We here at the American Treasure Tour blog are a little troubled today. We promised on Monday one week dedicated to the Friday, April 13, 1945 Entertainment Page from The Morning Call, the Allentown, PA newspaper on display in our Music Room. But there is still so much we have not yet talked about on the page. It's pretty cool to think of how much can be found in one piece of paper, let alone in a massive collection, if you really look at it. We may have to extend this special report. Stay tuned next week....
Today, we are going to concentrate on the top center of Page 29, and the movie Here Come the Waves. Released in 1944, it stars Bing Crosby as well-known crooner Johnny Cabot (I know, a bit of a stretch for Bing), recently drafted into the navy. Identical twin singers Susan and Rosemary Allison (both played by Betty Hutton) join the waves in an effort to be close to Johnny. Zany antics ensued as comedy, romance and music abounded, including the unforgettable Johnny Mercer tune, "Ac-cen-chu-ate the Positive." Bing, little known today by younger generations, stands as one of the biggest selling musicians of all time, with over half a billion records in circulation.
QUESTION: Bing Crosby was well-known in his day for wearing loud and mismatching outfits. Why did he do that?
A) Making a statement against the drab colors then in style.
B) Protesting the khaki green of the military
C) He had a deep love for Hawaiian culture and wanted to celebrate the islands
D) He was color blind
WHO'S GATSBY? It was on this day in 1925 when the ambitious author F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby. The reaction of the critics was less than stellar. In fact, few people cared and not every one of them even bought the book. In fact, when Fitzgerald died in 1940 at the age of 44, he was largely forgotten. So, what turned Gatsby into the classic it is today? World War II. Thousands of copies of the book were published for American soldiers overseas to help distract them from the horrors of war and remind them of better times at home. It worked (as well as anything could), and our veterans' love of the novel continued when they came back home.
STEVEN, WE HARDLY KNEW YE. Yes, today is the 62nd birthday of none other than Steven Seagal - actor, musician, lawman, martial artist, environmentalist, animal rights activist, and did we say musician? Anyone old enough will remember Mr. Seagal for his action films from the late-1980s and 1990s, but there is so much more to this complex man than meets the eye. We challenge you to find out on your own:
QUOTE: I have no fear of death. More important, I don't fear life. - Steven Seagal
ANSWER: D) He was color blind, and had no idea his colors clashed until someone told him or laughed at him. Sad, really.