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Friday, March 30, 2012

Eureka! Antiques and Collectibles | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

If you're in the neighborhood...go!! You won't be disappointed!  Bindy has the best taste, the best items....a wonderfully knowledgable woman, warm, and welcoming. 

I consider her a friend and an inexhaustible font of knowledge on antiques and collectibles.....very highly recommended!!

a great video from WTTW-Chicago-from the "Chicago Tonight" show:

Eureka! Antiques and Collectibles | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Pictorial: "Our Bess"-Miss America 1945-Bess Myerson

Bess Myerson

Bess Myerson (born July 16, 1924 in the BronxNew York) became the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America pageant in 1945. She appeared on various television shows in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was involved in New York City politics.
While competing in beauty pageants, Myerson refused, despite entreaties, to use a pseudonym that "sounded less Jewish." She faced prejudice even after winning the Miss America title, with many sponsors and events long associated with the pageant refusing to deal with her. She later campaigned for civil rights, in particular, working with the Anti-Defamation League.
In 1954, Myerson was a panelist on The Name's the Same, a television game show. From 1958 through 1967, she was a panelist on I've Got a Secret. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Myerson enjoyed a successful television career as a TV personality, actress and commercial pitchwoman for a myriad of popular products.
She survived ovarian cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in 1973. She also suffered a stroke many years later.
She married Allen Wayne, a doll company executive, in October 1946.  They had one daughter, Barbara, before divorcing. Her second marriage was to Arnold Grant, a tax lawyer, in 1962. That marriage ended in divorce in 1967, but Myerson and Grant remarried in 1968, before divorcing again in 1971. 

Myerson was New York City's first Commissioner of Consumer Affairs (under Mayor John Lindsay), later serving as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Mayor Ed Koch. Throughout the late 1970s and the beginning of his mayoral ambitions, Myerson was a frequent public companion of Ed Koch.

In 1980, Myerson ran for the Democratic nomination for New York's U.S. Senate seat against Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, Queens District Attorney John J. Santucci, and former NYC mayor John Lindsay. Myerson lost to Holtzman by a slim margin.

In the 1980s, Myerson's life was darkened by a legal controversy (colloquially known as "the Bess Mess"). Her lover, sewer contractor Carl Andrew Capasso, who had been convicted of tax fraud, was accused of bribing Judge Hortense Gabel by arranging for a job for Gabel's daughter in Myerson's department. Myerson was also indicted and resigned her positions with the City of New York. She was ultimately acquitted. 
On May 27, 1988, Myerson was arrested for shoplifting in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, after she left the Hills Department Store with multiple items for which she had not paid. On July 15, 1988, she pleaded guilty to retail theft and was fined. The arrest occurred while she was believed to be visiting Mr. Capasso at the Allenwood Detention Camp.
Myerson has promoted social causes and engaged in philanthropy. She has recorded public service announcements about ovarian cancer awareness for broadcast in the area of her home in South Florida. 

An interesting 1995 article from EMILY D. SOLOFF, Chicago Jewish News: 

I imagine that it must be a bit difficult in 2012 to understand the significance of Bess Myerson winning the title of Miss America 1945. Bess Myerson was the first (and ONLY, mind you) Jewish Miss America. Bess was the daughter of immigrants. She spoke only Yiddish until she started public school.  Her talent in the pageant was classical piano. It was 1945....the very year that WWII ended. An America just learning of the horrors of the America still incredibly Anti-Semitic and Racist at every level of society. The war didn't change the horrible prejudices of a significant percentage of Americans, not by a long shot. Remember that it took Pearl Harbor to even get us to help join the effort to defeat Fascism, we had a lot of citizens who were very Nationalist and very much against intervention in the conflict at all.
Bess intellectual, college graduate, classical pianist, a proud Jew.....not your typical Miss America by any means. 
It is NOT hard, however, to imagine the significance of her win to the Jewish community, even in this day and age. She remains one of the only memorable Miss America winners, with the exception of only a few other women. She faced both subtle and incredibly blatant Anti-Semitism during her reign, yet managed to transcend both that AND the ridiculously sexist nature of the pageant. She did not just fade back into domestic life, unlike many other winners of the title. She built a career in the public life in music, television, and later in politics. Highs and lows followed, as is the nature of life. 
She has always fascinated me, because she didn't follow the "Party Line" of pageant winners. Sponsors didn't want her for the most part, because of her being Jewish, she didn't play into the "cheesecake" angle of the title, either. She was too serious, too intelligent, too aware of her "significance", if you will......she was proud of her heritage, and wasn't planning to let anyone down or change in any way to play the games expected of her upon winning the title. When the sponsors abandoned her, she took her newfound fame and channeled it into the battle against intolerance and racism, joining with the Anti-Defamation League, and using her fame and popularity with youth as an educational tool during a very tense time in our country. Very Impressive, indeed.

