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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: Dancers

Born Yesterday is a wonderful play written by a fellow native of my hometown of Rochester, NY, Garson Kanin. As well-written as the play is, it owes its great success to the marvelously talented Judy Holliday who would have been 95 years old today. She brought a special kind of native intelligence to “the dumb blonde” […]

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Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Big Band leader Harry James. James was one of the hottest trumpet players of the Big Band Era. Today it seems he’s remembered for little more than being Frank Sinatra’s first employer but the reality is he was one of the most respected players […]

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As we get ready to celebrate the 100th Birthday of his idol, it’s important to remember that Sammy Davis Jr. would have been 90 years old today. He died much too soon at the age of 64 in 1990 but, man, oh man, did he pack a hell of a lot of living into those 64 […]

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Years ago, Frank Sinatra asked the above question in a song written for him by Earl Robinson and Lewis Allen. Briefly, the answer was: The house I live in, a plot of earth, a street, the grocer and the butcher and the people that I meet, the children in the playground and the faces that […]

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I just bought a DVD set of “The Barbara McNair Show.” This was a variety show produced in Canada from 1969 – 1971 and syndicated in the U.S. until 1972. I have no recollection of seeing this program as a kid but I’m anxious to check it out. Barbara McNair was a very fine vocalist […]

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Today marks another centennial celebration – the one for the beautiful and talented Alice Faye, star of stage, screen and radio and even a little TV. Faye was featured in many 20th Century Fox musicals back in the 1930s and 1940s along with Betty Grable, John Payne, Cesar Romero, Don Ameche and a host of […]

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Our friend Dr. Tim, who is a devoted follower, reader and patron of The Otto Files, wrote me last night to say that I’d forgotten an extremely important “Joey” in our St Joseph’s Day salute – the one and only Joey Heatherton. To rectify that oversight, I thought I’d present some Joey Heatherton for our […]

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Here’s some vintage footage of a complete Martin & Lewis Dinner Show from the Copacabana, New York’s famed nightclub, supposedly from 1954. The boys broke up in July of 1956 and “That’s Amore” was written in 1953 and featured in their film “The Caddy,” so 1954 seems a reasonable date as to when this show […]

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Last week it was Frank Sinatra and Rod McKuen. This week, in the hopes of starting a tradition of “musical Fridays,” I’m posting some musically fun Julie Andrews spots. I saw something on Facebook recently about “posting something that your friends might not know about you.” Well, my friends know that when it comes to […]

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Every year at this time for the past three years in a row, I’ve read the book “All My Best Friends” which was written by George Burns and published in 1989. I do this because it’s a book that I find very funny and even comforting in a way. I feel it’s a good way […]

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