I’m a little “fuzzy” on this Friday morning. I freely admit that I overindulged last night.
You see, once I get started, I find it hard to stop. I have the first one, then see another and want that also.
Whoa… it not what you think. I’m fuzzy this morning after getting only about 5 hours sleep. It’s that damn YouTube.
One of the core beliefs in my life, is that that much of what serves as entertainment these days, pales in comparison to that which was available routinely on television to those of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Entertainers such as such as the so-called “Rat Pack” of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. Bing Crosby, along with others such as Judy Garland, Andy Williams, Peggy Lee, Louis Armstrong and even Ella Fitzgerald, were seen by many in my generation as embarrassingly unhip, in a world where John was as big as Jesus, and Paul was dead. They were my parent’s favorites, which alone cause them to be totally uninteresting. As I have now reached middle age and survey the offal that is served up on prime time television, I dearly miss the past.
One thing missing from television modern television schedules is the variety show.
There have been a few recent attempts to revive the genre, none have been successful.
The beauty of these shows was that it seemed that no one in entertainment was “too big’ to be a guest. Most big performers have hosted shows, either as once a year events or as a series. This set the stage for some incredible combinations of now legendary performers in there prime years. Would you like to have seen Babra Streisand appear with Judy Garland? It happened several times. How about a young Sammy Davis, with Nat King Cole? Ditto.
As I discovered several months ago, it’s all on You Tube.
Last night, it was Julie Andrews that sucked me in. Her name appeared in the Google window as an offering, as I searched for something else (I was actually new car shopping). I clicked on it and ended up on You Tube watching the most amazing duet of Andrews with, believe it or not, Carol Burnet. It was early sixties and both were young, up-and-coming Broadway stars (Andrews I think was playing Guinevere in Camelot, Burnett was starring to rave reviews in Once upon a Mattress).
I was bowled over by this. Julie is her usual extraordinary self here, her voice bell-like and elegant, yet flexible enough to handle the up-tempo parts. Carol Burnett that surprised me. As a young woman, perhaps her career as a “comedienne” was not yet established. Perhaps she was keeping her options open by singing in a more polished way than she did later in her career. When I hear this video, I wonder if Burnett sandbagged a bit, in duets on her show , perhaps to keep the singers whom often guested from being upstaged by a mere “comic”.
Well, once done with that video, there will be a title on the right side of the page that seems interesting, and off you go. Andrews and Tony Bennet, then Bennett with Vic Damone and Bobby Darin, Darren doing “Mack”…it goes on an on. It’s an astounding resource.
And before you know it; its quarter to three. And wouldn’t you know that in a window to the right of the screen, there’s a link to a live version of Frank doing “One for my Baby”.
Oh well, just one more…