Friday, November 28, 2008

Today is Randy Newman's 65th birthday. Randy is an amazing singer-songwriter and has been for four decades. I did learn that he was once part of the group Harper's Bizarre who of course gave us all that great 1967 hit "Feeling Groovy". My favorite Newman song of all time is "You've Got A Friend In Me" that amazing little song from Disney's "Toy Story". You just don't get too much better than that song. Of course my second favorite of his authorship is the Academy Award winning song "If I Didn't Have You" from the Disney-Pixar hit "Monsters Inc". Randy's work as a film composer began in 1971, with his work on the Norman Lear satire Cold Turkey. He returned to film work with 1981's Ragtime, for which he was nominated for two Academy Awards. Something that I didn't know before was that Randy co-wrote the 1986 film ¡Three Amigos! with Steve Martin and Lorne Michaels. Not only that-- Randy wrote three songs for the film, and provided the voice for the hilarious singing bush. He also scored the first four Disney/Pixar feature films; Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, In. He also scored the 1996 film James and the Giant Peach and the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars. Some of his additional film scores include Avalon, Parenthood, Seabiscuit, Awakenings, The Paper, Overboard, Meet the Parents and its sequel, Meet the Fockers. His score for Pleasantville was an Academy Award nominee. He also wrote the songs for Turner's Cats Don't Dance. One of Newman's most iconic and recognizable works is the central theme to The Natural, a dramatic and Oscar-nominated score, which was described by at least one complimentary critic as "Coplandesque."Newman had the dubious distinction of receiving the most Oscar nominations (fifteen) without a single win. His streak was broken when he received the Oscar for "If I Didn't Have You", beating the likes of Enya and Paul McCartney. After receiving an enthusiastic standing ovation, a bemused but emotional Newman began his acceptance speech with "I don't want your pity!"Besides writing songs for films, he also writes songs for television series such as the Emmy-Award winning current theme song of Monk, "It's a Jungle out There".In October 2006 it was revealed that Randy Newman will be writing the music for an upcoming Walt Disney movie called The Princess and the Frog, which is scheduled for release in 2009. During the Walt Disney Company's annual shareholder meeting in March 2007, Randy Newman performed a new song written for the movie. He was accompanied by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. I spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home cooking for my writing partner John Nugent and my longtime companion John Long. I am very thankful to the many people who give to John Nugent and I their many talents without compensation. The first and foremost is Tim Doran. He's such an amazing person. There isn't very much that I wouldn't do for him. And of course there is Bill Lewis who has been right there for me always for twenty years and great singers like Brian Martin and Paul Horvanes and Karmyn Tyler. They give so very much all of the time. I spent a good portion of the day just calling these people and thanking them for always saying "yes" when I needed them. The only person I missed was dear Tony Westbrook in New York. I was so damn busy with that turkey (I hadn't cooked one in ages of yesterday) that I missed sending him his personal accolade. He is an amazing singer and a tremendous friend. I hope that everyone had a great holiday. And thank you all who have entered my life and given so much. It is also the first Thanksgiving weekend that I have not been in photographic retail in twelve years. It was very strange, but I will let God lead the way as to what comes necxt for me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On this day in 1991, the recording world lost a giant. Freddie Mercury of Queen. What an amazing performer and songwriter. Freddie only had one great friend in his life. She was Mary Austin. They lived together like man and wife in 1970's. On the other side of the coin was Jim Hutton, a gay hairdresser who was his lover and the one person at his bedside when he died. As a performer, Freddie was known for his four-octave vocal range and onstage theatricality. As a songwriter, he composed many international hits, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "We Are the Champions", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy". In addition to his work with Queen, he also led a solo career with moderate success, and was occasionally a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. Mercury, who was of Indian Parsi descent and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star." He died of bronchopneumonia induced by HIV (AIDS) on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease. In 2006, Time Asia named Mercury as one of the most influential Asian heroes of