Saturday, June 4, 2022

The 18th Anniversary of A Shroud of Thoughts

If A Shroud of Thoughts was a human being, it would be old enough to vote. It was 18 years ago today that I made my first post on this blog. At the time I started A Shroud of Thoughts, I did not expect that I would still be writing it eighteen years and 4264 posts later. I also did not expect the many changes to my life that A Shroud of Thoughts would make to my life. I have made many close friends through writing A Shroud of Thoughts. My first book would even largely be compiled of posts from this blog. I have never made any money writing this blog, but I do think in some ways it has become my life's work.

As to the origins of A Shroud of Thoughts, in the mid-Naughts blogs were something of a fad. I had a lady friend at the time who had her own blog and it looked like fun, so I decided to start my own. As to the title, at the time it was fashionable for blogs to have names containing the word "thoughts" or something similar like "musings" and so on. I then settled on the phrase "a shroud of thoughts" from Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage canto iii stanza 113 (I won't quote here, as over the years I think I have quoted it enough). I have to admit that I have since regretted it. Since the blog very quickly evolved from a general interest blog to a blog devoted to pop culture, nostalgia, classic movies, classic films, Old Time Radio, classic comic books, and pulp magazines, I think perhaps I should have chosen a  more fitting name! Unfortunately, by the time I realized I should have chosen a better name than A Shroud of Thoughts, the blog already had a readership and I thought it would confuse people if I changed the name.

If 18 years seems very old for blog, I can tell you that in many ways it is not unusual. Immortal Ephemera is older than this blog, dating to 2002. Inner Toob is about a month and a half older, starting in April 2004. Both The Stop Button and Laura's Miscellaneous Musings go back to 2005. The Rap Sheet dates to 2006. My friend Raquel started Out of the Past in 2007.And these aren't the only blogs that are well over ten years old out there. While most blogs won't last one year, it's not as unusual for a blog to last well over a decade as one might think.

Sadly, some of my fellow long time bloggers are no longer with us. Steve Bailey, who ran the blog MovieMovieBlogBlog died last fall. His death took me entirely by surprise. He was only a little older than me, although his health was not particularly good. Steve had a wonderfully twisted sense of humour and he was active in many blogathons. He was a huge fan of The Beatles and perhaps the biggest Jane Russell fan I ever knew. It was on March 7, only three days before my birthday, that beloved blogger Patricia Nolan-Hall, known to her friends as Paddy Lee, died. In the classic film and television blogging community, I don't think anyone was more loved than Paddy. She not only posted to her blog Caftan Woman often, but she read a large number of blogs and more often than not commented on them. She was participated in many blogathons. Paddy was warm and approachable, a ray of sunlight even when the world seemed dark. I miss both Steve and Paddy immensely, and thinking of both of them still brings tears to my eyes.

Anyway, I would like to think those of you who have continued to read this blog over the years. It truly has been a labour of love, and it is largely because of your support that I have continued to post to this blog even through my darkest days.

It is my custom on each of A Shroud of Thoughts' anniversaries to share my favourite posts from the past year. Here they are then, my favourite posts from June 5 2021 to June 4 2022.

"William Haines and Jimmie Shields: The Happiest Marraige in Hollywood"
June 24 2021

"Vanessa Marquez on Culture Clash," June 26 2021

"Saturday Morning Musical Kid's Shows of the 1960s and 1970s Parts One Through Five" July 12-17 2021

"The Media and Vanessa Marquez," August 30 2021

"The 50th Anniversary of Columbo," September 15 2021

"Car 54, Where Are You? Turns 60,"
September 27 2021

"The 60th Anniversary of NBC Saturday Night at the Movies," September 23 2021

"Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)," October 23 2021

"The 30th Anniversary of Locked Up: A Mother's Rage," October 29 2021

"Broken Arrow the TV Series," November 19 2021

"Brute Force (1947)," November 22 2021

"Hans Conried: Scene Stealer in Radio, in Movies, & On Television" December 4 2021

"The 53rd Birthday of My Dearest Vanessa Marquez," December 21 2021

"The 50th Anniversary of Sanford and Son," January 14 2022

"Sounder (1972),"  February 20 2022

"All Lies End in Murder (1997)," February 22 2022

"Maverick: 'Hadley's Hunters,'" March 19 2022

"Wendy Goldman on ER," April 24 2022

"Perry Mason: 'The Case of the Final Fade-Out,"
May 6 2022

"The Resurgence of Western Comic Books in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s" Parts One, Two, and Three, May 19-21 2022

