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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Monthly Archives: April 2015

Dan Epstein has quickly become the authority on the history of our American pastime during the swinging ’70s. In fact, his first book was entitled, “Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s.” It was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable baseball books I’ve ever read […]

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So many people have been asking me if I saw the Sinatra documentary on HBO that I finally decided to post this piece which I had actually started to write last weekend after seeing the documentary. In retrospect, let me say this: the documentary is certainly good for what it is. If your knowledge of […]

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I’ve been losing sleep this week as I stay up to watch David Letterman in his waning days as host of “The Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS. If you’ve been living under a rock, Dave announced his retirement last year and his final show will be May 20, 2015. I had actually posted […]

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Since we celebrated the centennial of Billie Holiday this week, it’s only fitting that we feature Lady Day in our Musical Friday posting. Here’s a fascinating clip that tells a little of Billie’s sad story. The narrator is the wonderful Bobby Troup who was quite an accomplished jazz cat himself having written the standard “Route […]

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Stan Freberg died yesterday. It’s almost impossible to describe or explain Stan Freberg to someone who doesn’t already know who he was. His was a long and varied career. Let’s put it this way, his was probably one of the more recognizable voices of the 20th century. He was a voice actor in the animation […]

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I’ve written a couple of posts this year mentioning that December 12, 2015 will mark Frank Sinatra’s Centennial but today, April 7th, marks the centennial of one of Frank’s most important influences – Billie Holiday. I know very little about Billie Holiday. I have no insights. For years I never even cared for her music […]

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After I posted my piece about “Inherit the Wind” yesterday, I received an e-mail and article from my good friend Dr. Tim Madigan, professor of Philosophy at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Dr Madigan, being a far more learned and intellectual man than I, had previously written about the play, film and […]

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One of my all time favorite films is “Inherit the Wind,” the 196o classic starring Spencer Tracy, Frederic March and Gene Kelly. It is a film adaptation of the play of the same name that is based upon the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 in which a schoolteacher was tried for breaking state law (Tennessee’s […]

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Today is Doris Day’s birthday so who better to feature on Musical Friday than the wonderful Miss Day? This charming lady started her career as a band singer with Les Brown and his Band of Renown. From the Brown Band she moved into wholesome, fun, musical motion pictures at Warners Brothers. She eventually showed her […]

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I’m still waiting for the parade of heavy hitters to start coming in to pay their respects to David Letterman as he bids farewell to Late Night TV (as far as we know) on May 20th. There have been a few guests who’ve tried to thank Dave and he’s finally starting to accept it. I […]

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