Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BOOM! It's the 60s!! Celebrating Ann Hampton and Liz Callaway's latest cd!

We stand today on the edge of a new frontier -- the frontier of the 1960s, a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. The new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises -- it is a set of challenges. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA


Welcome to the '60s!




Today is all about the music and a celebration of the images and sounds of my childhood!
I'm going this afternoon to the cd release celebration of BOOM! The Ann Hampton/Liz Callaway celebration of music from the 60s. This is a "live" recording made earlier this year at Birdland.
They recorded this over several nights. I was there for one of those nights and I can tell you, without question, that this was one of the BEST cabaret shows I've seen this year, or for the past several years for that matter. The energy level was at fever pitch from the moment they both came out till finish. Alex Rybeck was at the helm.

It is no wonder that he won the MAC Award earlier this year for outstanding musical director. I have seen several shows he has directed this year in addition to his star turn at this year's Bistro Awards with his medley of Dionne Warwick hits.

Ms. Warwick was being honored and Alex, who also happens to be a huge fan, put a medley together honoring her. She was blown away at how PERFECT it was, as well as everyone in attendance. I have been anticipating the release of BOOM to add to my Callaway library.
So today in honor of BOOM!,here is my tribute to the '60s.

We will not, however, be going downtown! This is an uptown event!


Speaking of the 60s, on this date in 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon!





Today is also Sally Anne Howes' Birthday! She became a part of MY 60s when she appeared on the screen as Truly Scrumption in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a 1968 musical film with a script by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes, and songs by the Sherman Brothers, loosely based on Ian Fleming's novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car.It also starred Dick Van Dyke (another '60s icon) as Caractacus Potts.
Richard Wayne "Dick" Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer with a career spanning six decades.


He is the older brother of actor Jerry Van Dyke, who is best known for his role on the TV series Coach, and father of Barry Van Dyke.
Van Dyke starred in the films Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins, and the television series The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Diagnosis: Murder .
Van Dyke has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.

Van Dyke was born in West Plains, Missouri, to Loren (nickname "Cookie") and Hazel (née McCord) Van Dyke, but he grew up in Danville, Illinois. His grandson, Shane Van Dyke, is also an actor, and directed Titanic II. He is of Dutch descent on his father's side.
His mother, as a Mayflower descendant, is of English extraction but also carries additional Scottish ancestry.

The film was directed by Ken Hughes and produced by Albert R. Broccoli (co-producer of the James Bond series of films, also based on Fleming's novels).
Irwin Kostal supervised and conducted the music, and the musical numbers were staged by Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood.
Set in the 1910s, the story opens with Jeremy and Jemima Potts (Adrian Hall and Heather Ripley), who live with their widowed father Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke), an eccentric inventor, and his equally peculiar father (Lionel Jeffries). While skipping school, they meet Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), a beautiful upper-class woman with her own motorcar, who brings them home to report their truancy to their father. Truly shows interest in Caractacus' odd inventions, but he is affronted by her attempts to tell him that his children should be in school.

The children have grown fond of a wrecked racing motorcar, and implore their father to buy it before it is sold for scrap. Discovering that one of the sweets he has invented can be played like a flute, he tries unsuccessfully to sell the "toot sweet" to Truly's father Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson Justice), a major confection manufacturer. He takes his automatic hair-cutting machine to the fair in an effort to raise money, but it malfunctions. He "hides" from an angry customer (Arthur Mullard) by joining a song-and-dance act, stealing the show and earning enough from tips to pay for the car. Potts rebuilds the car, which he nicknames Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the noises its engine makes, and he and the children, accompanied by Truly, go for a picnic on the beach, where Truly becomes very fond of the Potts family and vice versa.
Caractacus tells them a story about nasty Baron Bomburst (Gert Fröbe), the tyrant ruler of fictional Vulgaria, who wants to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and keep it all for himself.

