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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What Kind Of A Person Does THIS?

From sportswriter and commentator Clay Travis:
I want you to think about this for a moment — what kind of person scours the recording history of a woman dead for over thirty years to complain about a song recording nearly 100 years old? Is that person a normal, sane and representative example of modern American life or... ?

Rarely Heard Tune From Big B'way Hit!



Tony DeSare (one of our favorite young vocalists) sings a beautiful Cy Coleman tune from Sweet Charity -- a tune with a sweet, powerful message.

OMG! Here's What Angelo Cataldi Says NOW . . .

Philadelphia's premier sports radio talker has weighed in on the Flyers/Kate Smith controversy more than once.
But now, Angelo Cataldi has launched his most direct salvo yet at the Flyers. Here's what Cataldi has to say:
The Flyers owe the family of Kate Smith an apology for the knee-jerk decision to remove her statue from outside the Wells Fargo Center 10 days ago. Rather than do their own research, the Flyers blindly followed the lead of the New York Yankees, who stopped playing her rendition of God Bless America after uncovering her recordings of two racially-insensitive songs from the 1930s. Kate Smith fought for racial equality during her long career. To paint her as a racist, 36 years after her death, is an injustice the Flyers must correct immediately.

A Bumbling, Stumbling, Pitiful Debut . . .



We'll be honest about this.
It was sad to watch Joe Biden stumble through his debut speech to a supportive union crowd in Pittsburgh yesterday. These Biden loyalists deserved better.
But at 76, and after a lifetime in the rough 'n tumble world of politics, Biden is just no longer in his prime -- far from it. He tripped over words, slurred words and phrases, mispronounced words and all but lost his way.
Biden first assumed public office nearly half a century ago.
The man is simply ill-equipped to make this race and hopelessly out of touch. But hey, if this is what the Democrats want; if this is the best they've got . . . . .

2019 TONY Nominees: Complete List!

Following is the complete list of the 2019 Tony Award nominees, just announced:

Best Musical
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations
Beetlejuice
Hadestown
The Prom
Tootsie
Best Play
Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney
The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus by Taylor Mac
Ink by James Graham
What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck
Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
The Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley
Burn This
Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein
The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Annette Bening, All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me
Best Book of a Musical
Ain’t Too Proud, Dominique Morisseau
Beetlejuice, Scott Brown and Anthony King
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin
Tootsie, Robert Horn
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Be More Chill, Joe Iconis
Beetlejuice, Eddie Perfect
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin
To Kill a Mockingbird, Adam Guettel
Tootsie, David Yazbek
Best Direction of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Scott Ellis, Tootsie
Daniel Fish, Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom
Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, Ink
Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ivo van Hove, Network
George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Andre De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud
Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Oklahoma!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, All My Sons
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear
Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neumann, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ain't Too Proud
Best Orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown
Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
Daniel Kluger, Oklahoma!
Simon Hale, Tootsie
Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud
Peter England, King Kong
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, Oklahoma!
David Korins, Beetlejuice
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
Bunny Christie, Ink
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Jan Versweyveld, Network
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Michael Krass, Hadestown
William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
William Ivey Long, Tootsie
Bob Mackie, The Cher Show
Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud
Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Clint Ramos, Torch Song
Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
Peter Hylenski, King Kong
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud
Drew Levy, Oklahoma!
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown
Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, Ink
Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
Fitz Patton, Choir Boy
Nick Powell, The Ferryman
Eric Sleichim, Network
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud
Bradley King, Hadestown
Peter Mumford, King Kong
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Ink
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network
The final tally follows:
Hadestown - 14
Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations - 12
Tootsie - 11
The Ferryman - 9
To Kill a Mockingbird - 9
Beetlejuice - 8
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! - 8
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus - 7
The Prom - 7
Ink - 6
Network - 5
Choir Boy - 4
Kiss Me, Kate - 4
Arthur Miller's All My Sons - 3
Burn This - 3
The Cher Show - 3
King Kong - 3
Bernhardt/Hamlet - 2
The Boys in the Band - 2
Torch Song - 2
The Waverly Gallery - 2
What the Constitution Means to Me - 2
Be More Chill - 1
Hillary and Clinton - 1
King Lear - 1
A number of honorary 2019 Tony Award recipients have already been announced. Terrence McNally, Rosemary Harris, and Harold Wheeler will each receive a Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre distinction; Judith Light has been named this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award honoree; the Regional Theatre Tony Award will go to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre will go to Broadway Inspirational Voices, Peter Entin, Joseph Blakely Forbes, and FDNY Engine 54; and Special Tony Awards will be given to Jason Michael Webb, Sonny Tilders, and the late Marin Mazzie.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Art Bridges: Sharing Treasures Close To Home!



