Happy New Year, Everyone! And you too, Mom.
Same to you, Shana!
Well, there were some things left out of the Death Report last month.
I find that hard to believe! We covered….
We covered Bob McGrath!
…a very talented singer…
Yes! We covered him extensively!
I didn’t get to include his well-known Sesame Street song!
What well-known Sesame Street song???
“People In Your Neighborhood”!
Shana, we have a Quiz to do!
Now Mom, I know you think Sesame Street is for kids….
It is for kids!!!!
But Mom, I’ll have you know that Joy Reid just made a Sesame Street reference on her show!
Ugh! Shot down by Joy Reid!
So, as I was saying…. “People In Your Neighborhood” is a classic! And besides, your friend Ralph Nader is in it! You know, the Consumer Advocate?
Yes Shana I know who Ralph Nader is, he wrote Unsafe At Any Speed about the automobile industry.
But listen Mom, try and pay attention, because the main reason we have to play “People In Your Neighborhood” is because Barbara Walters is in it, and we just lost her last month at 93.
Barbara Walters died????
Why didn’t you say so! She’s a legend! She was the first woman to anchor the evening news! They partnered her with Harry Reasoner and he resented it! She later became famous for her many interviews with famous people. Oh, this is truly an end to an era. OK, go ahead and play “People In Your Neighborhood”!
Now Shana, as you know, you can’t really talk about Barbara Walters without mentioning the ribbing she took every week on Saturday Night Live! As you may know, Barbara had a New York accent, which meant she had trouble with her “R’s” (as they sounded a little bit like “W’s”). Well, Gilda Radner capitalized on this speech “impediment” with an impression that dogged Barbara for the rest of her life!
Below, we see Gilda Radner as “Barbara Wawa”.
…interviewing movie star, Marlene Dietrich (played by Madeline Khan)…
Did you say Madeline Kahn???! She was another regular on Sesame Street!
Oh good grief!!!!
She had a segment with Grover…
… and was on “The Muppet Show” too, but, go ahead.
Are you sure there’s no more Sesame Street News you want to talk about? Anyway, in this segment, “Marlene Dietrich” seems to have the same speech impediment that “Barbara Wawa” has!
Good-bye, Barbara, we’ll see you on the Evening News in heaven as soon as we get there!
Oh by the way, Mom, apparently Barbara Walters is the second cousin of Paul McCartney’s third wife, Nancy Shevell.
No one cares, Shana!
There’s a picture of the 3 of them on Paul’s Facebook page.
OK, I’ll have a look.
You’re right, it’s there.
Anyway, Mom, this next death is going to be very hard for you, so, I hope you’re sitting down. Thom (“Tommy”) Bell, songwriter and arranger for Kenny Gamble’s Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) record label, died on December 22, 2022. He was 79.
Oh no! Tommy Bell died????
He worked as a producer/arranger/song-writer for such artists as: The O’Jays, The Spinners, The Delfonics and the Stylistics among others. He produced/wrote “La La Means I Love You”, “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time”, “Hey, Love”, etc. for The Delfonics.
“Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” was nominated for a Grammy.
He won Producer of the Year at the same awards ceremony in 1974, probably for his work with the Spinners.
And speaking of the Spinners…
…we can probably thank Tommy Bell for catapulting them to super-stardom! In fact, Tommy Bell’s name is probably more closely associated with The Spinners than with anything else he ever did.
The Spinners were languishing at Motown, despite the few hits they had there such as “Truly Yours”, “I’ll Always Love You” and “It’s A Shame”. They left and went to Atlantic. Atlantic was getting ready to drop them. Tommy Bell said, “Wait a minute, are these the same Spinners I used to play piano for at The Uptown Theater?” Atlantic said, “Yeah, we’re getting ready to drop them.” Tommy said, “Give me an album on them.” Atlantic’s counter offer was: “No, 3 songs, just 3 songs.” Tommy said, “You’re going to be sorry.” And they were! Why? Because Tommy gave them two #1 hits right out of the gate! Atlantic was caught flat-footed! The success of an album would have been carried by those two hit singles: “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”.
You can probably tell that Tommy gave them a characteristic, sophisticated sound that no one ever heard before, and the people just fell in love with it! Here it is again, their 1979 classic, “Are You Ready For Love”:
Tommy Bell was also inducted into the “Songwriter’s Hall of Fame” in 2006. I wish it had been televised.
Another cool thing was, he worked with Elton John…
Oh geez, Elton John again!????
I’m not kidding. In 1977 there was a short album (known as an EP) called “The Thom Bell Sessions”. From what I understand, at least 6 songs were recorded. It was released in 1979 and featured Elton’s own version of the Spinners’ “Are You Ready For Love.”
Well, don’t embarrass him by playing it!
I wish we could go on talking about Tommy Bell, but, you know, we have a QUIZ to get out, AND we have a very special guest presenter with us today and we shouldn’t keep her waiting any longer!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you now, the one and only…you know her, you love her…the incomparable… the majestic…and inimitable… Maria from Greece!!!!
Maria, welcome to the Hpathy Observatory high atop Mount Everest!
Elaine, this is not exactly a convenient location!
Why couldn’t we meet at the Hpathy Golf Course like we did last year?
Because, Maria, from the Hpathy Observatory, you can see the Hpathy Golf Course!
Well, that is the stupidest reason I ever heard to be climbing 30,000 feet!
Actually, it’s closer to 29,000 feet.
It doesn’t matter! Can’t you see that it doesn’t matter? I’m too out of breath to give my case now! Here, you do it, I’m leaving!
Wait a minute, I’ve got a ladder!
WATCH YOUR STEP!!!
Ok, let me have a look at this case. It says here, “Your Quizzes helped me figure out my brother’s remedy.” Oh, isn’t that sweet? How do you like that? That Maria is so discerning! What else does it say? She says her brother called her because he had some sort of virus: Fever, weakness, loose cough, wanted to lie down all day, but the throat pain was the worst: Left-sided sore throat, choking sensation, pain on drinking, eating and empty swallowing, but empty swallowing was the worst. Worse during sleep, he felt like he was choking. She says he could only sleep on his left side, any other position led to coughing and worsening sore throat.
Maria says she told him to take __________ in the 200C potency because it was the only potency she had, which he took that evening. The result was: He slept like a baby all night. Next morning the throat pain was gone. He could eat, drink and swallow with no problem.
He is now OK, only a mild weakness is left.
Well, that’s it folks, if you know the remedy, write to me at [email protected]. The answer will be in the February ezine.
Shana, do you know what Joe Simon said in 1969?
He said he only meant to love you, didn’t you know it? Didn’t you know? Why couldn’t you, be content, with the love he gave you? He gave you his heart, but you wanted his mind; your love, scared him to death, girl, oh it’s the Chokin’ Kind, that’s all it is:
See you in February! Oh, and P.S., don’t forget to see “Repertory Round-Up, part 9” in this issue, click below. It’s a case, and you might want to try and solve it:
Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom
Elaine takes online cases, write to her at [email protected]
Visit her website: https://ElaineLewis.hpathy.com