In the story, the quartet and the car are stranded by high tide, but Chitty suddenly deploys huge flotation devices and they escape inland. The Baron sends two comical spies ashore to capture the car for him, but they briefly capture Lord Scrumptious by accident, and then kidnap Grandpa Potts, mistaking him for the inventor of Chitty. Caractacus, Truly, and the children see him being taken away by airship, and give chase. They accidentally drive off a cliff, Chitty sprouts wings and propellers and begins to fly. They track him to Vulgaria, where Baroness Bomburst (Anna Quayle) orders the imprisonment of all children, whom she abhors. Grandpa the "inventor" has been ordered by the baron to make another floating car, and is bluffing to avoid punishment. The Potts party is hidden by the local toymaker (Benny Hill), who now works only for the baron. The children are captured by the Baron's Child Catcher, and Chitty is discovered and taken to the castle.

The toymaker takes Truly and Caractacus to a grotto far beneath the castle where the townspeople have been hiding their children, and they concoct a scheme to free the children and the village from the baron. The toymaker sneaks them into the castle disguised as life-size dolls, gifts for the baron's birthday. Caractacus snares the Baron and the town's children swarm the banquet hall. In the ensuing chaos, the baron, baroness, and Child Catcher are all captured. The family is freed and fly back with Truly to England. Jeremy and Jemima finish the story themselves: "And Daddy and Truly were married!" which Truly seems to find appealing, but Caractacus is evasive, believing that the class distance between them is too great. But when Lord Scrumptious surprises them with an offer to buy the Toot Sweet, Caractacus realizes that he has become wealthy, and rushes off to propose to Truly. As they drive off together in Chitty, the car takes to the air for real, this time without wings.





So Happy Birthday, Sally Anne Howes! Thank you for the enjoyment you gave me in the 60s.

I was born in 1961. Therefore, I did not experience the 60th the way most people did. My memories of the 60s mostly focus on the pop culture icons that MOST of us remember.
The cold war continued to worsen with the USSR exploding some very large bombs during testing and then masterminding the building of the Berlin Wall separating East from West Berlin, America sent a battle group to Germany and Americans and Russians Glared at each other across the border, due to this uncertainty many Americans built backyard fallout shelters in case of nuclear war. To make matters worse the Americans financed anti-Castro Cubans for an invasion at the bay of pigs which was an unmitigated disaster. The Soviets put the first man in space in April Yuri Gagarin followed by the US in May with Alan Shepard.
Popular music included Chubby Checker's “Pony Time” and ,“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by the Shirelles
Top movies included "West Side Story"
and "The Parent Trap.”


West Side Story is a 1961 musical film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was adapted from William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

It stars Natalie Wood (now grown up!)
Today also happens to be Natalie Wood's birthday!
Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and David Winters, and it was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp, A.S.C., in Super Panavision 70.

The film's opening sequence was shot on the streets of New York City, mainly in the area where the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts campus of Fordham University now stands.
Veteran director Robert Wise was chosen as the director and producer because of his familiarity with urban New York dramas, such as Odds Against Tomorrow. Wise had never directed a musical before and when it was suggested that Jerome Robbins, who had directed the stage version, be brought in to handle all the music and dance sequences in the film, Wise agreed.
However, the gentlemanly Wise and the abrasive Robbins repeatedly clashed and by the first day of shooting, they weren't speaking. After the New York location scenes were shot, the Mirisch Company became concerned that the production was over-budget and Robbins was fired. His final contribution before leaving the film was to write the staging for the rumble.
The remaining dance numbers were handled by Robbins' assistants.
However, because of his creative input in the planning stages, Wise insisted Robbins be given co-directing credit, even though Wise directed the majority of the film himself.

The film was released on October 18, 1961, through United Artists. It received praise from critics and the public, and became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States.


The film won ten Academy Awards in its eleven nominated categories, including Best Picture, as well as a special award for Robbins. West Side Story holds the distinction of having won more Academy Award than any other musical film. The soundtrack album made more money than any other album before it.

The film opens in the streets of Manhattan in the late summer of 1957. There is a mounting tension set to music ("Prologue") between a white American gang, the Jets, led by Riff Lorton (Russ Tamblyn), and a rival gang of Puerto Rican immigrants, the Sharks, led by Bernardo Nunez (George Chakiris).

