52, Martha Coolidge is 67, Robert DeNiro is 69 1876- Richard Wagner’s 4 hour opera Gotterdamerung- the Twilight of the Gods, premiered. 1908- D.W. Griffith signed a contract to begin directing movies for Biograph Pictures. He was paid $50 dollars a week plus royalties. 1941- EL GRUPO- Walt Disney and his artists arrive in Rio on a ten week goodwill tour of South America, underwritten by a $70,000 government grant. President Franklin Roosevelt was worried that some South American countries might be sympathetic to the Nazis, forcing the U.S. to worry about her backdoor. So FDR sent Nelson Rockefeller to give the Latin American countries whatever they wanted to keep them out of the world war. Among other things they wanted Donald Duck. Back in LA the federal mediator Stanley White had worked out with Roy Disney that if they got Walt out of town, they could settle the Disney animators strike. The name comes from hotel footmen in Buenos Aires paging the artists as El Grupo Disney! The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos result. 1962- The Beatles replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr. 1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Three Days of Peace and Music. Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. 1984- The Walt Disney Company informed it’s chairman Ron Miller that they wanted his resignation. Disney had fallen to 14th in film box office by then. Miller had been Walt’s son-in-law and he was he was once a tight end for the LA Rams. Within two years of Michael Eisner taking power Disney was number one. 1986- John Lasseter’s award wining short Luxo Jr, premiered at Siggraph Dallas. Called the Steamboat Willie of Pixar. 1992- Famed film director Woody Allen admits he is having an affair with Soon Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his long time lover Mia Farrow. He is 60 and she is 21. But as the unrepentant Allen states: “The Heart wants what it wants.” They’ve been married ever since.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Birthdays: Fess Parker, Karl Stockhausen, George Meany, Charles Bukowski, Menachim Begin, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Myron Grim Natwick the creator of Betty Boop, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eydie Gorme, Bill Evans, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett is 55, Julie Numar is 80, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 59, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 51, Madonna aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan is 55 1938- In Three Forks Misssissippi, Blues legend Robert Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband. 1942- Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse. Terrytoon's short: "The Mouse of Tomorrow". 1969- “ Hey Man, we’re gonna serve breakfast in bed for 500,000” So was hippy Wavy Gravy’s announcement on the second day of the Woodstock Rock Concert. He said this was the day Americans learned to eat Granola. It was ladled out en masse in paper cups and has been a diet staple ever since. 1974- The Ramones play their first gig at the NY club CBGBs. Hey-Ho, Lets Go! 1977- E-DAY in Memphis. Elvis Presley, donuts and Pizza Hut box in hand died sitting on the toilet He was reading the book-the Historic Search for the Face of Jesus. He was 42.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte, Leon Theremin- inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is in all those 1950s flying saucer movies, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, King Frederick Wilhelm Ist of Prussia 1685, Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall, Bill Baird, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie is 90, Linda Ellerbee, Gene Upshaw, Oscar Peterson, Shimon Peres, Mike “Mannix” Connors, Nicholas Roeg, Anthony Andrews, Ben Afleck is 41, Debra Messing is 45, Julia Child, Jennifer Lawrence is 23. 1843- Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world. King Christian said “ When people are amused, they don’t worry about politics. : Hans Christian Andersen was a frequent visitor. Walt Disney visited to get inspiration for Disneyland. 1885- Sir Richard Burton completed his translation from medieval Persian of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There had been earlier attempts like a French edition in 1809, but Burton’s edition introduced the west to Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the sailor and Scheherazade. 1935- Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Pictures merge to become Twentieth Century Fox. 1946- Disney’s Make Mine Music, featuring Willie the Operatic Whale. 1968- The pirate radio station Radio Free London began transmitting. 1969-WOODSTOCK-Three Days of Peace and Music- The rock concert of the Century opened. The promoters, one of whom was heir to the Polident Denture Cream fortune, were hoping to host 50,000 people and launch a recording studio in the quiet New York farming town. What they got was 500,000 young fans and the social phenomenon that defined the Age. 1977- THE WOW SIGNAL- Project SETI- Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence- heard something. It sounds like static to us, but it was a strong electromagnetic signal on a regular narrow band AM radio frequency emanating from deep space. So far, it has never been explained away or repeated. SETI scientist Jerry Ehmen noted in his log for that night “….wow!”
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Birthdays: Gary Larson, Erwin "Magic" Johnson, Lina Wertmuller, David Crosby, California bandit Triburcio Vasquez, Alice Ghostly, Buddy Greco, Nehemiah Persoff, The 20's Parisian nightclub singer Bricktop, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, C.S. Watson, James Horner, Wim Wenders, Emmanuele Beart, Halle Berry is 47, Mila Kunis, Steve Martin is 68, 1928 - Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur's play" The Front Page," premiered in NYC. They later went on to become top comedy writers in Hollywood. McArthur is the one who sent Hecht the famous cable- "Hecht, some quick, fortunes to be made and your competition are idiots!" 1956- The Marilyn Monroe movie "Bus Stop" premiered. 1965 - Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" hits #1. 1965- Jane Fonda married director Roger Vadim, who put the beautiful young blonde in naughty movies like Barbarella. His previous wife Bridgette Bardot was a beautiful young blonde that he put in naughty movies….hmm. 1979 – A rainbow was seen in Northern Wales that lasted for 3 hours duration.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
B-Dayz: Annie Oakley, Alfred Hitchcock, Don Ho, Buddy Rogers, Bert Lahr, Ben Hogan, Richard Baseheart, Saul Steinberg, Regis Toomey, Johann Christoph Denner (1655)- inventor of the clarinet. Danny Bonaduce, John Logie Baird one of the inventors of television, Hockey great Bobby Clarke, Daniel Schorr, Bombay movie star Viyayanthimala, Fidel Castro is 87 1934- First Little Abner comic strip by Al Capp. Dogpatch, Mammy Yokum, Daisey Mae, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the Schmoo are born. Al Capp was a hard drinking old curmudgeon of a cartoonist who lost one leg when as a child he fell off a streetcar. He used to bring young women into his office for "interviews" and would signal the boys in the copy room he had scored by letting his wooden leg drop loudly to the floor. In his old age he gloried in being a right wing chauvinist who got into arguments with radical pop stars like John Lennon. 1941- James Stuart Blackton certainly had an interesting career. The English born artist became a top newspaper cartoonist, a vaudevillian drag act as Mademoiselle Stuart, the first American animator, founder of the Vitagraph Company, the movie fanzine Motion Picture World. He even successfully faked a newsreel of the battle of Manila Bay in 1898 using toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. He made fortunes and lost them just as quickly. On this day, penniless, he was struck and killed by a bus on Pico Blvd. 1942 Disney's Bambi opened in theaters nationwide. Today the film looks quaint but in its time artists felt it was as realistic as artists could attain. Designer Rico LeBrun had a hunter friend bring in a real deer he shot in the Sierras. LeBrun set up drawing and anatomy sessions to study the dead animal. But LeBrun was so inspired by the opportunity he refused to dispose of the carcass even after several days it began to smell badly and attract flies. Finally the other animators waited until LeBrun had left for lunch and tossed the rancid thing. 1946- MGM cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, the short in which Tex Avery perfected the 'Tex Avery Take" - used since in films like Mask, Roger Rabbit and Casper. 1955- Shooting wrapped on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He was remaking the film he had done as a silent movie in 1925. One wag said: DeMille has done God one better, because he has now parted the Red Sea twice." 1991- Jack Ryan died. The Toymaker was the inventor of Hot Wheels toy cars, and helped launch the doll Barbie.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Birthdays: King George IV, Cecil B. DeMille, The alien Alf- 1757, Cantinflas, Buck Owens, George Hamilton, Edith Hamilton, Diamond Jim Brady, screenwriter William Goldman, Mtsislav Rostropovitch, Xenia Sharpe (educator who invented the childrens reader Dick and Jane) Kathy Lee Bates-the author of the song America the Beautiful, Klara Schickelgruber- Hitlers mom, Dominique Swain, Pete Samprass, John Casale-I'm not Fredo! Casey Affleck is 38. 1877-THE BIRTH OF RECORDED SOUND. Thomas Edison announced his sound recording invention and demonstrates it by recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a tin cylinder. Edison never quite understood the possibilities of a music industry and was convinced that the recorded sound was going to be a used primarily for people to listen to the voices of deceased family, sort of like a voice from the grave. That idea was so popular that it translated to the Logo of the RCA Company with the familiar image of the dog listening to "His master's voice". The original image of that dog listening to his master's voice, had the dog sitting on a coffin. 1915 - "Of Human Bondage," by William Somerset Maugham, published. 1927- the William Wellman movie WINGS opened with Howard Arliss and Buddy Rogers, the first silent film to win best picture at the Academy Awards before the advent of sound. The second film was The Artist, only just last year. 1932 Aldous Huxley's Brave New World first published. Before anyone ever heard of stem cells, Huxley had written a scholarly paper on the moral dangers inherent in controlled eugenics. Writer H.L. Mencken urged him to put his ideas in a fiction form to reach a wider audience. The title comes from Shakespeare's the Tempest " Oh Brave New World, that has such people in it!' 1951- Bob McKimson’s Warner Bros short Hillbilly Hair. The short includes the long routine animated by Emery Hawkins when Bugs Bunny takes over calling a square dance and uses it to torture the two twin brother Hillbillies who are after him. 1981- IBM introduced its first PC- personal computer and PC-DOS I.. Unlike Apple, IBM shared the basic hardware design, so a myriad of cheaper competitor PC’s soon flooded the market. 1988- Martin Scorcese’ film The Last Temptation of Christ opened in theaters to howls of protests from religious groups. There had been more inflammatory interpretations of the Christ story on screens in the past like Pasolini’s Gospel According to Saint Matthew and the Canadian film Hail Mary, but the church groups weren’t that media savvy yet. Like all these protest efforts, all the controversy did was boost it's box office. 2008- Entertainer and producer Merv Griffin died at age 81. The creator of games shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, his last statement on his website was " I was planning to go on vacation, but this is not the destination I intended." ==============================================
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Birthdays: Antonio Salieri, Frederick Ludwig Jahn 1778- founder of the Gymnastics Movement, Alex Haley, Jack Haley, Rev Jerry Falwell, Hulk Hogan- real name Terry Bollier-is 64, Dick Browne the creator of Hagar the Horrible, Steve Wozniak the co-founder of Apple Computers, Raymond Leppard, Lloyd Nolan, Mike Douglas, Patti Duke Astin 1932- Rin Tin Tin died. The German shepherd dog was the first animal movie star. Before sound he was the mainstay of struggling little Warner Bros studio. Jack Warner called him “our little rent check.” 1934- Mickey Mouse cartoon Orphan’s Benefit. The first cartoon where Donald Duck lost his temper and did his fighting stance, and they started calling Dippy Dog by his new name- Goofy. 1949- Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With the Wind" was hit by a taxicab and died 5 days later. 1956- Abstract Artist Jackson Pollack died when he drunkenly crashed his car into a tree near East Hampton Long Island. 1962- Actor Lawrence Olivier founded the National Theatre in London. 1972- San Antonio Texas holds it’s first Cheech & Chong Day. 1997- LA police wrestle down and arrest actor Christian Slater. They encountered him in a cocaine delirium shouting “The Germans are coming to kill us all!” 2001-First day shooting on the film Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Birthdays: Alexander Glauzunov, Billie Holiday, Eddie Fisher, Leo Fender, Herbert Hoover, Norma Shearer, Rhonda Fleming, Jimmy Dean, Justin Theroux, Rosanna Arquette is 54, Antonio Banderas is 53 1629- Spanish painter Diego Velasquez traveled to Italy to study the Renaissance Masters on the advice of his buddy, painter Peter Paul Rubens. 1787- Mozart completes his Eine Kleine Nachtmusik -A Little Nightmusic. 1948 – The Birth of Reality TV. Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" TV debut on ABC. 1970 - Jim Morrison is charged in Miami on "lewd & lascivious behavior" 1972 - Paul & Linda McCartney are arrested in Sweden on drug possession. 1987 - Clara Peller, the elderly actress who gained last minute advertising fame by saying Where's the Beef?, died at 86. The director and writer of the spots was the father of J.J. Sedelmier, who created the Ambiguously Gay Duo and other TV Funhouse animations for SNL. 2001- Warner Bros animated feature film Osmosis Jones premiered.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Birthdays: King Henry V of England, John Dryden, Sir Issac Walton-author of the Compleat Angler, Melanie Griffith, Whitney Houston, David Steinberg, Bob Cousy, Jill St. John, Robert Shaw, Robert Aldrich, Sam Elliot is 69, Gillian Anderson is 45, Pamela Lyndon Travers –the creator of Mary Poppins, Marvin Minsky, Eric Bana is 46, Audrey Tautou is 35 1919- The first story of Zorro appeared in All Story Weekly magazine. Created by Johnstom McCulley. 1930- Max Fleischer's cartoon "Dizzy Dishes" introduces Betty Boop. A singing star named Helen Kane sued Fleischer claiming that they stole her distinctive Boop-Ooop-a-Doop from her, but the case was thrown out when it was revealed Kane had stolen it herself from another singer. Betty was supposed to be a dog character to match her male couterpart Bimbo. But Animator Grim Natwick had done a lot of drawing of girls in Paris and New York and turned the character into a saucy little flapper. 1944- Antoine Du Saint-Exupery, the author of the Little Prince, died when he crashed his fighter plane. He was not shot down by the Germans, he was just a terrible pilot. The main protagonist of the little prince is an aviator who crashes his plane. 1947 -The British government in an attempt to bolster revenue for their shattered postwar economy, announced a 300% import tariff on Hollywood films. The Big Eight-Hollywood studios retaliate by stopping the export of movies to Britain. The British film industry has a heyday and Disney starts producing films locally in Britain like 'Rob Roy Highland Rogue' and such. 1960- Near Cuernavaca Mexico Harvard professor Timothy Leary took some magic mushrooms and experienced his first hallucinogenic trip. He called it “ a conversion.” 1963 - Britains rock & roll TV show, Ready Steady Go, premieres. 1995- THE HIGH TECH BUBBLE- Netscape first appeared on the stock market. The 15 month old company started by a Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark and a 22 year old college senior immediately shot up to $1.07 billion dollars in value. This IPO signaled the beginning of the gold rush in high tech stocks which five years later came crashing down as violently. Stocks like Lucent Technology which sold at $84 dollars a share in 1998 dropping to 39 cents a share in 2001.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Birthdays: Emiliano Zapata. Esther Williams, Gene Deitch, Dino DeLaurentis, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Keith Carradine is 63, Rory Calhoun, Mel Tillis, Martin Brest, Peter Weir, Patricia Arquette, Dustin Hoffman is 75, Mamoru Oshii is 62 1876 - Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph, a forerunner of the Xerox process. 1942- The premiere of Walt Disney’s Bambi. 1963 – The Kingsmen release the song "Louie, Louie,". Many labeled it obscene, although no one is quite sure just what the song lyrics mean. In the 1980s Northwestern University staged Louie-Louie Marathons- 44 straight hours of Louie-Louie, played by punk bands, polka bands, marching bands, folk trios, and singing water glasses. 1978- The character of Odie the dog first met Garfield in Jim Davis’ comic strip. 2008- The Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony, using 20,000 performers. As director Zhang Yimou said “ Hey, we’ve got the people…”
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Birthdays: Mata Hari, Rassan Rolling Kirk, Dr. Ralphe Bunche, Nicholas Ray, Dr. Richard Leakie, Grandma Moses, Alan Page, James Randi, David Duchovny is 53, Billy Burke aka Glenda the Good Witch, Garrison Keillor is 71, animation and radio star Stan Freeberg is 87, Animator Rudy Ising, Charlize Theron is 38 1919- the First Actor’s Equity Strike. 1933-The first "Alley-Oop" comic strip. 1970 - Christine McVie joined the band Fleetwood Mac. 1970 – The first computer chess tournament. 1974- French daredevil Phillipe Petit strung a tightrope between the two 110 story towers of NY’s World Trade Center and walked across it. As New Yorkers watched in amazement, Petit kept his concentration by carrying on a conversation with the buildings.(?) 1979- THE RUNAWAY WARS.-Hollywood Cartoonist’s Union strike against studios sending animation work overseas.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Birthdays: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Daniel O'Connell "the Liberator", Dutch Schultz (real name Arthur Fleigenheimer), Louella Parsons, Lucille Ball, Robert Mitchum, Andy Warhol, Hoot Gibson, William B. Williams, Michelle Yeoh, M. Night Shyamalan, Melissa George, Soliel Moon-Frye 1926- Warner Brothers Studio premiered it’s motion picture sound on disk system. The film was Don Juan with John Barrymore the Great Profile. It didn’t really have much impact until they made the "Jazz Singer"with Al Jolson two years later. 