Thursday, July 9, 2009

Entertainment

Music

Immortal song lyrics

Miniskirt, a string of beads,
A Nehru shirt, sunflower seeds,
And at her heels a puppy dog content to be a tagalong.
Ba da da da da da,
Ba da da da da da.
Ba da da da da da,
Ba da da da da da da.

--from Little Kids by Zager and Evans, the B-side of In the Year 2525.

Gliddy gloop gloopy,
Nibby nobby noopy,
La la la lo lo.
Sobba simmy sobba,
Nooby obba nobba,
Lay lay lo lo.
Dooby ooby walla,
Nooby obba dobba,
Early mornin’ singin’ song
.
--(spelling and pronunciation approximate) from Good Morning Starshine, one of several songs from the Broadway musical Hair to become hits. The song was a top five hit for Oliver and a minor chart entry for the Strawberry Alarm Clock.

The #1 single in the U.S.A. for July 19 was In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans. It was that song's second week at #1. For the third straight week, the #1 single in the U.K. for July 19 was Something in the Air by Thunderclap Newman. The single was produced by Pete Townshend of The Who and came from the movie The Magic Christian.

Top Ten Songs--CJCA, Edmonton, July 18
1/In the Year 2525--Zager and Evans
2/The Ballad of John and Yoko--Beatles
3/Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town--Kenny Rogers and the First Edition
4/Crystal Blue Persuasion--Tommy James and the Shondells
5/Get Back--Beatles
6/Let Me--Paul Revere and the Raiders
7/Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet--Henry Mancini, his Orch. and Chorus
8/Medicine Man (Part I)--Buchanan Brothers
9/Israelites--Desmond Dekker and the Aces
10/Bad Moon Rising--Creedence Clearwater Revival

Top Five Albums--CJCA, Edmonton, July 18
1/Crosby, Stills and Nash--Crosby, Stills and Nash
2/Brave New World--Steve Miller Blues Band
3/Led Zeppelin--Led Zeppelin
4/With a Little Help from my Friends--Joe Cocker
5/Everybody Knows this is Nowhere--Neil Young with Crazy Horse

Top Ten Songs--Glenn’s Music Store, Calgary, July 19
1/The Ballad of John and Yoko
2/Baby I Love You--Andy Kim
3/In the Ghetto--Elvis Presley
4/In the Year 2525
5/Let Me
6/Hey Little Man--The 49th Parallel
7/Bad Moon Rising
8/One--Three Dog Night
9/Spring--John Tipton
10/Medicine Man (Part 1)
Pick of the Week/Crystal Blue Persuasion

Top Twenty-Five Songs--CKRC, Winnipeg, July 19
1/In the Year 2525
2/Baby I Love You
3/Crystal Blue Persuasion
4/Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town
5/Along Came Jones--Ray Stevens
6/My Pledge of Love--Joe Jeffrey Group
7/Good Old Rock and Roll--Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys
8/Laughing--Guess Who
9/Spinning Wheel--Blood, Sweat and Tears
10/What does it Take (To Win Your Love)--Junior Walker and the All-Stars
11/Moonflight--Vik Venus
12/Sweet Caroline--Neil Diamond
13/Moody Woman--Jerry Butler
14/Israelites
15/With Pen in Hand--Vikki Carr
16/Quentin’s Theme--The Charles Randolph Greane Sounde
17/In the Ghetto
18/Good Morning Starshine--Oliver
19/Put a Little Love in Your Heart--Jackie De Shannon
20/Color Him Father--Winstons
21/My Sentimental Friend--Herman’s Hermits
22/Sugar Sugar--Archies
23/Polk Salad Annie--Tony Joe White
24/The Girl I’ll Never Know--Frankie Valli
25/But it’s All Right--J.J. Jackson
Pick of the Week/Marrakesh Express--Crosby, Stills and Nash

Top Twenty Songs--Ottawa, July 18
1/In the Year 2525
2/Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet
3/Ruby, Don’t Take your Love to Town
4/The Ballad of John and Yoko
5/Spinning Wheel
6/Good Morning Starshine
7/Good Old Rock and Roll
8/Sweet Caroline
9/Baby I Love You
10/One
11/In the Ghetto
12/Polk Salad Annie
13/Quentin’s Theme
14/Crystal Blue Persuasion
15/Don’t Wake Me Up in the Morning, Michael--Peppermint Rainbow
16/Theme from "A Summer Place"--Ventures
17/The Days of Sand and Shovels--Bobby Vinton
18/Laughing
19/My Pledge of Love
20/My Sentimental Friend

