Saturday, January 06, 2007
(01-05) 18:10 PST Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP) --
Nikki Bacharach, daughter of songwriter Burt Bacharach and actress Angie Dickinson, committed suicide, Bacharach and Dickinson said in a statement Friday.
Nikki Bacharach, 40, suffered from Asperger's Disorder, a form of autism. She killed herself Thursday night at her condo in Thousand Oaks, said Linda Dozoretz, a spokeswoman for the family.
"She quietly and peacefully committed suicide to escape the ravages to her brain brought on by Asperger's," the statement said.
Born prematurely in 1966, Lea Nikki Bacharach studied geology at Cal Lutheran University, but could not pursue a career in the field because of poor eyesight.
"She loved kitties, and earthquakes, glacial calving, meteor showers, science, blue skies and sunsets, and Tahiti," the statement said.
Nikki Bacharach was the only child of Burt Bacharach, 77, and Dickinson, 75, who were married from 1965 to 1981.
It was the second marriage for both Bacharach, the Oscar-winning composer of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," and "What the World Needs Now is Love," and Dickinson, star of the film "Dress to Kill" and the TV show "Police Woman."
Bacharach has three children from other marriages.
Autism is a developmental disorder. Asperger's Disorder, also known as Asperger's syndrome, is sometimes called high-functioning autism.
Friday, January 05, 2007
No wonder I had 0 downloads for the file. I hadn't linked to it.
Iron "E" is not just the iron next to Iron "F."
Many thanks to David for letting me know. Don't miss David's review of my suite in the comments section--his aural observations are almost identical to mine. For instance, the ragtime section needed more material. It just... ends. And the music could have led up to the storm a little bit, though I do kind of like the blunt, you-are-there approach I used. Anyway, I knew that the suite would sound rushed--what's surprising is how well it holds together under the circumstances. If I, um, don't say so myself. Because everything past the second part was produced as fast as I could think it up.
And I had something funny to post about, and whatever it was, it's gone from my memory. This is my brain after I stay up too late and arise in the same spirit. Benjamin Franklin tried to warn me. He tried to warn us all.
Now I'll go crazy trying to remember what I was going to type.
("Now I remember--I'm radioactive!"--Steve Martin)
Carry on.... It's all we can do.
Yes, we have a suite by Ferde Grofe, followed by a suite by someone named Lee Hartsfeld. Grofe's is a charming medley called Christmas Eve, and I would have posted it in time had it managed to arrive before yesterday. Oh, well. Worth the wait, though. It's beautifully performed by organist Barron Smith, and the recording quality (from 1958) is terrific. Well, except for the final, triple-forte section that someone's stylus, somewhere along the way, decided to rip up.
However... MAGIX saved the day. Filtering, EQing, and volume-leveling were employed, and you'd almost never guess the grooves in question (the very last portion of the medley) had been pretty well plowed out. Except that I just told you. (D'oh!) Thanks, self. Thanks, also, to the Urania label, for an excellent pressing--the first I've come across from them. I was expecting the worst, and what a nice surprise!
Memory tells me the piece is from 1934, but I can't find my copy of the sheet music to be sure.
I was about two hours editing the file--maybe three. Believe it or don't, by Wrigley's.
My Yuletide Suite is from 2007--that, I'm sure of. And it's on time, seeing as how the Yuletide season isn't over until tomorrow. (Clever, clever.) I did the usual bit of writing it on my Noteworthy Composer® software and then migrating it to MAGIX. It took me a couple of evenings to write it, though I didn't actually write very much of it down--a couple measures on manuscript paper, maybe. Otherwise, it was all off the top of my bald head.
I had fun with the titles, as you will see.
Christmas Eve (Grofe, 1934)--Barron Smith at the John Wanamaker Organ, Philadelphia (1958). From LP on Urania label.
Joyous Christmas Spirit--Sleighbells Through the Snow (Jingle Bells)--Church Bells Ringing--Christmas Eve Church Service (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)--Silent Night--Santa Claus Coming in the Distance--Going Down the Chimney, Depositing Toys, Up the Chimney and Off Again--Christmas Morning--Children Playing with Toys--Church Bells Ringing--O Come All Ye Faithful.
Yuletide Suite (Hartsfeld, this month)--Lee Hartsfeld at the Casio keyboard (2007). (Individual sections follow):
1) Christmas Is Coming
2) So Is Winter
3) Winter Storm (See? I Told You)
4) The Yuletide Rag
5) Lovely Weather; Return of Storm
6) New Year's Eve
I must be hungry.
Also thinking about how unethical it is for Dell, HP, and (probably) all the rest of the PC manufacturers to mess over their customers with product cons and blackmail tactics, as if this were the only way to make a decent profit. The worst possible reality would be that they are making a profit with such dishonest measures.