Enough :)

The official 1945 Program

Bess is on the far right in the below pic 
 a Fitch endorsement

a few later pics
Dreadful music, but brief footage of Bess being crowned

A link to an audio story on: 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

As I turn into an episode of "Hoarders".........*sigh*....more Bert Ambrose

Soooo.....I just posted a whole huge set of several tunes from Bert Ambrose and The Hotel Mayfair Orchestra, right? What do I find the next day? Several hundred more tunes on another external hard drive.....Here's two more LONGGGGGG sets. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you read of a middle aged woman who was buried 'neath a massive stack of old LPs, 78s, phonographs, and computer equipment in your local news......that would be me. ;)

On to the Ambrose.......


A Fine Romance 
A Girl Friend of a Boy Friend 
a Japanese dream 
A Little Steeple Pointing To A Star 
After You, Who 
Ain't that a grand and glorious feeling 
All Through The Night 
At Last 
Because It's Love 
Beware Of Love 
Broadway Rhythm 
Bye bye blues 
Champagne cocktail 
Cinderella Stay In My Arms 
Cinderella Sweetheart 
Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer 
Dinner At Eight 
Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage 
Eleven Pounds Of Heaven 
Fit As A Fiddle 
Goodnight Children Everywhere 
Grandma Said
Happy and Contented 
Happy Days Are Here Again 
Hick Stomp 
Ho Hum 
I Can't Believe It's True 
I Have Eyes 
I Never Mention Your Name (Oh, No!) 
I Still Get A Thrill Thinking Of You 
I'll Step Out Of The Picture 
I'll Walk Alone (with Anne Shelton) 
I'm Sending You The Siegfried Line 
I'm Stepping Out With A Memory Tonight 
I've Got A Note 
I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams
I've Got You On My Mind 
If I Had You 
Isn't this a lovely day 
It can't be wrong 
It's An Old Southern Custom 
Johnny Zero 
Kiss each morning 
Kiss The Boys Goodbye 
Lilli Marlene 
Little Sir Echo 
Love Bug Will Bite You 


A pair of silver wings 
A Precious Little Thing Called Love 
I don't want to set the world on fire 
Moon Or No Moon 
My Devotion 
My Hat's On the Side Of My Head 
My Kid's A Crooner
My Old Flame 
My Wubber Dolly 
My Yiddishe Momme 
Night And Day 
Only Forever
Out of nowhere 
Pu-Leeze! Mister Hemingway! 
Rain on the roof 
Robin Hood 
Russian Rose 
Scatter Brain 
Sergeant Sally 
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 
Stay As Sweet As You Are 
Stealing through 
sugar Is Back in Town 
Swing high swing low 
Taking A Chance On love 
Tenement Symphony 
The Booglie Wooglie Piggy 
The clouds will soon roll by 
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot 
The Object Of My Affection.mp3
The organ,the monkey and me 
Top Hat, White Tie and Tails 
Waltzing In The Clouds 
We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me) 
Wedding waltz 
When Gimble Hits The Cymbal 
When The Poppies Bloom Again 
When your lover has gone 
While The Music Plays On 
Whistling In The Dark 
Who's been Polishing the Sun 
You'd be so nice to come home to 
You're Blase

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Cuz everybody needs a little Candy sometimes.......

Candy Johnson, that is!! :)

Today's OTR: Teddy Powell-AFRS Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands 11-04-1943

A nice little OTR for today....Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands on AFRS--11-03-1943, featuring Teddy Powell and band. Gene Howard and Peggy Mann on vocals, Dick Main on trumpet, and Charley Ventura on Sax.


