Friday, December 31, 2010

The Oscar Project: 1936

For round two of The Oscar Project I picked the year 1936. I was looking forward to making my way through this particular list of Oscar nominees, since I hadn't seen a whole lot of films from the 1930s—compared to later decades, anyway. The year 1936 was a good one for William Powell. Not only was he nominated for Best Actor for MY MAN GODFREY, but he starred in four of the twenty Oscar-nominated films of the year, including Best Picture winner, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD. An entertaining three-hour musical biopic about Florenz Ziegfeld, a showbiz dynamo who glorified the all-American girl on the stages of NYC in his elaborate Follies, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD was also nominated for Best Director (Robert Z. Leonard), Best Actress (winner Luise Rainer—she's luminous!), and Best Original Story. I first watched this lavish production nearly two years ago, during my own personal Luise Rainer craze, but this time I was also impressed by Virginia Bruce's portrayal of Audrey Dane, a Ziegfeld showgirl who can't stay sober long enough for Florenz to make her a star. 1936 was the first year to include a category for Best Supporting Actress, and it's a shame Virginia Bruce wasn't listed among those nominees. In any case, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD is filled with extravagant sets, musical numbers, and terrific stars of the era like Myrna Loy, Frank "The Wiz" Morgan, Reginald Owen, Fanny Brice, and Ray Bolger—who's best known for playing the Scarecrow in THE WIZARD OF OZ.

The other 1936 nominees I'd previously seen are MY MAN GODFREY, THESE THREE, DODSWORTH, and THE GORGEOUS HUSSY. A well-known and much-loved screwball classic, it's hard to imagine how MY MAN GODFREY didn't turn up amongst the year's ten Best Picture nominees. The film was nominated in nearly every other category—Best Director (Gregory La Cava), Best Actor (William Powell), Best Actress (Carole Lombard), Best Supporting Actor (Mischa Auer), Best Supporting Actress (Alice Brady), and Best Screenplay (Eric Hatch, Morrie Ryskind). William Wyler's THESE THREE, a smart and intense drama based on a 1934 Lillian Hellman play, features an Oscar-nominated turn by the young Bonita Granville as a deliciously-fun-to-hate, whiny little snot whose vicious lies destroy the reputations of her schoolteachers, played by Merle Oberon and Miriam Hopkins. Fortunately, Granville eventually reformed and went on to play a key role in solving several high-profile mysteries a few years later. Director William Wyler re-made THESE THREE in 1961, when he was allowed to include the play's lesbian themes that had been too shocking for film audiences of the 1930s. The later film version stars Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine as the teachers, it also has THESE THREE star Miriam Hopkins in the cast, and it uses the original title of Hellman's play, THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.

Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler), Best Actor (Walter Huston), Best Supporting Actress (Maria Ouspenskaya—in a cameo, really), and Best Screenplay (Sidney Howard), DODSWORTH is one of my all-time favorite films. Based on Sinclair Lewis' novel, the film is a moving, witty, and timeless drama about love, marriage, snobbery, and the universal search for everlasting happiness. DODSWORTH features a terrific performance by Huston as retired auto manufacturer Sam Dodsworth, Ruth Chatterton is excellent as his spoiled, social-climbing wife, and the film also includes nice bits from actors David Niven, Paul Lukas, Spring Byington, and Harlan Briggs—but it's Mary Astor as the kind, observant, patient, and lonely ex-pat Mrs. Edith Cortright who really makes the film for me. As she and Sam Dodsworth gradually get to know each other and begin to realize how much they have in common, they both light up like street lamps.

There are only two relative stinkers in the list of Oscar-nominated films of 1936. THE GORGEOUS HUSSY is a bland, overdressed historical costume drama-comedy-romance in which a 32-year-old Joan Crawford is supposedly an early-19th century love-struck lassie just out of pigtails—she's also an innkeeper's daughter who happens to be pals with Andrew Jackson (!). There's really not much to recommend the film. Cinematographer George J. Folsey likely seduced Academy president Frank Capra to get his name included amongst the year's nominees, since there's nothing about the film's camerawork that warrants special mention. True, Best Supporting Actress nominee Beulah Bondi is fun to watch as the backwater, cigar-smoking wife of Andrew Jackson, but she dies halfway through the film. 