I'm shocked. (No, of course not. Well, a little. In a how-low-can-they-go sort of way.)
Two aggravating examples spring to mind: Rhapsody and Spell Check. Rhapsody is my PC's free, bundled music service, the one I use to rip MPs. It's pretty handy for uploading music, once you figure out its weird folder-making habits. And, unlike Musicmatch, it allows the uploader to view the artists and titles. It cuts down on errors, too--I haven't mislabeled a Box.net MP3 for ages, because now I have something more informative to go by than "Track 2" or "Track 3."
So why, then, is Rhapsody a pain? Yikes--let me pull out the list. First off, Rhapsody insists on displaying a page filled with the latest stuff people are listening to, and I haven't been able to delete that page. It comes up first, no matter what, and it drives me nuts. (Ho, ho! Hee, hee! Ha-haaaaaaa!!) It's the service they WANT you to enslave yourself to... I mean, the service they want you to improve your life with. The one that costs $$$.
On the other hand, I did manage to get rid of the scam-style prompt that takes the user to a website to "register" the software, instead insisting that the user sign up for their $120-a-year service (see above). Maybe it's just a sophisticated joke--I go to the page thinking I'm going to register my software, but I'm actually "registering" for their pay service! Ha, ha! That's a hoot.
Such a scam is not only bold, it's crude. One step up from "Give me your money."
I turned it off, along with some other Rhapsody-scam page (the nature of which I've forgotten), and I went on with my life. Who knows why Rhapsody and HP use such low tactics--measures more commonly associated with Nigerian-bank-scam e-mail and real-estate schemes on late-night cable TV. Maybe they're part of that group....
And the amateur linguist in me has to wonder--are "scheme" and "scam" related words? Hmm. And is "spam," in turn, a corruption of "scam"?
"Scam, scam, scam, scam. Lowly scams, terrible scams."--Monty Python's Flying Circus.
What's up with Spell Check? Not much, because it's not available. I have Outlook Express, but no Spell Check. Turns out I would have had to buy some-or-another software, which Spell Check is included with. No sale, no Spell Check. That's pretty low, folks. HP is, in effect, withholding an important feature of a bundled program because I neglected to buy some $40 software (an on-line encyclopedia, I recall). Blackmail, in other words. Though it's such an ugly word.
And they get away with it. How many PC owners allow this nonsense? Do they trust the come-ons and scams because to do otherwise would be to not trust HP? And then HP betrays their trust. It tears it up in little pieces and flushes it down the big water dish in the bathroom (as our cats describe it).
Glug, glug, glug.
And what choice do we have? If major PC sellers insist on pulling such stunts, all we can do is try to remain afloat. Or stop buying computers.
And I forgot to post Happy Days Are Here Again. Dang me. Nancy rules!
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Santa Lee, out of uniform.
Stairway to Christmas is what I was going to call my latest Stairway, but I didn't meet the deadline. The Yuletide season, however, is still in swing, so let's call this...
Stairway to Yuletide.
Santa Lee is scaring me. Is his smile jolly... or sinister? I can't tell.
Stairway to Yuletide (Lee Hartsfeld), Created on Noteworthy Composer® software on January 2, 2007.
So, my Casio keyboard, which I use as a MIDI controller (the device with which to enter the note "data"), stopped working just after I finished this. What timing. I had to figure out if my Casio was kaput or if the AC adaptor had gone bad.
So, I tried out my new Radio Shack universal AC adaptor. Worked like a charm. Therefore, the old AC adaptor was bad. I threw it out.
That was such an exciting story, I just had to relate it.
It'll probably win some "Great Internet Story of the Year" award. I'm preparing my speech as we speak. ("Speech as we speak"?)
The hardest part about writing Stairway to Yuletide was getting some kind of decent counterpoint between the guitar passage and the Tchaikovsky quote.
Zepp meets the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Here's some early Burt Bacharach to start the New Year off right. All from my collection, and all sent to Mr. Bacharach on CD. (I hope he liked the tracks!)
Moon Man--Gloria Lambert with Richard Maltby (1959), Columbia
Hot Spell (words: Mack David)--Ernie Felice with Dennis Farnon (1958), RCA
The Last Time I Saw My Heart--Marty Robbins (1958), Columbia
Winter Warm--Gale Storm with Billy Vaughn (1957), Dot (Don't miss the Jingle Bells reference in the final four notes!)
And This Is Mine--Connie Stevens with Neal Hefti (1961), Warner Brothers
The Night That Heaven Fell--Tony Bennett (1958), Columbia
I Cry More--Alan Dale (1956), Coral
Hollywood's idea of ugly. Leethinks Hollywood needs mental assistance, fast.
