It was a quiet week. Thoughts on the future of Minnesota winters and the state's notoriety for harsh weather, the proper way to free a car stuck in a snowbank, and the benefits of competency.
It's been a quiet week. A mysterious figure skater out on the lake draws a crowd, Senator K. Thorvaldson finally heads south for the winter, and Donald Thorvaldson catches up with a few classmates.
Our contestant today is Kelly Furgits of Cleveland, Ohio. I found the hidden tune very-well hidden. But then there was a passage that, to me, leaped out so clearly and at that point became easy to hear. Oddly, the contestant guessed the composer of that hidden tune, but couldn't place the song itself. The composer style came down to two thoughts for me...but alas, I guess the other one...
Okay, I think it's near-impossible on Thanksgiving to not post this classic by Stan Freberg, from his great Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America.
Here is his version of how Thanksgiving actually came about.
It begins with the local mayor decided a bit of self-promotion would help him if he threw a big gala and invited some Indians to show what a great guy he was. Which leads to a Freberg gem, "Take an Indian to Lunch."
And then comes the glorious day of the Big Meal itself. Which apparently turns out to be that it almost wasn't so big...
I was trying to come up with songs about Thanksgiving -- I don't mean the traditional songs sung on Thanksgiving, but rather songs about the holiday. Here's one I came up with from a little-known musical I've written about in the past that written by very well-known composers, Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.
They wrote the scores to two Broadway successes, Stop the World I Want to Get Off and Roar of the Grease, the Smell of the Crowd. And also the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Yes, they wrote the song, "The Candy Man.") Subsequent to that, Bricusse went off and wrote a string of movie musicals -- Dr. Doolittle (that Newley appeared in as an actor), Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Scrooge. (And wrote the lyrics to my beloved stage musical Pickwick.)
After a long absence from the stage, the two men re-teamed and dove in again with The Good Old, Bad Old Days which opened in London, but never made it to the U.S. This is one of the songs from that score, a particularly nice number -- and one not sung by Anthony Newley. Here is the appropriately titled, "Thanksgiving Day."
This week's contestant is Betty Seckry from Kensington, Maryland. For those who've been reticent to play along, know that you stand a very good chance of guessing the hidden song here. What's hilarious though is that Ms. Seckry doesn't get it -- but does guess the composer style who is far more difficult to get. (When pianist Bruce Adolph plays it through a second time for her, she gets the hidden song immediately.)
Aloha. This week's contestant is Steven Buchtal from Honolulu, Hawaii. I think it's gettable. The song is nicely hidden, but well-known and becomes fairly recognizable. The composer style should be clear, because of the piece of music it's based on, though whether people know who wrote it is another matter...
It's been a quiet week. Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church celebrates All Saints' Day and Clint Bunsen gives up deer hunting.
This week's contestant is Wiley Newbold from Morgantown, West Virginia. It's a very lovely piece, and the style will be familiar, though I wasn't able to get the specific composer. And I had not idea what the hiddden song was, even though it turned out to be well-known enough. Even knowing what the song was, I had a hard time picking it out when Bruce Adolph played it through a second time, though I could hear the sensibility.
It's been a quiet week. Cold weather returns to Lake Wobegon, advice on leaving Minnesota, and why jokes are a bridge between people who disagree with each other.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, and is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and the Writers Guild of America. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.