We're going to head back to The Ed Sullivan Show for another rare and classic performance. To be clear, not all the performers in this menagerie are especially rare, but it's still a treat to see them in this context. And we'll start with one of my favorites, Louis Armstrong. He sings "Blueberry Hill" here, and I have a particular affection for this song. He'd recorded it years earlier in 1949 (seven years before Fats Domino had his huge hit with it), but re-recorded the song for his famous Hello, Dolly! album. I'd never heard his version before, but it came on the radio in the late afternoon one summer day when I was a kid. And this stood out for me because I had tickets that night to go to the Ravinia Music Festival with my older brother and see Satchmo live in concert, at the height of the title song's massive popularity. Where he sang "Blueberry Hill" -- and of course "Hello, Dolly!," for which he did six encores -- and lots more, and it was all a joy.
The album was released in 1964, so this appearance came before he had re-recorded the song. So, clearly it held a place of affection for him, as well...
John Fugelsang is a very funny, insightful political commentator and comedian. He posted this "sequel" to Ken Burns' documentary The Civil War a few days ago, and as deeply low-end as the production values are, it's really good.
On this week’s ‘Not My Job’ segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the guest is Andre de Shields, who has three Tony nominations and won as Best Featured Actor in a musical for Hadestown. His conversation with host Peter Sagal is pretty straightforward about his long career on Broadway (and one known for “cool”) but it’s nonetheless entertaining and he even throws in some singing.
On this week’s episode of 3rd and Fairfax, the official podcast of the Writers Guild of America, the guest is screenwriter-director Ben Falcone. He discusses his variety of work, including the creative collaboration with his wife/star Melissa McCarthy on such films as Life of the Party, The Boss and Tammy, as well as their latest film, Thunder Force.
Today's Piano Puzzler
From the archives. This week's contestant is Joe Sorenson, from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Happily, I was able to get the hidden composer -- in fact, the hidden song had so much in common at the start with one of the composer's most famous pieces that at first I thought that that was the hidden song. It wasn't, just the composer style. (And in fact, the hidden song turns out to quote a different piece by the composer. Ah, well, at least I got the composer right, whatever the reasoning.) As for the hidden song, it's nicely-hidden, but as I listened on, I felt comfortable with my guess. And was right about that, too. So, a full victory all around! Huzzah.
You Can Call Him Al
On this week’s Al Franken podcast, his guests are election lawyer Marc Elias, who oversaw the defense against GOP 2020 election challenges, and Mother Jones Voting Rights reporter Ari Berman. Today, as Al puts it, they “stoke Al’s worst fears about Republican legislatures in Georgia and worse.”
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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