Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Pancake Musings

1) Cold and rainy fall Saturday AM here in KC. Trees are rapidly losing their leaves, making a slippery mess on the sidewalks. Our lawn and plants are still green here at the Towers, but not for long I am sure. Has not been terribly cold yet, the killing frost has so far avoided us. Each day without it means one less day of cold and possible snow to worry about.

2) RIP Anna Russell: Anna Russell, the inimitable classical music comedienne who charmed the world with her comic yet always spot-on spoofs, died on the 18th in her home in Australia, she was 94.

Russell was a trained but decidedly untalented singer. She described her voice as "sounding like shattering glass or a cracked temple bell". Russell found fame in music comedy, her albums being perennial best sellers.

While performing "Cavalleria Rusticana," Anna was supposed to be shoved to the floor in one scene by one of the tenors who was rather small in stature. Anna was not a small lady, so he had a little trouble pushing Anna over. The act caused her to stumble across the stage crashing headlong in to some scenery, sending it tumbling down around her. The audience and orchestra laughed so hard that the performance came to a halt, and thus Anna's career as an opera singer as well.

Almost. Anna soon realized she could take this incident and make a career in comedy. She began to write and perform musical spoofs that gained a wide following among both musicians and the public. From the 1950s to the 1980s, she made best-selling recordings, appeared on television and performed in sold-out concerts around the world.

Her spoof of Wagner's Ring is priceless. About the Valkyries: "They are the noisiest people. They're all of them virgins, and I'm not the least bit surprised." She wrote mock German Lieder such as "Schlumpf" by Blotz. Her signature line: "I am not making this up you know". I never saw her live but her recordings and TV appearances are priceless memories. Thanks Anna! The Anna Russell Album is available on DVD.

3)Do you know why Republicans don't use book marks? No need to, they just bend over the pages. ^* Rim shot!

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