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March 21, 2021:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had a surprisingly strong Indiegogo yesterday, especially for a weekend day. We began the day at 74% and by the time I got up that’s what it still was. I did a little cheerleading and by the early evening we’d jumped all the way to 78%, which was great, about three hundred bucks’ worth of perks taken. So, we’re now very close to getting to the next plateau of passing 80%, which I’m hoping we can do today or tomorrow at the latest, and we’re also close to passing the 6K mark, which would also be great to do sooner than later. So, let’s keep plugging away and going up, up, and away. Oh, a Jimmy Webb moment. Here’s the handy-dandy link.


Otherwise, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to Gary McFarland’s interesting and weird score for the film Eye of the Devil. I really like it. Prior to that, my listening consisted of all Broadway show music. Here’s a rundown. First the 1960s studio recording of Show Boat on Sony, the one with John Raitt and Barbara Cook. It’s not brilliant, but I enjoyed it anyway. The producers called it “staged for stereo” which means they had their busy little fingers on the vocal panning buttons constantly. Sound is fine, and Raitt and Cook are very good. Not that thrilled with Anita Darian, but good old reliable William Warfield is there to wow us with his Old Man River. Then came Whoop-Up, which I enjoy listening to once every few years. It has some very catch melodies, lyrics that run from the terrible (Nobody Throw Those Bull) to cute. The music is far better than the lyrics throughout. Susan Johnson is wonderful in all her numbers, and I’ve always been fond of it ever since buying the soundtrack to Gigi at the A&P, opening it and instead of Gigi finding the stereo cast album of Whoop-Up. And back in junior high school I had a little crush on a girl named Glenda Aaron and so I always played Glenda’s Place when I’d think about her. And where exactly is Glenda Aaron today? Last I ran into her, and I used to run into her a few times, was at the Ovation Awards in the late 90s at the Shubert Theater. I think I tried looking her up on Facebook, but I’m sure she probably goes by her married name.

Then came the John McGlinn recording of Annie Get Your Gun, which, I have to say, I’m not so fond of. I like Kim Criswell as much as the next person, but she has no personality on this recording, so Annie just comes off as a big ball of nothing. McGlinn and his producers were not directors, but these folks hadn’t played their roles and having a producer who also knows how to direct would have made all the difference in the world. Thomas Hampson just comes off so stiffly – he’s no fun at all and Frank has to be fun. The pros of the album are Jason Graae, David Garrison, and the late, great Rebecca Luker. McGlinn and EMI, I’m sure, thought they had another Show Boat, but it’s far from that, I’m afraid. Then came What Makes Sammy Run – what an awful cast album it is. An occasional decent tune with in your face lyrics that just don’t work at all. Why anyone thought that making a musical out of the book was a good idea is anyone’s guess. It really doesn’t help that Steve Lawrence is terrible – smarmy, shamacting 101 – he, of course, sings well, but when 90% of the songs aren’t very good, well, it’s a losing battle. The other performers are fine. The sound on this Archive release is strident and ugly because there was no remastering done at all.

And finally, Mr. President. For sixty years I’ve been trying to like Mr. President and for sixty years I’ve failed and that includes this latest listen. I’m pretty sure that Mr. President was either the first or second stereophonic cast album I got via the Columbia Record Club. I remember vividly it arriving and how impressed I was with the shiny silver cover and the gatefold album. And then I played it. Even back then, I knew it wasn’t very good, although I did like The Secret Service. But after having heard Gypsy, this thing just fell flat as a pancake. Irving Berlin is in rote mode, rehashing things he’s done much better elsewhere. I know the album I got soon after was Subways are for Sleeping, and THAT flop had a wonderful, tuneful score. Hearing it again last night, I just marveled how bland and uneventful it all was. Except for The Secret Service – that still made me smile. And that was it for the listening.

Yesterday was a weird but okay day. I fell asleep around three-fifteen and woke up about eight, was up until eleven, went back to bed, hoping to get another hour, so I set the alarm for noon, however the alarm didn’t go off, so I slept until one, which was good, actually, but put me behind schedule a little. But I got myself together, had my busy afternoon, and right after said busy afternoon was done, my pre-ordered Chinese chicken salad arrived, so I ate that and it was just right. I ate two pieces of their excellent bread, which was really fresh and good. Then I was happy to see our percentage steadily climb. After all that, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the first half of a Brit film called Robbery, starring Stanley Baker, Joanna Petit, and others. I figured I must have seen it when I bought it a couple of years ago, so I searched the notes and it turned out I’d watched the first twenty-five minutes but kept dozing off, and apparently, I never went back to it. It’s very much of its time but I’m enjoying it and will finish it up today. I did a quick Gelson’s run to get a little treat – a chocolate chip muffin. I came home and ate that and listened to the music you already know about. At some point, I had a bagel, toasted, with butter.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll mostly be having a ME day and I hope we get some Indiegogo action, although we know that Sunday is usually a dead day, Indiegogo-wise, but we’ll try anyway with a bit of cheerleading. I have a little Kritzerland show stuff to do, and then I may finally reveal just a teeny-tiny bit about project two aka project two. Then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

This coming week is all getting ready for the Kritzerland show and doing stuff for project two, which is also coming up right after the Kritzerland show, so another very busy week ahead.

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, mostly have a ME day, hope we get some Indiegogo action, do a little Kritzerland show stuff, and maybe reveal a teeny-tiny bit about project two, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, as I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have gone up to 78%. Onward and upward we go.

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