A transformational new initiative of Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art has awarded more than $700,000 to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The funding supports a program of sharing treasures from the Museum’s renowned collections with communities across Pennsylvania. An official from the Terra Foundation for American Art, along with directors from nine museums, joined legislators and arts supporters in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol today to announce the program.
The Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative supports multi-year, multi-institutional exhibition partnerships that engage local communities with outstanding works of American art. Sharing collections and resources, these collaborative partners create a series of exhibitions that are content rich, include in-depth educational and interpretive materials, and are designed to expand audiences through innovative programming. Initiative grants also foster professional development exchanges between partners and across groups. Formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania cohort of partners is ambitious in scale, comprising nine museums from across the commonwealth. The partner museums have already selected loans from the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the first phase of the project.
“Art Bridges is proud to support this groundbreaking new program,” said Margi Conrads, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Art Initiatives at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and curatorial consultant to Art Bridges. Created by collector and philanthropist Alice Walton in 2017, Art Bridges is dedicated to dramatically expanding access to American art across the country. “The sharing of American artworks has already brought
together these outstanding organizations in an unprecedented new partnership model, unlike any we’ve seen in the museum field to date. As the initiative continues, we look forward to supporting the innovative work that these organizations will do to engage their communities through these powerful works of American art."
Elizabeth Glassman, President and CEO of the Terra Foundation for American Art, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to launch the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative in Pennsylvania as part of our nationwide program to engage local communities with outstanding works of American art in meaningful ways. Already this Pennsylvania cohort has yielded profound conversations and fresh ideas on how to achieve this. Created with local communities in mind, their collaborative exhibitions and programs will present American art in innovative ways, inviting audiences to be part of an always-evolving dialogue around it.”
Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, identified the following museums as partners through a careful process of research and evaluation over the last two years:
  • Allentown Art Museum
  • Demuth Foundation (Lancaster Museum of Art and Demuth Museum, Lancaster)
  • Erie Art Museum
  • James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown
  • Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, University Park
  • Reading Public Museum
  • The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College, Carlisle
  • The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg
Their initial loan requests are broad-ranging and include works created by some of Pennsylvania’s most acclaimed artists, including Charles Demuth, Edward Hicks, and Charles Sheeler.
State Senator Patrick Browne (16th District, Lehigh Valley) serves as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Arts and Culture Caucus. He stated, “The unique initiative announced today is transformational in the way it will expend the access to renowned collections of art to diverse audiences and communities across Pennsylvania. I applaud Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art for their financial commitment to this great opportunity and the Philadelphia Museum of Art for its leadership and interest in sharing its wonderful collection of art and history with other museums, including the Allentown Art Museum in my hometown. This program, as it nurtures cultural activity in our cities and towns, will also provide benefits to local economies through increased public engagement and tourism and will encourage more young people to draw inspiration from creativity.”
The Allentown Art Museum has chosen Marsden Hartley’s Blessing the Melon (The Indians Bring the Harvest to Christian Mary), of about 1918, and two eighteenth-century Peruvian paintings, The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, with Saints Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua along with The Annunciation, for the exhibition Evolution of the Spiritual: Europe to America. On view from November 24, 2019 through May 24, 2020, the installation aims to expand the idea of what comprises American art and to reach diverse audiences whose history and traditions may not have been included in traditional narratives about the history of American art.
