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For fans of Doctor Who, last year was a bad year, with the deaths of Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) and Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), two of the most popular of the Doctor's companions (diaried here).  This year is turning out to be just as sad, with the recent loss of two actresses who were companions of the Doctor during the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years, as Courtney and Sladen were.  For Doctor Who followers, the title tells you who they were.  For those who don't know....

The respective actresses were:
* Caroline John, as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Team), who died this past June 5, aged 71
* Mary Tamm, as Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana for short) I, the first Time Lady in the history of the program(me), who died last week on July 26, aged 62

Tributes to them from the UK press include:

Caroline John:

a. Toby Hadoke, obit from The Guardian
b. Anthony Hayward, obit from The Independent

Mary Tamm:

a. Mark Brown, The Guardian
b. Toby Hadoke, The Guardian
c. Lauren Turner, The Independent
d. Obituary from the Telegraph
e. Andrew Hough, Telegraph
f. Gavin Fuller, Telegraph

It's interesting to read in Hadoke's Tamm tribute that one of Tamm's classmates at RADA in London was Louise Jameson, who played Leela, the prior companion to the first Romana during the Tom Baker years.  I also didn't realize that she had Eastern European ancestry.  Likewise, I had no idea that John had played Estragon in a production of Waiting for Godot.

Caroline John's first appearance, in Jon Pertwee's first season as The Doctor, was in "Spearhead from Space", of course.  This was the first Doctor Who serial produced in colo(u)r, but the version that I saw on NJN during the 1980's was in B&W.  Somewhere, I'd thought I'd heard that the original color version was lost, but a B&W print somehow turned up.  If this is wrong, please correct me on it.

Hadoke, in his article on Caroline John, notes that at the time of the transition from Patrick Troughton to Jon Pertwee:

"The producer of the programme, Derrick Sherwin, decided to eschew spacefaring whimsy for a style closer to the more adult Quatermass serials of the 1950s. Pertwee's dignified Doctor was assisted by the no-nonsense military outfit UNIT, and an intelligent scientist sidekick – albeit a glamorous one who also got involved in action sequences – was an appropriate addition."
Hence the addition of Liz Shaw, who, as Hadoke noted:
".... she provided brains, cool-headed intelligence and maturity where once the Doctor's female companions had screamed and asked questions."
Likewise, Romana, as a Time Lady, was no intellectual slouch.  Romana was sent by the White Guardian to assist The Doctor in the search for the 6 segments of The Key To Time, because of a near tipping point imbalance between the forces of good and bad in the universe.  The assembly of the segments of The Key To Time would literally stop the universe in its tracks (except for the immediate environment around those who assembled the segments, of course, as The Doctor pointed out rather vehemently to Romana in the sixth serial, "The Armageddon Factor"), so that they could be assembled to restore the forces in the universe closer to equilibrium.

Fuller noted one general trajectory of Romana's character, as embodied by Tamm:

"Tamm captured perfectly the initial ice queen aspect of Romana’s personality, which thawed as the quest progressed, making her a thoroughly credible Time Lady."
By curious coincidence, both John and Tamm left the show after one season.  In John's case, a somewhat dark-tinged reason seems to enter into it, per Hayward's article:
"When a new producer, Barry Letts, took over a month into John's run and believed that Doctor Who had strayed too far from the original premise of the Time Lord's companions asking him questions that might be in viewers' minds, he decided not to renew her contract."
Given that Letts leaned liberal, as noted here, this would seem surprising (although perhaps he learned his lesson later with the introduction of Sarah Jane Smith).  However, Hayward noted that there was an "out", in terms of an explanation for John leaving the show:
"In fact, she was pregnant and would have left anyway."
In Tamm's case, I remember reading in a Doctor Who book from back in the 1980's something to the effect that after a season, Tamm wanted to start a family with her husband, Marcus Ringrose, who survives her, as does her daughter Lauren.  Fuller's article gives another possible explanation, however:
"But the actress discovered that, like so many companions before, the storylines she was given meant that she would frequently end up as a damsel in distress, in need of rescue by the Doctor, and left after just the one year in the role, presumably tired of it."
Granted, the two explanations are potentially compatible, and the word "presumably" is a hedge there.  

