Thursday, January 21, 2010
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PLACIDO DOMINGO
Today is the birthday of legendary singer and conductor Placido Domingo. I was introduced to him years ago by a guy named Steve Hunt whom I haven't seen in almost fourteen years. Steve was my landlord in a house I rented a room from. It was through Steve Hunt that I met the greatest gift of all -my dear friend Tim Doran. Steve Hunt was a really strange guy and was always trying to re-invent himself. I only hope that he is okay and is able to survive as a singing teacher. After a few days of working at Sunrise Ford, I met the son of Soupy Sales -- Tony. He looks just like his dad and is a very sweet man. His father Soupy Sales was born Milton Supman, in Franklinton in Franklin County, North Carolina to Irving and Sadie Supman. His father, a dry goods merchant, had emigrated to America from Hungary in 1894. Sales had two siblings, Leonard Supman (deceased) and Jack Supman (born 1921). His was the only Jewish family in the town; Sales joked the local Ku Klux Klan bought the sheets used for their costumes from his father. Doupy Sales got his nickname from his family. His older brothers had been nicknamed "Hambone" and "Chicken Bone". Milton was dubbed "Soup Bone," which was later shortened to "Soupy". When he became a disc jockey, he began using the stage name Soupy Hines. After he became established, it was decided that "Hines" was too close to the Heinz soup company, so he chose the Sales, in part after comedian Chic Sale. Sales graduated from Huntington High School in Huntington, West Virginia in 1944. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Randall (APA-224) in the South Pacific during the latter part of World War II. He sometimes entertained his shipmates by telling jokes and playing crazy characters over the ship's public address system. One of the characters he created was "White Fang," a large dog that played outrageous practical jokes on the seamen. The sounds for "White Fang" came from a recording of "The Hound of the Baskervilles". He took the record with him when he left the Navy Dear Soupy then enrolled in Marshall College, where he earned a Master's Degree in Journalism. While attending Marshall, he performed in nightclubs as a comedian, singer, and dancer. After graduating, he began working as a scriptwriter and disc jockey at radio station WHTN in Huntington. He moved to Cincinnati in 1949, where he worked as a morning radio DJ and performed in nightclubs. He began his television career on WKRC-TV with Soupy's Soda Shop, TV's first teen dance program, and Club Nothing!, a late-night comedy/variety program. When WKRC canceled his TV shows, Sales moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he hosted another radio and TV series and continued his nightclub act. It was in a skit on his late night comedy/variety TV series Soupy's On! that he got his first pie in the face. Sales claimed he left the Cleveland station "for health reasons: they got sick of me."He moved to Detroit in 1953 and worked for WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), ABC's O&O station. Lunch with Soupy Sales My dear friend Soupy is best known for his daily children's television show, Lunch with Soupy Sales. The show was originally called 12 O'Clock Comics, and was later known as The Soupy Sales Show. Improvised and slapstick in nature, Lunch with Soupy Sales was a rapid-fire stream of comedy sketches, gags, and puns, almost all of which resulted in Sales receiving a pie in the face, which became his trademark. Sales developed pie-throwing into an art form: straight to the face, on top of the head, a pie to both ears from behind, moving into a stationary pie, and countless other variations. He claimed that he and his visitors had been hit by more than 20,000 pies during his career. He recounted a time when a young fan mistakenly threw a frozen pie at his neck and he "dropped like a pile of shoes"