The Demuth Foundation plans to borrow Tulips, 1917, an important work on paper by the modernist Charles Demuth, along with an additional Demuth flower subject from another partner, the Reading Public Museum. These exceptional works by the Lancaster native—one of the most outstanding American watercolorists of the twentieth century—will complement the exhibition Focus on Flora: Charles Demuth’s Florals, on view in Lancaster from May 4 through June 30.
The Erie Art Museum has requested the loan of Paul, 1994, a painting by Chuck Close, to be paired with a self-portrait in a jacquard-woven textile done in the previous year by this celebrated and controversial contemporary artist. These works will be installed near the museum’s main entrance, where they will greet visitors beginning in the fall of this year.
The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State has selected Homage to the Square (It Seems), 1963, a painting by the influential artist and educator, Josef Albers. It will be on view from September 3 through December 15 in an exhibition commemorating the legacy of the Bauhaus in art, design, and architecture. The presentation of the Albers will be closely linked to a major, international symposium “Bauhaus Transfers” sponsored by the Stuckeman School of Architecture at Penn State.
For its exhibition Picturing Pennsylvania Barns, on view from September 15, 2019, through January 5, 2020, the Reading Public Museum will create a focused installation in which its painting Hill Road, 1920, by George Sotter is displayed side-by-side with two works by the modernist Charles Sheeler, lent by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sheeler’s Bucks County Barn, 1918, a gelatin silver print, captures the same barn that appears in Sotter’s work and from very nearly the same angle. Sheeler’s luminous Pennsylvania Landscape, created seven years later, rounds out the grouping.
In Carlisle, at Dickinson College, The Trout Gallery plans to borrow five delicate silhouettes by Moses Williams, the early nineteenth-century cut-paper artist who grew up enslaved in the home of the Philadelphia painter Charles Willson Peale. Freed in 1804, Williams continued to work for the Peale family museum, cutting silhouettes; the group to be lent to The Trout Gallery includes portraits of members of the Peale family. The college, located near the Mason-Dixon line and not far from the northernmost point of the Confederate advance during the Civil War, was founded by Dr. Benjamin Rush, whom Williams may have known in Philadelphia through his friendship with Charles Willson Peale.
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg is borrowing Penn’s Treaty with the Indians, about 1830-35, and Ralph Blakelock’s Indian Encampment, about 1890. These paintings are presented in the exhibition The Outsider’s Gaze, which looks at images of Native Americans from the perspective of European-American artists working in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It will serve as a companion exhibition to Mingled Visions: The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis and Will Wilson, on view through June 30, 2019.
The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown borrowed a work by the acclaimed Bucks County Impressionist Daniel Garber. A commanding yet tender portrait of the artist’s young daughter, Tanis is distinguished especially by its striking use of backlighting. It was painted in 1915 at Garber’s home in the Cuttalossa Glen, near New Hope, not far from the museum. The painting was presented in context with a large-scale mural by Garber and an installation of similarly-scaled murals by Edward Steichen.
Timothy Rub, the Philadelphia Museum of Art director, noted that he was drawn to the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative because of the opportunity it offered to address an objective of the museum’s Strategic Plan. “While the Philadelphia Museum of Art lends its collection to museums around the world, we are also committed to working more collaboratively with sister institutions closer to home,” Rub said. “I am delighted that we are playing a leadership role in this promising initiative, knowing that it will build sustainable relationships and broaden the reach of our public service across the state.“
Future phases of the project will culminate in the development of additional exhibitions, encompassing up to 25 works each, that will be drawn both from the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the partner institutions.