Overall, I got the sense that Tamm generally moved on from Doctor Who, although I do remember one appearance by her on NJN during fund-raising pledge drives in the 1980's US Doctor Who heyday.  However, one comment in Hadoke's salute to her notes, with respect to a DVD release of The Key To Time set of Doctor Who serials:

"The DVD commentaries [Baker and Tamm] recorded 20 years later captured their joyful dynamic, with Baker clearly in awe of his co-star, who gamely spars with him throughout."
John was a little more welcoming to future work as Liz Shaw in Doctor Who behind, as she did return for a cameo in the 20th anniversary serial The Five Doctors, as well as work on some other spin-off Doctor Who projects.

You can see some video footage of John and Tamm, respectively, taken from their time on Doctor Who:

Caroline John, selections from her last serial on Doctor Who, "Inferno":

Mary Tamm, tribute video:

So a modest DK salute to two notable British actresses who were part of Doctor Who lore, during the course of their careers.  BTW, speaking of Doctor Who and careers, 3 of the Doctor Who companion actresses, Caroline John, Katy Manning (Jo Grant), and Louise Jameson reminisce in this clip:

With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week......

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips for Caroline John & Mary Tamm (12+ / 0-)

    In passing, one of Caroline John's TV credits was in A Very British Coup, just to touch a bit on the edge of politics here, since this is DK.  I don't remember seeing her there, though, so if I ever get back to it, will have to keep an eye out.  I do remember Mary Tamm's appearance in the 1974 film of The Odessa File, hazily.

    So, from here: got creamed 3x this week in FB Scrabble, by more than ample margins.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:40:45 PM PDT

    •  I've started doing Words with Friends with (5+ / 0-)

      high school classmates, who have obviously been memorizing the quirky words for years.  Humiliating.  And I can see how Alec Baldwin just had to keep playing even though the cabin doors were closed.  

      •  OK, here's a word for both (4+ / 0-)

        you and 3CM, if you ever get the right letters and despair of them:

        zymurgy

        It means the science of brewing beer, and I don't know whether it's in a standard dictionary (probably not) but it's a real word & I know how to spell it b/c I know the founder of the Association of Brewers (formerly the American Homebrewers Association) who edited the magazine Zymurgy.  Which, by now, probably has a more mundane and easier to spell name.

        heh: Even Firefox's spellcheck program accepts zymurgy as a word.  It doesn't accept heh, spellcheck or Homebrewers, though.  :-D

        To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

        by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:24:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My standbys in Scrabble were always (4+ / 0-)

          the chromatics of da, re, mi, etc. But "Words with Friends" won't let me play those tricks.  They are in the dictionary.  

        •  yup, it works in.... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, oculus, jlms qkw, Dumbo

          ......the FB Scrabble dictionary.  However, the sheer improbability of getting those 7 letters in one's Scrabble deck is mind blowingly high, IMHO :) .

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:33:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, you're probably right... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oculus, chingchongchinaman, Dumbo

            but if you ever DO get them, try to put them on a triple word score, preferable with the Z also on a triple letter score.

            I've never played online Scrabble, but grew up with the tile game.

            To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

            by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:35:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, that's the whole point, that it's all luck (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oculus, Youffraita, Dumbo

              The rare letters (z, y) are rare for a reason :) .  Plus, there's no way of knowing what your opponent(s) will do with their letters, and where those take up space.

              The old FB Scrabble looked more like the board game.  The new FB Scrabble looks more like Words With Friends, and has been pretty much universally despised since it was rolled out.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:41:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  y is a rare letter? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oculus, Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

                Of course z is.  No question.  But y isn't all that infrequentl*y* used.

                For example, wh*y* should it be considered rare, when it is often used as a vowel?  Not to mention its adverbial prominence.

                To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

                by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:54:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, rarity in terms of Scrabble-ness, that is (0+ / 0-)

                  There's only 1 "Z" in Scrabble, vs. 2 "Y"'s, at least that I can recall.  I'm not sure how the algorithm works for determining points, unless it's some sort of roughly logarithmic scale (or even like a quadratic plot).  The rarest letters (Z, Q) are 10, then "X" is 8, and then I can't remember from there.

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:33:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, p.s., 3CM -- (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oculus, Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

                When oculus mentioned Words with Friends, I thought you and he were talking about the same game -- I remember that an online Scrabble-type game had to change b/c of TM problems.

                Didn't realize there was an official FB Scrabble -- why'd they change it from the old, board-game-type version to the new, reviled one?