Teddy with Abe Lyman holding the inevitable cigar :)

Charlie Ventura

Gene Howard

Another little special project: Part 2 of BBC-"The 1940s House"

Here is the remaining part of BBC-"The 1940s House"....Enjoy!

Feedback on your reaction to this project would be ever so greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance! -Laura

Another little special project: Part 1 of BBC-"The 1940s House"

I've been trying to do a few different things lately. Not just the music as usual, but a few more pictorials and such. I recently re-watched the BBC reality series, "The 1940s House". Now I'm not normally a fan of reality TV...or really ANY television, unless it's current events/news related. but I loved the show, and felt I needed to view it again.

Being nearly 50, I grew up on the tales of my parents, and in the Great Depression, and life during the war years on the American home front. Being an avid student of history and growing up in a family that was great on talking and teaching about the past, I often feel that I know quite a bit of how life and culture was....from both the major timeline events, music, fashion, and even the most mundane of the daily aspects of the lives we led many years ago.

Don't get me wrong, I'm addicted to technology, and would find it awfully hard to live without all of it. I certainly won't deny that I'm as lazy as the next person when it comes to modern material comforts, but I do know enough about how to "get by".....knowing many of practical tools that most of us have forgotten, and which most of us used to learn as a matter of course from our elders. Can you bake a pie from scratch? darn a sock?, lay a fire? that sort of thing. I feel that I can safely say that I know many who can't, as I'm sure that many of you could say the same also.

I mention this because I try my damndest to teach as many of these things as possible to my 13 year old, as my mother did for me. Trust me, she WILL learn the secret to my Great-Grandmother's famous lard and ice water pie crust!! I'm amazed at the ignorance of some of the most basic things that were daily parts of the lives of our elders. No wonder our grandparents worried for us, as we really couldn't make it a day without the modern conveniences that we've come to depend upon.

My daughter was freaked out a bit by this series when first she saw it. I do think she was a bit young to take in all of it at the time, and frankly was a bit bored by all of it.  She's a teen now, and I feel it's time for her to watch it again. They've studied WWII and the Holocaust in Middle School, and have a basic understanding of the politics and effects of the war as an result. 

That being said, she only knows of what the Americans on the home front experienced during the war. She has no idea how different it was for Europeans, especially the British, and just what they had to live with daily in the 6 months leading up to the Blitz and the war.....also the hardships of wartime deprivation and the constant presence of possible death being always a part of ones life. My daughter's best friend has one parent who lives in London, and she spends each summer over there with her father and her grandparents. I've heard that she has been told something of what life was like during that time for them, but I don't really know if the girls really understand just of life was actually like. I'm hoping that maybe if they watch this, it will give them an idea just a bit of what it was like....a world completely removed from anything that they now experience in our cushy, comfortable, disposable existence......

Yes, this IS reality TV, but I do feel there is much to be learned from this, IMHO.

The show:

Assembled by the same team responsible for the reality series 1900 House and Frontier House, this three-episode endeavor challenges a 21st century British family to live under the same conditions experienced by their countrymen during the WWII years (1939-1945). Three generations of the Hymers family are crowded into an old-fashioned London flat, where they must endure such deprivations as food rationing and air-raid blackouts, as well as conduct their lives within the moral and cultural parameters of the early '40s. How well the Hymers clan fares under these restrictions is determined by a "war cabinet" made up of historians and sociologists. Originally broadcast in the U.K. in January of 2001, all three episodes of 1940s House were later broadcast on a single evening by America's PBS network.

Here 'Tis......Enjoy. (Part 2 to come in the next post)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bert Ambrose...Swinging London in the '20s-30s...The Mayfair Hotel Orchestra and more.....

Bert Ambrose

Benjamin Baruch Ambrose (15 September 1896 – 11 June 1971), known professionally as Ambrose or Bert Ambrose, was an English bandleader and violinist. Ambrose become the leader of a highly acclaimed English dance band, the Bert Ambrose & His Orchestra, in the 1930s.

Ambrose was born in the East End of London; his father was a Jewish wool merchant. He began playing the violin while young, and soon after he was taken to the United States by his aunt he began playing professionally — first for Emil Coleman at New York's Reisenweber's restaurant, then in the Palais Royal's big band. After making a success of a stint as bandleader, at the age of twenty he was asked to put together and lead his own fifteen-piece band. After a dispute with his employer, he moved his band to another venue, where they enjoyed considerable popularity.
In 1922, he returned to London, where he was engaged by the Embassy Club to form a seven-piece band. Ambrose stayed at the Embassy for two years, before walking out on his employer in order to take up a much more lucrative job in New York. After a year there, besieged by continual pleas to return from his ex-employer in London, in 1925 he was finally persuaded to go back by a cable from the Prince of Wales: "The Embassy needs you. Come back — Edward".
This time Ambrose stayed at the Embassy Club until 1927. The club had a policy of not allowing radio broadcasts from its premises, however, and this was a major drawback for an ambitious bandleader; this was largely because the fame gained by radio work helped a band to gain recording contracts (Ambrose's band had been recorded by Columbia Records in 1923, but nothing had come of this). He therefore accepted an offer by the Mayfair Hotel, with a contract that included broadcasting.
Ambrose stayed at the Mayfair for six years, during which time the band made recordings for Brunswick RecordsHMV and Decca Records. He teamed up withRichard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, and an American harmony song trio, the Hamilton Sisters and Fordyce (aka,Three X Sisters) to record songs "My Heart Stood Still" and other tunes. This period also saw the musical development of the band, partly as a result of Ambrose's hiring of first-class musicians, including Sylvester Ahola,Ted Heath, Joe Crossman, Joe Jeannette, Bert Read, Joe Brannelly, Dick Escott and trumpeter Max Goldberg.

In 1933, Ambrose was asked to accept a cut in pay at the Mayfair; refusing, he went back to the Embassy Club, and after three years there (and a national tour), he rejected American offers and returned to the Mayfair Hotel in 1936. He then went into partnership with Jack Harris (an American bandleader), and in 1937 they bought a club together (Ciro's Club). For 3 months they even employed Art Tatum[1] there, some think the greatest jazz pianist who ever lived. Ambrose and Harris alternated performances in Ciro's until a disagreement led to the rupture of their partnership. Ambrose then worked at the Café de Paris until the outbreak of World War II, when he again went on tour. His major discovery in the years leading up to the war was the singer Vera Lynn (b. 1917), who sang with his band from 1937 to 1940 and, during the war, became known as the "Forces' Sweetheart". Lynn married Harry Lewis, a clarinettist in the band, in 1939. Other singers with the Ambrose band included Sam BrowneElsie Carlisle, Denny Dennis (who recorded a number of duets with Vera Lynn), and Evelyn Dall.
After a short period back at the Mayfair Hotel, he retired from performing in 1940 (though he and his orchestra continued to make records for Decca until 1947). Several members of his band became part of the Royal Air Force band, the Squadronaires, during the war. Ambrose's retirement was not permanent, however, and he formed and toured with the Ambrose Octet, and dabbled in management.

In the mid-1950s, despite appearances back in London's West End and a number of recordings for MGM, Ambrose was — in common with other bandleaders — struggling; rock and roll had arrived. He was forced to start performing in small clubs with casual musicians, and his financial position deteriorated catastrophically. His situation was saved, however, by his discovery of the singer Kathy Kirby (1938–2011), whom he heard singing at the age of sixteen at the Ilford Palais; he started a long relationship with her, and promoted her career.[2]
It was during the recording of one of Kirby's television programmes (at the Yorkshire Television studios) that Ambrose collapsed, dying later the same night in Leeds General Infirmary. His music was kept alive after his death by, among others, the Radio 2 broadcasters Alan Dell (1924–1995) and Malcolm Laycock, the latter continuing to play his records into the 21st century. His records, especially from his many 78RPM discs, still regularly feature on Australian radio 8CCC-FM's long running nostalgia programme "Get Out Those Old Records" hosted by Rufl.

The music.......(Do, bear with me a bit on these, as some of my sources were in very poor condition, bit rates vary, etc....) 