History Lesson: No Settling Scores With Ghosts

From a superb column by Mark Hendrickson in The Epoch Times:
The tone underlying the banishment of Smith from Yankee Stadium and the Flyers’ Wells Fargo Center are ominous and McCarthyesque. The Flyers actually took down their statue of Smith. Is the intent to turn her into a nonperson as the Soviet communists did to their enemies? Will those who agitated to ban Smith launch a new Inquisition, summoning thousands of dead Americans before their self-appointed tribunal to determine, “Did you ever use a racially derogatory term or hold any racist opinions at any time in your life?”
And what about those people in the Yankees’ and Flyers’ organizations who caved in so readily to the complaints of a small number? Why didn’t they show respect for their fans by polling them about whether they wanted to keep or replace Smith’s “God Bless America”? It seems to me that they acted on the basis of shortsighted expediency.
Why give positive reinforcement to people who apparently want to wield power, not only over the present and the future, but even the past? Such characters can’t be appeased. On the contrary, their success in banning Smith will encourage them to embark on a quixotic quest, going around tilting at windmills as they try to settle scores with ghosts.

What Is The REAL Legacy Of Kate Smith?

From an excellent column by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe:
If Smith had been newly exposed as a lifelong bigot, the case for declaring her persona non grata would be strong. No one has suggested anything of the kind. On the contrary: In 1951, Smith invited Josephine Baker to appear on her popular TV program, the first time the controversial black entertainer was on American television. . . . .
Before deciding that someone’s name or image (or recording) be purged from a place of honor it has long occupied, I propose a two-part test: (1) Was the person honored for unworthy or indecent behavior? (2) Is the person known today primarily for unworthy or indecent behavior? If the answer to both is no, the honor or memorial should stay.
Kate Smith was a beloved singer who brought joy to millions and raised America’s spirits in dark times. That is her legacy, not a couple of dubious long-forgotten songs.

Kate Smith's Own Words Speak Volumes . . .

Kate Smith's own words from a 1945 radio broadcast:
It seems to me that faith in the decency of human beings — is what we must have more of, if there is to be a future for all of us in this world. We read in the papers every day about conferences on the best way to keep the peace. Well, I'm not an expert on foreign affairs — and I don't pretend to know all the complex things that will have to be done for a lasting peace. But I am a human being — and I do know something about people. I know that our statesmen — our armies of occupation — our military strategists — may all fail if the peoples of the world don't learn to understand and tolerate each other. Race hatreds — social prejudices — religious bigotry — they are the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace. Unless they are exterminated it's inevitable that we will have another war. And where are they going to be exterminated? At a conference table in Geneva? Not by a long shot. In your own city — your church — your children's school — perhaps in your own home. You and I must do it – every father and mother in the world, every teacher, everyone who can rightfully call himself a human being. Yes, it seems to me that the one thing the peoples of the world have got to learn if we are ever to have a lasting peace, is — tolerance. Of what use will it be if the lights go on again all over the world — if they don't go on … in our hearts?

On The 'Bogus Pretense' Of Virtue Signaling . . .



Wildwood Mayor: Here's Why We Want Smith Statue



From the broadcast:
He started investigating who Kate Smith really was. Something the Flyers and Yankees should have done before they did what they did. What Troiano found was that, "She was under contract and required to sing those songs, After that I looked at the over 520,000 miles she traveled entertaining the troops, she brought in over 600 million dollars worth of war bond money to help finance the war and all of the proceeds from Smith's 'God Bless America' go to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, That song has no racial overtones to it at all."

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Let Us Know When A Democrat Gets THIS Crowd!





Above, this was the crowd inside the arena last night at President Trump's Wisconsin rally!

And, below, check out the video of the overflow crowd outside the arena!





US, Russia, France, Germany Top Blog Visits!

Pageviews by Countries - Week of /21

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
EntryPageviews
United States
10459
Russia
248
France
190
Germany
183
Unknown Region
147
Australia
101
Canada
66
Indonesia
56
Romania
36
United Kingdom
27
Thank you for more than 11,000 page views this week. One of our biggest weeks ever!

Dan Cirucci Blog: Week's Most-Read Stories

Top Five Posts - Week of 4/21

Hmmm . . . We May Have To Rename EVERYTHING!

