I say potato and you say potahto

My mom got an e-mail from Amazon.com this morning about an Alice Faye CD called “In a Wonderland: Vol. 4.”

I want you all to observe the cover of the CD very closely. Other than the fact that the cover looks like a sixth grader designed it in Paint, what do you notice?  Please comment if you notice it!

So terrible

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Musical look-a-likes: Harve and Howard

I wanted to follow up on yesterday’s Or maybe like the Prisoner of Zenda post about classic celebrities who look alike.

I talked about how singer/actors Howard Keel and Harve Presnell looked and sang similarly.  To recap, Keel was in movies like “Kiss Me Kate” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” while Presnell was in “Paint Your Wagon” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

The photos I posted showed their physical similarities, but I am posting two videos to show their similar vocal styles.  The first video is Keel in his role as Petruchio in “Kiss Me Kate” singing “The Life I Lead.”  The second video is Presnell in “Paint Your Wagon” in his role as Rotten Luck Willy singing “They Call the Wind Mariah.”

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Or maybe like The Prison of Zenda

Back in September, I wrote a blog post called Just like the prince and in the pauper about actors who have an uncanny resemblance. I realized I left out a few actors who look like they could be relatives.
This post, like the other, is named after another famous mix up of identities. In the “The Prisoner of Zenda” (1937), commoner Ronald Colman looks exactly like prince Ronald Colman and is asked to impersonate him for the prince’s safety. There was a 1954 remake with Stewart Granger as well, but I like Colman better.

Nelson Eddy and Gene Raymond

Nelson Eddy and Gene Raymond: These two men have an uncanny resemblance and I can’t believe I forgot to add them in my last look-a-likes post. I only remembered when I was telling my grandmother about the post and she mentioned that she always thought they looked similar. The odd thing about these two men’s similar appearance is that they both had strong connections to actress and opera singer Jeanette MacDonald.
•Gene Raymond and Jeanette MacDonald were married from 1937 until her death in 1965. They were paired in “Smilin’ Through” (1941) together.  They seemed to have a long and happy marriage, both gushing about the other in quotes.  Gene seemed to love Jeanette very much. In 1972, seven years after her death he said, “”We had 28 glorious years. Jeanette and I respected and loved each other, very deeply. We put one another before anyone or anything. I am blessed to have known her, loved her and been loved by her – absolutely, an incredible lady!”
Jeanette seemed equally enthralled with her husband. In 1943, Jeanette said, “I can’t believe how blessed I am! I’m married to the most wonderful man, Gene Raymond, whom I’m deeply in love with, and, my career is right where I want it to be. I can live like this forever!”  And again in 1947 she gushed, “Gene, is the most wonderful man I’ve ever known. He’s warm, sensitive, loving, funny and very handsome. Being Mrs. Gene Raymond, I admit I’m biased!”
•However, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald had a curious and rumored connection. I’ve heard that they hated each other and would eat garlic when they had to sing to each other. I’ve also heard that they had a secret love affair. I’m really on the fence about both, because I’ve seen a lot of conflicting information. Supposedly during the 1950s, Jeanette MacDonald was asked by her friend Samuel Griffin why she married Gene instead of Nelson and she said, “I must have had rock in my head.”  I still really don’t think they had an affair though, especially when in 1957, Nelson said, “I don’t know why people still want to believe that Jeanette MacDonald and I were a couple off the set. There’s no truth to that rumor, at all. She’s happily married to Gene Raymond and I’m happily married to Anne. I guess people want to believe that what they see on the screen is reality while in actuality, it’s just a movie!”
Regardless of romantic involvement with Jeanette MacDonald, both men looked startlingly similar.

Harve Presnell and Howard Keel

Harve Presnell and Howard Keel: Not only do these men look very similar, they also have the same deep and bellowing baritone singing voice. Howard Keel broke into the MGM musical extravaganza in the early 1950s with his rich, vibrating voice. He stared in big budget musicals like “Annie Get Your Gun” (1951) and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954).
Similarly, Harve Presnell has the same semi-operatic, rumbling voice and physique, but was about five or 10 years too late for the musical game. His first big musical was “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” in 1964, which was toward the end of the golden age of musicals and a major turn in films. He was in other musicals like “Paint Your Wagon” (1968) and acted until his death in 2009, but one can only wonder what his career could have been like in the 1950s. You can really see the resemblance if you compare Presnell in “Paint Your Wagon” and Keel in “Kiss Me Kate.”

