Saturday Odds & Sods: People Got To Be Free

Twenty Cent Movie by Reginald Marsh.

After my album cover art post about Dino Danelli’s cover for Once Upon A Dream, I’d hoped to use one of his paintings as the featured image but it didn’t work out So, the featured image is by another artist who grew up in New Jersey, Reginald Marsh.

This week’s theme song was written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati in 1968 for The Rascals album, Freedom Suite. People Got To Be Free was a number one smash hit for these Jersey Boys.

We have two versions of People Got To Be Free for your listening pleasure: The Rascals and Keb Mo.

The Rascals are an underrated band. Their influence is broader than it appears at first blush. One of my favorite Jersey bands, The Smithereens, has cited them as a major influence. They even borrowed a song title from The Rascals.

Let’s rock on to our second act. We begin with a Seventies cultural phenomenon.

Bend It Like Geller: Uri Geller claimed to be able to bend spoons with his mind. He was everywhere during my youth. He had his critics and debunkers. Was it psychic or a magic trick? I say the latter, but it was a helluva trick.

The NYT’s David Segal visited Uri at his museum in Tel Aviv. It’s a tricky, not psychic yarn. Click here for the details.

This song was written and recorded before Uri Geller’s shtick became a thing but it’s the perfect last word for this segment.

We’re keeping it light with our second piece, which also comes from the NYT.

Posh Prue Does America: Posh Great British Baking Show judge Prue Leith and her husband recently drove across America. They started off in California and ended up in Florida. She wrote a piece about it for the NYT.

Here’s how Posh Prue describes her visit to New Orleans:

“The Great Mississippi Road [River Road] eventually leads to New Orleans and the famous French Quarter, with its balconies of elaborate wrought iron — a daytime picture of Victorian good taste. We, ignorant Brits, had no idea that at night on Bourbon Street, that “good taste” became the flavor of daiquiris, pizza and hot dogs against a backdrop of bands belting out rock ’n’ roll, small children beating dustbins, grown-ups playing jazz, and the raucous din of drunken tourists until 3 a.m.

But I liked the party atmosphere, and I’m mighty partial to a daiquiri, so we set off on a pub crawl. I now know that the secret to a good mango daiquiri is fresh mango, and not bottled mango syrup. And the next morning, after one too many mango delights and little sleep, I learned that shrimp and grits, with a good grating of cheese, is the perfect hangover cure.”

Party on, Posh Prue.

I normally use the UK title of her show when I discuss it. You say Baking Show, I say Bake-Off. It’s only the former because Pillsbury owns the American trademark on Bake-Off. Let’s call the second act off with a Small Faces song:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Comedy Edition: Phil Hartman could do it all. One of the funniest bits from his SNL days was his impression of Frank Sinatra.

The Chairman of the Board hated it, but I liked it. Sorry, Frank. I can make it up to you with this:

Your Weekly Oscar: In addition to leading his various trios and quartets, OP was a superb accompanist. I think y’all recognize the singer:

Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson? That goes for Louis and Cole Porter as well.

Saturday GIF Horse: I still have Posh Prue on my mind. Here she is with the Bake-Off gang; make that gangs.

The Junk Drawer:  I miss the contributions of Michael F. I still use his images wherever relevant. He’s still doing that voodoo he does so well at his own blog. I dig this entry depicting the SCOTUS right. 

That was very slick of you Michael; Grace Slick, that is:

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

Saturday Classic: This week’s Sunday Dozen features the films of Jack Nicholson. Here he is as the Doctor in Tommy:

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to The Rascals: Felix Cavaliere, Dino Danelli, Eddie Brigati, and Gene Cornish: