“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Cup of Joe…

January 19th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`In honor of tomorrow’s inauguration of our next president, Turner Classic Movies will be running a slew of movies with Joe in the title. They will begin this tribute at 6a (EST).

“`The lineup begins with Ode to Billy Joe. Other highlights include The Story of G. I. Joe, A Guy Named Joe, Pal Joey, and Mighty Joe Young. One omission…  I wish they would have included the Humphrey Bogart classic, Tokyo Joe.

     

“`Check your cable provider for TCM’s lineup for January 20th. Cinematically, it is a great way to start a new administration!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wall of Sound…

January 17th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Phil Spector should be remembered as one of the best music producers in pop music history. Unfortunately, he will also be known as a convicted felon for murder and he died as an inmate in prison.

“`Spector attended Fairfax High, located in a Jewish neighborhood on the edge of Hollywood. For decades, the school has been the source of future musical talent.  He was reserved, but his abilities were obvious. Spector had perfect pitch and learned to play several instruments.  He performed in talent shows and formed a group called The Teddy Bears with his pals.  They recorded a tune written and produced by Phil that would become a pop classic. To Know Him is to Love Him was inspired from the inscription on his father’s tombstone.     PHIL SPECTOR –>

“`He began working with composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Ultimately, he found a niche in producing. Spector also co-wrote the hit song Spanish Harlem with Ben E. King, and played lead guitar on The Drifters’ On Broadway.

“`He had his own production company Philles Records with partner Lester Silles, where he developed his signature Wall of Sound. He assembled respected studio musicians:  Arranger Jack Nitzsche, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, pianist Leon Russell, and drummer Hal Blaine.  Phil provided early breaks to Glen Campbell, Sonny Bono, and Cher.

 

“`The Wall of Sound merged vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements. Spector produced such pop monuments as Da Doo Ron Ron, Be My Baby, and He’s a Rebel. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling became his biggest hit.  The secret to the sound…  An overdubbed onslaught of instruments, vocals and sound effects that changed the way pop records were recorded.  When River Deep-Mountain High, a 1966 release featuring Tina Turner, failed to catch on, Phil shut down his record label and withdrew from the business for three years.

“`In 1969, Spector salvaged The Beatles’ Let It Be album,  the troubled production marked by dissension within the band.  Although John Lennon praised his efforts, partner Paul McCartney was enraged, especially when Spector added strings and a choir to McCartney’s The Long and Winding Road.  Years later, McCartney would oversee a remixed Let it Be, removing Spector’s contributions. By the mid-1970s, Spector had largely retreated from the music business.

“`The fullness of Spector’s productions reflected a dark side he could barely contain even at his peak. He was temperamental, remembered bitterly by Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector (his former wife),  and others collaborating with him.  After The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, Spector sent his congratulations.  But in an acceptance speech by his ex-wife, she never mentioned him while thanking numerous other people.

“`Spector was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to nineteen years to life. 

“`Phil Spector was eighty-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Familiar Names in the News…

January 14th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`We have lost two familiar people tied to the entertainment industry this week.

~ Siegfried Fischbacher – He was the surviving member of the duo Siegfried and Roy.  Roy Horn and Fischbacher met on a cruise ship in 1957. Fischbacher performed the magic tricks while Horn became his assistant. They started using a cheetah in their act. They honed their animal-magic show in small clubs in Germany and Switzerland in the mid-1960s.

“`Their break came in a Monte Carlo casino when an agent in the audience invited them to Las Vegas. The pair made their debut at the Tropicana hotel-casino in the late 1960s. When they signed a lifetime contract with the Mirage Hotel in 2001,  it is estimated they had performed five thousand shows at the casino for ten million fans since 1990, and had grossed more than one billion dollars.

“`The pair gained international recognition for helping to save rare white tigers and white lions from extinction. Their ten million dollar compound was home to dozens of rare felines over the years. The housing of white lions and tigers were a result of a preservation program beginning in the 1980s.

“`Siegfried Fischbacher (above right) was eighty-one.

~ ~ ~

~ Joanne Rogers –  She was an accomplished concert pianist who celebrated and protected the legacy of her husband, the beloved children’s television host Mister Rogers.  Joanne was considered one of Pittsburgh’s greatest neighbors. After her husband’s death,  she helped develop the Fred Rogers Center Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at  St Vincent College, located in his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

“`Joanne Rogers (above right) was ninety-two.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- That Was the Year That Was…

January 10th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Art Kirsch and John Coleman have asked me to unveil and analyze the finest year of cinema on Celebrating Act 2. I heartily comply…

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bleeding Dodger Blue…

January 8th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Tommy Lasorda was the Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles, and later,  he became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his seventy-one years with the franchise. He worked as a player, scout, manager and front office executive with the Dodgers dating to their roots in Brooklyn.

