Saturday Odds & Sods: Name Of The Game

Clown at a diner on Thanksgiving in Reno, Nevada by Thomas Hoepker.

The New Orleans weather yo-yo continues as temperatures rise and fall. Making matters worse is that it’s happening in the middle of the night. We’ve had more than a few days where the high or low was at the stroke of midnight. Oy, just oy.

The weird weather has led to some weird dreams. The most puzzling one involved staying with two friends who were married in my dream but don’t know one another IRL. They refused to change bathroom lightbulbs or allow me to do so. I am not a fan of showering in the dark. I did it after Hurricane Ida but didn’t like it. I have no idea what this dream means but it’s sufficiently weird to share.  Oh well, what the hell.

Our Thanksgiving was pleasant and low key. We didn’t get the turkey dinner at the drug store because such a thing is impossible in 2021. We had a quiet dinner at home then visited some friends we hadn’t seen since the lockdown. It was an exercise in Gamalian normalcy. Not bad for a guy who has developed a crowd phobia. It’s a far cry from the rock and roll infused days of my wayward youth.

This week’s theme song was written in 1972 by Pete Ham for Badfinger’s Straight Up album. It marked Ham’s emergence as a songwriting force to be reckoned with. Sadly, Pete Ham killed himself just three years later. It was a great loss.

We have two versions of Name Of The Game for your listening pleasure: the Badfinger original and a recent cover by Susanna Hoffs and Aimee Mann.

It’s time for another trip to disambiguation city. Bryan Ferry wrote The Name Of The Game for his 1987 album Bete Noire.

Now that we’ve pondered names and games, let’s jump to the break,

One more gamey song before we move on:

We begin our second act in earnest with a helluva true crime story.

Candy Coated Murder: Candy Mossler was a bona fide real life femme fatale. She met her wealthy second husband in New Orleans. They moved together to Houston where she became the socialite’s socialite. Then scandal struck, Jacques Mossler was found murdered in Miami. Candy and her nephew/lover were charged with the murder.

This story has everything that makes a true crime story great: money, lust, incest, murder, and a sensational trial. Why had I never heard of it before? Better late than never.

Get thee to the Texas Monthly for Skip Hollandsworth’s swell story about the notorious Mrs. Mossler.

The last word of the segment goes to Elvis Costello:

CeCe Moore, Not CC Rider: I dipped my toe in the world of genealogical research recently. I’m interested in learning which of the relatives claimed by my late father are actually kin. I’m a cheap bastard so I haven’t gotten very far. That shit is expensive, y’all.

There’s a great piece in the New Yorker about actress turned genetic genealogist, CeCe Moore. She’s a pioneer in the use of forensic genealogy to crack cold cases. She’s also the one who helped Finding Your Roots guy Skip Gates learn that he was related to CBS anchor Nora O’Donnell.

The last word of our second act goes to Frank Zappa for the second week in a row:

We begin our third act with a modified version of our favorite stolen feature.

(Not) Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I stumbled into this image of four actors who played Philip Marlowe while researching Dick Powell. I had to post it since Powell is shown with Human Claire Trevor. The other Marlowes are Bogart, Roberts Montgomery and Mitchum.

It’s shocking that Mitchum is the only smoking Marlowe. Trust me, they all smoked like chimneys onscreen and off. All four men died of cancer.

Here’s a Camel ad featuring Dick Powel:

The Classic Movie List: Dr. A and I watched Johnny O’Clock on TCM’s Noir Alley the other night. I kept asking: why haven’t I seen this movie before? A question for the ages.

Dick Powell’s career had two acts: his early days in musical comedies followed by his time as a quick-witted Noir tough guy. I prefer the latter. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

My Top Ten Favorite Dick Powell Movies 

  1.   The Bad and the Beautiful
  2.   Murder My Sweet
  3.   Cornered
  4.   Johnny O’Clock
  5.   Pitfall
  6.   Cry Danger
  7.   Christmas In July
  8.   The Tall Target
  9.   Station West
  10.   Footlight Parade

I haven’t done a movie poster collage in ages. There’s no time like the present.

Saturday GIF Horse: I made some Gomer Pyle USMC jokes the other day in my Gohmert Gone To Texas post. Here are two GIFs featuring Frank Sutton as the shouty Sgt. Vince Carter:

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Here’s one with Jim Nabors as Gomer with Andy Griffith:

I’m not much of a comic book guy, but even I know that Shazam was Captain Marvel’s catch phrase. Apparently, the poor bastard is now called that. Oy just oy.

While we’re on the subject of comic books, let’s play a Kinks song:

TCM Clip Of The Week: I still have film noir on my mind. Here’s Eddie Muller posing the eternal question: noir or not?

Tweet Of The Week: This one comes from me but requires some exposition. Two weeks ago, former Saints star Joe Horn pled guilty to defrauding a health care plan for retired NFL players. His sentence involves community service and 3 years probation.

During the Saints-Bills debacle I proposed an alternative sentence:

The reply from my friend Cade Roux was almost as good as my original.

That’s right, sports fans, Joe Horn did indeed make a phone call after scoring. He was a colorful player before becoming a fraudster.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: It’s unusual for an album with two producers to become a classic. That’s the case with Straight Up. Of course, the producers in question were George Harrison and Todd Rundgren both of whom got Badfinger. It helps when the songs are this good.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Claire Trevor and Dick Powell in Murder My Sweet: