Laura Nyro

watching thoughts and emotions drift across her face like the shadows of broken clouds over a field of wheat.
Most expressive face, Seems to be reacting to her own lyrics or anticipating them. Losing herself as she crowds the piano and pushes roughness and abandon into her voice. At the end of “Save The Country,” Nyro looks relieved, then happy, then worried. Like the song itself, which starts off as a frolic

Oh Dad, Poor Dad

I think I’ve let it slip, from time to time, under certain conditions and to certain people, that my dad, Robert E. Brockway, was President of PolyGram here in the US in the early 70’s.

I trust you believed me, but for those who were skeptical or those who never heard the stories, here is proof positive courtesy of my brother, who unearthed this shot from the family photo archives: James Brown signing to Polydor.

My dad is immediately to James Brown’s left, and however uncomfortable my dad may look, we can all take comfort in the fact that he had no idea who James Brown was. Dad was hired not for his musical experience and knowledge, but for his business expertise and, perhaps, because he didn’t know or care who these people were.

He once asked me if I had ever heard of “Eric Clampton and the Creams.” Clapton was also on the Polydor label at the time.

Just a wild guess, but the gentleman at extreme left is probably an associate of Mr. Brown’a… and the gentleman at right one of the European PolyGram overlords.

Who Could Forget Jack Benny's Face?

Everyone, apparently.

In this General Electric Theater episodeThe Face Is Familiar, Jack is instantly forgotten by everyone he meets, making him an ideal candidate for bag man on a bank robbery.

Most people won’t have the patience for this – being stuck in the hospital for a week, one’s criteria tend to drop – but I was stunned to see that the half-hour episode was directed by Frank Tashlin, he of the frenetic Warner Cartoons and Jerry Lewis features.

I love Jack Benny, but this would have worked if they could have convinced Jerry to star.

To Brighton At 20 MPH

Looks like the weather was clear in these spectacular photos published in the UK Daily Mail.

Of course, breakdowns are expected, even before the start line, which some entrants never make it past. The picture below looks tragic – until you learn that the car is a “steamer” and does this type of thing when starting up.

What would I not have given to be there today?

This Weekend: The London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run

Best wishes – and all hopes for moderate weather – for those able to attend or participate. I’ll never forget the kindness and open-hearted welcome I received from those who unexpectedly adopted me on my visit to the 2001 event.

Spark Of Life

When new material stops appearing on a website, we assume that the author has lost interest, access, or possibly both.

Not the case here. I’ve been swept up with, and ocassionally overcome by, health problems. As they start to fade, maybe some color will start to drain into “Isn’t Life Terrible” once again.

I hope so and my thanks to those of you who kept coming back looking for the spark.

P.S. I don’t want comments closed here, but have been baffled by WordPress spam, so they are. Anybody know a fix?


Sundays With Snyder No. 40

From Bryan Olson: Eva Marie Saint reminisces about working on Hitchcock’s North By Northwest as well as her work in theatre and radio.

Wikipedia reports that Saint, who turned 86 last month, has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – one for motion pictures and another for television.

The all-time Walk of Fame record for multiple stars is held by Gene Autry, who has five – for motion pictures, radio, recording, television and live theater.

I’m happy for Gene, but somebody needs to tell me why Dudley Moore has only one star, awarded for motion pictures. Moore did live theater on Broadway (Beyond The Fringe and Good Evening with Peter Cook). Moore played piano in The Dudley Moore Trio, which recorded quite a few albums.  His television series with Peter Cook, Not Only But Also, was hugely successful in England. Gene Autry gets five stars? Dudley Moore certainly deserves four.

That means Peter Cook deserves three stars; and he has exactly zero at present, which makes him tied with Tom Snyder, who is also yet to be recognized for his television and radio work.

When they rip up Hollywood Boulevard or Vine Street to correct these egregious omissions, they should use the opportunity to add a radio star and theater star for  Eva Marie Saint. Then she’d be tied with Dudley Moore.

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This Is Not A Panda

Click on the panda for an explanatory video.

Sundays With Snyder No. 39

May 16, 1990: the generous and ecologically aware Eddie Albert, promoting “Return To Green Acres,” an abridged interview from the collection of Bryan Olson.

Eddie talks about early radio, his own radio debut in 1920, the original Honeymooners show from 1934, his career on Broadway (and an embarrassing on-stage moment which really tickles Tom)… as well as what it was like to return to Hooterville for a reunion show with Eva Gabor.

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“Lie To Me” Viewers Can’t Escape Verizon Ad

I’m a DVR-user. A time-shifter.

I didn’t start watching “Lie To Me” this evening until the show was half-over. That way, I could fast-forward through the commercials.

One of the commercials tonight was for Verizon. But Verizon tricked me into watching it. Probably a lot of other DVR viewers were tricked as well. Continue reading ““Lie To Me” Viewers Can’t Escape Verizon Ad” » →