“`His pro career began when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an undrafted free agent in 1945. Tom missed the 1946 and 1947 seasons while serving in the Army. He made his major league debut on August 5, 1954 for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Though he did not play in the 1955 World Series, he won a ring as a team member.

“`Lasorda stayed on with the  Dodgers as a scout after his release in 1960. This was the beginning of a steady climb through the Dodgers system and it culminated in a 1973 promotion to the big-league staff under longtime Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston.

“`Tommy became manager of the team after Alston retired in 1976. Lasorda was known for his enthusiasm. He would jump around and pump his arms in the air after team victories, embracing players in the dugout after home runs or other fine plays.

“`He discovered many players he managed in the minors, such as Steve Garvey, Bobby Valentine, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, and Bill Buckner. Lasorda managed nine National League Rookie of the Year winners, including Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Steve Howe, Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, and Hideo Nomo.

“`Lasorda had a longtime friendship with Frank Sinatra and other Hollywood stars. He crooned the national anthem on opening day of the 1977 season to ordain Lasorda’s debut as manager. The paneled walls of his office were lined with black-and-white autographed photos of his celebrity friends, the framed glass stained by pasta sauce from food served in large foil trays after games.

“`In 1998,  Lasorda became interim general manager after Fred Claire was fired in the middle of the season. Tommy resigned after the season and was then appointed senior vice president. After the team was sold in 2004 to Frank McCourt, he became special adviser to the chairman.

“`Lasorda attended the Dodgers’ Game Six victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on October 27th in Texas that clinched the team’s first World Series title since 1988. This was the last game he would ever attend.

“`The fiery Tommy Lasorda was ninety-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrate the Binge…

January 6th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`What is becoming a tradition, you can bring in the New Year by binge-watching your favorite film or television series.  I join Art Kirsch and John Coleman on Celebrating Act 2 for this lively discussion…

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye to Tanya…

January 5th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Tanya Roberts was an actress and producer. She is best remembered as a Bond girl and one of Charlie’s Angels. She began her career as a model in television ads for Excedrin, Ultra Brite, Clairol, and Cool Ray sunglasses.

“`After hitchhiking across the country, Tanya ended up in New York. She studied at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen and also worked as an Arthur Murray dance instructor.     TANYA ROBERTS —>

“`Her big break came when she replaced Shelley Hack during the fifth season of  Charlie’s Angels. Despite plenty of press, including appearing on the cover of People magazine, the show was cancelled the next season.  Roberts was featured in a nude pictorial in Playboy, gracing the October, 1982 cover.

“`She played Velda, the secretary to private detective Mike Hammer, in the television movie Murder Me Murder You. The two-part pilot initiated a syndicated series Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer. She declined to continue the role in the Mike Hammer series to work on her next project, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle. The movie was unfortunately a box office and critical disaster. Tanya secured her career legacy as a Bond girl in A View To a Kill.

“`For several seasons, she was a regular on That ’70s Show. She retired from the program when her screenwriter husband, Barry Roberts, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Tanya guest-starred on Vega$, The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island.

“`Tanya Roberts was sixty-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Oops!

January 4th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`TMZ is now reporting — Tanya Roberts is ALIVE. Despite widespread reports of her passing,  either her partner or the hospital were in error in their dissemination of facts. Here is what we know today:

“`Her personal rep, Mike Pingel, previously announced Roberts’ death and sent out a press release confirming she had died after being sent to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She ended up on a ventilator after collapsing in her home on Christmas Eve. Her boyfriend Lance O’Brien first told the news of her death with Pingel.  Friends of the family also contacted TMZ  on Sunday saying Lance had called to inform them of Tanya’s death.

“`Pingel now tells TMZ that Lance got a call just after 10a on Monday from the hospital’s ICU team saying Tanya was still alive. She remains hospitalized.

“`I am sure this is great news for her family and her fans, worldwide. Plus, she has received the rare opportunity to see how she would be memorialized after her eventual passing.

“`Let me personally apologize for any anguish yesterday’s blog may have caused. I pray Tanya Roberts (above) makes a speedy and full recovery.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Top Forty…

January 1st, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`On December 31, 1979, I began the journey into the world of broadcasting. The week before, I had been interviewed for a position at KRLA 1110 AM. It was odd to be going for a job on Christmas Eve, but this was an opportunity I could not turn down. Keep in mind, I was still attending UCLA.