"Little Shop of Horrors (1960)," May 26 2022

Friday, June 3, 2022

They Call Me Trinity (1970)

(This post is part of the Foreign Western Blogathon hosted by Moon Over Gemini)

When people think of Spaghetti Westerns, such grim, ultraviolent movies with morally ambiguous protagonists as A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and Sabata (1969) most likely come to mind. While it is most definitely a Spaghetti Western, about the only thing They Call Me Trinity has in common with those movies are a morally ambiguous protagonist. Quite simply, They Call Me Trinity, or in its native Italian Lo chiamavano Trinità (literally "They call me Trinity") is a Spaghetti Western comedy.

They Call Me Trinity centres on the character of the title (Terence Hill), a gunfighter with preternatural skill with guns wandering the Old West. While Trinity is an excellent gunslinger and quite good at hand to hand combat, he also happens to be exceedingly lazy, so lazy that he has a litter attached to his horse on which he takes naps while his horse takes them to wherever he wants to go. Trinity finds himself in a small Western town where his brother Bambino (Bud Spencer) just happens to be impersonating the local sheriff while he waits for his gang, just escaped from prison, to arrive. Bambino is not particularly happy to see Trinity, as one of Trinity's few talents is causing trouble. As it turns out, Trinity is taken with a pair of young, single women from the local Mormon settlement. This puts him into conflict with the corrupt Major Harriman (Farley Granger), who wants to drive the Mormons from their land so he can use it for pasture for his horses. Trinity and Bambino then must form an uneasy alliance despite their differences.

For much of the Sixties, Spaghetti Westerns had proven to be very successful. The genre reached its peak in 1968 when fully one-third of all films produced in Italy were Spaghetti Westerns. The bottom would fall out of the genre by 1969, when Spaghetti Westerns comprised only one tenth of all films produced in Italy. It was perhaps for that reason that producer Italo Zingarelli asked director Enzo Barboni to write a script for a Western comedy. Given the time, Mr. Zingarelli was probably wise in doing so. In the Sixties such Western comedies produced by Hollywood as McLintock! (1963), Cat Ballou (1965), and Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) had seen success. As to director Enzo Barboni, he had already directed a serious Western, The Unholy Four (1970).

Originally Peter Martell and George Eastman were to be cast as the leads in They Call Me Trinity. It was director Enzo Barboni who cast Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. The two first appeared on screen together in the movie Hannibal (1959), but not as a team. It was the Spaghetti Western God Forgives...I Don't (1967) that established Terence Hill and Bud Spencer as a team. While God Forgives...I Don't! is a serious Spaghetti Western, it has its comic moments, particularly in scenes in which Terence Hill and Bud Spencer were together. God Forgives...I Don't would prove so successful that Terence Hill and Bud Spencer would reprise their characters in Ace High (1968) and Boot Hill (1969). As in the case of God Forgives...But I Don't!, both Ace High and Boot Hill were serious films, but with a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure.  Incredibly, both Terence Hill and Bud Spencer would perform their own stunts in They Call Me Trinity, with stuntmen mostly performing the stunts for the supporting cast.

While it is a comedy, one thing that They Call Me Trinity has in common with other Spaghetti Westerns is that it was shot in Europe. In the case of They Call Me Trinity, it was shot in Italy. Interiors and towns were shot at Incir De Paolis Studios in Rome. Campo Imperatore in Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park served as the Mormons' field that the Major wanted. Other locations were shot around Lazio, the province in which Rome is located.

They Call Me Trinity proved to be a hit upon its release in Italy. In fact, it was so successful that as of 2004 it was the 22nd most successful Italian film, right below fellow Spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). They Call Me Trinity also did well elsewhere in the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

The success of They Call Me Trinity would lead to a sequel, Trinity is Still My Name (1971), which proved to be even more successful than They Call Me Trinity. Its success would also lead to several more films teaming Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, from Blackie the Pirate (1971) to Troublemakers (1994). As might be expected given the nature of Italian cinema, several derivative films were released in the wake of They Call Me Trinity, including They Call Me Hallalujah (1971), Two Sons of Trinity (1972), Cambonia! (1974), and yet others. The success of They Call Me Trinity also led to a boom in Spaghetti Western comedies that would last until Spaghetti Westerns faded from view in the mid to late Seventies.

