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Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Writer's Life 6/5 - The Horror

I haven't come across fresh items in the newspaper lately -- other than Hondo of the NY Post assigning the moniker "Shrillary" to Mrs. Clinton. A lot of the news is interesting but seems done to death, and that makes it hard to come up with something worthy of a blog. Sports occasionally delivers, despite my waning interest in it. Hollywood has bailed me out many times. I'll run with it again. Last night the Svengoolie program on MeTV, channel 33 on Cablevision in NYC, ran The She-Wolf of London (1946), starring June Lockhart. That's her up top, examining the blood on her hands. Born in 1925, she is still working, having had a significant role in 2015's The Remake. She first appeared on screen as one of the Crachit children in the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol -- opposite her parents Gene and Kathleen! She has amassed 170 credits, not counting multiple guest shots on TV shows, and starring appearances on her own series: 207 on Lassie, 84 on Lost in Space, 45 on Petticoat Junction. She even won a Tony in 1948 for Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer for For Love or Money. Her dad has 146 credits listed at IMDb, mom 40. Here is a quote attributed to her: "I'm not really affected whether or not the phone rings asking me to do a job. When you're working, you're very professional and you do the work. You know your lines and you hit your marks and your collar's clean. There is a wonderful world out there besides what you do on screen." Kudos, madam.

Here's some info from Wiki on the history of Svengoolie, which originated in Chicago: "Jerry G. Bishop (1936–2013) held the role from 1970 to 1973. When it returned in 1979, Rich Koz took on the part as the "Son of Svengoolie," which he portrayed until 1986, when the show was cancelled. In 1995 Koz was set to bring the show back and Bishop told him he was "all grown up" and could drop the "Son of" from his character's name. Koz has been playing Svengoolie ever since." I love the show's intro and theme music, particularly when it slows down to jazzy funk. It is credited to crew member Danny "Graves" Scharf. There is a trumpeter for the Chicago Jazz Orchestra by that name. Whether it's the same person, I was unable to ascertain. Here is Sven...
I would be remiss in not mentioning the east coast host who brought baby boomers similar fun. Of course, we know him as Zacherle, his real name, or Zacherly, who also had a morning DJ slot on album-oriented WPLJ in NYC. One day he was interviewing David Bowie. In closing, he asked something on the order of: "What's next?" and Bowie, young and haughty at the time, replied: "I'm taking the elevator down to the street." Good-natured soul that he was, Zach laughed uproariously. Believe it or not, he is still with us, 97-years young. "Confound it, Isabella!"
 The floating book shop was rained-out today.

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