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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Here’s a great clip of Sammy Davis Jr. and Buddy Rich from a British talk show in around 1982. When I see this clip, I think of the 1970s and the wonderful variety and talk shows that helped to educate me on the wonders of the great entertainers from America’s Golden Age of Pop Culture, […]

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Besides the fact that I consider “Mary Poppins” to be one of the truly great films in the history of the cinema, “Chim Chim Cher-ee” has always had a special place in my heart because it is the Oscar winning song of 1964, the year of my birth. Here’s the wonderful Van Dyke performing his […]

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Today we celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of composer Jimmy Van Heusen. While his name and celebrity may not be as universal as that of Irving Berlin or Cole Porter, he wrote hundreds of songs of which dozens became cherished American standards. It also didn’t hurt that he wrote for the two […]

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Dear Mr. Van Dyke: To paraphrase a corny old song, “where do I begin, to tell the story of how much you’ve meant to me?” I just finished reading your memoir entitled “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business.” As cute as the title is, whatever luck you’ve had would have meant very […]

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Today marks the 100th birthday of  David Daniel Kaminsky, better known to you and me as Danny Kaye. He was one of the most popular film comedians of the 1940s starring in a string of popular films with Virginia Mayo. I was never a huge fan of Danny Kaye’s, which is not to say I […]

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One of the best sports writers in the country is a guy named Dave Zirin. As compelling and passionate as he is, I’m sure most sports fans would hate him because he regularly addresses issues and truths that most people would like to avoid. If you click HERE, you’ll find his reaction to yesterday’s Baseball […]

No one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in today’s annual election by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In not electing a single living player, the process was once again exposed for the sham it has become. We all know that there are players in the HOF that shouldn’t be there and […]

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I’ve been a movie buff since the early 1970s. My first “favorite” director, once I had some inkling of what that title meant, was Frank Capra. He made inspirational films, films with humor and with hope. Most of all, Capra was simply a great storyteller. But then I grew up. I still appreciated the films […]

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Two of the most memorable birthday gifts I ever received were a portable blue record player/turntable and a 20 inch high, plastic Donald Duck piggy bank. I’m not entirely positive that the record player was a Christmas gift or a birthday gift. When your birthday fell as close to Christmas as mine, it’s hard to […]

In just less than three hours, my pal Sal Viscuso will be seen in this week’s episode of “The Mentalist” on CBS. He plays a character named Walter playing chess in the park in the opening scene of the show. Sal spent a few memorable years with regular gigs on “Soap” and “M*A*S*H.” He also […]

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