Posts Tagged ‘blast from the past’

10th March
written by JAK

I recently was reintroduced to Suzy Bogguss.  She was a popular Country music singer when I was in high school (during my Country phase).  A few weeks ago she was a guest on a Prairie Home Companion.  I then had to look her up on You Tube and relive some of my favorites.

Shenandoah was not one of those favorites.  I had never heard it til now, but she sings it beautifully in this performance from 2012.

21st December
written by JAK

It’s nearly impossible to be depressed with this playing:

This one ain’t bad either—especially the part about the “piggy pudding”

Though I think Noel–Christmas Eve, 1913 is my favorite carol of all:

17th June
written by JAK

I’ve been attending the Deanna Durbin film series at the historic Heights Theater. I had never heard of her before, but she was extremely famous in the late 30s and early 40s, and apparently saved Universal Studios from bankruptcy. She quit show business in the late 40s and retired to France where she still lives.

I find her just delightful!

Below is a clip from 1941’s It Started with Eve. The premise: a man’s dying father (played by Charles Laughton) wants to meet his new fiancée, but she is unavailable, so he substitutes a hat-check girl (played by Deanna Durbin). When the father unexpectedly recovers, mayhem ensues with the son trying to juggle his fiancee and the hat-check girl without his father finding about the ruse. Meanwhile the hat-check girl is trying to stay in their lives long enough to meet a family friend who is a famous musician.

17th May
written by JAK

My sister and I went to see the 1943 technicolor extravaganza The Gang’s All Here. Billed (by the local theater) as a “gay hairdresser’s acid trip” the film did not disappoint. The disembodied heads at the end, though, were a bit much.

The highlight was, of course, Carmen Miranda. They just don’t make big musical numbers in which showgirls dance with oversized fruit anymore. More’s the pity.

23rd February
written by JAK

When I was studying in Italy, I asked my one Italian friend there what English sounded like to a non-native English speaker. He said it reminded him of running water.

Below is another interpretation, this one from a 1970s Italian variety show. In the beginning of the video, the girl asks her teacher “Have you ever written a song using foreign words that didn’t mean anything?” (or something along those lines…it’s been a while since I’ve translated Italian!). The teacher responds with this song which has plenty of English-like sounds in it, but doesn’t mean anything…I don’t think. Actually, it sounds kind of like Bob Dylan…or Mick Jagger in one of his less coherent songs.

It will get in your head—kind of like a bollywood song. But you won’t be able to sing it to yourself later, since you won’t remember the non-words. I’ve been kinda humming it to myself with an “Oll Raight!” thrown in every now and again. Frustrating!

3rd September
written by JAK

Okay, this is a totally cool interactive music video. You put in your childhood address and it becomes a part of the experience.

You have to use Google Chrome as your browser but it’s worth it (hey, it’s a pretty cool browser anyway). Chrome will open a bunch of windows when the video starts, but don’t freak out and close them…just wait…

Give it a try!

22nd July
written by JAK
Family photo

Here she's simply called "Mother."
(My grandmother is the little girl in white.)

Tonight, in preparation for a weekend visit to my grandmother’s half sister in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, I’ve been pulling census data from (thanks Candace!).

Tracking down my great-grandmother has been quite a task. There is the fact that she married four times (she outlived them all!). But much more troublesome record-wise is the various spellings of her one name while married to my great-grandfather.

For her first name they’ve got Minnie, Wilhelmina, and Wilkelmine. The last name I have found as Benlin, Renlin, Renton, Reuben, Rewlin, and Reulein. It’s really Reulin…I think.

23rd April
written by JAK

my grandparents on my dad’s side were married.

Wedding of Fred and Margaret; April 23, 1932

They celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary before they passed away in 2003.

26th March
written by JAK

my grandfather Fred was born.

Here he is (left) with sister Josephine (right) before they were orphaned and he and his 4 sisters split up:

Fred and Josephine


And here he is with my grandmother Margaret, my sister Michelle, and me in about 1975 (I’m the chubby one in the high chair):

Grandpa, Grandma, Michelle, and Me


He passed away in 2003 and is missed.

21st March
written by JAK

I’ve been working on my online geneaology and scanning in old family photos.

Here are my Grandmother and Grandfather in 1931. Don’t they look happy?!

Margaret and Fred

Note: this entry has been edited to read 1931 rather than 1937. (Sometimes I can’t read my grandmother’s writing.) My dad says this was taken before they were married, which was in 1932.