 

Photo #2 – MANNY PACHECO (far right) with

MIKE WAGNER  JOHNNY HAYES  REAL DON STEELE  CHARLIE TUNA

“`I was hired as the Assistant Promotions Director, and began my employment the day before New Years. It was Art Laboe who believed I could have a lucrative career in the radio industry. His hunch proved correct. On January 1, 1981, I was named the Nighttime Radio Host. I have remained on the air every year since that magical moment in time.

“`With stops at a dozen different stations, I am grateful to have spent my entire broadcasting career in Southern California. My latest venture: Weekend Traffic Anchor at KNX 1070 News Radio, a legendary station in the Los Angeles market.

 

“`The blessings continue and the journey is not over. In the meantime, I have forty years of memories…

“`HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bon Voyage to Mary Ann…

December 30th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Dawn Wells was a television actress best remembered for her role as Mary Ann Summers on the CBS sitcom Gilligan’s Island. She recently became a Marketing Ambassador to the MeTV Network. Her other work included teacher, motivational speaker, and conservationist.

“`Before her lingering fame, Wells was crowned Miss Nevada and represented her state in the Miss America 1960 pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This notoriety led to a career in show business.

“`Before and after landing her signature part, Wells guest-starred in The Joey Bishop Show, Wagon Train77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Laramie, Burke’s Law, The Wild Wild West, The InvadersThe F. B. I., Vega$, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Bonanza. On the big screen, she co-starred in Palm Springs Weekend and The New Interns.

DAWN WELLS

“`Following Gilligan’s Island, Wells embarked on a theater career, appearing in nearly one hundred theatrical productions.  She spent the majority of the 1970s, and 1980s, touring in musical theater productions. Dawn also had a one-woman show at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1985. Gilligan’s Island spinoffs followed as well.

“`In 1993, she published Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook with co-writers Ken Beck and Jim Clark, including a foreword by Bob Denver. She was close to Alan Hale Jr, who played The Skipper, even after the series completed its run. He would contribute a family recipe (Kansas Chicken and Dumplings) to her cookbook.

“`Wells used her fame for charity work,  including her participation in the Denver Foundation (founded by Bob Denver’s widow),  the Idaho Film and Television Institute, and her personal pet project Wishing Wells Collections, which designs clothes for folks with limited mobility. In 2005, she consigned for sale her original gingham blouse and shorts ensemble that she wore during every season of Gilligan’s Island. Beverly Hills auction house Profiles in History sold the outfit for $20,700.

“`A victim of Covid-19, Dawn Wells was eighty-two.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- C’est Chic…

December 29th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`French fashion designer Pierre Cardin understood the importance his exclusive haute couture shows would stoke in consumer desire. He also became an early pioneer of licensing. His name emblazons hundreds of products, from accessories to home goods.

“`When he was a child, the family moved to Saint Etienne in central France,  where Cardin was schooled and became an apprentice to a tailor. After moving to Paris, he worked as an assistant in the House of Paquin  and helped design costumes for filmmaker Jean Cocteau. He was involved in creating costumes for Beauty and the Beast.

“`After working briefly with Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior, Cardin opened his own fashion house in Paris’ posh First District, starting with costumes and masks. Cardin delivered his first real collection in 1953. Success quickly followed with the 1954 launch of his celebrated bubble dress. Cardin’s high-profile relationship with French actress Jeanne Moreau, the smoky-voiced blonde of Jules and Jim, also helped boost the brand’s profile.

“`Beyond clothing, Cardin put his mark on perfumes, makeup, porcelain, chocolates, a resort in the south of France, and even the velvet-walled watering hole Maxim’s — where he could often be seen at lunch.  He opened a children’s shop, a furniture store, and Espace Cardin, a sprawling hall in central Paris where the designer would later stage fashion shows, as well as plays, ballet performances and other cultural events.

“`During the brand’s heyday, goods bearing his fancy cursive signature were sold at 100,000 outlets worldwide. In his later life, with no heir apparent, Cardin dismantled much of his vast empire.

“`Pierre Cardin (above right) was ninety-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Notable Reader…

December 28th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`I was pleased to recently find out that Maggie Seven Wellman is a fan of my award-winning Forgotten Hollywood blog site and a repeat visitor to watch my interviews on the Celebrating Act 2 podcast. According to her bio:

Margaret (Maggie) Seven Wellman is the youngest child of veteran film director William A. Wellman, and Busby Berkeley dancer and actor, Dorothy Coonan. Raised in Hollywood on a rambling ranch-style estate built in 1944, her childhood memories of family are inescapably entwined in the rooms and landscape on Barrington Avenue, the subject of her first memoir.

 In 1983, she retired from the motion picture business and moved to Ojai, California to raise a family. While there, Ms. Wellman has worked as a photographer, a technology coordinator for the local public elementary school, and acted as executive director for the Ojai Film Festival in 2005-2006.