Sadly, They Call Me Trinity has been blamed for the many inferior Spaghetti Western comedies that followed, with some even maintaining that They Call Me Trinity marked the beginning of the end for the Spaghetti Western. While They Call Me Trinity certainly did inspire a number of inferior imitators, it did so because it is a very funny movie. Indeed, Howard Thompson wrote in The New York Times "Whoever E. B. Clucher (director Enzo Barbonis's pseudonym.--Terence) is—and he is credited as writer-director of yesterday's new movie, "They Call Me Trinity"—he has a sense of humour."  They Call Me Trinity is primarily a slapstick comedy, with the emphasis on physical gags. In some respects it is not unlike an extended Laurel and Hardy short set in the Old West, given a few tropes from Spaghetti Westerns, and shot in Italy. Because of this it translates well around much of the world. Languages may vary from country to country, but physical humour remains mostly the same. It must also be pointed out that Terence Hill and Bud Spencer are perfect in their roles. At any rate, to blame They Call Me Trinity for the many inferior Spaghetti Western comedies that followed it would be something like blaming Star Wars (1977) for the many bad sci-fi movies that followed in its wake.

In the end, whether They Call Me Trinity led to the demise of the Spaghetti Western is perhaps moot. It remains one of the funniest Western comedies shot anywhere in the world.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Alan White of Yes and Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode Pass On

Alan White

Alan White, drummer and longest serving member of Yes, died on May 29 2022 at the age of 72 following a brief illness.

Alan White was born on June 14 1949 in Pelton, County Durham. Music ran in his family. His grandfather was a pianist and his uncle was a drummer. When he was seven the family moved to Ferryhill, County, Durham. Alan White was six year old when he began taking piano lessons. His uncle noticed that young Alan White played the piano as if it were a percussion instrument, and told his parents. When Alan White was twelve, his parents then gave him an Ajax drum kit for Christmas. Eventually his parents would buy him a large Ludwig drum kit.

Alan White was only thirteen when he joined his first band, The Downbeats, who largely played covers of such beat bands as The Beatles, The Searchers, and Gerry & The Pacemakers. In 1964 The Downbeats changed their name to The Blue Chips. As The Blue Chips they went to 'London where they competed in a talent contest. They won the contest, which included a monetary award, new equipment, and a recording contract. The Blue Chips released the singles "I'm on the Right Side," "Some Kind of Lovin'," and "Tell Her" in 1965 and 1966, but none of them charted. The Blue Chips soon broke up afterwards.

Alan White went onto play as part of Billy Fury's band The Gamblers. Afterwards he joined The Happy Magazine. The band released a few singles before being renamed Griffin. Grffin would record only one single before they broke up. Alan White also played with The Alan Price Set and appeared on their albums A Price on His Head and The Price is Right.

It was in 1969 that Alan White was invited by John Lennon to play with The Plastic Ono Band when performed at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival.  He also appeared on John Lennon's single "Instant Karma" and on his album Imagine. He would later play on George Harrison's album All Things Must Pass and Radha Krsna Temple. He later worked with Denny Laine's band Bails and Ginger Baker's Air Force, as well as working with Steve Winwood and Terry Reid.

It was when Yes's drummer Bill Bruford left the band to join King Crimson that Alan White became Yes's drummer. He first appeared on Yes's album Yessongs and ultimately played on over forty Yes studio albums and live albums. He also co-wrote various Yes songs, including "Turn of the Century" from Going for the One; "Future Times" and "Release, Release" from Tormato; and  "Changes," "Our Song," and "Hearts" from 90125. Ultimately, Alan White would become the longest standing member of Yes and the only member besides Chris Squire to have never left the band.

Alan White released only one solo album,  Ramshackled in 1976. He appeared solo projects by fellow Yes members Chris Squire, Steve Howe, and Rick Wakeman. He also worked with Gary Wright, Jesse Davis, Donovan, Eddie Harris, and Johnny Harris.

Alan White was arguably one of the best drummers of his era. He had impeccable timing. What is more he was capable of a variety of drumming styles, insuring that he could play with artists as diverse as prog rockers Yes to jazz musician Eddie Harris. His versatility also allowed him to keep pace with Yes's changing styles over the years. When it came to drummers in progressive rock, Alan White was one of the best.

Andy Fletcher

Andy Fletcher, keyboardist and founding member of Depeche Mode, died on May 29 2022 at the age of 60.

Andy Fletcher was born on July 8 1961 in Nottingham. His first two years of life were spent in Basildon before the family moved to Nottingham. It was in 1977 that Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke formed a band called No Romance in China. It was later in 1980 that Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke formed another band, this one called Composition of Sound. Vince Clarke played guitar and sang, while Andy Fletcher played bass. It would after Vince Clarke heard the band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark that Messrs. Clarke and Fletcher decided to shift to electronic music. Martin Gore then joined the band. Still later Dave Gahan joined Composition of Sound. It was Dave Gahan who suggested a new name for the band Depeche Mode. They are believed to have first played under that name at the James Hornsby School in Basildon.

Depeche Mode's first single, "Dreaming of Me," was released on Mute Records in 1981. It would be their second single, "New Life," that would be their first hit, peaking at no. 11 on the UK singles chart. With Martin Gore and Dave Gahan, Andy Fletcher would be one the three members of Depeche Mode who remained with the band from its beginning. While Messrs Gore and Gahan both wrote songs, Andy Fletcher's precise role in the band was a bit of a running joke. He once joked in a Rolling Stone interview,  "Martin's the songwriter, Alan's the good musician, Dave's the vocalist, and I bum around." In truth, Andy Fletcher played an important role in Depeche Mode. Early on, he played bass and still later synth bass. Later he would play the synthesizer, using it both for music and sound effects. Also, since it was often the case that Depeche Mode did not have a manager, Andy Fletcher handle much of the band's business. He was also pivotal in settling disputes within the band. Quite simply, he was the glue that kept the band together.

In addition to his work with Depeche Mode, Andy Fletcher also founded his own label as an imprint of Mute Records, Toast Hawaii, in 2002. Whenever he was on hiatus from Depeche Mode, he sometimes played as a DJ at various clubs and festivals.

Many were often puzzled by Andy Fletcher's role in Depeche Mode. Some even pondered whether or not his keyboards were plugged in when he was on stage. Aside from handling the band's business, as mentioned above, Andy Fletcher was the glue that held the band together. And his bandmates adored him. In their official statement on this death, they said in part, "Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint." Depeche Mode's fans, many of who actually met him, loved Andy Fletcher as well. He was known for being both down to earth and very approachable. He was often known to talk to fans and even offer them a cigarette. He was a true gentlemen, one in an industry not often known for gentlemen.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Late Great Ronnie Hawkins

Rock 'n' roll legend Ronnie Hawkins died on May 29 2022 at the age of 87 after a long illness.

Ronnie Hawkins was born on January 10 1935 in Huntsville, Arkansas. His family moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas when he was young. He came from a family of musicians. Various uncles and cousins toured Arkansas and Oklahoma as "The Hawkins Family" in 1930s and 1940s. His uncle Delmar "Skipper" Hawkins performed with the Sons of the Pioneers. Delmar Hawkins's son Dale Hawkins had a music career contemporaneous with Ronnie Hawkins and had a hit in 1957 with the song "Suzy Q." At age eleven Ronnie Hawkins started singing at local fairs. He formed his first band, The Hawks, after graduating high school. He attended the University of Arkansas, majoring in physical education, but dropped out in 1956 just a few credits shy of graduation.

Afterwards Ronnie Hawkins enlisted in the United States Army. It was while he was in  Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill that he began performing with an African American quartet under the name The Black Hawks. The Black Hawks disbanded after Ronnie Hawkins's service in the army ended. He was not out of the military for long when he cut two demos, a cover of Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and a cover of Hank Williams's "A Mansion on the Hill." Unfortunately, nothing came of the demos. Despite this, Ronnie Hawkins impressed Luke Paulman, the session guitarist on the two demos, who made an offer to young Mr. Hawkins that they go to his home of Helena, Arkansas, where he could further pursue his music career. Once in Helena, Ronnie Hawkins formed the initial version of his band The Hawks with Luke Paulman, Luke Paulman's brother, bassist George Paulman, and their cousin, pianist Willard "Pop" Jones. It was later in 1957 that drummer Levon Helm joined the band.

