Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

This is from the film: “Kissing Jessica Stein. ” Drop a quarter into your computer.  —PG

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net  Reposted from September, 2012 on BF.

I once met Mickey Spillane, the American writer of noir detective novels starring Mike Hammer. Spillane actually was a tough guy who looked like he could be a private eye or a private dick with a run-down office and a babe with long legs for a secretary.

I love that Mike Hammer image, and sometimes I put on my trench coat over a rumpled suit and wait in my office for a tough case to show up. It’s not easy making a living that way, and it’s not healthy either, chain smoking unfiltered cigarettes, sipping bourbon all day and packing a piece.

Then finally the big case showed up. Unfortunately it wasn’t a dame who brought the goods. It was Ogrover, a commenter on our blog “Noir Finger.”  He was like “deep throat” because I never heard his voice or seen his face. He showed up by email, hidden in the shadows of my hard drive. Anyhow, OGrover had a mystery for me to solve.

Monument in Auditorium Square Park—hidden in plain sight.

It seems he was slinking around Auditorium Square Park when he spotted a possible crime scene. A plaque in the ground, at the corner of Pitman Ave. and  Pilgrim Pathway. It was old and spooky, and no one had stolen it yet. OGrover moved slowly closer and closer and then he saw what it said: “Red Oak — State Tree New Jersey Tercentenary–1964.  Presented by the Woman’s Club of Ocean Grove.”

OG scratched his head and wondered if he, an octogenarian, had been around for the tercentenary. But that thought quickly vanished as he stared up at the tree. It was a reddish Norway Maple. “Holy mackerel!” thought OG. “This is a fishy case for Noir Finger.”

Red Oak tree. NOT!

I left Pussy Galore in the office and walked down by the Great Auditorium — talk about haunted houses!  Rattling around inside are the ghosts of President Grant, John Phillip Sousa, and the KKK.

I surveyed the situation and discovered that the Red Oak was indeed gone — instead there was a Norway maple.

“Holy fish oils! What the Heck Avenue happened? Were we going to have another unsolved crime in Ocean Grove? Should we call the coppers?  No way — I’ll handle this one myself.”

I emailed OG and agreed to take the case. He replied, “Piqued your interest?” Then he says, “I have a real hard time believing I’m the first to even notice it since 1964 lol.”

“OG,” I said, “Nobody says ‘piqued’ in Ocean Grove. And nobody ever said ‘lol’ to Noir Finger. After all, we are ‘noir,’ and don’t you forget it. What a turkey!”

So, with the amount of dough that OG was paying, I had to get an answer fast. So I contacted this old hand in town from the HSOG who calls himself “Anonymous,” a name that will be hard to trace, but not impossible. He actually cracked the case, so I give him credit — mystery solved.

It seems that the “Woman’s Club of Ocean Grove” planted the red oak for obvious historic and natural reasons (oaks do well at the shore). Then the oak died (so much for doing well at the shore,) and some genius replaced it with a maple. We don’t know who did or why, but we will keep looking.

Meanwhile, the “Woman’s Club of Ocean Grove”  disbanded* about 20 years ago, and we are still searching for survivors. Noir Finger will stay on the case until we get some answers. We’re open to suggestions.

SOUNDTRACK: By a noir sort of guy who likes to hang around bars at 2:45 a.m.:

See the comment below from Tom  and Pegi.  Pegi has resurrected the old WCOG.* And note that the correct spelling is Woman’s not Women’s.

POST SCRIPT: What good is a Mike Hammer story without a bit of sex ? I came upon a blogger who has been to Ocean Grove and who imagined a young woman staying at the Victorian OG Women’s Club Hotel, a building which still exists in town. I love her poem–click on link below:

The Women’s Club Hotel (est. 1870), Ocean Grove, NJ

(Plaque reads: A Respectable Hotel for Chaperoned Single Gentlewomen)

Ocean Grove Women’s Club Hotel

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Nancy Sinatra

From her album “Pickin’ On Nancy Sinatra: A Bluegrass Tribute.”  The song is “Summer Wine.”  Nancy worked on this album with Lee Hazlewood, but this cut is strictly instrumental. Solo by Dennis Caplinger.  Ms. Sinatra  also has recorded a duet of this song with Mr. Hazlewood.  I like the bluegrass version.  —PG

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Eydie Gormé passed  away in 2013 at the age of 84.  She became a star at the age of 22.  She had  one of the best voices in popular music. This article is re-posted from August 2013 @Blogfinger.net.

She was born in the Bronx to immigrant parents from Sicily and Turkey. She was fluent in Spanish, and later in her career her Spanish language recordings were more popular than the ones in English.  She became an international star.  Unknown-2

Eydie Gormé performed for most of her career with her husband Steve Lawrence, and everyone knew them as “Steve and Eydie.”  They were a huge draw in Las Vegas.