The only other real disappointment was Best Picture nominee THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR—a heavy-handed biopic about the famous doctor who discovered that germs were the cause of deadly infections that were killing scores of people in the unsanitary hospitals of Europe. I don't really mind that Paul Muni took home the Oscar for Best Actor for playing Pasteur (I like Muni, and he's good here), but I'm mystified as to how THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR managed to elbow its way past superior fellow-nominees DODSWORTH, MY MAN GODFREY, AFTER THE THIN MAN, and MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN to waltz away with the award for Best Screenplay of the year. The Pasteur film is filled with annoying, obvious dialogue tailored to encourage audiences of the '30s to repeatedly wink knowingly at one another and pat themselves smugly on the back for being smarter than doctors who were practicing medicine in the year 1860.

 [ Joan Crawford in THE GORGEOUS HUSSY ]

There were lots of good films made in 1936 just waiting for me to discover them—and five great ones too, but I'll get to those later. Although not really on par with most of its fellow Best Picture nominees, THREE SMART GIRLS is a light and funny comedy about a trio of bright and resourceful sisters living in Switzerland who sail to New York to thwart their estranged father's plan to marry a brassy gold-digger. This is the film that first introduced singer/actress Deanna Derbin to the world, and she's given several delightfully shrill, gloriously earnest musical numbers to perform with the camera situated about three inches away from her face. PIGSKIN PARADE is a similarly lively, wacky, and enjoyable comic romp—this one about college football! The film is filled with zany musical bits by the likes of The Yacht Club Boys and Robert McClung. Just like THREE SMART GIRLS, PIGSKIN PARADE also introduced moviegoers to a promising new young singer—Judy Garland! She plays the country bumpkin younger sister to Best Supporting Actor nominee Stuart Erwin's incidental football hero—he's discovered while throwing perfectly-football-shaped melons across a large melon field and into a gunnysack held open by Garland. Jack Haley (best known as the Tin Man) plays the small-town football coach who's trying to wrangle together a winning team, and Patsy Kelly plays his sports-savvy, put-upon wife. The second she appeared onscreen, I immediately recognized Kelly as one of my childhood favorite NORTH AVENUE IRREGULARS; she's somehow changed very little in looks, voice, and manner between 1936 and 1979. Patsy Kelly also appeared as an elderly Satan-worshiper in ROSEMARY'S BABY in 1968. There's something admirable and exciting about an actress who's career spans all the way from PIGSKIN PARADE to Polanski.

Irene Dunne is great as small-town-girl-turned-saucy-romance-novelist in THEODORA GOES WILD, a hilarious, forward-thinking romantic comedy that cleverly examines the hypocrisy of small-minded American towns. The film co-stars Melvyn Douglas as Theodora's love interest and features a really cute, floppy-haired blond newspaper boy/assistant who repeatedly exclaims, "Yes-siree! Hot-diggety!" The snappy mystery-comedy AFTER THE THIN MAN lives up to the series' reputation as top-flight entertainment of the 1930s, and also features an interesting supporting performance by Jimmy Stewart. In fact, I enjoyed this film even more than THE THIN MAN, which has me thinking I should probably give that first film in the series another look. If you can imagine something like ROMANCING THE STONE being set in China in the mid-1930s, you'd have a pretty good idea what you'd be in for when you watch the bizarre-yet-enjoyable adventure-romance romp THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN. The film stars Gary Cooper and Madeleine Carroll—and Akim Tamiroff plays the Chinese General Wu (!). Cooper fares better in the Frank Capra comedy MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, a socially aware comedy about a small-town yokel who gets a large inheritance, then travels to the big city where he's immediately pounced upon by money-grabbing wheelers-and-dealers. Jean Arthur is super (as always) as the newspaper reporter who goes after the inside scoop on Mr. Deeds and eventually ends up falling for him, and Lionel Stander makes a strong impression as a big city thug who becomes one of Mr. Deeds' only true friends.