It was in 1958 that Conway Twitty suggested to Ronnie Hawkins that he tour Canada. Having met with little success in the United States, Ronnie Hawkins found success in Canada and would make the country his home. Except for drummer Levon Helm, the other members of The Hawks would not join Ronnie Hawkins in Canada.

It was in 1959 that Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks signed a contract with Roulette Records. He would have his first hit with a cover of Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days," retitled "Forty Days." It went to no. 4 on the Canadian singles chart and peaked at no. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. The B-side of "Forty Days," a cover of Young Jessie's "Mary Lou" would prove to be his biggest hit in the United States. Peaking at no. 6 on the Canadian singles chart, it went to no. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While Ronnie Hawkins would see little success on the American Billboard Hot 100, he would continue to have hits on the Canadian singles chart. His covers of Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley" and Ersel Hickey's "Bluebirds over the Mountain" reached the top ten of the Canadian singles chart. In 1970 his cover of The Clovers' "Down in the Alley' peaked at no. 20 on the chart. Starting with his self-titled debut album in 1959, Ronnie Hawkins also released several albums throughout his career. With Fred Carter on guitar and Levon Helm on drums, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson became the new incarnation of the Hawks. They would leave him in 1964 and form The Band.

Over the years Ronnie Hawkins would prove to be a mentor to several rock musicians. In addition to The Band, he started the careers of guitarists Roy Buchanan and Pat Travers. The Band always acknowledged the debt they owed Ronnie Hawkins, and he performed at their farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in 1975, which was filmed for Martin Scorsese's documentary The Last Waltz (1978).

Ronnie Hawkins was a pioneer of rock 'n' roll and an incredible performer. Much more of a live performer than a studio musician, he could give incredible performances. He was known for his racousness on stage, which included his camel walk and even back flips. Ronnie Hakwins was certainly influential on rock music in Canada. Over the years he was honoured in Canada with a star on the Canada Walk of Fame in Toronto, induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, and an honorary degree from Laurentian University in Sudsbury, Ontario. He was made an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Godspeed Bo Hopkins

Bo Hopkins, who appeared in such films as The Wild Bunch (1969) and American Graffiti (1973), died on May 28 2022 at the age of 84. The cause was a heart attack.

Bo Hopkins was born on February 2 1938 in Greenville, South Carolina. He was adopted at age nine months. He eventually met his birth mother and got to know his siblings. His father worked in a sawmill and died at age 39 from a heart attack. His mother eventually remarried and young Bo Hopkins did not get along well with his stepfather. He was then sent to live with his grandparents. Bo Hopkins was in and out of trouble throughout his youth. After a robbery that had gone wrong, he was about to be sent to reform school when he joined the United States Army. He served in the 101st Airborne Division and was stationed at  Fort Jackson, Fort Gordon, and Fort Pope before serving in Korea for nine months.

Following his service, Bo Hopkins went back to Greenville where he was cast in a local production of The Teahouse of the August Moon. He received a scholarship to the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Kentucky. After his stint with Pioneer Playhouse, Bo Hopkins moved to New York City where he appeared in an Off-Broadway production of Bus Stop and other plays. He took the name "Bo" from the character he played in Bus Stop, Bo Decker.

From New York City Bo Hopkins moved onto Hollywood where he received a scholarship at the acting school at the Desilu-Cahuenga Studios. Afterwards he received a place as an observer at the Los Angeles branch of The Actors Studio. Bo Hopkins made his television debut in 1966 in The Pruitts of Southampton. In the late Sixties he guest starred on such shows as The Virginian,. Gunsmoke, The Wild Wild West, The Andy Griffith Show, Judd for the Defense, The Rat Patrol, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Bonanza, and The Mod Squad. He made his film debut in 1968 in Dayton's Devils. In the late Sixties he appeared in the films The Thousand Plane Raid (1969), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Bridge of Remagen (1969), The Moonshine War (1970), Macho Callahan (1970), and Monte Walsh (1970).

