Monday, February 04, 2008


On this date in 1983--Twenty-Five years ago we lost the amazing and truly gifted Karen Carpenter. Her lyrical voice, her amazing voice made every song she sang an incredible and wonderful experience. She sang every song from the heart and you can tell that she knew every part of that lyric and melody. Who can forget "Close To You" "We've Only Just Begun" and "Sing". What we know about Anorexia Nervosa now might just prevent another gifted star from losing their lives too early. God keep you, Karen, wherever you may be in eternity. As for dear Liberace who died on this date at the age of sixty-seven-- what a showman. I got to see him once on stage in Las Vegas and it was the most exhilerating experience. He was found of saying and making famous the catch phrase "I cried all the way to the bank" and later in his career he would say "You know that bank that I used to cry all the way to-- I bought it!Liberace, known as “Lee” to his friends, was born in West Allis, Wisconsin to Frances Zuchowski, a Polish American, and Salvatore ("Sam") Liberace, an immigrant from Formia, Italy[1] He grew up in a musical family. He had a twin who died at birth. He was classically trained as a pianist and gained wide experience playing popular music. Liberace followed the advice of famous Polish pianist and family friend Paderewski and billed himself under his last name only.As his classical career developed, he found that his whimsical encores, in which he played pop songs and marches, went over better with audiences than his renditions of classical pieces, so he changed his act to "pop with a bit of classics". At other times, he referred to his act as "classical music with the boring parts left out". During the mid- and late 1940s, he performed in dinner clubs and night clubs in major cities around the United States.
In his early career days he used the stage name Walter Busterkeys.In 1943, he appeared in a couple of Soundies (the 1940s precursor to music videos). He re-created two flashy numbers from his nightclub act, "Tiger Rag and "Twelfth Street Rag". In these films he was billed as Walter Liberace. Both Soundies were later released to the home-movie market by Castle Films.He had a network television program, The Liberace Show, beginning on July 1, 1952. Producer Duke Goldstone mounted a filmed version for syndication in 1955, and sold it to scores of local stations. The widespread exposure of the syndicated Liberace series made the pianist more popular and prosperous than ever. His brother George often appeared as guest violinist. Liberace signed off each broadcast with the song "I'll Be Seeing You". This show was also one of the first to be shown on UK commercial television in the 1950s where it was broadcast on Sunday afternoons by Lew Grades ATV company. This exposure gave Liberace a dedicated following in the UK.Liberace became known for his extravagant costumes, personal charm, and self-deprecating wit. His public image became linked with one ever-present stage prop, a silver candelabrum perched on his piano. By 1955 he was making $50,000 per week at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and had over 160 official fan clubs with a quarter of a million member fans (who throughout his career were mostly middle-aged women). He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 for his contributions to the television industry

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