Her biggest hit was “Blame it on the Bossa Nova,” but here is one of the number one recordings she had in Spanish—in this case recording with the “Trio Los Panchos.”


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The Village of Loch Arbour, New Jersey was founded in 1958. According to the 2010 census, the population is 194. This photograph was obtained on a gorgeous June day at 7 pm—the “golden time” for photography.  The image shows a group of homes arranged in a courtyard.  It is reminiscent of Ocean Grove with historic houses going back to the early 1900’s.  There is a porch culture like ours.

I spoke to a family sitting on their porch having a drink.  The kids were doing cartwheels under a giant  tree, and we met Mom and Dad, who  is a volunteer fireman.  The common areas are beautifully tended, and all the neighbors share that expense.

It seems like the kind of a place that would be a setting for a Jimmy Stewart movie. I got the impression that this is a neighborly place,  so that explains the music selection for a town that calls itself a “village.”     —Paul Goldfinger

Loch Arbour. June, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo.©  Originally posted here in August, 2012. Blogfinger.net



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St-Emilion, France. Growers of Bordeaux wine. by Paul Goldfinger © Silver gelatin print. Left click for full view.

 Paul Goldfinger ©   St. Emilion, France. Growers of Bordeaux wine.  Silver gelatin dark room print. Left click for full view.

SIDNEY BECHET   (soprano sax) with “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere” from the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris.

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Broad Street. Red Bank, NJ. Birthplace of Count Basie

Broad Street. Red Bank, NJ. Birthplace of Count Basie. By Paul Goldfinger © 2013.  Reposted on Blogfinger.

SOUNDTRACK: “It Had to be You.” The Count Basie Orchestra.

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June Christy (L) and Peggy Lee

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger  (Re-posted from February, 2012)

We don’t need to reproduce the lyrics when posting a song from the 1940’s.  The big bands all had vocalists who valued clear pronunciation. Frank Sinatra had to lose his Hoboken accent and he took diction lessons. He took great pride in the presentation of clear lyrics, and so did June Christy who sang with the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

Kenton performed big jazz arrangements, and Ms. Christy was known as a jazz singer. As a college student in the 1960’s, I played in the FDU jazz band, and, although we were about done with the big bands, we loved to play those Stan Kenton charts.

June Christy (1925-1990) was from Decatur, Illinois. She started out as a band singer when she was 29 years old.  This song is from the album “Ladies of the 1940’s.”  And, all kisses aside, I decided on this song because it’s been a long, long time since we had a ’40’s era tune on Blogfinger.


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Tammy Scheffer

This Disney song is on everybody’s favorite list. When the Disney cruise ship comes into port, it is playing this song.  But Tammy Scheffer, a young jazz singer, provides a new twist.  Tammy was raised in Israel, but now she lives in Brooklyn, NY where she composes, teaches and performs a style of music which she calls “contemporary jazz.” She works with musicians who share her interest in finding new sounds and musical techniques. Our featured selection is from her first CD (2010) : “Wake Up, Fall Asleep.”

This song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” starts out with the melody, but then heads off into the starry night with an instrumental section featuring an alto sax and Tammy’s vocal interpretations.  Then, at the end, it returns to earth with a soft landing.

Reposted from August 21, 2012  —By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

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An early scene in Stardust Memories from the PBS documentary about Woody Allen

By Paul Goldfinger

“Stardust Memories” (1980) was Woody Allen’s 10th film in which he acted and directed. It came after his biggest hit, “Manhattan” (1979), a gorgeous film which had won four Academy Awards. “Stardust Memories” is about a famous filmmaker who comes to a seashore retreat to celebrate his work. The movie is a serious effort that examines themes such as life, death, relationships and religion. It was shot in black and white by Gordon Willis, the famed cinematographer who also filmed “The Godfather.” Woody says that “Stardust Memories” is one of his favorite movies, but it bombed at the box office. The film was discussed during part I of the Woody Allen Documentary on PBS Sunday night.

Woody as Sandy Bates in Stardust Memories

The Great Auditorium exterior was used to represent the Stardust Hotel. Some other exteriors in OG and Asbury were also used, but other locations and studio venues participated. I think the Casino was used as a train station. Evidently, the electified cross was taken down since it needed repairs, and Woody paid for a new one after filming.

In the documentary, they showed some scenes from the film, and I managed to grab a few shots from the TV including two showing the GA.

Some of the peculiar characters in the film. The GA hotel in the background

So while we are on the subject of movies where local towns are mentioned, here is a favorite of mine, and the above article explains it all.  It was last posted on Blogfinger in November, 2011.

MUSIC: From the Stardust Memories soundtrack. Louis Armstrong (recorded 1931) plays “Stardust.” The movie title is derived from the Stardust recording sessions (1931) where Louis, in an alternate take, said “Oh, memories” three times in succession. Woody liked the latter version for the movie title, but the version below was chosen for the soundtrack. (Do you care? Some aficionados actually do.)  PG

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