the past 60 years. There was even a Broadway play that opened on this date with the premise that Freddie was allowed to come back from death and address "the unfinished business" of his life. Today also marks the opening in 1950 on Broadway of the classic MUSICAL "Guys and Dolls". Crafted from two Damon Runyon short stories and part of a third we were introduced to Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, Nicely, Nicely Johnson (oh how I remember how well the role was played by my friend David Holmes) and Miss Adelaide. I attended my great nephew's eleventh birthday yesterday. Wow, how time passes! It was a fun afternoon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where were you on this date in 1963? I was sixteen years old and the assassination of my hero John Fitzgerald Kennedy was probably the most earth shattering event of my entire life. That was forty-five years ago today at 12:30 pm Texas time. John Kennedy represented hope and change and without one doubt: courage. As a true fan of American History, I can tell that you that without a doubt that if Richard M. Nixon had been elected president in 1960 instead of JFK, the third World War would have begun over the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962. Some say that the forty-six year president was assassinated over his failure to invade Cuba in that crisis. What a loss! How much American history would have been changed had he lived. John Kennedy may not have been perfect (and who that is human, really is) but he was always thinking of the common man. He was always thinking of the common American's struggle. As I finish this small tribute, it is exactly the time that the first bullets rang out from that Texas school book depository. Do I think that Oswald acted alone? Absolutely not! The Supreme Court agreed in 1978, my friend John Nugent tells me and nothing was done to correct miss stated facts. God love you, John Kennedy, wherever you may be at this moment. Guide and protect our new president who seems to have the same brave thoughts of you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


On this date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his historic Gettysburg Address. Thirteen sentences written on the back of an envelope while on the train journey to the fabled graveyard. It turned out to be the most important political speech of any American president in almost two hundred years. There is now a plan to honor Lincoln at Disneyland. For the ir 55th anniversary, Lincoln will finally return to the Disneyland Opera House on Main Street. He will be joined on stahe by an audio animatronic President George Washington who will say a few words. Then Washington will introduce our newest president Barrack Obama. That should be very special. Today in 1958 the Ford Motor Company finally and mercifully put the brakes to the most unpopular car in automotive history-- the one and only Edsel. As they say in Hollywood "What were they thinking?" A picture of this poor unfortunate looking car can be seen on today's site. It was also on this day in 1990 that the "humbug boys"-- otherwise known as MIlli Vanilli were required to give back their Grammy award after it was revealed that neither one of these guys had sung on their own records. They got caught during a performance at a German amusement park. They were performing by lip-syncing (as they usually did in concerts) and the record starting skipping over the lines "Baby, it's over"-- which got repeated over and over and over again. Oh the way we get caught! Happy Birthday today to character actor Alan Young from "Mister Ed" fame. He is 89. Larry King turns 75. Good old Dick Cavett is 72 and Ted Turner is 70. I am starting a new musical idea today a project I call "Death Does Broadway". I wrote a six page treatment and so far and it looks fun. Work continues on "The Revenge of Ichabod Crane". Today is a most beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today is Mickey Mouse's 80th birthday. What a grand career the grand old mouse has had and what a goldmine he has proven to be for The Walt Disney Company. Mickey has a lot of dreams possible. I wrote a great song once called "What Do We Love About the Mouse? that really tells it all. I have of course a great affection for this amazing creation. He is so simple and so amazing.Steamboat Willie was first released on this date (November 18, 1928. It was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks again served as the head animator, assisted by Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Wilfred Jackson and Dick Lundy. This short was intended as a parody of Buster Keaton s Steamboat Bill Jr., first released on May 12 of the same year. Although it was the third Mickey cartoon produced, it was the first to find a distributor, and thus has been cited as Mickey's debut. Willie featured changes to Mickey's appearance (in particular, simplifying his eyes to large dots) that established his look for later cartoons.
But the cartoon was not the first to feature a soundtrack connected to the action. Fleischer Studios, headed by brothers Dave and Max Fleischer, had already released a number of sound cartoons using the DeForest system in the mid-1920s. However, these cartoons did not keep the sound synchronized throughout the film. For Willie, Disney had the sound recorded with a click track (that same great device that we use in the recording studio, today) that kept the musicians on the beat. This precise timing is apparent during the "Turkey in the Straw" sequence, when Mickey's actions exactly match the accompanying instruments. Animation historians have long debated who had served as the composer for the film's original music. This role has been variously attributed to Wilfred Jackson, Carl Stalling and Bert Lewis, but identification remains uncertain. Walt Disney himself was voice actor for both Mickey and Minnie.The script had Mickey serving aboard Steamboat Willie under Captain Pete. At first he is seen piloting the steamboat while whistling. Then Pete arrives to take over piloting and angrily throws him out of the boat's bridge. They soon have to stop for cargo to be transferred on board. Almost as soon as they leave, Minnie arrives. She was apparently supposed to be their only passenger but was late to board. Mickey manages to pick her up from the river shore. Minnie accidentally drops her sheet music for the popular folk song "Turkey in the Straw". A goat which was among the animals transported on the steamboat proceeds to eat the sheet music. Consequently Mickey and Minnie use its tail to turn it into a phonograph which is playing the tune. Through the rest of the short, Mickey uses various other animals as musical instruments. Captain Pete is eventually disturbed by all this noise and places Mickey back to work. Mickey is reduced to peeling potatoes for the rest of the trip. A parrot attempts to make fun of him but is then thrown to the river by Mickey. This served as the final scene of this short.Audiences at the time of Steamboat Willie's release were reportedly very impressed by the use of sound for comedic purposes. Sound films were still considered innovative. The first feature-length movie with dialogue sequences, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson, was released on October 6, 1927. Within a year of its success, most United States movie theaters had installed sound film equipment. Walt Disney apparently intended to take advantage of this new trend and, arguably, managed to succeed. Most other cartoon studios were still producing silent products and so were unable to effectively act as competition to Disney. As a result Mickey would soon become the most prominent animated character of the time. Walt Disney soon worked on adding sound to both Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho (which had originally been silent releases) and their new release added to Mickey's success and popularity. A fourth Mickey short, The Barn Dance, was also put into production; however, Mickey does not actually speak until The Karnival Kid in 1929 when his first spoken words were "Hot dogs, Hot dogs!" After Steamboat Willie was released, Mickey became a close competitor to Felix the Cat, and his popularity would grow as he was continuously featured in sound cartoons. By 1929, Felix would lose popularity among theater audiences, and Pat Sullivan decided to produce all future Felix cartoons in sound as a result. Unfortunately, audiences did not respond well to Felix's transition to sound and by 1930, Felix had faded from the screen. But Today is also the birthday of one of the greatest lyricists of all time: the late great Johnny Mercer who died in 1976 -- three whole years before I ever really wrote my own song, myself. It also was on this date in
1928. that Johnny Mercer came to New York City where with a roommate he existed by eating oatmeal (sound familiar?) His very first song was "the little ditty "I'm Out Of Breath And Scared To Death of You" followed closely by I'm Building Up To An Awful Let Down" for Fred Astaire. Those songs failed, but in 1932, he had his first big hit in a song that he wrote both music and lyrics for called "I'm An Old Cowhand, On The Rio Grande.) Of course he wrote such amazing songs as Moon River", "Jeepers Creepers" and Frank Sinatra's big hit "Goody, Goody". It's also the birthday of another great lyricist: the one and only W.S. Gilbert and today would have been the 100th birthday of an amazing comedienne who I actually got to meet (I'm showing my age, here) during a performance of my Christmas musical "A Moment With Mister "C" way back in 1984 at the late great, Gio's Cabaret in Hollywood-- where Broadway On Sunset was born. I continue writing with John Nugent as we edge up to our big deadline on November 30th. He has finished the opening number to our new musical "THE REVENGE OF ICHABOD CRANE" and it's simply amazing. We open the show with the ending of the famous Washington Irving classic story, but we soon discover that Ichabod was not killed at all, but was saved by a most surprising character. The script and lyrics are all finished as well as one other new song sung by Ichabod's character called "After All". Well, more later. Today is a most beautiful sunny day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


