Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23, 1890 Herbert Marshall was born


On this day in 1890, Herbert Marshall was born.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 21: Happy Birthday, Fats Waller

Today marks the 1904 birth of Thomas "Fats" Waller, one of the great jazz pianists of the mid-20th century. The Harlem native began playing at rent parties, raising some cash for the hosts. He broke into the music business writing novelty songs, and started recording with Victor Records in 1926.

Waller played the organ in addition to piano, and also laid down the vocals on his solo songs. His technique was considerable--he was an innovator in the difficult realm of stride piano, which requires fast alternation on the bass end of the keyboard, with the right hand augmenting the basic melody.

He hosted a radio show called "Fats Waller's Rhythm Club" from 1932-34. Waller's virtuosity and his smooth, comic patter made him a very popular entertainer in Depression-era America.

Happy Birthday, Fats!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28, 1912 Frank Lovejoy was born


On this day in 1912, Frank Lovejoy was born. As Randy Stone, he was your favorite newspaperman on trail of crime and corruption in Night Beat.

March 28: Happy Birthday, Frank Lovejoy

March 28: Happy Birthday, Frank Lovejoy

We can't know if Frank Lovejoy was voted "Most Likely To Be The Blue Beetle" by his high school class, but it seems possible. The steely-eyed, square-jawed actor exuded intensity and a detective's predatory determination. If we were alive, he'd be celebrating his one hundred and first birthday.

Lovejoy's voice was one of the most recognized in the business, for Blue Beetle and several other shows. Blue Beetle hit the airwaves in May of 1940. Lovejoy gave voice to the title character, a superhero (whose alter-ego's name was Dan Garrett) with the strength of ten men. He carried a beetle pendant and left it around town to alert evil-doers he was on to them. Lovejoy held down this gig only for a Summer, and then future episodes went uncredited as to the voice.

Frank Lovejoy is also well-known for his parts in Box 13, Nightbeat, Dragnet, and This Is Your FBI. When they needed a stern cop or investigator, they called Lovejoy.