In the Seventies Bo Hopkins was a regular on the short-lived TV show Doc Eliot. He also had a recurring role on The Rockford Files. He guest starred on the shows Ironside, Nichols, Hawaii Five-O, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, The Manhunter, The Rookies, Barnaby Jones, Jigsaw John, Having Babies, and Charlie's Angels. He appeared in the mini-series Aspen. Bo Hopkins appeared in several TV movies, including The Kansas City Massacre, The Invasion of Johnson County, Thaddeus Rose and Eddie, and The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang. In the Seventies he appeared in the movies The Culpepper Cattle Co.  (1972), The Only Way Home (1972), The Getaway (1972), The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973), American Graffiti (1973), White Lightning (1973), The Nickel Ride (1974), The Day of the Locust (1975), Posse (1975), The Killer Elite (1975), A Small Town in Texas (1976), Tentacoli (1977), Midnight Express (1978), The Fifth Floor (1978), and More American Graffiti (1978).

In the Eighties Bo Hopkins played the role of Matthew Blaisdel on the TV show Dynasty. He guest starred on the show Fantasy Island;Matt Houston, The A-Team; Hotel; Finder of Lost Loves; The Hitchhiker; Scarecrow and Mrs. King; Murder, She Wrote; The Fall Guy; Crazy Like a Fox; and Mike Hammer. He appeared in the movies Sweet Sixteen (1983), Night Shadows (1984), What Comes Around (1985), Nightmare at Noon (1988), Trapper County War (1989), President's Target (1989), The Bounty Hunter (1989), Big Bad John (1990), and The Final Alliance (1990).

In the Nineties Mr. Hopkins guest starred on the shows Matlock and Murder, She Wrote. He was a guest voice on The Angry Beavers. He appeared in such TV movies as Blood Ties and Wyatt Earp, Return to Tombstone. He appeared in the movies Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell (1992), Center of the Web (1992), Inside Monkey Zetterland (1992), The Legend of Wolf Mountain (1992), The Ballad of Little Jo (1993), Radioland Murders (1994), Texas Payback (1995), Riders in the Storm (1995), Painted Hero (1996), U Turn (1997), Phantoms (1998), The Newton Boys (1998), Lunker Lake (1998), Getting to Know You (1999), From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) , South of Heaven, West of Hell (2000), Big Brother Trouble (2000), Vice (2000), and The Thundering 8th (2000).

In the Naughts and the Teens Bo Hopkins appeared in the movies A Crack in the Floor (2001), Cowboy Up (2001), Choosing Mathias (2001), Don't Let Go (2002), City of Ghosts (2002), Shade (2003), The Road Home (2003), Open Window (2006), A Little Christmas Business (2013), The Boys at the Bar (2016), and Hillbilly Elegy (2020).

Bo Hopkins was a remarkable actor. He had a particular gift for playing villains or characters who were close to villainous, including Crazy Lee in The Wild Bunch, Pharaohs gang leader Little Joe Young in American Graffiti, and even Pretty Boy Floyd in the TV movie The Kansas City Massacre. At the same time he was able to play other roles. He was the protagonist in the slasher movie Sweet Sixteen, playing Sheriff Dan Burke who was investigating the murders. It was hardly the only time he played lawmen, as he also played them in such varied movies as A Small Town in Texas, Trapper County War, and A Crack in the Floor. Whether he was playing an outlaw or a lawman, Bo Hopkins always gave a good performance. He was a massive talent.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Juneteenth on Turner Classic Movies

The Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather
On Juneteenth, June 19 2022, Turner Classic Movies is airing four movies in celebration of the holiday. It kicks off with the classic musical Stormy Weather (1943). Ostensibly a biopic about its star Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, it is actually an excuse for some truly memorable musical performances by such greats as Lena Horne, Fats Waller, Mae E. Johnson, and Cab Callaway, not to mention what might be the greatest dance sequence in the history of film performed by the Nicholas Brothers. It is followed by the classic documentary Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959). Jazz on a Summer's Day captures the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, with performances by such greats as Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, Chuck Berry, and Louis Armstrong. It is followed by the documentary How They Got Over (2017), which examines the influence of African American gospel music on the development of such genres as rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll. TCM's Juneteeth programming ends with The Wiz (1978).

Below is the schedule for Juneenth, June 19 2022. All times are Central.

10:45 AM Stormy Weather (1943)
12:15 PM Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959)
1:45 PM How They Got Over (2017)
4:15 PM The Wiz (1978)