From a fine column by our dear friend Christine Flowers which appears in the Delco Daily Times:
Well, about 50 some years ago, a young gay man (they were called homosexuals then) wrote a letter to the civil rights leader and explained how he was troubled about his sexual orientation. The Reverend King did not tell this young man that he should accept himself and glory in his identity as a homosexual. King actually implied that the young man was psychologically ill, and needed help. He did it, of course, in the kindest of ways.

So who's ready to rename Martin Luther King Drive back to West River Drive?

And then you have Richie Ashburn, who apparently acted in a racist and deeply disrespectful manner toward Jackie Robinson back when Number 42 was the first black man to integrate the majors. Who's ready to help me remove his statue at Citizens Bank Park?And President Obama used to have a problem with same-sex marriage, until he checked his polling numbers and decided that he was all for the wedded bliss of Adam and Steve. Can we pull down that weird portrait of his from the White House? (or is it too early?

And George Washington held slaves. Want to take up a collection for the dynamite to blast Mount Rushmore to smithereens?
You see the idiocy of these attempts to whitewash history and the dishonesty of the people who are on that simple-minded crusade?
Don’t let the Poobahs of Political Correctness lead you to believe that it is a good thing that Kate Smith’s statue is gone. Don’t give them that respect, unless each and every one of them is willing to rename a river drive, exile a Hall of Famer, cover up a portrait and detonate TNT on the side of a famous mountain.
Click here to read the entire column.

The #1 Question We Must Ask NOW!

Flyers Reap MORE Scorn For Banning Smith!

Of all the stories we've reported on this blog over a period of more than ten years, few have generated the interest (and, quite frankly, the outrage) as the story of the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Yankees banning Kate Smith and God Bless America.
From the minute we first commented on this story nearly 10 days ago, the reaction has been overwhelming. In fact, our post defending Kate Smith (and its various updates) have generated more than 11,000 page views.
But it's not just us.
This story continues to gain nationwide attention -- most of it negative -- day after day. If the Flyers and the yankees thought this would be a one or two or three day story, they were wrong, wrong, wrong!
Here are some excerpts of the latest negative feedback from various news outlets that we've been able to gather:

From David Maialetti at the Associated Press:
. . . she [Kate Smith] has been posthumously singled out and put on trial like a Salem witch – without a chance to defend herself or her motives – as both the hometown Flyers and New York Yankees, a team so reluctant to sign black players that they reportedly passed on Willie Mays, have taken steps to make sure the singer of “God Bless America” is vanquished from history.
Truth be told, the Flyers winning the Stanley Cup in 1974 – and again in 1975 – was a highlight of my wayward youth. The whole Kate Smith thing – the playing of “God Bless America” and her showing up in person before Game 6 of the finals in 1974 to belt out the song – was a bit silly to me (and I was the ripe old age of nine).
The fact that the Flyers erected a statue of her was embarrassing, but taking it down – now – is beyond mortifying.
Left in the place of where the statue once stood, we have yet another downright blatant case of political correctness run amok.
In the final analysis, this is more about what is or isn’t fair when dealing with what I regard as the most valued possession any person has, that being their legacy. . . .
These ignominious events caused me to research Smith a bit more, and I found nothing – as in zero – that the woman held any racist views.

From Doug McIntyre of the Los Angeles Daily News:
There is zero evidence Kate Smith was anything other than a wonderful person, a great American who served her country during an epic war and put her popularity on the line by inviting the controversial (and brilliant) Josephine Baker to appear on her television show. Of the 3,000 songs Smith recorded, two have been exhumed from eight decades ago and have been used to ruin her reputation for eternity. Yes, eternity. Vegas has nothing on Google. Once something is on the web it stays on the web.
So, “Kate Smith” and “racism” will pop up in search engines forever. The same way “McIntyre” and “bad hair” will show up. If it can happen to someone as benign as Kate Smith it can happen to anyone. . . . .If we are to excommunicate artists from other eras of history because they made the mistake of being born when and where they were born then we will become the very people we claim to despise: book burners. . . . . As we strive for a fairer, freer, less judgmental world, a good place to start would be to stop judging men and women of the past by the standards of today. If the social media-driven cybermob continues to pull down everyone and everything that fails their ever-changing wokeness litmus test, “God Bless America” will soon become “God Help America.”