On this day in 1969, two hundred and fifty thousand people including four aides of Richard Nixon 's White House protested the Vietnam War in Washington D.C. It was the largest single gathering of people for a specific protest in United States history.A vast throng of Americans, predominantly youthful and constituting the largest mass march in the nation's capital, demonstrated peacefully demanding a rapid withdrawal of United States troops from Vietnam.The District of Columbia Police Chief, Jerry Wilson, said a "moderate" estimate was that 250,000 had paraded on Pennsylvania Avenue and had attended an antiwar rally at the Washington Monument. Other city officials said aerial photographs would later show that the crowd had exceeded 300,000.Until this day long ago, the largest outpouring of demonstrators had been the gentle civil rights march of 1963, which attracted, 200,000. Observers of both marches said the throng that appeared today was clearly greater than the outpouring of 1963. And yesterday came another protest of a different kind-- a backlash against the passage of Proposition Eight that added fourteen words to the Constitution of the State of California. The protest was held at City Hall-- (the crowd was amazing) Those fourteen words ended the opportunity for those of us who are so proud to be gay the opportunity to marry our significant others. Of course the culprit in all of this are the Mormons. Their financial contributions attributed 70% of all the money (that's a lot) that the "Yes On Eight" collected. And they were NOT just Mormons from California, but from Utah. What in the hell gives anyone outside of California the right to contribute money for a California issue? Unfortunately, it will not just be the Mormons who will feel this backlash. It will be the entire state of Utah in one of the largest boycotts called for that i have ever heard of. The boycott will be against their tourism, skiing, products,even the Sundance Film Festival. So I can hear you saying "It's over-- why are you so upset-- drop it" Oh no you don't. The battle may have been lost, but the war rages on. As that wonderful quotation goes from Winston Churchill "They came for the Jews, and I wasn't Jewish, so I did nothing. Then the came for the Catholics, and I wasn't Catholic, so i did nothing. Then they came for the gypsies, and the artists, and I wasn't either one of those and again I did nothing. And then they came for ME, and I wasn't even sure why--but by then, it was just damn late." John Nugent and I went into Hollywood yesterday by train. It was where we saw all the protesters. You couldn't move in that train. There were more young people holding signs and banners. Funny thing, in the entire group of eighteen crowded in the single car of that train, not one of them was gay. "Wrong is wrong" they all said.
John and I had a nice lunch and went to Grauman's Chinese theatre and saw the strangest film I have seen in a long time. It was called "What Happens Next" and starred Robert Di Niro as a very strange Hollywood producer, John Lugano as a a desperate screenwriter with a vengeance, Sean Penn and Bruce Willis in the strangest role I have ever seen him play. Involved in the plot was a funeral of a young top Hollywood agent who had killed himself because he was married and had an affair with Di Niro's seventeen year old daughter. The funeral sequences were all filmed at Rose Hills where my friend Tim Doran works playing the organ for deceased clients. Not only in the main chapel called SkyRose but on their funeral grounds involving an open burial plot. Strange!!! I wonder if the Rose Hills people knew what these guys were filming. With an extraordinarily amount of bad language, things done in bad taste and disrespect, this picture is going nowhere. Big errors: In the movie, Bruce Willis (who plays himself, by the way) refuses to shave his fully developed beard even at the demand of the studio and its threat to cancel the movie and sue Willis. Willis goes really really amok when there is a confrontation. Trust me, I was an agent, no big star is going to risk the cancellation of a movie and a thirty million dollar law suit over a beard. The other funny thing is that the agent who comitts suicide is Jewish--funny thing his funeral is at least a week later. Sorry! Jews must be buried within twenty four hours because they can not be embalmed. People were walking out and there wasn't that many people in this theatre to begin with. Oh well, another movie bites the dust. Had it not been for all the respect I hold for Robert DiNiro, John and I would have walked out. We went over to the Virgin Megastore and noticed some really great musicals on DVD for only $10. So I picked up "Cabaret" and John picked up "Camelot."