                To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

                by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:58:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no idea why they changed it (0+ / 0-)

                  Unless they felt that they were losing traffic to Words With Friends, so they thought (stupidly) to make FB Scrabble look more like WWF.  (BTW, oculus is a she.)

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:34:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  have noted quirky words in..... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oculus, Youffraita, Dumbo

        ......FB Scrabble, in keeping with what you said.  Words like "QAID" and "QAT" were surprises, just to give some examples.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:30:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So sad to hear this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, Dumbo

    I thought both of them were excellent companions and particularly thought Caroline John was woefully underused on her year on Doctor Who.  Mary Tam's debut adventure, 'The Ribos Operation' is among my all time favorites.

    Both of them were too young to leave us as was the late, lamented, and absolutely wonderful Elisabeth Sladen.

    Not sure what type of loser story I should write.  I must confess that I have never even read this series before.  Was just drawn in by the title as a huge 'Who' fan.

    "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

    by matching mole on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 07:59:37 PM PDT

    •  thanks for stopping by (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, lorzie, Dumbo, matching mole

      It is sad when these icons of one's younger days go.  Obviously the big news this week was Gore Vidal

      Oh, and don't worry about not having ever read SNLC.  This DK series is so under the radar here as to be virtually invisible :) .

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 08:22:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  mm, cfk and I are both (4+ / 0-)

      regulars here.

      A loser story could be anything from losing your keys to ... well, one of my best recent ones involved breakage in a bag of premade iced coffee as I was wrestling it into position in its dispenser, so that the coffee product gushed all over me and the floor (in an expanding but shallow lake) before I could stop it.

      B/c I was at work, I was stuck wearing those clothes for the rest of my shift.

      It's kinda funny in retrospect, but cleaning up that lake (and saturating my clothes with Shout) were not fun.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:03:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the performance I saw tonight. (4+ / 0-)

        Due to the essential element of water, there were mini sandbags around the percussionists.  

        Tan Dun's "Water Passion"

      •  the state of the clothes now is? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita, Dumbo, matching mole

        Presumably cleaned, but how much the worse for the wear after the cleaning is the issue, of course.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:25:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Shout worked as advertised. (4+ / 0-)

          I just sprayed & sprayed until the fabric was saturated & let it sink in for a day before doing the wash as usual.  It worked!

          But I've found Shout to be amazing with all kinds of stains -- as long as you catch them right away.  Once they're laundered in, success is more limited.

          And no, I have no connection whatsoever to whoever makes the stuff -- my late father turned me on to it.

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:31:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  have noticed the permanent stains on.... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Youffraita, oculus, Dumbo, matching mole

            ......several of my canvas grocery bags.  Oh well.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:38:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you can TRY it. (4+ / 0-)

              An old white apron of mine had a bunch of old stains I despaired of, and the Shout worked adequately enough -- that apron will never again be stain-free, but the Shout mitigated the worst of them.

              Best of all, once you own the spray bottle, all you have to do is buy the refill bottle.  I haven't needed to buy any for a while, but I think it's a lot cheaper to just keep refilling.  I suppose if you have any generic spray bottle you could just start with the refill.  But you probably would want to test it first with just a spray bottle -- the refill will cost more than the spray, but should save money ounce per ounce.  You know what I mean, I'm sure.

              Or maybe you're not the sort of person who tends to spill coffee on herself (the gushing coffee product was the worst, but I certainly have been known to drip coffee I was drinking onto my clothes).  Or red wine.  Or spaghetti sauce.

              To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

              by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:48:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I just wish the purchaser could put the (4+ / 0-)

                spray bottle sprayer on the refill.  Why pour?  So you buy more, I gather.  

                •  Never thought about it. (4+ / 0-)

                  A small funnel would work best, of course -- the kind you can get for kitchen use.

                  The refill bottle, when first bought, would be both heavy and ungainly to use for spraying.  And your sprayer wouldn't reach to the bottom.  So there's that.

                  I've never had much of a problem with spillage when refilling.

                  Only, apparently, when drinking coffee or red wine.  Or eating spaghetti.  ;-D

                  To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

                  by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:03:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  have tried just using laundry detergent.... (0+ / 0-)

                ......but obviously after the fact, so no dice. I could try maybe washing the bags in a hot water wash, but then air dry them. Before, I threw them in the dryer, which in retrospect was the worst possible thing to do.

