Music Recommendation: Leggy — “Grrrls Like Us”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Grrrls Like Us”

Album: CAVITY CASTLE / NICE TRY EP

Artist: Leggy

Artist Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Info: Formed in 2013, Leggy is Veronique Allaer (guitar / vocals), Kirsten Bladh (bass / vocals) and Chris Campbell (drums).

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $7 (USD) for 12-track album

Genre: Pop

Links:

Leggy on Bandcamp

https://leggy.bandcamp.com

CAVITY CASTLE / NICE TRY EP

https://leggy.bandcamp.com/album/cavity-castle-nice-try-ep

Sheer Luck Records

https://sheerluckrecords.bandcamp.com

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Comedy — Problem-Solving, Rehearsals, Revenge

Problem-Solving

• Gracie Allen could make a stand when a stand was necessary. A dry cleaner ruined a dress that she had taken to him, but he refused to pay for the dress. That evening, in the middle of the vaudeville act she performed with her husband, George Burns, she told the audience about the dry-cleaning incident and recommended that they not patronize that particular establishment, then she went on with the act. The next day, the dry cleaner paid her the money for the dress he had ruined.

• Impressionist/comedian George Kirby wanted a job with Count Basie. Therefore, Mr. Kirby went to a concert by Count Basie and his orchestra. Count Basie used to sit at a piano, plink a note and have his drummer enter, plink another note and have another band member enter, and so on until the entire band was on stage. Mr. Kirby, without authorization, walked on stage, and impersonated Count Basie to the audience’s delight. Count Basie also enjoyed the joke, and he hired Mr. Kirby.

• Jackie Gleason was known for drinking heavily. A friend locked up his liquor cabinet to keep Mr. Gleason from getting loaded, but when he came home, he discovered that Mr. Gleason was drunk. Remarkably, even though the liquor cabinet was still locked, the booze containers were empty. (Mr. Gleason had used a screwdriver to remove the back of the liquor cabinet. After drinking the liquor, he screwed the back of the cabinet on again.)

• Rags Ragland played big, dumb guys in forties movies. While he was working in burlesque, a young comic kept trying too hard to get laughs and steal the scene from him, so Mr. Ragland warned the comic to stop stepping on his lines or he would nail him to the floor. The young comic ignored him, so Mr. Ragland got a hammer and nails and nailed the soles of the comic’s shoes to the floor, then left him on stage as the other acts performed.

• British comedian Benny Hill suffered from stage fright, so when he had to appear live, he often carried a heavy book to keep his hands from shaking.

Rehearsals

• Jimmy Durante and Carol Channing rehearsed and rehearsed a comedy scene for his show. Finally, a bystander interrupted them and said, “What are you still rehearsing for? Both of you know the scene. I think maybe you’re just a little nervous.” Mr. Durante simply smiled at Ms. Channing and said, “Ah, the confidence of the amateur.”

• Jackie Gleason and Milton Berle spent decades making people laugh. After Mr. Berle had guested on Mr. Gleason’s TV show, Mr. Gleason said, “We did good, Milton,” and Mr. Berle replied, “We did good, Jackie.” Then Mr. Gleason said, “How could we be bad? I’ve been rehearsing for 35 years—and you 50.”

Revenge

• Once an older comic asked comedian Henny Youngman to give him some jokes, saying he would pay him for the jokes later that evening. Mr. Youngman agreed, gave him the jokes, and showed up for their rendezvous later that day. The older comic drove up in his fancy car, but ignored Mr. Youngman, leaving him unpaid on the pavement while the older comic went inside a fancy restaurant to dine with his friends. However, Mr. Youngman was able to get revenge. He saw some sign painters working nearby, so he told them that he was almost broke and had decided to sell his car. He then hired them to paint “For Sale—$25” on the older comic’s fancy car.

• Some sexist comedians make jokes about forcing their girlfriends to sleep on the “wet spot” following sex. Canadian comedian Meg Soper responds by saying that if her boyfriend ever tries to make her sleep on the wet spot, she is going to give him no further opportunities to make wet spots.

• It wasn’t smart to mess with silent film comedian Mabel Normand. She once got into a major argument with movie executive Abraham Lehr, so she backed him into a corner, sprayed him with her perfume, then told his wife that she had seen him leaving a high-class, very expensive cathouse.

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

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Music Recommendation: Streetcar Conductors — “Pictures of Ourselves”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Pictures of Ourselves”

Album: THE VERY BEST OF STREETCAR CONDUCTORS

Artist: Streetcar Conductors

Artist Location: Portland, Oregon

Info: All songs written by Jonathan Moore. 