Friday, November 14, 2008


On this day in 1900, the ultimate American composer was born. This of course was Aaron Copland the composer of 1944's "Appalachian Spring", 1952's "The Tender Land" "A Lincoln Portrait composed in 1942, (which I really want to hear) "Music and Imagination of 1952 and "Fanfare" of 1940. "Billy The Kid" being perhaps the most famous along with 1940's "Fanfare For The Common Man". Amazingly he even musicalized twelve poem of Emily Dickinson, one of my all time favorite poets.Aaron was a moral conservative by nature, a calm, affable, modest and mild-mannered man, who masked his feelings. Even friends found it hard to crack his facade. Though shy, he preferred to be in a crowd than alone. He lived simply, and approached composing in the same manner. He was an avid reader. He always remained thrifty, even after he achieved substantial wealth. In company, Copland could be “almost devilishly droll” and fun-loving. His tact served him well in his private life and in his public life as a moderator, committee man, and teacher. Copland was a constant and diligent worker and a night owl, who composed primarily at the piano and at a relatively slow pace. He was careful in assembling and storing his documents and scores, as well, so he could later find and re-use earlier ideas and themes. Deciding not to follow the example of his father, a solid Democrat, Copland never enrolled as a member of any political party; but he espoused a general progressive view and had strong ties with numerous colleagues and friends in the Popular Front, including Odetts. Copland supported the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1936 presidential election, at the height of his involvement with The Group Theater and remained a committed opponent of militarism and the Cold War, which he regarded as having been instigated by the United States. He condemned it as, "almost worse for art than the real thing". Throw the artist "into a mood of suspicion, ill-will, and dread that typifies the cold war attitude and he'll create nothing". In keeping with these attitudes, Copland was a strong supporter of the Presidential candidacy of Henry A. Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket. As a result, he was later investigated by the FBI during the Red scare of the 1950s and found himself blacklisted. Copland was included on an FBI list of 151 artists thought to have Communist associations. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn questioned Copland about his lecturing abroad, neglecting completely Copland’s works which made a virtue of American values. Outraged by the accusations, many members of the musical community held up Copland's music as a banner of his patriotism. The investigations ceased in 1955 and were closed in 1975. That means he was under some kind of suspicion for two decades! Though taxing of his time, energy, and emotional state, Copland’s career and international artistic reputation were not seriously affected by the McCarthy probes In any case, beginning in 1950, Copland, who had been appalled at Stalin's persecution of Shostakovich and other artists, began resigning from participation in leftist groups. He decried the lack of artistic freedom in the Soviet Union and in his 1954 Norton lecture, asserted that loss of freedom under Soviet Communism deprived artists of "the immemorial right of the artist to be wrong". He began to vote Democratic, first for Stevenson and then Kennedy. Copland is documented as a gay man in author Howard Pollack's biography, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man. Like many of his contemporaries he guarded his privacy, especially in regard to his homosexuality, providing very few written details about his private life. However, he was one of the few composers of his stature to live openly and travel with his lovers, most of whom were talented, much younger men. Among Copland's love affairs, most of which lasted for only a few years yet became enduring friendships, were ones with photographer Viktor Kraft, artist Alvin Ross, pianist Paul Moor, dancer Erik Johns and composer John Brodbin Kennedy. My insurance study classes continue and its very odd being out of work in a Christmas holiday retail season. But I am writing like crazy with John Nugent and it is very satisfying. I have just completed the books and lyrics of another musical (that's seven with John now) called "THE REVENGE OF ICHABOD CRANE". Because I am always asking questions like "Wouldn't it be funny if..." Wouldn't it be crazy if..." and one day, because it happened to be the birthday of Washington Irving, (and I loved his story of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) I asked myself out loud "What might really have become of Ichabod Crane?" Assuming he wasn't killed (a thrown pumpkin doesn't make a great murder weapon) What if got a chance to come back and get revenge. I was reading that Washington Irving had invented the phrase "The Almighty Dollar". How often had my father used that expression. That set off a catalyst: what happened if good old Sleepy Hollow had become a money hungry town called "Dollarville" So that's where the idea took off from. The creative process is sometimes a mysterious one. And lastly today was the day that one of my favorite novels was published-- Dear old "Moby Dick" by Herman Melvile in 1851. When I subbed once for a teacher friend of mine the assignment was "Moby Dick". Since I had to make up the test, I told the kids that if they didn't read the book, they would never pass the test because the first question was a pass or fail. The question: How does the novel "Moby Dick" begin. It's one of the most famous openings in literature: "Call Me Ishmael." How many of you knew that one?