                Actually, what I need after I'm done with some household cleaner is to use the rinsed bottle as a squirt bottle on the cats, when they misbehave.

                "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:52:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yesterday I 'lost' nine dollars and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman

        some odd cents.  I went to this general store in the little town near where we are on vacation to get a few groceries.  As I was checking out I grabbed a few tourist brochures.  Back 'home' I discovered that one of the 'brochures' was very nicely produced hiking map with an $8.95 price.  I went back to the store later and told them what happened and paid for the map.  It is a nice map but I don't think I would have bought it just for our three day vacation.

        I also posted the wrong answer to a (multiple choice) question in a key to an exam I gave last Tuesday.  So I suppose I lost a bit of whatever fragment of respect I had from my students.

        thanks for all the responses.

        "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

        by matching mole on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:01:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or you could just read & talk about (4+ / 0-)

      Doctor Who.  ;-D

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:04:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The loser story has be about you and (4+ / 0-)

      has to have happened to you since last Sat. (according to cccm).  

    •  I can barely remember Caroline John, (3+ / 0-)

      she slipped under my radar, but Mary Tamm was one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the show.  Hard to forget her.  And icy is a good way to describe Romana.

  •  Wow, 3CM, it's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, oculus, Dumbo

    really dead tonight.  Where is everyone?

    I watched some Dr. Who reruns in college, probably on PBS, but don't remember who played that doctor or anything.  (I think he had wild hair, if that helps.)  Mostly all I remember is that he traveled via one of those red phone booths they had then.

    As an aside, the only time I've seen those red phone booths in real life was at a joint in the East Village called the Telephone Bar.  They had a lot of good beers on tap and served a very nice ploughman's lunch.  The booths were installed in the front of the restaurant, and had actual working phones in them.

    I think Telephone Bar went out of business quite a while ago, as these things happen, but it was a terrific spot for lunch -- never went there at night.  It was on the west side of Second Ave. somewhere around 9th St., for any NYers who might stop by your SNLC.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 10:17:03 PM PDT

  •  A shame to lose either of them. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, chingchongchinaman

    I particularly liked Mary Tamm.  At some point in time, I think some kind of political correctness element came to the series and the Doctor's assistants were made less attractive.  It seems to have been deliberate.  Personally, I can't see why we shouldn't have both brains and beauty in our doctorial assistants.

    And Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane was still the cutest of them all.

    •  I wouldn't say that (0+ / 0-)

      Going through the years, I didn't really notice a major dip in the looks quotient among the ladies.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:00:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Loserly things I'm doing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, chingchongchinaman

    I'm reading Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony.  He has a funny way of going off on long, long digressions that turn into philosophical commentaries with little relationship to the matter at hand.  Strangely, though, it actually makes him easier to read because it's more fun pan-mining the weirdness.

    Here's a sample I'll cut and paste, thanks to OnlineOCR:

    Our age seeks many things. What it has found, however, is above all: comfort. Comfort, with all its implications, intrudes even into the world of ideas and makes us far more content than we should ever be. We understand today better than ever how to make life pleasant. We solve problems to remove an unpleasantness. But, how do we solve them? And what presumption, even to think we have really solved them! Here we can see most distinctly what the prerequisite of comfort is: superficiality. It is thus easy to have a 'Weltan-schauung', a 'philosophy', if one contemplates only what is pleasant and gives no heed to the rest. The rest — which is just what matters most. In the light of the 'rest' these philosophies may very well seem made to order for those who hold to them, whereas, in that light, the tenets which constitute these philoso-phies are seen to spring above all from the attempt at self-vindication. For, curiously enough, people of our time who formulate new laws of morality (or, even more to their liking, overthrow old ones) cannot live with guilt! [his italics] Yet com-fort does not consider self-discipline; and so guilt is either repudiated or trans-formed into virtue. Herein, for one who sees through it all, the recognition of guilt expresses itself as guilt. The thinker, who keeps on searching, does the opposite. He shows that there are problems and that they are unsolved. As does Strindberg: 'Life makes everything ugly.' Or Maeterlinck: 'Three quarters of our brothers [are] condemned to misery.' Or Weininger and all others who have thought earnestly.

    Comfort as a philosophy of life! The least possible commotion, nothing shocking. Those who so love comfort will never seek where there is not definitely something to find.