I've been a Gale Sondergaard fan since I first saw her in THE LETTER back in 1987, so I was excited to finally watch her Oscar-winning performance in ANTHONY ADVERSE—but to be honest, I thought she was a little stiff. The film, however, is operatic corn popped on a grand scale—with secret affairs, sword fights, lovers' rendezvous on a bridge, fainting spells, children born out of wedlock...and that's just in the first fifteen minutes. COME AND GET IT, directed by Howard Hawks (he started the film) and William Wyler (he finished it), with thrilling logging sequences directed by Richard Rosson, priovided my first chance to see lovely Seattle native Frances Farmer in a film—and I thought she was wonderful. Based on a novel by Edna Ferber, this 19th century logging saga features Walter Brennan as a kindly Swede who's saddled with the annoying habit of hollering, "Yumpin' Yiminee!" again and again...yet the role earned him the year's Best Supporting Actor award.

[ Walter Brennan, Frances Farmer, Edward Arnold in COME AND GET IT ]

The first of my five favorite film discoveries of 1936 is SAN FRANCISCO, starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Jeannette MacDonald (she's not too annoying!). Gable plays Blackie Norton, the atheist owner of a Barbary Coast saloon in 1906 pre-earthquake San Francisco—MacDonald is his singing discovery, and Tracy is a local priest and Blackie's best friend. The triangular romantic sparks really start to fly via a quick and witty script—until everything suddenly turns to shit in a spectacular and breathtaking show created by some of the top special effects teams of 1936 — impressive! Tracy got a Best Actor nomination for his part in the film, but it's really more of a supporting role. Clark Gable turns in a dynamic, exciting performance, and if you ask me, he's the one who should have been nominated for Best Actor. The SAN FRANCISCO DVD features an interesting TNT bio on Gable, narrated by Liam Neeson, and a short documentary about San Francisco's Treasure Island-City of Lights, a breathtaking shoreline attraction that was demolished in September of 1940.

THIN MAN stars William Powell and Myrna Loy team up with Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow in LIBELED LADY, which might just be the best screwball comedy I've ever seen. I'd never watched a Jean Harlow movie before—she's terrific! I was surprised I enjoyed George Cukor's ROMEO AND JULIET as much as I did. The sets and cinematography are gorgeous—and Norma Shearer, as Juliet, clears up any mystery as to why she's considered one of the best actresses of the decade. John Barrymore is fascinating as the erratic Mercutio, but it was Basil Rathbone and his approximately four lines of dialog that somehow took the Best Supporting Actor nomination for the film. I'm pretty sure Rathbone's incredibly sexy nose had something to do with it. Edna May Oliver gives a spunky performance as Juliet's nurse, a role not too distant from the one she played in another 1936 Best Picture nominee, A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Produced by David O. "Gone With the Wind" Selznick, A TALE OF TWO CITIES is a huge, thrilling, epic adaptation of the Dickens novel—featuring the dashing heroics of Ronald Colman, a stunning performance by stage star Blanche Yurka as Madame Defarge, and exciting scenes of the French Revolution staged by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur (they staged the scenes, not the revolution). 

My favorite of all the 1936 Oscar nominees I was watching for the first time was the relatively small film FURY, directed by Fritz Lang and nominated for Best Original Story. Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney play lovers whose lives are forever changed by a series of unfortunate coincidences related to a local small-town robbery and kidnapping. FURY offers a bleak view of humanity that seems decades ahead of its time, illuminating how social standards like truth, reason, law, due process, and human decency all go flying out the window when a society eagerly whips itself into a fit of mad hysteria fueled by gossip, fear, sensationalism, and mob rule. It's a brilliant, dark little film that brings some of the worst aspects of American culture and politics of the past decade to mind.

As always, thanks to Scarecrow Video for making all these 1936 films available to rent on DVD or VHS. Unfortunately, there's one film from the 1936 Oscar list that I didn't get to see, since it's never been released on video or DVD: VALIANT IS THE WORD FOR CARRIE—a sudsy drama about a selfless woman with a shady past (Gladys George, nominated for Best Actress) who adopts and raises two orphan children. 