From Phillip Morris of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
One day, Smith rested comfortably in her grave, renowned as a musical genius and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The next day, her favorite hockey team had covered her head with a sheet.
In February 1976, Smith performed a weeklong series of concerts at Cleveland’s Front Row in Highland Heights. Her health was already declining, and she would soon stop her national tours. But the sold-out audiences connected with the aging musician. She closed all of her sets with “God Bless America.”
Jane Scott, the venerable Plain Dealer Rock Critic, attended the Wednesday concert and wrote a glowing review. She noted Smith’s “majestic voice” and “booming, hearty manner.” She described her as “old fine wine.” . . . .
Kate Smith had a catalog of hundreds of songs. Two of those songs have come back to haunt her from the grave. Nonetheless, the body of her work stands. God blessed America with Kate Smith.

From Newt Gingrich at Fox News:
Smith was an iconic pop singer with more than 3,000 recordings to her credit.
As the Smithsonian Magazine reported:
“‘God Bless America’ was her most iconic hit. In 1938, Smith was reportedly searching for a song to perform on her CBS radio program on the 20th anniversary of Armistice Day. She reached out to composer Irving Berlin to find out if he had anything new to offer, and Berlin decided to finish a song that he had started writing one year earlier. ‘In a short time, the song supplanted ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as the nation's most popular patriotic song,’ the Times reflected in her 1986 obituary, adding, ‘There were attempts—all unsuccessful—to adopt it formally as the national anthem.’”
She was such a symbol of patriotism that, to quote the Smithsonian Magazine again:
“In 1982, President Ronald Reagan awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
“‘Kate always sang from her heart, and so we always listened with our hearts,’ Reagan remarked. ‘It's been truly said that one of the most inspiring things our GIs in World War II, Europe and the Pacific, and later in Korea and Vietnam, ever heard was the voice of Kate Smith.’”
Despite decades of patriotically serenading our military – and having sung the most popular patriotic song in American history – Smith could not survive the judgmental hatred of the modern left.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Oh, My -- How Times Have Changed . . . .

Maybe We Need To Change The Song Title . . .

Still, Flyers Universally Condemned Nationwide!


Based on all the facts that are surfacing and what we are learning did Flyers/Comcast make the right decision in banishing Kate Smith and God Bless America?
Well, the answer would seem to be obvious as now, more than a week later, the Flyers and Comcast continue to garner nationwide condemnation -- and from the highest levels. There really is no end to it. The jerks at FlyCast have made a blunder of gargantuan proportions. Here are some excerpts from major commentators and outlets:

From San Antonio columnist Maria Anglin:
Kate Smith, the singer best known for “God Bless America” — and, most recently, for “That’s Why Darkies were Born” and “Pickaninny Heaven” — died in 1986.
Therefore, she can’t issue a tearful, public apology for singing those songs or songs such as “Blue Tail Fly” and “My Old Kentucky Home” before the lyrics were changed to make it more palatable for the Kentucky Derby crowd. She can’t explain that the 1931 hit song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” — a song that says someone had to pick the cotton, plant the corn, laugh at trouble and be content with any old thing — is satirical. Not was satirical, mind you. It is as satirical today as it was the day it was recorded almost a century ago.
She also can’t explain that the “Pickaninny Heaven,” a song written by Broadway and film composers Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow, was featured in the 1933 motion picture “Hello Everybody!” In her corny role as a radio personality who lived on a farm with her slimmer, cuter sister, her character dedicates the song to a group of black orphans who listen as the lady on the radio describes a place twice as high as the moon, where watermelons get in your way and a Swanee River flows with real lemonade. . . .
She can’t point out that had her career tanked after “Hello, Everybody!” — which cost around $2 million to make — bombed at the box office, “God Bless America” might not have been recorded in 1938. And she can’t defend or distance herself from the objectionable songs she sang in the past, although she might point out that nobody seems to be making a peep about the men who wrote those songs, some of whom are highly acclaimed and are in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Like her, they are all dead.