Blind Faith, a British "supergroup" consisting of Eric Clapton (formerly of the Yardbirds and Cream), Ginger Baker (formerly of Cream), Steve Winwood (formerly of the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic) and Rick Grech (formerly of Family) performed at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium on Friday, July 18; ticket prices ranged from $3.50-$5.50. Jack Batten, then the rock critic for The Toronto Star, reported that warmup act Delaney and Bonnie and Friends stole the show, and that Bonnie Bramlett had "the sweetest figure seen on a Toronto stage in decades." Batten was less enthusiastic about the headline act:
Blind Faith, for their part, seemed to demonstrate in their hour-long set that the nearer mainstream rock approaches art, the more bloodless, less human and further removed from felt emotion it becomes.
...they produced, in short, music without surprises. Part of the trouble was Ginger Baker’s drumming. In all of rock there can hardly exist a more stiff, unmusical drummer. And what’s worse, he’s pretentious. All that gaudy battery of equipment, all those five microphones surrounding him, including two nestled up against his bass drums--and he lacks even the rudimentary talent to bring the band together in a rhythmic groove...Blind Faith boasts all the brilliance it can stand in Clapton and Winwood but off last night’s show, it lacks the defining personality. And that’s fatal.

Toronto was preparing for the Mariposa Folk Festival, scheduled for July 25-27. A festival-goer could purchase a three-day pass for $12.50, and see Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, Ian and Sylvia, Gilles Vigneault, John Allan Cameron, and Taj Mahal. Also in Toronto, the Diamonds began an engagement at the Town and Country Palace on July 21, the same evening that Billy Stewart and his Soul Revue opened at Le Coq d’Or, a Yonge Street establishment that advertised "Topless Psychedelic Dancers."

In Montreal, Sam and Dave were performing at Man and his World from July 19-21. Ginette Reno and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Boris Brott) were at Place Des Arts on July 22-23. Count Basie and his Orchestra began an engagement at the Esquire Showbar on July 21. The All-American Cafe, at 1235 Dorchester W., advertised "Montreal’s Most Beautiful Dancing Waitresses."

In Ottawa, Joan Sutherland was performing at the National Arts Centre on July 20, and interrupted her concert to announce that the moon landing had just taken place. Ginette Reno, fresh from her Montreal performances, was at the NAC on the 24th.

James Brown put on two shows at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre on July 18, with his entire all-star revue, including the "JB dancers, singing sensation Marva Whitney, a large 14-piece orchestra, comedian Clay Tyson, and go go girls." Tickets could be had for $4 or $5. Harry Belafonte occupied that venue from July 21-26. His show featured a company of 20, and a 25-piece orchestra. According to Jack Richards in the July 22 Vancouver Sun:
It was still a relaxed, easy Belafonte--one who seemed to enjoy the audience as much as it enjoyed him. The anger and drive of the former Belafonte was not there. It was replaced by a thoroughly professional, smooth entertainer doing what he does best with that husky voice and the flashing smile. But this was what [the overflow crowd of 2,800] had waited for and Belafonte didn’t disappoint.
...[18-year-old] Patti Austin, his new protégé, a little girl with a big, big voice, received a fine ovation.

Also in Vancouver, Anthony Newley ended his engagement at The Cave on the 19th; Al Martino began his run there on the 23rd. Earl Grant closed his engagement at Isy’s on the 19th.

In Edmonton, Starfest ’69, Klondike Days’ first attempt at moving the main grandstand show indoors, opened at the Edmonton Gardens with John Davidson as the headline act from July 17-19. Barry Westgate was at the first of Thursday’s two shows, and reviewed it for the July 18 Edmonton Journal:
For 30 minutes as the climax to a very pleasantly entertaining show he turned in the kind of star-guy effort that television obviously hasn’t been able to handle. It was a good show, almost all the way...played very successfully to a meagre audience of not much more than 1,200. It’ll get better, and
audiences will get bigger, just as soon as the word goes out.

