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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: Musicians

It’s hard to imagine Dean Martin as 100. In truth, it was hard to watch Dean get old. He was the living embodiment of the old joke, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Except it’s doubtful Dean Martin would have changed anything he did. He […]

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Bing Crosby was born on this date in 1903. I have hosted a radio show called “Sinatra & Company” for many years and it still amuses me how the Sinatra fans refuse to show the same love for Bing that Sinatra did. And the tired excuse of his personal life and conduct doesn’t work when […]

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Today would have been Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday. She was born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. At least that’s would we now believe to be true. Ella Fitzgerald left much about her earliest years shrouded in mystery. She was fanatically guarded about her history and her privacy. For example, her birth date […]

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I was planning on putting up a post today in honor of Dave’s 70th birthday and then lo and behold, I read on the internet this morning that Dave’s mom, Dorothy, has passed away at the age of 95. My first thought after sadness for her passing and sympathy for Dave and his family is the […]

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I am part of the TV Generation, the group of kids who literally grew up on television. Radio as a narrative medium was over by the time I came around and video games were still in the future. TV was the center of our cultural universe. That said, most of my contemporaries were obsessed with […]

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I wrote yesterday of my first Sinatra concert in April of 1980. In truth, It was the only actual “Sinatra Concert” I ever attended although I did see him perform live one more time about four years later in the summer of 1984. Back in those days, Sammy Davis Jr. used to host a Pro-Am […]

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Heartbroken yesterday to learn of the passing of Vinnie Falcone, pianist, arranger, and musical director of some of the greatest interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Mr. Falcone was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. He played in clubs in small combos and large aggregations starting in the 1950s. In the early 1970s he decided […]

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Everyone’s favorite bumbling sitcom Nazi would have been 97 years old today. Werner Klemperer was born in Germany on March 22, 1920. His father, Otto Klemperer, was a world famous symphony conductor. The family, which was Jewish, wisely fled Europe in 1935. Werner Klemperer would go on to have a solid and steady career in […]

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In honor of Harry Belafonte’s 90th birthday, we celebrate the great entertainer and political activist with a favorite song of mine and Dr. Tim’s!! Harry Belafonte was born in Harlem, New York City in 1927 but spent about eight years of his childhood in Jamaica. Here’s another catchy tune I’ve always liked. This features Harry […]

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Thanks to an e-mail from my friend, “Dr. Tim,” I now have this song stuck in my head like a ’74 Chevy sinking in the mud. I believe this was a deliberate attack on his part to purposely deposit it in my brain so it would keep playing over and over and over, as it […]

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