Skip to content

the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Tag Archives: Ella Fitzgerald

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 […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The first thought that comes to mind when I think of both Ella Fitzgerald and Carol Burnett is, “It doesn’t get any better.” These were two women who were at the absolute top of their fields of entertainment. If I want to swing and listen to music that I know will make me happy and […]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dinah Shore was a favorite of my mom. She was, no doubt, a favorite of more than a few dads in America as well. I know some were a little turned off by her sugary sweetness but, the truth is, that’s who she was! I’ve known two people who worked with Dinah Shore and knew her […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This coming Sunday, January 24, 2016, I will celebrate 16 years on the air at Jazz (0.1 in Rochester, New York as host of a program called “The Sunday Music Festa.” These days, it’s a weekly party celebrating all the great songwriters, lyricists, arrangers, musicians and vocalists who have made the music of the Great […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One William James Basie was born on this day in Red Bank, New Jersey, in the year 1904. He would go on to become one of the greatest, most influential and swinging-ist cats in the history of American Jazz and Swing music. As a young boy (six or seven years of age), I inherited a […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just like manna from heaven came “Pennies from Heaven” on TCM this morning in celebration of Bing Crosby’s birthday. I’m a big Bing fan and have seen about 44 of the roughly 60 theatrical features that Bing made. Prior to today, I had never seen “Pennies from Heaven.” “Pennies from Heaven” is an important film […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today is the 84th birthday of singer Julius La Rosa. Best known for the folkloric little ditty, “Eh Cumpari,” La Rosa was actually one of the finest interpreters the Great American Songbook ever had. He was one of the very few vocalists who had the gift of Sinatra or Holiday for singing the lyrics of […]

Tags: , , ,

This afternoon from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST, I will have a rare weekday shift on the air at Jazz 90.1 FM in Rochester, New York. Rarer still is the fact that my station manager, the inimitable Rob Linton, has told me I can treat the shift as though it were one of my “Sunday […]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

OK, I’ve got my computer back with a brand new hard drive . . . or so they tell me. It works better but I’ve still had a moment or two where processing seems delayed or gets frozen. Hopefully, the computer’s just tired because it’s so damn hot outside! When the hot, summer weather cranks […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,