After a quiet Sunday and three days of Rowan and Martin, two acts shared the bill at Starfest ’69 from July 22-24: Tommy Hunter and the Baja Marimba Band.

Bobby Curtola was back in Edmonton for Klondike Days, and was the featured attraction at The Penthouse, the supper club at the Sheraton Caravan. According to the Journal’s Bob Harvey on July 18:
Curtola’s as hot as he ever was but instead of being Canada’s highest-paid teen entertainer, he’s now Canada’s highest-paid club performer. Girls no longer faint when he belts out a song, or hide under his bed, or in his shower. Now it’s married women who follow him...There are still 750,000 card-carrying Bobby Curtola Fan Club members in the country...

A few blocks away, former Broadway star Anna Maria Alberghetti was performing at the Chateau Lacombe’s Bonanza Room for the duration of Klondike Days. She said she had cut back on her career because her husband, television producer Claudio Guzman (I Dream of Jeannie) and her three-year-old daughter were more important. She seemed quite happy to have her husband’s career eclipse her own: "I don’t care how you slice it. If the woman is much bigger in what she does than her husband is, it does present problems."

The Canadian Magazine for July 19 contained a feature article about the new rock group Lighthouse, mentioning that $387,000 had been spent by RCA in promoting the group. Four other up-and-coming Canadian groups were also mentioned in the article: The Guess Who; Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck (both from Winnipeg); Motherlode (from Toronto); and The Collectors (from Vancouver--a year later they changed their name to Chilliwack).

Roy Hamilton, one of the great voices in pop music and one of Elvis Presley's favourite singers, died at age 40 on July 20 in New Rochelle, New York, several months after suffering a stroke. Mr. Hamilton burst onto the scene with his version of You'll Never Walk Alone in 1954, and scored his biggest hit (#6 in Billboard) with Unchained Melody in 1955. Other notable hits included Don't Let Go (#13, 1958) and You Can Have Her (#12, 1961). Mr. Hamilton was one of the first artists to record in stereo, and albums such as With All My Love (1958) and Soft 'N' Warm (1960) make for excellent listening (not to mention good date music). Mr. Hamilton recorded a number of excellent singles that failed to achieve commercial success, including Time Marches On (1959), an early credit for the songwriting team of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.

At the movies
--Midnight Cowboy (Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight); The Wild Bunch (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, many others); Once Upon a Time in the West (Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, many others); True Grit (John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby); MacKenna’s Gold (Gregory Peck, Edward G. Robinson, many others); The Chairman (Gregory Peck, Anne Heywood); The Lost Man (Sidney Poitier, Joanna Shimkus); Goodbye, Columbus (Richard Benjamin, Ali MacGraw); Che! (Omar Sharif as Che Guevara, Jack Palance as Fidel Castro); Winning (Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Richard Thomas); Sweet Charity (Shirley MacLaine, Sammy Davis, Jr., many others); If it’s Tuesday, this Must be Belgium (Suzanne Pleshette, Ian McShane); The Maltese Bippy (Dan Rowan, Dick Martin); The Mad Room (Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters); If...(Malcolm McDowell); That Cold Day in the Park (Sandy Dennis, Michael Burns); Popi (Alan Arkin, Rita Moreno); The April Fools (Jack Lemmon, Catherine Deneuve); My Side of the Mountain (Ted Eccles, Theodore Bikel); Monterey Pop (documentary of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival); The Gay Deceivers (Kevin Coughlin, Larry Casey).

--The Edmonton area was home to six drive-in theatres: Belmont, Golden West, St. Albert, Sherwood, Sky-Vue, and Starlite.

Midnight Cowboy opened nationally that week. According to Martin Knelman in the July 19 Toronto Star:
Whether or not this qualifies as cinematic art, it’s certainly socko journalism. I found much of Midnight Cowboy unpleasant not only for the material but for this style, but you have to see it if you want to be up-to-date on what’s happening because it’s the kind of movie that makes a big impression on people and keeps them talking for weeks.

That Cold Day in the Park, directed by Robert Altman, was reviewed by Gordon Stoneham in the Ottawa Citizen on July 22:
Presumably, it’s all meant to be a very pertinent and very meaningful comment on sexual hangups and contemporary attitudes, but, really, it’s a pretty awful and pretentious piece of junk--stale in its approach, sour in its eroticism, and tedious in the unfolding.

