Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Don't You Do Right as Sung by Jessica Rabbit or Peggy Lee?

"Why Don't You Do Right?" is an American blues- and jazz-influenced pop song - now a standard - written in 1936 by Kansas Joe McCoy. It is a twelve-bar song written in a minor key. Although it is not in the twelve-bar blues form (it is more of an aabc form in which the c part is similar to the a part), it is considered a classic "woman's blues" song.

One of the best known versions of the song is Peggy Lee's, which was recorded July 27, 1942 in New York with Benny Goodman; or you can check out the more modern version "Why Don't You Do Right"  as sung by Jessica Rabbit. I think she would have given Betty Boop a run for her money : )

or do you prefer Peggy Lee?

American in Pictures During the War - 1939 - 1943

Both sad and incredibly beautiful, images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.  Below is a sample of America in the throes of depression and despair.  Riveting.  For more pics visit the The Plog/Denver Post.

A fabulous book ... fabulous pictures.  I love this sample below:

Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The Glenn Miller Conspiracy Theory ... True or not?

The Glenn Miller Conspiracy: The Never-Before-Told Story of His Life -- and DeathDecember 15, 1944, a cold, wet and foggy afternoon, Glenn Miller departed RAF-Base, England in a Norseman C-64 aircraft. The flight was to take Glenn Miller and other passengers to Paris. However, the flight never made it. It is believed the aircraft encountered icing conditions over the English Channel and crashed. Glenn Miller and his band had been performing for Allied Troops prior to the crash and was planning on putting on a show in Paris, France. Glenn Miller and his band was idolized by many during his career. Or so they say ... truth or fiction? Here is what they say in the Glenn Miller Conspiracy theory:

A German newspaper says wartime bandleader Glenn Miller died of a heart attack in the arms of a French prostitute in 1944 and not, as officially reported, in a plane crash. The mass-circulation Bild newspaper alleged that the famed trombonist and exponent of the big band swing sound met his death in a Paris brothel. The paper said German journalist Udo Ulfkoutte discovered the secret of how he died in U.S. secret service files while doing research for his book, "BND, The Secret Files." The paper quoted the journalist as saying the true cause of Miller's death was concealed to keep his legend alive and protect the morale of U.S. troops. U.S. military and intelligence officials were not immediately available to comment on the cover-up allegation.
Glenn Miller - Greatest Hits
Official reports said his plane vanished over the English Channel in December 1944. But Bild said British diver Clive Ward discovered the wreck of his single-motor plane off the French coast in 1985 and found no signs the plane had crashed, or any human remains.

A retired colonel who says he was Glenn Miller's pilot disputes the claim. Lt. Col. Robert Baker told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he and Miller were drinking together in England the night before. "I just know the brothel story is a lie because there was no way Miller could have gotten to Paris by December 15 except on my flight," Baker insisted.

Just two weeks before his death, Miller and his orchestra recorded 20 new tunes in London that were only unearthed in 1995. On the recordings, Miller can be overheard in an unguarded moment flirting with a German girl.In the year before his death, the 40-year-old Miller had a serious illness. And although Baker claims he drank with him, others say Miller was once kicked out of a bar for being a teetotaler.

Supposedly, Miller, another passenger and a pilot took off informally on an uncharted flight without clearance, on a foggy day when all other aircraft were grounded.

"Why Glenn, who had a real fear of planes, decided to risk a trip under such adverse conditions has never been determined," wrote his friend George Simon, author of the book The Big Band Era and The Glenn Miller Story.

For more read these blogs:
The Straight Dope
Glenn Miller Wiki

1943 WWII Photos by Slate Magazine

Fabulous picture from Slate in "Today's Pictures - This picture depcists a pilot - ABOARD USS SARATOGA—A pilot in the ready room preparing for a mission, November 1943.
For more fabulous shots ... click here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Angel on My Wing ... A Book by Lt. Colonel Richard B. Lewis

Looking for a good read? Check out this new 82 page, 8-1/2 x 11, "mostly color", paperback book "Angel On My Wing;" written by Lt. Colonel Richard B. (Dick) Lewis, a member of the 493rd Bomb Group 8th Air Force during WWII. He kept a diary and wrote the book from the diary along with his unbelievable memories of his 35 missions. (and, upon request he will be happy to sign your book.)

Forward- of book

"Before I even began to think of some of my experiences in the Battle of England during WWII, I was asked what the title of the book might be. I really didn't have any trouble with that because the title expresses my world experience, both in combat and out. However, the real time of this title was taken from a dream my Mother wrote me about.

Ask anyone whether they are superstitious or not and half will say "not in the least" and half will say they are. Being somewhere in the middle I believe the answer is really in how you react to things as they happen. For instance, I started flying my missions using an old yellow handled toothbrush every morning before we were briefed. After about twenty missions it occurred to me that it was looking pretty decrepit. Do you think I would go get a new one? No way. Didn't even think of doing that until I was safely back in the states.

Sometime between my tenth and twelfth mission I received a letter from Mom that described a dream she had. (According to the bible the Lord corresponded with people in their dreams.) She said that her mother, who she adored but who had died at the age of forty-nine had appeared in her dream. In the dream she assured Mom that she needn't worry about my safety because she was sitting on my wing on every mission. Everyone dreads their thirteenth mission, but my crew and I didn't even sweat it.

Now in looking back over my life she has been with me in every endeavor. At least, if not her, I believe I have had a guardian angle watching over me all my life."

If interested, you can purchase the book on Ebay.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Brigadier General James M. Stewart, USAFR (RET)

On Mar. 22, 1941, Jimmy Stewart was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps as an enlisted man and stationed at Moffett Field, Cal. During his nine months of training at that base, he also took extension courses with the idea of obtaining a commission. He completed the courses and was awaiting the results when Pearl Harbor took place. A month later he received his commission and, because he had logged over 400 hours as a civilian, he was permitted to take basic flight training at Moffett and received his pilot wings. During the next nine months, he instructed in AT-6, AT-9, and B-17 aircraft and flew bombardiers in the training school at Albuquerque, N. Mex. In the fall of 1943, Stewart went to England as Commanding Officer of the 703d Bomb Squadron, equipped with B-24s.
He began flying combat missions and on Mar. 31, 1944 was appointed Operations Officer of the 453d Bomb Group and, subsequently, Chief of Staff of the 2d Combat wing, 2d Air Division of the 8th Air Force. Stewart ended the war with 20 combat missions. He remained in the USAF Reserve and was promoted to Brigadier General on Jul. 23, 1959. He retired on May 31, 1968. (More info click here)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Arlington National Cemetery - Where the 8th Sleeps

Arlington National Cemetery - Section for the 8th AAFC . . . "Where Valor Proudly Sleeps"

They shall grow not old As we that are left grow old, Age shall not weary them . . Nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, And in the morning, We will remember them!-- Lawrence Binyon