“`As an actress, she co-starred in The Harrad Experiment and Rancho Deluxe. On television, she has guest-starred in The Partridge Family, The Streets of San Francisco and McMillan and Wife.

“`A couple of years back, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with her older brother,  William Wellman Jr. at the Cinecon film fest. Their pa was the iconic cinematic director of Wings, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Story of G. I. JoeThe Public Enemy, BattlegroundBeau Geste, Nothing Sacred, and The High and the Mighty.  He also co-wrote and directed the 1937 adaptation of A Star is Born, and it earned him a very well-deserved Best Screenplay Academy Award.    William A. Wellman and Maggie Wellman –>

“`I am thrilled Maggie Wellman is a cherished follower of the Forgotten Hollywood journey.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My Two Front Teeth…

December 24th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`I was handed unfortunate news this week. I have a tooth that needs extracting. It will be replaced by an implant. Before I receive the replacement, my gum needs to heal. The tooth will be missing for approximately six months.

“`Let me offer a Hollywood tie-in. All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth is a holiday tune written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardner while he was teaching music at public schools in Smithtown, New York. The silly song was published in 1948 after an employee of Witmark Music Company heard Gardner sing it at a music teachers conference.

“`The number was introduced in 1948 on Perry Como’s radio show, and originally recorded by Spike Jones and His City Slickers on December 6, 1947, with lead vocal by George Rock. That version, released by RCA Victor, reached the top of the charts in 1948, and again in 1949.

“`The ditty has also been recorded by numerous other singers and performers, including Ray Stevens, George Strait, Danny Kaye with The Andrews Sisters, The Platters, The Chipmunks, Nat King Cole (reportedly Gardner’s favorite version), the Hampton String Quartet, The Three Stooges, and Count von Count of Sesame Street.

“`As far as my plight goes… I can keep my missing tooth hidden and help stop the spread of Covid-19 by wearing a mask!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Happy Christmas (War is Over)…

December 22nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`With a reference to the title of a John Lennon yuletide classic, it occurred to me that a spate of holiday cinema emerged as World War II ended. Between 1945 and 1948, the United States was looking for escapism to jumpstart the citizenry into an era of good feeling.  These capable productions provided romance, a touch of fantasy, and in some cases, several nods to the war effort.

“`The initial film that went into principal photography was Christmas in Connecticut, which was released just days after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A traditional romantic comedy, the story is about an unmarried magazine writer who falls for a returning war hero. The soldier angle was written into the script after the Allies marched into Berlin.  It featured Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sidney Greenstreet, and S. Z. Sakall.

“`The Bells of St. Mary was an worthy sequel to the hugely popular Going My Way, the previous year. This story follows Father O’Malley’s efforts in saving a condemned inner-city school building during the holidays. Bing Crosby reprised his part as the genial priest.  This film was on the bill at the bijou in Bedford Falls during the climax in It’s a Wonderful Life (an obvious promotional plug). Henry Travers offered steady support for Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. The next year, he would take on his most memorable role as Clarence the Angel.

   

“`Much has been shared about It’s a Wonderful Life and the war connection is documented. This was James Stewart’s first assignment after spending his military duty flying bombers into Germany. He returned from his tour a changed man… sober and gaunt.  Unknown to the cast, Stewart harbored the horrors of combat. Today this is called P. T. S. D. During more desperate moments of the tale, the actor cried real tears as he attempted to expunge pent up memories of battle. He would later accept work in edgy Westerns directed by Anthony Mann.

“`Santa Claus went on trial in Miracle on 34th Street. Edmund Gwenn earned an Oscar for his performance as the intrepid Kris Kringle.  Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and a very young Natalie Wood round out the cast.  Macy’s Department Store and its annual parade are the backdrop to this delightful look at the economic boom that followed the war.

   

“`The Bishop’s Wife combines many of the sentimental elements found in The Bell’s of St. Mary and It’s a Wonderful Life. An angel (named Dudley) helps a priest who has lost their way during Christmas. Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven share in the mischief. The daughter is played by Karolyn Grimes, who was also Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life.

“`In Good Sam, Gary Cooper follows the advice of his minister and performs kind actions at the expense of his family’s livelihood. As Christmas approaches, his faith is reaffirmed by the kindness returned by friends and neighbors in the hamlet. Ann Sheridan co-stars. Todd Karns had previously appeared in It’s a Wonderful Life as Harry Bailey.

“`In 2020, we fight a different war due to Covid-19. Have a safe and healthy Christmas!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrating Yuletide Cinema…

December 20th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`In the wake of my participation in a national radio production of It’s a Wonderful Life, why not chat with Art Kirsh and John Coleman on Celebrating Act 2 about iconic Christmas films…

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”