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July 20, 2020:

AS SURE AS MY NAME IS BK

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, as sure as my name is BK I’ve been watching episodes of the old TV show, Thriller, hosted by Mr. Boris Karloff.  I, of course, watched it back in 1960 hoping I would love it as much as my beloved The Twilight Zone.  Certainly, I liked Mr. Karloff, with whom I shared initials, and I liked his, “As sure as my name is Boris Karloff” introductions.  What I didn’t like was the show.  And I gave up on it after about eight episodes and never watched it again, although I did have the “soundtrack” album by Pete Rugolo on Time Records, mostly because I liked the cover and the stereo sound was good and there were lots of bongos.  The show simply had no thrills, which was not so good for a show called Thriller.  Only decades later did I find out that the show was highly thought of and I thought how can that be?  Then I read that the original producer had been replaced and then the second producer and after THAT the show began to find its Thriller legs with more gothic horror kinds of stories.  So, when the entire series came out on laserdisc I, of course, bought it, and yes after about seventeen mundane episodes, suddenly we had directors like John Brahm and Douglas Heyes and writers like Robert Bloch and Charles Beaumont.  I never actually finished watching that set, so when the DVDs came out, I got those and then never watched one episode.  I found the set the other day and yesterday I began at the beginning.  The first episode wasn’t half bad, actually, with really good performances by Leslie Nielsen, George Grizzard, and an interesting actress named Natalie Trundy, and it was directed by Arthur Hiller.  But after that, it was straight downhill, with mostly crime stories that were of little interest.  The show is filled with interesting actors of the day, so that’s fun, but not until the episode called The Watcher does it get decent for a brief moment, then it’s back to the mundane.  That’s where I stopped and I’ll watch more tonight.  They did do some stories by classic writers before the change that improved everything – Cornell Woolrich, Frederic Brown and those types.  I’m looking forward to getting to the well-regarded episodes but that won’t happen till episode eighteen or so.  This paragraph has more thrills than the entirety of the eight I’ve watched thus far and as sure as my name is BK, these notes are a thriller.

Yesterday was mostly a pleasantly pleasant day.  I got eight hours of sleep, got up, answered e-mails, went to the mail place and picked up stuff, came home, and then a Dino’s pepperoni pizza arrived, rather than a Dino’s pepperoncini pizza, and it was so good, so tasty, just my kind of pizza.  After that, I listened to music, I read some more of Cinema 62 (almost finished now), then I did a little work, got more tracks and sent them to singers, had a couple of telephonic conversations, finessed one of the commentary bits that had some wrong information in it, and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish and began my Thriller adventure.  The music for all of the early episodes is by Rugolo, but after the regime change we got Jerry Goldsmith and composers of that ilk.  The Goldsmith scores are available on two volumes of newly recorded Thriller music, so that’s fun.  In fact, I’m listening to it and it doesn’t quite have the bite it should, but it’s fun.

After Thriller (A.T.), I read a bit more, answered more e-mails, then relaxed and listened to the Bruno Walter Mahler ninth, another brilliant recording of a brilliant symphony, then the really run and inspired The Baroque Beatles Book by Joshua Rifkin, a wonderfully talented man who orchestrated several of Judy Collins’ best albums.

Today, I’ll arise when I arise, and then I have a lot of Kritzerland show work to do, including arranging two put-togethers, which are the last of the tracks that have to be delivered, I’ll eat something – I have stuff to make bean, cheese, and onion burritos and I might go pick up some of Gelson’s great guacamole and that’s sounding pretty good to me right now – I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same, the tracks should all be finished by tomorrow, so that will be done, and we’ll have our Zoom rehearsals on either Thursday or Friday, and I’m hoping the mystery project keeps trucking along – it’s been two weeks without any movement and, as you know, movement is imperative for any mystery project.  Not sure what the weekend will hold.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, arise when I arise, do Kritzerland show stuff, do the two put-together routining, perhaps make burritos if I’m feeling the burrito vibe, hopefully pick up some packages, and at some point watch, listen and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your all-time favorite anthology TV series and anthology movies with multiple episodes?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, and as sure as my name is BK, I will dream sweet dreams.

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