Saturday, November 08, 2008


On this historic date way back in the year 1960, John Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States of America. It was such a close election, not like the mandate we have all witnessed recently. It has been ascertained that John Kennedy was certainly the right man for the times. The October Cuban Missile Crisis that took place in 1962 would have come to a ghastly conclusion if "Tricky Dick had been at the switch". I firmly believe that God does indeed bless America and that our future is in His hands. We are paying for our folly of the last eight years and now we need a giant fix quick. I think Obama will not disappoint us. Gloom and dooming is not the answer here. If you are disappointed, ask yourself: were you knocking on doors for the opposition , were you manning the telephones--even at a late date? Did you have a campaign sign on your lawn? Did you donate even a little money? As John Kennedy once said "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country. He also said "If you're not part of the solution, you're hiding behind the problem." Today several landslides happenedv in US History. Ronald Reagan became the Governor of California in 1966. FDR soundly defeated poor Herbert Hoover in 1932. George Bush Sr. blasted Michael Dukakas in 1988-- just twenty years ago. The people speak loudly always. As our dear Saviour said "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." That commandment is loud and clear. I would not want the cookie cutter of my instant value judgements or opinions to be applied against me-- which will happen at the final judgement. Interestingly, a famous Texas football star is today out of a job because he put negative comments on Face Book about the new president. And today, I was told that two former associates of mine from Ritz Camera have now faced the same penalty. When they objected, the company said "Our customers read the Internet including Face Book and My Space. Your views have tainted our business image when it needs to be bolstered the most." Then came strike two: their unemployment benefits are being challenged. I took out my old Ritz Summary of Procedures and sure enough there was a whole section against portraying yourself or your views in a negative fashion in a public forum. I haven't been with Ritz since July and I still get former customers who stop me and ask how I am. Funny thing is: I don't recognize half of THEM until they give me clues. If you signed that agreement like I did: the company is one hundred percent justified. History will always give us the answers we need. As Benjamin Franklin said "We must doubt our own certainty, just a little bit more." We can only "Have It Our Way" at Burger King.

Friday, November 07, 2008


On this date in 1904, the song classic "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was first heard sung from the Broadway stage in a musical written by George M. Cohan. The musical was called "Little Johnny Jones" and although the musical only eighty-two performances, the song of course went on to an amazing popularity. What is interesting is that what we hear today is only the "Chorus" of the song. John Nugent and I have completed a new musical that features a lost George M. Cohan musical discovered by Dominican Nuns who have taken up residence in an abandoned Broadway Theatre and in order to stay in this historical must produce a musical there. What great fun it should be. We also hear that there is in the works a Betty Boop musical in 2010. Betty Boop of course was an amazing star of Max Fleshier who competed with Walt Disney in the making of animated cartoons. What most people do not know is that Max Flesher actually would have been the first producer of a full length cartoon feature back in December of 1937. Max had produced a full length feature cartoon in that time called "Gulliver's Travels". This is a most beautiful picture. The reason that "Snow White" became the first feature animated cartoon was that Walt Disney was an independent producer and Max Fliesher was part of Paramount and Adolph Zukor. Zukor thought the notion of a full length cartoon was absolutely insane and he blocked the release of this amazing animated film thus denying Fleishier of being "the first" with a full length animated cartoon. Sad news also: the musical "A Tale of Two Cities" will close November 16th after only sixty-eight performances. Amazingly the Al Hirschfield theatre will put on a new production of 1967's Hair. It's composer Galt MacDermott is still alive at EIGHTY years old. We shall see what we shall see. My partner John says it just won't work because it never has succeeded in a revival before. It opened in 1967 and ran three years, but is so ingrained to the class and culture of the 1960's that there is just no way a younger audience will get it. A Revival in 1978 totally bombed. Well, good luck with that, boys. You are going to spend a lot of money putting this on. By the way, just in case you are curious, here are ALL the words to the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy" which is actually called "The Yankee Doodle Boy" by Cohan's own title on his show music.
Verse 1
I'm the kid that's all the candy,
I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
I'm glad I am,
So's Uncle Sam.
I'm a real live Yankee Doodle,
Made my name and fame and boodle,
Just like Mister Doodle did, by riding on a pony.
I love to listen to the Dixie strain,
I long to see the girl I left behind me;
That ain't a josh, She's a Yankee, by gosh.
Oh, say can you see,
Anything about a Yankee that's a phony?
Verse 2
Father's name was Hezikiah,
Mother's name was Ann Maria,
Yanks through and through.
Red, White and Blue
Father was so Yankee-hearted,
When the Spanish War was started,
He slipped on a uniform and hopped upon a pony.
My mother's mother was a Yankee true,
My father's father was a Yankee too:
That's going some,
For the Yankees, by gum.
Oh, say can you see
Anything about my pedigree that's phony?
I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's,
Born on the Fourth of July
I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart,
She's my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to London, just to ride the ponies;
I am the Yankee Doodle Boy.
Oh well-- who said the verse ever saved a song?--especially in the early 1900's? By the way the picture of George M. Cohan in this blog entry was taken in 1933. Bye for now!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Today we celebrate the birthday of John Philip Sousa who I understand wrote four Broadway musicals as well as his world famous marching band pieces. Also An interesting day in history today. On this date in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected by a land slide the 16th president.
