Monday, August 3, 2015

Here's to the hardest working man in Show Business

August 3, 1926 -
The young people look great on television. They're youthful and have a lot of zip and energy, but when you see them live, they can only do about 20 minutes because they haven't got the training to hold an audience for an hour and a half or so.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto (89 this year), last of the great saloon singers was born on this date.

Tony Bennett is still on the road, performing over 175 gigs a year.

August 3, 1929 -
Four famous vaudevillian performers took a chance on the new medium of 'talking pictures' with the general release, of the film, The Cocoanuts, starring the Four Marx Brothers --

Chico, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo, on this date,.

Filmed on a stage in New York City. Sound films were still so new that soundproofing was not installed, so the film had to be shot in the early hours of the morning to reduce outside traffic noise.

August 3, 1941 -
Martha Kostyra
, business magnate, television host, author, magazine publisher and ex-con was born on this date.

Remember folks, please don't piss off Martha - she's a woman of a certain age, who can create a magnificent floral arrangements, hold her hard liquor and kill you with a home made prison shank.

August 3, 1963 -
Allan Sherman
released Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter from Camp), in the US on this date.

Sherman was a writer on The Steve Allen Show and created the game show I've Got a Secret. He went on to record comedy albums. The song won a 1964 Grammy Award for comedy.

And somehow in the same universe, The Beach Boys’ Surfer Girl was released on this date as well.

Ah, sweet mysteries of life. (The B-side of the single was Little Deuce Coupe.)

August 3, 1996 -
The Macarena by Los Del Rio appeared as #1 on the pop charts on this date. (For god sakes, please don't listen.  Save yourself from the ensuing madness.)

This song stayed in the US Top 100 for 60 weeks, the one-time record for the longest run on the singles chart.

Today in History:
August 3, 1492
File this under: more lies my teacher told me.

Christopher Columbus famously sailed from the port of Palos de la Frontera, in southern Spain across the ocean blue in a fleet of three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula. (Every thing else you think you know about Columbus is a lie.)

August 3, 1943 -
Gen George Patton bitch slapped shell-shocked private Charles Kuhl, in the hospital accusing him of cowardice, on this date.

The incident nearly ended Patton's career; he was ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode. It seemed to help Francis Ford Coppola's career though.

On August 3, 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplished the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole.

The world's first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus dove at Point Barrow, Alaska, and traveled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the top of the world.

August 3, 1963 -
Almost a year after the world barely averted World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Hotline between the Pentagon and the Kremlin went live, on this date.

The system consists of two teletype machines, with a full-time communications link routed through London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki.

August 3, 1966 -
Comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce died of a morphine overdose in his Hollywood Hills home on this date, two years after his original obituary was published in The Realist.

At the time of his death, Bruce was being maliciously harassed by police and districts attorney in various states for his groundbreaking standup performances, causing great difficulty in finding venues at which to perform. After his death, he became a cult hero, many other comics, like George Carlin and Richard Pryor, considering him a martyr to the cause of free speech.

Before you go - I saw this interesting clip, from a few years ago about a behind-the-scenes look at the Marine Mammal Laboratory, a Los Angeles warehouse of oversize animal specimens from the collection of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. (It reminding me a little bit like a less fancier version of  Museum of Comparative Anatomy in Paris.)

Forget about the smell, The Whale Warehouse should be open to public (brave enough to visit.)

And so it goes.

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