Dick Powell and Kenny Baker

Dick Powell and Kenny Baker: Dick Powell was the ultimate crooner and Kenny Baker was a singer on Jack Benny’s radio show. Both singers look very similar, sing the same crooning style, but Baker was never the same star caliber as Powell.
Powell was every woman’s heartthrob as he cuddled Ruby Keeler and sang about June and the moon. He was clean cut, attractive, always grinning and the sweet young all-American guy who won the girl. His career rocketed in “42nd Street” and never looked back as he went on to do film noir movies like “Murder, My Sweet” and even direct films.
The first time I saw Baker in “Goldwyn Follies” (1938), I thought “This must be Sam Goldwyn’s answer to Dick Powell.” Baker looks like Powell’s twin brother, who is slightly less attractive. Baker started his film career two years later than Powell, but ended it earlier as well. His film appearances in low budget movies like “Goldwyn Follies” and “52nd Street” (1937) are forgettable. He was in the larger budget “The Harvey Girls” (1948) as Cyd Charisse’s love interest, but does not have a substantial role. One could wonder if his lack of fame is because of Powell’s and Baker’s similar mugs.

Andrea Leeds and Olivia deHavilland

Andrea Leeds and Olivia deHavilland: Olivia deHavilland was compared to Anne Shirley in the last look-a-like post, but one cannot over look the similarities of Leeds and deHavilland’s film demeanor and appearance. Both have delicate features, soft eyes and soothing voices. Leeds and deHavilland were both Warner players, so I often wonder if Leeds was groomed to be a deHavilland replacement. Her first substantial role was in “Stage Door” in 1937, which is when deHavilland was in the midst of court battles with Warner Brothers.
However, there probably wasn’t a motive, they just happen to look nearly the same with the same mild mannerisms. Interestingly enough, Leeds was strongly considered for the role of Melanie Hamilton in “Gone with the Wind,” the role deHavilland made famous and was nominated for.

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Guest star on “Radio Waves” tonight!

Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney singing and dancing in black face in "Babes in Arms" (1939). One of the topics being discussed tonight. Listen in!

“Radio Waves Over Hollywood” will be streaming live Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m (Eastern time).

Tonight “Radio Waves” has a guest star! Jonathan McFadden-member of National Association of Black Journalists and assistant news editor for The Johnsonian, Winthrop’s student newspaper-will be joining me to discuss black issues in movies such as black face actors and the stereotypes of black people in old AND current films.

So be sure to listen at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. live stream on http://www.winrfm.com (go to Listen Live) or the old WINR website.

Call in at 803-323-2122, whether you know me or not, to contribute to the discussion. I would love to hear from you!

And remember, non-Winthrop students can listen and call in too!

Also, if you listen to the “Radio Waves Over Hollywood” show, leave feedback for me in the comments area. Let me know what I need to work on or what you want to hear!

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page and Radio Waves Over Hollywood Facebook page.

The Muppets, Cee Lo Green and Elton

I know the Muppets aren’t considered classics by my stands. Their television show and movies were made in the late 1970s and 1980s, but they also have a classic family feel to them.

My favorite Muppets movie, “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984), even was a take on the Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney “let’s put on a show” movies.

I just finished watching a clip of Cee Lo Green’s Grammy performance from Sunday night. When I saw his crazy bird/robot outfit with the muppet-like puppets in the background I immediately knew it looked familiar.

His outfit is similar, if not nearly the same as Elton John’s outfit from his “The Muppet Show” appearance in 1977 when he sang “Crocodile Rock.”  I distinctly remember seeing him in a rerun when I was probably four years old and taken by the glitter and bright colors, so it has stuck with me ever since.

Here are the two videos so you can compare. Enjoy!

Elton John’s performance on “The Muppets Tonight” in 1977:

Cee Loo’s performance of “Forget You” at the 2011 Grammy’s:

 

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Another star faded: Betty Garrett

Betty Garrett, star of “On the Town,” dies Sunday

The perky, pretty and talented Betty Garrett died on February 13 at the age of 91.

I was surprised to see that she was only in a hand-full of movies, most of which I had seen.  But even though Miss Garrett was only in six notable classic movies, the roles and her marriage make her unforgettable in Hollywood history.

Garrett was in what is considered one of Hollywood’s best musicals: “On the Town” (1949). Garrett stars along with Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen, Gene Kelly, Jules Munshin and Frank Sinatra in the film about three sailors on leave in New York.  Ann Miller says in a TCM interview that she realized in her “Caveman” dance in the museum, that she had the most impressive group of back-up dancers than any other musical during that time could have.

Garrett plays a plucky, man chasing female cab driver.  Garrett is a great singer and dancer but often was typecasted as the man crazy, love hungry female.

Husband and wife Larry Parks and Betty Garrett in 1955

In both “On the Town” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (1949), Garrett harasses Frank Sinatra (when he was seemingly cute and sweet) for love.  In “Neptune’s Daughter” (1948) she chases Red Skeleton. At least Mickey Rooney is the one after her in “Words and Music” (1948).