The Jets harass the Sharks and vice versa, culminating in a free-for-all on the playground.
They dance and eventually the Sharks grab one of the Jets, the youngest, named Baby John (Eliot Feld), and begin to "bloody" him.
Soon, Lieutenant Schrank (Simon Oakland) and Officer Krupke (William Bramley
arrive and break up the melee.
Schrank orders the Sharks off the playground and the Jets "to make nice with them Puerto Ricans" or there'll be a price to pay.
Once Schrank and Krupke are gone, the Jets discuss challenging the Sharks to an all out rumble that will decide who gets control of the streets.
They decide to deliver the challenge to the Sharks at a dance later that night, because it is neutral territory.
Riff decides that his best friend Tony Wycek (Richard Beymer), a co-founder of the Jets who has left the gang to work at a local candy/drug store, would be the best member to present the challenge to the Sharks because he has always come through for the Jets ("Jet Song").

Riff visits Tony at the store and asks him to come to the dance, but Tony is not interested. He tells Riff that he senses something very important is about to happen to him. After a little cajoling from Riff, Tony changes his mind and agrees to meet him and the Jets at the dance, in case it is there that he will discover that "something" .

The Academy Award Winning song of 1961 also happens to be one of my favorite songs, MOON RIVER.
The Yearly Inflation Rate in the USA 1.07%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 2.9%
Average Cost of new house $12,500.00


If you were listening to the radio on this date in 1962, chances are you heard ROSES ARE RED, which happened to be the Number One hit song on this date. "Roses Are Red (My Love)" is a popular song composed by Al Byron and Paul Evans.

It was recorded by Bobby Vinton and was a number-one song in the United States during the year 1962.
It topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on July 15, 1962, and remained there for four weeks. The recording was his first hit. He found the song in a reject pile at Epic Records. He first recorded it as an R&B number but was allowed to record it with a new arrangement including strings.
The single was also the first number-one hit for Epic Records.


On this date in 1963, there was a solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurred on July 20, 1963. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across the surface of the Earth, while a partial solar eclipse will be visible over a region thousands of kilometers wide.

On this date in 1964, July 20

Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attack a provincial capital, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of which are children).
The National Movement of the Revolution is instituted as the sole legal political party in the Republic of Congo.

And on Broadway, audiences were flocking to see Carol Channing in HELLO, DOLLY!.
Louis Armstrong had a number one hit song knocking the Beatles out of their number one spot!


If you are a Red Sox or Yankee fan, CLICK HERE to read about the game on this date in 1965!

So celebrate the 1960s today with me and Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway
and Alex Rybeck as we all celebrate the release of BOOM!

Kevin Dozier singing Alex Rybeck's "What a Funny Boy He Is" at Feinstein's July 5, 2010.
Alex Rybeck arrangement, piano.

Kevin Dozier is a 2011 Bistro and MAC Award Winner - Outstanding Vocalist!
John Redsecker on drums. Jered Egan on bass. Lyrics by Michael Stewart(pictured)
who wrote the books for "Hello Dolly", "Barnum", Bye Bye Birdie" and more.

Kevin's cd is also available.
"One of the top 10 Vocal Albums of 2009!" ~Broadwayworld.com
"Love-Wise" Liner Notes


If you're in Los Angeles tonight, Go see Craig Pomranz!
in Los Angeles - TWO NIGHTS ONLY! ALL NEW!
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Palm Springs [Sunday -July 24 at 2 00PM]
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Craig Pomranz
The Gardenia Restaurant & Lounge

reservations - 323.467.7444
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(Seen here with Patricia Whiteman)


new review from London's "Pizza on the Park" - ClassicalResource
review from WomanAroundTown.com WomanAroundTown.com - review




more can be found on Craig's Website - CraigPomranz.com
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“ fantastic and clear vocals - one of those "voice of an angel" experiences. I must note that the voice has not lost a single bit of its clarity and beauty. With 25 or so songs in the show (many of them tied together in medley), I was amazed at how each song was so marvelously performed - from first to last...” Stu Hamstra's Cabaret Hotline

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