Here are the Oscar-nominated films of 1936, with the winners listed in red:  

Best Picture:
Anthony Adverse
The Great Ziegfeld
Libeled Lady
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Romeo and Juliet
San Francisco
The Story of Louis Pasteur
A Tale of Two Cities
Three Smart Girls  

Best Director:
Frank Capra for MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN
Gregory La Cava for MY MAN GODFREY
Robert Z. Leonard for THE GREAT ZIEGFELD
William Wyler for DODSWORTH

Best Actor:
Walter Huston in DODSWORTH
William Powell in MY MAN GODFREY
Spencer Tracy in SAN FRANCISCO

Best Actress:
Carole Lombard in MY MAN GODFREY
Norma Shearer in ROMEO AND JULIET

Best Supporting Actor:
Mischa Auer in MY MAN GODFREY
Walter Brennan in COME AND GET IT
Stuart Erwin in PIGSKIN PARADE
Basil Rathbone in ROMEO AND JULIET

Best Supporting Actress:
Alice Brady in MY MAN GODFREY
Bonita Granville in THESE THREE
Maria Ouyspenskaya in DODSWORTH
Gale Sondergaard in ANTHONY ADVERSE

Best Original Story:
Pierre Collings, Sheridan Gibney for THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR
Adele Comandini for THREE SMART GIRLS
Robert E. Hopkins for SAN FRANCISCO
Norman Krasna for FURY
William Anthony McGuire for THE GREAT ZIEGFELD

Best Screenplay:
Pierre Collings, Sheridan Gibney for THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR
Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett for AFTER THE THIN MAN
Eric Hatch, Morrie Ryskind for MY MAN GODFREY
Sidney Howard for DODSWORTH
Robert Riskin for MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN

Best Cinematography:
George J. Folsey for THE GORGEOUS HUSSY

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teena Marie [1956-2010]

Artist: Teena Marie
LP: Lady T
Song: "You're All the Boogie I Need"
[ listen ]

Yesterday I clicked on a Yahoo link claiming that reports of Aretha Franklin's death were false—she's recovering from surgery and is doing fine. The article went on to say that there may have been some confusion due to the fact that soul/R&B singer Teena Marie had died in her sleep in Pasadena, CA the day after Christmas! She was just 54 years old. Born with the name Christina Marie Brockert in Santa Monica, CA, Teena Marie appeared in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies when she was just 8 years old. She was raised in Oakwood, CA and grew up listening to Motown music. She signed to the label in 1976 and became their most popular white recording artist. (Her first LP features no pictures of Marie—the label was evidently hoping people would focus on her music, not on the fact that she wasn't actually black, as many people assumed when they heard the record.) I first became aware of Teena Marie when her "Lovergirl" single climbed the charts in 1984. I still think it's one of the most danceable hits of the 1980s. A few years ago I started picking up all of her earlier Motown records, including "Lady T," released in 1980. The record was produced by Richard Rudolph, husband to singer Minnie Ripperton, who had died the year before. In the "Lady T" liner notes, Marie dedicates this record to Ripperton. You can read more about the life and career of the talented and lovely Teena Marie on Wikipedia here and find her New York Times obituary here.

Teena Marie
[March 5, 1956 — December 26, 2010]
We will miss you, Teena.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Artist: Arcwelder
LP: 7" single
Song: "Raleigh"
[ listen ]

Here's a single I picked up a few years ago at Al's Music, Video, & Games in Seattle's University District. The band was originally called Tilt-a-Whirl, but the manufacturer of the carnival ride with the same name threatened them with a lawsuit. You can read about Arcwelder on Wikipedia here, and find even more info on their website here. Please note: one of Arcwelder's songs was used in the movie "With Honors," but the band doesn't know Joe Pesci or Brendan Fraser. They probably don't know Moira Kelly or Josh Hamilton either. The photo of Arcwelder below is from their label's website.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hans Albers

Artist: Hans Albers
LP: 7" single
Song: "La Paloma"
[ listen ]

Born in Hamburg in 1891, Hans Albers appeared with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel before going on to become one of the most popular actors in Germany through the 1930s and first half of the 1940s. Though often pictured at the helm of a ship wearing a captain's hat, and though his singing voice seems to have been weathered by each of the seven seas, Albers evidently had virtually no experience on the water aside from one quick trip to Heligoland. You can read more about Hans Albers and see a list of films he appeared in on Wikipedia here.