Che!, directed by Richard Fleischer, received universally bad reviews, one of them by Michael Kostelnuk in the July 19 Winnipeg Free Press:
...not even old Che deserves the kind of treatment he gets from Hollywood in Che!...Fleischer and his writers refrain from doing anything as interesting or challenging as actually interpreting the man. They avoid an artistic statement or commitment and instead give us a Guevara seen as a mystifyingly complicated freak no one was ever able to figure out, a sort of latter-day Lawrence of Arabia...Jack Palance, who plays the major role of Castro, is surprisingly bad. One would have thought that the flamboyant Fidel would have been right up Jarring Jack’s alley, but not so. Palance can only convey the richness and variety of one of the wildest oratorical talents of this century by wanly sawing the air with a cigar.
But it’s only fair to mention that the script gives Palance little help.

The day before, Kostelnuk had reviewed Jack Lemmon’s latest movie:
The April Fools...is a Hollywood film with a painted face, a dollar-sign mind and a hollow heart.

The Maltese Bippy was booked to play in Edmonton the same week Rowan and Martin were to appear live at Klondike Days. According to Barry Westgate in the July 19 Edmonton Journal:
Somebody obviously thought it was a bright idea to bring Rowan and Martin’s first movie to Edmonton to coincide with the twosome’s appearance here. Well, it wasn’t.
The Maltese Bippy isn’t a carbon copy of the stupendously successful television series, and it isn’t a version of the kind of show the comedians will be doing in The Gardens Monday through Wednesday. In fact, it isn’t really anything at all
apart from an attempted quick cash-in on the couple’s spectacular popularity.
Much more of this kind of stuff, though, and they’ll be cashing out of the movies before really getting started.

The Gay Deceivers was advertised as being "in absolutely divine color," and with the slogan, "Is He? Or Isn’t He? Only his draftboard and his girlfriend know for sure." According to Gordon Stoneham in the July 22 Ottawa Citizen, the movie was "plenty gay, but not very good."

Other entertainment

Saturday, July 19--in Los Angeles, Zubin Mehta, musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, married actress Nancy Kovack in two ceremonies. The first took place at Westwood Community Methodist Church. The second was a Zoroastrian ceremony at the Bel Air Hotel.


Monday, July 21--Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, riding the crest of popularity from their television show Laugh-In, performed two shows at the Edmonton Gardens as part of Klondike Days’ indoor grandstand show, Starfest ’69. Barry Westgate reviewed the show in Tuesday’s Edmonton Journal:
What was particularly pleasant...was the hilarious success of a couple of hoary old standup routines...Nowadays Rowan and Martin’s thing is Laugh-In and wherever possible this show is geared to that. That earlier career on the road as standup comics, they say, is over for good.
But for a time there Monday night they slipped back to those salad days...those two old-line routines very effectively climaxed an evening of fun and informality.
...series regular Dave Madden was heavily unfunny in his standup comedy routine, and altogether too purposefully
blue. When he was on, the show sagged badly. Yet when Alan Sues came up with a similar line of suggestive dialogue, it didn’t grate at all. Sues...is such a delightful oddball he could get away with saying almost anything. Henry Gibson did a couple of his patented poem-songs, complete with purple flower and choir boy coyness, and Ruth Buzzi was on and off in familiar frumpy demeanor.

Gerry Deagle, reviewing the same show for The Calgary Herald, saw it somewhat differently:
Risqué it is, a family show it isn’t...the R and M crew came on like an over-21 night club act, with off-colour jokes cutting the air with the unappealing subtlety of a jackhammer...It was sort of like the Laugh-In televised version being done in slow motion because, of course, it is impossible to do on stage the terrific number of cuts that are done on the television show.
The [Edmonton Exhibition Association] had hoped to make Klondike Days family entertainment, and in the process they
paid an undisclosed but rumoured to be sky-high price for the Rowan and Martin package.

Deagle reported the attendance as 3,083 for the first show, worse for the second show. Capacity in the Edmonton Gardens for such shows was about 7,500.

--In Toronto, the Royal Alexandra Theatre was staging a production of The Odd Couple through August 2, starring Hal March and Jackie Coogan.

--in South Africa, the July 21 episode of the Springbok Radio series The Challenge of Space was titled, appropriately, Moon Landing.

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