I found these Motown compilations at a Library Book Sale. They cost me a dime each! All of the songs included on these CDs were #1 hits for Motown. All the major singers are represented: The Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, the Commodores (with Lionel Richie), Marvin Gaye, and Rick James. There’s plenty of memorable music on these two discs. Do you see any of your favorites here? GRADE: A
–The Marvelettes Please Mr. Postman 2:29
–The Supremes Baby Love 2:33
–The Temptations My Girl 2:55
–Four Tops I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) 2:39
–The Supremes You Can’t Hurry Love 2:44
–Four Tops Reach Out I’ll Be There 2:54
–Marvin Gaye I Heard It Through The Grapevine 3:13
–The Jackson 5 I Want You Back 2:57
–The Jackson 5 ABC 2:57
–Diana Ross Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 3:40
–The Jackson 5 I’ll Be There 3:57
–Smokey Robinson & The Miracles The Tears Of A Clown 2:58
–The Temptations Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) 3:45
–Marvin Gaye What’s Going On 3:52
-The Temptations Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone 6:55
-Stevie Wonder Superstition 4:24
-Stevie Wonder You Are the Sunshine of My Life 2:52
-Marvin Gaye Let’s Get It On 4:00
-Eddie Kendricks Keep on Truckin’ (Part I) 3:28
–Thelma Houston Don’t Leave Me This Way 3:38
–Marvin Gaye Got To Give It Up (Part 1) 4:09
–Commodores Three Times A Lady 3:35
–Commodores Still 3:42
–Rick James Give It To Me Baby 3:52
–Diana Ross & Lionel Richie Endless Love 4:26
Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel of the same name, Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette tells the story of a genius who goes off the rails. Cate Blanchett plays Bernadette Fox, a brilliant woman who achieves fame in the architectural field. But a series of reversals sends Bernadette into seclusion for 20 years in an a leaky old home in Seattle. Bernadette’s loving but preoccupied husband (played by Bill Crudup), Elgin, retreats into his work at Microsoft. The only person who truly reaches Bernadette is her smart and caring teenage daughter (played by Emma Nelson), Bee.
As a director, Richard Linklater seems willing to roll the dice to get to the heart of a story. He did it in his Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight series, in the astonishing Boyhood, and the sparkling Me and Orson Welles. In Where’d You Go, Bernadette Linklater trusts Cate Blanchett to fully project her character’s manic zaniness as everyone around her reacts with shock and disbelief to her antics. I liked Kristen Wiig as Bernadette’s neighbor, Lawrence Fishburne as Bernadette’s mentor, and Troian Bellisario as Bernadette’s enabler. If you’re in the mood for a moving movie experience, I highly recommend Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Are you a Cate Blanchett fan? GRADE: A
My daughter Katie idolizes Ruth Bader Ginsburg so when rumors that RBG was coming to Buffalo to speak swirled around this Summer, Katie contacted her lawyer friend, Michelle, to investigate. Michelle did better than that, she managed to score TWO tickets to the Ruth Bader Ginsburg event! The sold-out RBG extravaganza is being held today at Kleinhans Music Hall (2400 seats) which is home to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Ruth Bader Ginsburg just completed three weeks of radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer. I was surprised RBG kept this trip on her busy schedule…but she did!
When you read this, Diane and I will be driving to the Buffalo Airport to pick up Katie who is flying in from Boston. Katie and Michele will travel to the RBG event together. With the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s heath grows in importance. Are you a fan of RBG?
Have you ever tasted a drink called a “Brunette”? Here are the ingredients:
1 Part Scotch Whisky
½ Part Dry Vermouth
½ Part Port, Red
1 Dash Water
1 Whole Maraschino Berry
How to mix: Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon and a maraschino berry. You can check out the video below to see how it’s done. Hope you enjoyed BRUNETTE WEEK! We’re return to what passes for Normal on this blog tomorrow. Thank you for your participation!
My Favorite Brunette is a wonderful screwball comedy featuring Bob Hope at his best. Both Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour recreate their Road movie chemistry in this wild and wacky action-packed spoof of private detective movies. Hope’s character is a baby photographer whose office is next to the office of a private detective (played by Alan Ladd). When the real private detective travels to Chicago and Dorothy Lamour’s character–a beautiful and mysterious brunette with a treasure map–shows up in desperation, Hope decides to impersonate the private detective to help her. Hope’s hired by the lovely brunette to protect the map and rescue her father who is being held by the Bad Guys (Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney, Jr). Hope finds out Dorothy Lamour and her father are involved with an international gang dealing in the hot McGuffin of that time period.
