Thursday, January 29, 2009

There is a beautiful woman in my bed, and a dead man in my bath!

I've been seeing a lot of commercials for the upcoming "Pink Panther 2" film. I love Steve Martin but I have to admit, he made a grave error in accepting the role of Clouseau. There is only one Clouseau and we all know that's Peter Sellers. They've tried a couple of times to replace him with the likes of Alan Arkin, Roberto Benigni and Ted Wass and each time they failed. Not to mention that every time they tried one without Sellers, Blake Edwards was also missing! As rough and rocky as their relationship was, Sellers and Edwards made the perfect team to bring the Pink Panther films together. My favorite of the films has always been"The Pink Panther Strikes Again". It is the fourth film of the series (many web sites will tell you it's the fifth but I don't count "Inspector Clouseau" because Sellers and Edwards were not a part of it) and by far, the wackiest! There are so many classic comedy bits in this film that it outdoes pretty much every other Panther film by shear content alone! My favorite scene is the tooth pulling scene where Clouseau poses as a dentist on a house call to Inspector Dreyfuss, who has gone insane and kidnapped a professor and his daughter and is hold up in a castle.
Clouseau uses nitrous oxide to numb Dreyfus but ends up taking as many hits as his patient. Stupid humor but funny! A lot of people have said that "Strikes Again" creates continuity problems for the films that follow in the series but let's face it, we're not talking about high drama here people. It's the Pink Panther movies. I don't think Blake Edwards really had continuity issues on his mind when making them! Incidentally, both "The Pink Panther Returns" and "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" use script ideas from a proposed Pink Panther television series that never got off of the ground. Some more Strikes Again trivia: the character of Professor Fassbender is named after Peter Sellers' character in "What's New Pussycat?" and the singing voice of drag queen Ainsley Jarvis is none other than the great Julie Andrews (Blake Edwards' wife!). Speaking of singing, Tom Jones had a huge hit with the song "Come To Me" which is featured in the film. You can hear that and many other musical moments from the film (composed by the master, Henry Mancini) when you download today's sharity: the soundtrack from "The Pink Panther Strikes Again". Enjoy!

The Pink Panther Strikes Again OST

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barbi Sings!

Don't worry, I haven't gone bonkers and posted an album by the popular children's doll, Barbie. Instead, I am posting an album by the popular adult's doll, Barbi Benton! At least she was popular with male adults in the seventies. For those of you who watch "The Girls Next Door" you can thank Barbi Benton for the whole concept. She was the original Girl Next Door that shared the mansion with Hef. She met Hugh Hefner in 1968, when she was booked as "atmosphere" for his television show, Playboy After Dark. She pretended to be Hefner's girlfriend for a couple of episodes and soon found herself living the role full time. When he asked her out, she was 18 and he was 42. She told him that she'd never gone out with anyone older than 24, and he replied with "That's all right. Neither have I." Barbi graced the cover of Playboy many times and was featured in the magazine's infamous photo section but has never been featured as a Playmate of the Month centerfold in the magazine. She also never worked as a Playboy Bunny. After the break up with Hef, Barbi became a regular on the country music series, Hee Haw, as a scantily clad country cutie trading gags and appearing in comic skits with other regulars. She left the program after four seasons to concentrate on a more Hollywood-oriented career. She spent the rest of the 70s and 80s with appearances on "The Love Boat", "Fantasy Island", "Hollywood Squares", "Match Game", "Lobo" and the great "Fernwood 2-Nite". She did have a minor success as a recording artist. Her 1975 record, "Brass Buckles," was a top five hit on Billboard's country singles chart. Since the 90s, Benton has changed gears and now works as an interior decorator while making a few guest appearances on "The Girls Next Door". For your listening pleasure today I bring you Barbi's first album from 1974,"Barbi Doll." It's interesting to note that this album is on the "Playboy" record label. I wonder if this album would have even gotten made if Barbi had never shared her Bentons, (if you know what I mean)! Enjoy!

Barbi Benton-Barbi Doll

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Elvis' Screen Test

Here's Elvis' original screen test from his first venture into Hollywood.

And now here's Jack White doing a hilarious Elvis impersonation from "Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story".

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Elvis The Movie (re-post)

In "It Happened At The World's Fair", 10 year old Kurt Russell is paid by Elvis's character to kick him in the shins. Little did we know that years later, Kurt Russell would play Elvis in the movie "Elvis" and receive an Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy nomination for his portrayal. Although Kurt Russell doesn't look much like Elvis in real life, he simply became him in this acclaimed tele-movie. He nails The King's voice, personality, and demeanor. Elvis is told in flashback, starting with Elvis' arrival in Las Vegas for what would be his 1969 comeback concert. It then works backward to show his awkward teen years, his discovery by Sam Phillips, his rise to fame, Army service, relationship with Priscilla (Season Hubley, who married Kurt shortly after working together here), and his frustration with his movie career. Elvis also features Shelley Winters in a strong performance as his beloved mother Gladys, Kurt's dad Bing Russell as Elvis' dad Vernon, and Pat Hingle as Colonel Parker. Country singer Ronnie McDowell does an uncanny job of recreating Elvis' singing vocals. Here for you now is that uncanny job done by Ronnie McDowell. Here is the soundtrack to Elvis The Movie. Enjoy!

Elvis The Movie OST

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fun In The Studio

Continuing with my "mini-marathon" of Elvis posts, I present to you "Fun In Acapulco:Master & Session". This comes from a series of bootlegs that all carry the title "Master & Session". Basically, this is the entire recording session for the soundtrack to "Fun In Acapulco". It features every take of every song followed by the master take that was released. It's really cool in that you get to see the process which Elvis and the band go through when recording the song. This particular session is from January 22, 1963 and has Elvis recording 7 different songs that would eventually be the soundtrack to the film. It's interesting to hear the first take and then listen to the final mix, which in some cases, are a few different takes spliced together. This technique has been used since the dawn of tape recording. It is so easy to do now with computers but back then they actually had to splice the tape in the exact spot or they would ruin the entire project. Anyway, here is Elvis in the studio recording "Bossa Nova Baby" and others for "Fun In Acapulco". Enjoy!

Elvis-Fun In Acapulco Master & Session
Elvis-Fun In Acapulco Master & Session (part 2)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Captain Dobey R.I.P

In case you haven't heard, Bernie Hamilton passed away on Tuesday. If you are wondering who he is, he was best known as Captain Dobey on Starsky and Hutch. To mark his passing, I'm reposting the soundtrack music from the show that I shared with you all back in September. We'll miss you, Capn'.

Starsky and Hutch Television Soundtrack

Thursday, January 01, 2009

First Post of 2009!!! Brand New Feature!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!! 2009!!!! It still seems weird that we are almost at the end of the first decade of the new millenium. Anyway, entering our fourth year at the world of wonder, I've decided to team up with Hulu and bring you "Classic TV Episode of the Month", a brand new feature! The first one is presented here for you on this, the first day of 2009! Here is an episode from season 1 of The Partridge Family. Enjoy!!

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