Saturday, February 24, 2018

YouTube Theatre: I Know That Voice (2013)

I've been meaning to do this for a while, and it's finally underway.

What "it" is, friends, is YouTube Theatre, our newest feature. Sure, we've pulled full movies off YouTube before, and some were unceremoniously deleted due to copyright issues, but this is something I think can work in the long term.

First up is a documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes in the world of voice acting. One of today's busiest voice actors, John DiMaggio (Futurama, Kim Possible, Batman: The Brave & The Bold, etc.), co-wrote and serves as executive producer for "I Know That Voice". It's available on DVD, but, rather than risk mail order, I just got lucky and found it on YouTube. The documentary pretty much sells itself, so let's get started:

The poster dedicated this to the late June Foray, who passed away last summer. I'd also put this over at Saturday Morning Archives, except for the language.

Rating: A.

Nanette Fabray (1920-2018)

It would be easy to say Nanette Fabray led a full life. She began her show business career at a very young age, performing in vaudeville, then appearing with silent film icon Ben Turpin. By her early 20's, she discovered that she had a significant loss of hearing, which she overcame to become not only an Emmy & Tony Award winning actress and dancer (she studied under Bill "Bojangles" Robinson), but an advocate for the hearing impaired.

Television audiences know Nanette from roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Coach (in which she acted with her niece, singer-actress Shelley Fabares), & One Day at a Time, and as a frequent panelist on the original Hollywood Squares. Nanette also had a lengthy career in films, dating back to her days with Turpin.

In memory of Nanette Fabray, who passed away at 97, we serve up this morning an a capella rendering, with sign language, of "Over The Rainbow", from season 1 of The Carol Burnett Show:

During the70's, Nanette also did some PSA's about hearing loss. I'll see if I can find one to post another day.

Rest in peace, Nanette.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Musical Interlude: Rose Garden (1970)

Country songbird Lynn Anderson cracked the top 5 on Billboard's pop & adult contemporary charts in addition to hitting #1 on the country chart with 1970's "Rose Garden". The Joe South-penned ballad has been covered in years since by artists as diverse as k.d. lang and---believe it or not---comedy icon Carol Burnett.

Here, Lynn traveled to London for an appearance on Top of the Pops. Unfortunately, she left the band behind.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What Might've Been: Trivia Trap (1984)

The emergence of the board game, Trivial Pursuit (which was later adapted for television), led to Mark Goodson deciding to develop his own trivia game. Unfortunately, Trivia Trap lasted just 6 months in 1984-5 on ABC, stuck in a morning slot opposite one of Goodson's classic games, The Price is Right, as well as Wheel of Fortune on NBC.

Bob Eubanks served as host, and I think this might've been his last effort for ABC, after The Newlywed Game and Rhyme & Reason. Two months into the show's run, the format was altered from what you're about to see after Goodson received feedback from a focus group.

The late Charlie O'Donnell, better known for his work on Wheel and American Bandstand, was the 2nd of three announcers used on the show, and is heard in this sample show.

In ye scribe's opinion, ABC kept cutting itself short in the morning, giving their affiliates 2 hours in between Good Morning, America and their daytime lineup. It also allowed CBS & NBC, which programmed from 10 am (ET) forward back then, a huge advantage in terms of ratings.

Could this return? That's open to debate.

Rating: A.

High school this 'n' that

Readers of The Record have complained about the slanted coverage given to Saratoga County, home to The Saratogian, on a number of topics, sports included.

Suffice to say, the hometown paper now has no choice but to give the defending Section II hockey champs, LaSalle, major coverage as they defend their title this weekend at Union College.

The skating cadets defeated Saratoga, 3-1, on Wednesday night in their final home game of the season at Hudson Valley Community College. Tom Ryan, Ryan Murray, & Sebastian Geiger had the goals for LaSalle, which beat the Blue Streaks for the 3rd time this season.  Up next for the Cadets will be Shaker-Colonie, which upset 3rd seeded Shenendehowa, also by a 3-1 count. This will be the nightcap of the Sunday doubleheader at Union's Messa Rink.

Form held on the other side of the bracket as Bethlehem shut out Adirondack, and CBA defeated Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa for the second time in as many weeks. Recall that Bethlehem upset CBA in last year's tournament, and swept the Brothers in the regular season. That alone would be motivation  for CBA to knock off the top seed. They will drop the puck at 4:30 on Sunday, with LaSalle vs. Shaker-Colonie ticketed for a 7:15 start.
LaSalle's basketball team is the only non-Suburban Council team left in the Class AA boys' tournament after beating Ballston Spa on Wednesday. That's the good news. The bad? What amounts to a de facto home game at HVCC on Saturday night will have the Cadets facing top seeded Saratoga, which has won 18 in a row. The Streaks may have some extra motivation to avenge the losses foisted on their hockey brethren, as well as keeping their winning streak intact. 

Meanwhile, Troy beat Guilderland for the 2nd time this season, and will have a chance to avenge their earlier loss to Colonie in the opener of a AA quadruple-header on Saturday. Not only that, but Greg Davis' club will be looking to snap a 3-game losing streak to the Garnet Raiders. As with LaSalle, Saturday's game is a de facto home game for Troy, though due to seeding, they'll be the visitors, same as with LaSalle.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Billy Graham (1918-2018)

When I was growing up in the 70's, evangelist Billy Graham would buy air time at least 2-4 times a year for his crusades. He toured the country and the world many times over, preaching the Gospel to millions. The televised, syndicated 3-4 night crusade specials stopped airing sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, I'm not sure which. His celebrity was such that he actually was invited to appear on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, and was on the talk show circuit.

Graham also had a weekly radio program, The Hour of Decision, which son Franklin took over a few years back, as memory serves.

God called Dr. Graham home today, 9 months shy of his 100th birthday. I cannot be certain if he ever met President Donald Trump, but this we do know. He has worked with other presidents over the years, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

In 1957, then-Vice President Richard Nixon was a guest when Graham preached at the original Yankee Stadium before 100,000+ people.

Oh, if Dr. Graham knew what would happen to Nixon nearly 20 years later. If he did, I wonder if he counseled Nixon, or if "Tricky Dick" turned his back on God at that point. I guess we'll never know.

Rest in peace, Billy. God bless you always.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Can we sign these guys up for Lip Sync Battle? (2018)

If you didn't see this during the Super Bowl 2 weeks ago, where were you?

Frito-Lay & Pepsi joined forces for this star-studded spot. On the Doritos side, you have Peter Dinklage and Busta Rhymes. For Mountain Dew Ice, it's Oscar winner Morgan Freeman and Grammy winner Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott.

Wack, man. Totally wack.