Sunday, March 31, 2013

A painting by Vernon P. Johnson

I am drawn, with some frequency, to stories of things lost, or found; to that which is forgotten, recalled; to things discovered.

And so I read with interest, this past week, a brief blog post by California-based writer (and communications consultant) Janis Johnson, about whom I have written previously, in this space. (She has also appeared, on a few occasions, on my weekly radio program.)

Johnson is the author of the 2010 book The Artist's Eye: Vernon P. Johnson's Watercolors of 1950s Small Town America, published by the Knox County (Ohio) Historical Society.  Vernon P. Johnson is her late father; the book's primary focus is the paintings he made, decades ago, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, the city where she grew up.

Johnson's recent blog posting concerns a painting by her father, found in a Columbus, Ohio thrift store. Here is the link:

Here, too, is the page for The Artist's Eye:

Friday, March 29, 2013

AP story about the S.S. United States

From March 25th:

And here, as mentioned previously in this space, is the web address for the S.S. United States Conservancy:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A photo of my mother, and my brother

This has always been one of my favorite photographs of my mother.  In the picture, which is from 1954, she is holding my brother, who had been born the year before.  The picture is from an article in the Sunday magazine section of the newspaper The Boston Post.  At the time, she was singing on her own weekly television program, The Sue Bennett Show, on Boston's WBZ-TV. The show was seen in 1954 and 1955. 

My mother died in 2001, at age 73; today would have been her 85th birthday.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Singer Bobbie Smith

Bobbie Smith was one of the lead vocalists of the great singing group The Spinners.  He died last Saturday, at age 76.

Mr. Smith and PhilippĂ© Wynne were often both featured on the group's songs--including "Mighty Love," from 1973, "One of a Kind (Love Affair"), also from 1973, and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," from 1972. 

Here's a video, from YouTube, of a 1973 television performance of "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love." Mr. Smith sings lead for the first few minutes; Mr. Wynne (seen at the far right, in the video) sings the lead for the latter part of the song.

As the above obituary in The New York Times notes, Mr. Smith continued to sing with The Spinners until the end of his life; his last performance with the group took place a month ago. 

Mr. Wynne left the group in 1977. He died in 1984, at age 43.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Great Day for the Irish"

Here is a segment of the song "It's a Great Day for the Irish," as performed on March 15, 1952, on Your Hit Parade, NBC-TV. 

My mother is the song's featured vocalist, and she is accompanied by the Hit Paraders vocal chorus.  The show's orchestra is led by Raymond Scott.,_NBC-TV,_1952.wav

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another Cat Power video, 2006

Here is a video of Chan Marshall, a/k/a/ Cat Power, singing her song "Living Proof," on David Letterman's program, in 2006.  It is from her 2006 album, The Greatest.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chan Marshall, a/k/a Cat Power

The following is a video of the singer and songwriter Chan Marshall (better known by her stage name, Cat Power). The video is of a live BBC performance, from 2006, of her song "The Greatest."  The song is from her 2006 album of the same name.

Although there is a lot of Cat Power's work that I have not yet heard (or seen), what I know of it I just love.  Her voice is singular, enthralling. "The Greatest" is a striking and beautiful song.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The S.S. United States, on "Sunday Morning"

The story of the S.S. United States, the legendary ocean liner (which I have written about on several occasions, in this space), was featured on a recent edition of the CBS News program Sunday Morning. The reporter, for the piece, was Mark Strassmann.

Here, too, is the link for the S.S. United States Conservancy, the organization devoted to the ship's preservation: