Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The World Turns

I'm currently rewatching The Sopranos. Frank Sinatra's version of this lovely bittersweet Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson song plays over a montage at the opening of the first episode of the second season. But this is just as good. They knew a thing or two about life, those old guys. Durante puts all of his into this.

Bit of a place marker. Busy.


Anonymous Sergey said...

Thank you, Paul!

September 30, 2009 3:33 pm  
Blogger George Berger said...

Thank you indeed! I remember Durante from my NYC youth. Especially his "Goodnight Mrs K[C?]alabash, wherever you are."

September 30, 2009 4:39 pm  
Blogger RFYork said...

Thanks Paul,

It brings back memories of the early days of TV when Jimmy Durante had his own show.

My father loved him. I learned to.

October 01, 2009 11:33 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

As Jack Womack pointed out to me, that's why he was called The Great Durante. Assume the clip was from his own show (George, RF York, confirmation?). When I was but a kid I knew him only from 'The Guy Who Found the Lost Chord', sometimes played on the 'Childrens' Favourites' radio show: "Sitting at my pianna the udder day..."

October 01, 2009 11:55 pm  
Blogger George Berger said...

hallo Paul. I'm almost certain that it's a clip of part of J.D.'s own show. He was on the air every week for quite some time, and my parents and I loved him. What a fantastic memory! We liked the gentleness you can see on the clip. He was one of our favorites. He had Weltschmerz.
Let me say a few words about the beginnings of US TV. They were great. One example shall suffice. PLAYHOUSE 90. Ninety meant 90 minutes, which was its length. It was sponsored by Hallmark Greeting Cards (still in business), whose few commercials consisted of little more than "Buy Hallmark, for those who care enough to send the very best." Two productions are burned into my memory: that of Capek's RUR = Rossums Universal Robots and a fantastic MEDEA. Try that today! Each production was broadcast at least twice a week. I saw both great plays twice and later read them several times. I will do so again.
Things were less glitzy and commercial then, in the USA. There was Ed Sullivan, who presented interesting persons and entertaining performances each week, including the Moiseyev Dance Company, which hijacked the show for a full hour. My memory of that is so strong that I bought one of their DVDs from Amazon last month.
Of all this good stuff (mixed with bad, I admit), Durante was one of my favorites. That's one reason why I simply do not watch the telly (aka The Boob Tube in my youth) at all. The radio is much better, at least here in Sweden. Comparable to BBC 3 and Radio 4 but not as varied.

October 04, 2009 10:22 pm  
Blogger George Berger said...

p.s. I should have mentioned the classic documentary, Victory at Sea, about the Pacific War in WW2. Excellent commentary, with no triumphantalistic outbursts, perfect use of military archival footage, and the wonderful music. lots of it is on Youtube. I found it several weeks ago and was so enthralled that I burst out with positive phrases that I shall not mention here.

October 04, 2009 10:56 pm  

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