Women of History: Jeanette MacDonald

Author’s Note:  This was originally meant for two weeks ago but I had trouble writing it.  I’m still not very happy with the outcome, but it is complete.  I may revisit Jeanette in the future and rewrite this better.

In the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day on July 4th.  This month’s theme is going to be American women of history.    While Canada also celebrates Canada Day in the month of July, I’ll be doing Canadian women of history another month.

Our first WHO is Jeanette MacDonald.  Jeanette MacDonald is an American Actress from the 1930s.  About a decade ago, my grandmother and I, who liked to watch old classic films together, started watching operettas, in particular the ones done by Jeanette and her frequent Co-star Nelson Eddy.  We collected movies, stills and other things relating to Jeanette and Nelson.

Jeannette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The year of her birth is somewhat of a mystery as different records say different things.  According to a baptismal record, the year of her birth was in 1903.  However, later in life Jeanette would change her name (dropping an n), and her year of birth (Saying it was 1907).  Even her gravestone lists the 1907 date, and her widower, Gene Raymond, would continue to insist it was 1907.  However, several sources now list the 1903 date as accurate. Continue reading

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The Beatles

June 1st was the anniversary of the the release of Sgt. Pepper. The Beatles are one of my favorite bands.  They have a song for almost any mood, and have been arguably one of the most influential bands of the last fifty years.

But I just like their music.  My favorite song is actually from an older album.  It’s been remade several times. “In My Life” was even a tv theme song to the show Providence.

Over the course of their time together the Fab Four expiramented with themes, styles and instruments.  They even came up with a few recording techniques. Therefore there is quite a variety of songs in their catalog.

They have songs for kids and road trips, angry break up songs, angry activist songs, feel good songs, and iconic songs.

They are up on spotify and other streaming /downloading services and you can also find many of the awesome covers of their music on the same services and youtube.

David Bowie

I woke up to the news today that David Bowie died last night after a long battle with cancer.  I wasn’t aware that he had been sick.  It was only a few days ago a friend and I were discussing him because it was his birthday.

David Bowie was one of those artists where I enjoyed them but was never OOOOH MUST HAVE about when a new album came out.  He was always in the background.  He was an artist you had to respect even if you didn’t like his music.

I grew up with David Bowie music.  His career spanned decades and ranged in style.  He showed up on soundtracks often, and a few movies as well.  I think part of me thought he’d be putting out new music for a few more decades.   So today with his passing, it seems like there is a hole in the fabric of music.

One of my favorite childhood movies was Labyrinth where he starred as Jareth, the king of the Goblins.   The soundtrack is also one of my favorites and he wrote most of the songs on the album if I remember correctly

Here are a pair of my favorite songs from the movie:

 

RIP David Bowie.  You will be missed.