[ Hans Albers: September 22, 1891 — July 24, 1960 ]

Friday, December 24, 2010

Coro di Voci Bianche

Artist: Coro di Voci Bianche
LP: Tanti Auguri a Te
Song: "Notte Santa"
[ listen ]
Song: "Jingle Bells"
[ listen ]

From a manger somewhere just outside of Naples... Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joseph Byrd

Artist: Joseph Byrd
LP: A Christmas Yet to Come
Song: "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
[ listen ]
Song: "Jingle Bells"
[ listen ]

When he was younger, and before he had such a terrible weight problem, Santa would often prance through the forest with his ARP 2600 Synthesizer, delighting the wood nymphs, jack rabbits and deer with impromptu electronic performances of cheerful holiday ditties.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Mom and Dads

Artist: The Mom and Dads
LP: Merry Christmas / Happy New Year with The Mom and Dads
Song: "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
[ listen ]

On the back of their 1972 Christmas record, The Mom and Dads demonstrate what happens when folks interpret "don we now our gay apparel" too literally. Based in Washington's second largest city, The Mom and Dads were especially beloved by Canadians, where their "Rippling River Waltz" went to #38 on the singles charts in 1971. You can read all about Quentin, Doris, Leslie, and Harold on Wikipedia here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cupcakes

These cupcakes are baked in muffin cases so that they are larger than the usual cupcakes. Once decorated, they look like miniature Christmas cakes. The addition of ground almonds gives a firm texture and adds a richness suitable for the occasion.

Makes 16 cupcakes
9 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
4-6 drops almond extract 
4 eggs, lightly beaten
generous 1 cup self-rising white flour
1¾ cups ground almonds

1 lb/450 g white ready-to-roll fondant frosting
2 oz/55 g green read-to-roll colored fondant frosting
1 oz/25 g red read-to-roll colored fondant frosting
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

* Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Put 16 paper muffin cases in a muffin pan.

* Put the butter, sugar and almond extract in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and, using a large metal spoon, fold it into the mixture, then fold in the ground almonds. Spoon the batter into the paper cases to half-fill them.

* Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

* When the cakes are cold, knead the white frosting until pliable, then roll out on a counter lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Using a 2¾-inch/7-cm plain round cutter, cut out 16 circles, re-rolling the frosting as necessary. Place a circle on top of each cupcake. 

* Roll out the green frosting on a counter lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Using the palm of your hand, rub confectioners' sugar into the frosting to prevent it from spotting. Using a holly leaf-shaped cutter, cut out 32 leaves, re-rolling the frosting as necessary. Brush each leaf with a little cooled boiled water and place 2 leaves on top of each cake. Roll the red frosting between the palms of your hands to form 48 berries and place in the center of the leaves.
side one:
01. Church Bells at Christmas Time - James Last
02. Snow Flakes - The Mexicali Brass

03. Jingle Bells - Celia Cruz
04. Pueblito de Belem - Juan Torres
05. Little Drummer Boy - Lena Horne
06. Dasher With the Light Upon His Tail - Kitty Wells

07. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - The Original Five Blind Boys
08. Merry Merry Gentlemen - Ralph Flanagan
09. Angels We Have Heard on High - Raymond Lefevre & His Orchestra
10. The Twelve Days of Christmas—In Hawaii - Sol Kamahele  
[ listen ]

side two:
01. Leise, Rieselt Der Schnee (The Snow Falls Gently) - Schöneberger Sängerknaben
02. The Holly and the Ivy - Joseph Byrd

03. (There's No Place Like) Home For the Holidays - Lorne Greene
04. Silver Bells - Vic Jordan
05. Aires Navideños - Pedro Padilla y su Conjunto w/ Jose Ortiz
06. We Three Kings - Paul Mickelson
07. African Carol - Marais and Miranda
08. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jimmy Boyd
09. Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis

10. Frosty the Snowman - The Ronettes
11. O Holy Night - Arthur Lyman
12. Christmas Dream - Ferlin Husky   
[ listen ]

Monday, December 20, 2010

Los Diplomáticos

Artist: Los Diplomáticos
LP: 7" single
Song: "Blanca Navidad (White Christmas)"
[ listen ]
Song: "Trulla Navideña"
[ listen ]

Here are some tracks from a neat Puerto Rican Christmas record I found at Rooky Ricardo's Records in San Francisco when I was there for my friend's wedding back in March. I'm pretty sure that woman on the cover is about to magically pull three French hens out of that box she's holding.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jack Jersey

Artist: Jack Jersey
LP: 7" single
Song: "In the Still of the Night"
[ listen ]

Born in Bandung in the Dutch Indies in 1941 with the name Jack de Nijs, Mr. Jersey relocated to The Netherlands in 1951 and scored an English-language hit using the name Ruby Nash before switching his name to Jack Jersey instead. You can hear in his voice and see in his rhinestones that Jack was performing under the influence of Elvis Presley, but I'd have to say that Jack has probably one-upped even Elvis with his 1980 music video for "Sri Lanka, My Shangri-la" (see below). You can read about Jack de Nijs—aka. Ruby Nash—aka. Jack Jersey on the English translated Dutch Wikipedia site here, where you'll also find a link to the official Jack Jersey website.

Jack Jersey on YouTube:
[ Jack Jersey: July 18, 1941 — May 26, 1997 ]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gustavo Gastell

Artist: Gustavo Gastell
LP: 7" single
Song: "Thunderball"
[ listen ]

Here's a neat single I found in Guadalajara, México a few years ago. Gustavo Gastell evidently shares my affection for the James Bond theme songs of the 1960s, since he recorded covers of three of them for this 1966 EP. I bet we'd make good karaoke partners. Gustavo's Spanish-language "Thunderball" lyrics, which seem to have been written by M. Molina Montes rather than being translated from English, are included below. I guess making up new lyrics was probably just easier than trying to force the literally-translated Spanish words to match up with the music.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Positive Noise

Artist: Positive Noise
LP: 7" single
Song: "Positive Negative"
[ listen ]

Positive: my friend giving me a $25 gift certificate for Georgetown Records, where I found this single for just $3 last week. Negative: My checking account balance after not being able to control myself and leaving the store with way more than $25 worth of records. Read about the Scottish new wave group Positive Noise here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Crystals

Artist: The Crystals
LP: A Christmas Gift For You from Philles Records
Song: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
[ listen ]

Last week a friend and I went to see the clumsy new documentary about Phil Spector, in which we learned about his life, his music, and his trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. In the film, Phil mentions that he's never expected the writer of a famous Christmas song to call him up to thank him for putting their song on his Christmas record—so on behalf of Johnny Marks, who died in 1985, I'd like to thank Phil Spector for putting this terrific version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on his Christmas record. You can read about The Crystals here.


Friday, December 10, 2010


Artist: Royalty
LP: 7" single
Song: "Baby Gonna Shake"
[ listen ]

I've never seen Earth Girls Are Easy, but the Washington Post says it's "the movie equivalent of cheap champagne—even though it's lousy, it still gives you tickles up your nose." I'll be renting it soon, since I like both cheap champagne and tickles up my nose. Produced by Stephen Bray, who's one of the sexiest people I've ever Googled, "Baby Gonna Shake" sounds similar to some of the hits he produced for Madonna—like "Express Yourself" and "Into the Groove," but I feel I should mention that I always prefer Royalty over Madonna for my afternoon medium cardio routine.

 [ Stephen Bray ]

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chris Hodge

Artist: Chris Hodge
LP: 7" single
Song: "We're On Our Way"
[ listen ]

Young British upstart Chris Hodge was reportedly signed to Apple Records after calling to tell them, "I've got some good rockin' songs about UFOs." Ringo Starr likes UFOs, so he helped Chris get a record deal, and "We're On Our Way" went to #44 on the US singles charts in 1972. You can confirm this here, see more pics by searching for Chris Hodge here and listen to more of his songs here.

[ Chris Hodge on grass. ]