“Streetcar Conductors began in 2013 as the solo project of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Moore. Over the years it has evolved into a band consisting of two guitars, bass, drums and synthesizers. THE VERY BEST OF STREETCAR CONDUCTORS is a collection of personal favorite songs from throughout Jonathan’s two decade journey of songwriting and performing. The idea was to create an album that sounds like a greatest hits collection, culled from various releases spanning the time period from the 1990’s through today, with each song standing alone as its own individual production. For all its variety, there is a consistent pop sensibility to it all — catchy melodies, overdriven guitars, male-female sing-along vocals, and analog synthesizer leads. The album is a timeless collection set to become the sing-along soundtrack of many summers to come.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $8 (USD) for 14-track album

Genre: Pop

Links:

Streetcar Conductors on Bandcamp

https://streetcarconductors.bandcamp.com

THE VERY BEST OF STREETCAR CONDUCTORS

https://streetcarconductors.bandcamp.com/album/the-very-best-of-streetcar-conductors

Self — The Cheesesellers Wife

Some try on selves like swimsuits

does it fit, flatter, get noticed.

Some believe they are

winnowing down to their true self.

Some try affirmations to

create a new self.

Most just get on with life

then wake up one morning

and see the gulf between

who they once were

and now.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Happy New Year!!

Self — The Cheesesellers Wife

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Comedy — Prejudice, Problem-Solving

Prejudice

• As a Jewish comedian, Groucho Marx endured anti-Semitism—and mocked it. One summer, he tried to join a beach club so that his son could enjoy the water. However, the manager of the club told him, “We don’t allow Jews to swim at our beach.” Groucho replied, “What about my son? He’s only half-Jewish. Would it be all right if he went into the water up to his knees?”

• When comedian Bob Smith’s grandmother found out that a family she was friends with would be kept out of her country club because they were Jewish, she protested by inviting every Jewish friend she had to a luncheon at the country club. Eventually, through the efforts of Mr. Smith’s grandfather, the Jewish friends became members of the country club.

• In Ocean City, Maryland, stand-up comedian Steve Mittleman walked out on stage to do his act. A man in the audience yelled, “You look Jewish.” Mr. Mittleman replied, “You look prejudiced.”

Problem-Solving

• As a teenager, Jay Leno got a job at a Ford saleslot doing odds and ends. Among his jobs was taking the hubcaps off the cars at night so they wouldn’t be stolen and putting them back on the next day. One day, as he was carrying the hubcaps, he met the new sales manager, a man who made him so nervous that he dropped the hubcaps. This made the new sales manager furious. He yelled at Jay, “This is the Ford Motor Company. You can’t treat our property this way! You’re fired! Get out!” Jay was ashamed to lose his job, so after thinking for a couple of days, he wrote the top guy—Henry Ford II in Detroit—asking for his job back. Soon, Jay’s old boss called him and said, “I don’t know who the hell you know in Detroit, but if you want your old job back, come on back here.”

• Jackie Gleason’s big spending habits in his adult life may have something to do with his extreme poverty while growing up in New York City. His father left him and his mother, and the two had a rough time trying to survive. In 1952, after Mr. Gleason had become successful in show business, a friend walked into Jackie’s bedroom and saw him packing a steamer trunk with clothes that had been wrapped around stacks of dollar bills in different denominations. When the friend asked him what he was doing, Jackie said, “I have been poor before in my life. Right now, I’m rich. So I’m packing a cash nest egg in this trunk, and I’m sending it to a warehouse with a ‘will call’ on it in case I ever need it.”

• Lesbian humorist Ellen Orleans ran into a problem when she acquired her Honda Accord. She is short, and she had trouble reaching the pedals—even after she had moved the seat as far forward as it would go. Therefore, she took the car to her mechanic to see how much it would cost to extend the floor tracks of the seat so she could move it further forward. How much? Too much! Fortunately, her car mechanic is highly intelligent, and he solved the problem in an original manner. He simply bolted a hockey puck to each of the pedals—gas, brake, and clutch. Now Ms. Orleans can comfortably and safely reach the pedals.

• In 1977, Brett Butler was reading water meters in Alabama. To escape the monotony of that boring job, she enlisted in the Bulldozer Repair Division of the United States Army. However, on the very first day of duty, she changed her mind and informed her recruiting officer that she wanted out of the Army. He declined, saying, “We own your sorry *ss.” The recruiting officer’s attitude made Ms. Butler perform with grace under fire. “Look,” she said, “if I have to fly a hammer-and-sickle flag, stick a needle in my arm, and start eating p—sy, I will!” She was discharged—and quickly.

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Comedy — Buy

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Music Recommendation: Sugar Snow — “Chocolate Cake”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Chocolate Cake”

Album: WOODFACE REIMAGINED

Artist: Sugar Snow

Artist Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Info: The vocalist is Simone Berk, who also is part of the group Kid Gulliver.