1970- THE HIPPIES ATTACK DISNEYLAND- A nationwide call for civil disobedience at the famous American-establishment tourist spot was called for August 6th. Called "Yippie Day" Yippies were considered more militant than Hippies. 750 long haired, denim clad moppets filtered into park. Once in they quickly massed, then invaded the Wilderness Fort in Frontierland. There they raised the Vietcong flag, passed out marijuana to tourists and chanted "Stop the War! Free Charlie Manson!" They were finally expelled with great difficulty by park security and the Anaheim police. In the 1980’s Disney was almost invaded by Nazi skinheads but this time they were ready. 1991- The world wide web announced, www. 1999- Brad Bird’s classic animated film the Iron Giant premiered.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Birthdays: Guy de Maupassant, Amboise Thomas, William- first black child born in British America, Neil Armstrong, John Huston, Robert Taylor, Conrad Aiken, Roman Gabriel, Selma Diamond, Patrick Ewing, John Merrick the Elephant Man, Loni Anderson is 68, John Saxon, Jonathan Silverman is 41 1924 Arf, Arf ! the first Little Orphan Annie comic strip drawn by Harold Gray. 1953- The film “From Here to Eternity” opened, starring Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift. But the big story was Frank Sinatra’s Oscar winning performance as Maggio that signaled the turnaround in his slumping career. 1955- The Screen Actor’s Guild strikes Hollywood for television residuals. Their president was Walter Pidgeon who had played Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet. 1957- American Bandstand featuring the eternally teenage Dick Clark debuts on television. 1962- GOODBYE, NORMA JEAN. Marilyn Monroe found nude in bed, dead of barbiturate overdose. She was 36. Whether you think the starlet overdosed by accident, suicide, or was done in by the Mafia, the Kennedys, a Svengali like personal physician, lovesick lesbian physical therapist or space aliens, it is still a mystery. She made a call to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s office in Washington several hours earlier but was rebuffed. Her last call was to her hairdresser Mr. Guilaroff. She left the bulk of her belongings to her drama teacher Lee Strassberg and her funeral was organized by ex-husband Joe Dimaggio. Her Westwood cottage suite had a tile over the doorway which read :"All my troubles end Here." 1964 - Actress Anne Bancroft & Comedian Mel Brooks wed. 1966- Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino first opened to the public. This was the first of the super-resort casinos, with a total theme park design and three times the space and accommodations of anything yet seen on the Vegas Strip. It’s success ushered in an accelerated era of building for Las Vegas casinos. 1966 –It a moment of youthful indiscretion, John Lennon says his band the Beatles are now more popular than Jesus. This flippant comment provoked a firestorm of nationwide protest among conservative elements in the US. Beatles albums were publicly burned in the streets. Lennon apologized, then followed up by saying he was being crucified over the comment. Paul McCartney rush up to the mike to insist that wasn't the choice of words they preferred. 1967- Bobby Gentry released “Ode to Billy Jo”. 1980- The Osmond Brothers break up. 1984- Welsh actor Richard Burton died of cerebral hemorrhage at 64. With a tumultuous career and two marriages to Elizabeth Taylor, the hard drinking Burton was the most famous English-speaking thespian of his day. But unlike Olivier and Gielgud, he was never knighted. The monarchy objected to their portrayal, when Burton starred in a TV miniseries on Winston Churchill. Burton was buried with a copy of Dylan Thomas’ poems. 1986 - It's revealed painter Andrew Wyeth had secretly created 240 drawings & paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf, in Chadds Ford, Pa 1995- The infamous Siggraph party at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Titled Nailed: an Evening on the Cultural Frontier. When the very conservative Nixon Library was approached about the party, they heard it was a limited invitation event sponsored by ILM and Silicon Graphics. What could go wrong? What they got was 3,000 drunken, pot smoking hippies and computer nerds. The grounds were festooned with scantily clad Brazilian Carnevale dancers, sword swallowers, Japanese Taiko drummers, and the bands Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. LSD guru Timothy Leary held a mock exorcism over Nixon’s birthplace. Siggraph Orlando chapter president said” It was wonderful! I doubt Richard Nixon would have appreciated any of this!”
