Musiquarium Oct 18 2010
MITCH'S BREW
Robert Mitchum’s records are still crazy after all these years.


Robert Mitchum was considered one of the coolest guys in cinema, but he didn’t take his craft very seriously. He said that stage passed around the time he “made a film with Greer Garson and she took 125 takes to say no.” Perhaps that disdain toward his chosen craft is why Mitchum didn’t hesitate to branch out and risk his image releasing two albums of whimsical music. His first, 1957’s Calypso Is Like So, offers up the normally baritone-voiced Mitchum singing in a lilting Caribbean accent. The album charted a modest hit in the countrified galloper “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” and also contains the ditty “From a Logical Point of View,” in which he comically shares a recipe for marital happiness:

But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
you can be sure you will be happy in all your life
.
She will never do things in a funny way
,
to allow the neighbor to have things to say.
She wouldn't disregard the husband at all
,
by exhibiting herself too bitter and cold.
Man, from a logical point of view,
better marry a woman uglier than you.

Mitchum’s second record, entitled That Man Sings, aka That Man, was recorded in 1967. This one was mostly country music, and charted two singles. As time passed, the calypso album became the more renowned of Mitchum’s platters, probably because of its unrepentant cheese factor, but we think album two is far superior to the first. It’s less of a novelty album, and has what we think is his best song, a version of the Bobby Hebb classic “Sunny.” We have a feeling it'll brighten up your Monday.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 23
1935—Four Gangsters Gunned Down in New Jersey
In Newark, New Jersey, the organized crime figures Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz are fatally shot at the Palace Chophouse restaurant. Schultz, who was the target, lingers in the hospital for about a day before dying. The killings are committed by a group of professional gunmen known as Murder, Inc., and the event becomes known as the Chophouse Massacre.
1950—Al Jolson Dies
Vaudeville and screen performer Al Jolson dies of a heart attack in San Francisco after a trip to Korea to entertain troops causes lung problems. Jolson is best known for his film The Jazz Singer, and for his performances in blackface make-up, which were not considered offensive at the time, but have now come to be seen as a form of racial bigotry.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.
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