IF: soup

Do the mouse!

I did this drawing for my friend Kathy. Kathy, who is the long-time host of a popular children’s call-in show on a local Philadelphia radio station, has single-handedly kept the memory of Soupy Sales alive for a generation that would, otherwise, have no interest in the late comedian.

Soupy Sales, born in North Carolina as Milton Supman, was a popular radio and television host, whose simplistic brand of broad, slapstick humor made him a wildly popular character in the 1950s through the 70s and 80s. Top celebrities, like Duke EllingtonFrank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Judy Garland and Sammy Davis, Jr. all clamored for a shot at appearing on his show. The pinnacle of a guest appearance on Soupy’s show was the honor of being hit with a cream pie in the kisser, Soupy’s signature stunt. As Soupy’s popularity grew, he soon was featured in movies, television series and game shows. Soupy recorded albums on Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records label and even appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, just prior to The Beatles’ performance.

Kathy, who was an early fan, was close to Soupy and eventually became “the daughter he never had.”  Thanks to Kathy’s on-air efforts, Soupy Sales has found a new and appreciative audience.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

 happy something or other

My annual Christmas music compilation is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD at ge.tt or jumpshare.com for a limited time.

This year, it’s a whopping 71 minutes worth of Christmas cacophony that’s sure to ruin your holiday celebration within seconds. You get two dozen eclectic Christmas selections plus a custom full-color cover with track listings – all for you and all for FREE! (That’s right! FREE!)

   

(Please contact me if you have trouble with the download.)

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happy holidays 2016 from JPiC

happy whatever

My annual Christmas music compilation is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD at ge.tt or jumpshare.com for a limited time.

This year, it’s a whopping 71 minutes worth of Christmas cacophony that’s sure to ruin your holiday celebration within seconds. You get two dozen eclectic Christmas selections plus a custom full-color cover with track listings – all for you and all for FREE! (That’s right! FREE!)

   

(Please contact me if you have trouble with the download.)

we wish you a happy something or other

Did you miss previous years’ compilations? You can still get them here:

2015     2014     2013     2012     2011    2010

 

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DCS: sharon jones

dap queen

I saw Sharon Jones and her band, The Dap Kings, at one of the last Appel Farm Music and Arts Festivals in Salem County, New Jersey. Despite blistering hot temperatures, Sharon and her nattily-dressed rhythm ensemble brought the crowd to its feet with its infectious funk. Sharon’s powerful and soulful voice soared and filled the stage and blasted through the parched field that served as the venue. During the course of the set, Sharon lost her balance – possibly tripping over a stray guitar or amplifier cable – and fell flat on her ass. Without missing a beat and without interruption in her song, Sharon stood up and continued performing.

That summed up Sharon Jones to a T. She kept getting back up when something knocked her down.

Sadly, Sharon passed away in November 2016 at the age of 60 after a long, tough battle with cancer.

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DCS: kay kendall

Les Girls
What was that magical power Rex Harrison had over women? This is the third story I’ve presented about a woman who was obsessed with the late actor.

Kay Kendall appeared in both comedies and dramas, including a Golden Globe-winning performance in 1957 musical Les Girls, opposite Gene Kelly.

She had a lengthy romance with Charlie Chaplin‘s son Sydney. But, in 1955, Kay starred with Rex Harrison in the film The Constant Husband. Harrison was married to actress Lilli Palmer at the time. However, when he learned that Kay was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia, he and Palmer agreed to divorce so that he could marry Kay. Harrison would provide constant care for his new wife, though she was never told of the true nature and severity of her illness. She merely believed her had an iron deficiency. As for the divorce from Rex Harrison, Palmer said she was not upset because she had a lover too. Curiously, Palmer and Harrison made plans to re-marry after Kay’s death, but Palmer ended up falling in love with her companion, actor Carlos Thompson, and married him instead.

Kay passed away in 1959 at the age of 32.

Rex Harrison, that scoundrel, married three more times before his death.

Carole Landis killed herself over Rex Harrison. Rachel Roberts, too.

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IF: steam

steam heat

A dancer since the age of five, Carol Haney left her native New Bedford, Massachusetts for Hollywood. She was spotted by choreographer Jack Cole in some bit parts and was hired as his partner in the middle 1940s. Soon, she paired up with the great Gene Kelly as his assistant choreographer on such classic MGM musicals as On the Town, Summer Stock, An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain. In 1953, Carol danced with Bob Fosse in the movie musical Kiss Me, Kate. Fosse was recruited to choreograph The Pajama Game on Broadway. and he secured a small dancing role for his protégé Carol. Director George Abbott was so impressed by Carol’s talent that he cast her in the featured role of the flirty “Gladys Hotchkiss.” It was the break Carol had wished for. She shot to Broadway stardom and won a Tony Award. However one month into the production of The Pajama Game, Carol injured her leg. The role of “Gladys” was taken over by her understudy, a young unknown actress named Shirley MacLaine. During a performance, a Hollywood talent agent in the audience liked what he saw and MacLaine was signed to a film contract. In later years, two songs from The Pajama Game, “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway,” became staples in MacLaine’s nightclub act.

Carol, however, never achieved Hollywood success. Suffering from terrible stage fright, Carol concentrated, instead, on choreography. She conceived and arranged the dancing for numerous stage musicals, including Flower Drum Song, Bravo Giovanni, She Loves Me and Funny Girl.

In 1964, at the age of 39, Carol passed away from pneumonia, complicated by her excessive alcohol intake. She was nominated for three more Tony Awards, including a posthumous nod for Funny Girl.

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