From Steve Cuozzo at the New York Post:
The New York Yankees’ bold decision to ban Kate Smith’s 1939 recording of “God Bless America” from the stadium over two racist songs she once performed surely calls for further brave steps by the team.
Stadium-goers in the seventh-inning stretch will no longer be forced to listen to the strains of Smith, who recorded the 1930s song “That’s Why the Darkies Were Born” — a number that was also performed by black entertainer Paul Robeson for satire’s sake.
But if the Bronx Bombers are serious about standing tall against racism, they must next ban the national anthem, which is sung before every game.
Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814, owned slaves — at least six of them, as a matter of historical record. Isn’t “ownership” of human beings a more grave offense than merely ridiculing black people in a song that a 24-year-old Smith had to perform at the behest of her record company?
Key even refers derisively to slaves in the anthem itself. The forgotten third verse includes the lines, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave” — a warning to blacks not to seek freedom (as some did) by escaping their white masters to fight with the British in the War of 1812.
Oh, say can you stomach it? . . . . 

From the TV show, Inside Edition:
Kate Smith's family says they're heartbroken over the uproar that’s resulted from two sports teams banning her version of the classic patriotic song “God Bless America" from playing in their arenas.
A statue honoring the late singer stood near the Wells Fargo Center where the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team play. It was removed under the cover of darkness and without any public announcement.
Smith’s niece, Suzy Andron, was being interviewed by KYW-TV when she found out the statue was gone.
“They took the statue?” she asked, visibly shocked. . . . .
Bob Andron is married to Suzy. He appeared on Fox News Thursday to defend the late singer's reputation.
He said that his wife and her aunt were very close and that Smith was not a racist.
“She never was a racist and my wife’s reaction was she was heartbroken,” he said.

From Griffin Kelley at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:
Adirondack Diversity Solutions, a regional consulting firm whose goal is to diversify the workforce, has a take on the Kate Smith controversy different from that of many Lake Placid residents.
A popular 20th-century radio star, Smith was a staple of this community for nearly 40 years.
She spent her summers here, was baptized into the Catholic Church at St. Agnes Church, hired local kids as caretakers for her camp on Buck Island and would sometimes help work the register at Flora Donovan’s Lavender Shop on Main Street.
She’s buried at St. Agnes Cemetery off Sentinel Road.
Many locals were dismayed when the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers stopped playing her rendition of “God Bless America” in light of two other songs she sang, in the 1930s, that featured racist lyrics.
The Flyers also removed a statue of her that had stood outside their arena.
In a day, the Enterprise’s Facebook page received more than 40 comments in regard to an article about Smith, with the majority praising her and bemoaning modern political correctness.
The Press-Republican Facebook page saw similar activity, with most respondents' posts indicating they considered the issue a tempest in a teapot. . . . . 

From Andrew W. Klavan at the Daily Wire:
The recent banning of old-style singer Kate Smith from several sports venues is a travesty. Smith’s rousing “God Bless America” was a wonderful corny staple of Yankees games and others. The fact that she also sang some songs that were appropriate for their time and now seem unacceptably racist is no matter, none whatsoever. In the words of L.P. Hartley: “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” . . .
I have no doubt the banning of Kate Smith was a commercial decision, a kow-towing to the nine or ten “activist” voices who threaten boycotts and get their mugs on the news and are thus constantly ruining things for the rest of us. But the Yanks and others should have resisted. They embraced the political stupidity.
Banning a beloved entertainer for living in her time is just dumb. It involves a complete misunderstanding of how history, humanity and true progress really work. It cheapens our conversation, lessens our pleasure and disrespects our past. . . .