If you’re ready to laugh at Bob Hope’s antics as a goofy private eye, you’ll love My Favorite Brunette. GRADE: A
Erle Stanley Gardner’s 28th Perry Mason novel from 1946 features one of the more bizarre beginnings in the series. An ad in a paper offers money to attractive brunettes (age 23 to 25, height five-feet-four-and-one-half inches, weight 111 pounds, waist measurement 24 inches, bust measurement 32, wearing a dark suit and a fluffy collar). …but they must stand on an assigned corner of the city at a certain time. After Perry Mason and Della Street see six of these women waiting on street corners, Mason’s curiosity is aroused.
This begins a convoluted case of impersonation, treachery, lies, and murder. Perry Mason, with the help of Paul Drake, manages to unravel the tangled web of deceit.
“The Case of the Borrowed Brunette” showed up on the Perry Mason TV series (Season 2, Episode 13) in 1959. The episode follows the novel’s plot closely (except for the ending) and produces a startling “Reveal” at its conclusion. I enjoyed The Case of the Borrowed Brunette, both the novel and the TV episode. Are you a Perry Mason fan? GRADE: B+
Yes, there’s actually a group called The Brunettes. They’re from New Zealand. Structure & Cosmetics is their CD from 2007 and one of my favorites. The group is mostly made up Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield with other players added from album to album. Their sound is what most people would classify as “indy.” Take a listen to “If You Were An Alien” below. GRADE: B+
1 Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth 4:15
2 Stereo (Mono Mono) 5:03
3 Her Hairagami Set 4:39
4 Credit Card Mail Order 4:11
5 Obligatory Road Song 4:13
6 Small Town Crew 3:52
7 If You Were Alien 4:28
8 Wall Poster Star 3:35
9 Structure And Cosmetics 4:35
Jonathan Bree – vocals, guitar, synthesizer (1998–present)
Heather Mansfield – vocals, glockenspiel, harmonica, marimba, organ, piano, etc. (1998–present)
Ryan McPhun – Drums, Percussion, Backing vocals (2004–present)
James Milne (Lawrence Arabia) – Guitar, Bass, Backing vocals, Chamberlin, Vibraphone, Percussion, etc.
Kari Hammond — Drums, Percussion (2003)
Gerald Stewart — Electric Bass Guitar, Backing vocals (2003)
Mike Hall — Bass, Flute, Harmonium, Vocals (2002)
1998: Mars Loves Venus EP
2002: Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks (Lil’ Chief Records)
2003: The Boyracer e.p. (Lil’ Chief Records)
2004: Mars Loves Venus (Lil’ Chief Records)
2005: When Ice Met Cream E.P. (Lil’ Chief Records)
2007: Structure & Cosmetics (Lil’ Chief Records, Sub Pop)
2009: Paper Dolls (Lil’ Chief Records)
2009: The Red Rollerskates E.P. (Lil’ Chief Records)
2011: Mars Loves Venus (vinyl) (Microfiche Records, MFR 003)
John Zakour’s The Doomsday Brunette features Zachary Nixon Johnson, the last private detective on Earth. The story is set in 2057 after extra-terrestrials have introduced advanced technologies. Zachary Nixon Johnson discovers the extent of the new technology with this case involving the Thompson Quads, four women created with modified DNA that makes them smarter, more sexy, and more powerful than the average human. The Quads are social icons with constant media attention (think the Kardashians times 10!). Ona Thompson calls Johnson at 3 A.M. asking for help. Johnson shows up and finds Una with her sisters Twoa and Threa…and the dead body of Fora Thompson. How could a killer murder a woman as powerful as Fora Thompson? Who would target one of the most popular women on the planet? And why?
The Doomsday Brunette blends Science Fiction tropes and mystery elements into a light, fluffy concoction just perfect for Summer Reading! You can read reviews of John Zakour’s The Plutonium Blonde here and The Radioactive Redhead here. GRADE: B
I’m a fan of Gentlemen Marry Brunettes partly because of “My Funny Valintine” (music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart), “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (music & lyrics by Thomas ‘Fats’ W. Waller, Harry Brooks, and Andy Razaf). And I love the great scenes of Paris and Monte Carlo.
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes is a 1955 technicolor romantic musical comedy starring Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain as sisters Bonnie and Connie who travel to Paris to find adventure and love. Directed by Richard Sale with a screenplay by Mary Loos and Sale, the movie is based on the novel But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes by Anita Loos. Anita Loos had titled her book But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, but the studio dropped the first word from the title for this film.
Anita Loos was also the author of the novel and play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was a smash hit with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe two years earlier. Gentleman Marry Brunettes is a semi-sequel with Jane Russell returning but Jeanne Crain playing a role similar to the one Marilyn Monroe starred in but both women now playing new characters. Alan Young (later the star of TV’s Mr. Ed), Scott Brady (brother of Lawrence Tierney), and Rudy Vallee also appear in this movie as love interests. The choreography was by Jack Cole, who had also contributed to the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes film. The dance ensemble includes a young Gwen Verdon who would later go on to greatness. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes is fun. Are you a fan of Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain? GRADE: B