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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Monthly Archives: May 2016

This just in: Irv Benson, a man who became famous for saying everything we, the audience, felt has died at the age of 102. Benson was one of the last living links to the age of Vaudeville and Burlesque in America. He worked in both circuits but his face became familiar to millions in the […]

Here’s an interesting little piece. It comes from an A & E Biography on Arthur Godfrey. It provides a good basic telling of the story surrounding the La Rosa dismissal by Godfrey. It should be noted, however, that as writer Gene Lees brought up with Julius La Rosa during one of their many discussions over […]

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Julius La Rosa is not well-remembered these days and that’s a shame because he was one of the greatest of all the vocal interpreters of The Great American Songbook. Not only that but he was also one of the most knowledgeable vocalists when it came to the history, backgrounds and accomplishments of the great songwriters […]

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That ephemeral something called star quality – if there ever was living proof that it’s real, that proof is Julius La Rosa. Watch La Rosa in a nightclub, singing masterfully, magnificently, and you’ll appreciate star quality. It’s the thing that’s missing. Roy Hemming & David Hajdu, Discovering Great Singers of Classic Pop, 1991 That quote […]

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Today is it, Mr. Warmth is 90 years old today! We’ve got a few great clips for you. Just one word of “set-up.” Listen to all the jokes because Johnny throws one at Rickles in, I think, the first clip from 1974 and then later in one of the clips from the 1980s, Rickles appropriates […]

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Our Don Rickles set for today comes from a 2009 appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” They were an unlikely duo but the fact is, Letterman loved Don Rickles and the admiration seemed to be mutual. Letterman, as much as his early TV work was a type of deconstruction of the talk show model, actually […]

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We continue to celebrate Don Rickles here as we count down the days to Mr. Warmth’s 90th Birthday! Here’s Rickles on “The Tonight Show” in 1976. Boy, was he hot on this night! And yes, the pilot they’re discussing was “CPO Sharkey.”  

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Don’t ask me how I stumbled upon this today but I’m so glad I did. This is truly classic TV from May of 1974. Don Rickles was 48 years old. This coming Sunday, Mother’s Day 2016, Don Rickles turns 90 years old. If you’ve been watching Don Rickles for 52 years like I have, this […]

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