Saturday, May 12, 2018

"All I Have to Do is Dream" by The Everly Brothers

It was sixty years ago today, on May 12 1958, that "All I Have to Do is Dream" by The Everly Brothers hit number one on the Billboard Best Selling Pop Singles in Stores chart. It would be a week later that it would hit no. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart (the forerunner of today's Hot 100). Ultimately it would become the only song ever to top every one of Billboard's charts.

"All I Have to Do is Dream" was written by legendary songwriter Boudleaux Bryant, who had also written such songs as "Bye Bye, Love", "Wake Up, Little Susie", "Love Hurts", and many others. According to Billboard, it only took Mr. Bryant 15 minutes to write the song. The Everly Brothers recorded "All I Have to Dream" live in only two takes on March 6 1958.

Without further ado, here is "All I Have to Do is Dream" by The Everly Brothers.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Dick Williams R.I.P.

Dick Williams, best known as one of the singing group the Williams Brothers, died on May 5 2018 at the age of 91. The Williams Brothers consisted of Bob, Don, Dick, and Andy Williams. Of course, Andy would go onto fame as a solo singer.

Dick Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa on June 7 1926. It was in late 1938 that he and his brothers formed the singing quartet known as the Williams Brothers. They performed on radio, first on WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, then on WLS in Chicago, and finally on WLW in Cincinnati. The brothers eventually moved to Los Angeles. They were under contract to MGM and appeared in the films Janie (1944), Kansas City Kitty (1944), Ladies Man (1947), and Something in the Wind (1947). They also sang as part of the studio choir for such movies as Anchors Aweigh(1945),Ziegfeld Follies(1945), The Harvey Girls;(1946), and Good News(1947).

During World War II Dick Williams served in the United States Merchant Marine. They appeared on Bing Crosby's hit single "Swinging on a Star". From 1947 to 1951 they had their own nighclub act with Kay Thompson. The group broke up in 1951, although they would reunite on some of Andy Williams's Christmas television specials. Dick Williams went onto sing with the Harry James's orchestra. He appeared on Broadway in 1957 in the production Copper and Brass. He later sang on hundreds of television commercials. He also served as a choral arranger for his brother Andy Williams, as well as for Steve Lawrence & Edye Gorme and Julie Andrews.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

No More Klout

Chances are good that if you have heard of Klout, you thought it closed down long ago. Chances are also good that if you had a Klout account you either deleted it or simply stopped going there. This might come as a surprise to many of you, but Klout is still up and running, at least for now. It has been announced that Klout is going to close on May 25 2018.

For those of you who might never have heard of Klout, Klout is a website that measures the influence of users across several social media platforms. This is done primarily through the Klout score, a numerical value from 1 to 100. To arrive at the Klout score Klout relies upon one's activities across such social media sites as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. For a time Klout offered free services or products, known as Perks, to its users. Essentially, companies would pay Klout to do so. There can be little doubt that this was the primary reason many people had Klout accounts.

Klout was founded in 2009 by Joe Fernandez. For a time at least, Klout was doing very well. By 2011 it had around 100 million users. Klout was regularly mentioned in the news. There were those who thought that one's Klout score could eventually be key to landing a job. That is not to say that Klout did not have more than its share of critics. As hard as it might be to believe given recent revelations about Facebook, there were privacy concerns about Klout. Science fiction author John Scalzi called it "socially evil." While many were not as severe in their criticism of Klout as Mr. Scalzi was, they at least expressed doubts that one's influence on social media could be reduced to a numerical score. Even many of Klout's users regarded it as not being a very accurate measure of one's influence on social media at all.

Over time the buzz about Klout would fade. Over time Klout would also change. It made changes to its algorithm, including one in August 2012 that caused an uproar among its users. In February 2014 Klout moved into the arena of recommending content for individuals to share on their various social media platforms. It was not very long afterwards that Klout was acquired by Lithium Technologies. for $100 million. It was in the autumn of 2015 that Klout stopped awarding Perks. I have to wonder if this was not the nail in the coffin for Klout. I suspect many users had already deserted Klout by that time. A good number of those who remained probably did so because of the Perks. With no more Perks, they had little reason to maintain their Klout accounts, or at least to check them regularly.

