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Cab Calloway at the World's Fair

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I just picked up this great piece of sheet music from the 39 NYWF - it was featured during a show the immortal Cab Calloway did there with Bill Robinson.

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And that seemed like a good enough reason to share this extraordinary piece of video (from a few years later) featuring Cab and the mindblowing dance talents of the Nicholas Brothers. Do yourself a favor and watch it all the way to the end. It's truly hard to believe what these men were capable of.

Jumpin' Jive: Cab Calloway & The Nicholas Brothers

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I was thinking, of all the concerts/theatre experiences I have had - hearing The Dark Side(s), getting The Bends, dreaming Siamese Dream(s), drinking wine with Audrey Hepburn, having Bowie front and center in Roseland, discussing current work in media with Norman Mailer, chatting idly with Asimov about sunshine, literally floating around MTV "10 Spot" tapings...Pumpkins on 53rd Street with Buzz Aldrin...Seeing Yoko and Sean do "Give Peace a Chance"...chatting with Nimoy whule walking down a city street about the problems of leaving a vulcan character home on friday and becoming human for the weekend with wife and kids while having no eyebrows...helping David Byrne escape his fans....rendering Thom Yorke "useless"....it is to my eternal shame I passed up the chance to see this man perform. I was living in NY for a brief time and recall I was on a payphone and he was playing right behind me in some club and I had just enough to get where I nedeed to go, or buy a ticket. I was stupid. Where I wanted to go is still there - that man is not. What I would not give to see "Minnie" one time. All my regrets, the painful ones, are things I did NOT do.

MB

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Hi Wally,

Sure. I was at the closing party for the Unicef production of The Diary of Anne Frank and Hepburn was there in her usual Unicef role. She was surrounded by people asking for autographs and being rather rude to this tiny, tiny lady - she was seated alone at a table with an empty chair and this line of musicians and such with large posters and pens sticking out at all angles. I went to her and asked if I could get her anything - perhaps a drink. She said white if I recall correctly, and I went and got one from the bar. I slipped into this impromptu line of people, pre-loaded with her drink (and pre-loaded myself), and proceeded to sit in that empty chair and "end the line" so to speak after handing her the wine. She was happy for that, she had signed enough but was not the type to refuse a request. We had a lovely chat and I recall I kissed her hand when I finally left - her wrists were like pencils. She was the most radiant lady I have yet met.

She also danced with the youngest and fastest kids/guys on the tour and kept up like Tina Turner!

Best,

MB

Next I will relate how I asked William Shatner to get Leonard Nimoy's attention for me - after Shatner had just went through this whole thing about how no one ever wants to ask him anything. I have had the chance to speak with both and both are very cool although...uh...Shatner is Shatner - take it or leave it! I also once asked Kelley (Dr. McCoy) for a prescription, but I think someone had a little too much to drink....

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Thanks Eric. Waiting for the next chapter...

I'll give you a Rodney Dangerfield story. In 1976 I was up in the Pocono Mountains on New Years Eve. I was 16 at the time and all full of myself. I watched Rodneys Show, It was great. He is one of my most favorite comedians. Well, the show ended and I ran to the elevators ahead of everyone...Except...I entered the small elevator and in the corner was Rodney, Sweating and nervous. I felt like jumping out of the elevator, the doors closed. Just me and Rodney, I turned my backed to him very intimidated. That 4 story elevator ride seemed like enternity. He had the first room to the left. I had the last room down the hall on the left. This was the funny part. He got to his room first and waited. I reached my room, shoved the key into the door and only then did I look at Rodney. He shoved his key into the door in unison. Looked straight at me "Eye to Eye" and leaped into his room. He was a funny guy. I wish I had the nerve to say a few words to him.

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Rodney lived for years at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills-- and the stories about him answering the door wearing nothing-- or "lounging" by the pool in a loosely tied hotel bathrobe are legendary (not to mention funny)!

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Even in death.......no respect!

Speaking of which, who was it that recorded that novelty tune Rockin' Rodney, when Rodney Dangerfield was at the height of his popularity? Or maybe it was Rappin' Rodney. It was right up there with Steve Martin's King Tut.

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I loved the material that Rodney developed.

His simple tombstone reads "Rodney Dangerfield - There goes the neighborhood".

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Cab Calloway can be seen doing his "Minnie the Moocher" act in the original BLUES BROTHERS movie. I once had his autograph dating back to the mid-fifties but upon his passing, I gave it to one of the City Council members at City Hall in Pasadena. Mingling with celebrities is fun to recollect and I've had a few face to face chats with folks like Sammy Davis, Jr., David Brinkley, Tommy Dorsey, Pat Paulson, Jack Carter, Jimmy Durante, Guy Lombardo, Jayne Mansfield, Andy Williams, Lionel Hampton, Betty White, Alan Ludden, Don Ameche, Francis Langford, Robert Moses and many others!

I was kissed by Connie Stevens at the Colorado Street Bridge party in Pasadena a few years ago. That happened when I showed her the autographed Playbill that I had dating back to her first Broadway show, "Star Spangled Girl" with Richard Benjamin and Anthony Perkins.

In the late sixties, I remember holding the door open for Faye Dunaway as she arrived late at a Broadway theater where Angela Lansbury was the star of the show. I've had dinner at different restaurants while seated at the next table to Mitzi Gaynor, Leonard Nemoy, Willie Shoemaker and Jack Dempsey.

It's been quite a ride and I do hope that it never ends.

Ray Dashner

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My "talked with or shook hands with or both" celebrity list includes:

Wilt Chamberlain

John Havlicek

Evel Knievel

Jimmy Stewart

Edward Teller (two different times)

E.P. Wigner

Paris Hilton

Helen Hayes

Lowell Thomas

Rafer Johnson

Tom Lester (played Eb Dawson on Green Acres)

Don Rickles (on the set of CPO Sharkey)

Heads of State I've seen in person (while they were in office or on the throne) - no bathroom jokes

Richard Nixon

George W. Bush

King Constantine of Greece

Emperor Hirohito of Japan

and last but not least

-somebody I saw in a Home Depot in Torrance, CA picking out bathroom fixtures with his wife, surrounded by bodyguards- I was told by a checkout cashier that he was the President of Venezuela- the newspaper the next day confirmed that the President of Venezuela was visiting L.A.

Is it a common trait of people who frequent PTU, to keep mental lists like this?

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The only that stands out in my mind.....Being in the elevator in the Plaza Hotel, summer 1971 with John Lennon & Yoko Ono....Just them , myself and my friend.....The moment is frozen in time and will be forever.....I see many Holloywood types around Newport Beach, they all seem like small fish in comparison.....Pat M...

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Yeah, Yoko was really cool, except when she tried to arrest me for photographing her ripping up a bible! I wish I had met John as well. I think many of are "list keepers" of one sort or another, Randy.

my list is over 100 names - it was a hobby of mine, meeting celebs, although FEW of my autographs came from these eencounters. I'd rather shoot the breeze with Bobby Short or Christopher Walken than ask for a signature I can obtain elsewhere. I rarely ask.

Here is a partial list:

Michael Moore

Woody Allen & Soon Yi

Bela Lugosi Jr.

Karloff and Chaney grandaughter and grandson

Billy Corgan

Charleton Heston & Lydia

Allan B. Shepherd

Maya Angelou

Dolores Fuller

Forrest Ackerman

Johnathan Frid (VERY interesting)

Ted Neely (Jesus from the orig film JC Superestar)

John Johnson

Dr. Ruth

Bobby Short (what a voice)

Fritz Weaver

Zacherly

Penny Marshall

Barbra Striesand

John Russo

Ethan Hawke

Joe Franklin

Christopher Plummer

George Steele

Abe Vigoda

Walter Cronkite

Marilyn Manson

Calvin Klein

David Byrne

Terrence Stamp

Roy Schieder (responds to "Hey Chief!")

"Rita Wedameyer" from the Honeymooners

Joce Randolph

John Inman

Enterprise main Bridge Crew

"Grandpa" Al Louis

Samuel L. Jackson

Radiohead/Thom Yorke

Eddie Murphy

Madonna

Roger Corman

Best,

MB

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WHEW! That sure beats my list ... even when I include Sally Struthers, Groucho Marx, Redd Foxx, Faye Emerson, Skitch Henderson, Jerry Lewis, Mel Allen, Joey Forman, Joe E. Lewis, Joan Crawford, John Holmes, Dave Brubeck, Virgil Fox, Teresa Brewer and Frank Gorshin.

Methinks this is a neat ego trip for PTU participants!

Ray D.

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John Inman

Just passed away last Thursday, at St. Mary's Hospital in London. He was 71.

"Mr. Humphries is now free!"

I had torn the obit out of the paper a couple of days ago to show the wife- one of her favorite TV shows and characters.

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Johnathan Frid (VERY interesting)<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

Now he was one of my favorites- from the absolute best soap opera of all time. I used to race home from school in the sixth grade to catch it every day.

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Paris Hilton

Helen Hayes

It looks funny listing those two right next to each other. I have this mental picture of one scolding the other, although Helen Hayes would probably remain cordial and polite, as was Paris Hilton when I met her.

Paris Hilton with my son on the left, and my youngest brother on the right. This was right in front of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, home of the Oscars. Which is probably as close as she'll ever get to an Oscar.

Hilton2.jpg

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-somebody I saw in a Home Depot in Torrance, CA picking out bathroom fixtures with his wife, surrounded by bodyguards- I was told by a checkout cashier that he was the President of Venezuela- the newspaper the next day confirmed that the President of Venezuela was visiting L.A.

"Hey honey, why don't we jump on the plane this weekend, fly up to L.A. and get some bathroom fixtures?"

"Okay, whatever. Can I get a pedicure on Rodeo Drive too?"

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I did not know John Inman had died Hev was very funny and that show was the only one that could take me away from my Honeymooners (on occassion). My stove is on "Regulo 2" in his memory.

MB

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Your lists are pretty impressive - it's tougher for those of us who don't live near NYC or LA to rack up such names. I have a few, but some are a bit obscure -

From my Nantucket jaunts-

Jerry Stiller

Ann Meara

John Kerry

Johnny Carson

Tim Russert

And nearby Martha's Vineyard-

Walter Cronkite

And the general list...

Jay Leno

Edith Massey

Skip Suddeth

Albert Speer

Jay Giles (lives near me)

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mitt Romney

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Merv Griffin was peeved because his name didn't appear on my list, so my comps at his casinos are now limited to free Bud Light and grilled cheese sandwiches.

I also forgot to mention Freddie Martin, but he's still leading his Big Band up in the sky since 1983. John F. Kennedy and I saw eye to eye as he addressed voters in Springfield, Massachusetts on the steps of the Civic Auditorium. I was in the first row just below the lectern. That was a memorable day for me.

Almost as memorable was having breakfast with Kurt Kaznar at a restaurant in Hyannis, (Cape Cod), Massachusetts.

More to come as my recollections come into focus.

Ray D.

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Edith Massey? GOOG GOD! That woman was amazing! What a presence! True class!

Albert Speer? JFK? I am jealous!

MB

She actually stayed with me for 2 weeks in VA in 1983 while filming a movie - her last BTW. She was amazing. She also had a punk rock band - Eddie and the Incredible Edible Eggs! I produced her show at TJ's Pub in Charlottesville.

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