    That would be unbearable to have to read if it were "going to be on the test."  But it's not, so you have the liberty to stand back a bit and think about how it tells us more about the guy who wrote it than what he actually said.
    •  Ha. I skimmed and still got a better idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

      of where he was coming from.

      Are you strictly classical music, Dumbo?

      I ask b/c a few weeks ago, there was a review in the NYT about a performance that was ostensibly about "how did songs from the Great American Songbook come to be jazz standards?" and I hear that sort of thing all the time at WRTI's jazz thread.

      The Times critic reviled the performance, saying that basically they portrayed the difference between the standard and jazz versions as the jazz versions were  a bit faster.

      But what WRTI plays -- with only a Very Few exceptions -- is Great American Songbook numbers done as jazz -- there is no misunderstanding the musical genre.

      And I as well as, apparently, the Times critic would like to know exactly how/why jazz took those standards and, well, jazzed them up.

      The Times critic thought it was an interesting question and only reviled it b/c the performance didn't address the question.  I think it's an interesting question, too.

      I hear the results all the time...but how DID this music get from mundane to jazz?  THAT is the question nobody has yet answered.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 01:25:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an interesting question. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

        I'm not up on all that... I had to look up what the Great American Songbook is on wiki, heh.  One of my brothers (not the one I love with) is a first class jazz fan and total asshole about it.  He'd probably have a very, very long opinion on that.

        I was watching a little bit of There's No Business Like Show Business just now, with Mitzi Gaynor doing a long number to Alexander's Ragtime Band.  And I realized, this really, really, really sucks.  And I love Mitzi Gaynor!  I hate not loving her.  They took this old song, Alexander's Ragtime Band, that I remember a very specific way, the way my dad used to play it on the family piano (he did everything tinpan alley style) and this was shit compared to that.  They overprocessed it, made it "jazzy" in the 50s Broadway way.

        Hmmm... Here's Alexander's Ragtime Band the way my dad used to play it.  Just like that...  The player looks a little like my dad, too.  Hmm... that's creepy.

        •  Hiya, Dumbo! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman

          Yes, that performance would seem to be a classic version of Alexander's Ragtime Band, and I like it too.  B/c I haven't seen the Mitzi Gaynor version, I can't speak to it -- but I doubt I would hate it as much as you do.

          Ragtime and early jazz seem roughly contemporaneous.  I think.

          If you want to hear terrific early New Orleans-style jazz, nobody does it better than the Preservation Hall band.  I was privileged to be there one night, before Katrina.  They are fantastic -- and have been, for decades, with different players.

          This is the band doing Basin Hall Blues:

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:21:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  have heard PHJB, but not..... (0+ / 0-)

            .....in N'Awlins, as I've never been there.  PHJB has been to the 'Lou a few times, and I've seen them once here.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:30:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  that's been going on since the 1930's, if not.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita

        ....before, with jazz musicians taking popular tunes, or Broadway show tunes, and giving them the purely instrumental treatment. Presumably those musicians found enough meat in those tunes to be able to riff off of them. Not that I'm a jazz aficionado at all, so I can't say a lot about the genre.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:12:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it isn't all instrumental... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman

          It's the instrumentals that mostly give it that jazz quality -- but I hear quite a lot with singers singing from the Great American Songbook (or even singing numbers from old Broadway musicals).

          I suppose that what it all boils down to is, the Great American whatever is being orchestrated as jazz.  Same song, same vocals, different orchestration.

          So that's what's going on...but it still begs the question of how did we get from there to here? -- and that's what both the NYT critic and I are curious about.

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:04:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  when was that article? (0+ / 0-)

            I could dig it up in the NYT archive, but I'm trying to be careful on how many articles I read from it.  I've cut way back since they imposed a limit on how many free articles one can read per month.  Truth be told, though, I should pony up and pay for a year's electronic subscription, if I were semi-honest.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:29:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  speed-reading it, I did get the gist pretty well (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously not so much the details, but then I'm not taking a test on this (I hope).  Interesting that in their tour concert next month, the orchestra is doing Schoenberg's Funf stucke, op. 16, and then Gershwin's An American in Paris.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:08:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Crashed and burned early, last night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman

    After a three hour trip each way to visit the new grandbaby.

    We had a great day and I am still smiling.  :)

    Best wishes!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 08:59:57 AM PDT

    •  sounds good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk

      3-hour trip each way....well, at least for me, not so good.  I don't handle long distance drives well nowadays.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:04:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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