That having been said, Klout was probably in decline by the time they decided to do away with Perks. The very title of the article "The 4 Types of People Who Still Use Klout" from the The Daily Dot from April 2015 shows that Klout was not what it had once been. Indeed, a quote from the article shows just how far it had fallen in a scant four years, "Klout is still around, but you're forgiven if you've forgotten it.'

Curiously, it would appear that the fact that Klout's precipitous decline in popularity is not the reason Lithium Technologies is closing it down. It would appear that the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to go into effect later this month played a role. A spokesman from Lithium told TechCrunch, "...the upcoming deadline for GDPR implementation simply expedited our plans to sunset Klout." While there are those of us who never particularly worried about privacy, it would seem in the end concerns over privacy are what killed Klout in part.

For all the controversy that Klout caused, in the end it would seem that Klout was little more than a passing fad. In the end it would seem that it was no different than Hot or Not, Candy Crush, or Gangam Style. It may have caused more of a stir and it may have been popular for a little bit longer, but in the end Klout would appear to have been little more than a craze that came and went.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Godspeed Anne V. Coates

Anne V. Coates, the editor on such films as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Becket (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), and The Elephant Man (1980) died on May 8 2018 at the age of 92.

Anne V. Coates was born on December 12 1925 in Reigate, Surrey. As a little girl she loved horses and she thought that she might want to be a horse trainer when she grew up. Her goal in life changed when she saw Wuthering Heights (1939) and fell in love with the cinema. For a time she worked as a nurse at Sir Archibald McIndoe's plastic surgery hospital in East Grinstead. Afterwards she got a job with her uncle J. Arthur Rank's Religious Films division, which made short films to be sent out to churches. Miss Coates did projection, sound, and editing work on the shorts.

Anne V. Coates then got a job as an assistant film editor at Pinewood Studios. She did uncredited work in this capacity on such films as The End of the River (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), The Chiltern Hundreds (1949), and The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952). Her first credit as an editor was on The Pickwick Papers in 1952. In the Fifties she edited the films Grand National Night (1953), Forbidden Cargo (1954), To Paris with Love (1955), Lost (1956), The Truth About Women (1957), The Horse's Mouth (1958), and Tunes of Glory (1960).

In the Sixties Miss Coates edited the films Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Becket (1964), Young Cassidy (1965), Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes (1965), Hotel Paridisio (1966), Great Catherine (1968), and The Adventurers (1970). She won the Oscar for Best Film Editing for Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated for the same award for Becket.

In the Seventies she edited the films Friends (1971), Follow Me! (1972), Bequest to the Nation (1973), Conflict (1973), 11 Harrowhouse (1974), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Man Friday (1975), Aces High (1976), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), The Legacy (1978), and The Elephant Man (1980). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for The Elephant Man. Anne V. Coates also did editing for television in the Seventies, editing the TV movie A War of Children and the episode "Catholics" of ITV Saturday Night Theatre.

In the Eighties she edited the films The Pirates of Penzance (1983), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), Lady Jane (1986), Raw Deal (1986), Master of the Universe (1987), Farewell to the King (1989), Listen to Me (1989). and I Love You to Death (1990).

In the Nineties Anne V. Coates edited the films What About Bob? (1991), Chaplin (1992), In the Line of Fire (1993), Pontiac Moon (1994), Congo (1995), Striptease (1995), Out to Sea (1997), Out of Sight (1998), Passion of Mind (2000), and Erin Brockovich (2000). She was nominated for Oscars for Best Film Editing for In the Line of Fire and Out of Sight.

From the Naughts into the Teens she was the editor on the films Sweet November (2001), Unfaithful (2002), Taking Lives (2004), Catch and Release (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), Extraordinary Measures (2010), and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).

Anne V. Coates was truly a pioneer. In an interview she said that at the time she entered the film industry there were not that many jobs available to women in which she was interested. She chose editing because it was one of the few jobs that women were allowed to do. Even then, there was not a large number of female editors in the business, nor is there now. Anne V. Coates then truly paved the way for women in the movie industry.

What is more, she was a truly remarkable film editor. With Lawrence of Arabia she dealt with a huge amount of footage shot by Sir David Lean. This would be a daunting tasks for most editors, but Anne V. Coates produced some of the most impressive edits in film history on the movie. Even in her films of lesser note (such as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes) she could create some very impressive cuts. Anne V. Coates was both a pioneer and a great editor, and for those things she will always be remembered.