Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Weekend Mix

Darlings, escape the St. Patrick's Day crowds this weekend with our playlist of absolutely random fabulosity. There will be sequins and safety gays and shopping trips with Joan Crawford. Enjoy!


We don't think there are words adequate in the entire English language to describe how surreal this 1969 promotional video is. It seems to have been scripted while the writers were drinking LSD-spiked Pepsi-Cola. Joan, for her part, actually seems fairly sober (it was hit-or-miss with Miss C. during this period), which means that she gives her line readings all of the intense authority she did with Mildred Pierce (1945) and Strait-Jacket (1964). And brother, are there some howlers (and head-scratchers):

"Like the grass...like the trees...like Frankenstein's monster!"

"It's like a hot dog, only Spanish!"

"Just eat your weirdo!"

"God, where does the grass come from? God, veal cutlets? God, rhubarb? Oh, no...not rhubarb."

"The supermarket is a remarkable place, if you stop to think about it."


In this clip, Miss Panda Eyes herself, Dusty Springfield, gives a fabulous, swinging performance of "Bring Him Back," aided by two enthusiastic safety gays bearing striking resemblances to Udo Kier and Noel Harrison, and who can't stay in synchronized rhythm to save their nellie necks, bless their hearts. The song is a cover version of an obscure American R&B tune by one "Sissie Houston"...yes, Cissy Houston under a strange nom-de-45. And, giving credit where credit is due, La Springfield leaves the great Ms. Houston's version in the dust.


Depending on how much we've had to drink, we find this clip of Rose Marie singing "Little Girl Blue" either wonderfully camp, or heartbreakingly touching. Perhaps it's both. Basically singing it in character as the perennially man-hungry Sally from The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was one of the top sitcoms when she taped this episode of The Dean Martin Show, Ro and her ever-present bows look and sound great. 


OK, this may be from a Duke Ellington tribute, but it's certainly not jazz. It is, however, an absolute brilliant transformation of a jazz standard into a highly theatrical, one woman, one act play. We can't think of anyone besides the eccentric Tammy Grimes who could pull that bizarre feat off, nor would we care to listen to any other attempts. This, darlings, is our all time favorite interpretation of one of our favorite songs.


Watching this legendary clip from The Ed Sullivan Show, it's clear that Miss Ross had far outgrown the confines of a group. She is completely committed to this lengthy, challenging medley from Funny Girl, and when she sings "I'm the Greatest Star," she doesn't sound as if she's trying to chase Streisand -- she really believes it, and we certainly aren't going to argue. Love or loathe her, it's impossible to imagine any of her contemporaries of the era even attempting something like this, let alone making it work. Watch for the big finish, as Ross throws her arms up in the air, and effectively blocks the faces of Mary and Cindy.


Finally, we have what can only be described as the ultimate cluster***k of stars -- the 1974 premiere of That's Entertainment!, hosted by Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis, Jr., and featuring "more stars than there are in the heavens." Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend, darlings!!!

12 comments:

  1. A truly fab assortment! My favorite line in that Joanapalooza, though, is: "Where do you think meat comes from?"!

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    1. "Where do you think YOU come from?"

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  2. I want a grocery store where the florescent tubes are arranged like daisies.

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    1. I do, too, if only so I can do my marketing in hat and gloves.

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  3. I would give my right arm to go grocery shopping with Joan Crawford. I love how she allowed herself to be called Joan. There was a sitcom in that woman that, sadly, never got to express itself.

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    1. Excepting, of course, that fascinatingly terrible episode of "The Lucy Show"...

      "Oh, Lucy. When the big ones fall, they really fall!"

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  4. Given her extreme stage fright (which is one of the reasons - yes, along with the vodka - that she can seem sort of addled in TV interviews), I thought she actually did surprisingly well in this comparatively informal context. She's closer to the warm, funny (if eccentric) woman people I've known who in turn knew her have described...

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    1. Yes! And I thought she interacted very naturally with that little girl, letting her supposedly negligible sense of humor come through: "Whoever heard of a red weirdo?!"

      Of course, I love the MGM diction, too: "Spanish din-nah!"

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  5. No - red - monsters - EVER!!!!!!

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    1. Do YOU think this supermarket is clean? DO YOU?!

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  6. LOVE these clips! So happy you're back! XOXOX

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