All posts by Michael Rogers

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to crazy ol’ Ezra Pound, born in Hailey, Idaho, October 30, 1885.

A bit of a nut I suppose and certainly a terrible anti-Semite, but no one was more generous to young writers than him.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Monster squad, let’s blow out some birthday candles (it’ll take all of us, there’s 137 of them) for the fabulous pinch-faced bitty Una O’Connor, born in Belfast, Ireland, October 23, 1890.

Along with The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, O’Connor appeared in Robin Hood and other Errol Flynn swashbucklers and a slew of other top films. Always fun to watch.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 129th birthday to Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, born in New York City’s Barrett House Hotel on 43rd and Broadway October 16, 1888.

He wore a suit and tie while writing his plays, scratching them out with pen and paper. Dinner and drinks then back to the desk to edit the day’s work.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 77th birthday to John Winston Lennon, born October 9, 1946. Oddly, if he still were alive he might actually look like Wilfred Bramble now.


October 10, 1985: Orson Welles, 70, dies of heart failure while sleeping. Before going to bed he’d spent the night writing stage directions for his next project.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to the one, the only Groucho, born October 2, 1890, on East 78th Street in Manhattan.


October 2, 1959: Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS with the episode, “Where is Everybody?”


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Star Wars geeks join me in 66th birthday greetings to Mark Hamill, born in Oakland, CA, September 25, 1951. Mark, I hope you have dialog in Ep. 8!

Here’s a bad pic from NYCC 2011.


Remembering Mary Astor, who died September 25, 1987, age 81. My son and I visited her grave last year in LA at Holy Cross Cemetery (not too, too far from John Ford). She was hard to find.

Forever Brigid O’Shaughnessy.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Birthday greetings to Brian De Palma, born September 11, 1940, in Newark, NJ. I assume he’s best known for the crime thrillers Scarface and “The Untouchables,” but I prefer the scary stuff like Carrie, The Fury, and Dressed To Kill” Eye of the beholder.

Happy 77th Brian. Thanks for the chills (the slow razor through Angie Dickinson’s hand creeps me out every time!).


Happy birthday to Henry Louis Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore, born September 12, 1880, in that city. I don’t know if many read him anymore, although he is well worth it. And remember that he and George Jean Nathan created Black Mask magazine in 1920. For that and more I thank him.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

August 28, 1978: John Huston, 81, dies of pneumonia linked to a variety of heart and lung ailments associated with heavy smoking.

A remarkably talented man, who, by numerous accounts, also was a real son of a bitch.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to Alfred Hitchcock, born August 13, 1899, in London. His films are still so much fun to watch.


August 15, 1965: Performing at Shea Stadium in Queens, NY, The Beatles set another precedent as the first band to play a sports arena.


August 16, 1977: Elvis Presley dies at 42 with enough fat in his arteries to grease a train, and the drugs in his blood would fuel a Grateful Dead tour.

“Like no one before, he let out a roar, and I just had to tag along.

Each night I went to bed with the sound in my head, and the dream was a song.

Big Train from Memphis, Big Train from Memphis,

Now it’s gone gone gone, gone gone gone.”

—John Fogerty, “Big Train (From Memphis)”

Hail to The King, baby!


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

August 7, 1934: The U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the lower court’s ruling that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is art, not pornography, and eligible for sale in the United States.


August 8, 1969: At roughly 11:30 a.m. as a constable held traffic, photographer Iain Macmillan climbed a stepladder, focused his Hasselbad camera’s 50 mm lens closed down the aperture to f22 for great depth, and firing the shutter at 1/500th of a second shot six pictures of The Beatles walking away from EMI Studios crossing Abbey Road. The fifth exposure became the album cover.

Linda McCartney on the sidelines shot her own pix of the event.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

July 29, 1954: “…that mad Baggins is off again” with Allen and Unwin’s publication of The Fellowship of the Ring. Hello Sam and Frodo!


July 29, 1965: HELP!, the Beatles second film with director Richard Lester, premiers at London’s Pavilion Theatre.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

This week in Literature and Arts

July 12, 1946: The Adventures of Sam Spade debuts on radio. The program ran until the early 1950s, jumping from ABC to NBC and finishing its run at CBS (more than 200 episodes all together). Howard Duff initially played Spade, but other actors assumed the role on the various networks.

Creator Dashiell Hammett’s name apparently was dropped from the credits when he was suspected of being a closet commie (how utterly ridiculous does this sound now?).


July 16, 1951: Little Brown publishes The Catcher in the Rye.

If Holden still were around today would he be on Facebook, would he tweet selfies, or would he think it was all phony?

 

 


Michael Rogers (mermsr@optimum.net) is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He is also former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal.

This week in Literature and Arts

July 2, 1961: In the early morning hours, Ernest Hemingway, physically, mentally, and emotionally ravaged and knowing he is finished as an artist, places this shotgun’s muzzle in his mouth and meets death on his own terms. He was 61.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts