Saturday Odds & Sods: The Race Is On

Galloping Horse by Edward Muybridge.

It’s been a noisy week at Adrastos World HQ. My next-door neighbor is finally replacing the roof that was damaged by Hurricane Ida some 14 months ago. I’m glad it’s being done but will be relieved when the roofers finish. My home office is right across from the action. Oh well, what the hell.

The featured image is one of the first attempts at stop motion photography. The robber baron Leland Stanford commissioned Edward Muybridge to photograph his racehorse, Bouquet. That’s bouquet, not bucket. Hyacinth weeps.

This week’s theme song selection was inspired by my election post The Politico Racing Form.

The Race Is On was written by Don Rollins in 1964. It uses horse racing as a metaphor for the narrator’s love life. George Jones was the first to record it and it remains the best-known and loved version.

We have two versions of The Race Is On for your listening pleasure: George Jones, and Dave Edmunds with the Stray Cats.

For some reason, I still feel like horsing around.

I wonder if Roger McGuinn ever caught that horse? Byrds *can* conduct aerial surveillance…

One more equine song for the road, this one by Jethro Tull:

We begin our second act in earnest with a story from the publication I mocked the other day.

When Tricky Met Jackie: Like many Black folks of his generation, Jackie Robinson began life as a Republican. The Democratic party was in transition and still loaded with Dixiecrats when Jackie began to put his fame to political use. Hell, Tom Dewey was to the left of Harry Truman on Civil Rights issues.

There’s a swell piece in Politico Magazine by Fredric J. Frommer about the 1960 presidential election and Jackie’s decision to support Tricky Dick. He spoke to both candidates and thought Nixon had a better understanding of the plight of Black people. Nixon was Dewey’s protege, after all.

Jackie bet on the wrong horse as he came to realize later. JFK turned into an advocate of Civil Rights and Tricky was the father of the southern strategy.

Time to post the obligatory Jackie Robinson song:

We move from a pianist, Count Basie, who was a fine human being to a loathsome rock pianist who died recently.

Jerry Lee Lewis died at the advanced age of 87. I suspect the devil finally closed on the deal he made with Lewis as a young man.

There was a lot of nauseating Lewis praise on social media. He *was* an interesting character. I even read Rick Bragg’s fine Jerry Lee biography but in the same way I read about other historical villains. If Rick Bragg writes a book about Jerry Lee’s horrible cousin, Jimmy Swaggart, I’d read that too

Jerry Lee Lewis was a truly terrible man who was into teenage girls who he married and subsequently mistreated. Ugh, just ugh.

I lost any positive feelings I ever had about the rock and roll pioneer in 1984 when I read Richard Ben Cramer’s great piece in Rolling Stone magazine: The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis. 

Life’s too short to praise assholes who may have taken their nickname literally. The Cramer piece about the Killer left me:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I wrote about Joseph Welch the other day. It made me think of the 1977 teevee movie Tail Gunner Joe in which Welch was portrayed by Burgess Meredith. Meredith won an Emmy for his bravura performance as the man who helped bring down a demagogue.

The Movie List: The Decency Deficit post also inspired this week’s list. Otto Preminger was a complicated man: dictatorial at work and a hemophiliac liberal in the voting booth. He was one of the filmmakers who broke the blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo screen credit for a movie that missed the list, Exodus. At 208 minutes it’s way too long. It might have been a fine mini-series but as a movie? Oy, just oy.

The Otto Preminger Dozen

  1. Laura
  2. Anatomy Of A Murder
  3. Advise and Consent
  4. The Man With The Golden Arm
  5. Whirlpool
  6. Where The Sidewalk Ends
  7. Carmen Jones
  8. Fallen Angel
  9. Forever Amber
  10. River Of No Return
  11.  The Human Factor
  12. The Court Martial Of Billy Mitchell

The last word of the segment goes to Dorothy Dandridge with a song from the #7 movie on the Preminger list, which I did not write on Otto pilot:

Best Of Letterman: This week’s clip could be titled when Mick met Dave.

I suppose I should throw a Stones song in here just for the hell of it. This one didn’t make the Rolling Stones Dozen but it came close:

I don’t have mixed emotions about our next segment.

Saturday GIF Horse: This week, images from Otto Preminger’s two finest films. Arranged in order of size. It’s tidier. Certainly, tidier than my home office.

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

Saturday Classic: This week’s Sunday Dozen is a thematic one featuring songs about clowns. Here’s a video from one of the artists who made the list, Dwight Yoakam. It’s the song he wrote after being publicly dissed by Sharon Stone.

That’s it for this week. In addition to being a fine director, Otto Preminger did some acting. Here he is on the set of Stalag 17 with Billy Wilder.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: The Race Is On

  1. Regards your opinion of JFK on civil rights, after reading what Taylor Branch had to say on the matter, I would suggest that he was more concerned about his personal appearance to the electorate than the plight of US citizens being denied and at that time, still, lynched

    1. The passage was about Jackie Robinson’s comparative view of Kennedy and Nixon after 1960.

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