The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Cinema #501


20,000 Years in Sing-Sing
(Michael Curtiz; 1932)

Songs of the Silver Screen #1


Sing a Little Love Song
by Con Conrad, Sidney D. Mitchell & Archie Gottler
(De Sylva Brown & Henderson, Inc.; 1929)

from Broadway
(Paul Fejos; 1929)

The Friends of Flagg #14


"The Vernon Castles"
"When they posed for me, their wolf hound had to get up and dance with them. Irene said that made them the skinniest family on the stage."

Visionary Film #35


The Hidden Hand
(Benjamin Stoloff; 1942)

Behind the Scenes #2


Max Perkins.

Radio Free Gunslinger #3



Your host for this edition of Radio Free Gunslinger is Langston Hughes.

The Content:

First Sequence:
Julie London - The Lonesome Road
Robert Mitchum - They Dance All Night
Earl Grant - The Japanese Farewell Song
Dean Martin - The Tracks of My Tears
Patience & Prudence - We Can't Sing Rhythm and Blues

Second Sequence:
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Come On Home
Fred Astaire - I Used to Be Color Blind
Mabel Mercer - Some Fine Day
Bobby Troup - Jamboree Jones
Billie Holiday - Lover Come Back to Me

Third Sequence:
Ricky Nelson - Gloomy Sunday
Nick Drake - Blues Run the Game
The Velvet Underground - I'm Not a Young Man Anymore
Herman's Hermits - Museum
The Zombies - Remember You

Summation:
Ray Charles - A Fool for You

The Art of Cinema #500


A stunning Japanese poster for Carnival of Souls, from the fine French film lovers at Cannibale Peluche.
(Herk Harvey; 1962)

When Legends Gather #658


Nature Boy meets a Beach Boy: eden ahbez drops by a Brian Wilson SMiLE session.

Radio Free Gunslinger #2



Your host for this edition of Radio Free Gunslinger is Vladimir Nabokov.

The Content

First Sequence:
Sonic Youth - Skip Tracer
The Breeders - Happiness is a Warm Gun
Pavement - Transport is Arranged
Mazzy Starr - Ride It On
Michael Penn - Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In)

Second Sequence:
The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (Mildred Bailey, voc.) - Shouting in the Amen Corner
Esther Walker - Ya Gotta Know How to Love
Una Mae Carlisle - If I Had You
Sophie Tucker - If Your Kisses Can't Hold the Man You Love
Jane Green - I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now

Third Sequence:
The Ducanes - I'm So Happy (Tra-la-la)
Noreen Corcoran - Why Can't a Boy and Girl Just Stay in Love?
The Paris Sisters - He Knows I Love Him Too Much
Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans - My Heart Beat a Little Bit Faster
Spector's Three - Mr. Robin

Fourth Sequence:
The Fisk Jubilee Singers - My Lord is Writing All the Time
The Goodwill Male Chorus - Good News, the Chariot is Coming
Kings of Harmony Quartette - Fountain of Blood
The Wandering Boys - Lead Me to That Rock
Hall Johnson Choir - Great Camp Meeting

Summation:
Art Blakey & His Jazz Messengers - Blues March

Artists in Action #651


Otis Redding dives in.

Marilyn in Action #62


Marilyn hopes.

Artifacts #28
Adventures in the National Pastime #18


Today's adventure: Special Instructions to Players, a rare 1898 document that had to be personally delivered to professional ball teams — it was considered too obscene to be issued via the postal service — admonishing its members for the colourful language they used upon the field.

Click here for a better look.

While some have cast doubt on the authenticity of the document, its provenance has been established, and it sold at auction for $32,312.50.

In the Studio #80
They Were an Item #126


Linda and Paul McCartney record vocals for Ram.

A Is for Arbus #59


Tiny Tim

Ziegfeld Girls #18


Helen Henderson.

Sex Education #170


Elke Sommer.

Radio Free Gunslinger #1



Today we inaugurate, for your listening and downloading pleasure, this blog's very own Podcast series, Radio Free Gunslinger: A guided tour through the chthonic regions of 20th century Western culture and the society it reflected.

At least that's what it says on the wrapper.

Your host for this edition is Albert Ayler.

The Content

First Sequence:
Charles Mingus - Eat That Chicken
Buddy & Ella Johnson - That's How I Feel About You
Buck Clayton & His Orchestra - Cool Breeze Woman
Scott Engel - I Broke My Own Heart
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - I Won't Hurt You

Second Sequence:
The Dead Milkmen - Beach Party Vietnam
Honey, Ltd. - The Warrior
Scott Merrill, George Tyne & John Astin - Army Song
Free Blue - Set Calley Free, Part 1
Evan Greer - The Day All the Democrats Won

Third Sequence:
Randy Newman - Marie (Demo)
Lou Rawls - Let's Burn Down the Cornfield
Gene Pitney - Nobody Needs Your Love
Harper's Bizarre - The Biggest Night of Her Life
Blood, Sweat and Tears - Just One Smile

Fourth Sequence:
The Marks - Greensleeves
Human Instinct - A Day in My Mind's Mind
Four Just Men - Things Will Never Be the Same
King's Ransom - Shame
The Beat Merchants - Pretty Face

Summation:
Kid Ory & His Orchestra - The World is Waiting for the Sunrise

People Who Died #53


Bob Welch.

When Legends Gather #657


Ray Bradbury, Forry Ackerman and Ray Harryhausen. Three wise men. Thanks to Jeffrey Roberts for the photo.

Ray Bradbury dies at 91



To try and sum up the contribution of Ray Bradbury to science fiction/fantasy, television and film in a few lines is an impossible task, so I will direct you to the L.A. Times obituary here, and share with you this bit of whimsy concocted by Bradbury's good friend Stan Freberg as part of his campaign to sell America on the concept of snacking on pitted prunes. It's probably not the way most people will remember Bradbury, which is why it's the perfect way to honour his memory at the Gunslinger.

When Legends Gather #656


Marion Davies and Charles Chaplin (1930)

Behind The Scenes #1
George Marino Is Dead


George Marino, arguably the world's finest mastering engineer, has died. Marino, a stalwart of Sterling Sound in New York, began cutting records for Capitol in their New York studios in the late 1960s. He moved to The Record Plant when Capitol ceased its New York operation, and finally settled in at Sterling Sound, working there from 1973 until his death.

If your collection has more than ten records [whether on vinyl or CD] recorded after 1968, you've almost certainly got some of Marino's work on your shelf. From Don McLean's American Pie to John and Yoko's Double Fantasy, from AC/DC to Hendrix to Coldplay, his masterful finishing touch brought life to countless sterile mixes.  And, of course, brought sparkle and sheen to some real dogs.

A brief obituary, of sorts, can be found at the Hollywood Reporter.

Musical Indulgence #13


“Oh Susannah” music by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. (Bernard Shakey, 2012) To see Mr. Shakey’s 40-minute promo film of the new Neil Young & Crazy Horse album, click here.

Elisha Cook Jr. Gets the Shaft Again #6


It's not just dames that are poison in The Big Sleep.
(Howard Hawks; 1946)

Artists in Action #650


William Claude Dukenfield enjoys a cold one. Let's hope it's not fatal.

Sex Education #169


Mrs. Emma Peel swings.

They Were an Item #125


Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones

Artists in Action #649


Raymond Scott solders on.