Not since May? Really?

My, how time flies…  It’s been a longgg time since I last visited these pages myself.  With apologies, I’m back… and have several BTW posts before I conclude my stream of consciousness series.  I suppose that’s not a problem because it’s all streamy anyway.

First, I’d like to mention the passing of Roger Moore.

Roger Moore as James Bond

In my (overly-televisioned) childhood I had three actors for whom I had a particular fondness.  James Garner (1928-2014) and Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009) have already been recognized in previous posts.  The third member of this triumvirate, Roger Moore (1927-2017), passed away at the end of May and I felt it only fitting that he should also receive mention today.  It is noteworthy that all three actors were born within months of each other and that all three came to my attention at about the same period in my childhood.

James Garner achieved many successes in TV and film (among them his role in The Great Escape and his signature series The Rockford Files).  I knew him first, however, as the wise-cracking gambler Bret Maverick in the series Maverick (1957-1960).

James Garner as Bret Maverick

Meanwhile, over in England, Patrick McGoohan began the 1960’s playing John Drake in the half-hour series Danger Man (1960-1962).  Several years later (1964) he was offered the opportunity to resurrect that role in expanded one-hour episodes.  While it continued to be known as Danger Man in the UK, it was given the more obvious title Secret Agent in the US (with title song by Johnny Rivers).  When he decided he had enough of that role in 1967,  production executive Lew Grade had another idea for McGoohan, a miniseries which we now know as the cult classic The Prisoner (1967-68).

A spy who used his brains…and did not kiss (on screen).

Roger Moore gained a following (including me) for his role as knight in Ivanhoe (1958-59) at about the same time as his counterparts.

Roger Moore as Ivanhoe


He followed that part by playing the rakish Simon Templar in the series The Saint, which ran from 1962 to 1969.

Roger Moore as The Saint

Many will know him best, though, as James Bond in a series of Bond movies (1973-1985).  He himself felt that his most worthwhile work was done after this period when he served as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

I thought I’d finish this little tribute post with a few “did you knows…”

Did you know…

that Roger Moore played Beau Maverick in the same series as Garner (but largely after Garner’s departure from the show)?

that Sean Connery (that other Bond) was flown over from England to test for the Beau role in the series but subsequently turned it down?

that Patrick McGoohan was considered for the role of The Saint and James Bond (before Sean Connery’s selection [Dr. No] and later before Roger Moore’s [Live and Let Die])?  His refusal to accept these offers was based on his beliefs as a Catholic.

I figured that I couldn’t end this post without a nod to the Ivanhoe theme (sing along in your choice of languages…)

And since I won’t get the chance to do so  again until next year, I will finish with a belated…

Happy Canada Day (2017 edition)!


Stream of consciousness or from the temporal to the meteorological (part seven)

First, I confess that this is a theme which could last as long as the author.  Rather than striving with no end in sight, I will arbitrarily limit this exploration to ten posts…and then move on.  For today’s installment, I’ll begin as I finished the previous post.  Paul McCartney‘s “night fixation” didn’t begin as a solo artist…here he is with several of his mates performing the title track from their first movie…

A Hard Day’s Night, released in 1964, capitalized on the popularity of The Beatles (or Beatlemania) at the time.  Directed by Richard Lester, the film was both a financial and critical success.  Both the single and the album easily reached #1 on American, British and Canadian charts.

I’m sticking with the band for the moment in order to transition to today’s “stream”.  And that’s a literal stream…  Parts of Canada have been experiencing considerable bouts of rain with severe flooding in some regions this spring.  So today’s key word is Rain

The song was released as the B-side of Paperback Writer and portended the psychedelic sounds of the upcoming album, Revolver.  The song itself reached #23 in the US in June of 1966.

So, since we’re wet, let’s stay out in the rain for a moment…

Jay and the Americans enjoyed their greatest fame during the period 1963-1965 but reprieved some that chart success at the end of the decade with This Magic Moment (#9 in 1969) and Walkin’ In the Rain (which reached #19 in 1970).  Some trivia… the group has actually had three different “Jays” over its history but the one most identified with the “big hits” is Jay (real name David) Black.

My wife would not forgive me if I didn’t include this next song by The Cowsills (check out the link for more details)…

Let’s go back…to 1952…a year with some significance for me!  That was the year in which Singin’ in the Rain (the movie starring Gene Kelly) hit the theatres.  While it received some acclaim during initial release it has only grown in stature over the years and it is now regarded as one of the best movie musicals of all time.

The song itself was first published in 1929 but was probably performed as early as 1927!

And, from the film, here’s the iconic segment…

Fast forward to 1970 and the release of Cosmo’s Factory by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  In a period of increasingly long, complex and (at times) indulgent performances by popular musicians, the songs of CCR stood out for their seeming simplicity, brevity and directness.  Who’ll Stop the Rain (which ran a succinct 2:29) reached #2 on the charts.  If one pauses to examine the song’s lyrics, however, there is material for reflection.

And…I haven’t even mentioned…

I Think It’s Going to Rain Today   Joe Cocker

Baby the Rain Must Fall  Glenn Yarbrough

Early Morning Rain  Gordon Lightfoot

Rain Rain Beautiful Rain  Ladysmith Black Mambazo (a group we had the opportunity to hear in concert back in February…excellent show!)

…but click on these links and you can get a little more rain in your life.

But today, I’m going to finish with this guy…

A fashion clone of Gino Vannelli?*

Here is Albert Hammond, performing It Never Rains in Southern California live in 1972.  The song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that same year.

*So… what was the the Vannelli caption all about?  Look below…

An Albert Hammond clone? Or just a 70’s thing?

I think I’ll head out to California for my next post…see you there!