Thursday, December 18, 2014

Judy Garland Christmas Special (1963)

This was a live pre-recorded Christmas special from 1963, starring the incomparable Judy Garland.  Joining Judy are her children -- a very young Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft.  It was part of the short-lived The Judy Garland Show, a show Judy was never comfortable doing, although her incredible talent shines through.

The guest stars are the fine singers Mel Torme and Jack Jones, among others.

Since I am too young to have seen this special when it was originally on, I was delighted to discover it on YouTube!  What's interesting is that it includes the original commercials!

This show was made under difficult conditions. President Kennedy had been assassinated only weeks earlier, and the country was still in mourning.

Liza went on to a brilliant if erratic career as one of the few EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winners. Lorna went on to be a singer/actress, and Joey worked mostly behind the scenes. There is an interesting article from this year about Joey where he reminisces about this show.

Tracy Everitt, the man who danced the "Steam Heat" number with Liza, has gone on to a fine performing and teaching career. He's from Hoboken, New Jersey!

There is an entertaining review of this show here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Northlandz, Part II (With Dolls!)

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2,000 pipe organ which the Northlandz owner sometimes plays

Last week I told you about Northlandz, the model railroad located in Flemington, New Jersey. I showed you some trains and the spectacular scenery and settings that were created by the owner.

This week I will show you some other interesting parts of Northlandz.

Here is a Christmas village:

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Christmas village

The World’s Only Toothpick Farm:

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The World's Only Toothpick Farm

There is a room where there is a control panel to run the trains on schedule.

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The Control Panel

And now, the DOLLS!

Northlandz contains a doll museum called La Peep Doll House, and very creative it is!

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La Peep Doll House

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La Peep Doll House Living Room

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La Peep Doll House jam session

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La Peep Doll House

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La Peep Doll House dance

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I spy Pee Wee Herman on the right

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Old time chamber music group

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I see Groucho Marx and Louis Armstrong. Are some of the others Marilyn Monroe  and Lucille Ball? Who is the second blonde?

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Our Gang, a.k.a. The Little Rascals

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Rag Dolls

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Raggedy Ann is the boss

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Have a wonderful week!

P.S. I love comments and will answer back, but some WordPress blogs simply refuse to post my comments for some reason, even when I try with Twitter. I don't know why. I also cannot comment on blogs that only accept Google+ comments. 

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