Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
I love James Bond movies. My favorite 007 of all time is Sean Connery. One of the things I love about those Bond films is the incredible theme songs. I love seeing the opening credits roll for each of the movies. Here are clips of those from all six of the official Bond films that starred Connery as our favorite British secret agent. So which is your favorite?
Dr. No - 1962
From Russia With Love - 1963
Goldfinger - 1964
Thunderball - 1965
You Only Live Twice - 1967
Diamonds Are Forever - 1971
P.S. Is anybody here on Twitter? If so, what do you think about it? Do you enjoy it? Is it hard to get going? I've been considering joining it, but I wanted to get some feedback. Thanks.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
A cover of a magazine is usually what attracts me to a particular issue. When I'm in the supermarket checkout, I might buy a magazine based on who or what is on the cover. Sometimes the contents are good and sometimes they aren't. I'm usually still satisfied with my purchase if I'm a big fan of the cover. I really love seeing vintage magazine covers. They really knew how to make an amazing cover back then. They did so much well in those days. I could spend so much time checking out classic covers online. I so totally am in awe of this GQ cover. I'm a huge Sammy Davis Jr. fan. He's one of the coolest cats of all time. The image of Sammy on this cover oozes so much coolness. I wish I just had an inch of his coolness. I hope you like it too.
P.S. Check out my latest post at Celluloid Slammer. It's a clip of Sammy Davis Jr. singing Mr. Bojangles. It's a different clip than the one I posted up here in the past. Plus you gotta see what Sammy is wearing. I hope you will check out my post and leave some comments there. Thanks.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
I hope that everybody had a cool & swingin' weekend. I was invited by Sammy Davis Jr. to spend the weekend with him. We flew off to a private island for the weekend. There were lots of cool cats and sex kittens there to enjoy life to the fullest. An amazing time was had by all of us. Cheers!
P.S. This blog has been honored with the I Love Your Blog award by the wonderful blog JANETTERIA. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it.
There are so many blogs that I love, but I stopped at 12 blogs. I'm giving this award to:
Cool Stuff For Dads
La Dolce Vita
Men's Fashion & Lifestyle Aficionado
The Mod Revival
The Sixties Beat!
The Sydney Girl
Friday, August 21, 2009
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK SEPTEMBER 2009
Music, Money, and Madness
By Matt Birkbeck
“Birkbeck has killer leads, gripping kickers and sensational descriptions. This cinematic book reads more like a detective story than a traditional ‘life of.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Tremendous. . . Birkbeck tells the epic of Sammy Davis Jr... from his Harlem boyhood to his wrenching deathbed (he died of cancer in 1990) in his Beverly Hills mansion, where various hangers-on, seeing the circling vultures, stripped his corpse even before it was a corpse.”
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A piece of investigative journalism that unravels what happened to Davis’ estate, and reveals more about the man...Birkbeck spoke to people that have never spoken before—and the portrait of Sammy that emerges is difficult, demanding, and ultimately tragic.”
— NPR's Talk of the Nation
If we learn nothing else from Michael Jackson’s death we know that an entertainment legend’s estate can increase dramatically posthumously, resolving debts that would haunt the living. Tragically, another legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr., who like Jackson began his career as a child, would also die deeply in debt. But 20 years after his death, Sammy’s estate remains in ruins and the great entertainer is but a footnote to history. The story of how Sammy Davis Jr. made and lost tens of millions of dollars and died insolvent forms the basis of this “gripping” and “sensational” (New York Times Book Review) work of reportage.
In the explosive biography, DECONSTRUCTING SAMMY: Music, Money, and Madness (Harper Paperbacks; On sale: September 1, 2009; $15.99), author (A Beautiful Child) and award-winning investigative journalist Matt Birkbeck delivers a stunning work of reportage that is equal parts cultural history, celebrity biography, and ultimately, a shocking behind-the-scenes look at the world of Sammy Davis, Jr.
When Sammy died nearly 20 years ago at age 64 of throat cancer, he was $15 million in debt—with more than half of that owed to the IRS for investments in bogus tax shelters—which forced Altovise Davis, his widow, to sell their possessions and later live in poverty in Pennsylvania. With few options at her disposal, Altovise turned to Albert “Sonny Murray” in a last-ditch effort to resolve Sammy’s debts and clear his name. For seven years Murray - a former federal prosecutor who gained fame in the 1980’s for his prosecution of E.F. Hutton - probed Sammy’s life on every level and uncovered a brilliant entertainer and complex and tragic man who had achieved everything – and then lost it.
