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Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Writer's Life 11/6 - Walk This Way

Here are the most interesting items from today's NY Post: Employees of an upscale Brooklyn toy store, Babeland, are asking for an unusual perk during union negotiations -- martial arts training. They claim homophobes and bigots threaten them while on the job... Larry Getlen profiles Aussie documentarian Anna Broinowski, who filmed a piece in North Korea. While there she was recruited to portray the wife of a Yank, played by James Dresnok. While serving in the U.S. Army in South Korea in the '60's, Dresnok committed crimes and fled north, where he was captured and put to work in cinema in the role of the evil enemy in two movies (according to both IMDb & Wiki). His two sons, born to a Romanian woman who may have been kidnapped and is deceased, have followed in his footsteps... Three years ago an 82-year-old German lost his wedding band while gardening. His wife assured him it would eventually turn up. It did, wrapped around a carrot! Unfortunately, his wife died six months prior to the discovery... An article by Hardeep Phull highlights a new book, Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop by Marc Myers, based on the author's columns in the Wall Street Journal. Here are three of the entries, written in my own words: One of the greatest party songs, Shout, was actually improvised by Ron Isley during a set his group extended to appease a raucous crowd; Farrah Fawcett provided the initial inspiration for Midnight Train to Georgia, eventually popularized by Gladys Knight and the Pips. She told writer Jim Weatherly she was taking a midnight plane to Houston. Cissy Houston, who grew up in Georgia and recorded the track first, made the changes in location and means of transportation; Taking a break from recording Toys in the Attic, Aerosmith went to see Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (1974). When Marty Feldman said "Walk this way," the idea sparked in Steven Tyler's brain.
 It was a gorgeous day and the floating book shop had good results. My thanks to lovely young Nia, who bought Rising Star, and to the middle age Russian woman who purchased Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, Stephen King's 11/22/63 and Tom Butler-Bowdon's 50 Psychology Classics; and to the young couple who pounced on Janson's History of Art. I had a visit from B.S. Bob, who believes Trump is going to win in a landslide. Although I hope he's right, I heard a solid indicator on this morning's WOR radio newscast: Among the early voters, Clinton garnered 51%, the Donald 40%. I'd be thrilled if Trump won by one vote. My thanks to Bob, who bought a collection of five Dashiell Hammett novels.
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