(sorry, an unedited version of today's posting slipped out last night. Here is the corrected version)
In case you have to go to a holiday party,
Tonight's the second night of Kwanzaa.
Once again, if you're keeping score, you currently have, three French hens, four turtledoves and three partridges with their trio of pear trees (10 gifts.)
December 27, 1937 (some sources site the broadcast date as December 12, 1937) -
Middle aged, slightly overweight and possible transvestite performer, Mae West and Don Ameche appeared on the radio show The Chase and Sanborn Hour as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. She told Ameche in the show to "get me a big one...I feel like doin' a big apple!"
The FCC later deemed the broadcast vulgar and indecent and far below even the minimum standard which they should control in the selection and production of broadcast programs. West would not perform in radio for another twelve years until January 1950, in an episode of The Chesterfield Supper Club hosted by Perry Como.
December 27, 1940 -
Universal Pictures released The Invisible Woman, directed by A. Edward Sutherland and starring Virginia Bruce and John Barrymore on this date.
Despite the lightweight nature of the film, it was budgeted at $300,000.00, (about twice the amount of a typical Universal B-feature of the time) making it one of the studio's most expensive productions for 1940.
December 27, 1941 -
20th Century Fox released John Ford's film, How Green Was My Valley, starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara and Roddy McDowall on this date.
How Green Was My Valley famously beat Orson Welles' Citizen Kane to a Best Picture Oscar is up for debate.
December 27, 1947 -
Hey kids, what time is it?
A bleary eyed world, fresh from the horrors of a second World War awaken to the sight of a freaky marionette on NBC - Howdy Doody premiered on this date.
The show hosted by Buffalo Bob Smith, somehow managed to stay on the air for 13 years.
December 27, 1967 -
Future Nobel Laureate Robert Zimmerman returned to his acoustic roots with the release of his John Wesley Harding album on this date.
On the cover of John Wesley Harding, on either side of Dylan (who was wearing the same jacket he'd worn on the sleeve of Blonde On Blonde) is Luxman and Purna Das of the Bengali Bauls music collective, who were staying with Dylan's manager Albert Grossman at the time. Standing behind them is Charlie Joy, a Woodstock carpenter and stonemason. The foursome all sport a rather disheveled "common man" look and the whole arrangement was possibly a dig at the Beatles and their Sgt. Pepper cover with the Fab Four placed at the center of a group of famous personalities.
December 27, 1979 -
Knots Landing, CBS' spinoff of Dallas, premiered on this date. The show went on for 14 seasons, making it the second longest running prime time drama, after Gunsmoke, in television history.
Two cast members remained with the series from the first episode in 1979 until the final episode in 1993: Michele Lee and Ted Shackelford. Lee is the only actor to have appeared in all 344 episodes, which was a record for an actress on a prime-time drama at that time.
December 27, 2002 –
The very long planned adaption of the 1975 musical (with the same name,) Chicago, starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere premiered in the US on this date.
Charlize Theron had initially secured the role of Roxie Hart while Nicholas Hytner was attached as director. When Hytner withdrew and Rob Marshall took over, Theron had to audition again and lost the lead to Renée Zellweger.
It's that time of year that we usually check out some year end film mash-ups this week. Once again this year, the first up - THE 25 BEST FILMS OF 2017: A video countdown by David Ehrlich
Mr. Ehrlich has a very good eye for these video reviews.
The top music of 2017
Today in History:
December 27, 1703 -
The Methuen Treaty was signed between Portugal and England, giving preference to the import of Portuguese wines into England.
I am well aware that sherry and port are not the same thing but I haven't played a Monty Python skit in awhile and this seemed as good a time as any.
December 27, 1831 -
For some unknown reason, naturalist Charles Darwin began his famous voyage on-board a beagle, on the date.
He immediately swam back to shore and boarded the HMS Beagle once the dog drowned.
December 27, 1845 -
Dr. Crawford W. Long first used as an anesthetic, ether, for childbirth on his wife ether while she gave birth to their second child, on this date.
The birth was a success, and it is considered the beginning of modern anesthetics.
December 27, 1900 -
Carrie Amelia Moore Nation had been a member of the Women's Christian Temperance organization until she became fed up with their non-violent tactics, and decided to smash up pubs instead. With her cry, “Smash! Smash! For Jesus’ sake, smash!,” the radicalized Nation first picked up her famous hatchet and raided the swank bar at the Hotel Carey in Wichita, Kansas, destroying the interior on this date.
December 27, 1901 -
It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.
Marlene Dietrich, German-born singer and actress best known for her roles in Shanghai Express and Witness for the Prosecution, was born on this date.
The 12 acre complex in midtown Manhattan known as Rockefeller Center developed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., on land leased from Columbia University opened to the public on December 27, 1932.
Unfortunately, the show bombed and on January 11, 1933, the Music Hall rushed to show the first film on the giant screen, installed in the theatre: Frank Capra's The Bitter Tea of General Yen starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Again, the film was not critically well received
December 27, 1961 -
Tony Bennett, playing in the Venetian Room of the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel, made his first solo public performance of I Left My Heart in San Francisco, on this date. The song was written by George Cory and Douglass Cross in 1954 (Cory wrote the music and Cross wrote the lyrics) and had languished in obscurity for years.
They pitched the song to Bennett's pianist and musical director, Ralph Sharon, who was looking for new material for Bennett to sing at the Fairmont Hotel. The crowd in the hotel loved the song and Bennett went on to record the song on January 23, 1962.
The rest, as they say, is history.
December 27, 1971 -
Charles Schulz’ famous Peanuts comic strip made the cover of Newsweek magazine this day.
December 27, 1985 -
Dian Fossey, famous for her efforts to study and save mountain gorillas in Africa, was murdered in her hut in Rwanda with a machete she had confiscated from a poacher some months earlier.
No suspects were ever found; no charges were made.
Before you go - "No one's ever really gone..." Mark Hamill
Carrie Fisher -1956 - 2016
And so it goes