“dreamy, melodic
“pretty, sad, honest and raw
“this is sugar snow”

Vocals: Sugar Snow (Simone Berk) 

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $10 (USD) for 14-track album

Genre: Pop

Links:

Sugar Snow on Bandcamp

https://sugarsnowmusic.bandcamp.com

WOODFACE REIMAGINED

https://sugarsnowmusic.bandcamp.com/album/woodface-reimagined

Kid Gulliver on Bandcamp

https://kidgulliver1.bandcamp.com

Music Recommendation: Sugar Snow — “He Knows I Love Him Too Much”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC 

Music: “He Knows I Love Him Too Much”

Album: This is a single.

Artist: Sugar Snow

Artist Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Info: The vocalist is Simone Berk, who also is part of the group Kid Gulliver.

Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, 1961 

Vocals-Sugar Snow (Simone Berk) 

All instrumentation and production: Brian Charles

Because of COVID restrictions, Simone Berk did the vocalizing in a car.

Price: $1 (USD) for track

Genre: Pop

Links: 

Sugar Snow on Bandcamp

https://sugarsnowmusic.bandcamp.com

“He Knows I Love Him Too Much”

https://sugarsnowmusic.bandcamp.com/track/he-knows-i-love-him-too-much

Kid Gulliver on Bandcamp

https://kidgulliver1.bandcamp.com

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Comedy — Practical Jokes, Prejudice

Practical Jokes

• Sydney Smith was both a clergyman and a wit. Once, a lady guest at his country estate suggested that the estate would be more beautiful if it had deer. When the lady woke up the following morning and looked out her window, she saw two donkeys with deer antlers tied to their heads.

• Harpo Marx and Oscar Levant were motoring on Long Island when Harpo drove alongside another car, then pointed West and asked, “Denver?”

Prejudice

• At the Atlanta airport, country comedian Jerry Clower saw a little white boy trip and gash his head. Blood was flowing freely, the boy’s mother was upset, and airline employees were calling for help. A good-looking, well-dressed black man stepped up to Mr. Clower and said, “Mr. Clower, I am a medical doctor. Would you ask the mother if it would be all right for me to check the little boy?” Mr. Clower understood why the black doctor had spoken to him first—if the doctor had been white, the doctor would have spoken to the mother directly. Mr. Clower did speak to the mother, the mother gave permission for the black doctor to attend to her boy, and when emergency personnel arrived, they said nothing more needed to be done because the black doctor had already done everything excellently. Mr. Clower writes, “I hope one day we grow to the point where an individual can perform as a professional, whatever his race, nationality, or origin.”

• When African-American comedian Dick Gregory first went into show business, he worried about how to react when some yahoo screamed racial epithets at him. For six months he had his wife scream insults at him while he figured out the best way to react. Finally, he asked his wife, “What would you do if from this day on I started referring to you as ‘bitch’?” She replied, “I’d just ignore you.” Mr. Gregory was impressed by the attitude with which she said that, and he used that attitude in his act. Later, he found comic ways to respond to racial insults. When someone called him “nigger,” he replied very politely, “According to my contract, the management pays me $50 every time someone calls me that. Please do it again.”

• In the Jim Crow era, black comedian Nipsey Russell engaged in this bit of socially relevant material. Blacks who attempted to vote in the South were often given a literacy test that involved many questions and was impossible to pass. In one bit Mr. Russell told, a would-be black voter was asked, “What did the Founding Fathers mean when they said all men were created equal?” The would-be black voter, realizing that he would not be allowed to vote no matter what he answered, replied, “They meant when you’re white, you’re right; when you’re brown, you could stick around; but when you’re black, get waaaay back!”

• In his act, black comedian Dick Gregory used to tell a story about being in a restaurant down South during Jim Crow days. The white waitress told him, “We don’t serve colored people here.” Mr. Gregory replied, “That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.” Just then, three members of the KKK walked in and told Mr. Gregory, “Boy, watch what you do, because whatever you do to that chicken, we’re going to do to you.” So Mr. Gregory picked up the chicken and kissed it!

• Comedian Bob Smith’s parents accepted his homosexuality. His father, a retired state trooper, once attended an Annual Policemen’s Ball where some men sitting with him and his wife (Sue) began to talk about “fags.” His father said, “You know, my son’s gay. And it takes a lot more guts for him to deal with being gay than it does for jerks like you to sit there talking with your mouths full and your heads empty. And I don’t have to listen to it. C’mon, Sue. Let’s sit somewhere else.”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Comedy — Buy

The Funniest People in Comedy — Kindle

The Funniest People in Comedy — Apple

The Funniest People in Comedy — Barnes and Noble

The Funniest People in Comedy — Kobo

The Funniest People in Comedy — Smashwords: Many Formats, Include PDF