A page-turning expose chock-full of shocking details and quotes from family, close friends, and access to the records of the Sammy Davis Jr. estate, DECONSTRUCTING SAMMY is a riveting portrait of a brilliant yet tragic figure in American history. Some of the revelations in the book include:
*Frank Sinatra’s ties to organized crime, and his denials, have been well-documented but Birkbeck describes how Sinatra and his pal Sammy were considered two of the mobs biggest earners and most important assets. Their drawing power in Las Vegas contributed greatly to the mob’s skimming operations and brought in millions in revenues.
*The FBI knew about Sammy’s close relationship with the mob and that for years Sammy served as a “front” for various mob-controlled investment schemes and fraudulent enterprises whose sole purpose was to defraud its investors. It was those relationships that left Sammy near bankruptcy when he died.
*When Sammy died in 1990, his name and likeness were valued at only $500 by the IRS despite the fact he had earned over $50 million during his lifetime. His home and possessions were sold at auction.
*Following his divorce from May Britt in 1968, Sammy was pressured to marry a black woman. He married Altovise Gore in 1970, but involved her for years in orgies. Sammy also encouraged her to “service” many of his friends and acquaintances. Included among the many men Altovise befriended was Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, whom Sammy met in the 1970s when Rumsfeld worked for the Nixon Administration. Rumsfeld remained friendly with Altovise, even after Sammy’s death, meeting her at a Los Angeles hotel.
*When Sammy’s good friend and long-time conductor George Rhodes died in 1985, Sammy asked another good friend, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to perform the eulogy. Jackson agreed, but for a price: He demanded $5,000 in cash, four first-class plane tickets and two suites at the Four Seasons. Sammy, who was broke, turned to bodyguard Brian Dellow, who took an advance off his credit card to pay Jackson’s fee.
*Sammy didn’t have to die. Upon hearing the cancer diagnosis in August 1989, doctors recommended surgery on Sammy’s throat, which offered an 80 percent chance of survival. Sammy opted instead for radiation, which had a slim 30 percent survival rate. Sammy made his decision based on his dismal finances. If he couldn’t sing, he reasoned, he couldn’t make money. Terminally ill, Sammy’s home was looted by his employees and his wife Altovise. He died nine months later, in May 1990. Before he was buried, Altovise took his glass eye.
*Sammy’s estate remains a shambles nearly 20 years after his death. Despite a 1997 agreement with the IRS to resolve the $7 million tax debt, his widow Altovise reneged on the deal. Because of the tax debt, Sammy continues to remain a footnote to history, his great legacy and contributions to civil rights all but forgotten. Altovise died in March 2009, and the remnants of Sammy’s estate are currently being fought over in federal court in Texas.
Author Matt Birkbeck, Sammy’s daughter Tracey Davis and Albert “Sonny” Murray will be available for interviews regarding DECONSTRUCTING SAMMY.
# # #
Music, Money, and Madness
By Matt Birkbeck
On Sale: September 1, 2009
$15.99 / 304 pagesISBN: 978-0-06145-067-9
Contact: Kateri Benjamin, HarperCollins Publicity
212-207-7708 / kateri.benjamin@harpercollins.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I had quite an exciting day yesterday. I spent it on the golf course with Dean Martin. Here's a picture I snapped. I'm not that good at the game, but it was still fun hanging out with Dino. He definitely loves to golf. It's one of his passions in life. I was just happy to tag along.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Here's a picture of Frank Sinatra saying goodbye to his parents Tony and Dolly in the mid-1960's. I'm not sure who the other woman is in the photo. None of them look too happy though. I wonder what's on their minds. Who knows. They might have been talking about life's ups and downs. That makes me think of the Sinatra song That's Life. This classic tune by Frank Sinatra has become the theme song of my life these last couple of years.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Frank Sinatra is a man of many talents. Here he is performing a tablecloth trick for his pallies at a Miami hotel in 1964. Wow. It looks like it was some kind of party.
P.S. I was given the Honest Scrap Award by the fascinating blog FilmFather. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. Anybody willing to post 10 random facts about themselves consider yourself winners of this award.
I've been tagged several times lately to reveal 7 to 10 random facts about myself, including in this latest award. I thought it was time that I sit down and actually share some more about my life. These are actually all things from my childhood and adolescence. I'm posting this to both my blogs today. I hope you enjoy finding out more about me.
1. My first fight in school was in kindergarten. I don't even remember what started it. It was a draw. We both got some good hits in. My parents were told that I was probably going to be a troublemaker and to watch me.
2. My brother and I would dance around our living room listening to the disco records of our parents when we were kids. We both really loved ABBA.
3. I was obsessed with the Six Million Dollar Man and G.I. Joe as a kid.
4. My brother and I played all sorts of things when we were growing up. We would be everything from Batman and Robin to Starsky and Hutch.
