Saturday, June 4, 2005

A Shroud of Thoughts' First Anniversary

Today it is officially one year since I started A Shroud of Thoughts. A lot has changed in the past year. On a happy note, my best friend now has a beautiful baby girl. He also got a better paying job. My brother got a promotion (he's an assistant manager now), along with better pay and bettter benefits. On an unhappy note, one of my closest friends committed suicide almost excactly a month ago. And as I have written more recently, I also lost one of my closest and dearest friends due to a grievous error on my part.

The wounds are still fresh from that loss. I have not heard from her since Monday, so I have no idea if she has changed her mind as far as ending our friendship or not. She is moving, so she may be busy with that. I hope so, because I just feel so broken hearted and dejected. Right now I would like nothing more for her to email me or come on ICQ and tell me that she does not wish to end our friendship. Anyhow, the song "Maybe Tomorrow" by The Rembrandts keeps going through my head (unfortunately, I can't find any audio files of it online so you all can listen to it).

For those of you who have wondered where the title of this blog comes from, it is from Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage canto iii stanza 113:
I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bow'd
To its idolatries a patient knee,
Nor coin'd my cheek to smiles, nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo; in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such; I stood
Among them, but not of them; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.

Anyhow, I thought it might be fitting on this first anniversary to list my favourite articles from the past year. I guess one could consider it a "Greatest Hits" of a sort. Anyway, here they are in chronological order:

The British Invasion Part One 061/17/2005

The British Invasion Part Two 06/18/2005

The British Invasion Part Three 06/19/2005

Requiem for the Department Store 06/28/2004

What I Consider my Best Week for Blog Entries

Spy Shows of the Sixties 07/30/2004

Action Figures BSW (Before Star Wars 08/12/2004

Action Figures and Merchandising 08/13/2004

The Vanguard of Mars Part One 09/03/2004

The Vanguard of Mars Part Two 09/04/2005

The Golden Age of Horror Movies 10/02/2004

The Week Before Halloween (perhaps my second best week)

The Dime Store 01/26/2005

Genre Mélangé 01/28/2005

My Favourite Poem (although it brings bittersweet memories to me now) 02/04/2005

Disney 03/18/2005

Fantasy Films of the Eighties 04/01/2005

The Adventures of Robin Hood 04/19/2005

The Architecture of Cinemas 05/10/2005

Anyway, I must say that I have enjoyed keeping this blog the past year. And I think I have done a fairly good job at it. I just hope the coming year sees me happier than the one before.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Thurl Ravenscroft Passes On

Well, yet another celebrity has passed on. Indeed, it was another voice man who died (the previous two being Henry Corden and Howard Morris). He had a name that sounded like that of a horror actor, but Thurl Ravenscroft made his living doing voice overs and voices for cartoons. He died Sunday at age 91 from prostrate cancer.

Ravenscroft is probably best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger since that character's creation in the Fifties. Ravenscroft's career went well beyond Tony, however, as his career stretched back to the Thirties. He started out providing his bass voice to various singing groups on radio at that time. Eventually he would provide voices on various Warner Brothers cartoons.

While he first provided voices for Warner Brothers shorts, it would be at Disney that Ravenscroft would do much of his work. He provided voices for various Disney shorts. Eventually his voice would appear in many Disney features, from Dumbo to Cinderella to The Jungle Book. He even provided voices for many of the rides at Disneyland, including the Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Of course, Ravenscroft started out as a singer and he still sang after his career in providing voices for cartoons had begun. Among others, he provided back up singing for such performers as The Andrew Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. As might be expected, perhaps his most famous singing performance came in a cartoon. He sang the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" for the TV animated adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christimas.

I can't say that Thurl Ravenscroft had an enormous impact on my life, but, like nearly every other American, he provided much of the background noise of my life. For literally decades he could be heard in every single Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercial. And then there were the many cartoons for which he provided voices, often uncredited. It does sadden me that he will no longer be around to provide his voice to so many different projects. Quite simply, he was one of the greatest voice men around.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

This morning "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by The Beatles has been going though my head. I have always thought that, with "Back in the U.S.S.R. being a close second, that it was the best song on the White Album. I also do believe it was the best song George Harrison ever wrote (although "Something" ranks up there too). It is also one of the few songs on which The Beatles brought in a musician from the outside. Eric Clapton plays on the song. Anyhow, here it is in streaming RealAudio....

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"--The Beatle