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Birthdays: Percy Shelley, Hans Christian Andersen, Nicholas Conte' 1777-inventor of the modern pencil and the conte'-crayon, Louis Armstrong, William Pater, Dr Alexander Schure, Richard Belzer is 69, Franco Corelli, Elizabeth-England's late Queen Mum, Roger Clemens, runner Mary Decker-Slaney, Billy-Bob Thornton is 58, President Barack Obama is 52 1821- 1st edition of Saturday Evening Post -published until 1969. 1921 The Motion Picture Fund created. 1922- In honor of the passing of Alexander Graham Bell, all 13 million telephones in the United States observed three minutes of silence. 1942- The Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire-Marjorie Reynolds film the Holiday Inn released. The film featured Irving Berlin hit songs like White Christmas and Easter Parade but is hardly ever shown anymore because the Lincoln’s Birthday skit featured the cast in embarrassing minstrel blackface. 1984- Actor Johnny Depp opened his own club on the Sunset Strip called the Viper Room. The original club on that site had once been owned by mobster Bugsy Siegel.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
birthdays: British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, Elisha Otis inventor of the elevator, John T. Scopes- the teacher accused in the Monkey Trial, Habib Bourghiba, Ernie Pyle, Gene Kelly, Lenny Bruce, Tony Bennett is 87, John Landis, Jay North, Dolores Del Rio, Leon Uris, Ann Klein, Martha Stewart, Martin Sheen is 73, John C. McGinley is 54 Happy National Mustard Day 1963 –Unemployed television producer Alan Sherman released an album of comedy songs at the request of his friends. Called “My Son the Folksinger” it contained the hit “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, Here I am at, Camp Granada” and became an overnight sensation. 1966- While celebrating his 39th birthday, Comedian Lenny Bruce died of a morphine overdose. The groundbreaking comedian who coined the term “T & A” was arrested in 1964 and charged with obscenity for using the "F" word in his act. President Johnson and his opponent Senator Barry Goldwater could swear enough to make a sailor blush, but comedians were only supposed to make mother-in-law jokes. .Lenny Bruce did six months in jail, and left broken physically and financially. No club would dare hire him. Phil Spector said: “ Lenny died of an overdose of cops” Yet today he is the model for all modern stand-up comedy. Today no one was ever arrested again for telling jokes. Whether he leapt to his death from a window yelling “ I’m Super Jew! ” is a matter of legend. 1996- The Macarena, by Los Del Rio, becomes the #1 hit worldwide.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Birthdays: Perre L’Enfant the designer of Washington DC, Jack Warner, Myrna Loy, Sir Arthur Bliss, James Baldwin, Carrol O'Connor, Joanna Cassidy is 53, Pete Sampras, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster ), Bill Scott the voice of Bullwinkle, Bob Beamon, Wes Craven, Edward Furlong, Kevin Smith is 43, Peter O'Toole is 81, Marie Louise Parker is 49 1873- The first San Francisco cable car began service. Inventor Arthur Halliday had conceived the idea in 1869 after seeing a horse drawn tram fail to get up a steep hill. 1876- In Deadwood South Dakota at Nuttall & Manns No.10 Saloon gunfighter Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back and killed while playing cards. He was 48 years old. He was holding the "Deadman's Hand" aces & eights all black, and a jack of hearts. His assailant 'Crooked Nose" Jack McCall was found hiding in a butchers shop and hanged for the murder. An eyewitness said:" It was very sad. Bill had won the hand too." 1961 - Beatles 1st gig as house band of Liverpool's Cavern Club. 1962- If you are a fan of the “Marilyn Monroe was done in by the Kennedy’s ” conspiracy theory, a recently unearthed CIA document dated this day mentioned that Marilyn’s bungalow was under electronic surveillance. Also that she kept a “red book” diary. The diary disappeared after her death, two nights from now.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Claudius, Emperor Pertinax, Francis Scott Key, William Clark of Lewis & Clark, Herman Melville, Robert Todd Lincoln, Geoffrey Holder, Yves St. Laurent, Giancarlo Giannini is 71, Dom Deluise, Jerry Garcia, Coolio, Sam Mendes 1933- The WPA Arts Project set up to employ starving artists on large public works projects like murals for libraries and bridges, etc. Artists like Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth, Dorothea Lang , Orson Welles and Bernice Abbott got commissions. 1953- The Alan Ladd movie Shane released. 1960 - Chubby Checker releases "The Twist" and starts a world wide dance craze. 1971- The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour debuted. 1971- PBS started a new television series called Masterpiece Theater hosted by Alastair Cooke. It’s first presentation was a the Six Wives of Henry VIII. The high quality BBC and Thames Television programs became so popular in the USA, that people said PBS stood for Preferably British Shows. 1973- With the tag line “Where were you in ’62?” the film American Graffiti opened in theaters. The hit made skinny young director George Lucas a player in Hollywood, and made stars of kids like Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfus and Susanne Somers. 1976- Elizabeth Taylor had married Richard Burton a second time. Today she divorced Richard Burton a second time. This was her 6th marriage. 1981-I WANT MY MTV! MTV goes on the air, rock videos 24 hours a day. The idea was funded by a consortium of investors including Mike Nesmith of the Monkees, now on the board of 3M Paper company. If you put on the TV this day you saw a slide of an astronaut for several hours, then finally a voice said :”Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Rock & Roll.” The first rock video played was by a British New-Wave Band called the Buggles entitled “Video Killed the Radio Star.” followed by a Pat Benatar single. 1991- elderly movie queen Heddy Lamarr was busted in Tampa Florida for shoplifting.