Though her film career wasn’t as huge as Bette Davis’, Garrett also had stage and TV success; even often appearing on the 1970s television show “Laverne & Shirley.”

One reason Betty Garrett’s career was brief, was due to her husband’s Communist Party ties from 1941 to 1945, according to her New York Times obituary.  Her husband, Larry Parks-star of “The Jolson Story“- admitted the ties before the House of Un-American Activities in 1955.  The two actors married in 1944 and were married until his death in 1975.

Betty Garrett is one of those actresses who may not have always had the biggest role in a movie-she was fourth billing in “Neptune’s Daughter“- you always remember her from a movie.

She left a mark in Hollywood with her flashing blue eyes, shining curly hair and vivacious singing.

Farewell Ms. Garrett, you will be missed. 

RIP Betty Garrett, you will be missed

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Brief “Radio Waves” tonight!

Listen to "Radio Waves"

 

“Radio  Waves Over Hollywood” will be streaming live Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m (Eastern time).

So be sure to listen at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.  live stream on www.winrfm.com (go to Listen Live) or  the old WINR website.

“Radio Waves” will be only an hour tonight, because I have to record a meeting for our news television show “Winthrop Close-Up.”  But be sure to listen in!

Call in at 803-323-2122, whether you know me or not, to contribute to the discussion.  I would love to hear from you!

And remember, non-Winthrop students can listen and call in too!

Also, if you listen to the “Radio Waves Over Hollywood” show, leave feedback for me in the comments area. Let me know what I need to work on or what you want to hear!

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page and Radio Waves Over Hollywood Facebook page.

Actors in Music Videos: “I Want to Be Your Property” by Blue Mercedes

I’m starting yet another new feature on “Comet” about actors and actresses, or anything classic film related, in music videos.

The video featured today is the U.S. version of the video “I Want to Be Your Property” by Blue Mercedes in 1988 from their album Rich and Famous.

It’s a really corny video with lots of cheesy 1980s special effects, but its fun to see Cyd. I tried to find if there was any story behind her doing the video but couldn’t find anything.

Please keep in mind when you watch this video that Cyd was 66 years old! She still looks just as beautiful as ever and her legs and figure are fabulous. What a wonderful woman.

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“Radio Waves” on air in 30 minutes!

Ginger will be listening too

“Radio  Waves Over Hollywood” will be streaming live Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m (Eastern time).

So be sure to listen at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  live stream on www.winrfm.com (go to Listen Live) or  the old WINR website.

Call in at 803-323-2122, whether you know me or not, to contribute to the discussion.  I would love to hear from you!

And remember, non-Winthrop students can listen and call in too!

Also, if you listen to the “Radio Waves Over Hollywood” show, leave feedback for me in the comments area. Let me know what I need to work on or what you want to hear!

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page and Radio Waves Over Hollywood Facebook page.

Actress beauty tip #9: Red, red lips

This is the ninth installment of my monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have tested.  This month I’m actually on time!

Rita Hayworth wore Max Factor Rose Red. Lana Turner wore Elizabeth Arden’s Victory Red.

Rita Hayworth in Max Factor lipstick ad

The 1940s and 1950s was a time of minimal eye make-up and concentration on the lips.  Popular lip colors during the 1940s were pink red, bright red, cherry red or deep red, according to a 20s-to-40s make-up guide.

Rita Hayworth in particular was known for her red lipstick, along with her long red finger nails. The lipstick was a style constant from the 1930s to the 1960s for Hayworth. She was also involved in a 1949 Max Factor lipstick advertising campaign. Hayworth’s lips were even voted the best in the world by the Artist’s League of America.

Bright red lipstick looks beautiful on many other actresses including Betty Grable, Linda Darnell and Gene Tierney.

However, I think the bright reds are a hard look to pull off today. I’m not sure why people of the 1940s and 1950s look naturally better with bright red lipstick than people today. Maybe it’s their complexion. Maybe its because we emphasize eyes more with liner, mascara and shadow now.

But red lipstick is so enticing. It makes you feel powerful, feminine and glamorous. I bought two Maybelline lipstick shades on a whim: Are You Red-dy and Peachy Scene.

Though I’ve worn red lipstick out, I look horrible. I don’t really know anyone who looks good with red lipstick. It either doesn’t go with their skin tone or they put on gobs of lipstick without bothering to blot it.

To review: Red lipstick may look great on Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth in the 1940s, but its hard to recreate this pin-up look while looking fabulous at the same time. I personally look better in peach and pink shades. Approach bright shades of red lipstick with caution.

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