Everybody thought the world and the country was going to come to it's end because of the election of this kind and saintly man. Experience? Two terms in the House of Representatives and a celebrated law career. He lost the election that would have made him a US Senator. Opponents of the Civil War (also known as "Copperheads") criticized Lincoln for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans, an abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. Even with these road blocks, Lincoln successfully rallied public opinion through his rhetoric and speeches; his Gettysburg Address is but one example of this. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation. His assassination in 1865 was the first presidential assassination in U.S. history and made him a martyr for the ideal of national unity. Lincoln has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. Today also marks the election of Herbert Hoover in 1928 (and we all know what happened in 1929, just seven months after Hoover took office on March 4th, 1929) Hoover defeated Al Smith, the first Roman Catholic presidential candidate. Oh my, what this poor man was accused of by Hoover and his supporters. And Hoover was absolutely helpless in these four disastrous years. Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland (by an Electoral College win only) on this day in 1888 in what the experts say was simply a fraudulent election, principally in New York and Harrison's own state in Indiana. Harrison helped create "The Billion Dollar Congress" spending one billion dollars in four short years. History will always show you the truth. And if you want an answer, look to our country's history before making a judgement.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


God Bless America! A new leader and a new vision for the greatest country on the face of the Earth. Imagine, this is the first democratic candidate running for president that received more than FIFTY percent of the vote since the election of 1976 in the race between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. He is also the first US Senator to be elected president since John Kennedy. He was born in August of 1961 in JFK's first term. Can you imagine the smile on Abraham Lincoln's face last night in eternity? Or the tears running down Martin Luther King's cheeks standing next to him in Heaven? The dream that Dr. King described just forty-five years ago has come true. Yes, prejudice still lives out there, but now we have light to walk with in the great woods of living. "Yes, We, Can" are the words he repeated over and over again in his acceptance speech. Now, the country can go forward and begin to repair the damages of the last eight years. To think that this man wants to eliminate all income taxes for seniors who make less than fifty thousand dollars? Wow!I am a senior citizen of sixty one years plus. Guess what? I've never made more than fifty-one thousand dollars in my entire life.
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois . The choice of the announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Throughout the campaign, Obama has emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care, at one point identifying these as his top three priorities. Obama's campaign raised $58 million during the first half of 2007, of which donations of less than $200, classified as "small donations" by campaign laws, accounted for $16.4 million. The $58 million set the record for fundraising by a presidential campaign in the first six months of the calendar year before the election. The magnitude of the small donation portion was outstanding from both the absolute and relative perspectives In January 2008, his campaign set another fundraising record with $36.8 million, the most ever raised in one month by a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries.Among the January 2008 DNC-sanctioned state contests, Obama tied with Hillary Clinton for delegates in the New Hampshire primary and won more delegates than Clinton in the Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina elections and caucuses. The people have spoken. God Bless and Keep the new president. I wish you the courage of Abraham Lincoln, the leadership of John Kennedy and the wisdom of Woodrow Wilson. I believe in you. I don't look so much for what you can do for me, I believe in what you can do for this country. If you study American History as I do, you will discover that because a human man (perhaps a woman someday) becomes president, not an angel or a saint, that every president of the United States makes mistakes, has foibles, and is certainly not perfect. If you read the outrageous things that went on in the politics of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and James Madison, you will be amazed at what some of our "founding fathers" did to get elected and to stay in power. All the things I heard in negative about this man-- I predict-- will be so soundly squashed. If you don't study American History, you simply do not know all of the answers. You can't say, because you don't know what went on. Do you think Abraham Lincoln was perfect? Far from it. Was he remarkable in so many other ways? Yes, he was. Was he a politician with a capital "P"-- hell yes! So was Thomas Jefferson and especially John Adams. Believe it or not, John Adams had a man imprisoned for saying in public that John' Adams ass was
"too big". In a country that celebrates free speech. He was in jail for over a year. As I stated in an earlier blog, there is still in force today one of 1790's Alien and Sedition Laws on the books. Read about Alexander Hamilton one of the greatest Treasury Secretary's in American History. You just might be surprised at what you read. The argument against Socialism? What do you think the New Deal was? How about Social Security-- something that we will all depend on to live-- guess what that is? God Bless the new president-- I say "Yes, we can, too!