5. I can't remember how old I was (maybe 10 or 11), but a friend and I filled a cardboard box up with everything from leaves to trash. We then poured lighter fluid on it and lit it up. It made a huge explosive sound and shot fire up into the air. This was at my grandmother's house. You can imagine she wasn't too happy.
6. I had three operations as a kid for kidney problems.
7. I started wearing eyeglasses in the third grade.
8. When I was in junior high, I let a high school girl that I had a crush on put makeup on me. I thought I looked pretty cool. My parents had a different outlook on it when I got off the bus. They were not amused at all.
9. When I took physical education in eighth grade, our teacher decided to try out some new program. We were allowed to have music playing during the gym class. I was in charge of the tunes.
10. While I'm not sure I believe in reincarnation, I have had what seemed like dreams of past lives from the time I can remember. One dream that I had on a regular basis starting in high school was that I was a Jew living under the rule of the Greeks in ancient times.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Many men today have no clue how to tie a necktie. We live in a world where casual style is more accepted. Ties are not often required at many places of employment these days. If a man doesn't have to wear a tie at work, most men might only wear one at a special occasion. If some sort of event pops up that requires a man to wear a tie, but he doesn't know how to tie one, then he will have to find someone who does. That person could be his significant other, a parent, a friend or so forth. Every man should know how to properly tie a tie. There are quite a few different knots out there that a man can learn. He's off to a good start if he can master only one. That's better than having to find someone to tie a necktie for him. It's even worse if he decides to just wear a clip-on. I'll admit with shame that I'm not that great at tying a tie. I am trying to get better. I don't often get a chance to wear a tie so I've used that as an excuse to not learn many methods at all. Every classy gent should know how to tie a proper necktie. I'm doing my part to learn and also educate others in the process.
Here is a graphic that shows four of the different knots that can be used for your tie:
I also came across quite a few videos that show how to tie a necktie.
Tying a four-in-hand knot:
Tying a bow tie:
Tying a necktie like an Italian:
There is a site called The Art of Manliness that has a great article and videos on tying various knots. You should definitely check it out. I'm learning a lot from it. This last video comes from the site. It shows how to tie several different knots.
I hope you got something out of this post. I know I did putting it together. Let me know what you think.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Not sure how many of you are fans of Bobby Darin, but I've always liked him. Here's some clips of him performing. I hope you enjoy them. Which one do you like the best? Have a cool & swingin' weekend. Cheers!
Mack the Knife:
Beyond the Sea:
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You:
P.S. I know that some of my blogging friends have have Etsy stores? How do you like it? Was it hard to set up? Have you made any sells? Anything you can share with me would be well appreciated. I've been looking into, but I wanted to check with you guys first. Thanks.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I'm not sure where I found this, but I think it's so cool. I would definitely love to have a poster of this at my pad. What do you guys think of it?
Seeing this made me wanna post a clip of the Rat Pack. Here's a video from their charity concert held at the Kiel Opera House on June 20, 1965. The show was hosted by Johnny Carson. This is such an amazing clip. It features a performance by Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. & Johnny Carson all get into the act as well. I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. I wanted to mention that I have reached 100 followers! Thanks so much to everybody who is following my blog. I really appreciate it so much. It means a lot to me. It's cool to reach such a milestone. I was never sure that this blog would last very long. I didn't know if anybody would give a flip about the interests I would post about or not. I've been pleasantly surprised by all the feedback I've gotten since starting this blog over a year ago. There have been times I wasn't sure if I wanted to stick around with this or not. I'm glad I did. I appreciate all the support and encouragement you've given me. Thanks for being good pallies. I raise a toast to all of you. Cheers!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
This is a picture of Dean Martin and a bunch of other folks backstage somewhere in 1961. I have no clue where this is and what's going on here. Any ideas? It's still cool to see any picture of Dino. I do often wonder what would it would have been like to have lived back then and had the chance to work with him.
P.S. I never started either of my blogs as a way of making money. I started both of them so that I could share some of my interests with others. I appreciate all the support and encouragement I've gotten since starting both my blogs. It means a lot to me. I'm glad that so many people are enjoying what I post about. I have talked up here before about the situation with my job. I don't get enough hours and the pay is low. Plus I have a lot of trouble with my boss. I'm just thankful to have a job with so many people out of work. While I enjoy blogging just for the fun of it, I did think it would be cool if I could make a few bucks in the process.
I've decided to join a few affiliate programs. They are listed on the right side of my blog in a new advertising section. I thought partnering with these companies in an affiliate program might be a good idea. I hope you will consider ordering from these companies in the future. Thanks so much.