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July 3, 2020:

OTMAR VON SCHMICTER

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish listening to some wonderful music by a composer I’d never heard of before or at least didn’t remember hearing of despite having many records on the label that released his music – Dai Keong Lee, a Hawaiian, whose first symphony is a wonderful work written in the year of my birth.  As you know, I love discovering new music like this and this may be something I’d ultimately enjoy releasing if I could find a strong pairing for it.  CRI, the label that released this and many other wonderful LPs of American music, was a label I revered in my teens.  And we licensed a ton of stuff from them during the Bay Cities years, and, of course, I’ve been licensing from them for the past three years and they made my dream come true in giving me the CD rights to Robert Ward’s The Crucible in perpetuity and finally being able to do a proper mastering of that title was so wonderful.  Anyway, I really like Dai Keong Lee.  Not much else available besides the symphony and the other piece that accompanied it on LP, plus one other thing I found on YouTube – don’t know if that was a radio broadcast or LP or what.  Otherwise, I’ve had a busy day, a relaxing night, and before I tell you about it, someone at the Home Theatre Forum posted something that made me laugh, the kind of thing I live for in terms of being able to respond.  Kino is releasing Billy Wilder’s Five Graves to Cairo, which they announced the day after I’d written about it here – that’s actually happened a bunch of times – it’s funny.  Anyway, some guy posted that he loved Three Graves to Cairo and couldn’t wait for the new Blu-ray.  No one else caught it so I couldn’t help but respond.  This is what I wrote: “No, Three Graves to Cairo was made by the very interesting director, Otmar von Schmichter, who made something of a name for himself by always making films similar to Mr. Wilder, always having his films come first, but then being overshadowed immediately by Wilder’s movies. One of the great tragic Hollywood stories. In addition to Three Graves to Cairo, some of his other films are Triple Indemnity, The Found Weekend, Santa Monica Blvd., Stalag 14, Witness for the Defense, Some Like it Tepid, Jack in the Hole, and my favorite, One, Two, Five.”  Just the kind of thing I would have written here if the fancy took me.  I can’t remember the last time the fancy took me or, for that matter, when I took the fancy.  But that’s another story.

Yesterday was a busy day. I did get a bit over eight hours of sleep, got up, did some work on the computer, and then went and picked up some packages, got Taco Bell, came home, ate it all up, and then began doing a lot of work on both the upcoming Kritzerland show and the August Kritzerland show.  For the latter, I set another great NY performer – I’ve worked with said performer a couple of times and absolutely adore her.  I assigned more songs for that show, then did prep work on the upcoming show, which is now just a little over a week away.  That took up all afternoon but was quite fun.  At some point, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the next two Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror and Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon – those were the first two of the much lower budget Universal films.  Even though they bring Mr. Holmes to the war years, I’ve always enjoyed these programmers.  They’re all under seventy minutes, some closer to sixty minutes.  Rathbone and Bruce are great, and the films are the usual war years patriotic thing with the bad guys being Nazis and Holmes ending with a patriotic speech followed by a card telling the audience they can purchase war bonds in the lobby.  Voice of Terror is merely okay but short and fun, and Secret Weapon is a bit better and features the dastardly Professor Moriarty, who dies at the end of the film, which is fascinating as he also died at the end of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  Some of Frank Skinner’s music in excellent in these films.

After that, I did a few more things for the Kritzerland shows, and then I relaxed and listened to music.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I know there will be Kritzerland show stuff to do, I’ll eat, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye comes and thanks to our lovely governor I won’t be able to breakfast at Jerry’s Deli, who did an excellent job of following the protocols.  But apparently some restaurants didn’t and so he shuts ‘em all down – perhaps he thinks he’s a grammar school principal, because that’s how he behaves.  Once I’m back from wherever I go to kill time, it will be more of the same, but mostly relaxing, which I think is what Sunday will be, too.  Then next week is all prep for our July 12 show, doing our live tests, which I’ll keep you posted about, and then we do any last-minute stuff, and then it’s show time on Facebook and YouTube Live.  And then we move right on to the August show – haven’t decided whether that will be August 2 or 9 yet.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, some Kalman operettas and some operetta mp3s that elmore sent. Blu-ray, the Sherlock Holmes movies.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have been able to tubthump the career of the marvelous Otmar von Schmicter.

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