Or maybe I need my glasses fixed. Yeah, that must be it....
No, I took them off, and she still looks gorgeous.
Hollywood, they're coming to take you away, ha-haaa!!
Monday, January 01, 2007
So imaginative. Yet no-frills and to the point.
I don't drink, but I know that some people do. Can't imagine why I'm posting this tune the day after New Year's Eve. Of all days....
Drunk (Liggins)--Jimmy Liggins (1953).
Drunk. Blasted. Tanked. Guttered. Toasted.
Wasted. (That was the one I heard most often in the Navy)
Three sheets to the wind.
Brahms and Liszt.
(Brahms and Liszt???)
My favorite is "guttered," which I first heard in Scotland. Ditto for "boats" (as in "steam boats," I believe).
And, meanwhile, Gzo87e wishes everyone a Happy New Year:
I don't remember any announcement about the Google name change. I'm not sure I like "Gzo87e."
That would make a funky password, even. But who am I to tell Gzo87e what to call itself?
First person: "So, how did you find out I had two kids and four pets?"
Second person: "Simple. I went on-line and Gzo87e'd you."
First person: "You... what?"
First spy: "And you are...?"
Second spy: "I am agent Gzo87e."
First spy: "Oh, yeah. Sure. And I'm James Bond."
Second spy: "Really? You must be that new actor."
First spy (pointing gun): "Hilarious. O.K., who are you?"
The weird thing about the New Year's card is that it's printed on what appears to be computer paper. Ah, you say, somebody printed it from some website, right? Maybe, but the paper looks pretty old. Too old to be computer paper. Even though it looks like computer paper.
In this life, there are mysteries both compelling and boring. I think this falls into the second category. I mean, is anyone dying to find out? I know I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
(Segue music: Wah-wah-wah-wah-wahhhhhh.....)
Me, lying awake in bed: "Dang, it's 7 a.m. and I've been up all night! That card. That weird card."
"I promise not to tell a corny joke."
"Hello, what's that? The church burned down? Holy smoke!"
--Doodles Weaver, from Spike Jones' Happy New Year.
A New Year Carol (Benjamin Britten, 1936)--The Cathedral Singers, 1992.
Here We Come a-Wassailing--The Cathedral Singers, 1992.
Season's Greetings (A Cheerful Hello), Larry Noble with Peter Pontrelli and His Orchestra, 1959. (See cool label above).
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Specifically, a classic by the Dominoes and Auld Lang Syne, again--this time on a glass armonica.
Rudy is happy to present these classics for our New Year's Eve pleasure.
Ringing in a Brand New Year--The Dominoes, 1953.
Auld Lang Syne--Dean Shostak, glass armonica, 1994.
Rudy's New Year's resolution is to continue gobbling large amounts of cat food so he can grow into his tail and legs, so to speak. Both of which appear to belong to a much longer cat.
Auld Lang Syne--Roy Kral, Jackie Caine Sextet (1949).
Anyway, I noted that the jazz-to-R&B bit oversimplifies Atlantic's history. Which is oversimplifying it. An R&B-expert friend who knows Atlantic like no one else recently shared this with me:
"Herb Abramson told me his goal for Atlantic was to produce excellent records that skirted the edges of 'pop music' and thus avoid direct competition with the major labels. Atlantic was to be jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, ethnic, spoken word, country, and light classical. He used the word 'eclectic' to describe his goal. The first year in business he recorded whoever was available and that meant the blues and jazz acts playing the clubs in New York. After a lean first year he was ready to pursue his dream. One of his now-forgotten projects was a spoken-word album of the poems of Walter Benton, a very popular writer at the time. He hired Vernon Duke to do a original musical score, and Lehman Engel conducted a full orchestra and chorus. The music tracks were laid down in January, 1949 and a month later film star John Dall did the recitations. The package was released as three 12-inch red vinyl 78's. Herb said the production costs were over $15,000 and the label lost money on the deal. Nevertheless, it accomplished one thing - it raised Atlantic above the host of new independent labels who were jumping on the R&B bandwagon. The couple of books on Atlantic do not mention this venture, or any of the other early releases that don't fit into the convenient 'Atlantic was R&B' bag. The Square Dance Party LP, the cross-grooved kiddie records, the complete 'Romeo And Juliet,' the country & western series (including one of Bill Haley's earliest), gospel, and novelties such as Vince Mondi One-Man Band.' The Atlantic vaults also contained a large number of unreleased foreign-language cuts, mainly Turkish (wonder why?). After Herb went into the service, Ahmet snapped up Jerry Wexler to run things."
Herb Abramson is the man my friend refers to as "the actual founder of Atlantic."
At any rate, what a shock--the press giving less than adequate pop music history coverage. Is that... is that possible??