Instead of three volumes, today, I figured I'd put these in sets. These days it seems every time I find a good source to upload to, the site gets yanked down so fast, I'd best make haste and offer them all at one time.....Geesh.  I'd understand if I were posting The Billboard Top 40, or whatever. But C'mon.......Bert Ambrose and The Hotel Mayfair Orchestra?? really? The evil pirates here on The HMS Anachronist are such outlaws, aren't we? If this were 1933, perhaps, but I digress........*sigh*

On to the music, already.....

Set 1-

A Bench In The Park 

About A Quarter To Nine 
Ah, sweet mystery of life 
All Of Me 
At Eventide 
Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear!
Begin The Beguine
Big Ben 
Blue Turning Grey Over You
Bom ba diddy bop bop 
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams 
Brighter Than The Sun 
Button Up Your Overcoat 
Bye Bye Baby 
College Rhythm
Cotton picker's congregation 
Cryin' For The Carolines
Cuban Pete
Dance Little Lady 
Dancing in the dark 
Deep Henderson 
Didn't I Tell You 
Don't Let That Moon Get Away
Donkey Serenade 
El samba 
Embassy Stomp 
Exactly Like You 
Falling Leaves 
good evening 
Goopy Geer 
Half Caste Woman 
Hang out the wash on the Siegfried Line 
Happy Go Lucky You 
Have you met Miss Jones 
Hide and seek 
Home James, and don't spare the horses
Hors D'Oeurves
How deep is the ocean 
The Free And Easy

Set 2

 'Leven Thirty Saturday Night

I Can Wiggle My Ears 
I Dont Want To Go To Bed 
I surrender dear 
I Want a Little Girl
I Want to Be Bad 
I'll Be Seeing You 
I'll guess i have to change my plan
I'll Never Smile Again 
I'm All In 
I'm an unemployed sweetheart 
I'm Gonna Wash My hands Of You 
I'm In The Market For You 
I'm Just Wearing My Heart Out For You 
I'm On A Diet Of Love 
I'm On A See-Saw 
I'm Riding To Glory 
I'm Thru' With Love 
If I had A Million Dollars 
If Love Were All.mp3
If they ever had an income tax on love 
Indian Summer 
Is I in Love, I Is 
It's Just Too Bad For Nasty Uncle Adolf 
It's The Talk of The Town 
Just One Of Those Things 
La Cucaracha 
Lambeth Walk 
Laughing At Life 
Laughing at the Rain 
Limehouse blues 
Little Old Lady 
London on A Rainy Night 
Looks like Love 
Love Letters In The Sand 
Love Locked Out 
Lullaby Of Broadway 
Lullaby of the Leaves 
Makin' Whoopee 
Miss Annabelle Lee 
Moanin' For You
Mrs. Worthington 
My Baby Just Cares For Me 
My romance 
The longer that you linger in Virginia 

Set 3

(Somewhere) Over The Rainbow 

Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You) 
No Songs About Love 
No! No! A Thousand Times No! 
Oceans of Time 
Okay Toots 
Old Man Of The Mountain 
One Hour With You 
Pardon Me, Pretty Baby 
Rhapsody in blue (two parts) 
Said My Heart 
Selection of Hebrew Dances, No. 2 
She didn't say yes 
She's My Secret Passion 
shoo the hoodoo away 
Singapore Sorrows 
St Louis Blues 
Stormy Weather 
Streamline Strut 
Sweet and Lovely 
Sweet Muchacha 
Swing is in the air 
Take My Heart. 
Ten pretty girls 
The Penguin 
The Punch and Judy Show 
The Show Is Over 
The Sun has Got His Hat On 
Then I'll Be Tired Of You 
There isn't any limit to my love 
There Ought To be A Moonlight savings time 
Till Tomorrow 
To be worthy of you 
Too Many Tears 
Try To Forget 
Two Sleepy People 
Until the real thing comes along 
Wardance of the (for the) Wooden Indians 
What Good Am I Without You 
When You climb those golden stairs 
Willow Weep For Me 
With Plenty Of Money And You 
Without That Certain Thing 
Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey 
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams 
Yes, Yes (My Baby Says 'Yes') 
You ought to be in pictures. 
You Ought To See Sally On Sunday 
You try somebody else 
You've Got Me Crying Again