Thursday, October 10, 2013

Today is Squid Day/Cuttlefish Day.

Revel in all their inky delights.

Calamari could loom large in your day today - celebrate responsibly.

October 10, 1941 -
The last movie W C Fields starred in, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, premiered on this date.

In the soda-shop scene, Fields turns to the camera and announces that the scene was supposed to have been filmed in a saloon "but the censor cut it out". He was telling the truth.

October 10, 1953 -
The wonderful Stan Freberg topped the charts on this date with his record, St. George and the Dragonet.

The recording had to be restarted several times because the trombone players were laughing so hard at the jokes that they were unable to play their instruments.

October 10, 1956 -
George Steven's
sprawling epic, Giant, premiered in NYC on this date.

James Dean called the shooting style of director George Stevens the "around the clock" method, because Stevens would film a scene from as many different angles as possible, which made everything seem to take longer to do.

October 10, 1957 -
Guy Williams
galloped across TV screens as the masked hero, when Zorro, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

Disney Studios provided very large ($80,000{per episode) budgets, but they did try to contain costs where it wouldn't show on the air. Frequently, directors shot portions of up to four episodes at the same time when the scenes used common sets. This sometimes caused problems for the actors, because they couldn't remember their "motivation" for the scenes being shot.

October 10, 1961 -
Elia Kazan's
bittersweet romance, Splendor in the Grass, starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, premiered on this date.

Jane Fonda wrote in her autobiography that she tested for the role of Deanie. When Elia Kazan asked her if she was ambitious, she replied "no" (even though she was) because "good girls aren't supposed to be ambitious." Fonda writes that she believes this was the reason for her not getting the role.

October 10, 1962 -
The British Broadcasting Company bans Monster Mash -- the Halloween-themed novelty tune by Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- for being "offensive."

The BBC felt the song was offensive (but never specifies precisely why) and banned it from the airwaves until 1973. It was re-released in 1973 and the song rose to #3 in the charts in the UK. By this time, Boris Pickett was driving a cab in New York City to earn a living.

October 10, 1964 -
The Shangri-Las
released their operatic hit, Leader of the Pack, on this date.

Mary Weiss, the lead vocalist of the Shangri-Las, said in Telegraph magazine, April 14, 2007, "I don't think I would be able to put feeling into the song unless I had really thought about the lyrics. I put a lot of my own pain into that song. I don't think teenage years are all that rosy for a lot of people-they certainly weren't for me. They are the most confusing time of people's lives and there is a tremendous dark side to the record, which I think teenagers related to. The studio was a great place to let the pain out."

Later in 1964, The Detergents recorded a parody of this song called Leader Of The Laundromat.

October 10, 1968 -
One of the silliest movies Jane Fonda (or anyone else, for that matter) ever made, Barbarella, landed in US theatres on this date.

The scenes during the opening credits where Barbarella seems to float around her spaceship were filmed by having Jane Fonda lie on a huge piece of plexiglass with a picture of the spaceship underneath her. It was then filmed from above, creating the illusion that she is in zero gravity. (If you look carefully, you can see the reflection in the glass as she removes her gloves.)

October 10, 1969 -
Turn it up loud, spark it up and don't bogart that joint.

King Crimson releases their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, considered by many to be the first progressive rock album.

Today in History:
October 10, 1780
Over 48 hours, a slow-moving hurricane decimates Barbados, killing 4,326 (however according to the island's governor, "fortunately few people of consequence were among the number").

Over the next week, the catastrophic storm system moves on to Martinique (9,000 dead) and St. Eustatius (4-5,000). The unprecedented Great Hurricane of 1780 remains the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record.

October 10, 1910 -
You think "The Skull and Bones" Society rule this country. Several of the readers and I (and well as George Stephanopoulos) are members of the fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi. (It has been brought to my attention that Rick Santorium was also a mention of TEP while he was a student at Penn State.  It causes me a great deal of grief to think he and I share anything in common.)

Tau Epsilon Phi (TEF, commonly pronounced "TEP") is a predominantly American fraternity with approximately 40 active chapters, chiefly located at universities and colleges in the Northeastern United States. The organization was founded on this date, by ten Jewish men at Columbia University, as a response to the existence of similar organizations who would not admit Jewish members. The national headquarters is currently located in Voorhees, New Jersey and the official colors of the organization are lavender and white (although most chapters use purple instead of lavender).

But don't ask about our secret handshake or whose skull we had in the basement.

October 10, 1911 -
The Chinese revolution began in Hankow, on this date.

The revolution spread rapidly, resulting in the abdication of six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi, the Academy Award-winning "Last Emperor" of China.

October 10, 1913 -
Two years later on this date, President Woodrow Wilson was bored and wandering around the White House. He started fiddling around with things in his office and pressing buttons on his desk.

This triggered a blast which exploded the Gamboa Dike down in Panama and somehow the Panama Canal was completed on this date and a popular palindrome was born.  Why the China Revolution and the opening of the Panama Canal are connected is anybody's guess?

October 10, 1973 -
Bribe-happy Vice President Spiro T. Agnew finally resigned, after pleading Nolo contendere to federal income tax evasion on this date.

It should be noted that humorist Dave Barry points out that one can rearrange the letters in "Spiro Agnew" to spell "Grow A Penis."

October 10, 1985 -
Orson Welles was one of these people who was defying everything the doctors told him he wasn't supposed to be doing. He was really enjoying himself when he was eating what he wanted to eat. -
Eartha Kitt

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.

As to all, cheap wine hawker, voice-over whore and movie legend Orson Welles, whose remarkably innovative Citizen Kane was named the best American-made picture of all time in a 1998 American Film Institute poll, died of a heart attack at the age of 70 on this date.

Yul Brynner, Russian-born, Academy Award-winning Broadway and Hollywood actor died on October 10, 1985 (the same day as Orson Welles, his co star in The Battle of Neretva) in New York City. The cause of death was lung cancer brought on by smoking. Throughout his life, Brynner was always seen with a cigarette in his hand. In January 1985, nine months before his death, he gave an interview on Good Morning America, expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial.

The clip from that interview was made into just such a public service announcement by the American Cancer Society and released after his death; it includes the warning "Now that I'm gone, I tell you, don't smoke."

If only he listened to himself.

And so it goes


Anonymous said...

And don't forget the birthday of your favorite opera composer, Joe Green (Giusseppe Verdi) on this date in 1813.

Kevin said...

Thank you, I can't believe I forgot about Joe Green